Special Needs Ministries




Every human person—no matter how vulnerable or helpless, no matter how young or how old, no matter how healthy, handicapped or sick, no matter how useful or productive for society—is a being of inestimable worth created in the image and likeness of God. St. John Paul II.



Special Needs Ministry seeks to collaborate with Diocesan parishes, schools, and Catholic Charity agencies to create and establish special needs ministry opportunities, share resources, and provide support that will enhance the spiritual, social and physical well-being to under-served disability groups within our diocese.  The coordinator will focus on the following ministries:


Deaf/Hard of Hearing Ministry seeks to establish an active Catholic deaf community throughout the diocese, as well as facilitate communication between the deaf community and the parishes. The goal is for the deaf/hard of hearing to be fully included in the life of the Church.  Click here for list of Masses in your area.

Peer-to-Peer Ministry

Peer-to-Peer Ministry is an opportunity for participants with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and/or social challenges and their peers to interact together in a way that benefits both groups.  Role-models learn to relate to people with different needs and develop an increased understanding of the dignity of the human person and the various needs of all. Responsibility, leadership, and diplomacy are encouraged in all participants.  Participants with ASD or social challenges benefit from friendship facilitation and increased social opportunities.  It is expected that friendships will develop over time that will extend beyond the scheduled sessions and enrich the lives of all participants.


  • Consultation and In Service to Religious Education
  • Coordination of Special Religious Education Program
  • Retreats for Persons with Disabilities
  • Caregiver Retreats
  • Consultation to Parochial School Programs
  • Annual Mass & Lunch with Bishop


An accessible parish community is one where all persons are truly welcomed into the social, educational and liturgical life of the Community of Faith.  Opening paths to accessible parish, buildings, programs and most importantly as accessible Heart.

What Can You and Your Parish Do?

  • Educate and increase awareness of all parishioners about the needs of People with special needs
  • Make parish buildings accessible and provide handicap parking
  • Involve Persons with special needs in the liturgy and parish programs
  • Provide religious education adapted to the needs of Persons with special needs
  • Offer transportation when needed
  • Maintain contact through phone calls and visits to the homes of Persons with special needs