“Persons with disabilities are not looking for pity. They seek to serve the community and to enjoy their full baptismal rights as members of the Church. Our interaction should be an affirmation of our faith. There can be no separate Church for persons with disabilities. We are one flock that follows a single shepherd.” (USCCB)
In 2007, The Diocese of Harrisburg established the Office of Ministry with People with Disabilities and requested that each parish in the Diocese have a Disabilities Advocate. This person would assist the pastor and the parish to promote awareness, acceptance, accessibility and advocacy by meeting the needs of parishioners with disabilities in order to fully participate in the mass and other parish activities. The role of the parish advocate is to encourage understanding of respect for persons with disabilities and to create a true spirit of welcome and inclusion in the liturgy, education and social activities.
Our Disabilities Advocate is Ann Burk: 697-3624, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Janice Benton, Executive Director of the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD)
Discover how your worship community can encourage members with disabilities to participate in meaningful ways in liturgy and church life. Listen to an expert, the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, explain how Inclusion In Worship begins with affirmation.
The Vulnerable Journey Videos
Theologian Father Henri Nouwen’s keynote address at the 1996 Inclusion In Worship conference teaches about the gifts received when we include the most vulnerable in our worshiping communities.
Henri Nouwen relates his personal journey to God through Adam, a man with many special needs.
Henri Nouwen teaches that the work of the Spirit takes place in liturgy. By sharing our mutual vulnerability, we become a community that belongs together with God.