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Meetings Planned to Discuss Ministry for Children with Special Needs

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The Diocese of Raleigh is sponsoring a gathering for parents of children with special needs. The session will be held Friday, March 26 from 7:00-8:30p.m. at St Andrew the Apostle Church in Apex.  Sister Kathleen Schipani, IHM, M.Ed., a specialist in the ministry, will be the Presenter.

St. Andrew was chosen because of its Special Needs Ministry, which began in Fall 2008. The parish program is family-oriented under the patronage of St. Joseph, foster-father of Jesus and loving spouse of Our Holy Mother.

Katie Fortunato, Director of St. Andrew Elementary Faith Formation, who oversees the Special Needs Ministry, says the ministry’s is designed to help families worship together; grow in faith through formation activities that accommodate their children’s unique learning styles; and allow them to socialize with a faith community that receives them in a loving way.

“Most importantly,” Ms. Fortunato says, “the ministry provides a more meaningful fit for children with special needs to know and love God and to be able to receive the sacraments.”

In addition to the gathering for parents, the Diocesan Office of Catechetical Formation and Evangelization is sponsoring a session for catechists on Saturday, March 27, from 10:00 a.m-3:00 p.m. at St. Andrew Church.

Diocesan Catechetical Director Sister Rose Marie Adams, IHM, noted the importance of this ministry. “God’s gifts to us in the sacraments should be available to all God’s children,” Sister Rose Marie said.  “Therefore, the Diocese is providing pertinent information and valuable training for catechists who serve those children with special needs.”

Parents interested in attending the evening session on March 26 are asked to contact Mary Stone at fdoffice@saintandrew.org or at 919.362.0414. Catechists interested in attending the workshop designed for faith formation directors, master catechists and those involved with catechesis for persons with special needs are asked to contact Sr. Rose Marie at 919.821.9746 or at sr.rose.adams@raldioc.org.