Mother Teresa called them our “professors of love.” And as the father of a son blessed with Down syndrome, that’s the term I prefer. Unfortunately, our society has mostly done a pretty poor job of understanding how special our special needs children are. This has led to missed opportunities for the larger community of typically developing people — that is, those of us who are better at hiding our special needs.
But we at St. Mel want you to know that we see special needs people as an essential part of the Body of Christ. They have the ability to teach us as much as we teach them---especially about that which is eternal in significance. Of joy, and simplicity, and acceptance, and kindness, and love…
And we are very excited that on September 11th
Saints Among Us starts back up for the 2016-2017 school year! As always, we meet upstairs in the Parish Center the first two Sundays of each month from 12:20 pm to 1:30 pm — although only once in September because of the holiday. This program is open to teens and young adults who have been given medical diagnoses and have not historically fit into typical classroom settings.
We have two wonderful and gifted special education teachers leading the program, Linda Cobuzzi and Pauline Furman, along with a host of volunteers.
Our Saints Among Us class will involve preparation for reception of the Sacraments — Baptism, First Communion, and Confirmation. But it will serve a larger function as well; that of a community of friendship. And Catholics from outside St. Mel are welcome too!
Along with catechesis appropriate to our participants, the Saints Among Us program will include a snack, art, music, and a nature component.
A suggested donation of $100 to St. Mel, to cover the costs of the year, is requested, but if this is a burden please give what you can. We do not want money to be a deciding factor in your child’s involvement.
Please spread the word about this unique program. And contact me if you have any questions, would like to sign someone up, or might be interested in volunteering.
Space is limited. Contact Dr. Ross Porter, Dir. of Faith Formation for more information and to schedule an interview. (818) 340-6020 ext. 1013 or via email