Pope Francis’ 2019 message at the International Day for Persons with Disabilities, stated: “We are called to recognize in every person with disabilities, even complex and serious disabilities, a unique contribution to the common good through their original life stories. …and to recognize them as persons of equal dignity, as brothers and sisters in humanity.”

REACH is Faith Formation for Individuals with DisABILITIES

REACH is offered to individuals with special needs who are in grades K-6. The program follows the Loyola Press Finding God Adaptive Curriculum and meets September through May twice monthly (days and times to be announced), with additional opportunities throughout the year to gather and socialize.

Students are grouped based on age and/or ability. Our catechists are trained and range in experience with accompanying individuals with special needs through Special Education, Social Work, parenting a child with a disability and more!

The REACH program also provides sacramental preparation for First Reconciliation, First Eucharist, and Confirmation.

Dates/Times of Classes and Registration for Fall 2024-2025 School Year will be released in April 2024!

Please contact Lydia Schmitt, Coordinator of Family Faith Formation for Individuals with DisABILITIES, at with any questions!

Please Join us for These Special Events!

Diocesan-Wide DisABILITIES Mass on March 10, 2024 at 2pm

Our Lady of Mercy Church looks forward to welcoming you and many others from throughout the Diocese of Joliet for our first disABILITIES Mass on March 10, 2024 at 2pm! We hope you will join us as we celebrate the blessings of those with disABILITIES in our Church family, as well as the wonderful gifts they bring to our parish! Fellowship to follow in the MPR.

RSVP to the disABILITIES Mass


Please RSVP at this link for those attending so we can plan to welcome you and meet any accommodations you need that will help you feel comfortable attending the Mass.

Sensory-Friendly Easter Egg Hunt on March 16 @ 10am

The Knights of Columbus are hosting a Sensory-Friendly Easter Egg Hunt for persons with disABILITIES on March 16 at 10AM! Occupational Therapist and small business owner, Sammy Grove, from Sammy’s Sensory Shop will provide a “search-and-find” Easter Egg sensory bin, along with other Easter-Themed sensory bins to explore in a quiet setting! There will also be a lower-stimuli egg hunt in a smaller/quieter classroom for those individuals who need dimmed lighting and less sound. The Easter Bunny will be hopping in for pictures as well! We hope to see you there!

“Faith Buddies” Gatherings on April 14, May 5 and June 2

Faith Buddies is offered this spring for individuals with disABILITIES ages 5 and older. Each individual is paired with a peer from our parish community. Together they meet one Sunday each month (April-June) at the Mass, followed by a social gathering in our Parish Life Center. After the mass, each social gathering will last approximately one hour. Individuals with disABILITIES and their peers will be accompanied by a trained adult supervisor. Parents are welcome to stay on-site for coffee and fellowship with other parents. Registration is required so we may plan to welcome you!

Register Your Child


Please register your child for “Faith Buddies” at this link so we can plan to welcome you and meet any accommodations your child will need.

We are seeking peer volunteers for our “Faith Buddies” Program

“Faith Buddies” connects children with disABILITIES with a peer in our parish! Peers MUST be 5th grade or older. We meet one Sunday of the month (April-June) at the Mass, followed by a social gathering or service project on-site.

Please Contact Lydia at to register as a peer (must be 5th grade or older).

Additional Resources


For more information on programs and events throughout the Diocese of Joliet for persons with disABILITIES, please visit the DisABILITY Ministry website!