Families of children with special needs are often lost in a maze of professionals—medical, therapy and educational. They often can experience grief with diagnosis and can feel isolated from the community. They may wonder if their child has a place in the world at large. As Catholics, we know that children with disabilities and typical children, are not so different! We are created in God’s image, we love, we yearn for love and we live the path of Christ through life, death and resurrection. How beautiful is that for us to remember the next time we hear any child making noises or moving around during mass!
We absolutely know that Christ created all of us and that our Catholic Church has a place at the table for everyone! The U.S. Catholic Bishops say: “The same Jesus who heard the cry for recognition from the people with disabilities of Judea and Samaria 2,000 years ago call us, His followers, to embrace our responsibility to our own disabled brothers and sisters in the U.S. The Catholic Church pursues its mission by furthering the spiritual, intellectual, moral and physical development of the people it serves….We call upon people of good will to reexamine their attitudes toward their brothers and sisters with disabilities and promote their well-being, acting with the sense of justice and the compassion that the Lord so clearly desires. Further, realizing the unique gifts individuals with disabilities have to offer the Church, we wish to address the need for their integration into the Christian community and their fuller participation in its life.”