Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and the Mass


Let me preface by saying hi–this is my first post!

We are a hsing family, but this last year we started taking our three oldest children to a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Atrium. It is attended by many solid, Catholic families that we were already friendly with, and the woman who hosts it is both orthodox and beyond generous for opening her home to 40-plus kids every week.

Here’s my concern. When I went to training for level 1 Atrium (kids ages 3-6), I was told that when we teach them the nomenclature for the articles of the Mass, we should talk about the Mass as a very special meal, so that the kids have a reference point–at this age and in this presentation we just want them to know the names of the chalice, the paten, etc. In a different presentation we will speak about the Sacrifice.

For some reason, this makes me uncomfortable. I don’t like to talk about the Mass as a special meal, especially to such little children, because it seems confusing. I know it IS a meal, but that seems peripheral to its importance as a sacrifice. Am I off-base here? :blush: I really want to know if I’m being too sensitive to the wording, or if this is a problem that I should address further (I already mentioned my concerns, and what I wrote above is the response I received). If I should address it further, what should I say?


children need to be taught the fullness of what the Mass is, and it is meal, thanksgiving and sacrifice, so to ignore any of these elements is to shortchange their education. They do not need to be presented with every concept at once. The CGS does an excellent job in the progression of how these elements are presented and explained. The lesson when the actual items used during Mass are explained is the natural time to explain the meal aspect. There is a lesson further in the program that explains the sacrifice aspect.

My advice would be either ask to look over the materials for the entire program, or go through the whole thing once with your children so you get a better idea of the whole program. Then, since you are already educating them at home about their faith (three cheers for you BTW) answer their questions and “fill in the blanks” at home.


Amen!!! Children can learn and their little hearts burn with the truth. Oh please use the Mass on EWTN to talk of what everything means,the whys, THE WHO, all the riches. We did a children’s RCIA one year with varies ages of children together, children who had been in services at varies places and one who had never been. It was awesome to see them discover Jesus. We also had a 10 to 15 minute time of adoration in chapel. Well not adoration service, but a time of them in the chapel with Jesus thee with us in the tabernacle. A time of prayer, silent and spoken. God also taught us through the children of holiness before Jesus. Open wide the doors of the Catholic Faith, THE TRUTH, to the chidren.


yes they do need to be taught about the Real Presence, the meaning of the sacrifice, deportment at Mass, Adoration but at the appropriate age and in the appropriate sequence. The presentation for preschoolers is not the same as for children over age 8 in RCIA.


The children in our class were from ages 6 to 11. The old helped the younger. We used scripture to show them it was all there . We used art. We talked. Now I will say our class only had 6 children and there were two of us. We also had movies of the Mass explaining. I will say I am a convert, coming from years of Sunday school,where Bible drills start early, at 5 singing the books of the bible and learning memory verses. Children learn with great joy of God. The Holy Spirit speaks into their hearts making up for the things we as adults go over. I so want Catholic children to know where to go to show others where to find God. How beautiful are the prayers of a child. They so love God and their family and care so deeply for things they hear on the news or in their homes at school.Children need the Truth,yes of course given in their langage level but not dummied down. What joy the church has for them in Christ.


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