Special Religious Development
Archdiocese of Chicago
2956 S. Lowe Ave. Chicago, IL 60616
312-842-1039 fax 312-366-2907
The Method used by Spred, received from Fr. Jean Mesny, is the dynamic process of transplanting a life situation into a catechetical climate.
Through bonds of friendship and deep personal relationships catechists in a community setting enabled to lead others under the action of the Spirit to discover for themselves in the presence of God in the original life situation as it unfolds symbolically.
The method consists essentially in the catechists living themselves a life of love with God in Christ and under the guidance of the Spirit, helping others to enter into the dynamic of this relationship.
Spred catechesis leads one to develop a sense of the sacred, a sense of the Church, a sense of the Christ and a sense of God. The process used helps each one to enter into commun- ion with Jesus Christ within the Christian community of faith.
Sacramental initiation takes place according to the personal rhythm of each one. It is presumed that as there are different modes of intellectual functioning, there are different modes of faith.
It is essential that catechists share a common mentality, a spirit of faith, a mission to gather and guide. The goal is to penetrate the Mystery in faith in such a way that a living mentality grows. This is possible when catechists enter into the Mystery together as a way of preparation prior to each experience with their friends with disabilities.
Shared responsibility is very important in a Spred Community. Roles have been developed so that no one person will be overburdened and all can work together to proved quality catechesis.
Each Spred Parish group has a core team.
One parish member agrees to assume the role of chairperson and is appointed as such by the pastor. This person becomes the link from the pastor to the families, caregivers and Spred agency and is a helper catechist in the group.
The leader catechist is responsible to lead the catechist preparation session and the catechesis with the total community.
The activity catechist helps the total community to become prepared for catechesis by engaging in concentrated activity.
The community has a godparent figure, a helper catechist for each person with special needs. This person is a faith friend, a witness and guide.
Training courses are available for Spred volunteer catechists who are core team members on five Saturday afternoons two times a year. Helper catechist training, one Saturday afternoon, is available several times during the year. Presently there are two sites available for core team training and several sites for helper catechist training. The calendar on this site lists dates, times and places for training.
Spred offers training on several levels of competency. It is possible for students who would like to credit applied to their degree program at colleges or universities to make personal arrangements with Spred and the program of their choice. The student registers at the university and the work takes place at Spred training sites. Contact Sr. Mary Therese Harrington for assistance.