Special Needs Focus of Diocesan Workshop

The Diocese of Tyler Office of Faith Formation will host a series of three workshops focused on assisting parishes and families to develop practices and programs for those with special needs.

Organized by Linda Khirallah Porter, the director of faith formation for the diocese, the fist of the three workshop scheduled for this Saturday (Jan. 10) will cover what resources are available for those with special needs, the role of clergy, parents and others in catechizing with those diagnosed as having special needs, and how environmental factors can play an important role in the process.

Bishop Joseph Strickland has encouraged each parish to be represented at these workshops.

“Although parishes may not have someone with special needs at this time, it is important to have the resources available,” said Bishop Strickland. “Reaching out to these beautiful children of God is yet another way to live the Gospel.”

According to the National Director of Catechesis, Catholics with special needs have the capacity to truth within the Church and offer valuable gifts.

“Their involvement enriches every aspect of Church life. They are not just the recipients of catechesis – they are also its agents.”

Bishop Strickland agrees and laments that our culture fails to see how people diagnosed with special needs can fully be a part of the larger community.

“Too often our society foolishly sees persons with special needs as a burden or less deserving but these children and young people are really a great blessing to their families and the entire community.”

Future workshop dates are Feb. 28 and March. 28.

All workshops at at the Chancery in Tyler and more information is available on the Office of Faith Formation web site.