Catechesis for Special Needs

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You are in the right place to find ongoing support and resources for parishes that minister to children with special needs and their families.

Click here to read the complete Vision statement on Inclusion of People with Disabilities in Catechesisfor the Archdiocese of Hartford.


Did you know?

bullet nb.pngAll children who have been baptized are entitled to receive the Sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation.


bullet nb.pngA religious education curriculum can be adapted and/or modified to meet the needs of children with disabilities. Their presence in the program is a sign and symbol of God’s love for all.

bullet nb.pngThe timing and frequency of instruction can be adapted to the child’s particular needs and abilities.

bullet nb.pngThe catechist for children with disabilities does not need a background in special education. Resources and guidance are now available to help catechists meet the needs of these children.

bullet nb.pngAlthough all children are encouraged to learn and pray the basic prayers (Our Father, Hail Mary, Sign of the Cross), memorization of these prayers is not a requirement to receive the sacraments.

bullet nb.pngThe Sacrament of Reconciliation may be received (and is often recommended to be received) at a later date, rather than just prior to receiving First Eucharist.


bullet nb.pngThe OEEC will provide ongoing support and resources to parishes that minister to children with special needs.


Adapted from “Recognizing the Gift: A Parish Resource Guide for Welcoming Children with Disabilities” Archdiocese of New York, 2014.


Resources from Missio



Quick links:


Click below to read the statements put forward by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) related to persons with disability.

Curricula, textbooks

  • Loyola Press adaptive materials and sacramental kits
  • The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Program to Improve Catholic Religious Education for Children and Adults with Intellectual Disabilities

Classroom activities

Celebrating Mass with a Child with Special Needs

Teaching Strategies

For our parishes:



Kelly Henderschedt
Archdiocesan Director of Faith Formation
860-242-5573 ext. 2663