SPRED - Special Religious Development - is a programme for children, teenagers, young adults and adults with disability, learning-disabled, mental limitation.
Aims of SPRED
•To accompany people with developmental disabilities on their faith journey.
•To enable these people to take their rightful place in the parish community.
The concept of friendship is central to the SPRED method. Jesus said, "I call you friends". FRIEND! What is more precious than a true friend, one who is there for us ? In SPRED we use the word friend of one another.
SPRED is a life-long programme as we can never stop growing in our relationship with God. Respectful of the life experience of each person, SPRED groups are formed according to chronological age.
Things you might like to know about SPRED
- At Baptism a parish welcomes a new member to the community and promises support on the journey of faith.
- Baptised, learning-disabled people are members of our parish communities.
- Learning-disabled people, like others, have gifts to share with the parish community.
- Baptised, learning-disabled people have a right to the Sacraments of Confirmation, Reconciliation and Eucharist.
- Learning-disabled people are educable in Faith if an appropriate catechetical methodology is used.
- SPRED offers parishes the materials and training to support its learning-disabled members.
- SPRED groups meet locally in Parishes.
- SPRED groups need a sacred place to meet as they gather to experience the Presence of God with them.
- SPRED volunteers are parishioners
- Every volunteer in SPRED is trained before joining a group.
- Respecting chronological age, SPRED works with different age groups: children, teenagers, young adults and adults.
- Inclusion in the life of the parish community - at all levels - is the goal of SPRED
HOW DOES SPRED WORK
How many people are in a SPRED group?
There are 6 friends and 6 trained volunteer helpers working on a one-to-one relationship. There are also 2 people in to assist the whole group.in roles, i.e. a total of 14 maximum.
How often are SPRED Sessions held?
Twice a fortnight for the volunteer helpers and once a fortnight for the friends. There is the usual holiday period in the winter and summer where the group closes.
Are there different age groups?
There are 4 age groups:
6-10 year olds; 11-16 year olds; 17-21 young adults, and adult groups. There is no age limit as SPRED nourishes the life of faith and no one ever stops growing in their relationship with God.
LEARN AND SHARE FAITH
Every person who joins SPRED is called, both to learn more about their faith and to share with other people the faith they already have. As faith is a journey more can always be both learned and shared. This programme is a special catechesis, a programme using symbol and liturgy as a basis for a catechetical experience.
RELATIONSHIP WITH A FRIEND
Central to SPRED is forming relationships. You will be asked to join a SPRED group within which you will have a particular special friend (person with learning disabilities). It is this relationship that will enable you both to grow in faith.
Need to train -
SPRED is essentially about passing on faith and therefore there is a need to learn how this is done. A training programme that runs for one night or day a week for ten weeks caters for this need.
Because SPRED is based on forming relationships with other people, especially our friends, there is a need for definite commitment. It is this faithfulness that speaks louder than words.
SPRED is 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 is an internationally tried and tested programme, having been developed from the method "Vivre" researched and written by Fr. Jean Mesny of Lyon, in the late 1950's and the doctoral thesis of priest-psychologist Euchariste Paulhas:-L' Educabilite Religieuse des Deficients Mentaux. These two works were enhanced by research and refined by personnel in the Chicago Diocesan Cathechetical Department. The programme is sound educationally, psychologically as well as theologically. Each country which adopts SPRED is given a basic outline from which a locally based programme evolves, ensuring that both the programme and the training are centered within the local church.
For more information, contact Cherryl Brooke: via Email