SPRED (Special Religious Development) is a small faith community in a parish which includes children or adults with special needs. SPRED integrates people with developmental disabilities more fully into the mainstream of parish life: it offers faith formation, gives parishioners an inviting place and opportunity to connect with persons with disabilities, and offers ways to more fully include persons with disabilities into the liturgy. The SPRED method creates an awareness of God while giving our SPRED friends a sense that they are loved by God and are persons of honor and dignity. Our SPRED friends learn to know God.
What is a SPRED community?
Up to eight volunteers from the parish agree to take SPRED training to learn how to offer appropriate religious education for children or adults with special needs. Three of these volunteers agree to take additional training as team leaders. These volunteers form a small community of faith—people who enter into friendship and agree to welcome up to six friends with special needs. The volunteers decide on an age group depending on the greatest need of the community: children 6-10; youth 11-16; young adults 17-21; or adults 22+. The group agrees to follow the standards of the SPRED agency.
SPRED (Special Religious Development)
SPRED, Special Religious Development, is a small faith community in our parish that includes people with special needs. It combines both religious education and community building. SPRED is an intuitive model grounded in relationships and the use of symbol. The goal of this symbolic method is to develop a sense of the sacred, the sense of Christ and a sense of Church.
A relationship with God is accessible to all. Friendship is the human experience closest to understanding the presence of God in life. By calling to mind life experiences and sharing these experiences in a circle of friendship, the small community of faith becomes aware of the sacredness of all life and then returns to daily life changed.
Three Holy Women serves a group of youth age 11-16 years old; SS Peter & Paul serves a group of adolescents age 17-21; Our Lady of Divine Providence serves a group of adults age 22 and older. SPRED catechists meet twice a month in a group setting, first as a catechist’s adult group, and the second time our SPRED friends join us. We are looking for warm, friendly, faith-filled people to join our SPRED group as catechists. No background is needed, and training is provided. To get a better idea of a SPRED session with friends, watch a video at spredmilwaukee.org. For more information, please contact our parish chairperson, Kathy Tolbert, at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit spredmilwaukee.org.