About Us

David and Mercedes Rizzo have four children. They write and speak from a faith perspective as parents of a child with autism. David is a physical therapist. Mercedes is an educator. They are available to speak, and have appeared on radio and other media.

David and Mercedes are available to speak on a variety of topics including:


Special Needs Catechesis and Sacramental Preparation

Spirituality, Prayer and Faith Development for Special Needs Parents and Families

Balancing Children, Marriage and Self Care in a Special Needs Family  

Ways for Parishes to Welcome and Include People with Disabilities and their Families

Danielle in front of cross.

Danielle at a Crucifix

“Your words, your ideas, your expertise and most of all your faith were so very inspiring to so many!
Your perspective on prayer certainly enriched all of our participants and will have a lasting effect on their families, children, and beyond

Dr. Linda M. Dix

Chairperson Holy Innocents Society, Diocese of Trenton

“Your insightful sharing of how your daughter, Danielle, has blessed your lives was truly inspirational and showed the other mothers a perfect example of just how they too can “embrace the gift”. Many of the participants mentioned how your words inspired and nourished them.

Sr. Kathleen Schipani, I.H.M

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

“It was a privilege to welcome the Rizzo family to the Diocese of Des Moines for theOpening our Eyes and Ears event in 2018. The Rizzo’s provided both our keynote address onWays for Parishes to Welcome and Include People with Disabilities and their Families,as well as a breakout session for parents of children with special needs, titledBalancing Children, Marriage, and Self Care in a Special Needs Family.We have received tremendous feedback from clergy, diocesan and parish staff, and parents that the Rizzo’s were a perfect balance of information and inspiration. They share their story weaved with humor, prayer, and practical advice. We look forward to working with David, Mercedes, and their family again in the future as we continue support our ministry with persons with disabilities.”

Jess Streit

Special Needs Ministry Coordinator, Saint Francis of Assisi Parish, West Des Moines, IA

“David’s talk on special needs Catechesis at our conference for Catholic special need’s parents ‘Accepting the Gift’, was informative, thorough, and well received by all our attendees. An engaging speaker, the parents in attendance appreciated the opportunity to ask questions and view the resources David and his wife Mercedes have thoughtfully created to help special needs parents instill in their children a love of the Catholic faith.

Kelly Mantoan

Founder CPSNCC, chairwoman, 'Accepting the Gift' conference for Catholic parents of special needs children

Previous Speaking Engagements

Catholic Family Conference

Family Inclusion Ministry Conference

The Catholic Diocese of Trenton Webinar

Mothers of Children With Disabilities at the Malvern Retreat House

Los Angeles Religious Education Congress

National Catholic Partnership on Disability Conference

National Conference for Catechetical Leadership Annual Meeting

Mid-Atlantic Congress

Archdiocese of Philadelphia Partners in Faith Formation Conference

Archdiocese of Atlanta Disability Ministry Conference Keynote

Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston Disability Ministry Conference Keynote

Diocese of Grand Rapids Strengthened In Faith Retreat

Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee Bishop Ricard Conference

Diocese of Wilmington Catechetical Conference

Diocese of Camden Convocation

Diocese of Providence Faith Formation Conference

Saint Francis of Assisi Parish Opening Our Eyes and Ears Conference, West DesMoines, Iowa

Discovery Ministries Retreat

Radio and Television Appearances

Son Rise Morning Show 

Christopher Close-up Radio Show

An Engaging Faith with Elizabeth Reardon  

Diocese of Trenton Catholic Corner

As the Spirit Leads 

Everything Special Needs

The Positive Side on RVNTV

Driving Home the Faith Radio Show

The Gary Zimak Show

The Storytellers with Tony Agnesi Radio Show

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