Children’s Ministry Coordinator:
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 (grades 1-6) and Confirmation Decision Point (grades 7-8) Programs
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. In addition we can help to tailor the Decision Point curriculum to fit the needs of every student, enabling them to participate in Confirmation Preparation with their peers. Loyola Press offers Adaptive Kits for Reconciliation, First Holy Communion, and Confirmation which allows families to help their child prepare for their sacraments outside of classroom preparation.
The goal of the Open Doors Ministry 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 and Confirmation programs. 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 and kits, click here.
Family Support Network
This component of Open Doors Ministry is to help create a Family Support Network is for parents and/or caregivers for any persons with special needs from birth to adult. We are looking at how we can best help to serve our community of families and hope to have programming up and running in the near future. Ideas so far include: monthly social/support meetings for parents only and/or whole family, Buddy Mass Program, Monthly Respite Night, and Teen/Youth Ministry.
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.