Editor’s Note

We pray that people living with disabilities may be at the centre of attention in society, and that institutions may offer inclusive programmes which value their active participation.

Dec 01, 2023

Pope’s prayer intention for December: For persons with disabilities

We pray that people living with disabilities may be at the centre of attention in society, and that institutions may offer inclusive programmes which value their active participation.

Throughout Advent, we embark on a journey of spiritual contemplation and hopeful expectation in anticipation of the birth of Jesus Christ. It’s a period where communities unite, fostering compassion and understanding.

This season calls us to embrace virtues like Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace. It challenges us to prepare the way for those often marginalised, making room in our hearts and communities for them. It urges us to be agents of change, advocating for justice and embodying compassion.

The Pope’s intention for December magnifies the very soul of Advent, emphasising the vital need for inclusivity and attention toward individuals facing disabilities. This intention serves as a reminder that inclusivity isn’t just a gesture; it's a fundamental aspect of a compassionate and just society. It urges us to centre our attention on individuals with disabilities, recognising their inherent dignity and affirming their right to be integral members of our communities.

Persons with disabilities constitute a vibrant part of our global community, possessing diverse talents, insights, and experiences. Yet, they are frequently sidelined, face obstacles in accessing fundamental resources and participating fully in societal affairs. The Holy Father’s intention urges us to shift this narrative, emphasising the importance of inclusive programmes that honour and celebrate their active involvement.

Institutions and communities must embrace a proactive approach, constructing environments that cater to the diverse needs of individuals with disabilities. This inclusivity goes beyond physical accommodation; it necessitates a cultural shift wherein everyone is valued for their inherent worth and is empowered to contribute meaningfully.

Central to this objective is the need for inclusive education, employment opportunities, and accessible infrastructures. It’s about fostering a culture of understanding, empathy, and respect.

When institutions prioritise inclusive programmes, they create spaces where the richness of diversity thrives, where barriers dissolve, and where every voice is heard and cherished.

The season of Advent teaches us the significance of preparing the way for others, making room in our hearts and communities for those often overlooked. It challenges us to be instruments of change, advocates for justice, and ambassadors of compassion.

As we embark on this Advent journey, let’s enrich our preparations for Christmas with a renewed dedication to inclusivity. Let’s actively seek ways to create environments that not only accommodate but celebrate the contributions of persons with disabilities. It’s in these acts of inclusion that the true spirit of the season finds its most profound expression.

As Church, let us proactively seek opportunities to collaborate with governments, organisations, and individuals to foster an environment where persons with disabilities are not merely recipients of charity but active participants in all aspects of life.

During this season, let our prayers be coupled with concrete efforts to create a society where diversity is celebrated, where everyone, regardless of ability, is not just included, but cherished. This Advent, may our hearts be open wide, embracing the beauty of inclusivity and ensuring that no one feels marginalised or excluded.

As we tread towards a more inclusive world, may we carry the Advent spirit, radiating hope, love, and dignity to all, particularly to those eagerly awaiting recognition in the core of societal attention. Let us commit to actively building a community where differences are embraced, and everyone finds belonging, reinforcing the essence of this season through our deeds and attitudes.

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