Parish and Community Support
“Inclusion begins in our hearts. It begins with affirmation.
We should open our hearts to one another and recognize the
strengths of every person…
When we open our hearts and our community
to the gifts each person brings,
we are all strengthened.”
Joseph Cardinal Bernardin
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors
The Parish and Community Support office at The Center serves a resource for members of parishes throughout the Diocese of Bridgeport. We partner with Directors of Religious Education, Youth Ministers, and the Diocesan Faith Formation team to meet the needs of people with disabilities and fully engage each individual in their parish community.
In addition to working with parish leadership, we coordinate community-based activities, including a dinner dance three times a year for adults with disabilities in the Diocese, as well as the Annual Mass for People with Special Needs.
- to reach out to people with disabilities and their families to support their participation in liturgy, the Sacraments, catechesis, faith formation, ministry, social life and mission of the church at the local parish level and the universal level
- to reduce the sense of isolation of people with disabilities and their families
- to support and collaborate with the efforts of parishes and parish leadership on inclusion strategies
- to support catechists through resource development, adaptation and training for catechesis and preparation for Sacraments
- to provide family support for their faith journey through outreach and development of faith-based support groups
- to provide resources through the website and parishes