To the Editor:
The article on SPRED [Special Religious Education, Rhode Island Catholic, April 17, “Religious education program opens hearts of the disabled”], introduced to the diocese in 1980, was heartwarming for all participants and their families.
Many thanks to Bishop Tobin and Father Timothy Reilly for joining us for our SPRED session, which filled all participants with grateful hearts and much joy. Brian J. Lowney captured beautifully in word and with pictures the evening. We were deeply grateful to see this well-established and effective religious faith development parish method for persons with developmental disabilities (Autism, ADHD, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and many more) featured so effectively by Brian in the Rhode Island Catholic.
Also, thank you for the notice on page 4 on the SPRED Autism conference on Saturday, April 26 from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Catholic Family Life Insurance sponsors the 31st Annual Project FAITH conference for people who minister to people with disabilities. One of this year’s presenters is Susan Swanson, and titled “Supporting the Unique Learning Needs of Persons with Autism in Special Religious Education.” Susan is a consulting speech/language pathologist with 25 years’ experience working with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders. SPRED catechists and parents are invited to join us. We can be reached at 401-658-1174.
Colleen E. Touchette
Diocesan Administrator, SPRED