Catechesis for those with Disabilities

“In the Diocese of San Jose, a disability—of itself—will never be used as a reason to deprive someone from receiving the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation or Eucharist.”— Bishop Patrick J. McGrath

The U.S. Census reports, that approximately 20% of the population—one person in five—has some disability.

The Diocese of San Jose promotes accessibility of mind and heart, so that all persons with disabilities may be welcomed at worship and at every level of service as full members of the Body of Christ.

jesuschildrenThe whole community of faith needs to be aware of the presence of persons with special needs within it and be involved in their catechesis… 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. They are not just the recipients of catechesis- they are also its agents. (National Directory for Catechesis 49)

In 2008, the Diocese of San Jose established Friends in Faith, a committee to assist parish staffs in welcoming and including person with disabilities into all aspects of parish life, liturgies, catechesis, sacramental preparation, and parish programs and events. The committee’s goals are to provide best practices for awareness raising, physical access and training and resources for catechetical leaders and catechists.

 

Guidelines for the Celebration of  the Sacraments with Persons with Disabilities

These diocesan Guidelines for the Celebration of the Sacraments with Persons with Disabilities are based upon the guidelines of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The USCCB guidelines were presented in 1995 to all who are involved in pastoral ministry with disabilities “to promote accessibility of mind and heart, so that all persons with disabilities may be welcomed at worship and at every level of service as full members of the Body of Christ.”

Click the links below for our brochure Catechesis and Celebration of the Sacraments with Persons with Disabilities.

View our Resources.