Montessori Atrium – Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

Good Shepherd with sheep on shoulder

Good Shepherd

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 2014 – Spring 2015 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, 2014, 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 2014-2015, Saint Louis offers several 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
  • Thursdays 10am – 11:30am
  • Saturdays 10am – 11:30am

Level II (for 6-9 year olds)

For 2014-2015, Saint Louis offers a Level II Atrium session for children who are between the ages of 6 to 9 years old. Level II children must be at least in 1st grade.

  • Mondays 3:45-5:45pm (6-9 year olds)

(Since Fairfax County Public Schools no longer have early dismissal on Mondays, the Saint Louis Atrium will begin at 3:45pm on Mondays.)

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

For 2014 – 2015, 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.

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

Fall 2014-Spring 2015 Atrium Documents

2014-2015 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 Policy

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

If Fairfax County Schools (FCS) close, the Atrium is closed. If FCS are delayed 1 hour, all Atrium session are open. If FCS are delayed 2 hours, the morning atrium session is delayed 1hour, 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. Due to Religious Education schedule constraints, we are unable to make up missed days caused by inclement weather.


facebook To view more pictures, visit our Facebook Page!

Model Altar I

Model Altar I

Land of Israel Raised Surface Map with Labels

Land of Israel Raised Surface Map

Good Shepherd

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?

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

Maria Blazevich
(703) 660-9270

  • Saint Louis CGS Montessori Atrium Building (703) 660-9270
  • National Organization of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
  • Local Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Training Opportunities

Montessori Atrium talks given by Maggie Radzik. Click on each link and press play:

Overview of the 4 Stages of the Development of the Human Person

The Prepared Environment


Overview of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

Atrium Wishlist

The Atrium needs the following items:

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

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