While in Cleveland recently, I had a nice conversation with a husband and wife catechist team who catechize children with special needs. I have great admiration for people who dedicate themselves to this challenging yet wonderful ministry. It was the first opportunity I had to tell people personally about a brand new resource designed for catechizing children with special needs. It is the Adaptive First Eucharist Preparation Kit from Loyola Press.
I had the privilege of doing a catechetical review on this product and I just fell in love with it. It is extraordinarily beautiful in its simplicity…a reminder to all of us that the God of mystery makes himself known to us in the simplest of ways.
The story behind this product is incredibly inspiring. It began as 14-year-old Brian Rizzo’s 2008 Eagle Scout Project as he developed a special needs library at his parish, inspired by his younger sister Danielle who has autism. Working with his parents, they developed a series of learning tools to be used by children preparing to celebrate First Eucharist. The tools help catechists to ensure that children with special needs meet the USCCB requirements for First Eucharist which are the ability to distinguish the Holy Eucharist from ordinary food and to receive the Eucharist reverently. Loyola Press proudly and happily developed the Adaptive First Eucharist Preparation Kit based on Brendan’s work. While I’ve not met Brendan, I had the privilege of meeting his parents and his sister Danielle…what a wonderful family!
Here’s Brian Rizzo and his Dad, David Rizzo, along with Danielle, telling the story in their own words.
I encourage anyone who is doing First Eucharist preparation with children who have special needs to take a look at this wonderful new resource.