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Evangelization : Disabilities : Open Hearts through Ministry : Parish Groups and Activitities

Parish Groups and Activities


St. Gregory the Great

St. Joseph University 

St. Francis of Assisi

Victorious Missionaries


Resurrection - Catholic Deaf Apostolate
Saint Gregory the Great Parish

200 St. Gregory Court at Maple Road, Williamsville 14221, call 688-5678

Blessing Mass - for People with Special Needs - contact parish for time and dates

Annual Picnic for People with Disabilities and their Family - in July.  We ask that you bring a food to share.  Hot dogs and beverages provided.

Recognizing the fact that their parish is comprised of a diverse group of individuals including person with a wide range of disabilities, the Family Faith Formation, through the guidance of Joan Rischmiller and the late Sister Maureen Fanning, has initiated a focus group to address the different needs of the members of their community.

Advocates for the Spiritual Needs of Persons with Disabilities Group - is committed to providing resources and support for individuals with disabilities so they may fully participate and share in the experiences of parish life, including prayer the sacraments, liturgy and service. They have dedicated themselves to:

  • Helping facilitate spiritual growth in the Family Faith Formation
  • Creating a welcoming and accepting environment for their diverse members, including individuals with disabilities
  • Promoting awareness and acceptance of diversity through education
  • Empowering individuals with disabilities and their families by providing accommodations to participate in Mass, religious education and other desired parish activities
  • Recognizing that persons with disabilities are able to contribute to the parish by sharing their many gifts and talents

The group meets monthly to discuss the various adaptations, modifications resources and supports that help make participating in parish activities more accessible.  All are welcome to attend and input is welcome.  Meetings are held from 7 - 8 pm on the School Teacher's Lounge.  The meeting dates in 2011 are:

Mondays - January 10th, March 7th and May 16th

St. Anne and Joachim Ministry is a ministry for parents of young children with disabilities.  Parents of adult children with disabilities share the wisdom of their parental and spiritual journey with a parent whose child was recently diagnosed with a disability.  Contact Linda at or call 633-2530 for more information.  (VIEW FLYER


St. Frances DeSales Deaf Ministry  offers signing at the Sunday 12:30pm mass. Contact Michele Biely at (585) 865-6531or or Joan RIschmiller at 688-5760 ext. 358 or . This mass is available live at the website,

Faith Formation and Sacramental Preparation Program welcomes everyone. Contact Joan Rischmiller at 688-5760 ext, 358 or

Lending Library - Through the Catholic Foundation of Buffalo, St. Gregory’s Faith Formation Program received funding to establish a resource library of materials that may be borrowed. by parishioners, parents, teachers and catechists to create disability awareness. Download Lending Library List.

Annual Events:

Blessing Mass for People with Special Needs - On February 19th at 5:30pm followed by activities to prepare for Lent

Picnic for People with Disabilities and their Family –  the third Saturday of July from noon until 3pm in the Ministry Center.  We ask that you bring a food  item to share.  Hot dogs and beverages provided. In the past we have celebrated a western theme, a luau and a patriotic theme.  This year’s theme is Rock ‘n Roll.  (VIEW FLYER).


St. Joseph University Parish

3269 Main St., Buffalo, NY 14214, call 833-0298

Interfaith Service - Monday, May 16th at 7:00 pm at St. Joe's for those with a Mental Health Diagnosis, their families, caregivers, supporters and friends.  Please join us if you can.

Interfaith Service Flyer

Eucharistic Prayer Service for recipients of mental health services and care givers is held the Second Friday of each month at 7pm at St. Joseph University Chapel at 3275 Main Street in Buffalo. This twenty minute service is designed for those feel more comfortable in a less confining, less populated and shorter service. For more information contact, Sister Jeremy Midura at 833-0298.



St. Francis Assisi Parish

73 Adam St., (Broad St. at Clinton Park), Tonawanda, NY 14150, call 693-1150.  Plan of Action


Victorious Missionaries

Who are the Victorious Missionaries?  We, the Victorious Missionaries, are people united in providing spiritual support for all people with disabilities or who are chronically ill. We are a visionary people called to a way of life that sees beyond the suffering and struggles of life to the victory that is born through the spirit of love.

The missionary movement was founded by the late Fr. John Maronic, O.M.I., in 1964. He believed that people with disabilities had gifts... gifts that could and should be shared with the Universal Church and the world!  We are comprised of both laity and religious, women and men, the young and not so young. We attempt to provide an atmosphere which celebrates "no difference," and yet, we challenge each person to develop and share his or her own uniqueness.

Mission - the members of the Victorious Missionaries, commit and dedicate ourselves to offer to God and to each other our giftedness, our visions, and our dreams.  We will create and foster an atmosphere where all members are encouraged and empowered to come to a deeper understanding of the call to live out of our Gospel Values and bring God's message of love to all people.

Coping Through Christ is a self help group for people who are interested in coping with anxiety and depression using Christian Scriptures and their belief in Jesus Christ in addition to their medical treatment.  This group meets weekly on Tuesday evenings at 7:00 PM in the Parish Center.  All are welcome!

Coping Through Christ Flyer