Girl with Down syndrome named ‘mayor’ of her parish, welcomes everyone to church
PICKERING, Ontario, June 21, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — She wasn’t elected, but the constituents love their mayor.
Lindsey Malloy was appointed “mayor” of St. Isaac Jogues Catholic Church in Pickering, Ontario, by her parish priest, Father Paul Dobson. Lindsey, a friendly young woman with Down syndrome, exercises a ministry of hospitality at the parish. She debuted on the Archdiocese of Toronto’s website when her father wrote an essay about her role.
Lindsey’s father, education activist Dr. Ashleigh Molloy, described her enthusiastic participation before, during and after services:
“Lindsey's duties in the parish include gift bearer, Catholic Register messenger, and greeter par excellence. She engages the hospitality ministers with cheerful conversation and a weekly hug ... Her responses and singing is delivered with passionate joy. When it comes time for the prayers of the faithful, she unravels a list of people she has promised to pray for. After Mass, she seeks out the many parishioners with whom she has a special bond.”
Dr. Molloy praised Father Dobson for seeing his daughter not as a person with Down syndrome but as “a one-of-a-kind creation, made in the image and likeness of God, with talent to share with the congregation.”
Lindsey, meanwhile, loves Father Dobson not because he is her pastor but because he welcomes her and includes her in the life of the community.
Other folks at St. Isaac Jogues offered praise. Ashleigh Molloy says the “positive experience of community” born from his daughter’s love “is nurtured by the parishioners who follow the lead of our shepherd and pastor, Father Paul Dobson, and his pastoral team.”