Pre-K & Elementary Religious Ed

The first catechists in any child’s life are the family members with whom he or she lives. What happens at home – both positive and negative – provides lessons for life. In the family, faith is shared as part of the unfolding of daily life. The home or “domestic church” provides a real place in which a child learns to live his or her faith as well as understanding it. 

Our goal is to create a program of lifelong faith formation that is centered in and flows out of the events of Church life. It embraces all ages and generation, promotes faith growth at home and promotes participation in Church life. 

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We are so blessed to be in our fourth year of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS)  
at St. Thomas the Apostle!   

The religious life of the child is central to the interest and commitment to the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.  With this aim in mind, the catechist embraces Maria Montessori’s vision of the human being and thus the attitude of the adult regarding the child; and prepares an environment called the Atrium, which aids the development of the religious life. 
            
The Atrium is a place that facilitates in the wider community of the family, the church and other social realms.  The themes are taken from the Bible and the liturgy (prayers and sacraments) as the fundamental sources for creating and sustaining Christian life at every developmental stage.  In order to allow the richness of the themes contents to shine through, simple materials are placed for the children to use.  Studies have shown that children’s language is often composed of actions and interior attitudes more than words.  The children’s personal work with the material aids their meditation and absorption of the themes presented.  

The Word is proclaimed in the most objective manner possible, so that the words of the adults do not impede the communication between God who speaks and God’s creatures that listen.  The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is also concerned with helping adults open their eyes to the hidden riches of the child.  Children help us become simple and essential in the most amazing way! 

We invite our parishioners to visit the Atriums at any time.  The Atriums have been named for clarification and in honor of a few Saints.  St. Matthew (PK-4) is located in the church.  St. Joseph (K), St. Clare (1st),  St. David (2nd), and St. Michael (3rd) are located in the religious ed building.  In additiona, we will be providing presentations to the 4th and 5th graders throughout the year, and they have an Atrium area in their classroom.
  
We give thanks to the many parishioners who have made generous donations and provided amazing talents to make the atriums possible.  

For more information, please contact Michele Hoelscher at 361-244-2138.