40 Years of Ephpheta Centre in Sydney
David Parker presented at our Speaker Series event in May to showcase the work that you make possible for the Ephpheta Centre, one of the beneficiaries of the Charitable Works Fund. His life motto is simple: to work hard and to laugh a lot.
Ephpheta’s part-time chaplain, Fr Michael, is currently learning Auslan so that, along with the rest of the staff, he can appropriately support and minister to the deaf and hard of hearing.
The pastoral care that comes from the Ephpheta centre includes mass twice a week in Auslan for the deaf community, visits to the deaf in hospitals, nursing homes and jails, Sacraments such as confession, interpreters to include deaf people in Church programs as well as opportunities to contribute to them. The reality is there are not nearly enough priests who can sign in Auslan. Imagine how lonely it would be to live in a nursing home or jail for a deaf person, or going to the sacrament of confession with a priest who can’t interpret or respond to sign language? The deaf community can easily feel isolated and unable to participate in their faith because of this.
This is why Ephpheta run a monthly Deaf Café, youth services, pilgrimages overseas, coordinate Deaf Men’s and Deaf Women’s social outings and so much more.
David and the rest of the team are excited for the opportunities to grow Ephpheta Centre as well as support more of the deaf community. Increasing the access for these people will unlock the way to becoming more involved, feeling connected and being able to express their faith with others.
Since their beginning in 1979 Ephpheta has supported Sydney, Parramatta and Broken Bay dioceses. To celebrate their 40 years this year, a special Mass took place at St Patrick’s Cathedral, followed by a three-course lunch to celebrate the many achievements Ephpheta has seen in NSW, the deaf community and interpreters who make it all possible and the friendships that have come from their ministry.
It’s safe to say David fondly reflected on the hard work put in by all at Ephpheta and enjoyed the laughs he seeks to find through his life motto.
For the work that has come out of and is still to come from the Ephpheta Centre, we are very grateful for your support.
Below are some photos from the celebration: