Learning to put people first when ministering to a person with a disability could make a world of difference.

“When you put people first instead of putting their disability first it’s less judgmental,” keynote speaker Charleen Katra, associate director, Office of Evangelization and Catechesis, Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, said. “Spiritual understanding can be shown through that gesture.”

Katra spoke about the ways to minister to people with disabilities at the Catechetical Conference at St. Mary Parish, Fannett, Aug. 15. Her address was based on statements from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops from 1978 and 1995 that set guidelines for how the Catholic Church ministers to persons with disabilities.

The conference also featured a closing address on classroom management by Marcia Stevens, superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Beaumont. Rita Ann Martinez spoke to Hispanic leaders about welcoming all students into church and responding to their needs.