Hearts that know how to love. What happens in faith formation for people with learning disabilities?

Diana Klein

Diana Klein considers faith formation for people with learning disabilities. The author is editor of the Parish Practice page in The Tablet.

A new parish priest tells the story about a teenage boy with Down?s syndrome, who came for a blessing every Sunday when his mother came to receive Communion. The priest asked the mother why her son was not receiving communion; and she explained that she had been told that the boy was not capable of understanding sufficiently to receive. The new priest tried to prepare the boy; but he wasn?t sure he was getting anywhere. Nevertheless, he decided that the boy would receive his First Holy Communion the following Sunday. The priest invited the boy and his mother to receive before everyone else; and, with all eyes on them, the boy took the host, he broke it and he gave half to his mother and they consumed it together. Now, I wonder just what that boy understood.

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