Archdiocese To Showcase Support for Those with Special Needs

March 14, 2011

Where is our faith when our lives are challenged? Find out at the Archdiocese of Washington’s Third Annual Faith, Deafness and Disabilities Conference. A Mass will be celebrated by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, and will also include several workshops:

Saturday March 19, 2011
Registration opens at 8:00 a.m., Mass at 11:00 a.m.
Blessed Sacrament School
5841 Chevy Chase Parkway, NW
Washington, DC

The conference will showcase how the archdiocese and local communities support those with special needs. Workshops will focus on local parish efforts and community-based services and programs. Simultaneous Spanish and ASL translation will be provided. Additionally, resource teachers from Catholic schools will volunteer their time to provide child care for children with special needs, allowing their parents to focus on the workshops.
Among the keynote speakers at the conference is Tony Melendez, who will speak on “Empowering Hispanic Catholics who have Disabilities.” Tony was born without arms after his mother was prescribed thalidomide; a drug once used to help calm morning sickness. Tony learned to use his feet for his day to day care, and even became an expert guitar player. In 1987, he performed for Pope John Paul II.
The conference will be moderated by Rev. William Byrne, Secretary for Pastoral Ministry and Social Concerns of the Archdiocese of Washington. The primary sponsor of the conference is Potomac Community Resources, Inc., which provides recreational and social opportunities for teens and adults with developmental differences. Other sponsors include the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Institute of Catholic Charities, the Catholic Coalition for Special Education, Catholic Radio station WMET 1160 AM, and the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind.

For more information or to register, visit or contact Peg Kolm, Department of Special Needs Ministries at 301-853-4560 or [email protected]

Brie Hall
Office of Communications
[email protected]