Our Lady of the Way Parish Emu Plains

Vision of Ephpheta is to give God’s love


Catholic Outlook May 2014: DWF Appeal
Director of the Ephpheta Centre Stephen Lawlor is an active member of the deaf community. Photo: Alphonsus Fok

Originally published in Catholic Outlook May 2014

The Ephpheta Centre is a centre for deaf and hard of hearing people.

It was established in 1979 to provide services for the Catholic deaf community in Sydney. The centre is a special ministry of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney and is also supported by the dioceses of Parramatta and Broken Bay. Parramatta’s seminarians undertake pastoral placements at the Ephpheta Centre.

Donations to the DWF Appeal help to fund the work of the centre, which includes pastoral care, sacramental services, support and advocacy. Visitation is an important part of our work.

Our Vision

The Vision of Ephpheta is to give God’s love by following the Good News of Jesus Christ and reaching out to the Deaf and Hearing Impaired Communities.

The name Ephpheta was chosen because in St Mark’s Gospel (chapter 7) we read how Jesus cured the deaf man. “Jesus put His fingers into the man’s ears, spat and touched the man’s tongue. The Jesus looked up to heaven, gave a deep groan and said to the man ‘Ephpheta’ which means ‘Be open’.”

We aim to live the message of Ephpheta in our work and in the values of our centre by:

  • being open and welcoming to all members of the Deaf Community and their ideas;
  • being open to all people – deaf, hard of hearing and hearing alike;
  • being open and supporting all people – Catholic and non-Catholic; and
  • being open in the way we communicate – by making our information and materials accessible to all people.

The Centre provides the Catholic chaplaincy team for the deaf and hard of hearing in the dioceses of Sydney, Parramatta and Broken Bay.

Our Mission

Our Mission is to create opportunities for continuing faith development for the members of the Deaf and Hearing Impaired Communities by faithfully carrying on the mission of Jesus Christ.

We provide religious and social services for the signing-deaf, oral-deaf and hard of hearing and those who have lost hearing through age and industrial deafness.

We continue Jesus’ work by visiting members of our community confined to their homes, nursing homes, hospitals, the lonely and also people in prison.

The Ephpheta Centre organises Mass which is accessible for the deaf on the third Sunday of each month at 11am at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 7 Grantham Road, Seven Hills.

For more information about the Ephpheta Centre: www.ephpheta.org.au

Faith at Work is the theme of the Diocesan Works Fund (DWF) Appeal being held in parishes and Catholic schools throughout the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta during May. This appeal is an opportunity to act together as a diocesan family to support ministries and services that no single individual or parish can offer.

You can donate through your parish or school or online at Faith at Work: www.faithatwork.org.au 

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