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Disability Resources: Articles and Books

There are lots of articles but not so many books. Many of the books listed address people with disabilities as a side topic, and I’ve included some non-Orthodox Christian books that contain Orthodox Christian elements. But the ones that spring from family johnlahutskyrelationships and friendships are inspiring and instructive.

In To Read – Books: 

The Boy from Baby House 10 & Catherine’s Pascha In God’s Hands: A mother’s journey through her infant’s critical illness & Getting My First Hug

The articles are on two different pages, one for individual articles and the other for webpages that contain numerous articles concerning persons with disability:

To read (online articles) & To read (online article collections)

From the article collections, I would recommend beginning with The Orthodox Church of America’s Parish Ministry Resources, especially Parish Development

The individual online articles cover a wide variety of situations and perspectives in regard to disability and the Orthodox Church, as well as the situations and issues Orthodox Christians with disabilities face in this world: their opportunities, dilemmas, and struggles. Look over the list and read a couple of articles which catch your eye. And then feel free to read some more! Rules about priests with dementia is a highly informative Orthodox Christian website which provides patristic, monastic, and liturgical resources. There is also a community page, and on that page are numerous discussions concerning the practice of our Faith. One member of the community asked, “Are there any rules that indicate what should happen to a priest who, later on in his life, acquires dementia or any other mental disability?” Fr. Raphael Vereshack, one of the moderators of the site, provides an answer:

Rules about priests with dementia


Picture from Monastic Studies / The origins and motivations of monasticism

Holy Martyrs Cosmas & Damian of Rome, Unmercenary Physicians †284

Sts. Cosmas and Damian

Sts. Cosmas and Damian of Rome are counted as intercessors for persons with visual impairments. But they are also very familiar to Eastern Orthodox Christians, for they were from the East. They are commemorated in the Orthodox Church on July 1.

These brothers were physicians; the Holy Spirit also granted them the gift of healing through prayer illnesses of soul and body. That they were “unmercenary” means that they would take no payment for neither their medical efforts nor for their intercessory prayers. 

They were martyred for Christ during the reign of Emperor Carinus in 284 A.D.

Sources Holy Wonderworking Unmercenary Physicians Cosmas and Damian at Rome 

Orthodox Life: Sts Cosmas and Damian the Holy Unmercenaries. (1 July ) :

By their generosity and exceptional kindness to all, the brothers converted many to Christ. The brothers told the sick, “It is not by our own power that we treat you, but by the power of Christ, the true God. Believe in Him and be healed”. Since they accepted no payment for their treatment of the infirm, the holy brothers were called “unmercenary physicians”.

Icon from You Have Received Without Pay, Give Without Pay


Orphanages as centers of Orthodox education and social mission in India

Two Indian children with Sister Nectaria Paradisi

The following article from the website Christian Social Mission in South Asia provides astute, in-depth insights into the mission enterprise in that country. Here is an excerpt which focuses on people with disabilities:

We traveled in India in September, 2013 and talked with people, who took part in Orphanage with boys and girls with disabilities. India is the country with big educational problems. 2.2% of population of India are disabled which makes 22 million but NGOs think that the figure should be closer to 6% or 70 million11. And most of adults and children with disabilities have not access to education. Even if they got higher education nobody helps these children to enter the mainstream community after the graduation.

To access the article:

Christian social mission in India: stages of development and modern problems 

An article in the March 14, 2015 edition of The Times of India chronicles one inspiring effort led by Sister Nectaria Paradisi in Kolkata who labors for the Lord under the auspices the Philanthropic Society of Orthodox Church (PSOC):

 Greek nun lights up lives, gives hope to Kolkata kids, by 

Picture from the Pinterest page of Victoria Nicholson; originally from The goddess of the hunt: lucky girls (with a story and more pictures of the mission)


An interview with Charlotte Riggle, author of “Catherine’s Pascha,” on Ancient Faith Radio

The author is an Orthodox Christian and a mother with an adult son who has a disability. In this picture book, the character Catherine, who is six years old, has a friend, Elizabeth, who has a disability. This is Catherine’s journey through her Orthodox Church’s celebration of Holy Pascha: before, during, and after. The book brings out the multi-sensory and multi-cultural nature of the celebration of Pascha, the Feast of feasts, the Holy day of holy days in the Orthodox Christian Church. For those of you who are unsure of just what Pascha is, it is the Orthodox Christian name for Easter. 

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those who are in the tombs, bestowing life!

To hear the podcast: 

Ancient Faith: Catherine’s Pascha

To access the author’s website, with the full title of the book and ordering information:

Catherine’s Pascha: A Celebration of Easter in the Orthodox Church 

The book is published by Phoenix Press.

“Catherine’s Pascha” is also available on Amazon. 

Charlotte has another book in the works. 

You Tube: Don’t Rush Me: Learning Disabilities as Learning Differences

Developing Multiple Intelligences in the Orthodox Church

This short article is a gem:

Bringing up children Multiply Blessed and Fully Alive: To Grow in Faith is to Glorify God “Multiple Intelligence Theory” and Learning in the Orthodox Church, By Stephania Gianulis

Our Orthodox tradition is richly and “multiply” abundant with ways to know and grow in God through Scripture, liturgical worship, icons, hymns, and personal prayer. However your children are “smart,” you can engage them in ways that are true to their personalities and to our faith. Discerning your children’s “intelligences” is the key to helping them learn and grow.

The article references Howard Gardner as the author of the theory. Here is his page: 

A Q & A with Dr. Howard Gardner by Sarah Weiss in regard to Multiple Intelligences and their good use: 

Illustration from Teaching Intelligence 


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