Catechesis for Persons with Disabilities: A Personal Narrative

Authored by Sr. M. Johanna Paruch in Issue #1.3 of The Catechetical Review

This article is the first of a series of articles on catechesis for and with persons who have disabilities.

We live in a time that has much to offer to the education of people who may need some accommodation in coming to know and follow Jesus. New technologies and means of communication constantly arise, which are put to the service of this noble aim. Unfortunately, our time has also seen abortion, euthanasia, and medical rationing threaten the lives of those whom society may deem “unnecessary,” with people often committing these atrocities in the name of “mercy.”

In early Greece and Rome, those considered “defective” were killed outright or left to die. In the Gospels we see that if a person was disabled in some way, people thought that it was because of that person’s sins or the sins of the parents. Jesus overturned this idea and instead cured the blind, the deaf, and those suffering from other disabilities. One only needs to read Mark’s Gospel to see Jesus cure people with these ailments and even raise the dead.[i] Matthew records Jesus’ mission entrusted to the disciples, highlighting the fact that even they would be involved in healing: “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons…” (Mt 10:8).

In this introductory article, I would like to establish the context for the series by drawing from my own experience with persons with disabilities. I beg your patience as I describe the experiences that will inform how I treat the issues raised in this series.

The rest of this online article is available for current subscribers.

Start your subscription today!


This article is from The Catechetical Review (Online Edition ISSN 2379-6324) and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of The Catechetical Review by contacting editor@catechetics.com

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

Editor's Reflections: Barbara Morgan—Pursuing Holiness
By Dr. James Pauley
Free What is holiness? In our lead article, Dr. John Cavadini describes holiness as the Second Vatican Council did, as “the perfection of love.” [1] How can we begin to imagine love’s perfection? Considered abstractly, we cannot wrap our minds around it. We need to somehow see it, if we are to understand the aim above every other in the Christian life... Read more
What Is Holiness?
By John C. Cavadini
Surely one of the most beautiful, one of the most enduring, and one of the most sublime teachings of Vatican II is the universal call to holiness in Lumen Gentium, chapter 5. I have never reread this chapter without feeling an increase of my own zeal for answering this call, even as I become more aware, at the same time, of how much I fall short.... Read more
The Way and Witness of a Holy Marriage
By Deacon James Keating
Free The matrimony of two of the baptized…is in real, essential and intrinsic relationship with the mystery of the union of Christ with the church…it participates in its nature…marriage is deeply seated and rooted therefore in the Eucharistic mystery.[1] This spiritual vision of marriage, as articulated by Cardinal Caffara, may appear as novel or even... Read more

Pages

Watch Tutorial Videos

We've put together several quick and easy tutorial videos to show you how to use this website.

Watch Now