Ministry for Catholics with DisAbilities


Often families are not prepared for the birth of a child with a disability or the development of impairments. Our pastoral response is to become informed about disabilities and to offer ongoing support to the family and welcome to the child. Welcome and Justice for Persons with disabilities 1998, 9


Assisted by this same principle, the Ministry for Catholics with disAbilities derives three main guiding key words for our mission in serving Catholics with disAbilities: information, support, and welcome. These, in return, have given us a strong base for our general goals and objectives:

1. We will strive to create ways to inform ourselves and those we serve on persons with disabilities by using social media and training opportunities.

2. We will support parents and caregivers of persons with disabilities by creating online resources of available and existing services.

3. We will identify opportunities to welcome persons with disabilities to the Body of Christ through awareness and advocacy.


The Diocese of Sacramento serves 20 NorCal counties. Following is a breakdown of disAbilities by category and enrollment for individuals, newborn through 22 years age, who received special education services in the public school system for the school year, 2018-2019:

Autism: 120,095

Deaf-blindness: 114

Deafness: 3,223

Emotional disturbance: 25,233

Hard of hearing: 10,657

Intellectual disabilities: 43,770

Multiple disabilities: 7,308

Orthopedic impairment: 9,916

Other health impairment: 104,792

Specific learning disability: 300,295

Speech or language impairment: 164,698

Traumatic brain injury: 1,541

Visual impairment: 3,405




“Parish catechetical and sacramental preparation programs may need to be adapted for some parishioners with disabilities, though, as much as possible, persons with disabilities should be integrated into the ordinary programs.” Guidelines for the Celebration of the Sacraments with Persons with Disabilities, General Principle 5


“Catholics with disabilities have a right to participate in the sacraments as fully as other members of the local ecclesial community.” ibid, 2

“All members of the faith community have a role to play in the invitation, welcome, and inclusion of people with disabilities.” ibid, 7


“Since the parish is the center of the Christian experience for most Catholics, pastors, and other parish ministers should make every effort to provide for all Catholics with disabilities who reside within a parish’s boundaries.” ibid, 4


“Sacred ministers cannot deny the sacraments to those who seek them at appropriate times, are properly disposed, and are not prohibited by law from receiving them.” Codex Iuris Canonici, 843, §1


“All persons with disabilities have gifts to contribute to the whole Church. When persons with disabilities are embraced and welcomed and invited to participate fully in all aspects of parish community life, the Body of Christ is more complete.” ibid, Conclusion.


Faith Formation At Home 

Calming Individuals in Distress

Supporting Persons with Mental Illness

Apoyando a estudiantes con necesidades de procesamiento sensorial

Recognizing the Body of Christ (8 videos)

Understanding Autism (Workshops 6 videos)

Autism Strategies, Resources and Models (Workshops 6 videos)