Introducing Anne Masters, Vice President of the Religion & Spirituality Division

Hello, I am very interested in the opportunity to work proactively with the division to advance the needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities regarding their spirituality and desire to participate in a faith community of their choosing. I am the director of the department for Pastoral Ministry with Persons with Disabilities for the Newark Archdiocese (Catholic Church).

Hello, I am very interested in the opportunity to work proactively with the division to advance the needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities regarding their spirituality and desire to participate in a faith community of their choosing. I am the director of the department for Pastoral Ministry with Persons with Disabilities for the Newark Archdiocese (Catholic Church). In this role I advocate for participation of people with IDD in their parish, its worship, general life and religious education; educate parish staff and parishioners about the needs of people with IDD in these areas; and walk with their parents in their faith journey as they often struggle in their relationships with God, world and church. I have 16 years experience in parish ministry, both in California and New Jersey, which helps when working with faith communities. Whenever possible, I collaborate with professionals to identify strategies that can be adapted for the faith community, and have done this particularly to develop strategies for the participation of people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Though Catholic, I often talk with people and congregations of other faith traditions about possible strategies and enjoy interfaith collaboration very much.

I am a board member of The New Jersey Coalition for Inclusive Ministries, a member of its task force on Autism and Faith, and have published articles on inclusion for people with disabilities in faith communities in Exceptional Parent Magazine and the interfaith resource Autism and Faith: A Journey into Community, and a book review of Autism and Your Church in the Journal of Religion, Disability and Health.

I have a BA in Social Work and an MA in Theology. My professional experience has been in three distinct areas: social work as an adolescent counselor, business as a sales engineer in the semiconductor industry (computer chips), and various areas of pastoral ministry. I have heard it said that God writes straight with crooked lines. The crooked lines of my life have facilitated a development of organizational, marketing and pastoral skills which are helpful in my work and which I think could be helpful in the role of Vice President and President for the Religion and Spirituality division.

Anne Masters, MA
Director of Pastoral Ministry with Persons with Disabilities
Newark Archdiocese
973-497-4309
masteran@rcan.org
www.rcan.org/disabilities

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