Special Religious Development | SPRED

“The Church continues to affirm the dignity of every human being, and to grow in knowledge and understanding of the gifts and needs of her members who live with disabilities. Likewise, the Church recognizes that every parish community includes members with disabilities, and earnestly desires their active participation. All members of the Body of Christ are uniquely called by God by virtue of their Baptism. In light of this call, the Church seeks to support all in their growth in holiness, and to encourage all in their vocations. Participating in, and being nourished by, the grace of the sacraments is essential to this growth in holiness. Catholic adults and children with disabilities, and their families, earnestly desire full and meaningful participation in the sacramental life of the Church.” – US Conference of Catholic Bishops (click here to read more).

All of us have a story to share in our lives with God. Most of us have the opportunity to do this within a community of faith.

However, there are a few who need friends to help them articulate their story and to walk with them on their journey of faith. SPRED provides that opportunity for people who are developmentally disabled.

What is SPRED?

SPRED (Special Religious Development) is a program in which persons who are developmentally disabled come together with a spiritual friend / catechist (21 years and older) to share a one-on-one relationship and form with others a small faith community. SPRED fosters and nourishes spiritual and personal growth by helping those with developmental disabilities discover God’s action and presence in their lives.  SPRED gives parishioners with developmental disabilities an opportunity for celebration and worship and prepares them for the sacraments of initiation and reconciliation.  Special liturgies during the course of the year are also celebrated as a community. 

SPRED serves age groups from children to adults (6-10 years old, 11-16 years old, 17-21 years old and 22 years and older).

Spread Catechesis

SPRED catechists are asked to make a weekly commitment and participate in SPRED Diocesan training.  In a prepared environment, the community of faith participates in a two-hour session composed of three phases: preparation, catechesis and agape. Catechist preparation sessions precede the integrated sessions (with those with developmental disabilities).  The catechists meet to prepare and to deepen their faith lives. Then they meet with those who are developmentally disabled.

No previous experience in working with persons who are developmentally disabled is required or necessary to participate in this ministry.

For more information on how to volunteer please contact Dick Cecka at [email protected].

Holy Spirit SPRED

Integrated Session (with our friends with disabilities): Saturdays 10 AM – 12 PM in Holy Spirit School (Room 14 and Meeting Room 2)

September 18th, October 9th & 23rd, November 6th & 20th, December 4th, January 8th & 22nd, February 12th & 26th, March 12th & 26th
April 30th: Closing Liturgy at Holy Spirit. Mass at 10 AM followed by a banquet in the School Gym
May 7th: Trip to U.S. National Arboretum

Catechist Session: Mondays 7 PM – 8 PM in Pastoral Center (Small Meeting Room)

September 13th & 27th, October 4th & 18th, November 1st, 15th, & 29th, January 3rd & 17th, February 7th & 22nd (Tuesday), March 7th & 21st

Contact Us

For more information, contact Dick Cecka at [email protected]. You can also download our SPRED pamphlet, here.

“By reason of their baptism, all Catholics are equal in dignity in the sight of God, and have the same divine calling.” (U.S. Bishop’s, Guidelines for Celebration of the Sacraments with Persons with Disabilities)