November 15, 2015

Positivity: ‘Be the hug of Christ’ – White Mass in DC encourages those with disabilities

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Washington:

Nov 10, 2015 / 03:25 am

Honoring individuals with disabilities and mental health challenges, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., celebrated the archdiocese’s annual White Mass on Sunday and encouraged the faithful to embrace, serve and welcome the diversity of the Church.

The White Mass, hosted by the Archdiocese of Washington’s Department of Special Needs Ministries, drew various caregivers and individuals with disabilities. It was celebrated at the Cathedral of St. Matthew on Nov. 8 and the homily was delivered by Father William Byrne, pastor of Our Lady of Mercy in Potomac.

“Last week, I just met a wonderful man named Jason,” Fr. Byrne said in his homily, explaining that he encountered the man at the Tricia Sullivan Respite Care Program run by the Potomac Community Resources.

“During the Rhythmic Music Program, Jason reached over and grabbed me around the neck, pulled our heads together and gave me a long hug,” he continued.

For Fr. Byrne, this hug symbolized something more than just an embrace. It was a gesture that all Christians should imitate – one of welcoming strangers into the Church and embracing them as Christ would embrace the world.

“We are the universal Church, whose job it is to welcome, embrace and accompany everyone in his and her encounter with Jesus,” Fr. Byrne stated, saying “we are called to be the hug of Christ to the world.” …

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