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Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS)

Catechesis of the  Good Shepherd
The Atrium

Why is it called “Atrium” anyway? The word “atrium” actually means “portico, or porch entrance to a large house.” The Atrium was a term given to this space by Maria Montessori. It was chosen because in the ancient church, the atrium was a gathering space between the Church Proper and the street. It was the place where the catechumens, those preparing for initiation to the Church, would receive instruction. The Atrium has a similar purpose for our children, as it is a place to help them enter into full, conscious and active participation in the liturgical and communal life of the Church. To learn more about the Atrium or to schedule a tour, contact :

Jodi  Cosgrove, 715-378-4431 ext. 3

Introduction to the Atrium

Read these Parent Pages to learn all about the Atrium and the activities that take place during an Atrium session.

Atrium Ponderings


Why did Jesus have to die?” This question is one which is often voiced by young children and, also, by the not-so-young. Perhaps you have the following answer in your mind: “He died so He could save us from our sins.” We find this truth proclaimed by St. Paul in 1st Corinthians 15:3 and what a great gift that is! But have you taken the time to ask the further question of “Why?” Why would He do such a thing? This is the question of the elementary aged child, and it is a question worth reflecting on. Perhaps these responses of the children will help you in your pondering!

· 4-year-old at the City of Jerusalem material: “Why would the people say Jesus should die?” After a brief pause, she continued: “Oh, I know! So he could be risen. Jesus died and then he had a lot of risen light!”

· • 5-year-old, having just heard the account of the Resurrection from the Gospel of Matthew: “He’s not here! That’s because he is the Good Shepherd and he wants to be with us, his sheep, always!”

· • 11-year-old at the Prayer Table: “Jesus died and brought life for all of us.”

As the children of the Atrium, from the very youngest age to the older elementary age, have shared, Jesus died so that he might rise and share his risen life with us. What great, great love he must have for each of us and for all of us. How blessed we are to have been invited to share in his risen life, a life stronger than death, a light stronger than darkness. Alleluia, Praise the Lord!



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