Accepted As They Are: South Africa's SPRED Program

An introduction to South Africa's Roman Catholic SPRED program. SPRED stands for Special Religious Education Development Programme and is the means through which the South African Church is bringing its mentally and physically disabled parishioners into the mainstream of the Church.



Program Eleven: Accepted As They Are: South Africa's SPRED Program



  • Missions Today (the magazine published by the Propagation of the Faith/English Canadian Branch. Online version.


Study Guide


The goal of Program Eleven is to introduce students to South Africa's SPRED Program and Sister Teresa Marie Healey, a Dominican Sister of South Africa and the founder of SPREDS. Interviews with Johannesburg's Archbishop Buti Tlhagale and others.


1. Show the internet TV DVD Program Eleven: Accepted As They Are: South Africa's SPRED Program

2. Ask students to form small groups to describe the following:

  • Describe some of the historic difficulties faced by people with disability, along with their parents, as members of the Church.
  • Describe the SPREDS program and what it is trying to do to help people of disabilities become full members of their local parishes.
  • What is your favourite comment from South Africa's Church leaders with regard to how they are trying to help people with disabilities.
  • What does the Canadian Church learn from the South African Church when it comes to helping people with disabilities?
  • Give three reasons why Canadian Catholics should support the work of the Church in South Africa.

3. Option for Take-Home Assignment

Via the Internet find more facts about:

  • The Church in South Africa and how its population fits into the overall religious character of the country.
  • Describe how students can help Propagation of the Faith support Catholics and their work in South Africa.
  • Locate Johannesburg Archdiocese on a map of South Africa.

In groups, make presentations to the class about any or all of the above.