“We are a single flock under the care of a single shepherd. There can be no separate Church for persons with disabilities.” -Welcome and Justice for Persons with Disabilities
In 1978, the US Bishops issued a document, Pastoral Statment of U.S. Catholic Bishops on Persons with Disabilities. Twenty years later, this statement was reaffirmed in the Bishop’s Pastoral Statement, Welcome and Justice for Persons with Disabilities: A Framework of Access and Inclusion.
Recognizing that each person is created in God’s image, the Church is called to value the gifts each person offers the community and advocate for the protection of rights that enable individuals with disabilities to achieve the fullest measure of personal development. These documents challenge the Church to transform its attitude; to see itself as a community of persons – all gifted and limited. The Bishops call for an understanding love that affirms our common humanity, forming the kind of community that seeks to discover one another’s gifts and serve each other’s needs.
You may find information about how to best serve the needs of your parishioners who have special needs here. For information on including children with special needs in religious education classes or sacramental preparation, please see the Cathechesis page. For information specifically about mental health, please click here. You may also find informationa about specific disabilities or other community resources under the Resources page.
For more information or support, please contact the Office for People with Disabilities – 503-233-8399 or firstname.lastname@example.org.