In June 2017, the United States Bishops approved the Guidelines for the Celebration of the Sacraments with Persons with Disabilities revised edition. These revised and expanded guidelines supersede the previous version issued by the USCCB in 1995. The guidelines reflect growth in knowledge and understanding of the gifts and needs of individuals in parish communities who live with disabilities and their desire for full participation in the sacramental life of the Church.
Prior to the vote on the guidelines USCCB President at the time, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo spoke of the “beautiful improvement of the document” and guidance on supporting people with dementia and their families. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, Episcopal Moderator of NCPD and immediate past President of the USCCB, urged wide circulation of the Guidelines noting the great opportunity they offer for parishes.
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"The revised Guidelines address a number of real-life pastorally-sensitive sacramental issues with deep theological insight and, like the Good Shepherd who knows and is attentive to the flock, seeks to bring all its members to the embrace of God’s love through the Sacraments.”
--Sr. Kathleen Schipani, I.H.M. Former chairperson of the NCPD Board of Directors
"Those of us whose lives are shaped by the rhythm and gait of disability sometimes experience, in ordinary parish life, forms of alienation and exclusion that reflects the brokenness of our wider culture. The Bishops have called the Church, once again, to remember that providing ready access to the sacraments and promoting full participation in the sacraments is integral to the way Catholics perform the unity and holiness held forth in the Creeds of the Church."
-- Miguel Romero, TH.D., Th.M., NCPD Board Member