The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is the fruit of the observable joy of the child’s encounter with God. Thus, at the centre of its curriculum is the deep bond between God and the child, a relationship that continually nurtures in the child the desire to draw near to God.

The role of the catechist is not to mediate this relationship or “fill” the child with information, but to prepare an environment that responds to the needs of the child and to share elements from Scripture and Catholic liturgy that help “call forth” a response from the child.

Together the catechist and child listen, ask, and wonder together.


All catechists in our atrium have participated or are currently participating in a training course specific to the Level to which they will be journeying with the children.

The 90-hour certificate program is offered jointly by the Archdiocese of Toronto and Continuing Education at the University of St. Michael’s College. Further information on certification can be found HERE.


Not all adults in the atrium are catechists. Other adults can participate in this ministry by assisting the catechist

Adults interested in participating in this ministry as either a catechist or assistant can contact our Coordinator for the CGS program – Marilena Berardinelli[email protected]


Our Team

St. Basil’s Atrium Cofounder – Mariann Dunsmore 

Mariann was introduced to CGS while living in Northern Arizona (USA). Between 1996-2001, she completed all three levels of catechetical formation (ages 3-12), receiving her formation from many of the ministry’s pioneering catechists throughout the US and Canada.

Mariann contributed her artistic talents to the building of four Atrium’s, including St. Basil’s. She served faithfully as the programs coordinator and lead catechist from 2016-2019.

Mariann is currently undergoing treatment for multiple myeloma. The community of St. Basil’s holds her in our prayers in her journey toward healing.


St. Basil’s Atrium Catechist- Darina Dekirmendijan

St. Basil’s Atrium Catechist- Elizabeth Chesley-Jewell

St. Basil’s Atrium Assistant – Theresa Hoang