Friday, September 7, 2007

'Special motherhood is a call to sanctity'

A guest post by LETICIA VELASQUEZ of the Dr. Jerome Lejeune Society

When I gave birth to Christina, my five-year-old with Down syndrome, it was into a supportive community of Catholic homeschoolers, who cooked two months' worth of meals for me, and a family who called the hospital nonstop. Her baptism was celebrated by over one hundred guests who braved the pouring rain on Mother’s Day 2002 to fill our home to bursting with loving fellowship. We live in a community dotted with group homes for special-needs adults, many of whom have Down syndrome, who can be seen all over town, leading happy and productive lives. Christina has had no medical complications of Down syndrome, since the small hole in her heart healed in her first year of life. Compared to so many parents of children with Down syndrome, I have had it easy.

If motherhood is a vocation, then special motherhood is a call to sanctity. Sanctity is achieved by uphill battles, lonely dark nights, and surprising moments of grace. As Catholics, we are called to help one another, using the great gifts of the Church, the sacraments, the intercession of the Blessed Mother and the Communion of Saints. One such saint is Dr Jerome Lejeune, the French geneticist who identified the chromosomal abnormality known as Trisomy-21 or Down syndrome. He dedicated his life to seeking the cure for Trisomy-21, and working to defend the dignity of our children against negative public opinion, and the majority of the scientific community who still seek to destroy rather than heal these children. Unborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted at the scandalous rate of 90%.

Under the patronage of Servant of God, Dr. Jerome Lejeune I have begun the Dr. Jerome Lejeune Society, as a support for Catholic parents raising children with Down syndrome, a means to encourage pro-life research to enhance their lives and find a cure for the syndrome, and to create a Culture of Life in our society where our beautiful children are welcomed rather than rejected.

If you are a Catholic parent raising a child with Down syndrome, please join us in this mission, and become members of the Dr. Jerome Lejeune Society by e-mailing me through the site and reading the blog. If you would like to co-author the blog, or post your story of raising your child with Down syndrome, please feel free to contact me through my site. Thanks, Dawn for giving me this guest post on your popular blog.