About Helen Burland

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So far Helen Burland has created 26 blog entries.

Annual Dinner is June 14th

Spring is just around the corner! Planning for the annual dinner has begun. Anyone interested in helping the committee or wants to donate an item to the silent of live auction should call Helen at 203-540-5381 ext 2010 or email to hburland@diobpt.org.

Center Hires Coordinator of Health Services

–Fairfield- Yvonne Pacifico has joined the staff at Saint Catherine Center for Special Needs as the Coordinator of Health Services. In this position, Yvonne will coordinate services with the Town of Fairfield Public Health Office and with the Department of Developmental Services as she serves both the students at Saint Catherine Academy as well as the individuals who are enrolled in the newly approved Adult Services Day Program. She will be managing, planning, implementing and evaluating the health programs at the Center. Yvonne is a Registered Nurse with a Bachelors Degree in Nursing from Adelphi University and a Masters Degree in Nursing Education from Teachers College at Columbia University.

Yvonne joins Saint Catherine Center following a twenty year career with the Fairfield Health Department. In addition, she continues to practice her nursing profession as a clinical nurse at Bridgeport Hospital and as an Adjunct Clinical Instructor at Fairfield University.

“This appointment represents a significant addition to our program and staff,” said Helen Burland, Executive Director of Saint Catherine Center for Special Needs. “We are so fortunate that Yvonne was ready to retire from her role with Fairfield Public Health Department at this time.”


Program for Adults Gains Approval

Fairfield — The State of Connecticut Department of Developmental Services (DDS)approved the application that allows Saint Catherine Center for Special Needs to offer Group Day Services to individuals supported by DDS. The application process took over two years and was preceded by a feasibility study that was funded by the Koch Foundation. During the process, Center staff visited multiple DDS approved sites, conducted focus groups and interviewed caregivers, parents and caseworkers to help shape the proposed program. Several former students of Saint Catherine Academy have expressed interest in returning to the Center once the program was approved.

“This moves us forward as we work to fulfill the vision that created Saint Catherine Center for Special Needs,” said Helen Burland, Executive Director. “Now we have the ability to offer a continuum of services from age 5 through adulthood. Our commitment to serving individuals with disabilities is boundless. Today, we removed an important barrier to fulfilling this vision.”

The next step requires staff to complete DDS Provider Orientation at the end of January. In addition, Center staff will review program needs and make recommendations to the Board of Directors regarding staffing and program resource needs. “We have done all of the preparation work for this decision,” Burland commented. “Now it is time to make this happen!”


New Program for Young Adults

Saint Catherine Center for Special Needs, located in Fairfield, will offer a religious formation program(RCIA) for adults with special needs, ages 18 and older, who wish to receive Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Eucharist, and/or Confirmation.

There will be a planning meeting on December 16th at 6:30p.m.

For more information or to sign up please

contact Michelle O’Mara, Director of Pastoral Care and Outreach


203 -540-5381 ext. 2012

Christmas Extravaganza

Saint Catherine Center for Special Needs and Convivio in Action is sponsoring the annual Christmas Extravaganza on Sunday, December at the Catholic Center, Queen of Saint Hall, 238 Jewett Avenue, Bridgeport.

The event will begin with Mass celebrated by Bishop Frank Caggiano followed by a Christmas Pageant, arts and crafts and pizza. All children with special needs from the Diocese and their families are invited to join in the fun. There is no charge for the event but you must RSVP by November 14th so we can properly plan.

For more information, please call Michelle O’Mara at 203-540-5381 ext. 2012 or email at momara@diobpt.org.

Christmas Extravaganza 2014

Diocese announces new St. Catherine Center for Special Needs

FAIRFIELD—The Diocese of Bridgeport has announced plans for the new St. Catherine Center for Special Needs to officially open in Fairfield on July 1, 2014.

The new center will bring together services currently provided by the Ministry for People with Disabilities of the Office of Pastoral Services, a new Inclusive Support program for Catholic schools, and St. Catherine’s Academy, the Special Education School of the Diocese of Bridgeport.