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St Pius X special needs group sends message to pope

A touching video has been making the rounds on Facebook the past couple of days.

The video of people sending a message to the pope and the world has over 4,000 views and counting.

“The video says welcome to our world and… we want the community to see what they’re really going through,” said Richard Couder.

Couder is director of the St. Pius X special needs group. He tells ABC-7 the group has been around 12 years. It has about 65 members ranging from ages 8 to 74.
All have special needs from physical disabilities to Down syndrome and autism.

“We noticed our children don’t have any activities to do after high school or during school,” said Couder.

Couder wanted to create a program that would give them a reason to get up in the morning and be productive.

“Sundays they do basketball, Mondays they are doing gymnastics, Tuesday there doing folklorico, Wednesdays they are doing golf,” Couder said.

“I do basketball and gymnastics,” said member Gary Harrelson who tells ABC-7 he likes folklorico the most.

Parents like Betty Mata say the group has been like a family to them.

“They’re free of being judged,” Mata said.

Mata said her son Victor, who has autism, has opened up and learned to be more social.

Victor was also in the video that shows the group working on the message for the pope.

“They colored it, put their name on the piece of paper and put it on a balloon and released the balloon hoping it goes to the heavens,” Couder said.

Couder tells ABC-7 they understand the pope might not see the messages but maybe the video could cross his path.

“We know that if Pope Francis hears about it and just prays and asks the good lord to help us wonderful things are going to happen,” Couder said.

Couder tells ABC-7 he welcomes any parents with special needs children to call him at (915)443-3703.

Here’s a link to the whole video.

The making of “Papa Francisco – Welcome To Our World” video

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