A Brisbane mum is using her faith, training, life experience and spiritual awareness to help her children and the many families who visit her home to see, understand and honour the great religious potential of the child. This is an abridged version of a story by CARRIE McCORMACK published in the national Atrium newsletter.
I AM excited to announce that an atrium for children up to three years old opened this year in Inala, Brisbane.
The atrium has much to offer new mothers.
The atrium space provides opportunities for stimulation, which absorbs the child, bringing them deep satisfaction.
In the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd the classroom, called the atrium, is a spiritual environment – more like a place of worship or a retreat centre than a traditional classroom.
The mothers are often astounded at what their children can do.
The mothers are left in awe as they discover their child can show them a way of living they have long forgotten; that their child lives and breathes every moment united with God.
What I see growing in this space is a respect for the dignity of the child – a place of recognition of the presence of the child Jesus.
The mother’s heart is softened towards their child and something new starts to grow, the child is invited in and a small three-person community is emerging – mother, child and God.
It is clear to me that a new purpose is growing among these mothers which requires we accept the challenge coming from the child – to be satisfied, to concentrate and to move purposefully.
A mother reported back to me, “I too am learning to slow down, have patience, think about my son’s needs and stop making him do things the way I want it done.
“I can see him learning his dignity and I am growing in my own.”
The work of the Catechesis of Good Shepherd is taking shape as I learn to wait and see how the child and the Holy Spirit are leading me.
This text is a living example of the words Jesus spoke in Matthew 18:3-4:
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
We have plans to grow and establish mothers’ groups more broadly and in doing so we hope to reinvigorate mother culture by nurturing parent-child communication and harmony.
Caroline McCormack is married and the mother of four children. She was raised in Melbourne and studied and practised podiatry before moving into youth ministry and then motherhood. She has completed Part 1, Level 1 and 2 of Catechist Training and is completing a Diploma of Counselling.