Contributors Learning to love like him

Help celebrate the successes in special-needs ministry

Joshua Ruoff is the lead consultant for the archdiocesan special-needs ministry. He can be reached by email at:

by Joshua Ruoff

It’s the time of year when we reflect back on the past year and give thanks and praise for all of the wonderful blessings given to us.

Help us in the special-needs ministry to celebrate all those wonderful things —  not just at the end of the year, but all year round.

Recently, we published our first monthly newsletter. Much like how our prayer life should start with giving thanks, I want our newsletter to start with a story of celebrating or giving thanks to God for the good things happening with serving individuals and families with special needs in the archdiocese. If you know of something happening in your parish or school serving individuals with disabilities, please send it to us so that we can highlight the good works being done.

I want to celebrate two different groups of people who have done tremendous work supporting and serving individuals with special needs.

In the Nov. 10 edition of The Leaven, I hope you read about the robotics team at Bishop Miege High School helping Parker McElroy celebrate Halloween in style. Such a small act of kindness made such a profound impact on Parker and his family, but also on the students involved in creating his costume. Helping to bring joy to someone else’s life, brought joy to those students’ lives as well. Just as bringing someone closer to Jesus brings us closer to him.

Another great example of kindness comes from Church of the Ascension, which has done tremendous work in providing support to caregivers and individuals with special needs in the areas of sacraments and faith formation. This was highlighted in the Nov. 3 edition of The Leaven.

There are so many similar stories such as these happening all over the archdiocese. Oftentimes, they go under the radar and are never recognized.

I understand the importance of making others aware of these great things so that it may help or inspire others. Please help us to share the good news of helping those with special needs be closer to Christ. We are incredibly thankful for each of you who helps us to spread the Gospel to people of all abilities. We can never repay you for all that you do to help us. One small way that we want to thank you is to pray for you.

Along with sharing your great efforts, please share with us your prayer intentions that we also plan to share in our monthly newsletters so that we may help each other be closer to Christ through prayer and hopefully one day celebrate together at the heavenly banquet.

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Joshua Ruoff

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