National Events

 Connecting at Regional/National Events

Below is a list of upcoming regional/national gatherings with some sessions related to disability issues and concerns. If you want to connect with NCPD staff and representatives and other diocesan leaders click here and indicate which meeting(s) you will be attending (you may check more than one) and an NCPD representative will reach out to you before the meeting. 

Click here to add your name to those who would like to try to meet-up at the event.
Recognizing the Body of Christ: Past, Present, and Future
On November 15, 2018, NCPD will host a symposium at the John Paul II Shrine in Washington D.C. entitled Recognizing the Body of Christ: NCPD Past, Present, and Future. The keynote speaker of the event will be Dr. Miguel Romero who spoke at the October, 2017 Vatican conference entitled Catechesis and Persons with Disabilities: A Necessary Engagement in the Pastoral Life of the Church. The symposium will also include brief talks from various individuals with disabilities within the Church, and time for small and large group discussion to envision the future of this evolving ministry.
Following the Symposium will be a Mass, reception, dinner, and silent auction to commemorate forty years of ministry since the U.S. Catholic Bishop’s Pastoral Statement on Persons with Disabilities. During this celebration, NCPD will award Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President of the USCCB & past Episcopal Moderator of NCPD, as well as Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, for their influence in promoting the mission of the Pastoral Statement. In addition, ministry pioneers and leaders will be acknowledged for their key contributions to our shared mission.
Please make plans to join us for the symposium and 40th anniversary celebration. Watch the NCPD website for updates on costs and lodging.
Catholic Social Ministry Gathering

February 3 - 6, 2018
Building Community: A Call to the Common Good

Omni Shoreham Hotel
Washington, DC
Click here

Mid Atlantic Congress (MAC) Blessed as Living Witnesses
Association of Catholic Publishers (ACP), the Archdiocese of Baltimore
February 15-17, 2018
Baltimore, MD
NCPD will conduct a three-hour "Boot Camp" on Thurs, Feb. 15.
Click here

The 2018 Los Angeles Religious Education Congress
March 15, 2018 (Youth Day) &
March 16-18, 2018
Anaheim, CA
Click here


NCEA 2018 Convention & Expo
April 3 – 5, 2018
At the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati, OH.
Click here
2018 National Conference for Catechetical Leadership
National Association for Lay Ministry | Federation for Catechesis with Hispanics

May 30- June 2 | Annual Conference for NCCL & NALM
June 2 | FCH Post Conference
Hyatt Regency O’Hare
Rosemont, IL

2018 Summer Institute on Theology and Disability

Raleigh, North Carolina
June 11-14, 2018
Click here

The 2018 NAMI National Convention
New Orleans Louisiana
June 27-30, 2018
Click here
NACFLM Conference
July 15-18, 2018
Lafayette, Louisiana
Click here


12th Annual Dallas Ministry Conference

October 11 - 13, 2018
Irving Convention Center
Irving, TX
Click here



Vatican Conference on Catechesis and Persons with Disability: 
A Necessary Engagement in the Daily Pastoral Life of the Church
October 20-22, 2017

Held in Rome at the Pontifical University Urbaniana
Please complete the registration form in the link and email it to  There is a €30/$30 contribution to be paid by each participant upon arrival at the Conference. Fee can be paid online with registration.
Website below.

National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers Conference,

July 23-26, 2017
Pre-Conference July 22-23, 2017
The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC


