Programs for Families with Young Children

To support faith formation in families with very young children, MMOC has three initiatives getting started in Fall 2022.

Coffee and Kids

Parents and grandparents, please join us on the third Friday of each month for coffee and conversation as our children play! We will meet in the lower level of the Parish Hall from 8:30a to 10:30 in the Kindergarten Room. Coffee and a snack will be provided. If you have any questions, please call BrieAnn McKenna at 319-230-0895. We look forward to seeing you!

Mass Books for Little Hands

If you sit in the back of the church, you may notice some books for young children next to the hymnals. These are not lost and found items. This is a new effort to encourage and support the youngest members of our parish family as they begin to form a relationship with Jesus. These specific books have been chosen to provide a framework for approaching concepts related to the Mass. Our current book titles are:
A Missal for Toddlers by Ellen Lescoat
Articles at Mass by Ellen Tomaszewski
My First Interactive Mass Book by Jennifer Sharpe
If you have one of these books in front of you, and you notice a family with young children near you without a book, please offer it to them! Extra books will be available on the Usherís Table and eventually in the Quiet Room. For more information, or to share your ideas, please contact Sarah Scarlet at 608-406-7686 or

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

Would you like to help your child enjoy a deeper relationship with God? The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a program for the religious formation of children rooted in the Bible and the liturgy of the Church, using the educational model of Dr. Maria Montessori, which was adapted for catechesis by laywoman and Hebrew scholar Sofia Cavalletti, and her Montessori-taught collaborator, Gianna Gobbi, in Rome. When a 3-6 year old child participates in CGS:
● The childís existing relationship with God deepens.
● They are encouraged in forming a personal prayer life.
● They are able to participate fully in the liturgical and sacramental life of the Church.
● They will develop a deeper understanding of Catholic identity and tradition.

Children need their own place to foster the growth of their relationship with God, and that place is a special area called the Atrium which will be in Classroom K. All presentations by the catechist in each session use the Montessori method which encourages the child to work with a variety of easily accessible mostly hand made materials independently. The Holy Spirit is the primary instructor, so you will not find the catechist standing in front of the children and teaching in a traditional format. Each of the materials found in the Atrium are linked to either a specific part of the Mass or the Bible which help to make the mystery of God concrete for the child.

In our Level I atrium, your 3-6 year old child will encounter Jesus as the Good Shepherd, who loves them, cares for them, and knows them by name. This is accomplished through prayer, songs, listening to Scripture, and giving the child time to work with the materials provided. This age group is particularly excited about Godís love and how it applies to them.

It can be difficult for a child to explain their relationship with God, but here are a few suggestions for parents and caregivers to ask your child about their time spent in the Atrium.
● What did you hear in the Atrium today?
● What material did you work with today?
● Did you enjoy your time with God today?

If you would like to observe what occurs during your childís time in the Atrium, you are always welcome to sit and observe during the session.

Each child will have a folder for any take-home work that they completed in the Atrium during the year. We ask parents not to expect paperwork after each session, since one of the key Montessori principles is that young children work for the process and not the end product.

The method of instruction developed by Dr. Montessori emphasizes:
● A prepared environment
● Child-directed activity
● Adult as servant and observer

Program details are these:
● To participate, children must be at least 3 years old by November 1st, 2022.
● There are two session times (see below) available. Each session will be 1 hour 30 minutes in length. Space is limited to 10 children.
● The cost for the 2022-2023 sessions is $50 per child, since this is a new offering at the parish. If this is a burden, please reach out!

Please choose the session that best fits your schedule:
● Tuesday mornings 8:30a to 10:00a starting Nov. 1, 2022 through May 16, 2023
● Saturday mornings 10:00a to 11:30a starting Nov. 5, 2022 through May 20, 2023 (Saturday sessions will not meet November 26, December 24, January 1, and April 8.)

Registration is online or you may contact Sarah Scarlet at 608-406-7686 or

For additional questions please reach out to our catechists:
Sarah Scarlet at
Sheri Skelton at

Diocese of La Crosse Guidelines for Reporting Instances of Child Abuse

The Diocese of La Crosse, through its policies and procedures, seeks to provide a prompt, appropriate and compassionate response to reporters of sexual abuse of a child by any diocesan agent (bishop, priest, deacon, employee, religious, vendor or volunteer). Anyone wishing to make a report of an allegation of sexual abuse should send that report to Ms. Teresa Brown, Complaint Intake Agent, at the Diocese of La Crosse, P.O. Box 4004, La Crosse, WI 54602-4004. Alternatively, you can contact Ms. Brown at 608.791.0179 or The reporting form is available through the Diocese of La Crosse Office of Safe Environment or on the diocesan website at: Individuals are also encouraged to take their reports directly to civil authorities. Copies of the diocesan policy are available through your local parish and on the diocesan website. If you have any questions about the Diocese of La Crosse and the implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, please contact Teresa Brown, Diocese of La Crosse, at 608.791.2679; or

Updated 31 August 2022