Montessori Atrium – Catechesis of the 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

The atrium registration fee is $50. Before August 15, 2017, the registration fee is $25. Please see the atrium registration form for annual tuition costs.

 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.


We are now accepting registration forms for the Fall 2017 - Spring 2018 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 to the rectory offices (before August 15, 2017, the registration fee is $25).  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 2017-2018, Saint Louis offers morning and afternoon 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       <-- FULL
  • Thursdays 4:15pm - 5:45pm     <-- FULL

Level II (for 6-9 year olds)

For 2017-2018, Saint Louis offers after-school 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       <---  NEW TIME!        <-- openings available
  • Tuesdays 4pm - 6pm                 <---  FULL

Level III (6-12+ year olds)

For 2017 - 2018, Saint Louis offers an after-school Level III Atrium session for children who are between the ages of 9 to 12+ years old.  Level III children must have at least 2 years of Level II Atrium experience.

  • Tuesdays 4pm - 6pm                 <---  NEW TIME!      <-- openings available

Fall 2017 - Spring 2018 Atrium Documents

2017-2018 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 call the atrium at (703) 660-9270 or send an email.

Out of Parish Families are welcome to register for the Atrium

Out of parish families are welcome to register for the Montessori Atrium program. St. Louis Atrium gives priority to in-parish families and offers them a discounted tuition rate. According to atrium policy, to qualify for in-parish tuition rates, a family must be registered, attend weekly Mass, and participate in the spiritual life of St. Louis Catholic Church for 6 months prior to the application date. Families must also be financially contributing through the St. Louis Catholic Parish offertory on a regular basis with the contribution being up to their own consciences. An In-Parish application status does not guarantee In-Parish tuition rates until verified by the Pastor. Practicing Catholic active duty military families also qualify for in-parish tuition. 

Scope and Sequence for Atria Levels I - III:

St. Louis policy for attending Atrium during a sacramental year:

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.  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

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:

  • Bible Atlas
  • Non-Breakable Nativity set with Baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Shepherds, 3 Wise men.
  • Chinese Jacks, also called Wacky Jacks.  The children use these colored plastic circle rings to make booklets.

Thank you for helping us find these items!!!

Adult Formation in the
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Montessori Atrium

If you are interested in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for Adult Formation or are interested in becoming a Catechist in the Atrium, please visit the Montessori Catechetical and Cultural Institute for more information about courses.  Their website is  You can also visit the National website for CGS at  Here you can find publications, books, information for parents, as well as all the training classes that are happening in the U.S.A.