SPRED Continues its Third Year at Our Lady of the Wayside

Posted on May 3, 2021 by Published by

SPRED is a program developed by the Archdiocese of Chicago to foster the religious development of persons with developmental disabilities.  The goal is to make it possible for each parish to welcome our Friends into a SPRED group, where they become prepared to participate in the liturgical life of their parish.

Here at OLW, our SPRED group consists of eight volunteer Catechists, who are paired with six Friends, aged 22 plus.  In the past we met in the OLW Parish Center from August thru June.  However, as the COVID pandemic continues,  OLW’s SPRED Ministry—like so many other ministries and programs–has adapted alternative ways to serve our FRIENDS joyfully and safely during these challenging times.

Our Catechists have communicated monthly with our FRIENDS:   placed wellness check-in phone calls;  sent “homemade” Thanksgiving Day cards; and mailed Christmas holiday cards with handwritten greetings.  In-person meetings have moved to virtual sessions.  Our ZOOM meeting in December included a Christmas carol sing-along and cookie treats delivered to the homes of our FRIENDS.  We also sent our FRIENDS cards and personal notes for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and Easter.  In addition, the OLW Catechists virtually met with the new Executive Director of Special Religious Development at Archdiocese of Chicago and look forward to sharing information about the ministry with OLW’s Father Marat in the upcoming months.

This year’s OLW SPRED Ministry Members are:

John Birmingham, Catechist, Zamir Hannon, Catechist, Malinda Kesteloot, Catechist, Mark Staker, Catechist, Lynne Toomey, Catechist, Tom Aichele, Chair, Beth Ann Finis, Activity Catechist and Maureen Loughery, Leader Catechist.

If you know anyone interested in joining this ministry, as a Friend or Catechist, please feel free to contact us.  For more information on the OLW SPRED program visit our website at then choose SPRED on the drop down. You also may visit the Archdiocese of Chicago SPRED website at:  Meanwhile, please keep OLW’s SPRED in your thoughts and prayers, as we also pray for your courage during these difficult times.

OLW SPRED Leadership:

Tom Aichele, Chair,
Maureen Loughery, Leader Catechist,
Beth Ann Finis, Activity Catechist,

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