Our parish’s inaugural Catechism for children with different abilities had just started last weekend.
Michael coloured this so colourfully upon entering the worship hall and seeing all the stained glass windows with Jesus in it.
There is a common saying… God our father gives special kids to ordinary parents.
But there is another perspective too- could we see that:
God our father takes ordinary imperfect people (parents), and gifts them with His greatest treasures (children with different abilities). And therein, he creates special parents!
God gives children with different abilities to regular everyday parents, who choose to step up and be strong for their child! That special child teaches you life lessons hat you never could have anticipated. And throughout your journey together, you learn how to become the parent that your child needs!
Special Parents, Special Children, Special People
With special parents, special children, there are also ordinary people who do special things for others.
There are also ordinary people who do special things for others- angels here on earth who want to love others, with the gifts and talents God has given them for the kingdom of God.
And one such angel- disciple of Christ, is volunteer Catechist, Ms Jaqueline Ho, who had this growing burning desire over the last many years to teach children with different abilities.
The first Catechism for Children with Different Abilities started on 12 Feb 2022, with volunteer Catechist Ms Jaqueline Ho (left) with volunteer teacher assistant, Felicity Ngiam (right).
This has been in the planning for a few years from an inspiration, to talking to a few people of faith, to ideation and brain storming. And finally, from a dream to reality…
“My hope is for these children with special needs to benefit and learn just the same as their peers and to discover Christ’s love in their own little way 🙏❤️”
-Ms Jaqueline Ho, Volunteer Catechist
The call to love with the charisms that God has given
The call to love with the charisms that God has given her to give to others, struck her heart so strongly and passionately in the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, that she could no longer ignore it! She immediately put together all that she has been planning, preparing for and got the approvals required. In the initial planning, Jaqueline also worked alongside with Elizabeth, a newly baptised Catholic, who had heard about the initiative and responded with a desire to contribute, especially with experience with her son who is diagnosed with Down Syndrome.
“The growing need for such a class is increasing necessary. We are seeing more children with different abilities not attending catechism because parents may think their child may not understand, or the parents do not want to burden the catechists.
Another reason is that the parish do not have classes that cater to children with different abilities. As a consequence, many atypical children miss out on the joy of growing in our Lord through Catechism.”
–Ms Jaqueline Ho, Volunteer Catechist
All of us as children of God, are equal in dignity and share the same divine calling. Inclusion of people with different abilities in our faith enhances every aspect of our parish community.
A Gap, A Need For Inclusion In Our Parish Community
Jaqueline had observed over the years of Catechism as a volunteer teacher that there was a gap; a need in our parish and our churches- she has seen parents take their children out of class because the child may not benefit from the regular class or feel that their child has caused disruptions in class.
“I know of some parents who initially put the children in catechism but later pull them out of the class as they feel that their child just did not benefit from the normal curriculum.”
As the flame in her heart grew to care for other children, in addition to her own 5 children, Jaqueline confirmed with the rightful teams and people that the education curriculum can be adapted and or modified to meet the needs of children with abilities.
“Their presence in the program is a sign and symbol of God’s love for all!” Jaqueline quips.
Photographed here in the very first class, from left to right, Michael and Therese, both aged 10, who are diagnosed with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges.
Note: All photos published have been approved for publication by their parents
Disciples Making Disciples For the Kingdom of God
As each of us work towards our parish vision…
“A Vibrant and Loving Community of Disciples, Making Disciples for the kingdom of God”
In our midst, our parish already have a few disciples making disciples for the Kingdom of God:
“I conduct my L2 class in the morning and then teach this class in the afternoon physically in church and i look forward to both classes!”
–Ms Jaqueline Ho, Volunteer Catechist
We look up to our fellow sisters and brothers, like Jaqueline and Felicity, living up to the call of discipleship, being Priest Prophet and King, after the heart of Jesus Christ.
For parents who wish to enquire for children with any different abilities, Jaqueline has kindly offered to feel free to reach out for a chat:
Or you may also send in your interest to our Parish Office at:
Contributed by: Jaqueline Ho
Written & Interviewed by: Julianne Danielle Lim