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  • Writer's pictureAna Barraza


One of the last Confirmation classes I attended before the pandemic was that on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Being the small group leader for a group of teenage boys in my home parish, it’s always a blessing to see them grow in their Confirmation journey. One of the young men in my small group is a person with autism. He is now part of the Adaptive Faith Formation program I have been blessed to be part of developing.

As we sat watching with the rest of the small groups the engaging video series Chosen, my young student was between watching and listening with headphones over his ears more for noise control than for listening to music. He would take them off making word-by-word remarks to each of the gifts the video was showing.

At one point came the gift of piety to which our young parishioner repeated,

“Piety,” out loud. He seem to be thinking. I did likewise.

“Yes, piety” to reaffirm him. He then said,

“Ms. Ana,” bright eyed with a half-smile. “I made you a pie-ety. I made you a pie-ety!

I smiled back at him, and before I could reply, he repeated,

“I made you a pie-ety, a strawberry pie-ety!”

When young candidates can put into a cheese joke (I’m a sucker for them!) their understanding of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we discover God is at work in their young hearts. These are the sweet moments that make our ministry with persons with disAbilities all worth it, especially during this pandemic!

May the Giver of gifts renew our young church with disAbilities, their families, and us who serve them.


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