Prayer for Mental Illness Awareness Week

 October 5 to 11 is Mental Illness Awareness week. One in five families are affected by mental illnesses. For one in 17 it is serious and persistent. Our spirituality is a key component in the recovery process along with good mental and physical healthcare. In addition to our sacramental life, daily prayer is important. We offer this prayer to be said for supporting wellness and wholeness in our lives.

  1. I will recall that I am a child of God.  I am one who is created out of Love.  I am chosen, good, holy and have purpose...a task to perform here on Earth before I return to the Father.  I deserve to be treated as a person who has value and dignity.
  2. I will embrace my illness or my family member’s illness as a friend this day looking for what it is teaching me about the mystery of God and Life.
    • ]I will not allow the stigma of mental illness to defeat me this day.  I will choose to have power over stigma by detaching myself from the stigma.
    1. I will talk to someone today who will encourage me to see my goodness and holiness as a child of God.  Maybe we will share a prayer together for one another.
    2. I will look for humor and reasons to laugh and be happy.  Quiet joy will be my goal.
    3. I will read a passage from Scripture or something from a book of devotion, inspiration or spiritual reading that will encourage me to trust and hope in the power and love of God.
    4. I will seek twenty minutes of solitude, silence, prayer this day.  If my mind won’t quiet down, if my thoughts keep racing, I will offer that as my prayer to God.  If necessary and helpful, I will listen to soothing instrumental music or inspirational/religious music to quiet me and remind me that God is present.
    5. I will walk outdoors marveling at a sunrise, a sunset, the song of a bird, the soothing colors of nature...the serenity of green grass, a blue sky, the softness of the pastel colored blossoms of Springtime and the peaceful waters of a river, lake or stream that ripple and flow.  I will remind myself that everything in nature is a reflection of the Creator and pleases the Creator just as it is and so do I just as I am.
    6. I will delight in the knowledge that we are each created different because it is in our differences we make a more powerful and beautiful whole.  We each reflect a different aspect of the mystery of Life and God.  Individually and together we are a Masterpiece!
    7. In God is my hope and my joy.  I will give honor, glory and praise to God knowing and trusting what God has in store for me.  We do not seek or like suffering but our suffering can make us strong in many ways and more compassionate and loving to others...our brothers and sisters in the Lord.
    Knowing for sure that although I long for God, God’s longing for me is even greater.  I will rest in that knowledge this day. Amen
                                                   By Rita Sebastian Lambert
                                                                   Workshop on Spirituality 
    To download the pdf of this page click here.



Prayer Service for Mental Illness

 Prayer Service for National Day of Recovery and Understanding 

Clergy prays in Church with people

In 1990, the United States Congress designated the first full week in October as Mental Illness Awareness Week.  It has become customary to have Tuesday of that week be recognized as a National Day of Prayer for Recovery and Understanding in the hope that the faith communities would add their spiritual richness to the public observance.
This year, the day of prayer falls on Tuesday, October 7, which is also the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.  The National Catholic Partnership on Disability/Council on Mental Illness invites you to turn to Mary on that day, asking for her intercession.  We have prepared a sample prayer service to help you; use it as is, adapt it for your parish or group, or let the Spirit guide you to create your own.
The NCPD’s Mental Illness Network will come together at 3:00 pm that day (CDT) for a 30-minute prayer service via telephone.  We also invite all of you, to pause at that time and pray the 1st Glorious Mystery, The Resurrection, as a sign of our belief that through Christ suffering is redeemed.
To register for call, click here.
(Click here for instructions on how to pray the Rosary) 
See prayer service by clicking here.

Mental Illness Awareness Week



For information on Mental Illness Awareness Week 2014 and the National Day of Prayer and Recovery, click the button below.



Summer Prescription for Ministry Leaders

 Get your summer prescription here!

Click on button to access our recommendations!



NCPD Staff Person Wins National Award

Dr. Nancy Thompson awarded the Distinguished Service Award for 2014 by the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership 

May 21, 2014, St. Louis, MO.

Dr. Nancy receives award from Bill Miller, President of the NCCL Board of Directors.
Dr. Nancy Thompson and
the late Lee Nagel, Executive Director NCCL

Dr. Thompson, the Director of Programs and Diocesan Relations for the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD) and a leader in disability ministry received this prestigious award at the NCCL annual convention held May 19 - 22  in St. Louis, Missouri.

