By Barb Arland-Fye
Special Faith Saturdays opens its second year of catechism for adults with special needs next month at St. Ann Parish in Long Grove. This program provides faith formation and socialization opportunities for persons ages 16 and older.
Classes run from 2 to 4 p.m. one Saturday each month and students are invited to participate in the 4 p.m. Mass afterwards. Classes will be held Dec. 10, Jan. 21, Feb. 18, March 17 and April 21. May’s class date will be determined later. The program concludes June 2 with a short class, followed by Mass and then a potluck.
St. Ann parishioner Nancy Shannon, a retired special education teacher, returns as the class’s catechist. She plans to put more emphasis on teaching students about their faith and the sacraments, but time will be set aside for crafts just as last year.
In January, the class will focus on the Eucharist. “We’ll explain why we celebrate the Eucharist and also prepare those who haven’t received the sacrament to do so,” Shannon said. To help illustrate the lessons, she will distribute colorful “First Eucharist” kits to students, paid for with funding from the Knights of Columbus councils at St. Ann’s and Holy Family Parish in Davenport.
“We appreciate what Nancy is doing. We couldn’t have provided this program without her,” said Mary Wieser, the Davenport Diocese’s director of faith formation. Last year’s inaugural program concluded with students receiving the sacrament of confirmation on Pentecost at St. Ann’s. “I think the students are really made to feel welcome at the parish,” Wieser said.
She asks anyone interested in having a loved one with special needs participate in Special Faith Saturdays to contact her by phone at (563) 888-4241, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.