MCCI was founded in response to Pope John Paul II's call for lay catechetical renewal. In Catechesi Tradendae, he calls on us to organize special centers and institutes for the careful preparation of lay catechists. MCCI specifically addresses the needs of Catholic catechists in their training for national Catechesis of the Good Shepherd certification in three specific ways.
First, the training we offer is for those who wish to work in an existing Catholic Atrium or to open a new Atrium in their own parish. The MCCI approach is quite different from most CCD programs that use standard textbooks, teacher manuals, and classrooms. Therefore, we recognize the importance of implementing as much Montessori understanding as possible in the formation of catechists, since Dr. Montessori's discoveries with respect to natural human development are the foundation of the entire Atrium program.
Second, we wish to meet the need for clarity in the Church's teaching that we are passing on to the children. We see the necessity not only to prepare catechists in the Montessori way, but most importantly, in accordance with the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. Therefore, MCCI provides doctrinal formation to catechists-in-training through days of recollection and study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
A third element in our preparation is to schedule days of silent retreat and prayer for catechists. 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.
There are three levels of formation:
Level I (3-6 years old),
Level II (6-9 years old), and
Level III (9-12 years old).
Please see Formation Courses for course dates and registration information.
For additional information or to arrange a visit to an Atrium, please contact us.