The award recognizes and applauds Dr. Thompson’s many years in developing catechetical materials to serve the needs of children and adults with disabilities.  Through her work, thousands of peoples have encountered the Good News of Jesus.

“Dr. Thompson’s energetic leadership at NCPD and her deep faith have benefited the entire church by creating practical, uplifting tools for catechesis and sacramental preparation for children and adults with many types of disabilities,” said Susanna Herro, Chairman of the Board of NCPD.

Since joining the staff of NCPD in 2007, Dr. Thompson has infused her work with the professionalism gained by earning her doctorate in applied ministries in 2000 with an emphasis that included ministry with people having disability. Her rich faith life, as a Discalced Carmelite Secular brings an additional dimension to her efforts. An area where she excels is providing countless hours of consultation to diocesan and parish staff.  Tom Racunas, Director of the Ministry with Persons with Disabilities for the Diocese of Wichita, Kansas said, “Dr. Thompson’s assessment of the status of the office of this ministry along with her loving and patient guidance was invaluable to me as a new director in 2010!  Dr. Thompson continues to be a resource and mentor to me.”

In an endeavor that will prove extremely valuable to the future church, Dr. Thompson has guided the volunteer professionals and family members of the NCPD’s Autism Task Force (ATF).  New catechetical and sacramental preparation resources to educate students on the autism spectrum and/or with intellectual and developmental disability will soon be available on the NCPD website,


Disability Rights Conference

Dr. Marie Hilliard, Chair of NCPD Board Ethics Committee; Susanna Herro, NCPD Board Chair, and Janice Benton, NCPD Executive Director will be attending the Disability Rights Leadership Institute on Bioethics on April 25 and 26. This is an event for disability rights advocates to advance the disability rights perspective on bioethics issues such as Withholding Medical Treatment, Assisted Suicide Laws, Reproductive Technologies and developing advocacy strategies on these issues. We will share news from the conference next week.

Co-sponsors include the National Disability Leadership Alliance, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, the National Council on Independent Living, and Not Dead Yet.


National Prayer Vigil for Life: Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities

National Prayer Vigil for LifeThere are limited seats available for persons with disabilities at the National Prayer Vigil for Life on Tuesday January 21st (the evening before the March for Life).

To request an accommodation, please fill out the "Request for Accommodation" form at the link below.



Disability Article Featured in US Catholic Magazine

Real presence: What Catholics with developmental disabilities bring to the table

Catholic churches strive to welcome those with developmental disabilities through special ministries and a change in attitude. Like many other lifelong Catholics, Danny Benavidez, a member of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Chula Vista, California, helps out at his parish in a number of ways. On Thursdays he serves as a eucharistic minister. Every other Sunday he delivers communion to the homebound. Once a month he listens to the “talking, talking, talking” at his Knights of Columbus meeting. And once a week—usually Tuesday—he stops into a neighboring parish to visit an old friend, who is now a deacon. Benavidez, who has Down syndrome, is a third-degree Knight. He was an altar server for 20 years. Since 1981 he has been involved in his parish’s Faith and Light community for people with developmental disabilities and their family members and friends. Passionate about his faith, he joyfully greets his pastor at Mass every week. -

See more at:




Enjoy Cardinal DiNardo's Blog on Partnership 2013

 A Shepherd's Message - Nov. 11, 2013

The weekend of Nov. 1 to 3, beginning with the Solemnity of All Saints, was a beautiful one for our Archdiocese.

That weekend, we hosted a national conference of the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD). I have been a board member of this very energetic group for some years, and it was a pleasure to welcome so many persons to our local Church.

I was also honored to be able to deliver the keynote address for the Saturday night dinner and to be principal celebrant for the final liturgy on Sunday.

The conference was titled, Partnership 2013: Where Faith and Disability Meet. It was truly an encounter of Catholic Faith and persons of different abilities and disabilities. It was a showcase of accessibility on all levels and was attentive to languages and cultures.


NCPD Board Chair Emeritus on NPR Regarding Organ Donation

Click the NPR grapic to listen to Stephen Mikochik, Esq. discuss on "Morning Edition" how a proposed organ donation policy can work against people with disabilities by devaluing their lives in favor of potential organ recipients.

NPR Logo Woman watching son in hospital bed.


Read latest letter in opposition to proposed policy changes.
Read Not Dead Yet letter opposing OPTN/UNOS proposed policy changes.
See Action Alert on emailing the organ donation board that will issue decision (OPTN/UNOS).
Supporting statement from the National Catholic Bioethics Center.


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