God Loves All
Faith Formation for Children with Special Needs
We are special education teachers and volunteers who love teaching our Faith to children and teens with special needs.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
The God Loves All - Differentiated Faith Formation program is designed for special needs students entering grades K-12 during the 2021-2022 school year that require specialized support to meet their needs. To respect student's age and unique circumstances, classes are segmented by age: elementary students and middle/high school students. Lessons are adapted for children vs teens. Classes are scheduled weekly on Thursdays from 6:00pm-7:00pm in the Education Wing of the Great Hall.
Registration Rate: $100 per student
The registration fee helps to offset some of the cost to our parish while providing quality affordable Faith Formation to our parishioners.
If you are in need of a payment plan or other financial assistance, please submit a Payment Assistance Request form BEFORE submitting a registration form.
Each year, we create a theme-based curriculum evolving the students journey with God. Some of our students have been in class with us for 6 years! Depending on the needs of the students each year, the theme always weaves in sacrament preparation for new students that join us each year.
We prepare children for First Reconciliation, First Communion, and Confirmation and have also prepared young adults to receive all Sacraments of Initiation through a modified RCIA adapted for children.
Students who are properly prepared to receive the sacrament of First Communion and/or Confirmation will receive at a special mass just for our students!
Assessing Readiness for Sacraments
For children, sacrament preparation begins at home with the family. Baptized children that have reached the age of 7 and are in the equivalent of 2nd grade or above, are able to begin preparation for First Reconciliation and Communion.
What is different in "God Loves All - Differentiated Faith Formation" is when a student comes to us of age, we assess their readiness for sacraments based upon these 5 basic principles - as observed by our dedicated Special Education Catechists during our sessions with the students.
Does the student acknowledge God/ Jesus?
Can the student recite, or follow using special adaptive prompts, basic Catholic prayers (Our Father, Hail Mary and Act of Contrition)?
Does the student demonstrate, verbally or through special prompts, good choices vs bad choices and is capable of apologizing?
Does the student demonstrate, verbally or through special prompts, understanding that asking forgiveness through a priest is like talking to Jesus; and it is important to make good choices over bad?
Does the student show curiosity about the Eucharist?
While this may seem overwhelming, we have had both verbal and non-verbal students receive First Reconciliation and Communion.
It may take a full year of preparation for a student who maintains good attendance, or even 2 years if more focused, individual learning is needed. Be assured that we will be assessing student progress throughout the entire Faith Formation year.
Parents are their child’s natural first teacher and a big part of a child's faith journey! We ask parents to reinforce the lessons at home with the guided activities or discussion topics that will be provided. Your student will typically bring home an art project or lesson sheet that will support this extension of the in class lesson. Lessons are continuous and build upon the theme each week.
We know life happens and sometimes coming to class after a tough day of school, multiple scheduled therapies, or doctor appointments may not be in the best interest of the student’s health. Within reason, we can work with families who might have attendance challenges. However, we do ask that missed lessons are completed, to the best extent possible, at home.