Persons with Disabilities
All Are Welcome
The Archdiocesan Office with Persons with Disabilities fulfills the Archdiocese’s spirit that “All Are Welcome,” most importantly, people with disabilities. The Office with Persons with Disabilities and these ministries are here to serve you as you intentionally welcome and include people of all abilities in the life of the Church in Chicago.
This Office brings together the various ministries of the Archdiocese of Chicago that provide for the participation of individuals with disabilities and their families in all aspects of parish life:
- Commission on Mental Illness
- Faith and Fellowship
- Misericordia Home
- Office of the Deaf
- Spred (Special Religious Development)
- Pathways.org TEAM W: That Every Ability May Worship
The Office with Persons with Disabilities and these ministries are here to serve you as you intentionally welcome and include people of all abilities in the life of the Church in Chicago.
The Catholic Office of the Deaf, part of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago, is responsible for the pastoral care of deaf and hard-of-hearing persons, as well as their families, in the Archdiocese of Chicago. This pastoral care of the deaf involves:
Sacramental ministry of the Church
Religious education of children
Information & referral
Formation & training in ministerial leadership
Guarantee of communication access to worship and all other activities of the Catholic Church.
Fr. Joseph Mulcrone
3525 South Lake Park Avenue
Chicago, IL 60653
The Office of the Deaf is responsible for the pastoral care of deaf and hard-of-hearing persons, as well as their families, in the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Deacon Tom Lambert
Faith and Fellowship
Archdiocesan Commission on Mental Illness
The Commission is part of the Chicago Archdiocesan Pastoral Network with Persons with Disabilities. Its purpose is to educate and resource parishes on the spiritual and supportive needs of persons with serious mental illnesses such as bi-polar disease, major depressive illnesses, schizophrenia, and personality disorders, among others. Since mental illness not only affects the individual with the disease but also family members, the needs of the entire family are addressed.
In carrying out its mission of making the Church a more loving, inclusive, and supportive place for people with mental illness and their families, the Commission networks and collaborates with parishes, other diocesan agencies, the National Catholic Partnership on Disabilities/Council on Mental Illness, and a variety of public organizations.
Faith and Fellowship
The mission of Faith and Fellowship is to provide opportunities for prayer and faith sharing in a format tailored to the unique needs of people living with a mental illness. Recognizing the isolation they may often experience, Faith and Fellowship strives to offer a welcoming sense of belonging through the formation of communities of faith, and by fostering inclusion in the life and activities of the parish community. Faith and Fellowship groups consist of 10 to 15 adults including approximately equal numbers of members with a mental illness and volunteers from local churches. They meet semi-weekly as partners in prayer and socialization.
For more information contact Connie Rakitan, 708.383.9276, [email protected]
Rev. Jack Clair
The mission of Misericordia Home is to support individuals with developmental disabilities in maximizing their level of independence and self-determination within an environment that fosters spirituality, dignity, respect and enhancement of quality of life.
The mission of Pathways.org TEAM W: That Every Ability May Worship is to assist parishes to create caring communities where parishioners of all abilities and their families know they belong because they are welcomed as participants in worship, liturgical ministries, religious education and social events. The goal of TEAM W is to weave accessibility and a sense of belonging for parishioners of all abilities into the fabric of parish life. Pathways.org TEAM W: That Every Ability May Worship provides educational materials at ww.team-w.org, annual TEAM W and Junior TEAM W Awards grants of up to $1,000, TEAM W Month and parish TEAM W Ministry resources to help parishes welcome parishioners of all abilities and their families.
- TEAM W Month – TEAM W Month keeps hearts and minds open to intentionally welcoming people of all abilities through educational activities, liturgies, preaching and teaching throughout the month. Planning materials, bulletin items, educational handouts and more are available at www.team-w.org.
- TEAM W Awards grants – Application deadline is October 1 each year. Grants of up to $1,000 are available to support projects that welcome individuals of all abilities in parishes, religious education programs and Catholic schools nationwide. Application forms and more information are available by clicking here.
- Annual Mass Celebrating The Lives Of People With Mental Illness, Their Families, Friends and Mental Health Professionals – St Gertrude’s Catholic Church, 6200 North Glenwood, Chicago, IL. For more information please contact: Deacon Tom Lambert at [email protected]
www.team-w.org – Educational materials, grants, events and handouts to assist parishes and agencies of the Archdiocese of Chicago to create caring, accessible communities of faith where parishioners of all abilities and their families are welcomed and can participate in all aspects of parish life.
National Catholic Partnership on Disability
Jan Benton, Executive Director
Pastoral Statement of U.S. Bishops on People with Disabilities (Link)
Guidelines for the Celebration of the Sacraments with Persons with Disabilities (Link)
Welcome and Justice for Persons with Disabilities (Link)
National Catholic Partnership on Disability (Link)