St. Charles Borromeo Church works to express our Catholic faith through building a diverse community which bears witness to the power of God’s love. Inclusion is central to this, and individuals with disabilities are invited to fully share in the rich sacramental life of the parish. St. Charles Borromeo Church seeks to build upon these efforts and further celebrate the various gifts and abilities of its members. Our parish celebrated Inclusion Awareness Day on Sunday, October 14, 2012.
Two parishioners serve as Parish Advocates for Persons with Disabilities, and received training through Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens, Parish and Community Outreach and Services. These Advocates, Phil Murray and Ashleigh Thompson, liaise with Father Ed and Parish Pastoral Council to ensure that meaningful sacramental participation is available to all parishioners. Phil and Ashleigh are available to meet with parishioners with disabilities in person, over the phone or by email to explore ways that St. Charles Borromeo can better meet the needs of members and neighbors. Contact the rectory to schedule an appointment.
The Church supports inclusion in various ways. For example, the careful design plans for our new Parish House, Office, and Rectory include an accessible ramped entrance, wheel-chair accessible elevator, and accessible chapel, meeting spaces and toilets on both the basement and parlor levels. Many ushers wear large-print nametags to identify themselves to anyone who may need assistance. Accessibility information is stated in bold in the bulletin. The church features a curb cut and ramp at its side entrance which enables parishioners who use wheelchairs and walkers to access the nave.
A new PA system was installed in 1995 to improve the sound quality for people with hearing impairments. Announcements and excerpts from homilies are routinely featured on St. Charles Borromeo’s website to aid parishioners who may not be able to attend Mass in person. The Prayer and Contemplation Garden runs along the entire north side of the church and is open to all, offering seating and solace to visitors with emotional and physical health issues.