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S. P. R. E. D.

Special Religious Education


The S.P.R.E.D. Program, a religious education program for the developmentally disabled members of our parish, provides nourishment for their spiritual life and gives them the opportunity to share their unique gifts within the community of faith. Each participant becomes a full participating member of the church. S.P.R.E.D. gives developmentally disabled parishioners an opportunity for celebration and worship and prepares them for the sacraments of Initiation and Reconciliation. Adult catechists and "special friends" grow together in faith and with each other.


The S.P.R.E.D. process of spiritual education is accomplished through music, symbolic gestures, and sharing life experiences. Sharing in AGAPE (light refreshments at the end of each session further helps to nurture the bond and joy of the experience.


S.P.R.E.D. adult catechists meet in two hour prayer/sharing sessions prior to the meeting with the "special friends." The theme of the following week's session is experienced among the catechists in preparation for the following week when whole community - catechists and "special friends" - meet. Special liturgies during the course of the year are also celebrated as a community.


S.P.R.E.D. serves age groups from children to adults. Center groupings are as follows: 6-10 years old, 11-16 years old, 17-21 years old and 22 years and older.


Note: Previous experience in working with the developmentally disabled is not required or necessary to fully participate as a minister of this program. For more information, contact the Religious Education Center, or send E-mail.

Saint John the Baptist Mary Vianney

3609 Diamond Hill Road

Cumberland, Rhode Island 02864

(401) 333-6060