Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

I am the good shepherd, I know my own and my own know me.
—John 10:14

Our Level One Atrium nurtures our three- to seven-year-old children in their relationship with Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Our children learn that the Good Shepherd knows his sheep, calls them by name, searches for the lost and celebrates the found. The reality of Jesus in this beautiful image of the Shepherd meets a deep need in every child for relationship. Presentations about the life of Jesus and his teachings help make the mystery of God concrete for our children.

Each week our little ones gather at their prayer table which reflects our liturgical cycle with appropriate colors, songs, art, prayers and sacred objects. Each child enters into the mystery of the Holy Eucharist through the learning of the most important gestures of the Mass such as the preparation of the chalice and the invocation of the Holy Spirit. The Parable of the Good Shepherd is used to introduce Christ’s presence in the bread and wine in a unique presentation linking scripture and liturgy through visual imagery. Baptism is introduced through the symbol of light as the gift of Christ’s risen life. Our children learn the gestures of Baptism, such as the blessing of the water and chrism and the lighting of the candle. Each child’s natural sense of wonder is engaged in the presentations of the parable of the Mustard Seed, the Pearl of Great Value, the Leaven, the Grain, and the Hidden Treasure. Through these the children are taught to ponder the beauty and mystery of God’s Kingdom.