On Oct. 2 at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Parish in Downers Grove, a Mass with the goal of greater inclusion and outreach to those with special needs in the community will be held for the first time at the parish. Father John Phan, St. Joseph’s pastor, understands and supports the need for special needs’ children and their families to be more integrated into the parish community, according to Marisa Tompkins, who wrote about her family, which includes a daughter with Down syndrome, in the June 2015 issue of Christ is our Hope magazine (https://www.dioceseofjoliet.org/siteimages/magazine/June2015.pdf).
In an interview, Tompkins, a parishioner at St. Joseph’s, said she and other families at the parish want to build “positive awareness” for people with special needs, and she hopes the Oct. 2 Mass is attended by many who have special needs’ children. In the meantime, Tompkins has also spearheaded a fundraiser to increase awareness for those with Down syndrome. To find out more, read below: