Diocesan Director - Organizational News and Notes

Diocesan Director/ Organizational News and Notes

June, 2011

June's Inclusion Tip: Service Animals
from Marsha Rivas, Diocese of Toledo's  Director, Equal Access Ministries
Tip Sheet
Welcoming service animals is just another way parishes make the Sacraments, and therefore Christ, accessible to all.
Learn what your community can do to encourage parents to carry to term.
Be Not Afraid-Charlotte to Hold First Annual Service Providers Conference.

The teachings of the Catholic Church regarding the dignity of every human life are not only intended to inform parents who might choose to abort following a prenatal diagnosis, but also to inform the response to these babies who are our most vulnerable unborn. It is the responsibility of the Church to provide pastoral care and works of mercy to those in crisis.  Join us to learn what your community can do to encourage parents to carry to term.  To receive regular email updates, please email benotafraidnc@live.com. To be added to our conference mailing list, see details in the Calendar.

Disability Ministry Pioneer Kitty Kruse Receives Papal Award
From Marsha Rivas, Disability Minister of the Toledo  Diocese

Exciting news! Kitty Kruse (aka Catherine) is one of only 11 people in the Diocese of Toledo to receive a Papal Award for her lifelong ministry with people with disabilities and for establishing the diocesan office of Equal Access Ministries. This is a wonderful honor for Kitty and for the Office!

These Pontifical Honors were presented on Sunday, June 12 at the Pentecost Vespers in the Cathedral at 5pm along with the Diocesan Centenary Awards.

Congratulations can be sent to Kitty c/o Marsha Rivas at: 
1933 Spielbusch Avenue
Toledo, OH  43604-5360

Portland Disability Ministry Director Presents at Press Briefing at Bishops Meeting

Following the USCCB Bishops meeting where the statement regarding physician assisted suicide, To Live Each Day with Dignity was approved 99-1, Portland resident Dorothy Coughlin presented a reflection on the issue as it relates to people with disabilities.  Click button for the full reflection. 

Read_More_jpg 6"As a resident of Oregon, the first state to legalize assisted suicide, and a family member of a person with profound developmental disability, I am acutely aware of how the passage of physician-assisted suicide has had an adverse impact on the lives of people with disabilities."

Reflects on the Life of Mattie Stepanek
from Peg Kolm, Coordinator Office for Ministry of People with Disabilities, Archdiocese of Washington

Mattie Stepanek, the late poet and author, was our local hero…surviving the storms of his rare muscular dystrophy for nearly 14 years, and publishing many bestselling books of poetry before his death in 2004.  His deep Catholic spirituality led the late Cardinal Hickey to call Mattie a “messenger.”  His mother, Jeni Stepanek, has written a biography of her son, which takes its own place on the New York Times bestseller list.  Messenger: The Legacy of Mattie J.T. Stepanek and Heartsongs” appeared on the NY Times e-book bestseller list June 5, 2011.  The memoire details Mattie’s earliest years through his final days of life.

Oprah Winfrey called the book “a wonderful story” about “her guy,” whom she said was a “messenger for our times.” Messenger is the last book to ever be held up by Oprah during the 25 year run of the Oprah Winfrey Show. The book has also been featured on Good Morning America, was named Larry King’s ‘Book of the Month Pick, and selected as one of Soul Salon International’s ‘Top Ten Books of the Year. Messenger is the full story of Mattie – “the poet, the peacemaker, and the philosopher who played.” 

More information about the late poet and author is at www.mattieonline.com

Editor’s note:  The cause is being brought forward for the canonization of Mattie Stepanek.  Watch for updates.

First time ever Options Students Named Prom King and Queen.
from Chris Desmarais, Director Options Program, Paul VI Catholic High School (used with permission)
Read_More_jpg 7
As the final weeks of school approached at Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, there was increasing anticipation of one of the most unforgettable nights in high school: prom. It was an especially unforgettable night for seniors Evan Patchett and Tasha Adkins-Blanch, who were the first Options students ever to be named prom king and queen. The Options Program integrates students with intellectual disabilities into regular classrooms.  

Getting Creative for Catechesis of Children with Autism
Gretchen R. Crowe, Catholic Herald Senior Staff Writer  (used with permission)

Read_More_jpg 8No ‘one size fits all’ curriculum for catechesis of children with autism means parents and catechists must find creative solutions. This article reflects some of the diverse approaches used.  Gretchen’s article is provided in full at the "Read More" button.
  BlogGretchen also put together a blog as a sort of “catch-all” for things she simply didn’t have space to put in the “dead tree edition.” Hopefully you’ll find this interesting/helpful as well.