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Special Religious Education

Concern for people with disabilities was one of the prominent notes of Jesus’ earthly ministry… Persons with disabilities become witnesses for Christ, His healing of their bodies a sign of the spiritual healing He brought to all people. 

(Pastoral Statement of US Catholic Bishops on People with Disabilities, 1989)

Ministry with persons with disabilities is rooted in the sacred truth that every human being is created in the image and likeness of God. Jesus’s ministry was marked by care and concern for those with special needs. They responded to his healing ministry and became his disciples.

The Church carries on the ministry of Jesus in its care for our brothers and sisters with disabilities. Religious education for those with special needs has been fostered by parishes and diocesan programs. Our office of Special Religious Education supports parishes in their efforts to bring meaningful and appropriate learning experiences to persons with disabilities, as well as foster awareness of this ministry.

Are you called to be a catechist for children with special needs?

These links may help you to learn how the Church understands its mission to persons with disabilities. 
Church Documents 
  • National Catholic Office for the Deaf: helps spread God’s message through the support of the deaf and hard of hearing so that we may all be one in Christ.  They offer a quarterly newsletter and have sacramental programs that are signed and closed-captioned.
  • National Catholic Partnership on Disabilities: works collaboratively to ensure meaningful participation of people with disabilities in all aspects of the life of the Church and society.
  • SPRED – Special Religious Development: 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 the faith.
Other Resources