The Pontifical Council for new Evangelisation and Catechesis is partnering with disability consultancy ‘The Kairos Forum’ to stage a conference, named ‘ Disability and catechesis; a necessary engagement for the everyday life of the church’ . As a disability charity that provides a wide range of support and training to churches surrounding disability – Livability is one of the main sponsors of the Kairos Forum, as they accompany disabled people and important Livability resources to Rome.
The Kairos Forum are partners in the planning, coordination and delivery of this exciting event. Kairos are a group that work to highlight and respond to the human, educational, spiritual and well-being needs of people who have been disabled as well as provide awareness to people who have not been disabled.
The Forum director – Cristina Gangemi – also works for Livability as the Livability Network Coordinator, an initiative the charity has taken so as to enable people that enjoy the charity’s services, to share their story, faith and remove barriers of communication.
Drawing international practitioners, theologians and thinkers on disability and spirituality together, this event will debate a range of topics and needs across the two day conference. The Conference will also enjoy a private audience with Pope Francis in the Sala Clementina, indicating the importance of the subject matter .
The Conference will discuss the place of belonging that disabled people have and the vital need for Christian communities all over the world to ensure that disability is an essential part of their daily services and activities. The delegation will enjoy information, accessible prayer and an guidelines which will shape and influence the work that the churches does as it engages and serves all people, especially people who have been disabled.
‘We are really excited to be partners in this unique conference, so as to support the Catholic church as she affirms that people of all abilities have an essential place in our faith communities, ’ says Cristina Gangemi. ‘Deliberately creating a space in our churches, where everyone can share their gifts, story and experience is so vital. That’s why we are delighted to be part of an event where the Ponitifical Council for New Evangelisation and Catechesis, are placing such a high priority on the spiritual and social needs of disabled people in the Catholic Church.’
A focus on disability theology is a major priority in the Council’s work in evangelisation. Following last year’s conference (Living Fully 2016) – run by Kairos and supported by Livability – a special publication was produced that combined research on disability – with recommendations that were made by the delegates of the Living Fully conference. For the first time ever, the statement was also produced in Widgit symbols – a symbols based communication tool that supports a wide range of communication and learning needs. It is due to the success of Living Fully that the Kairos Forum was invited to partner for this event. Livability’s involvement and support has played a major part in the work of The Kairos Forum.
‘Livability is a disability charity that works for inclusive church. We train churches in how to be a place of welcome and create a sense of belonging for all. We know that all sorts of things add up to inclusive church and we’re immensely proud to support Kairos and participate in this significant conference with the Catholic church,’ says Janet Miles, Head of Communications and Campaigns at Livability.