SPRED, or Special Religious Education, is a network of services 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 their faith. SPRED services are sponsored throughout the state by the Diocese of Providence and the fourteen parishes that have set up SPRED centers. The organizational hub of SPRED in the US is the Archdiocese of Chicago, which provides all the learning materials that are used each year.
Each parish SPRED center has a core team and helpers. The core team is made up of a parish representative to the diocesan SPRED organization, a catechetical leader, and an activity catechist. Additionally, there is a helper/sponsor for each person with disabilities in the community.
Many would never receive the sacraments without the support of the SPRED program. This year we will witness the confirmation of two SPRED friends who might never have been confirmed if it weren’t for the SPRED program.
We are always looking for people with developmental or learning disabilities of ANY age to join the SPRED community. There is no requirement to be a registered member of the Holy Ghost parish – or even Catholic for that matter. Our SPRED friends live both at home with their families and in group homes that have been very cooperative in providing transportation to the bi-weekly SPRED sessions.
And, of course, as we add friends, we also need to recruit helpers or catechists. The Providence Diocese provides all needed training. It is difficult to convey the joy and satisfaction gained from knowing that you are bringing people with disabilities – as well as yourselves – closer to Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Please consider joining the Holy Ghost SPRED community. There will be members of the community in the church hall immediately following Mass to answer any questions you may have.