April 18-20 – National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) 2017 Convention & Expo
St. Louis, Missouri 
Workshops/Connect with:
  • Doreen Engel, former NCPD Board member and Guidance Counselor and Benilde Director, St. Raphael Academy, Diocese of Providence, and Maggie Hubbard, Director for Special Education, Archdiocese of Washington (“Special Education Programs K – 12: Models and Possibilities for Special Needs Students”)
  • Dr. Michael Boyle, NCPD Board member and director, Andrew M. Greeley Center for Catholic Education at Loyola University in Chicago (“Ensuring a Place at the Table: Serving the Exceptional Learner in Catholic Schools”)
  • Linda Porter, Diocese of Tyler (“Bridging the Gap: Faith Formation for Special Needs”)
  • Dr. Pam Bernards, NCEA Director of Professional Development and NCPD Board member ·        and NCPD Board member Michael Boyle (“New Directions…One Spirit, One Body: An Agenda for Serving Students with Disabilities in Catholic Education”)
    ·        Other workshops:
    o   “The Benefits of Including Students with Special Needs in Catholic Schools” by Amy Schroff
    o   “Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), A Primer and Guidance from the U.S. Department of Education” by Pamela Allen
    o   “(No) Know Differentiation Strategies Really Work! Five Differentiation Strategies You Can Use Monday Morning!” by Ellen Wedemeyer
    o   “All God’s Children” by Mary Wisniewski
    o   “Universal Design for Learning: Knowledge You Will Flip For” by Maggie Mosher

May 22-25 – National Conference for Catechetical Leadership (NCCL) Transformative Leadership Conference
Dallas, Texas,
Connect with:
  • Janice Benton, NCPD executive director
  • Esther Garcia, NCPD manager of programs and outreach
Both will be attending the full conference and the pre-conference gathering hosted by the Federation for Catechesis with Hispanics.

June 19-21 – NCEA New Directions Exceptional Learners Conference
Chicago, IL 

Connect with:
  • Janice Benton, NCPD executive director
  • NCPD Board members Dr. Pam Bernards and Dr. Michael Boyle (positions described above)
  • Brighid McGann, Resource Consultant, Archdiocese of Washington
The meeting consists of professional development sessions, inspirational keynotes and networking opportunities. Evidence-based approaches will be presented to address students with diagnosed disabilities, as well as students who are struggling in the classroom.



July 1-4 – Convocation of Catholic Leaders: The Joy of the Gospel,
Orlando, FL,
sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)

Connect with a delegation from NCPD, including:
  • Janice Benton, Executive director
  • Sr. Kathleen Schipani, Director, Office for Persons with Disabilities & Deaf Apostolate
  • Archdiocese of Philadelphia and NCPD Board chair
  • Marsha Rivas, Coordinator, Office for People with Disabilities, Diocese of Toledo and NCPD Board chair-elect
  • Walter Bonam, Associate Director for Evangelization and the Catechumenate, Archdiocese of New Orleans and NCPD Board member
  • Michael Adamus, Disability advocate, former director of disability ministry in the Diocese of Erie, and Knight of Columbus
  • Chris Miller, Coordinator of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, St. Christopher Parish, Diocese of San Jose and member, NCPD Council on Mental Illness
  • NCPD manager of programs and outreach Esther Garcia
Attendees at this conference must come through their diocesan delegation; scholarship funds may be available.  If you are interested in attending, contact your diocesan office coordinating delegation members for the convocation. 
For further information visit: 

July 23-26 – NACFLM Conference: The Missionary Impulse Within Our Families
Washington, D.C.
Workshops/Connect with:
  • Deacon Tom Lambert, founding co-chair of the NCPD Council on Mental Illness ( “Supporting Families Affected by Mental Illness”)
  • Janice Benton, NCPD executive director (“Disability in Family and Parish Life: Embraced or Challenged?”)

Oct. 19-21, 2017- 11th Annual Dallas Ministry Conference: Walking Together in Faith
at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas, TX,  
Connect with:


  • Melissa Waldon, Associate Director on Disabilities and Catechesis to Persons with Special Needs from Catholic Diocese of Dallas and member, NCPD Council on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities



Programma EN11.17.pdf337.95 KB
Form - Waiver and Release NCPD revised - Final - English - fillable.pdf282.77 KB
Form - Waiver and Release revised Final - Espanol - fillable).pdf287.69 KB
Exhibit and Video Guidelines - Vatican Conf - Final.pdf605.25 KB