These are sad days for Catechists of the Good Shepherd here in New York, across the country, and around the world. Prof. Sofia Cavalletti, who pioneered a remarkable and highly effective catechetical method called the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and based it on the principles of education developed by Maria Montessori, died this week in Rome at the great age of 94 years. Dr. Cavalletti and her colleague, Gianna Gobbi, spent more than 50 years listening to and observing children in a special environment, which they called an atrium. What they discovered was that even the youngest children already have a relationship with God and that whatever their physical and developmental capabilities might be, the children can and do respond to the relationship.
Here in the New York archdiocese, the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is the preferred methodology for early childhood and pre-school children. Anyone who has visited a parish atrium and observed the children will walk away with a profound sense of wonder and deepening of his or her own faith.
Read about Sofia Cavalletti and the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd here or visit the Archdiocesan Catechetical Office website. Our director of early childhood religious education, Linda Sgammato, is a qualified catechist of the Good Shepherd and will be happy to tell you more about Sofia and the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd if you e-mail her at email@example.com