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Center for Catholic Education and Formation
Saint Thomas Seminary

New England Catholic Biblical School

Diaconate Candidacy

Faith Formation for Special Needs



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 Catechesis for the Archdiocese of Hartford. 

Our Shared Vision

  • All Catholics are equal in dignity and share the same divine calling
  • Inclusion of people with disabilities in the faith community enhances every aspect of church life
  • All baptized people with disabilities "deserve the means to develop a relationships with God."
  • We are a single flock under the care of a single shepherd. There can be no separate church for persons with disabilities

Everyone Matters


Experience Faith



Did you know?

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

A 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.

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

The 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.

Although 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.

The 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.

The Center for Catholic Education and Formation 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.


For more information contact:

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