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L to R: Andrea Schanne and son Robby pose for a photo with Bishop Frank Caggiano of Bridgeport, Connecticut; St. Robert Bellarmine portrait, by unknown author, c. between 1622 and 1623 (photo: Courtesy of the Schanne family; public domain)

Doctor of the Church spiritually supports families of children with Down syndrome, thanks to apostolate.

By Joseph Pronechen, EWTN News, September 17, 2023

Joseph Pronechen is staff writer with the National Catholic Register since 2005 and before that a regular correspondent for the paper.

In 2010, when Francis and Andrea Schanne were expecting a new baby boy, she learned the unborn child might have Down syndrome. She remembers leaving the hospital praying, “‘Lord, my husband and I, we’re just trying to be open to your will.’ And I felt in my heart the Lord was saying to me, ‘You are doing my will.’”

From the car she called her husband and told him the prognosis. “It’s going to be fine,” he assured. “We’ll be fine. We can do this.” She knew he was right.

The farthest thing from their minds at the time was that their son would be the seed for the founding of the St. Robert Bellarmine Apostolate for parents and families with a child with Down syndrome. …

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