By : Matters India Reporter
Kochi: Ministering to differently-abled is the Church’s responsibility, says Cardinal George Alencherry. The head of the Syro-Malabar Church was delivering homily at a Mass celebrated for the hearing impaired at Mount St. Thomas, Kakkanad, headquarters of the Oriental rite on September 11.
The event was jointly organised by the Pro Life Apostolate of the Church and the Ernakulam St Thomas Catholic Deaf Community.
The official go-ahead for the mass for the hearing and speech impaired was given at the Syro-Malabar synod held at Mount St Thomas from August 21 to September 1.
Cardinal Alencherry reminded the gathering that the Catholic Church has provided spiritual services to the speech and hearing impaired in a number of countries. As there are more trained people within the Syro-Malabar church now, we should actively get involved in helping these marginalized community, he added.
Everyone is equal in the eyes of God, he said as he urged the community to work together to offer support for the differently-abled and bring them to the mainstream of society. He suggested that support groups should be formed at diocese levels for the differently-abled.
During the service, Fr Biju Moolakkara translated the Mass and Fr George Kalarimuriyil delivered the Bible message in sign language. They were accompanied by Br Bjiu Thermadom, Sr Abhaya and Stanley Thomas who read the Bible and delivered the hymns in sign language.
The Mass was followed by a felicitatory meeting held to honour those leading the spiritual services for the speech and hearing impaired.
Fathers Moolakkara abd Kalarimuriyil along with Brother Bjiu Thermadom were honored at the meeting. Sisters Finsitta, Annette, Usha, Prija, Deepa Kocheril, Betty Jose and Abhaya who represented different speech and hearing impaired institutions were also felicitated.
More than 200 people between the ages of 7 and 80 representing different dioceses and institutes took part in the program. Cultural programs by attendees added colour to the event.