As an extension of our Parish focus for the Holy Year of Mercy 2016 to “reach out to those on the peripheries” and to “Be disciples of Hope” this year, Fr. Edwin Peter invited Eagle’s Wings from the Church of St. Joseph Sentul to visit the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Peel Road on the First Sunday of Lent 2017.(Image)
Eagle’s Wings is a Ministry by the differently abled for the differently abled, supported by the youths and volunteers of St. Joseph’s Church. Now, in its tenth year, Eagle’s Wings has brought much joy and hope to people of differing abilities through their visits to various parishes. Twenty-five special guests with differing abilities, their family members, youths and adult volunteers participated in the Eucharistic celebration.
Reena, their sight-impaired founder, presented the First Reading using her Braille Bible. The congregation was enthralled by her reading and sharing. She highlighted two very profound messages. First, there are no separate churches for the abled and differently abled: there is only ONE church. Second, all differently abled persons must be given opportunities to discover their SELF-WORTH, through participation in church life and visitations. Thus, parents should neither keep their special needs children hidden nor overprotect them.
The Offertory Procession was led by Melvin who is hearing-impaired. Melvin carried the universal wheel chair logo to symbolize their differing abilities together with the needs of everyone present, all our physical limitations and spiritual weaknesses. The symbol is a reminder to respect and care for the differently abled. Next, David who is wheel-chair bound, was accompanied by Amous, a youth volunteer. David carried a poster of the Sacred Heart surrounded by photographs of the activities of Eagle’s Wings. Peter who is also wheel-chair bound was accompanied by Nicholas, a youth volunteer while Kelvin, a young boy with a spinal cord problem, carried a basket of sweets. The cake and basket symbolize God’s gifts to the differently abled and Eagle’s Wings has used their baking and crafting skills.
After Mass, our special guests together with differently abled parishioners of Sacred Heart enjoyed a hearty breakfast and a get to know each other session. It was heartening to hear John, a faithful volunteer share how, as a youth, he grew up with Eagle’s Wings. In his closing address, Fr. Edwin Peter expressed his heartfelt desire that Sacred Heart Peel Road will soon set up a similar self-help ministry for our differently abled parishioners. The lyrics “you raise me up to more than I can be” led by the Sacred Heart parish youths resonates our Holy Father’s 2017 Lenten message that “the Word is a Gift; the other Person is a Gift”.
Parish Integral Human Development Ministry
Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus KL