Registration for 2023-2024 for Members of Christ the Redeemer, St. Joseph and St. John Fisher Churches will begin July 24. Other church members may begin to Register August 7th.
Faith Formation at Christ the Redeemer is rooted in the contemplative, Montessori-based style of spiritual development called The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS). CGS uses Montessori teaching principles to present the most essential realities of the Catholic faith to even very young children. Central to CGS is the beautifully prepared sacred “classroom” space called the Atrium, which provides a retreat-like place of serenity, joy and discovery for the child. Specially designed materials and inspiring presentations help children explore areas of religious formation appropriate to their developmental age. The outcome is a profoundly personal and joyful expression of faith, unique to each child’s relationship with God.
Level II Atrium (2nd, 3rd, & 4th Grade)
The elementary child is captured by the image of the True Vine. “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, bears fruit in plenty; for cut off from me you can do nothing.” The proclamation responds to the deep need of the older child to know better their relationships with God, family, friends, and the larger community.
The elementary children see the parts of the Mass – the Liturgy of the Word, the Preparation of the Gifts, the Eucharistic Prayer, and Communion – as one unity and prepare personal missals filled with illustrations and prayers in a process which deepens their love and understanding of the Eucharist in preparation of their first reception of this defining sacrament.
Children at this age seek guidelines. The moral parables offer a model for comparing their behavior with that of Pharisee, the Tax Collector, or the Good Samaritan. The Found Sheep, the Found Coin, and the Prodigal Son are examined as the children prepare for the healing Sacrament of Reconciliation. The proclamation and meditation stress God’s love, which is constantly forgiving.
The imagination of the older child and her/his agility with the concept of time are powerful stimuli to explore the past and the future. The first time line, a ribbon fifty meters long, focuses on the high points in the history of salvation from creation through the redemption to the Parousia. Another presentation focuses on the many gifts we receive from God – rocks, minerals, flowers, fruit, friends, family – culminating in God’s gift of His own divine life, in the person of Jesus, a gift which will pervade the whole universe at the completion of history.
Specific Scriptural References, Liturgical Foundations & Relevant Ecclesial Documents covered in CGS Presentations – LEVEL TWO ATRIUM – CLICK HERE
OVERVIEW OF LEVEL TWO
“What I hear, I forget. What I see, I remember. What I do, I understand.”
Level II Atrium Spiritual Formation
- Prayer: Develop both an individual relationship with the Good Shepherd and a communal prayer life with the invitation to organize and lead group prayer.
- Eucharist: Develop a deeper understanding of the Mass through the following:
- Revisit the Last Supper, extending to an understanding of the origin of the Eucharist and how it has come down to us today
- More detailed exploration of the articles of the Mass and their uses
- More detailed exploration of the liturgical gestures of the Mass
- Recognition as Mass as a prayer composed of many prayers through a synthesis of previous work with the Mass
- Baptism: Learn the sacramental signs and gestures and the important prayers and liturgical moments in the Rite of Baptism.
- Sacred Scripture: Explore the Bible and learn the books that comprise it, the history of the Bible, and how to use the Bible.
- History of the Kingdom of God: Learn about the History of the Kingdom of God and the three major moments of Creation, Redemption, and Parousia.
- Life of Christ:
- Geography: Recognize the cities, regions, waterways, and geographical features of the land of Israel at the time of Jesus. Explore scripture citations around these locations
- Read and reflect upon selected Old Testament messianic prophecies
- Continued work with the Infancy Narratives, including the exploration of prominent themes common in these texts. Explore the Flight into Egypt.
- Read and reflect upon the scripture passages associated with the Paschal Narratives.
- Read and reflect upon selected parables of Jesus: The Good Shepherd and the Wolf and the Hireling, The Good Samaritan, The Ten Bridesmaids, The Insistent Friend, The Pharisee and the Publican, and The Sower.
- Develop further appreciation of the Kingdom Parables explored in Level I.
- Moral Formation: Explore selected Gospel maxims and their relationship to our lives and the teachings of Christ.
- Celebrations: Participate in the Last Supper, Christmas/Epiphany, the Liturgy of Light (Easter), and Pentecost celebrations.
Sacramental Preparation is part of our curriculum in atrium two, however, reception is not tied to any one age or grade level. Sacramental preparation is a particularly rich and joyful time that provides life-long memories for children, therefore our aim is to remove any anxiety that might come from feelings of “being behind” or “needing to catch up.”
We recognize and deeply respect the parental role as primary catechists of their children, therefore we listen intently to when the parent(s) deem the time is right and when their children feel ready and prepared. If you have any questions about sacramental preparation, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
- First Communion Preparation (typically in 2nd grade)
- First Reconciliation Preparation (typically prepared in 2nd, celebrated in 4th grade)