RIVERSIDE—On Sunday, October 7, 2018, the Parish Partners-Ministry of Hope at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Riverside, CT will be hosting celebration of the Eucharist at 12 noon welcoming, accompanying and accommodating persons of all ages with disabilities and special needs. The Parish Partners are fellow parishioners seeking to help meet the needs of others. Relying on their Catholic faith and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, they strive to support the health and wellness of spirit, mind and body through service, worship, prayer and education. “In our four years of ministering as Parish Partners, we have gained a profound awareness that the very people Pope Francis has been asking us to seek and see—people in need, people on the margins, individuals who are in plain sight but feel isolated and uninvited, and those who are truly disconnected and have been left alone—are right beside us,” the Partners state in their press release for this special Mass.
The Parish Partners have encountered many people with disabilities and specials needs, young and old, through their ministry. They have witnessed the love, care and devotion of their family and friends. These encounters have motivated them to think how they can, as a parish, open the doors wider and provide greater accessibility for people with disabilities. They want to ask their brothers and sisters with disabilities and their families how they can provide the fullest sense of belonging and inclusiveness and the best sacramental experience possible.
The Parish Partners want to start by gathering all around the table of the Lord, where all are welcome just as they are and where all can truly celebrate God’s gift of each other. This special celebration of the Mass is a way to affirm and “to say loudly and with deep conviction that we want to create with you a place of belonging because what turns out to be good and nurturing for the person with the disability is also good for those living and caring for that same person- in community, a shared enterprise, a body of healing,” says Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche.
The Parish Partners at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Riverside invite anyone who is, cares for, or cares about a person with disabilities or special needs to attend the Mass and the Lunch that follows on October 7. “We have great hope that the Spirit will kindle in all who attend the desire to foster loving relationships and meaningful partnerships with people with disabilities in our shared faith journeys, in all aspects of parish life,” say the Partners.
For further information about this event please contact Jeannemarie Baker / Carolyn Killian at Parishpartners@stcath.org or Dr. Lisa Rooney at 203.273.2235.