By virtue of their ministry of educating, parents are, through the witness of their lives, the first heralds of the Gospel for their children. Furthermore, by praying with their children, by reading the word of God with them and by introducing them deeply through Christian initiation into the Body of Christ - both the Eucharistic and the ecclesial Body - they become fully parents, in that they are begetters not only of bodily life but also of the life that through the Spirit’s renewal flows from the Cross and Resurrection of Christ.
— Pope Saint John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio

Catechesis of Infants and Toddlers


The child's first prepared environment is the womb, which is nurtured by the love of God manifested in unity between husband and wife sanctified by Holy Matrimony. The Catechesis of Infants seeks to aid in the early exposure to community of faith during gestation and after birth through age 3.

Key elements of the Catechesis of Infants include:

  • Creation - Genesis Chapters 1-3 offers us profound insight into the patterns and laws of God's creation and our human nature.

  • Nature - The importance of nature and the impact it has as the largest physical environment of our lives.

  • Mankind - Marriage is the relationship between a man and a woman sanctified by God for the gift of more life and companionship in the work of life.

  • The Womb  - This sacred environment inside the woman's body is where the youngest child's sensorial awakening takes place and can nurture the child’s relationship with God.

  • Birth - The journey between the child and the mother so that the child can enter the next environment and be born to the world of family and culture.

  • Baptism - This moment of being called by name and welcomed into the fold by the Holy Trinity and the whole flock is the initiation of our life as children of the God.

  • The Home - The domestic church, the environment where the family lives their daily lives. We consider how we might offer the most essential spiritual food in the family home.

  • The Toddler Atrium - a prepared environment in which the youngest child's spiritual life is fed by prayer, work and celebration aided by a catechist.


The next Seminal Infant/Toddler Formation Course is scheduled for 2019 and 2020.

Part I - July 29—August 2, 2019

Part II - August 3—August 8, 2020

The course will be held from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm each day.

This is a seminal course, which means it is just beginning to be used with infants and toddlers. You are invited to join us in the work and observation of the youngest.

Formation Leaders

Elizabeth Calanchini has been a Montessori directress, guide, and catechist for 26 years. She is AMI trained to work with children ages 0-3, 3-6, and 6-12 years. She is also a trained catechist in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and has assisted in offering CGS formation for several years. Elizabeth is affiliated with a Catholic Montessori school in Virginia that is developing toddler catechesis and was the breakout session leader on the Toddler Atrium at the 60th Anniversary International Celebration of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in 2014.

Cost -$1200

Non-refundable deposit of $200 is required upon registration. The balance of $1000 is payable in one, three, or ten payments. Click HERE for more information on payments.

Discount of 40% for religious and 30% for students aged 21 and under.

Some financial aid may be available. Please contact for information on applying for assistance.