Pastor's Corner

2011 05-22 Disabilities ministry

Written by:

May 22, 2011

A ministry with and for those among us
living with disabilities

In the second reading at today’s Mass, we will hear the Word of God speak to us, inviting each of us… like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2.5). The Spirit of the Lord addresses each of us in this invitation…each of us. The Spirit does not invite only the best or the brightest or the holiest or the most attractive…though the best and brightest and holiest and most attractive are invited. The Spirit invites each of us…all of us…to surrender to God’s plan…and become, like living stones of the new Jerusalem…a temple of praise and thanksgiving…to live like Jesus: loving God, loving people.


Often times, they are invisible to the parish. These girls and boys, these men and women…they are part of us…they are called as we are called, to the joy of a holy and fruitful life of love. But because they live with the effects of some disability…they are invisible to us. I don’t mean that we don’t see them. We do. It’s that often enough, we don’t see them… as persons…as persons with a history and a longing…for fellowship, for being a part of the whole.

Often times, those that are a bit “out of the norm” (whatever the current norm is) are invisible to us, as persons. But these “least ones” are never invisible to the Lord…and He is calling on the rest of us to open the eyes of our hearts…and see every son or daughter as they are meant to be seen…as persons…as the beloved of God and the image of God.

For years now, Susan Dorner and the team she has assembled have offered their time and their talents and all of their heart, in working with persons with disabilities, in offering them catechetical formation. That important ministry continues at Saint Brigid. I am sending out this word, hoping to build on the work already begun. I am asking you to consider becoming part of a new ministry at Saint Brigid.

I want us to begin a broad-based ministry with and for those parishioners living with the effects of disabilities…any kind of disability (intellectual, behavioral, sensory, mobility). All are welcome to join with me: moms and dads with a child who has some disability (whether the child is an infant, a youngster or grown); friends of those living with a disability; and finally, the folks that seem to have been invited to this ministry by the Lord.

What will we do together? We will look to support the full membership of every son and daughter of the Lord that calls Saint Brigid home. We will look at our physical plant and examine all accessibility issues. We will hear from Susan Dorner and learn how our catechesis and formation programs adapt themselves to the needs of all. We will form a support network for families living with the issues of disability. We will serve as advocates for those without advocacy.

If you have an interest in joining me, please contact me by e-mail or by letter. My e-address is Please include the following in your contact response: (1) the nature or sense of being called by the Lord to this new ministry (2) the relationship you might have with a child or teen or adult at Saint Brigid living with some impairment, some disability (3) your e-mail and cell phone number and full name and mailing address.

We Catholics…as disciples of the Lord Jesus…proclaim His Truth…that life is sacred…a gift of God. Let us come together and begin another way to support this proclamation…that all life is sacred and beautiful and of worth!

Ad maiorem Dei gloriam

2011 05-29 Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
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