Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

My sheep hear my voice; l know them, and they follow me.

John 10:27

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a Montessori-based Catechesis founded in Rome by Sofia Cavalletti and Gianna Gobbi. By providing children with a developmentally appropriate environment and hands-on material, these two women discovered a way to help children fall in love with God. The specially designed environment where Catechesis takes place is called an Atrium.

At Saint Bernadette, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd serves children from 3 years old through 5th Grade. Children who come to the Atrium embark on a lifelong formation in being a child of God. Part of this formation includes preparation for the sacraments of First Reconciliation, Confirmation, and First Holy Eucharist, which are celebrated as a response to the Child’s growing relationship with God. After receiving the sacraments, formation for the child continues as they begin to discern how God is calling them to respond to his love.

What is an Atrium?

An Atrium is the room in which the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd takes place.

“The atrium is the meeting ground of two mysteries: the mystery of God and the mystery of the child.”

Level I (Ages 3years old-K)

Level I encourages children to develop their innate potential for a faith-filled relationship with God. They encounter Jesus, the Good Shepherd who loves them, cares for them, and knows them by name. Catechesis includes Scripture, Mass gestures, prayers, artwork, and music. Level One is for children three years old through kindergarten.

Level II (Grades 1-3)

The goals for children in Level II is to help deepen the child’s relationship with Christ and the Catholic faith. Through the moral parables and teachings of Jesus, along with a more intense exploration of the Mass the child grows in a desire to remain close to Christ. It is during this level that the children discern if they are being called to prepare for the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Confirmation and First Eucharist.

Level III (Grades 4 & 5)

In Level III the 9-12 year-old listens to the Old Testament and explores the history of God’s plan for salvation, linking all people together in communion. They begin to ask, “What is the Kingdom of God, and what is my place in it?” It is a primary question which lays the foundation for discerning our individual roles in His Kingdom.

Register here for Catechesis for children ages 3 years old through fifth grade. If your child is preparing to receive the sacraments of Confirmation and/or First Holy Communion, they will need to enroll in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. The registration fee for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is $100 per child for the 2020-2021 school year.

You will select your first and second choices for session times and we will email you your child(ren)'s confirmed session time once payment is received in full and enrollment is complete.

If you have a child in middle school, you may enroll them in our EDGE program here. If you have a child in high school, you may enroll them in our Life Teen program here.

Registration is closed for the 2020-2021 year. Please email Brittany Rodriguez at to be put on the waiting list.



Call the parish office at (480) 905-0221.