Setting up an Atrium


Experience indicates that the following are key practicalities involved in establishing the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in a parish:

  1. Inspired adults:
    Parents, grandparents and faith filled adults who enjoy nurturing the spiritual potential of children, when they experience the impact of this catechesis, become the mainstay of this ministry. In order to provide this opportunity for children, parish members become catechists, assist in the atrium, paint and lay carpet, build shelving, make catechetical materials, and remain actively involved for several years.
  2. Community:
    The extended parish community also helps sustain this work by its nurturing and welcoming response, prayer, fund raising and sharing of their gifts, and perhaps space, to meet the needs of this ministry.
  3. Pastor:
    The encouraging leadership of a supportive pastor is invaluable.
  4. Space:
    Some parishes have been able to provide the ideal space - a room set-aside exclusively for the children. Other parishes have been able to implement this ministry by the creative use of shared space. For example, one parish uses part of their sacristy; another uses a choir loft.
  5. Catechetical Materials:
    One of the key features of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is the use of specially designed biblical and liturgical materials to help the children's prayer and meditation. These are either handmade by the catechists or by members of the parish community; this is a wonderful way of involving others in the ministry of catechesis. For example, in one parish the seniors volunteered to produce the materials; in another, a shop teacher and his class provided the woodworking expertise.
  6. Cost:
    This catechesis is financially feasible for any parish. Every parish has the talent and gifts to develop an atrium. Factor in the costs of preparing the space, furniture, materials and training for catechists.

2020 Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Assocation of Canada
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