The mission of Newark’s Catholic Deaf Ministry with the Deaf is to work for the full, active and meaningful participation in the life of the Church for persons who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing, affirming their Baptismal vocation; to combat their sense of isolation within the Church; to create awareness in parishes of the harm to the Body of Christ caused by this disconnection and collaborate on strategies of support and affirmation. "As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. For in one Spirit are all baptized into one body" (1 Cor. 12:12-13a). As the Pontifical Healthcare Council declared in its November 2009 recommendations, "Each large city should have a church/parish where the liturgy allows the active participation of people with hearing problems... and (the Church should) promote due respect for the dignity and rights of Deaf people, favoring their full social integration."
Who Do We Serve
The Ministry reaches out to Deaf Catholics, their friends and family members, collaborating with other local Deaf Services organizations to offer a central advisory resource for common issues and concerns. Welcoming “Deaf Culture” and including A.S.L. (American Sign Language) as a valid liturgical language is essential to the mandate of hospitality and celebration of cultural diversity sweeping the Church today.
The Pastoral Ministry with the Deaf has evolved to include five host parishes throughout the Archdiocese including our Deaf Parish of St. John’s Church in downtown Newark, where Sunday Masses, sacramental preparation and other religious services are readily accessible to persons with hearing loss, through Sign Language interpretation or direct provision by ASL-fluent clergy.
Charity = Justice = Inclusion
Responding to the Vatican’s recent mandate to “offer Deaf persons integral assistance for their complete self-realization”, Catholic Charities’ Pastoral Ministry with the Deaf carries on the work begun early in the twentieth century by local Catholic pioneers in Deaf Ministry who first realized this great spiritual need. As the Pontifical Healthcare Council declared in its November 2009 recommendations, “Each large city should have a church/parish where the liturgy allows the active participation of people with hearing problems… and (the Church should) promote due respect for the dignity and rights of Deaf people, favoring their full social integration.”
(Bergen, Essex, Hudson & Union Counties)
|NCOD||Fr. Mike Depcik, OSFS|
|Diocese of Boston||Counseling Services|