Tricia O’Keeffe claims she is “just an ordinary person”, but to the Faith and Light communities she is a dedicated advocate for those living with an intellectual disability. Source: The Bridge.
Ms O'Keeffe comes from a large Catholic family in Geelong, Victoria. Her younger brother, Danny, who is 52, has cerebral palsy. Since he was a small child, the O’Keeffe family has been dedicated to ensuring his involvement in the local community, as well as within the Catholic family.
While living in New South Wales, Ms O’Keefe became involved in the ecumenical group Faith and Light, which is dedicated to the spiritual needs of people living with an intellectual disability. Her involvement with the community has become a big part of her life.
Ms O’Keefe studied and became a catechist, helping children with special needs prepare to receive the sacraments. Her passion for enabling people living with a disability to receive the sacraments was very much driven by her frustration at seeing her own brother have to wait until he was 21 to receive his First Holy Communion. She continues to be involved in this ministry.
As retirement age drew closer, Ms O’Keefe returned to Geelong and is in the process of establishing a Faith and Light group in the area, along with local parishioner Kevin Mark.
COVID-19 has slowed their progress, but the initial gatherings have been wonderful, Ms O’Keefe said.
"I'm just an ordinary person!" (By Sharon Brewer, The Bridge)