February 2011 Top News


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February 2011


Top News

NCPD Press Release
on the Tragedy in Tucson Includes Perspective of Mental Health Care

Professional Development Series by NCCL and Ave Maria Press

Three Bills to Strengthen Protections for Life

National Committee for Human Life Action Alert

& Notes

Autism Task Force Survey

Catholic Social Ministry Gathering

CNS Story on NCPD Tucson Statement

News and Notes

Inclusion Tip on Accessible Information Technology

NCCL & Ave Maria Press Professional

Legislation/ Government

Three Bills to Strengthen Protections for Life and Conscience

Abortion Non-Discrimination Act


Maria Shriver Produces "The Alzheimer's Project"

NCPD Resources

Calendar of Events

Archived E-News

Click here

NCPD Releases Statement On Tucson Tragedy

The NCPD Council on Mental Illness has released a statement on the tragic January 8 shootings in Tucson, AZ. To read the full statement click here.  We encourage you to share this statement with your diocesan newspaper and other press contacts.  See more in the NCPD News and Notes section.


Sargent Shriver, Devout Catholic Activist dies at 95

At the first White Mass to celebrate the gifts of people with disabilities in the Archdiocese of Washington this past November, Sargent Shriver and the Kennedy family, longtime members of the Archdiocese, were honored for their service and leadership in initiatives of support for people with disabilities. Shriver, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease in the latter years of his amazing life, attended daily Mass until his death on January 18, 2011.

It was my honor* to have a few private minutes with Mr. Shriver at the reception following that White Mass in November.  I wanted to speak with him to extend my appreciation for his leadership in the founding and operation of such prominent institutions as Special Olympics and the Peace Corps, and to tell him directly what an inspiration and challenging model of leadership he had been for me and so many other lay Catholics.  I treasure the memory of those tender moments that we shared together.

 My mother died of Alzheimer’s, too, and something else I recall from that day and from other examples I read or heard about is the loving and very respectful way his family treated Sargent Shriver as he experienced the limitations consistent with advancing Alzheimers.  His daughter, Maria Shriver, wrote a book for her children and his other young grandchildren to explain the changes that were occurring in their grandfather.  What a truly pro-life message that family model communicates, that all life is precious and to be cherished.

We thank God for the life of Sargent Shriver and extend our prayers to his family in their loss.  May he and his wife, Eunice, rest in peace.

*Written by NCPD E-News Editor, Dr. Nancy Thompson


 NCPD News and Notes

NCPD Autism Task Force Survey  

The Autism Survey prepared by the NCPD Autism Task Force (ATF) closed for new input on January 31.  Thanks to the wonderful support you provided, we collected more data than we had thought possible.  Many diocesan directors forwarded the SurveyMonkey link to their parishes so we were able to collect high quality information from the diocesan, parish and parental perspectives.

The 476 responses came from 33 states.  Respondents included 67 diocesan staff, 245 parish staff, 55 catechists, 47 parents and 62 others.  The ATF is now working with the data and will share conclusions on the NCPD website when finished.  It will be part of the discussion at NCPD’s Roundtable at the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership Conference in May.  Diocesan reports are being constructed from data collected and will be sent to diocesan directors who requested them.

 Please be patient as the ATF works to compile and process the work.

NCPD Co-Sponsors Annual Catholic Social Ministry Gathering

Each February, NCPD joins with eleven other national Catholic organizations and five departments of the United States Conference of Catholic bishops to cosponsor the annual Catholic Social Ministry Gathering (CSMG) in Washington, DC.   This meeting brings together social justice and prolife leaders from throughout the United States to learn about current domestic and international issues of human life and dignity, and justice and peace. It also provides an opportunity to bring our concerns to our elected officials on Capitol Hill. 

The meeting this year is February 13-16.  For more information on CSMG click here.

Join us for NCPD’s pre-gathering meeting on Sunday, February 13 from  1:00 – 2:30 pm ET.

NCPD Statement on Tucson Tragedy

An article released by the Catholic News Service (CNS) quoted the Mental Illness Council statement in an article which began, “'The entire faith community is responsible, as individuals and collectively, for addressing the nation's mental health crisis that contributed to the tragedy in Tucson, Ariz.,' a Catholic organization said Jan. 26. The Council on Mental Illness of the National Catholic Partnership on Disability said an underfunded mental health system and the 'stigmatization, stereotyping and isolation from society' experienced by those who are mentally ill and their families were factors in the Jan. 8 shootings outside a Safeway grocery store in Tucson. Jared Lee Loughner, 22, is charged with killing six people and wounding 13, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., in the incident.”  To see their full article click below.

An article by Jerry Filteau in the National Catholic Reporter also focused on the Statement, noting that It urged people to educate themselves on the causes and treatment available for those with mental illness and advocate for better services for them.  The article quoted from the Statement  the following directive, “Welcome and value people with mental illness and their families into our parish life and help them overcome the isolation they often feel.”  Click here to read the full article. 


How NCPD Serves the Church in 2011 (Click here for full description)

Pro-life efforts

National Training Seminars (“Webinars”)

Parish Outreach to Veterans

NCPD Autism Task Force

Support for Priests with Low Vision: Large-Print Sacramentary/Lectionary Project

Additional Support for Diocesan Disability Directors and other Personnel

NCPD Council on Mental Illness

Spanish Language Translations

Three Good Gifts… We thank you for your support of NCPD this year…and for all the work you do to nurture the faith life of Catholics with disabilities.  Here are just three of the valuable resources NCPD provided in 2010, based on authentic Church teaching:

Webinars and toolkits on timely topics

National conference calls for diocesan directors of disability ministry

Resources for parish-based support of people with mental illness

IF these resources are valuable to you or someone you serve, consider supporting NCPD.  Click here for more information on how to support: http://www.ncpd.org/support.

