Monday, 10 February 2014

Meet Michael Gannon. The first person with Down Syndrome to work at a Vatican office

With the hustle and bustle of a news outlet, it's been business as usual at Vatican Radio... with one major exception.

MICHAEL GANNON - Vatican Radio Intern
"I absolutely love it here.”

His name is Michael Gannon. A Media Studies major from Ireland who landed a short, but intense internship at Vatican Radio.

MICHAEL GANNON - Vatican Radio Intern
"I work on the editing, the audio, the interviews.”

In two weeks, he's learned quite a bit. But his colleagues have also learned from him. The team says he poses questions they would never think of asking in an interview.

LINDA BORDONI - Vatican Radio, English Section
"He asked our head of programing, he asked him, 'What do you think God is really like' and then he asked him 'Do you pray'? He asks it in such a way that he gets a direct answer. He’s very to the point.”

Even though accommodations were made to welcome him, Michael already had some experience. He's done some acting, he's worked on an Irish tv channel and he's even authored a book titled, 'Straight Up, No Sugar.' Now, he's working on his second book.

MAY GANNON - Michael's Mother
"There are now possibilities for people with down syndrome that were certainly never there in 1980.”

LINDA BORDONI - Vatican Radio, English Section
"We’ll be messing with our e mail and his Word page is open, he’s writing his script for the day.”
Michael and his mom accomplished yet another goal, when they met Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square.

MICHAEL GANNON - Vatican Radio Intern
"He shook my hand, gave me a blessing and I said a few words to the Pope.”

MAY GANNON - Michael's Mother
"When he heard he was in Vatican Radio, you could see him stopping in his tracks and saying, ‘yes this is a good thing to do.”
As the first person with Down Syndrome to work at any Vatican office, the team says it's something positive all around. It has taught Michael a good lesson about giving your all.

Vatican Radio Intern - "Life is a great opportunity and you have to grab it and everything you have in your life.”
It's a lesson he has learned...and one that can be applied not just at Vatican Radio, but throughout life...

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