Many individuals with autism are unable to participate in community activities until taught to do so through a structured process. We have developed and pilot-tested the Attends Mass program in collaboration with professionals in the field of behavior analysis to serve the needs expressed by families of loved ones who have autism who have not yet been successful at participating in weekly liturgies. The program aims to teach them skills for participation and engagement in liturgy and families how to successfully support their participation. We know it will also benefit individuals with other disabilities as well.
The Archdiocese of Newark wishes to most inclusively and faithfully serve all its members, so it is assessing how many families living with autism and other disabilities believe the Attends Mass program is a beneficial resource they are interested in. Participation in this survey is optional and responses are confidential. It is available in English, Spanish, and Kreyòl. The Archdiocese of Newark includes parishes in Essex, Hudson, Bergen, and Union Counties.
The results of this survey will help us seek program funding for Archdiocesan parishes, if need and interest are demonstrated. The Attends Mass program can be successfully adapted for use by other faith communities. Non-Catholic community members who wish to participate in the survey are welcome to do so, and their responses will be shared with their relevant faith community leadership.
Read one family's story, Attending Mass: A Skill to Be Learned for Individuals with Autism
We want to hear from you! Please share your experience and need in a survey: www.rcan.org/AttendsMassSurvey2019
The survey is open until June 28 at midnight.
Please click here to contact Anne Masters, Director for the Office of Pastoral Ministry with Persons with Disabilities for the Archdiocese of Newark, with any questions you may have.
Or you may email Anne directly at: Anne.Masters@rcan.org