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October 15, 2012 | Volume 87, Number 24

COMMENTARY

Created in God’s Image?

As Catholics we know that all are created in God’s Image!

However, are you aware that many individuals don’t feel that they are created in God’s Image? Why? — Because often, a person with a disability doesn’t feel welcomed and included in his/her parish.

Why not? — Because often parishioners don’t know how to respond to someone with a disability, let alone recognize their gifts and talents.

The five White Masses, scheduled for the weekend of October 27-28, will affirm that all have gifts and talents to share with their church communities.

The White Mass has the designation of the color “white”, because of Baptism. “By reason of their baptism, all Catholics are equal in dignity and have the same divine calling.” (#1, U.S. Bishops’ Celebrating the Sacraments with People with Disabilities)

The Masses will be held at: St. Mary’s, Richmond, on Saturday, Oct. 27, 5:30 p.m. Vigil; Church of the Holy Family, Virginia Beach, on Sunday, Oct. 28, 11 a.m.; Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Newport News, on Sunday, Oct. 28, 4:00 p.m.; Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Salem, on Sunday, Oct. 28, 10:30 a.m.; and St. Anne, Bristol, on Saturday, Oct. 27, 5:30 p.m. Vigil.

For more information, see the Disability Office’s website at www2.richmonddiocese.org/disabilities/ and the ShorTakes section of this issue.

Nita Grignol is the director of the office for Persons with Disabilities for the Catholic Diocese of Richmond.At the White Mass, held during regularly scheduled Mass times, you will see people with disabilities, young and old, serving as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, greeters and ushers. You will see the joy on their faces and witness their families’ pride.

At this Mass, there will be people with a variety of disabilities, many with the most recognizable disability, Down syndrome. Hence, the White Mass also shows us that these individuals are worthy of life and yes, they are created in God’s Image.

Why is this so important?

Because we live in a time when over 90 percent of the babies with Down syndrome are aborted, and 80 percent of babies with other disabilities are aborted.

You are invited to attend the White Mass and affirm that we are all created in His Image.

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