Ministry with Persons with Disabilities

The involvement of persons with disabilities “enriches every aspect of Church life. They are not just recipients of catechesis-- they are also agents.”  National Directory for Catechesis: Catechesis with Persons with Disabilities (no.49)

The Archdiocesan Ministry with Persons with Disabilities offers the following assistance:

  • Education and training/workshops on disability issues and awareness.
  • Assistance in improving access for people with disabilities to the sacramental, liturgical, catechetical, and social areas of Church life in order to increase their active participation in parish worship, ministries and activities. 
  • Technical assistance and support in developing architectural and program access plans.
  • Pastoral response and presence to individuals and their families. 
  • Provide resources of programs and services available to persons with disabilities. 

What a Disability is:
The legal understanding of a disability is a condition which involves a physical or mental impairment and limits major life activities. Since major life activities vary from culture to culture, there are differing opinions regarding which types of conditions are considered a disability. The term disability covers a wide range of individuals whose impairments differ significantly in kind and severity.  

Types of disabilities include:

  • Sensory (e.g. blindness)
  • Physical (e.g. cerebral palsy)
  • Intellectual (e.g. down syndrome)
  • Mental (e.g. depression, bipolar, schizophrenia)
  • Chronic Health Conditions (e.g. heart disease, diabetes)
  • Aging-Related (e.g. arthritis, dementia)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder

What a Disability is not:
A disability is not a condition which makes a person inferior, or of any less value to the ecclesial community.  

Additional Resources


Kathryn Griffin
Family Life Consultant
Office: 617-746-5758