Special Religious Education - SPRED Ministry



To integrate people with
developmental disabilities
into the faith and life of the Church.

What is SPRED?
  • SPRED assists parishes in the Diocese of Oakland reach out and integrate children, teens and adults with special needs into the faith and life of the Church through their local parish.
  • PLEASE NOTE:  St. Joseph SPRED for 22+ is not meeting at this time pending a new Lead Catechist.  Are you interested in serving in this capacity?  If so, please contact Nancy Flores at nflores@@saintjosephmsj.org or 510-657-0905 ext. 202
Who do we serve ?
  • At St. Joseph, our local SPRED group serves adults 22 years and older in their ongoing faith formation.
  • For children with special needs, please visit the Adaptive Faith Formation website.
Why do we do it?
  • St. Joseph SPRED volunteers are committed to meeting the spiritual needs of persons with developmental disabilities.
  • St. Joseph SPRED community assists our Friends in celebrating the sacraments, and in the worshipping experiences of the Church.
How do we do it?
  • Through SPRED trainings– volunteers are able to work with persons with developmental disabilities.
  • Through the Method Vivre (symbolic catechesis) our Friends are better able to understand and celebrate in the sacraments and liturgy of the Church.
  • Through the experience of friendship in small faith communities, our Friends are paired within the group with volunteer catechists to help grow in a one-to-one relationship.
Michelle Martinez-Kilty
Oakland Diocese Coordinator for SPRED


Nancy Flores

Helper catechist – An adult who wishes to share his/her faith in a small faith group comprised of other Helper Catechists and Friends.

Friend – A person with a developmental disability and participant in SPRED.

Method Vivre – A type of symbolic catechesis method used by SPRED to help Friends and Catechists grow in their faith.

Age Groups – SPRED divides Centers by age. Age groups 6-10, 11-16, 17-21 and 22 + Our SPRED team at Old Mission St. Joseph Parish has only a 22+ group.

Want to become a Volunteer Catechist?

We need several SPRED catechists to continue this beautiful ministry at St. Joseph. Do you feel called to serve as a Lead, Helper, or Activities SPRED Catechist? No experience is needed. You must be at least 21 years old. The Oakland Diocese provides SPRED Catechist trainings. Please contact Nancy Flores, if you are interested, wish to attend training, and want to join our extraordinary SPRED ministry. 

For more information on SPRED
Diocese website: https://oakdiocese.org/spred
Email: info@spredoakdiocese.org
SPRED Model Training Center Number: 510-635-7252

Pope Francis

Everyone should be  committed to promoting acceptance, encounter, and solidarity through concrete support and by encouraging renewed hope. In this way, we can contribute to breaking down the isolation and, in many cases, the stigma burdening people with autism spectrum disorders (and other developmental disabilities), and just as often their families.