Catholic Disability Teachings and Resources

boy alter server carrying crucifix for processional

Catholic Teachings

USCCB Pastoral Statement of Persons with Disabilities (1978)

  • The Church's response to the person with disabilities:   Concern for persons with disabilities was one of the prominent notes of Jesus earthly ministry.  Just as the Church must do all in its power to ensure persons with disabilities a secure place in the human community, so it must reach out to welcome gratefully those who seek to participate in the ecclesiastical community.
  • A video training done by the Archdiocese of  Washington titled 40th Anniversary of USCCB Pastoral Statement on Persons with Disabilities at 17:30 minute gives a history lesson stating: "When American Disabilities act was introduced the Pastoral Statement was quoted on the floor of the Senate by one of the sponsoring senators who was reading from the US Bishops letter of support for the legislation.  The letter quoted from paragraphs 10 and 11 of the Pastoral Statement noting “it is not enough to merely affirm the rights of people with disabilities we must actively work to realize these rights in the fabric of modern society”.  Clearly through the Catholic Church through this statement was leading the way for people with disabilities."

Affirmation and Commitment to the call of the 1978 Pastoral Statement of U.S. Catholic Bishops on Persons with Disabilities (2018)

  • A Call to Encounter and to Wholeness:  A Resolution Issued by the Board of Directors of the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD) on the 40th Anniversary of the Pastoral Statement. 

USCCB Guidelines for the Celebration of the Sacraments for Persons with Disability (Revised edition 2017)

  • Guidelines written in order to give a more concrete expression to our longstanding concern for a"realistic provision" for the means of access to full sacramental participation for Catholic persons with disabilities.  
  • NCPD is pleased to announce that FREE print copies are available in Spanish for (Arch diocese, Hispanic Ministries, national organizations, and parishes in quantities of 10-100.  Shipping and handling costs fees are applicable. 

To order Spanish copies online click here.
To download a form to order Spanish copiesclick here.

 

Welcome and Justice for Persons with Disabilities a Framework of Access and Inclusion/A Statement of the US Bishops (1998)

  • A moral framework of access and inclusion based upon Catholic documents and serves as a guide for contemplation and action. We hope that the reaffirmation of the following principles will assist the faithful in bringing the principles of justice and inclusion to the many new and evolving challenges confronted by persons with disabilities today.

Catholic Resources

National

National Catholic Partnership on Disabilities

  • Rooted in Gospel values that affirm the dignity of every person, the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD) works collaboratively to ensure meaningful participation of people with disabilities in all aspects of the life of the Church and society. 
  • NCPD staff, Board, and Council members work with Catholics across the country to offer a disability perspective to Catholic organizations and events.
  • NCPD promotional video on who we are including history, mission, and staff.
  • NCPD Ministerio Hispano Resouces and their partnership with V Encuentro

Moving ASL hand signs stating "God Loves Me."

National Catholic Office for the Deaf

  • The National Catholic Office for the Deaf (NCOD) is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to promoting Pastoral Ministry with persons who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.
  • NCOD implements its ministry by collaborating with Bishops, diocesan leaders and pastors; by providing support to ordained and lay pastoral workers in Deaf Ministry and by assisting catechists and families with deaf children. NCOD is a clearinghouse of information and creates special media resources for Deaf Catholics

International Catholic Deaf Association- U.S.

  • ICDA-US is an organization of Catholic deaf people and hearing people in the church working with the deaf in the United States of America.

