The University of Notre Dame is giving its top award to the founders of a program that brings religion to people with developmental disabilities.
The school says it will present the Laetare (lay-TAH-ray) Medal to Sister Susanne Gallagher; Sister Mary Therese Harrington.; and Rev. James H. McCarthy, founders of the Special Religious Education Development Network, during the school's May 19 commencement.
The ministry began in Chicago in 1960 and now serves 28 dioceses and 200 parishes nationwide, and others overseas.
Since 1883, the Laetare Medal has been awarded annually to a Catholic "whose genius has ennobled the arts and sciences, illustrated the ideals of the church and enriched the heritage of humanity." Past award recipients include former President John F. Kennedy and former Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr.