An atrium is not an isolated room for only small children and their catechists. It is a parish affair which can benefit all, directly or indirectly.
There are many different ways members of a parish can contribute to the atrium.
The most obvious is as a catechist. Catechists undergo training so as to properly understand the spirit of the Catechesis. They make or source the materials to be used by the children. They prayerfully prepare the atrium and each session and assist the children in developing their relationship with God; they are not teachers, but facilitators. (Training is available in the last week of January 2015 – see here for more details.)
Session helpers are also essential to the smooth and effective running of the Catechesis. No training is required to be a helper, though a basic understanding of the main aspects of the catechesis would certainly be desirable and trained catechists can also fill this role. Session helpers assist catechists during sessions by helping children when needed, replenishing consumable resources such as paper as required, and generally assisting in whatever way is appropriate. (The catechist will help them know what is required.)
Other helpers: Keeping the atrium clean and orderly is a necessity and a wonderful contribution is to donate time to help with this. There is also laundry to be done, as well as other small jobs which will crop up over time.
Those with specific skills such as woodwork, painting, poster making. There are a number of materials (many still to be made for the St Pius atrium) that require some skill. Full instructions will be provided.
Donors of goods. A perusal of our site and the internet will show that, in addition to the specific materials required, a lot of furniture and recepticles/trays/baskets etc are required to set up the atrium. At this stage we have enough shelves but could use one or two more wooden, child-sized tables and two or three wooden, child-sized chairs. We are also looking for a way of covering the carpet, as the busyness of it is an unnecessary distraction from what is important in the atrium. More trays and baskets may be required also. Ideally everything will be made from natural materials but unpatterned, muted colours in other materials will also serve the purpose. A list of what we still require can be provided on request.
Donors of money. The parish has provided a generous amount of money to set up the atrium and subs from running the sessions will also cover some costs, but we are likely to need to rely on fundraising and/or generous donors in the future also. Donations can be for any amount and can be for specific materials if desired. For example, someone who is drawn to Jesus as the Good Shepherd may wish to sponsor the Good Shepherd diorama, or someone with a desire to improve understanding of the liturgy may want to sponsor the mini Mass set. A list of different materials or areas in the atrium can be provided on request.
Anyone else who would like to contribute. If there is any other way you would like to be involved, let us know. This list is not exhaustive and we would love to hear from you if nothing above quite fits your talents but you would still like to contribute.
Below is a form which you can fill out to indicate how you would like to be involved. We will contact you to arrange details.