True respect for the child is only possible when we have respect for God in the child.
— Maria Montessori, The Child in the Church

Level I Formation Course

Children ages 3 - 6

The Level I Atrium lays the foundation for the child's encounter with the Catholic community of faith. The Atrium itself is a community in which children and adults live together a religious experience which facilitates participation in the wider community of the family, the Church, and other social spheres.

In the Atrium, work and study spontaneously become meditation, contemplation, and prayer.

The Atrium is a place in which the only Teacher is Christ; both children and adults place themselves in a listening stance before his Word and seek to penetrate the mystery of the liturgical celebration.

The themes presented in the Atrium are those to which the children have responded with depth and joy. These themes are taken from the Bible and the liturgy (prayers and sacraments) as the fundamental sources for creating and sustaining Christian life at every developmental stage and, in particular, for illuminating and nourishing the child in his/her most vital religious needs.

Key elements of Level I Atria include:

  • The Good Shepherd

  • The Eucharist

  • Baptism

The course also includes presentations, adult reflections, practice time, material making, and Montessori theory.



Level I - Catechist Formation for working with children ages 3-6

CCMA Center
12625 Fitzwater Dr
Nokesville, VA 20181

Formation Leaders
Formation Leader: Laura Accettullo
Assisted by: Maggie Radzik, Natia Meehan, Jennifer Ashton, and Cecilia Drabbant

September 20-21, 2019 (4:00 - 8:30 on Friday, 9:30-4:30 Saturday)
October 19, 2019
November 23, 2019
January 17-18, 2020
February 15, 2020
March 21, 2020
April 18, 2020
May 16, 2020
June 17-20, 2020

9:30 am to 4:30 pm each day (except as noted above)

Cost - $1200
Non-refundable deposit of $200 is required upon registration. The balance of $1000 is payable in two, four or ten payments. Click HERE for more information on payments.

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

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

Level I, Part 2 - Catechist Formation for working with children ages 3-6

St. Jerome Academy
5207 42nd Pl 
Hyattsville, MD 20781

Formation Leaders
Maggie Radzik

Assisted by:
Laura Accettullo
Natia Meehan
Jennifer Ashton

More about the team.


Part II: Summer 2020, TBD.