Parents have the option to register their child for Atrium to learn The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Developed by Sofia Cavalletti, a biblical scholar and Gianna Gobbi, a student of Maria Montessori, the work allows children to develop an authentic relationship with God. The mystery of God meets the mystery of the child.

They created appropriate work for each plane of development in children up to the age of 12. At the children’s house level, the 3-6 year old work is primarily individual. At the elementary level the 6-12 year old children are noisy, busy and social beings where they are working out their relationships with others. They are pondering justice and morality.When a child finds a work that sparks their relationship with God they are free to spend as much time with it as they need.

At FMES each group of children come to the atrium once a week for a session lasting one to two hours.

For more information on the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd please visit the web site ( For further information on the catechesis of the good shepherd at FMES or to schedule a time to observe an atrium session please contact Linda Kaiel at the Franciscan Motessori Earth School (503) 760-8220 ex. 221.

Linda Kaiel serves as a catechist at FMES. She holds a primary diploma from the Washington Montessori Institute. She has training in all three levels of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, has served on the board of the association, and has worked on materials in the Rome atriums. She began training catechists in the early nineties, and has worked on formation courses here in the USA, as well as Australia, England and Africa. Liz Smith has work in the Atrium with Linda for over 18 years, and is also trained in all three levels.