Adult formation in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd begins with the Level 1 Foundations Course. The focus of this course is on Montessori’s first plane of development and its attendant spiritual characteristics of joy and contemplation. Each course day consists of prayer, presentations, seminars on the themes underlying these presentations, and discussions about their pedagogy. This is interspersed with small group work on album pages and catechetical materials, and, occasionally, with material making:
- Seminars address the religious needs and capacities of children and offer an orientation to the biblical and liturgical themes, theological concepts, and pedagogy that are fundamental to this ministry.
- Presentations demonstrate the ways that each of the handmade catechetical materials assist children in prayer and meditation. These are delivered as they would be for children in the Atrium and are intended to facilitate the course participants’ own meditations on the biblical and liturgical themes that feature in our work with children.
- Practice includes an introduction to the Atrium environment, opportunities for personal work with Montessori-style catechetical materials, small group work, and participation in the creation of a handbook of presentations for children – which becomes a personal “album” of CGS presentations.
This 90-hour course is especially designed for those who are interested in or already involved in caring for the spiritual lives of children, in a home, parish or school setting. It is a prerequisite for further adult formation courses in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Certificate Program (Levels II and III).