Diocesan Committee for the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities

By the Diocese of Evansville Office of Catechesis
Special to The Message

In January 2019, the Diocese of Evansville Office of Catechesis invited individuals with interest in the area of persons with disabilities to an informational meeting. This group discussed the feasibility of forming a committee to assist parish leadership.

After determining (through a diocesan survey and a year’s study) that a committee could serve this diocese for the inclusion of persons with disabilities, the Committee for the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities was formed. The committee drafted its mission and goals, and sent them to Bishop Siegel, who approved them.

The mission of the Committee for Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities is to promote maximum participation of all persons in the life of the Church.

The goals of the committee are to:
● Work to raise awareness and provide a deeper understanding of disabilities to parish communities
● Create a partnership with parish leadership and parishes through the role of a parish liaison
● Develop a diocesan website with information (resources, agency contacts, best practices) in response to parish needs
● Provide opportunities for education and training

The members of the committee are Carol Ann Gaddis, Annie-Rose Keith, Janie Kempf, David Memmer, Martha Pitt, Cinda and Tom Sanderson, and Bev Williamson. In addition, the following diocesan staff will serve: Steve Dabrowski (Office of Youth and Young Adults); Eric Girten (Office of Family and Life); and Kathy Gallo, Mary Kaye Falcony and Andie Gunter (Office of Catechesis).

There will be a monthly column in The Message on various topics that touch the lives of our brothers and sisters living with disabilities.

In closing, we ask our loving God to help us to reach out to welcome and embrace all people. Bless each individual as they grow in faith, knowledge and friendship with God. May they always be accompanied with loving companions who celebrate their special gifts, which bring beauty and wonder to the Body of Christ.