Mary O'Callaghan earned an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Creighton University, and received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Notre Dame. Her doctoral work was funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health for the study of developmental disabilities and mental retardation. She and her husband John (also a Fellow of the CEC) are the parents of 5 children, including their youngest, Tommy, who has Down syndrome. Since his birth, Mary has been an advocate at the local level for unborn children with Down syndrome and other disabilities. She has served as a member of the Disabilities Advisory Board for the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, and in conjunction with the Michiana Down Syndrome Support Group, provides mentoring to local parents who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome.
In 2016, Mary and her son Tommy were special guests at the Jubilee for the Sick and Persons with Disabilities celebrated by Pope Francis as part of the Year of Mercy. More information about the jubilee event located on the CEC website.
Mary will be a featured speaker at a UN panel discussion observing World Down Syndrome Day, 3/21, hosted by the Holy See's Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations. Information on the panel discussion is at: https://ethicscenter.nd.edu/news/cec-public-policy-fellow-to-speak-at-un/
- Panel Discussion at UN: No Room in Rural Villages, Cities, & Homes for Those with Disabilities? Are Girls & Boys with Down Syndrome Being Left Behind? — Mary O'Callaghan will participate in this panel on March 20, 2018 at the United Nations HQ in New York City. Additional panelists at the event include Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations; Ms. Mikalya Holmgren, first woman with Down Syndrome to compete in the Miss Minnesota USA Pageant and winner of the Spirit of Miss USA Award; and Ms. Chloe Kondrich, namesake of Pennsylvania's "Chloe's Law" which guarantees neutral presentation of genetic testing results in an attempt to address the 90%+ abortion rate for babies diagnosed with Trisomy 21 in utero. The event is open to the public, but a UN guest pass is required.
- Theme Music: "I dunno" by Grapes — I dunno by grapes (c) copyright 2008 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. Ft: J Lang, Morusque