What is SPICE?
SPICE stands for Special People In Catholic Education. It was initiated for a twofold purpose:
- To provide financial support to the philosophy and efforts that have already existed at St. Catharine Parish for years, i.e., that everyone is special and that St. Catharine Parish is committed to try to meet the needs of each of our student parishioners.
- To raise awareness in the parish and beyond of the needs that exist and what St. Catharine Parish has been doing to meet these needs.
SPICE has its own advisory board and is for the benefit of the entire parish. SPICE reports directly to the Pastor and Principal, and derives its direction and focus from Fr. Lumpe our pastor, Mrs. Janet Weisner, school principal, and Mrs. Chris Schleicher, director of the Religious Education Program.
Is SPICE going to make St. Catharine a Special Needs School?
Absolutely Not! SPICE was established to help St. Catharine meet the needs of our Parish children, most of who were already enrolled in our school or Religious Education Program before any special needs were even identified. It is our hope that SPICE will bring awareness to other parishes, so that they can do what St. Catharine is doing in their own parishes
Can St. Catharine meet all students’ special needs?
Good Question! The answer is probably not, but St. Catharine is committed to “try” to meet the needs of all of its parishioners. Everyone has different learning styles and needs. Sometimes the St. Catharine environment supersedes the benefits a more publicly funded school system can provide for a student. The bottom line is what is best for the individual student!
Why does St. Catharine bother trying to meet everyone’s needs?
Think about that! This question is best answered by another question. Why didn’t God make us all the same? Does everyone have the same needs and learning styles, and should those with special needs be ignored? Our Parish is an extension of the family, the basic unit of the Catholic Church. Just as parents try to do all they can for all their children, so does St. Catharine for all of its members.
Why haven’t we heard of what St. Catharine is doing before now?
People’s needs are a very private issue, especially when they involve special needs. Everyone loves their children and when they excel, people tend to talk about it. However, when they are struggling, parents tend to keep it confidential. St. Catharine understands and respects this, and has gone about their teaching without making it public what special things that they are doing and how often they are doing it. Unless you are personally involved with a student with special needs, and unless these needs are “visible” (and typically they are not), you have no idea what the parents, parish and school are involved with. St. Catharine has been doing great things for years for a large number of families, and the general population has not been aware of it.
What is the future of SPICE?
Excellent! SPICE has the complete support of the Diocese, our Pastor,
School Principal and Religious Education Program. We have received tremendous support and
encouragement from both within the parish and beyond. To date eight other parishes have started their own SPICE Program. Literally thousands of students’ lives have been touched because of SPICE.
Frequently Asked Questions
St. Catharine Church
500 S. Gould Rd