Carol Race — the restraining order stands

July 1, 2008 § 10 Comments

Adam Race, an autistic teenager, will not be allowed to attend mass at The Parish of St. Joseph In Bertha, Minn.  The judge ruled that Adam’s behaviors constituted harassment towards the parish. 

You can read the news articles here. I am not surprised by the ruling, but it is sad that it got to this point.

The Carol Race Story: a quick update

June 25, 2008 § Leave a comment

Carol Race had a hearing to determine if the pairsh of The Parish of St. Joseph In Bertha, Minn was justified in obtaining a restraining order aginst her for bring her son, Adam, who is 13 and autistic to mass. 

You can read more about the hearing at: In Forum News and at The Minneapolis-St Paul Star Tribune.

You can read more about this story and the other items I have written on autism here.

 

 

Carol Race launches Adam’s Pew Project

June 3, 2008 § Leave a comment

Carol Race has started a project and a website called “Project: Adam’s Pew“.  I assured her last week that I would provide the information about it here.   Yesterday she pled not guilty to violating the restraining order against her which she received when she took her family to mass at The Church of St. Joseph in Bertha, Minn.  Fr Dan Walz had obtained the restraining order on behalf of the parish due to Adam’s behaviors in mass extending from his autism.

She {Carol Race} said mediation with church leaders to settle her dispute is scheduled to start this week. Todd County Attorney Chuck Rasmussen said he hopes the case can be worked out before trial.

Carol seems very hopeful that the mediation will go well.  She said that she has a lot of confidence in the two arbitrators that have come into the situation and that the Diocese will have a representative there.  I believe she said it was the vicar general  which she sees as a good thing.   So do I.  If there is a problem with the priest over-reacting to the situation then having the Dioceses representative will help bring that issue forward and resolve it. 

So please keep the Race family, Adam and their parish in your prayers.  Please pray that all invovled will be able to discuss this issue with open hearts and minds and find a good solution.

About Carol Race from someone who knows her.

May 21, 2008 § 5 Comments

The Parish of St. Joseph In Bertha, Minn has barred Adam Race from attending mass because of behaviors stemming from his autism.  I honestly thought I was done blogging on this yesterday, having also blogged on it the day before, but then I received a heart-felt comment from a priest who knows Carol Race personally and wanted to post his take on the issues.  While his additional information hasn’t changed my personal feelings on this story I want to share them with you in a spirit of being fair, and also with the recognition that I do have a horse in this race so to speak and I don’t want my feelings clouding what is right and true. 

***
Update: 

My latest update on this story is here.

Would those of you who are interested in this story please remember Fr Showers, Carol Race and Adam in your prayers.  I know this is a difficult time for all of them.  I pray that God blesses them all with  peace and fortitude and understanding in discerning what is best for Adam.
***

Below is Fr. Robert G. Showers comment to my blog post “A little more about Adam Race” followed by my response to him.

Dear Darcee,

Thank you for this posting. I do hope that your anger has subsided. You seemed especially upset that Mrs. Race “spent the day lining up legal help.” I allow myself gently to point out that the pastor and the parish council are the ones who chose to unleash the media storm – they chose to go ahead with a restraining order and themselves reported the fact to the press, knowing full well the circus that would follow. After having been threatened with jail time and with news cameras already in her face, Mrs. Race was well advised to spend the day lining up legal help. The parish had lined up their legal help well in advance.

And she was advised. Mrs. Race took this step on the advice of advocacy groups for the handicapped of which she is an active member.

I know Mrs. Race because we studied theology together. This mom in Minnesota is actually a professional Roman Catholic theologian who studied dogmatic theology under the now Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph von Schönborn. Her love for the Church has been constant from her early work on the Catechism of the Catholic Church while she lived in Switzerland to her years as DRE in the Twin Cities to recent years, where she has served her parish in many capacities. She began writing about the place of children, including handicapped children, in the heart of the People of God from way before she could have known that she herself would become the mother of a severely autistic child. As the godfather of one of her children, I have followed this family for many years from my friary here in Scandinavia.

Please believe me, that it pains Mrs. Race a great deal that the Catholic Church is made to look bad. It is true that the parish “offered alternatives” – but all of these so called alternatives were ways to keep Adam out of the church, for example, they offered special Masses just for him in private at home, closed circuit transmissions of the Mass directly to his home – and other fanciful ideas designed to spare people the sight and sounds of a handicapped boy in church.

In my heart, I pray that I am wrong when I suspect that the real issue is fear. Some adults in that parish (including the priest) seem to be afraid of this autistic child, a fear born, it seems, of ignorance and prejudice. I feel like I am reading a novel about the 13th century, but fear of “odd” people strikes deep – in this sense, this truly IS an issue of faith.

I thank you for your insightful and honest comments. You have a good blog here.

Peace and all good,
Fr. Robert G. Showers OFM Conv.
guardian of Consolatrix Afflictorum Friary in Roskilde, Denmark

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A little more about Adam Race

May 20, 2008 § 2 Comments

Adam Race is the young autistic man in Bertha, Minn.  

The Church of St. Joseph in Bertha, Minn., filed a temporary restraining order barring Carol and John Race from bringing their 225-pound son, Adam, to church. An affidavit alleges Adam struck a child during mass, fought efforts to restrain him, pulled an adolescent girl to his lap and revved the engine of someone else’s car. A parish statement said the legal move was a last resort after church leaders tried to accommodate and mediate, but the family refused.

On Monday, after her court hearing was delayed until early June, Carol Race spent the day lining up legal help and giving interviews to national media.

*****

Update:

My latest update on this story is here.

It is funny how quickly thoughs and feelings can change.  While I disagree with Carol Race’s actions regaurding the media her own words about her situation are worth more than mine. 

If for some odd reason you really want my thoughts on the whole situation they are much better expressed here.

******

This is difficult and sad on so many levels, but lining up new interviews is not going to resolve the issue for her family.  My sense is that the Diocese of St Cloud would have never gone forward with a restraining order without knowing pretty solidly that they had a good case if it goes to court once it was violated.  Anyone with half a brain would see that this would be very bad publicity if it got out of hand.  All of that together makes me think that the situation in the parish had gotten very bad and the priest had exhausted all options.  I pray that this can all work out for the best for Adam, his family and the parish.

(Yes, I have serriously edited this post.  I was angry when I first wrote it, not just at Mrs. Race, but also at the media and how they have turned this into a “faith” issue when it is really not.)

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