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So many individuals living with disabilities don’t feel welcome in our parishes as they should. But we can change that. A smile, a word of welcome, an offer to assist, an embrace, joy and not signs of discomfort or disapproval can all help to make our parishes a place where all people can feel at home. The following is a reminder to us by St John Paul II, of the dignity of people with disabilities.

'The disabled person, with all the limitations and suffering that scar him or her, forces us to question ourselves, with respect and wisdom, on the mystery of man. In fact, the more we move about in the dark and unknown areas of human reality, the better we understand that it is in the more difficult and disturbing situations that the dignity and grandeur of the human being emerges. The wounded humanity of the disabled challenges us to recognize, accept and promote in each one of these brothers and sisters of ours the incomparable value of the human being created by God to be a son in the Son'.

Pope St John Paul II, Message on the Occasion of the International Symposium on Dignity and Rights. 5th January 2004


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