ALABANG, Muntinlupa City, Sept. 11, 2016 – Special persons are God’s instruments to draw out people’s compassion, Manila Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales told participants of the 4th Pilgrimage for Persons with Intellectual Disability with Jesus and Mary on Sept. 10.
“They are special gifts from God, receivers of compassion and mercy,” he said. “God is inside them to awaken the concern in people.”
Speaking at the Cardinal Sin Hall, St. James the Greater Parish in Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa, Rosales said God “wants to elicit love” through these special people.
“Persons with intellectual disability are not a curse to their family,” he noted. “God has something to tell us through them.”
Their families are chosen by God to bear the sacrifice of raising and taking care of them, and should not blame Him, explained the prelate.
Persons with disabilities should not locked up and hidden by their family in their homes, stressed the cardinal. They should not be considered a disgrace to their family.
Attended by participants from communities and organizations across Metro Manila, this year’s pilgrimage gathered persons with disability (PWDs) for prayer and artwork workshops like painting, coloring, and folding/cutting and pasting.
Other activities that enlivened the annual gathering included miming of the Gospel, singing liturgical songs and jubilee songs.
Organized by “Let the Special Children Come to me Community”, together with the other groups that care for persons with disability such as the L’arche, Faith and Light, and the Guanellian – Servants of Charity which has been “inspired by the life, spirit and charism of St. Louis Guanella”, and other institutions, the event had Manila Archbishop Emeritus Guadencio Cardinal Rosales as guest of honor.
This annual gathering was held for the first time at St. Francis De Sales Theological Seminary in Lipa, Batangas on Sept. 14, 2013. (Oliver Samson / CBCPNews)