2 October 2012
We recently had our SC 101 ‘Introduction to the Old Testament’ weekend at the St Francis Retreat Centre in Auckland. This went very well and we are half way through the course. The second half will take place on the weekend of November 2–4.
The Catholic Deaf Centre also recently had its Support Advisory Committee meeting.
This meeting usually occurs quarterly and is very helpful for me, as chaplain, since the committee is like my planning and support team.
You could say that it has replaced the Catholic Deaf Committee groups that used to be part of the ministry in the late 1970s and in the 1980s.
The current members are Sr Maureen O’Hanlon OP, Jackie Overall, Steven Johnston, Evelyn Seymour-East, Maureen Lambert and myself.
Towards the end of June I visited some Catholic Deaf in Hawke’s Bay.
A big challenge there is finding an interpreter or communicator who is interested in learning how to interpret the Mass. This is a project we are working on at the moment.
Deaf services in the South Island
While I was taking a break in Christchurch in July, I met with the Council of Priests of the Catholic Diocese of Christchurch and discussed with them the needs of the Catholic Deaf community in Christchurch.
The Bishop of Christchurch, Bishop Barry Jones, and the Council were very supportive of the idea of finding a suitable parish where the deaf could gather and access the Mass.
Our Catholic Deaf group in Christchurch is a small one but we are working on finding a parish they can gather at. Hopefully this will be organised by the time the next newsletter is out.
Did you know that Fr Geoff Gray used to say Mass for deaf children and their families in Christchurch in the late 1970s and early 1980s? I was lucky to meet Fr Geoff at the Council meeting.
I also caught up with Dennis Tod in Christchurch and let him know about the progress from the Council meeting. Dennis and Joyce Ferguson and Claire Raisin are my contact leaders in Christchurch. If any Catholic Deaf in Christchurch want to know what is happening with the group, please get in touch with Dennis, Joyce, or Claire.
From late July I started some more mentoring work with deaf students at Freyberg High School in Palmerston North. This is a good opportunity to be in touch with the younger Deaf in our community.
In August I went to Ss Peter and Paul in Lower Hutt to join the Catholic Deaf group there for Sunday Mass with Fr Bruce England. This was interpreted very competently by Angela Murray and attended by Mary Fifield, Angela Cannon, Angela Murray and myself. The deaf community always get a very warm welcome at Ss Peter and Paul.
After Mass I led a Bible study teaching on the gospel reading of the day, which was from John.
Finally, from August 24–26, we celebrated the Manawatu Deaf Society’s 50th jubilee. The jubilee dinner took place on the evening of the 25th and we had a Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit on the morning of the 26th.
Things are looking busy between now and December with two visits to Auckland, one for the Missalette Project and another for SC101.
There’s a meeting with the Hamilton priests and Bishop Denis Browne and I am also planning a Religious Signs workshop in Wellington for the end of November.
Next year, we will be celebrating 35 years of Catholic Deaf chaplaincy work in New Zealand and 35 years of our newsletter, Deaf Southern Star.
We are also planning a national Catholic Deaf seminar in Wellington for Queen’s Birthday weekend 2013.
This column was first published in the Deaf Southern Star. David Loving-Molloy is chaplain to the Catholic Deaf Community of the Palmerston North and Wellington dioceses. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image: The SC101 (Introduction to the Old Testament) group Celia King, Sue Bruce, Judith Serfontein and Mary Johnson.