The purpose of the department for Pastoral Ministry with Persons with Disabilities is to affirm the integrity of the Baptismal vow of people with disabilities and to work for their inclusion in the life and mission of the Church at the parish level, by working collaboratively with parish leadership. It does this through: Education, Advocacy, Affirmation, and Collaboration. This includes people with intellectual, physical, emotional and vision disabilities. Areas of focus:
- Seeks to reach out to people with disabilities and their families, to support participation in: liturgy, the Sacraments, catechesis, faith formation, ministry, evangelization, social life and mission of the church, at the local and universal level.
- Seeks to diminish the sense of isolation of people with disabilities and their families.
- Seeks to support the efforts of local parish leadership for inclusion.
ACTIVE PROJECTS INCLUDE: Collaboration with parishes on inclusion strategies; inclusion of people with developmental and learning disabilities in religious education and the Sacramental life of the church, which includes: catechist training and support; resource development and adaptation for catechesis and preparation for the Sacraments; Attends Mass, a program to teach individuals with Autism to attend Mass is expanding based on available Mass Mentors and Mass Buddys. Family Support: outreach to parents and faith-based support groups. Website-based support.
SUPPORT STRATEGIES: Parent Advisory Council; PRAISE Executive Board; Council for Special Needs in Catechesis; PRAISE Professional Advisory Board; interfaith collaboration; Inclusive Family Masses and special liturgy celebrations. …
HORIZONS: Parish Advocates; ongoing faith/spirituality for adolescents and adults with developmental disabilities; outreach to group homes; and … stay tuned … ideas ... questions ...?
NEED: FINANCE/FOUNDATION support for increased outreach and services.