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Families, Advocates Discuss Ways the Church Can Welcome Persons With Disabilities

L to R: Bella Santorum, shown sitting on the lap of her father, Rick, during her first Communion Mass at Our Lady of Knock in Ireland, offers a bright light to the world, as does Legionary Father Matthew Schneider, who has a form of autism and is shown with his fourth-grade teacher, Bryan Szumlas, now superintendent of Calgary Catholic School District.

As the bishops plan a new pastoral statement for persons with disabilities, advocates look for acknowledgment of new realities and diagnoses and encouragement of greater inclusion.


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