Another Way to Support NCPD: Become a Friend of NCPD

Friends of NCPD contribute $1000 annually to provide additional seed money for the projects listed above. Become our first Friend of 2011!

Click here to be a Friend of NCPD:  http://www.ncpd.org/friends.

 Diocesan Director/ Organizational News and Notes

Marsha Rivas, Director, Equal Access Ministry, Diocese of Toledo 
February’s Inclusion Tip is Accessible Information Technology. Take a minute today and search for the accessibility features available on your computer or favorite mobile device. Universal Design is no longer a dream!  Click below to download the file.

National Conference for Catechetical Leadership (NCCL)

NCCL joined with the National Association for Lay Ministry (NALM) and Ave Maria Press to present a Professional Development Webinar Series for those who work and serve in the Church.   On February 15, 2011 from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. EST, Open Our Hearts:  Exploring the Spiritual Riches of Lent will be presented  by  Sr. Donna Ciangio, O.P. and Fr. Thomas Iwanowski.  To learn more about this free series, click on right.


 Government/Legislative News and Notes

Bishops Support Three Bills to Strengthen Protections for Life and Conscience
WASHINGTON (January 24, 2011)—Three bills currently in the U.S. House of Representatives would help ensure that adequate protections are in place for the consciences of taxpayers and health care providers and against federal funding of abortion: [The Protect Life Act], H.R. 358; Abortion Non-Discrimination Act (ANDA), H.R. 361; and the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, H.R. 3.  In three letters, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Episcopal Moderator of NCPD, urged House members to support the bills. 

National Committee for Human Life Amendment (NCHLA) Action Alert

In the face of a national campaign to force health care providers to participate in abortion, it is essential that Congress take action to protect the civil rights of health care professionals and other health care entities. On January 20, Reps. John Fleming (R-LA) and Dan Boren (D-OK) introduced the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act (ANDA) (H.R. 361) to strengthen existing federal conscience protection laws. The bill affirms the principle that no health care entity should be forced by government to perform or participate in abortions.“ Click below for the Action Alert and its links.

We urge you to send an e-mail to your Representative with the message: “Please cosponsor and support the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act, H.R. 361. No health care entity should be forced by government to perform or participate in abortions.”

Please click on the link in the article to send your message. Please act today!”


Alzheimer’s Disease 
Maria Shriver, a longtime advocate, was an executive producer of HBO's "The Alzheimer's Project," which included the Emmy-Award winning segment "Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am?" which is geared toward children and young teens coping with a grandparent's Alzheimer's. The film is based on her book, What's Happening to Grandpa?  Additional segments provide valuable resources that you can access for free and share on other important Alzheimer’s issues. Watch the films here.  Purchase the book.

NCPD Resources

Large Print Sacramentary and Lectionary.

Through an agreement with the USCCB, the National Catholic Partnership on Disability is able to offer large print Sacramentaries and Lectionaries to priests and deacons with visual impairment. These large print materials are available in three sizes: font size 24, 34 and 44. Click here for more information.


Mental Illness Resources


Welcomed and Valued  The DVD features in-depth looks at people with mental illness and how they participate in parish life.  (27 minute open captioned DVD).  Accompanying Resource Manual features 90+ pages of information, perspectives and tools to assist in the ministry with people with mental illness. 


National Catholic Network on Mental Illness -
Sign Up Now

In September, 2009, the NCPD Council on Mental Illness launched the National Catholic Network on Mental Illness (Network) to facilitate communication and sharing of resources and ideas from people interested in this ministry from throughout the US and the world.  A free monthly electronic newsletter, MI NETWORK NEWS, is provided to Network members.  Click here to sign up for the Network--membership is free. To view previous issues click on the logo.

Calendar of Events

Sunday to Wednesday,

February 13 - 16, 2011
Catholic Social Ministry Gathering
Click here for more information and to register.
Join us for NCPD’s pre-gathering meeting on Sunday, February 13 from 1:00 – 2:30 pm ET.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Open Our Hearts:  Exploring the Spiritual Riches of Lent 
3:00-4:00 p.m. EST- free webinar
Sponsored by NCCL, NALM and
Ave Marie Press
See flyer for more information.

Friday to Sunday, February 18-20, 2011
Victorious Missionaries Winter Retreat
Sponsored by the Victorious Missionaries
Presenter: Fr. Larry Gillick, S.J. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011
Archdiocese of Washington Department of Special Needs: Third Annual Conference on Faith, Deafness and Disabilities
Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Washington, DC
Contact Peg Kolm 301.853.4560 or visit http://www.adw.org/service/disable.asp for more information.

Sunday, March 20, 2011
Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Annual Archdiocesan Liturgy with Persons with Disabilities,
The Deaf Community, Family, Friends and Caregivers
Mass for Persons with Disabilities

Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, Philadelphia, PA

Contact Sr. Kathleen Schipani  215.587.3913

Sunday, April 10, 2011
That All May Worship – 2011

12:00 noon - 4:30pm
DoubleTree Hotel & Conference Center
Virginia Beach, VA
Sponsored by: Faith Inclusion Network
Click here for information

Sunday, May 22-26, 2011
NCCL Conference & Exposition
Celebrating Our Past, Shaping the Future
Hyatt Regency, Atlanta, GA
National Conference for Catechetical Leadership



Click here for archived versions of NCPD E-News.


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