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Special Religious Education

The parish is the door to participation for persons with disabilities, and it is the responsibility of the pastor and lay leaders to make sure that this door is always open ... The task, on occasion, may not be an easy one.. Yet in order to be loyal to its calling, to be truly pastoral, the parish must make sure that it does not exclude any Catholic who wishes to take part in its activities.


These links may help you to learn how the Church understands its mission to persons with disabilities.

External Link For I am Lonely and Afflicted: the bishops of New York State have published a pastoral letter regarding people who suffer mental illness in February 2014.  Along with Recommendations on the care and treatment of persons with mental illness.

External Link Guidelines for the Celebration of the Sacraments with Persons with Disabilities: in November 1978, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops approved for publication a pastoral statement on persons with disabilities.

External Link National Catholic Office for the Deaf: helps spread God's message through the support of the deaf and hard of hearing so that we may all be one in Christ.  They have a quarterly newsletter and sacramental programs that are signed and closed captioned.

External Link National Catholic Partnership on Disabilities: works collaboratively to ensure meaningful participation of people with disabilities in all aspects of the life of the Church and society.

External Link Network of Inclusive Catholic Educators: resources.

External Link Opening Doors to Welcome and Justice / Parish Guide: Create welcoming and accessible parishes using the information and suggestions in this resource from the experts at the National Catholic Partnership on Disability.

This is a PDF document Parish Annual Pre-Program Checklist for Disability Ministry: a readiness checklist for disablilty inclusion in your religious education program.

External Link Pastoral Statement of U.S. Catholic Bishops on People with Disabilities (November 16, 1978)

This is a PDF document Religious Formation for Persons with Special Needs: Catechetical Office guidelines to helping persons with special needs in their religious formation.

External Link Special Religious Education Myth Busters: What do you know about special religious education?

External Link SPRED – Special Religious Development: a network of sevices designed to assist persons with developmental disabilities and or learning problems to become integrated into parish assemblies of worship through the process of education in faith. Spred services are provided through the leadership of the Special Religious Development Agency of the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago.

External Link Welcome and Justice is a statement of the US Catholic Bishops on a framework of access and inclusion for persons with disabilities.