To the Religious Education Teacher Who Answered Our Prayers

My son, Dominic, was born on July 25, 2004 and baptized into the Catholic Church on October 10, 2004. When he was diagnosed with autism at 2 and a half years old, having him make his First Holy Communion seemed so far into the future that anytime my husband brought up the topic, I would say things like, “Sometime” and “Let’s wait until he is ready.” By the summer of 2012, the hubby had finally persuaded me to sign Dominic up for religious education classes at our parish, though part of me (OK, a lot me), was really, really hesitant. I prayed and prayed, knowing there had to be another option out there for Dominic, but with the first day of class rapidly approaching, I’d to come to terms with the fact there wasn’t. 

About a week before the start of class, I got an e-mail from the director of religious education at our church. She knew about Dominic’s autism and asked me if I would be interested in having him enroll in a special needs religious education class that was slated to begin at a different Catholic parish in the fall of 2012. Who says prayers are never answered?

Dominic went through two years of preparation with his teacher, Mrs. W. (Patty), and on May 3, 2014, he made his First Holy Communion.


There are truly no words to express what a special day that was. Having the entire summer to reflect on the experience, a special thank you to Patty is most definitely in order:

Dear Patty:

How do I begin to thank you? It’s been beyond awesome to watch Dominic grow each week as he actively participates in mass. When we sit down each night for dinner and Dominic leads us in prayer, with his eyes closed tight and hands clasped, my heart is beyond full. Thank you so much for making such a permanent and lasting impact not just on Dominic but on our entire family. We’re overjoyed, grateful and especially thankful that you are again teaching Dominic this fall as you lead him towards making his Confirmation. You are truly a remarkable woman of faith, and I hope and pray that one day, I’m half the woman you are. 


With much love and affection,


For all of November, The Mighty is celebrating the people we don’t thank enough. If you’d like to participate, please submit a thank you note along with a photo and 1-2 sentence bio to [email protected].

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