09 May 2009

Pope visits center for young persons with disabilities in Amman

Pope Benedict wearing a 'keffayah'

Since the early 1990s I’ve been involved to some degree with the Deaf here in Bacolod City and with Faith and Light in the Manila area (and here) though with the latter somewhat tenuously.

I was utterly delighted then to read that Pope Benedict’s first stop after the welcoming ceremony when he arrived in Jordan yesterday was at Regina Pacis (Queen of Peace) Center.

Zenit reports, ‘The Pope visited the Regina Pacis center in Amman today, just an hour after his official welcome to Jordan by the nation's King Abdullah II and Queen Rania.

‘The center was founded in 2004 by the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and offers not only medical attention but also formation and education to disabled youth, both Christian and Muslim.

‘Bishop Selim Sayegh, Latin patriarchal vicar of Jordan and the center's founder, together with the youth, the nursing staff and volunteers, the Comboni religious women who run the center, and retired Patriarch Michel Sabbah welcomed the Holy Father to the site. His Beatitude Patriarch Fouad Twal offered words of welcome.

‘In a festive encounter celebrated in the center's chapel, the Pontiff recognized that these disabled youth have been led to Regina Pacis by journeys "marked by suffering or trial."

'"Some of you struggle courageously with disabilities, others of you have endured rejection, and some of you are drawn to this place of peace simply for encouragement and support," he said. "It is a great joy for me to be with you."'

The Pope lauded the 'center's great success in promoting the rightful place of the disabled in society and in ensuring that suitable training and opportunities are provided to facilitate such integration.'

Benedict said to the young people at the centre, ‘Some of you struggle courageously with disabilities, others of you have endured rejection, and some of you are drawn to this place of peace simply for encouragement and support. Of particular importance, I know, is the Centre's great success in promoting the rightful place of the disabled in society and in ensuring that suitable training and opportunities are provided to facilitate such integration. For this foresight and determination you all deserve great praise and encouragement!’

You can read the full report here and the full text of the Pope’s remarks here.






1 comment:

Faith & Light said...

Thank you so much for sharing this to us Fr. Sean, it is quite touching to know that people with disabilities has a soft spot in the heart of Pope Benedict. His words of encouragement not only inspired those who were there in Amman but all throughout the world as well.