SPRED (SPecial Religious EDucation) is a program of religious development specifically designed to meet the spiritual needs of persons of all ages with developmental disabilities and intellectual challenges. Through their participation in the SPRED Community of faith, our Special Friends are incorporated into the liturgical and sacramental life of the parish of St. Matthew. SPRED serves persons with special needs age six through adulthood.
All volunteers for SPRED serve as models in establishing a faith community, where all love and serve God and seek to know His Love for us.
Catechists: serve to facilitate the lesson and general flow of the session for a small group of special friends accompanied by catechist helpers.
Catechist Helpers: while they do not teach as such, they serve as mentors and guides for a specific special friend during the SPRED session. The Catechist Helper accompanies his or her Special Friend in preparation to receive the sacraments.
The SPRED Program generally runs from September to May; sessions with our special friends are two hours long (from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon) every other Sunday during that time. Catechist preparation meetings are approximately one and a half hours long the week before each full session. During these meetings, the catechists develop their own strong faith community and prepare for the full sessions.