Catholic Deaf Community NSW 100 years Celebrations – a brief history

Timeline of 100 years of Catholic Deaf Community NSW

1914     Catholic Deaf Association was formed in Sydney by Arthur Power (Deaf) with the support of Sister Mary Gabriel Hogan (Deaf) and Sister Mary Columba Dwyer of Rosary Convent Deaf School, Waratah (Newcastle NSW). The first deaf committee were Arthur Power (President), Marianne Hanney, Maggie Duffy, Michael and Mary Carmody, all ex-pupils of Rosary Convent. Sister Mary Gabriel Hogan came from Ireland to Australia in 1875 to open the Deaf School in Newcastle – the first Catholic Deaf School in Australia (School moved to Rosary Convent, Waratah in 1888).

 

1914 + During the early days of the Association, social gatherings were held in the home of Michael and Mary Carmody at Abbotsford, Sydney. Also, its members returned to the Rosary Convent for annual weekend retreats where the Dominican Sisters interpreted the priest’s talks.

 

1916 Annual Retreat at Waratah.

 

1921 Annual reunion at ‘Santa Sabina’ Dominican Convent in Strathfield in January.

 

1922 St Gabriel’s Deaf School for Boys was opened at Castle Hill, Sydney by the Christian Brothers from Ireland. Like Waratah, the method of instruction at St Gabriel’s was by the ‘Manual System’ (Irish one hand finger spelling and signs). The Catholic Deaf Association became a formal organisation with Brother Damian Allen as President and Arthur Power as Secretary.

1922 + Monthly meetings for spiritual instructions were held at St Mary’s Cathedral Chapter Hall, Sydney.

1924 10th Anniversary. Social gatherings were continued at the Carmody home in Abbotsford. The three days retreat was held at St Mary’s Cathedral in November and the Christian Brothers interpreted Fr Hogan’s talks there.

1928 Annual Reunion at Santa Sabina, Strathfield in January.

1929 Annual Adult Catholic Deaf Picnic day was held at St Gabriel’s, Castle Hill in November.

1930      Annual Reunion at Santa Sabina, Strathfield where Father Dominic Phillips (having Deaf sister) gave spiritual instruction in January. For the first time in the history of Australian Catholic Deaf they were addressed by a priest in their own sign language and no interpreter was required.

 

1931 Annual Reunion at Santa Sabina, Strathfield with Father Phillips’ mission.

 

1932 Annual Reunion at Santa Sabina, Strathfield with Father Phillips’ mission. Monthly meetings continued at St Mary’s Cathedral school-rooms.

 

1933 Annual Reunion at Santa Sabina, Strathfield with Father Phillips’ mission.

 

1934 Annual Reunion at Santa Sabina, Strathfield with Father Phillips’ mission.

 

1935 Annual Reunion at Santa Sabina, Strathfield with Father Phillips in January. Father Phillips was appointed the first Chaplain to the Adult Catholic Deaf in Sydney (and in Australia). December saw the annual retreat at St Gabriel’s and picnic outing to Avalon Beach.

 

1936 Picnic outing to Royal National Park in January. Under Father Phillips the Catholic Women’s Association formed a sub-committee to focus on helping the Adult Catholic Deaf Community with Mary ‘Belle’ Thornton as the convenor (‘Ladies Auxiliary’). Social gatherings were then held regularly in the Catholic Women’s Association rooms in King Street, Sydney.

 

1937 Annual Reunion at Santa Sabina, Strathfield with Father Phillips in February. Sad news came when Father Phillips moved to his new job in New Zealand and Father Greville Templeton (partially Deaf) replaced him as the new Chaplain. Monthly instruction for Adult Catholic Deaf was held at the room of the Catholic Women’s Association room after many years in St Mary’s Cathedral Chapter Hall.

 

1939 25th Anniversary was celebrated with a Silver Jubilee dinner in St Mary’s Cathedral Chapter Hall in November.

 

1940 Catholic Deaf Association moved into their first Club rooms at Lisgar House, 20 Carrington Street, Sydney where activities flourished. Cardinal Gilroy blessed this new meeting place of the Catholic Deaf in April.

 

1941      Annual Reunion at Santa Sabina, Strathfield with Father Herbert Myers, Military Chaplain (who can converse by finger spelling and signs) in January. The Ephpheta Feast Day was celebrated by Sydney Catholic Deaf for the first time with a picnic at ‘Loyola Grail’ headquarters, Greenwich in August.

 

1942 Cardinal Gilroy appointed Father William Malone as a new part-time Chaplain for the Deaf in April. He continued as a tireless and beloved Chaplain and advocate for the Catholic Deaf Community he served for over 36 years until 1979. The Annual Christmas Party was held in Lisgar House in December with Father Malone.

 

1943 The Ephpheta Feast Day was celebrated at the home of Our Lady’s Nurses at Coogee.

 

1946 Annual Reunion at Santa Sabina, Strathfield in January.

 

1947 Annual Reunion at Santa Sabina, Strathfield in January and at St Gabriel’s in October.

 

1948 Annual Communion at St Mary’s Cathedral following by Breakfast in Cusa House, 175 Elizabeth Street, Sydney in August

 

1949 Weekly Club Friday night was transferred to Legion House, 161 Castlereagh Street, Sydney in July. Regular social nights were changed to the 2nd Friday of each month in September. Annual Communion at St Mary’s Cathedral following by Breakfast in Legion House in August.

 

1950 Annual Communion at St Mary’s Cathedral following by Breakfast in Cusa House in August.

 

1951 Annual Communion at St Mary’s Cathedral following by Breakfast in Cusa House in August.

 

1952 Ferrini House, Croydon was changed into a hostel for Catholic Deaf working lads in July under the work of Allan Prescott, the only Catholic layman in Sydney who was proficient in sign language. Annual Communion at St Mary’s Cathedral following by Breakfast in Cusa House in August.

