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Celebrating Today’s Wounded Healers


By Gregory Kepferle
CEO, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County and President, Charities Housing Development Corporation


On June 23, Bishop Patrick McGrath celebrates 50 years of Handicapables in the Diocese of San Jose with an anniversary Mass at Saint Williams Parish at 11 a.m. We will be honoring Handicapables founder, Nadine Calliguri. For those who have had the privilege of meeting Nadine, you are immediately drawn to her spirit of joy, compassion, and persistence. She is a groundbreaking pioneer in the world of disability rights, especially in the Catholic Church. Founded in the era of civil rights movements, and four years before the Center for Independent Living got its start in Berkeley, Handicapables brought together men and women of faith to celebrate their spirituality and to socialize in ways that broke barriers and recognized their God-given dignity as capable human beings. They do not define themselves by their disability, but by their capability. Over the years the description of people living with conditions that chronically impaired their abilities changed from crippled, to handicapped, to disabled. But that merely described one aspect of their lives. Handicapables focuses attention on an individual’s possibilities, independence, mutual interdependence, strengths, and resiliency through shared spirituality and community.

How many of us have had to deal with our own health challenges from physical or mental illnesses? Imagine a group where all are welcome, regardless of ability. Imagine a group formed of wounded healers, who through their joy and generosity bring healing to wounded souls, and release their neighbors from isolation into a welcoming community of prayer and play. Such is Catholic Charities’ Handicapables.

To RSVP or to learn more about the program, visit www.catholiccharitiesscc.org/handicapables-program or contact Saida Nagpurwala at (408) 325-5257 or Snagpurwala@CatholicCharitiesSCC.org.