Hillside Education

The Child in the Church

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E.M. Standing edits a compilation of essays by Maria Montessori and others on religious education for children. Dr. Montessori describes the need for a particular kind of religious education for children--one that respects their individual religious experience and helps them experience the Liturgy in a concrete way. She saw the fulfillment of her whole work in education in the application of it to religious education. Other essays include: Montessori Principles in the Light of Scholastic Philosophy by E.M. Standing; Catechism for the Young by Reverend Mother Isabel Eugenie, R.A; and The "Maria Montessori" School of Religion (Rome) by Sofia Cavalletti; and others. In Part Three, practical examples are given for implementing Montessori's idea of religious education.

Respect for the child's nature, which God Himself demands of us, compels us to search most carefully for those conditions in which children can abandon themselves most easily to God. Furthermore--through the influence of the same enlightening and compelling grace--the child will reveal to us, in certain moments, how he makes his own approach to God.

This discovery will be a great joy to us and, after those needs have been revealed to us, we must make every possible effort to create those conditions which are adapted to their satisfaction. We shall then probably have to create an altogether different environment, and we shall also have to modify considerably our own personal attitude toward the child. Dr. Montessori

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