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Children’s Ministry Coordinator:
Sharon Moeykens
Contact Phone: 224-345-7218

MISSION: Open Doors is a ministry that invites and welcomes people into a full and active spiritual life by providing faith formation for individuals and families with special needs. We joyfully enter into faith formation through catechesis, adaptive programming, and mutual support.

Finding God Adaptive Religious Education (RE) Program (grades 1-8)

The “Adaptive Finding God” curriculum was developed by Loyola Press in 2014 for children in parishes with special/different needs. This program is designed to work either as a stand-alone curriculum or in conjunction with the Loyola Press. Finding God RE curriculum. This model has materials that are adaptable for use in many different settings and situations, enabling St. James to offer Religious Education to those with special needs at the same time as our classroom-based program. The goal of this program is to build upon the strengths of each child, help prepare them for the sacraments, and provide support to ensure all children have the opportunity for full and active participation in the parish RE program. This program is open to children in 1st through 8th grades. Registration is held each spring for the upcoming school year. Classes run September through May. Adult and teen volunteers are always welcome!!

For more information about the Adaptive Finding God program, click here.

Family Support Network

The Family Support Network is for parents and/or caregivers needing support for any persons with special needs from birth to adult. We are holding monthly social meetings aimed at providing support, prayer, discussion, and reflection time. It is a place to share your story, connect with others, find resources, and provide support in a confidential setting. At the same time as the adult program, we offer a Buddy Program open to those with special needs and their siblings. This Buddy Program will pair age-appropriate buddies to those needing extra support and will allow for a fun and social atmosphere by offering activity-based programs.

S.P.R.E.D. – Special Religious Education for the Developmentally Disabled (ages 22+)

The archdiocesan program SPRED (Special Religious Education for the Developmentally Disabled) has been active at St. James since 1968. We provide 15 weeks of religious education to students aged 22 and older. These young adults participate in weekly classes, special events and preparation for the sacraments if needed. Classes meet on Wednesday evenings. Adult volunteers are always needed! Some education or training is required along with an open, willing heart and your willingness to share your time.