Autism Task Force Survey

The Autism Task Force survey has closed.
Results to come soon!

The Autism Task Force pictured has conducted a survey in an effort to ensure that the welcome persons with disabilities receive in the Church continues to improve.

The ATF is working to review and develop strategies and resources that will assist (arch)dioceses/parishes to more effectively include individuals with ASD and their families, into the full life of the Church.

Your responses to this survey are vital to determine the current state of this specialized ministry. We anticipate that information gathered will indicate existing strengths and challenges around the country. This will directly assist the ATF in their efforts to improve and increase the breadth and depth of materials available to catechetical leaders (and catechists) to more successfully invite, welcome and appreciate persons with disabilities, especially those with ASD, in the Church.

NCPD Autism Task Force pictured : Katie Coughlin, Kim Lieb, Larry Sutton, Nancy Thompson, Charleen Katra, Jennifer Borek (not present: Mary Ann Walsh and Dan Mulhall)




Monthly Bioethics Report posted

Click here for the October Bioethics report from the National Catholic Bioethics Center.


NCPD Webinar: Poor Prenatal Diagnosis


Thank you to all who attended the webinar on Prenatal Diagnosis. We hope that you found it a valuable addition to your awareness of this topic, and a ready resource for ministering to those who receive a prenatal diagnosis.

  To replay the webinar click below.


For Powerpoint printouts and other resources, click below.

The New Eugenics: Eliminating the “Undesirable” by Prenatal Diagnosis


The trends in the purposes of prenatal testing
is explored in this article. 

"The last quarter-century has produced phenomenal advances in prenatal testing: ultrasound; testing for Rh incompatibility; infectious disease testing or testing for antibodies; maternal serum protein testing; amniocentesis; chorionic villus sampling; umbilical cord blood sampling; chromosomal and genetic testing of both parents and fetus. Yet, the question needs to be asked: to what end is this list of techniques continually enlarged?
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reports that 90% of its surveyed members justify abortion for fetal anomalies that are fatal, and 63% justify abortion when the anomalies are not fatal. Thus, nearly two-thirds of the physicians responding, physicians entrusted with the care of mother and unborn child, embrace eugenics. ..."

Article by Dr. Marie Hilliard, JCL, PhD, RN., Chair NCPD Committe on Ethics and Public Policy and the Director of Bioethics and Public Policy, National Catholic Bioethics Center.



National Catholic Bioethics Center Monthly Documents Available

Reports from the National Catholic Bioethics Center on the state of bioethics and public policy are availabe by clicking here. These reports include information regarding conscience provisions, cloning and marriage, among other issues.


Upcoming Webinar

Threats to the Life of People With Disabilities, Part 1:
Poor Prenatal Diagnosis of Lethal
or Non-lethal Conditions & Disability:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010
1:00-2:30 p.m. Eastern        12:00-1:30 p.m. Central
11:00 a.m. -12:30 p.m. Mountain      10:00-11:30 a.m. Pacific

 Issues addressed include:

  • Examination of medical issues
  • Catholic Church teaching
  • Pastoral, family & medical support
  • Live Q & A
  • Real-time captioned



Mental Health Month 2010

May is Mental Health Month

May is a good time to talk about mental illness and the effects on the individual and the family. Some suggestions:
·         use the bulletin articles on the NCPD website (click here)
·         use the article on “Stained Glass Window” that talks about inclusion (attached)
·         Prayers of the faithful (click here)
·         Show the DVD “Welcomed and Valued” (click here)
·         Use information from the “resource binder” for an article on mental illness (click here for resource binder or here to order printed version)
·         Host a mass celebrating the lives of people with mental illness, their families, care givers
·         Celebrate St Dymphna’s feast day May 15th (see homily - can be modified to suit local needs and used in an article for bulletin or other publication)
·         Resources:
            NAMI -
            Pathways to Promise -
            Mental Health Ministries -
            Archdiocese Chicago Mental Illness Ministries -



Previous Webinar

Advanced Considerations:
Mental Illness in Youth and Young Adults
June 10, 2010 1:00- 2:00 PM Eastern



Presenter Presented by the NCPD Council on Mental Illness as part of its Welcomed and Valued Initiative, and the National federation for Catholic Youth Ministry, helping parishes support the spiritual life of youth and young adults.

Click here for flyer. 


Dr. Robert McCarty,
Executive Director of  NFCYM

Dr. Paul Myers, Director of Student Health Services,
University of Portland, OR.

Linea Johnson is a self-advocate,motivational speaker, author, and blogger.
She is a recent college graduate with a degree in creative writing and English from
Seattle University, in Washington.
Linea says of herself, “As a young woman diagnosed with bipolar disorder,
I hope to use my experiences to speak for those unable to speak for themselves.”


Down Syndrome Patients Could Unlock Secrets of Aging

Down Syndrome Patients Could Unlock Secrets of Aging


Questions seem to arise too often which question the value and purpose of lives of people with disabilities.  We tragically hear that 90% of pregnancies with a prenatal diagnosis of  Down syndrome end in abortion.  As people of faith, we strongly believe in the value of all life.  As friends and/or families with people who have a member with Down syndrome, we can attest personally to the enrichment our lives have gained through our relationship with people having this disability.   A recent article in USAToday provides even more reason to value the contributions which come through the lives of people with Down syndrome.

“As they live longer, adults with Down syndrome — who have an extra copy of chromosome 21 — are teaching scientists about the genetic roots of aging, says Ira Lott, head of pediatric neurology at the University of California-Irvine School of Medicine.”

“Scientists today are searching this chromosome, which contains only about 200 of the body's roughly 20,000 genes, to learn why people with Down syndrome suffer disproportionately from some health problems, such as Alzheimer's disease, but are spared many others, such as heart attacks, strokes and certain types of cancer.”

“By studying adults with Down syndrome, researchers hope to find new ways to combat diseases of aging in the larger population as well, Lott says.”

Read the entire article at:


Health Care Reform

Health Care Reform

Items related to the health care reform bill can be found below. The US Catholic Bishops posted concerns about the current bill to their website in a news release named
Archbishop Chaput of Denver issued an article entitled A Bad Bill and How We Got It in the Denver Catholic Register.
Other helpful resources regarding the health care reform bill can be found at
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