Catechesis for Persons with Special Needs
The Office of Evangelization, Catechesis & Family Life strives to serve the needs of parishes in providing education and formation for all parishioners. We collaborate with parishes in providing catechist formation, resources and information on persons with special needs to assure their sacramental and liturgical access and offer support for their families.
"We are a single flock under the care of a single shepherd. There can be no separate Church for persons with disabilities". Persons with disabilities, especially children, are particularly beloved of the Lord and are integral members of the Christian community. They include those with cognitive disabilities, those with developmental disabilities, those with learning disabilities, the emotionally disturbed, persons with physical disabilities, the hard of hearing, the deaf, the visually imparied, the blind and others. All persons with disabilties have the capacity to proclaim the Gospel and to be living witnesses to its truth within the community of faith and offer valuable gifts. Their involvement enriches every aspect of Church life. They are not just the recipients of catechesis—they are also its agents. Bishops have invited qualified persons with disabilities to ordination, to consecrated life, and to full-time, professional service in the Church.
All persons with disabilities of special needs should be welcomed in the Church. Every person, however limited, is capable of growth in holiness. "The love of the Father for the weakest of his children and the continuous presence of Jesus and His Spirit give assurance that every person, however, limited, is capable of growth in holiness." Some persons with disabilities live in isolating conditions that make it difficult for them to participate in catechetical experiences. "Since provision of access to religious functions is a pastoral duty," parishes should make that much more effort to include those who may feel excluded.
National Directory for Catechesis, Paragraph 49, #647-650