The Church joins the Day for Persons with Disabilities

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities will be celebrated on Sunday, December 3. The Church joins this initiative with the slogan "You and I are Church". The Mass of Thirteen TV, at 12 o'clock, will be dedicated to this theme.

Loreto Rios-November 30, 2023-Reading time: 3 minutes

Disabled People's Day Poster

The Episcopal Commission for Evangelization, Catechesis and Catechumenate, which is part of the Episcopal Conference, has a area dedicated to people with disabilitiesThe company has joined in the celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Bishop's message

The bishop in charge of this area is Monsignor Román Casanova, who has stated in the Message for Disability Day that the Church joins this day "giving light and sharing life, because there are many people with disabilities that are part of the Churchof the ecclesial 'we' that walks together".

Regarding the motto of this campaign, "You and I are Church", the Bishop pointed out that "it is full of great stories: of fraternity, of overcoming, of service, of tenderness, protagonized by men and women, young people, children who, in community and in the home of the great family of the children of God, overcoming all kinds of barriers, have received and shared gifts".

He added that this motto refers to the fact that "people with disabilities are also a living part of the Church, receivers and transmitters of the good news of the Gospel (...). It is necessary to remember that the Church is all of us. Each one of us is a unique gift, each one of us has been loved by God and we are called to be an expression of his love. We have a long way to go and we still need your humanity, your sensitivity to express love, your closeness, your ability to bring out the best in each one of us and your simple look on life".

"You and I are Church."

The presentation of this day, which took place on November 30 at the headquarters of the Episcopal Conference, was attended by María Ángeles Aznares (Marian), a catechist in Cuenca for people with disabilities, Sister María Granado, who works in the Commission, and Henar, a 25-year-old girl with cerebral palsy from the parish of catechist María Ángeles Aznares.

Marian said she is "enthusiastic" about her catechetical group, which they have named "Anawin" (Hebrew for "poor of Yahweh").

Regarding the motto of this campaign, the catechist pointed out that it refers to the fact that "the Church is our home. As Joseph and Mary welcomed Jesus, the Church seeks to welcome others, saying "yes" to them: "We want the Church to be that yes," she stressed.

She also highlighted the humility and poverty of Jesus, who, being God, chose to experience the limitation of the manger, a place free of luxuries. "The Church is the portal of Bethlehem," said Marian.

On the other hand, she referred to everything she has learned working with people with disabilities: "With their limits, I have been able to accept my limits". Although she stressed that they are just like anyone else, with their moments of bad temper and their attempts to get out of work, Marian sees in them a simplicity that helps her to face life in a different way.

"The Church adapts to me."

Henar, her catechumen, also wanted to intervene shortly after this point, using an electronic tablet on which she wrote, in reference to the Church: "We also have the right and obligation to be part of this great family". Henar also stressed the importance of the Mass and how much it helps on a personal level.

When asked what barriers they have encountered in the Church when promoting catechesis with people with disabilities, Marian commented that sometimes this barrier can be "not understanding", but that it is a process that she herself has also had to go through: "I have not encountered any barriers that are different from mine", she pointed out. On the other hand, Henar did not indicate any barrier, but stated: "I believe that the Church adapts to me".

The following can be found on the website of the Episcopal Conference support materials for catechesis with people with disabilities. However, although for blind or deaf people there are techniques that are the same for everyone (the use of Braille, sign language...), Marian points out that in the case of people with intellectual disabilities the materials are only support resources that must be customized for each specific case.

Mass on Trece TV

On December 3, the Thirteen TV MassThe event, which will be broadcast from the Basilica of the Conception at noon, will be dedicated to the Day of Persons with Disabilities, and will have subtitles and sign language. It can be followed on television or online.

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