Let’s continue our examination of Baptism in the Guidelines for the Celebration of the Sacraments with Persons with Disabilities. First, the same considerations as with any parent or godparent:
(T)he pastor is to see to it that the parents of an infant with a disability, those who take the place of the parents, and those who will fulfill the function of godparent are properly instructed as to the meaning of the Sacrament of Baptism and the obligations attached to it.
Visits, presumably at home, are a “should” for the pastor or staff member. As are preparation sessions with other parents. These reinforce the support parents can count on from others in a parish community and also raise awareness of the various issues parents face–not just an infant or child with special needs.
For older persons, “Adults and children of catechetical age with disabilities should be welcomed into all stages and rites of the initiation process.” (13) Take this seriously. It means the Rite of Acceptance into the catechumenate, the Rite of Election with the bishop, the Scrutinies, and initiation at the Easter Vigil, including Confirmation. Keep in mind that latter sacrament does not require a driver license, a middle school diploma, or really anything more than Baptism requires. The Easter Vigil is the time and place for all three sacraments of initiation.
The section on Baptism concludes with a discussion of the role of sponsor/godparent. They are chosen for “fostering the faith life of the catechumen.” This may be a consideration:
Catholics with disabilities may serve as sponsors and godparents, and like others who fulfill these roles, they are to be carefully chosen and formed for these responsibilities