Family starts non-profit to outreach to local Catholics with disAbilities and to promote Catholic school inclusion


A Minneapolis family was hoping all their children could attend the school of their faith, but when their daughter Colleen (with Down syndrome) was turned away it took their life on a new journey.

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It can be painful to be turned away because of disAbility, but it was especially painful for this family because it was a place of faith. This lead Patrick & Monica Duffy of Minneapolis to work for change. The Duffy’s beleive that Catholic school staff are kind and generous people, but that they are just not equipped to accommadate children with more profound needs. This is why they started “Exceptional Catholic Minnesota”. It’s ministry grew and now their website includes where to find church services in sign language, where faith-based support groups can be found, where children with disAbilities can be educated in the faith and where adults with disAbilities can find churches with elevators and other needed features.

The Archdiocese has been supportive of their efforts and they are hoping that their website and outreach can grow and help more and more people as time goes by.