A Message from Helen Burland, Executive Director

A Letter to Parents

Dear Parents,

In an effort to support you in your work providing a foundation of faith for your children that they can hopefully draw on throughout life, I offer these articles and information to parents, catechists, and pastors.

While these can apply to all children, I am particularly talking to parents who have children with an autism spectrum disorder, other developmental disability, or ADHD, because as with everything else, it seems you have to work harder than other parents at the task. At best, this is sometimes without the help of your church, and other times it is seemingly at odds with it. However, it is truly the desire of your church to support you and walk with you on this journey and it is your right that we should do so.

You have probably often heard that parents are the primary examples of religious faith in a child’s life. No matter how unqualified you may feel about this, the love you give to your child each day: the sacrifices you make, the nurturing of your child’s spirit, the limits set and teaching right from wrong–these are all seeds of God’s love that you plant in your sons and daughters. In fact, a child’s image of God typically reflects their experience of their parents’ love.

The ideas suggested in all the downloadable resources on this website are just some possibilities. Don’t worry about trying to do them all or trying to do them perfectly. Pick one thing that catches your attention and seems easy to do. If it doesn’t go as you had hoped or expected, DON’T WORRY! Faith, like all of life, is a journey and our journey is part of who we are (even though there are often parts we would like to skip!). That applies to how long it takes for your son or daughter to learn a prayer, a response or a behavior. Whether it takes ten days or five years, it doesn’t matter. The fact that you are doing what you can is all that counts. We all have a lifetime for this journey.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me at the number/email below if you need assistance. I’m here to help!


Helen Burland
Executive Director

Other Messages

About Helen Burland

Helen Burland, Executive Director, joined Saint Catherine Academy and Center in 2008. She is a graduate of Fairfield University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Previously she was the Town Administrator for the Town of Madison. She served 8 years on the Madison Board of Education, including three years as Vice Chairman, and served as Chair of the Board of Finance. Helen has also served on the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions Board at Fairfield University.