CM Hangout #3: Families with Autism & World Meeting of Families


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This week on’s CM Hangout Podcast, co-hosts Erika Marie and Sarah Reinhard welcome our first guests, David and Mercedes Rizzo, new contributors to the community. Welcome, David and Mercedes!

We apologize for not getting this out sooner. We ran into a bit of a technical hiccup when Erika realized the show was not recording – after we had already finished. She received her humble pie for the day. Lessons learned. Unfortunately Sarah wasn’t able to stay for a do-over and Erika will figure out a way to make it up to her – she’s thinking something to do with coffee. Thanks to David and Mercedes for understanding and being willing to share more of their time to re-record it!

David and Mercedes 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. You can follow them on Facebook at Autism With The Rizzos. Their publications are available

We want to give a big THANK YOU to our first sponsor, Jake Frost, who sponsored this show in honor of his just-released book, Catholic Dad: (Mostly) Funny Stories of Faith, Family, and Fatherhood to Encourage and Inspire. There are 52 stories, one for each week of the year of mostly funny stories of family life and fatherhood, to give Dads some encouragement and a few laughs as Dads strive to succeed in their greatest calling: being a Dad.  One reviewer said:  “If Erma Bombeck had a Catholic Uncle, it would be Jake Frost.”  Sarah Reinhard told us she loved his book and was literally crying from laughing so hard.

Thank you, Jake, for your sponsorship! You can find Jake’s writings here at and he also writes at and

We still have a few more sponsorship openings for the rest of the year and the price is ripe now so if you’d like to help support the CM Hangout and, send us an email to [email protected] or Erika at [email protected].

This week, we chatted about the World Meeting of the Families in Philadelphia and the Pope Francis’s visit to the US going on this week.

David and Mercedes also shared their experience as a family with a child with special needs with their daughter, Danielle’s, autism.

It was a delight talking with them and hearing how this has affected their marriage and family and their faith life as a family. They share how they have let this strengthen them and gave ideas for how the Church and parishes can help embrace families with special needs children and help them feel welcome and part of the Church family.

Mentioned this week:

hangout_720x340You’re invited to be a part of this show. We invite you to the conversation:

Watch for a new episode of CM Hangout next Tuesday and please keep this project in your prayers!

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CM Hangout is a weekly video and audio podcast from Join our team of contributors each week for a lively conversation on all things faith, family and fun from a Catholic perspective. Share your feedback here in the comments or use #CMHangout to be a part of the conversation.

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