The Incorporation of the Center for Special Needs

Bishop Frank Caggiano and Charles Chiusano, Board Chair put into motion the final phase of the establishment of the Saint Catherine Center for Special Needs on Saturday, October 25th. The Articles of Incorporation establishes a two- tiered governance for the new organization, i.e., Members who control the mission and oversee the appointment of the Board of Directors, and the Board of Directors who are responsible for the overall operation of the Center. Bishop Caggiano, Sr. Mary Grace Walsh, the Secretary for Catholic Education and Faith Formation and Monsignor Scheyd, the Vicar General of the Diocese of Bridgeport will serve as the Members of the corporation. The following were named to the Board of Directors: Charles Chiusano (Chair); Michael LaBella (Vice Chair); Anthony Minopoli (Secretary); Al Barber; Christine Herman; Monsignor Robert Weiss; Stephen Donahue; Cece Donoghue; Joseph Sindelar, Jr.; Elizabeth Browne; Edward Lenard, MD; Jerry Hemenway, MD; Terrence McClinch; Sara Zagrodzky; Kelleen Luff Weldon; Thomas Vita; Sr. Mary Grace and Damien O’Connor. Helen Burland, Executive Director of the Center will serve as Treasurer.

“This is an exciting day,” Bishop Caggiano said. “I believe that the Board should have the opportunity to exert leadership. I want to entrust this organization to you.” More than 10 Board of Directors looked on as Charles and Bishop Caggiano formerly signed the resolutions that will be filed with the Office of Secretary of the State on Monday, October 27th.

The mission of Saint Catherine Center for Special Needs is to meet the educational, social, and spiritual needs of people with disabilities. Saint Catherine Academy will continue under the umbrella of the Center as a private special education school meeting the needs of students who are impacted with autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Office of Pastoral Care and Outreach (formerly the Ministry for People with Disabilities) will work with parishes to enable those with disabilities to fully access all aspects of the Church. The Office of Inclusive Support will look to provide collaborative services within the Catholic School network to support students with disabilities. The Adult Services Day program, pending final approval from the State of CT Department of Developmental Services, will offer a day program for adults with disabilities with an emphasis on community access and vocational and life skills.