‘Inclusion Awareness Day’ celebrated at Ascension Church, Bengaluru
- God has a special place in heart for disabled people; the Church cannot be blind, deaf to people with special needs-Pope Francis
Bengaluru: Inclusion Awareness movement in the Catholic Church is a way to focus on how we welcome our differently-abled brothers and sisters into our community. It is a way to reinvigorate our commitment to deliberately include parishioners of all abilities. It translates the values that Jesus Christ preached and it is so very true when we see that most of the miracles that Jesus Christ performed were with healing the differently-abled.
Today, the Commission for Differently Abled, Archdiocese of Bangalore in association with the Clergy and Parishioners of Ascension Church, Bangalore celebrated a special mass at 9:00 AM to create awareness about the differently-abled and promote an inclusive church. This is the first time an “Inclusion Awareness Day” was commemorated at any parish in the Archdiocese of Bangalore. The Holy Mass in English was concelebrated by Fr John Rose, the Parish Priest Fr Vincent Kiran, the Assistant Parish Priest, Fr George Kannanthanam, Secretary-Archdiocesan Commission for the Differently Abled and Fr Oscar Nazareth, a Dominican Priest from Archdiocese of Mumbai.
The hymns were sung by the choir of visually challenged children, trained by the Jyothi Seva Society sisters. The first reading was read in Braille by Rani Sadhu. The keyboard was played by John Paul, a visually challenged youngster.
Fr George in his homily reminded the congregation the need to open our hearts, minds and doors to parishioners of all abilities, not only on such occasions but every day of the year. “Together we can ensure that parishioners with differing abilities and their families can share their gifts, enjoy their full Baptismal rights and build up the Kingdom as co-workers in our parishes.”, he said. He also reminded the congregation that the value of a human being does not change or diminish because he/she is a person with a disability. God looks at every human being who is abled or disabled with the same amount of value and love.
After the mass, there was a get-together where the priests, the differently-abled children, their parents and the care-takers, LFLC committee members of the Parish and the members of the Archdiocesan Commission for the Differently-abled freely interacted over refreshments.
This inclusion awareness day has truly set the ball rolling in our endeavour to make our parishes truly inclusive but there is a long way to go as Fr. Henri Nouwen, who laid the foundation for Inclusion in Worship said, “the question finally is not, how can we help people with disabilities, but, how can we allow people with disabilities to give their spiritual gifts to us, and call us to conversion, call us to wholeness, call us to love.”
The next ‘Inclusion Awareness day’ will be held at St. Vincent Pallotti Church, Banasawadi with a Mass in English at 8:00 am on Sunday, November 24, 2019.
There is also regular sign language mass every second Sunday of each month at St. Patrick Church, Bangalore at 3:00 PM.
Those interested to know more about the activities of the Commission for Differently Abled, Archdiocese of Bangalore may reach out to Estelle D’Souza, Commission Member. Email- firstname.lastname@example.org, Mob:+916364678629