Personal Story

Impact Feature Issue on Faith Communities and Persons with Developmental Disabilities

David's Story (sidebar)


Richard C. Malmquist Coordinator, Bridges to Faith committee, New Bedford, Massachusetts

David, 47, has been attending St. Francis Xavier Church for three years with his Faith Companion, Bob, and Bob’s family. They attend Mass every Sunday where David says, they “pray to God. It makes me feel good to talk to God.” He receives communion regularly, and likes to sing. Whenever he goes anywhere and they pass by the church, David announces proudly, “That’s my church.”

For Bob, who was recruited through the St. Vincent DePaul Society of the church, being a Faith Companion has been a deep learning experience. He and his wife have three children and they all consider David to be very much a part of their family. David has accompanied them to church suppers and to family activities such as Bob’s daughter’s school play.

The members of St. Francis consider David part of the church family and he is missed when he is not there. Bob says, “He’s happy to be there and we’re happy to take him. From that, friendship just flows.”

Not long ago David assisted at the wake and funeral of one of his long-time roommates. David declared to all, “Charlie’s dead. He’s an angel now.”