When we pray we have no need of the spoken word Sometimes the tongue is silent and the soul is sighing. That means that God is being prayed to inside, in the room of your heart. - St. Augustine
SPRED Mission Statement
To form small communities of faith in parishes to welcome persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities and foster inclusion in assemblies of worship.
The Special Religious Education (SPRED) Office helps parishes in the Diocese of Providence better serve those parishioners with intellectual and developmental disabilities. SPRED responds to the needs of individuals on the Autism Spectrum, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Seizure Disorders, as well as people with other diagnosis.
Originated in 1980 in the Diocese of Providence, the SPRED program assists parishes in deepening the faith of “special friends,” helping them to participate fully in the work and liturgical life of the church.
As a resource to parishes SPRED provides training, observation, a syllabus, SPRED Newsletters, enrichment opportunities, mentoring, supervision and a network of support to catechists and families.
Research and experience both prove that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are educable in faith, if faith is seen as experiential. They can realize, sense and experience the sacred, Church and God.
Receiving the Sacraments
The diocesan SPRED office helps to awaken a desire in parishioners to reach out and welcome persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities into the life of the parish. Training and support are provided to parish SPRED leaders and catechists. Age-appropriate curriculum and catechetical training are provided to prepare persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities for the reception of The Sacraments of Initiation and Reconciliation in their parish.
Catechesis prepares us for liturgy and liturgy provides the experience of the core Mystery from which catechesis flows. SPRED catechesis leads to inclusion in the local Church experience of worship and provides opportunities for persons with disabilities to share and witness faith among parish members. SPRED facilitates the inclusion of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities of all ages in our parishes not only as a sacramental program but also as a lifelong experience of Faith Development.
For more information, please call 401.278.4578.