Missionary disciples with intellectual disabilities

Pia Matthews

What do new evangelisation and the formation of missionary disciples really mean when it comes to people with intellectual disabilities? This article looks at how people with disabilities are both evangelised and evangelisers. Not only can no-one be excluded from the joy of the Gospel, people with intellectual disabilities already make a rich contribution to the Church’s mission and life.  Pia Matthews lecturers at St Mary's University, Twickenham and St John's Seminary, Wonersh.

‘We are all missionary disciples’. This statement made five years ago by Pope Francis in Evangelii gaudium may present a challenge, however it should not come as a surprise to believers. After all, the very fact of our baptism and indwelling of the Holy Spirit ready us for mission and the very nature of the Good News should impel us to proclaim the gospel. We are all called to be evangelisers both to those who do not believe and, in the new evangelisation, to those who have got lost along the way. If indeed we are all missionary disciples, what does this mean for people with significant intellectual disabilities and their communities?

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