A Parish that Welcomes Children with Disabilities
Catholics believe that all people are made in the image and likeness of God, and that all the Baptized share in the life and mission of the Church. This includes people from every range of ability. As a parish we are mindful and respectful of families who have children with disabilities. At times due to the behavioral aspects of some disabling conditions, parents seem to sense from some parishioners that their child may not be welcome during the celebration of Mass. Can we work together to change this perception? As a parish community, let us strive to be patient, respectful and helpful to individuals with disabilities and seek ways to assist families so that they can worship together as a family, and we may have the blessing of their presence with us as we become one Eucharistic community of faith.
A “Sensory Friendly Mass” is one way that a parish or cluster of parishes can assist in destigmatizing the experience of attending Mass for individuals and families with members with Autism and other disabilities.
How to Host a Sensory Friendly Mass
If your parish is interested in hosting a ‘Sensory Friendly Mass” contact the Office for Persons with Disabilities (firstname.lastname@example.org) for assistance. The video trainings and resources below can be used to prepare a team of leaders from your parish with the practical steps to host a Sensory Friendly Mass.
Jesus, help us to understand and recognize
that each one of us has gifts and challenges.
May we see You in each person
and may each person see You in us
as we work together to bring about Your kingdom.
Help us to open our hearts to relationship
as we open our doors to be a welcoming
and inclusive faith community.