Tomorrow, I am going to the Catholic Parents of Special Needs Children Conference in New Jersey. They gave me a free ticket but hoped I could prepare a talk online. This is the talk I prepared. I didn’t have time to fix the automated subtitles so sorry to those who need them (this also means this post will not be a transcript).
So often we can create a confrontational attitude between a priest and a family whose member has special needs. However, I think when we look at this relationship we need to keep several things in mind to make it more of a relationship of allies rather than a confrontation.
- Priests want to help people who have difficulties, including those having special needs.
- Priests often have a parish with 2,000 families and are pushing themselves to serve them all.
- Parents help out a priest if they come offering help not adding to the pastor’s to-do list.
- Most dioceses have an office for special needs or disability ministry. Sometimes they can help the pastor, while other times ministries are provided at a diocesan level (a practical matter of running a ministry for a group rather than running it multiple times for smaller groups in different parishes).
- I offer several examples of how we can better serve those with different special needs.
- Please come in with a friendly attitude, offering solutions. It’s best to look for how someone can be accommodated before going to your pastor asking for accommodation.
- Often we can help others in learning charity and apostolate by helping accommodate special needs.
- Let’s be helpful and friendly – not confrontational – when we talk to others in the Church about accommodations for special needs (our own or those of people we love).
Hopefully, this video helps you out in getting accommodation, while having the pastor on board as an ally.
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