Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Helping the Disabled Connect with God

I have just received a request to post the following press release. It sounds like a very useful resource so here it is:

Priest's New Book Offers Programs to Encourage Spiritual Experience in
Severely Impaired

ROCHESTER, Pa. - In his new book, Fr. William L. Gillum illustrates that no one is beyond the reach of the positive benefits of God's love. McGuire Memorial Awakening Spiritual Dimensions: Prayer Services with Persons with Severe Disabilities (now available through AuthorHouse) extends a hand to disabled persons and shows them and their caregivers that a loving Christian relationship with God is possible.

Gillum presents techniques for prayer with the disabled, which explore many alternative ways to reach a religious experience. He teaches about using a contemplative and sensory-based approach to prayer by incorporating symbols to arrive at a "sense of the sacred." Awakening to the love of God can be amplified by gentle sounds, touch, aroma, visuals, paraphrased Scripture passages, activities and lessons of simple phrases and sentences.

The first part of the book explains the approach, offers heartwarming true stories and teaches readers about the goals and strategies of the program that follows in Part 2. In the second section, Gillum includes an introduction for leaders embarking on a prayer program for the disabled. From preparing the space for gatherings to the order of the various types of prayer to other activities, he helps them teach their students.

In Part 3, 32 prayer sessions are provided. Detailed, step-by-step guides to lessons provide organize scripts filled with ideas, encouraging words and other effective ways to help disabled Christians connect with God.

A revolutionary guide to awakening the spiritual energy in the severely physically and mentally disabled, McGuire Memorial Awakening Spiritual Dimensions: Prayer Services with Persons with Severe Disabilities teaches them how to pray, build Christian relationships and friendships and celebrate the presence of God.

Fr. William Gillum OFM Cap., M.Ed. is the director of pastoral care for at McGuire Memorial in New Brighton, Pa., which provides a school, residence and training programs to children and adults who are severely disabled or medically fragile. A Capuchin Franciscan priest and friar of the Pennsylvania Province of St. Augustine in Pittsburgh, Pa., he received his Master of Divinity from the Washington
Theological Union and his Master of Education degree in special education from Loyola College of Maryland. He has spent the past 30 years ministering to those with disabilities and is a member of the religions and spirituality division of the American Association of Mental Retardation and the National Apostolate for Inclusion Ministry. AuthorHouse is the premier publishing house for emerging authors and new voices in literature. For more information, please visit http://www.authorhouse.com and search for ISBN: 1425924018.

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