SPRED (Special Religious Education) is a special faith formation program specifically designed to meet needs of persons with developmental disabilities. SPRED is an agency of the Archdiocese of Chicago that has designed unique programs to assists parishes in welcoming children and adults with developmental disabilities or learning problems. The SPRED agency provides parish training, program materials, resources and special liturgies.
With the support of the SPRED Agency, a parish welcomes participants into small faith communities where they form friendships with people from the parish and grow together in faith. SPRED fosters and nourishes spiritual and personal growth by helping participants discover God’s action and presence in their lives. Through SPRED these special people are prepared to celebrate the sacraments and worship with the Church.
Parish SPRED programs are focused by chronological age:
- Children: 6-10
- Youth: 11-17
- Young Adults: 18-21
- Adults: 22 and older
There are 140 parishes within the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago that serve children, adolescents and adults. Ideally, each parish in a cluster of parishes serves one particular age group.