 

1954 Annual Communion at St Mary’s Cathedral following by Breakfast in Cusa House in August. Annual Reunion and Fete Day at St Gabriel’s in September.

 

1956 The beautiful Catholic Deaf Association banner painted by Ron Wild was blessed by Cardinal Gilroy who always showed great interest in its members and welfare.

 

1957      Catholic Deaf Debuntes Ball held in Legion House.

 

1959      Catholic Deaf Debuntes Ball held in Legion House.

 

1961      Catholic Deaf Debuntes Ball held in Legion House with Cardinal Gilroy in April.

 

1964 50th Anniversary. Father Anthony Ryan was appointed Assistant Chaplain to the Catholic Deaf.

 

1965 A new branch of Catholic Deaf Association was formed – Catholic Deaf Oral Club with Fr Ryan.

 

1966 Catholic Deaf social gatherings were moved to Marion House in Castlereagh Street. The exciting news came when the Pope allowed Fr Malone to use the sign language in the Mass in a unique ceremony in the crypt of St Mary’s Cathedral which was televised for national viewing – the world first occurrence – on Ephpheta Feast Day in August.

 

1971 Father John McKinnon was appointed as Assistant Chaplain for the Catholic Deaf.

 

1972 Annual Ephpheta Day Mass celebrated by Fr Malone in the crypt of St Mary’s Cathedral following by Breakfast in Cusa House.

 

1975 Annual Ephpheta Day Mass and luncheon held at Santa Sabina, Strathfield in August. There was a big celebration of the Centenary of Catholic Deaf Education in Australia (1875-1975) in Newcastle in August.

 

1976 Last Catholic Deaf gathering at Marion House, Sydney in March before moving to the new Adult Deaf Centre (Deaf Society of NSW premises) in Cambridge Street, Stanmore. Deaf Mass was held on 2nd Sunday afternoon of each month there. Catholic Deaf Friendship Club (formerly Catholic Oral Deaf Club) joined up with the Catholic Deaf Association.

 

1977 Annual Ephpheta Day Mass held in the crypt of St Mary’s Cathedral following by luncheon at Sydney Catholic Club.

 

1978 Annual Ephpheta Day Mass held in the crypt of St Mary’s Cathedral following by luncheon at Sydney Catholic Club. Father John Anderson was appointed as Assistant Chaplain for the Catholic Deaf.

 

1978      Jeanne Crowe retired as Secretary of Ladies Auxiliary (Hearing) of Catholic Deaf Association in October after 26 years. The important National Catholic Deaf Conference was held in Canberra in November and their theme was ‘Deaf People in the Church’. A national body called the ‘Catholic Association of Deaf and Hearing Impaired People of Australia Inc’ (CADHIPA) was then formed.

 

1979 The Ephpheta Centre was opened in Paddington to provide services to the Catholic Deaf Community in Sydney. Sister Helen Gaffey was the first Director of the Ephpheta Centre. Annual Ephpheta Day Mass and luncheon held at Stanmore Deaf Centre in August. Father Malone said his last Deaf Mass at Stanmore in December. The State body ‘CADHIPA (NSW) was formed in Sydney and the Catholic Deaf Association was one of their several representatives.

 

1980 Monthly Deaf Mass continued at Stanmore every 2nd Sunday morning of each month including Ephpheta Day Mass in August.

 

1982 Catholic Women’s League (Ladies Auxiliary) helpers including Jeanne Crowe ceased catering services to Catholic Deaf Association after 46 years.

 

1984 Annual Ephpheta Day Mass held at St Francis Church, Paddington in August.

 

1989 The Ephpheta Centre moved from Paddington to Lewisham. Regular Deaf Mass commenced at Lewisham. The Catholic Deaf in the Parramatta Diocese formed their own organisation, ‘CADHIPA – Parramatta Diocese’. Father Peter Fitzgerald became the Chaplain. Catholic Deaf Association celebrates 75 years!

 

1991      CADHIPA (NSW) joined up with the Catholic Deaf Association under the new name ‘CADHIPA – Sydney/Broken Bay in October.

 

1996      The Ephpheta Centre moved from Lewisham to Flemington.

 

1998 National CADHIPA closed.

 

1999 CADHIPA – Sydney/Broken Bay was renamed as Catholic Deaf Association – Sydney/Broken Bay while CADHIPA – Parramatta Diocese was renamed as Catholic Deaf Association – Parramatta Diocese.

 

2001 Father Peter Woodward replaced Fr Peter Fitzgerald as Chaplain to the Catholic Deaf.

 

2005 Cardinal George Pell decided it was time for a Deaf layperson to become director of the Ephpheta Centre and Stephen Lawlor was appointed.

 

2009 The Ephpheta Centre was again on the move, this time to Punchbowl.

 

2010 Catholic Deaf Community – Parramatta Diocese joined with the Catholic Deaf Association – Sydney/Broken Bay Dioceses under the new name ‘Catholic Deaf Community NSW’.

 

2012 Stephen Lawlor was awarded the honour of a Papal award, receiving the honour of Knight of St Sylvester in recognition of his work in the Church and to the Catholic Deaf community.

 

2013 Father Peter Woodward retired as Chaplain to the Catholic Deaf after 12 years.

 

2014 Catholic Deaf Community NSW celebrates their 100th Anniversary with Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral and luncheon in Castlereagh Club (Catholic Club). Three part-time Chaplains are appointed: Fr John Paul Escarlan, Fr Michael Lanzon and Fr Kim Ha.

 

 

 

Author: ephpheta

Community Liaison Officer for Ephpheta Centre www.ephpheta.org.au

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