Deaf Ministry

The Pastoral Worker to the Catholic Deaf Community has responsibility on behalf of the Bishop of Auckland, for the Pastoral Care and support for the deaf, hearing impaired and those involved with them.

Working with:

  • Catholic Deaf Community to discern pastoral priorities and set goals
  • Volunteers within the Catholic Deaf Community to arrange appropriate liturgical and sacramental celebrations
  • provides appropriate educational programmes and training for members of the Catholic Deaf Community so as to empower them to take active roles in prayer, liturgies and sacramental celebrations.

Once a month on the Second Sunday, there is a deaf-friendly Mass held at the Diocesan Centre in Ponsonby. Mass begins at 12pm and is followed by lunch.
All are welcome.
Check out the details here.

A monthly newsletter is also sent out.  If you wish to receive it please contact rachelm@cda.org.nz 
Or download the latest edition June 2017 newsletter here

Meet Our Pastoral Worker to the Deaf 

Bishop Pat appointed Rachel Marr to the Diocesan Religious Education Team in the position of Pastoral Worker to the Deaf in October 2016.

Rachel grew up in Palmerston North. She has strong links with the Catholic Deaf Community both in Palmerston North and here in Auckland. She is married with and has two young boys. Rachel brings with her a strong sense of Catholic Deaf culture which she has contributed to the National Liturgy Office’s working party on New Zealand Signs for use at Masses. Rachel currently works for Deaf Aotearoa where she has helped Deaf community members access various support services. She is a skilled communicator, particularly in her first language NZSL.

A Brief History of Catholic Deaf Education in New Zealand

1857 St Joseph’s School for Deaf Boys, Cabra Dublin. Christian Brothers took on the work.
1863 Mother Dympna Kinsella OP, a Cabra Sister, established the Grimley School for Deaf in Capetown, South Africa.
1875 Sr Gabriel Hogan OP, a Deaf teacher of the Deaf from St Mary’s Cabra started the school for Deaf in Waratah N.S.W Australia.
1890 Two Dominican Sisters started the School for Deaf in Chinchuba in Louisiana U.S.A.
1922 St Gabriel’s School for Deaf Boys in Castle Hill, Sydney, N.S.W.
1943 Sr M Stanislaus Gavin OP and Sr M Rose Noble-Campbell OP went to Rosary School for Deaf, Waratah N.S.W for 1 year to be trained as teachers of the Deaf. They learnt the Irish finger spelling and sign language.
1944 St Dominic’s School started in Island Bay, Wellington New Zealand
1947 St Mary’s School for Deaf was founded in Portsea Victoria.
1953 Moved to Fielding, living in old buildings.
1954 Official opening of the classrooms and dormitory.
Prior to the opening of St Dominic’s School for Deaf, the Catholic Bishops of New Zealand used to sponsor the Catholic Deaf Children to Rosary School and St Gabriel’s School for Deaf.
Also in Sumner School for Deaf (now Van Asch College), Miss Marie Richards used to teach the Deaf Boarders their Catholic Faith and prepared them for their 1st Communion and Confirmation. Sisters Stanislaus and Rose brought back the Irish Sign language for the Deaf children to learn but some weeks later they were told Sign Language is forbidden in New Zealand.
Miss Marie Richards taught the Sisters an oral method in 1944 and again in 1948 then taught Sr Louise.

Useful Links…