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Sacraments and our kids - have you had to be "creative"?

I wrote in an earlier post about some of the problems we've had getting our disabled daughter confirmed. One reader commented that our methods depended on "impatience, presumption, deception, and disobedience", and that was not a good example of saintly parenting.

I know many homeschooling families who've had trouble getting sacraments for their kids because their children were not enrolled in the parish religious education program, but rather were being taught their Faith at home. Some priests and DREs insist that this is not "kosher" and a child won't be able to receive a sacrament unless they are in the parish program.

There are parents whose children have severe gluten allergies and have had to figure out a way to have a child receive the Eucharist.

I myself had a young woman with severe mental illness come to me when I was working in a parish. In her twenties, she desperately wanted to be confirmed, but her anxiety and depression kept her from attending RCIA classes. With the understanding of the priest, she met with me and her parish mentor, and we helped her prepare. I don't know that I've ever seen a more joyful recipient of a sacrament. I know she still struggles with her illnesses, but know she has the grace of Confirmation to aid her.

I am not suggesting that parents out-right lie to or deceive priests and parish workers: "Oh, no, Father. We aren't living together!" or "My kid just can't make it to all those classes because he's a wunderkind at soccer and we travel too much". However, there are circumstances where people should be able to receive sacraments without so many obstacles being placed in their paths.

A wonderful document regarding this topic for people with disabilities is the Guidelines for the Celebration of the Sacraments  with Persons with Disabilities.

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