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Catechesis with Children and Youth Having Disability – Part I David G. Amico Dr. Nancy Thompson.

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Presentation on theme: "Catechesis with Children and Youth Having Disability – Part I David G. Amico Dr. Nancy Thompson."— Presentation transcript:

1 Catechesis with Children and Youth Having Disability – Part I David G. Amico Dr. Nancy Thompson

2 Vision The Lord answered me and said: Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets, so that one can read it readily. For the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint… Habbakuk 2:2-3.

3 The Reign of God “symbolized God’s shalom intentions for humankind and all creation – love and fullness of life, wholeness and holiness, community and interdependence, values personal and social, spiritual and political, to be ‘done on earth as it is in heaven.’” Thomas H. Groome, Educating for Life, p. 386

4 Jesus’ Meal Ministry The meals in Jesus’ ministry are “each one a pause that challenges, forms, and transforms regarding the most basic values for Christian living in community and on mission.” (Fr. Eugene LaVerdiere, Dining in the Kingdom of God, p,14)

5 Meals and the Reign of God “…the distinctiveness of Jesus’ vision of the Kingdom was nowhere clearer than in his protest against discriminatory meal practices…for Jesus, meals were a time of celebration and an inclusive fellowship that foreshadowed the inclusiveness of God’s Kingdom.” R. Alan Colpepper, “The Gospel of Luke,” in The New Interpreter’s Bible, p. 228

6 1978 Pastoral Statement of the United States Catholic Bishops on People with Disabilities Reissued in 1988 with updated language for the 10 th anniversary In 1998 for the 20 th anniversary, the bishops issued a brief statement, Welcome and Justice for Persons with Disabilities, which highlighted key points of the 1978 Pastoral Statement.

7 Highlights from the Pastoral Statement “Persons with disabilities…seek to serve the community and to enjoy their full baptismal rights as members of the Church” (no. 33). “The Church finds its true identity when it fully integrates itself [with persons with disabilities]” (no. 12)

8 Highlights from the Pastoral Statement - continued “[In regard to liturgy]…to exclude members of the parish from these celebrations of the life of the Church, even by passive omission, is to deny the reality of that community” (no. 23). “The parish is the door to participation for persons with disabilities, and it is the responsibility of the pastor and lay leaders to make sure that this door is always open” (no. 18). “Evangelization and catechesis for persons with disabilities must be geared in content and method to their particular situation” (no. 25)

9 On Catechesis in Our Time Catechesi Tradendae Apostolic Exhortation by Pope John Paul II (1979) “Children and young people who are physically or mentally handicapped come first to mind. They have a right, like others their age, to know the mystery of faith” (no. 41).

10 Guidelines for the Celebration of the Sacraments with Persons with Disabilities Issued by the Bishops of the United States in 1995 Purpose was to give greater consistency to pastoral practices throughout the country. Many dioceses developed or enhanced their guidelines from this document.

11 General Directory for Catcehesis Issued by the Vatican in 1997 “A growth in social and ecclesial consciousness, together with undeniable progress in specialized pedagogy, makes it possible…to provide adequate catechesis for [persons with disabilities], who as baptized have this right and if nonbaptized, because they are called to salvation” (no. 189).

12 General Directory for Catechesis “The love of the Father…and the continuous presence of Jesus and his Spirit give assurance that every person, however limited, is capable of growth in holiness” (no. 189).

13 General Directory for Catechesis The GDC urges that “personalized and adequate programs” be developed while cautioning that such programs not create isolation. Rather it instructs that “the community be made aware of such catechesis and be involved in it.” (no. 189)

14 National Directory for Catcehesis Issued by the Bishops of the United States in It will set the direction for catechesis in our country well into the future. “Persons with disabilities…are integral members of the Christian community” (p )

15 National Directory for 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. Their involvement enriches every aspect of Church life. They are not just the recipients of catechesis – they are also its agents” (p. 207).

16 National Directory for Catechesis “All baptized persons with disabilities have a right to adequate catechesis and deserve the means to develop a relationship with God” (p. 207). “…the Church owes persons with disabilities her best efforts in order to ensure that they are able to hear the Gospel of Christ, receive the Sacraments, and grow in their faith in the fullest and richest manner possible” (p. 209).

17 Our Vision Why do we catechize? Why do sacraments exist? “…for the same reason that the Incarnation occurred: God desires access to our hearts and to our world…God will not rest until each one of us has access to the love that saves” (Fr.Paul Waddell, “Pondering the Anomaly of God’s Love,” in Developmental Disabilities and Sacramental Access, p. 64).


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