5 April 2012
Work has begun on the St Dominic’s Archives Project with the help of Sr Maureen O’Hanlon OP. We received expert advice on this from Br Gerard Hogg SM who is the Marists’ chief archivist. There are a number of documents and photos from the early 1940s to the present day. These have to be properly stored, scanned to a hard drive and categorised.
Part of the storage of valuable documents involves transferring videotape material onto DVDs. St Dominic’s School for the Deaf Charitable Trust has supported the establishment of the archive and provided funds for the first 17 DVDs which cost more than $500.
Newsletter on email
During February I contacted some 290 recipients of the Deaf Southern Star newsletter to see how many would be happy to receive it by email in PDF form. About half of those on the list have agreed and this, with the new photocopier making fewer copies, will save a great deal of money.
The Deaf Southern Star has been printed at the Massey Printery in the last couple of years at a cost of more than $700 plus $200 for postage per edition – a significant expense four times a year.
This year I will be teaching SC101 with some Catholic Deaf leaders from Auckland and Hamilton over two weekends in June and November at the St Francis Retreat centre in Auckland. At present I am the only Deaf person able to teach these papers to Catholic Deaf in New Zealand. I have been teaching some papers to local Catholic Deaf leaders over the last few years but Auckland leaders have not had this opportunity so far. I hope there will be more opportunities for them in the future as well as for Catholic Deaf leaders in Christchurch.
A couple of days with the Catholic Deaf group in Wellington towards the end of February proved fruitful. I have also contacted parishes and schools in the Palmerston North and Wellington dioceses as I usually do every two or three years to ask whether they have any new Deaf or hearing-impaired. I have had some responses from Taranaki and Wellington which can be followed up.
Parish support for hearing impaired
One issue concerns older parishioners who experienced hearing-impairment later in life. Usually organisations such as the Hearing Association provide services for this particular group, but the availability of these services varies widely in the rural areas and smaller cities.
From a parish point of view it would important to assess the number of older hearing-impaired in the parish to see whether the installation of a ‘loop system’ in the church is warranted.
These systems are usually a significant help for people with hearing-aids to be able to hear more clearly in church. Parishes with a number of older people with hearing-aids could also look at setting up a support group to help people with the personal issues that come with hearing-impairment.
In February there was another missalette translation meeting at Pompallier Centre in Auckland where we are making great progress working our way through the Creed. I have found that it is easier to focus on the Latin rather than the English because it often has a richer depth of meaning. To continue in this project we will need a copy of the Latin translation of the New Missal.
Once the missalette is finished we will have a DVD resource which designated priests of dioceses can learn and incorporate in Masses. To date there are three designated priests: Fr Michael Endemann in Auckland; Fr Peter Fahy in Palmerston North and Fr Bruce England in Wellington. This year I will be addressing priests in Christchurch and Hamilton in the hope of finding a willing contact for the Catholic Deaf in their diocese.
The Catholic Deaf Centre is also a national resource centre and my work has recently taken on a more national focus as Catholic Deaf leaders throughout the country need help to learn and train, particularly as there are not yet enough people competent in New Zealand Sign Language to sign and teach.
David Loving-Molloy is a counsellor and pastoral adviser in the Catholic Deaf Centre of the Palmerston North Diocese.
This column was first published in Deaf Southern Star.