Media and Communications Office
Melbourne’s John Pierce Centre has been hosting the Deaf Catholic Conference in Melbourne, the first such conference in over a decade. The event venue was the Catholic Leadership Centre in East Melbourne.
The theme this year was ‘Our community of faith: reflect, embrace and nurture’.
The Deaf Catholic Conference was open to all deaf and hearing people working in the pastoral care fields within the deaf community, and to deaf community members themselves.
It was also an opportunity for deaf Catholics to experience their faith in their natural language—Auslan.
Three special presentations were given, by Terry O’Meara, Executive Director for the International Catholic Foundation for the Service of Deaf Persons; Mary O’Meara, Executive Director for Department of Special Needs Ministries under the Archdiocese of Washington, USA; and Dr Breda Carty, lecturer at the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children.
During a break in the final day’s presentations, Mary O’Meara and Rachel Miers, Executive Manager of the conference’s hosts, The John Pierce Centre, took time out to speak to Melbourne Archdiocese’s Media and Communications Director Shane Healy about the role of the conference and special approaches necessary for Catholic evangelisation in deaf communities all over the world.