Persons with disabilities…are integral members of the Christian community. All persons with disabilities 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 [persons with disabilities] are not just the recipients of catechesis—they are also its agents. –National Directory of Catechesis, Paragraph 49
We are made in God’s image…we are all part of the human family…and in baptism, we become equal members of the Body of Christ. The Office for People with Disabilities helps Catholics who have special needs access their faith by providing supports, education, resources and connections to community partners. In particular, we help Catholics more fully participate in Mass, in reception of the sacraments (including faith formation), and in experiencing the richness of parish life. Our work often extends outside the parish, involving partnerships with local organizations, employers, governmental bodies and institutions.
The work of the Department is formed by the 1978 Pastoral Statement of U.S. Catholic Bishops
on People with Disabilities, which calls upon people of good will to promote the well-being of those who are Deaf or who have a disability and their full inclusion into the life of the parish and our Church. The Pastoral Statement reminds us that all persons have unique gifts to share and that these gifts can be harnessed in service to the Church and our communities.