Montessori Atrium – Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

Good Shepherd with sheep on shoulder

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) Program is a Montessori based Catholic religious education program which nurtures the child’s relationship with God, and educates the child in the faith. Dr. Maria Montessori’s approach follows St. Thomas Aquinas’ understanding that “all our knowledge has its origin in the senses.” The “Atrium” is a place of prayer, prepared especially for children to contemplate the life of Jesus and the liturgy of the Church with the use of many sensorial materials, including infancy narrative figures, a raised surface map of the Land of Israel, a model altar and a model baptismal font. This concrete method of presenting the faith is similar to the way the Church teaches us through the sacraments, holy water, incense, and statues.

"I came that they may have life and have it to the full." John 10:10


We are now accepting registration forms for the Fall 2015 - Spring 2016 atrium year.  In order to secure your child's spot in the atrium program, please turn in a signed registration form and $50 registration fee  (before August 15, 2015, the registration fee is $25) to the rectory offices.  Checks can be made payable to “Saint Louis Church”.  For tuition costs, please see the registration form.

Level I (for 3-6 year olds)

For 2015-2016, Saint Louis offers several morning Level I Atrium sessions for children between the ages of 3 and 6 years old. Children must be potty trained and able to follow simple instructions.

  • Wednesdays 10am - 11:30am  (FULL)
  • Thursdays 10am - 11:30am      (2 spots left!)
  • Saturdays 10am - 11:30am       (3 spots left!)

Level II (for 6-9 year olds)

For 2015-2016, Saint Louis offers afternoon Level II Atrium sessions for children who are between the ages of 6 to 9 years old. Level II children must be at least 6 years old and in first grade.

  • Mondays 4:15pm - 6:15pm (6 -12+ year olds)
  • Tuesdays 3:45-5:45pm (6-9 year olds)

Combined Level II and III (6-12+ year olds)

For 2015 - 2016, Saint Louis offers a combined Level II and Level III Atrium session for children who are between the ages of 6 to 12+ years old.  There will be a Level II catechist and a Level III catechist.

  • Mondays 4:15pm - 6:15pm (6 -12+ year olds)

Fall 2015-Spring 2016 Atrium Documents

2015-2016 Atrium registration forms are below.  They can also be picked up at the Saint Louis rectory, the back of the church, or can be emailed to you.  For more information, please contact Maria Blazevich at (703) 660-9270 or send an email.

To view the scope and sequential progression of presentations given for Level I and II, click below:

To read the Saint Louis policy concerning registering for the Atrium during a sacramental year, click below:

Atrium Location

The atrium is located in the Northwest corner of the Saint Louis Church property near the intersection of Route 1 and Popkins Lane; it is the small white building between Msgr. Walsh Hall and the Adoration Chapel.  It is labeled Montessori Atrium.

Atrium Closure and Delay Policy

Atrium closures and delays follow Fairfax County Public School and After School Activity closures and delays. Please see

If Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) close, the Atrium is closed. If FCPS are delayed 1 hour, all Atrium session are open. If FCPS are delayed 2 hours, the morning atrium session is delayed 1 hour and will run from 11am-12:30pm, and afternoon sessions are open. If Fairfax Afterschool programs are closed, the afternoon Atrium session is closed. If Fairfax Saturday programs are closed, the Saturday Atrium session is closed. If Fairfax Saturday programs are delayed 1 hour, the Saturday atrium is open. If Fairfax Saturday programs are delayed 2 hours, the Saturday atrium is delayed 1 hour and will run from 11am-12:30pm. Due to Religious Education schedule constraints, we are unable to make up missed days caused by inclement weather.


To view more pictures, visit our Facebook Page!

Model Altar

Model Altar

Land of Israel - Raised Surface Map

Good Shepherd

Baptismal Corner

Baptismal Corner

City of Jerusalem

City of Jerusalem



Would you like more information about the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Montessori Atrium?

  • Coordinator of Saint Louis Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Montessori Atrium

Maria Blazevich
(703) 660-9270

Atrium Wishlist

The Atrium needs the following items:

  • Narrow Wire Bottle Brush
  • Croatian Bible
  • Any other international Bible (We already have Spanish, French, Polish, Japanese, Chinese, Italian and Korean)
  • Artists - Can you paint artistically? We need help painting figures for new works in the level III atrium!

Thank you for helping us find these items and artists!!!