St. Luke’s Educational Programs

Formation for Younger Children: Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

For children age 3–9, St. Luke’s uses the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program. The program runs from September through May, and children are welcome to join the program at any time during the year.

As program founder Sofia Cavaletti says, “Young children are radical—meaning they go to the root of things—in their religious needs.” We believe that young children

  • already have a relationship with God
  • need space and quiet time—the “Atrium”—to let that relationship be felt and nurtured
  • need words and names to help recognize and retain the relationship
  • deserve and can understand the biggest, most important parts of church life
  • have their own ways of praying and working that must be honored

Our Atrium programs are divided by age. The Atrium for children ages 3 through kindergarten focuses on the image of Jesus as the loving and protective Good Shepherd. In the Atrium for children in grades 1–3, the central image becomes Jesus as the True Vine. Children begin to see themselves and their own lives as part of a history of salvation, and they begin to consider morally complex stories and parables.

Each Sunday, children have time to ponder the stories they hear by using materials. They can move figures of the Good Shepherd and sheep, situate symbols and structures on maps and models of Israel, or hold a real mustard seed and consider the power it contains to grow. There is also time for gathering, asking questions, and offering prayers.

Atriums open at 9:30 a.m. and continue as parents attend the 10 a.m. service. Children join the congregation at the Peace. The Atrium programs run from September through May. For more information, contact Becky Strehlow or Susan Lempke.


The nursery is for children three months old to three years old.

Adult Formation

  • The Holy Holy Podcast, hosted and produced by Theologian-in-Residence, Rev. Kat Banakis, provides interfaith conversations on such practical topics as what it means to have a good death, how to raise good kids, and whether there is any such thing as “balance.” St. Luke’s parishioners are featured contributors as are Chicago area leaders of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish communities. Each full episode is about a half-hour and are intended to inspire your reflection and faith conversations within the parish. Listen on your own or with other St. Luker’s. Season 2 will be coming in 2018.