Special needs children take part in the offertory procession with their parents and caregivers.

God specifically put people with special needs in our midst “because we can complete each other”, said Msgr Ambrose Vaz. “Not compete, not challenge, but to complete each other.”

Speaking at the Mass for People with Special Needs on Oct 30, Msgr Vaz continued, “We need people with special needs to remind us how God looks at each one of us in our needs. No one of us is complete if not for God looking at us with mercy, with kindness.”

About 300 people comprising 50 people with special needs, their families and supporters, attended the special Mass at Agape Village celebrated by Msgr Vaz and Fr Edward Seah.

The Mass, organised by the Office for Catechesis (OFC), saw those with special needs participating in the offertory procession and as altar servers, such as Jeremiah Liauw from the Church of Divine Mercy, who suffers from a spinal condition.

Volunteers from many parishes also helped out with the logistics and planning of the event, held for the fourth year running.

This year, several vendors and organisations supporting special-needs people set up booths to provide additional information for families of these people.

Mr Michael Ng, from the Church of St Francis Xavier, who was attending the Mass for the second time, said he was “touched” by the “effort and sacrifices of the organising team in putting everything together”.

He added that he left Agape Village “feeling happy to spend the afternoon with our brothers and sisters with special needs ... and their parents, who know that they will have our support always”.

Jeremiah Liauw, who has a spinal condition, is seen here with his sister pushing his wheelchair. He was one of the altar servers.

One catechist noted that it was “a day where no one is judged, scorned, looked at with critical eyes but all come as a family”.

The Mass for People with Special Needs was previously named the Purple Parade Mass, after the national movement that celebrates the abilities of people with special needs and supports their inclusion in society.

OFC has a special desk which offers formation for catechists to enable them to hand on the faith to catechumens with special needs. 

The Office for Catechesis website is www.catechesis.org.sg

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