Dr. Montessori's discoveries with respect to natural human development are the foundation of the entire Atrium program. We also wish to prepare catechists in accordance with the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. Our training provides doctrinal formation to catechists-in-training through days of recollection and study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Finally, our preparation includes days of silent retreat and prayer for catechists in keeping with the Montessori nature of the spiritual preparation of guides in the prepared environments for children. One of the most beautiful and essential elements of the Atrium is its contemplative spirit and the nature of the children's work within a specially prepared religious environment. Our silent retreats for catechists correspond with this same spirit.
The Level I Atrium lays the foundation for the child's encounter with the Catholic community of faith. The Atrium itself is a community in which children and adults live together a religious experience which facilitates participation in the wider community of the family, the Church, and other social spheres.
In the Atrium, work and study spontaneously become meditation, contemplation, and prayer.
The Atrium is a place in which the only Teacher is Christ; both children and adults place themselves in a listening stance before his Word and seek to penetrate the mystery of the liturgical celebration.
The themes presented in the Atrium are those to which the children have responded with depth and joy. These themes are taken from the Bible and the liturgy (prayers and sacraments) as the fundamental sources for creating and sustaining Christian life at every developmental stage and, in particular, for illuminating and nourishing the child in his/her most vital religious needs.
Key elements of Level I Atria include:
MCCI Course Schedule
Level I: Catechist Formation for working with children ages 3-6
Held at: St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church
1020 Springvale Road
Great Falls, VA 22066
Led by: Maggie Radzik and Natia Meehan, AMI and CGS certified
This formation course is split into two sessions: