Group helps deaf IEC pilgrims become evangelizers

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Filipino and foreign volunteers translate words of the Mass into a language hearing-impaired delegates of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) (Photo: Angie De Silva)

Filipino and foreign volunteers translate words of the Mass into a language hearing-impaired delegates of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) (Photo: Angie De Silva)

CEBU City, Jan. 25, 2016 –“Proclaim the Good News. Use words when necessary,” runs a quote attributed to St. Francis of Assisi.

But in the case of local and foreign volunteers interpreting for aurally challenged delegates to the ongoing 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) in Cebu City, not even verbal language was needed: They let their hands do what their mouths and tongues can’t.

 

Inspiring, joyful experience

“Unbelievably beautiful. Very inspiring and so joyful. It’s a great privilege to be here. It’s wonderful,” exclaimed Terry O’Meara, after leading co-interpreters from the International Catholic Foundation of the Service of Deaf Person (ICF) in translating to sign language the concelebrated Mass presided over by Archbishop Piero Marini, president of the Pontifical Committee to International Eucharistic Congresses.

According to the Washington native, serving the deaf community through deaf track workshop is the “most beautiful part of the IEC.”  

 

Terry O’Meara, an Irish-born American volunteer from the Archdiocese of Washington, (Photo: Raymond A. Sebastián)

Terry O’Meara, an Irish-born American volunteer from the Archdiocese of Washington, (Photo: Raymond A. Sebastián)

Mutual catechesis

“It’s the most beautiful part about being here with the deaf community to allow deaf people that wish to be part of this not only to participate, but to be agents of that catechesis,” she explained.

O’Meara pointed out the hearing impaired ICF caters to are now able to go out and be agents for Christ.

 

Empowerment

“So this is empowering them to be missionaries themselves so I am thrilled for that opportunity,” she explained.

Proof of O’Meara’s dedication is the fact that she has been doing this for some 30 years now.

Her movement, ICF, is a “communion of people from various countries united by the Holy Spirit out of the conviction that hearing impaired individuals are “called to the fullness of life in the Church.”

 

Pastoral care

It aims to push for the religious formation and pastoral care of, with, and by deaf people within the Catholic community.

The foundation, moreover, offers supports to chaplains, pastoral workers, and catechists, and seeks ways to bring the wealth of their vocation with other members of Christ’s Body and society to achieve a fuller expression of Eucharistic communion. (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)

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