Catechesis of the Good
For ages 3 – 6 @ the weekend Masses;
through Grade Seven: Tuesdays @ 4:15 –
5:45 pm and Wednesday @ 4:45 – 6:15 pm
or 6:30 – 8:00 pm.
The Atrium/Prepared Environment
The atrium (or prepared environment) is one of the elements that helps
the relationship between God and the child to flourish. After a theme has been presented, the child is free to choose an activity
that will make possible the inner dialogue with the “Interior Teacher.”
How does the atrium help to nourish this relationship?
· The atrium can be compared to a retreat house facilitating recollection and silence.
· The atrium is a place for religious life, for community and worship—not a classroom for instruction.
· The atrium is a place of meaningful work through which the child can have a conversation with God.
· The atrium was the place in the early church where the catechumens were prepared. For the child, too,
the atrium is a place of preparation for involvement in the larger worship community.
The materials in the atrium are often three-dimensional
wood representations of a particular scripture or are items that represent what can be found in Baptism or Eucharist. They
are attractively displayed and invite the children to explore and deepen their experience of the presentation at their own
rhythm. The most important characteristic of the materials is their close link to the biblical and liturgical sources. The
shelves might include maps of Israel and miniature environments representing the elements of the parables or the historical
events from the infancy or paschal narratives that have been shown to satisfy the spiritual needs of the child. The model
altar and its articles convey the centrality of the Eucharist. The Baptismal font and other liturgical items initiate the
child into the liturgical life of the church.For more information visit