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Caceres creates ministry for PWDs

CACERES, March 27, 2014 – With the creation of the Archdiocese of Caceres’ special ministry for People With Disability (PWD), a total of 30 handicapped individuals were given wheelchairs by the American Wheelchairs Mission, headed by Chris Lewis, last March 20 at the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral.

Fr. Jaime Danilo Viola, the first chairman of the Gilean Ministry, the Caceres Ministry for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), said, the ministry envisions to become a facilitator of God’s love for the differently abled, that they may “feel loved, cared for, accepted, and a part of God’s wonderful creation”.

Presenting the functions and activities of the Gilean Ministry at the Priests’ Assembly last March 24, Fr. Viola said, the ministry’s principal aim is to provide for the spiritual needs of PWDs through a holistic approach.

Thus, the functions of the ministry include the following: to cater to the spiritual nourishment of PWDs and ensure that the sacraments are offered to them; “to create awareness in the community regarding one’s moral obligation to promote a PWD-friendly society”; to set-up linkages with various organizations: civic, government and non-government; to better support the PWDs in their needs leading to a more dignified life; and lastly, to increase the self-confidence of PWDs.

Fr. Bernie Anthony Ramirez presided over a Eucharistic celebration at 10 a.m. prior to the giving of wheelchairs. Present during the distribution of wheelchairs were Caceres Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona, priest concelebrants and families of the recipients.

The recipients came from various parishes in the Archdiocese and were coordinated with through the Gilean Ministry, which is named after St. Giles, one of the 14 Holy Helpers and Patron of the Disabled.

The Gilean Ministry was created in the latter half of 2013.

Linkages with physicians in various specializations were also created early this year. In addition, Viola also presented the activities to be done during the suggested Parish PWD Day, which will focus mainly on the spiritual nourishment of PWDs.

Disabilities, as reported, were classified into four: physical, sensory, mental, and developmental.

Viola, who is the Parish Priest of St. Bernard Abbot Parish in Ocampo, Camarines Sur, has been celebrating the Parish PWD Day for five years now. (Natalie Hazel Quimlat)