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  • Writer's pictureAna Barraza


Friday, being usually a time to wrap up our school week to get ready for the weekend, was the day for a much anticipated home visit with one of our parish families (for the sake of anonymity, I’ll call our candidate to the Sacraments, “Teen Boy,” and his mom, “Mom!”).

A couple of months ago, I met with Mom to present to her options for Sacramental Preparation classes for Teen Boy, a person with hyperactivity, since it’s almost impossible for him to attend our Adaptive Faith Formation class at the parish even once a month. One option was that, as the catechist, I would pay him a home visit which would serve as class time.

After enlisting one of our helpers in our Adaptive Faith Formation classroom to meet me at the family’s home, not without asking my family for their prayers, I drove off carrying my ukulele as a mean to hopefully lead our Teen Boy parishioner, with an interest in music, to praying through praise songs.

Once we had greeted Mom and Teen Boy who was seating on a sofa cuddled under a reading blanket, I invited him to pray. Mom pressed the button for the Sign of the Cross on Teen Boy’s AAC devise, and he proceeded to sign himself. Knowing all teens like videos, I had prepared the Loyola Press video of the Our Father in ASL. It was a beautiful moment when Teen Boy’s eyes focused on the video as he started signing some of the words. Mom’s eyes brightened realizing her boy had engaged in prayer. The rest of us joined him by repeating Jesus’ prayer out loud.

To transition into praise music, I showed Teen Boy my ukulele. He was highly interested in it, and even more when I started singing He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands. All adults joined in singing as Mom also added the ASL sign for world which her boy with Down syndrome signed back. We must have sung it 8 times straight, all requested by Teen Boy who excitedly kept signing world each time I attempted to play a different song. All teens have their own obsessions making them protagonists of their own lives. Teen Boy is no exception!

Concluding our time together, I left our parishioners' home while praying the Hail Mary silently for any and all of their needs. I look forward to visiting with a blessed heart our thankful church family.


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