Catholic School organizations that partner with National Catholic Partnership on Disability

Catholic Schools Professional Development Resources

Catholic Schools Funding Models

Deaf MinistryOpportunities

  • Camp Mark 7 offers an array of recreational, educational, leadership and spiritual programs for deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing individuals of all ages.
  • Deaf Apostolates
  1. Boston Deaf Catholic
  2. Archdiocese of Chicago
  3.  Archdiocese of Detroit
  4.  Archdiocese of Milwaukee
  5. Archdiocese of Philadelphia

  6. Archdiocese of San Francisco/St. Benedict Parish for the Deaf

  7. Diocese of Rockford

  • Religious American Sign Language Week is a program is intended for Priests, deacons and seminarians who work with the Deaf Community;  Working interpreters who have been certified (or qualified in their state); Deaf ASL Lectors (members of the Deaf community who are now doing the readings for Sunday liturgies).  Participants will learn from very qualified instructors: Msgr. Glenn Nelson, Deacon Patrick Graybill and Joan Macy.  The entire event will take place at the Bishop Lane Retreat Center in Rockford, Illinois.

Other Women, one child standing, one child in wheelchair with words "The Gift of Life."

Autism Consecrated:  Living the Way of St. Thorlak

  • When we recall that our value to the community does not come from what we can or cannot do, but what Christ can do through us…we begin to see the eyes of autism through the eyes of God.
  • St. Thorlak modeled that consecrating our weaknesses does not give us strength or popularity…it allows Christ’s power to be revealed in our lives, and manifested as His Loving Presence in the community.  In striving to follow the way of St. Thorlak, may we also witness Christ’s power perfected in us, and discover the gift of autism, consecrated.

Be Not Afraid

  • Be Not Afraid (BNA) is a private non-profit organization which provides comprehensive case management to parents carrying to term following a prenatal diagnosis.  Our staff and peers strive to develop a relationship of trust while providing for the emotional and tangible needs of parents at diagnosis, during pregnancy, at birth and during the post postpartum period for up to one year.
  • They follow the ethical teaching of the Catholic Church, but serve parents of all denominations.  They provide resources for clergy and medical professionals.

CUSA:  An Apostolate of Persons with Chronic Illness or Disability

  • CUSA is a community of people who are chronically ill or who have some sort of physical or mental disability.  We support one another through prayer and correspondence.  Through our concern for one another, we forge a special relationship with our God as well as with one another.  Our unity is born of a common situation and a common faith.  Our bond goes beyond that of fraternal organizations or social clubs, for it is forged by the redemptive suffering of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

L'Arche USA

  • We are people with and without intellectual disabilities living, working, praying, and playing together in community.
  • L’Arche strives to make known the gifts of people with intellectual disabilities, foster environments that meet our members changing needs, and engage in diverse cultures, working toward a humane society.

  • Our mission includes supporting L’Arche communities in the United States, helping all of our members realize their full potential, and engaging with the broader public, so that everyone can experience the unique gifts of people with intellectual disabilities.

Mental Illness Theological Framework

  • The National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD) sets forth the following framework as a guide to the church's ministry for and with people with mental illness.
  • NCPD has a Council on Mental Illness which works to provide resources for persons with mental illness and their families. They recently published this resource entitled A Pastoral Response to Mental Illness in collaboration with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. In addition to this resource, the council also recently revised their Mental Illness Theological Framework.

  • The Association of Catholic Mental Health Ministers (ACMHM) is a Lay Association of the Christian Faithful whose members are called to be a healing presence in the lives of people with mental illness. Members of the ACMHM see Christ in those who live with a mental illness. Members practice a ministry of service and presence; like the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37), they do not look the other way or walk past those living with a mental illness but instead pour the oil and wine of the Gospel into their lives.  Members walk with people living with a mental illness to help them find the support and services that they need.  

     Grants through ACMHM to support startup activities and innovative mental health ministry

     programs are available for parishes and dioceses.  

Prenatal Diagnosis Resources from NCPD  baby sleeping on stomach with bow on rear end

Xavier Society for the Blind

Hands with book reading braille and words Braille Ministry

  • Xavier Society provides religious, spiritual, and inspirational reading materials in braille and audio to blind and visually impaired individuals worldwide. We are able to provide these materials free of charge thanks to the generous support of our donors. We support this community of faithful in understanding, developing and practicing their Faith. Our service began in 1900 and we hope to serve many more people in new and innovative ways for many years to come.