A young man saw his little sister in need. He took action. His action eventually became a set of materials which led to help not only his sister, but also thousands and thousands of others in need around the country—and around the globe.
Giving voice to those who need help and giving life to products that make a difference—that’s why Loyola Press, a ministry of the Detroit-Chicago Province of the Jesuits, provides faith formation products for individuals with special needs. We received a submission from a fine young man, Brendan Rizzo, who was looking for a project to earn his Eagle Scout badge. His sister, Danielle, who has autism, was unable to receive her First Communion. Being non-verbal, she had no way to demonstrate her readiness to receive the Sacrament. Brendan saw the pain this caused his family and wanted his sister to enjoy the graces of the sacrament. Working with his father, a physical therapist for adults with cognitive disabilities, he put together a rough, but innovative and effective prototype of tools to both teach Danielle and help her communicate her readiness for the Sacrament. This became our first product designed specifically for individuals with special needs: the Adaptive First Eucharist Preparation Kit.
The response was so heartening. As we met with parents and their children with special needs, faith formation professionals, and experts in cognitive and other disabilities, we quickly realized the urgent need for faith formation tools to serve people with special needs. Developing such materials became more than something we wanted to do; it became something we had to do.
And so Loyola Press made a commitment to itself and to Catholics and other Christians everywhere—to provide materials for individuals with special needs and those who catechize them. The Adaptive First Eucharist Kit and the Adaptive Reconciliation Kit are two examples. This Web site is a further example of our commitment to facilitate communication and community. Through this site, Loyola Press will act as a conduit from experts and practitioners in the field of disabilities to catechists and Catholic families who seek information and resources. We hope this site leads you to what you’re looking for. If not, let us hear from you. God bless you and all those in your loving care.