The Oratory is a community of Catholic priests and brothers in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, serving the church of St Bernadette.

Catechism: Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is an approach to the religious formation of children that is based on the conviction that God and the Child are in relationship. Our role as adults is to protect and nurture this bond. In the Catechesis we present age-appropriate themes from the Bible and our liturgy with manipulative materials the children use to internalize and ponder the great mysteries of our faith, all housed in a specially prepared classroom known as an Atrium.

Developed by Sofia Cavalletti, an Italian Hebrew scripture scholar, building on the work and teaching methods of Dr. Maria Montessori, the Catechesis seeks to give children the guidance and vocabulary, which enable them to become aware of their relationship with God and give expression to it. With the Catechesis we help each child to continue to fall in love with God while building community among peers.

We have started an atrium at St Bernadette’s Parish. This catechesis will prepare children to receive the sacraments at the appropriate ages. Initially this will be open for all children from ages 2 (must be toilet trained) to 6 years old to attend between 8am and 9:30am on Sundays. At 9am, the children will be brought to the church to join their parents for the remainder of Mass. As we progress, the Atrium will be extended to cover all age groups.

For more information, contact the Parish Office.

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Postal address:

P.O. Box 5012
Walmer 6065

Port Elizabeth

South Africa


Physical location:

Corner of 8th Ave & Fordyce Rd, Walmer


Contact details:

Office (041) 581-2035

Out of hours (041) 581-6860
Fax: 086 550 5013



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