Orthodox “Catechesis of the Good Shepherd” (Ages 3-6)
Orthodox Journeys (ages 6 and up)

Have you ever wondered what Jesus meant when He said: “Except you become as little children, you cannot enter the Kingdom of God” -Matthew 18:3?

Well, come and see what we are doing to answer this question at HTOC. We have implemented a Montessori-style of Christian Education called: Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for the youth of our Church. You may be thinking what in the world does Catechesis mean?

Catechesis is the act of handing on the Word of God intended to inform the faith community about the teachings of Jesus our Good Shepherd who leads us “in paths of righteousness”-Psalm 23:3.

We all long for joy, beauty, and love but do we create a sacred space for it?

  1. We live in a very busy, fast-paced world and creating such space can be very challenging especially for our little ones.
  2. With this in mind, the “catechist” (in this program this word replaces “teacher” to guide our smallest members) embraces Dr. Maria Montessori’s vision of 50 years ago preparing an environment called an Atrium, which aids in the development of the spiritual life:
    1. A place of prayer
    2. Where Practical Life Skills are the “work” that becomes: meditative, contemplative and prayerful
    3. Where Christ is the Teacher
    4. Both adults and children are placed in a “listening” stance before His Word & seek to penetrate the mystery of the liturgical celebration

This Montessori-style of learning is experiential and matches the developmental phases of the child through the environment of the Atrium which facilitates the already present spirituality of the child.

This Atrium is created by many hands-on natural materials. It offers the possibility for us to enhance our liturgical experience when we name the sacred items we see in Church, are able to touch smaller versions of them and to simply “be” with them.  This is a community effort, the work of many hands, as many different talents are required to set up and sustain this unique place where children (and catechists) come to know Jesus in a profound way.

Come and see what we have to offer your child, godchild, grandchild, niece, and nephew. You will be amazed and we will be blessed by their presence!

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