Archbishop Wuerl to celebrate Partnership Mass for persons with disabilities

Individuals and parishes to be honored for contributions to ministry for persons with disabilities

November 26, 2008

Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl will be the principal celebrant for the Archdiocese of Washington’s Partnership Mass with Persons with Disabilities:

Sunday, November 30, 2008
2:00 p.m.
St. Mary of the Mills Church
114 St. Mary’s Place, Laurel, Maryland

The Mass celebrates the 30th anniversary of the United States Catholic bishops’ pastoral statement, Welcome and Justice for Persons with Disabilities – a Framework of Access and Inclusion. This document created a blueprint for a welcoming and inclusive church. At the end of the Mass a number of individuals and parishes will be recognized for significant contributions they have made to ministry for persons with disabilities:

St. Rose of Lima Parish in Gaithersburg, MD will receive the St. John Vianney Award for setting aside a portion of the parish property to host a group home for adults with developmental disabilities that is to be built in partnership with Montgomery County.

Monsignor V. James Lockman, pastor of Annunciation Parish in Washington, DC and former pastor of St. Mary of the Mills Parish in Laurel, MD will receive the Good Shepherd Award, given to a priest who has been an advocate for the disabled at his parish. Msgr. Lockman supported the development and expansion of an inclusion program at St. Mary of the Mills church and school, helping to create a welcoming and inclusive parish.

Terrence Sheehan, M.D., chief medical officer at Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital, will receive the Howard “Rocky” Stone Award, given to a lay Catholic whose leadership and commitment has helped the life and dignity of persons with disabilities. He helped lead the Archdiocese of Washington-Adventist Housing Workgroup, which developed a unique public-private partnership to support independent living by placing clients who have spinal cord injury in accessible apartments with attendant care.

In recognition of the 30th anniversary of the pastoral statement, three additional Legacy Awards will recognize outstanding work for person with disabilities:

Deacon Ulysses S. Rice of the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, DC, for his work with the Blind Awareness Project

Father Joseph R. Sileo, pastor of Holy Face Parish in Great Mills, MD for his work as a special educator and pastor

Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Potomac, MD for its inclusive Catholic education and its vision in founding Potomac Community Resources, Inc., which provides over 30 recreational and educational programs for teens and adults with developmental disabilities.

Susan Gibbs
Director of Communications
[email protected]