SPRED: Special Religious Education
SPRED is a parish small faith community that provides spiritual enrichment for persons with developmental disabilities and their inclusion in the life of the parish.
The SPRED community is very respectful of each other and witnesses to the world the value and dignity of each and every person. SPRED benefits not only our special friends, but also the catchiest.
Each SPRED community is composed of persons with developmental disabilities (no more than six) and their individual helper catechist/friend (six). There is also a core team that consists of a Leader catechist, and Activity catechist and a Core chairperson. The diocesan SPRED office provides training for the roles in a SPRED community. Catechists meet once a week for a preparation session. The special friends join the community every other week from October through May.
ROLES IN A SPRED COMMUNITY
The leader catechist relates to all members of the community and leads the catechisis in the liturgical celebration room.
The activity catechist relates to all members and accepts responsibility for the preparation time that helps everyone become quiet,centered and ready to hear the Good News in the celebration room. She/he orgainizes the continuation of the celebration of joy in the Lord (a sacred act) at Agape. We do this through the experience of sharing food together.
The core chairperson agrees to help set up a space for SPRED on church property and keeps everyone up to date on the institutional concerns of the community. The chairperson is also a helper catechist to a special friend
Helper catechists make up the majority of the catechists. Helpers are primarily friends to persons with developmental disabilities. They relate specially to one person in the community.
The SPRED rooms are located on the first floor of the rededicated Monsignor McNamara Building, historically known as The Convent. The space where the SPRED community meets is simple and presents a welcoming atmosphere and tone.
SPRED the SPecial REligious Development program at St. Philip started with one community 1991. We now have four communities meeting on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights, serving our special friends ages 6-10, 11-16, and 22+.
For more information about the SPRED program, please call the Office of Religious Education at 949-0330, Jeanette Spirito, Parish Chairperson for SPRED or Colleen Touchette, Administrator for the SPRED program in the Diocese of Providence at 278-4630.