The International Catholic Foundation for the Service of Deaf Persons is
a movement of communion among people from various countries
brought together by the Holy Spirit out of a common conviction
that Deaf persons are called to the fullness of life
in Christ's body which is the Church.
The mission of the International Catholic Foundation is to support and promote the religious formation and pastoral care of, with and by Deaf people within the Catholic Community. The International Catholic Foundation offers support to Chaplains, Pastoral Workers and Catechists and seeks ways to bring the riches of their vocation with others in the Church and society so as to achieve a fuller expression of Eucharistic communion.
To promote this Mission the International Catholic Foundation will:
- Raise awareness of Deaf peoples presence in the Church and the gifts and charisms they have to offer;
- Serve as a resource for the development of religious formation and pastoral care and the formation of Chaplains, Pastoral Workers and Catechists, both Deaf and Hearing;
- Promote appropriate International gatherings;
- Collaborate with other organizations having the same Mission;
THE INTERNATIONAL CATHOLIC FOUNDATION FOR THE SERVICE OF DEAF PERSONS which, since NOVEMBER, 1986, has been registered in England as a private limited Company, and as a Registered Charity, and 501(c)(3) in the USA.
The seeds of the Foundation were sown at an International Conference which was held in DUBLIN, IRELAND in 1971. This Conference was attended by approximately 200 delegates including bishops, priests, teachers of the deaf, psychologists, and social workers from such countries as AFRICA, AUSTRALIA, ENGLAND, GERMANY, IRELAND, THE NETHERLANDS, and THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. The participants came together because of a felt need in the Catholic apostolate to deaf people - both children and adults.
The International Catholic Foundation for the Service of Deaf Persons seeks to make people aware of the difficult situation of the deaf person in the Church and to provide as many Publications and teaching aids as possible for all those involved in the religious education of the deaf. It also aids to set up training programmers with a view to reaching out to those who have no resources and to facilitate the participation of deaf people in International events.
Among the many resolutions listed in the Report of the Dublin Conference held in 1971, we find the following:
- An appeal should be made to the Catholic Conference of Bishops throughout the world for more attention to the deaf and their spiritual needs.
- In each country one Bishop should have responsibility for the spiritual welfare of the deaf. Irrespective of the general pastoral standards in a diocese the spiritual needs of the deaf must be seen as a continuing missionary need.
- Because of the complex and all pervasive nature of the isolation caused by deafness, the Conference recommends that special consideration be given to the needs of the deaf in liturgical participation.
Since 1971, the Dublin Conference, International Conferences and Symposiums have been organized by the International Committee of the Foundation: 1980 Conference, Manchester, England; 1984 Symposium, Newark, New Jersey, U.S.A.; 1986 Conference, Louvain. Belgium; 1998 Symposium, Manchester, England; 1991 Conference, Rome, Italy; 1993 Symposium, Sint Michielsgestel; the Netherlands; 1994 Conference, Vallolaloid, Spain; 1997 Symposium, Cologne, Germany; 1998 Conference, Fort Laurderdale, USA; 2003 Conference, Mexico City. 2008 Conference Rome, Italy; 2009 Conference, Rome Italy. 2012 Deaf Track, International Eucharistic Congress, Dublin, Ireland; 2016 Deaf Track, International Eucharistic Congress, Cebu, Philippines.
The publications of the Proceedings include: Dublin, Ireland, 1971, Religious Education of the Deaf; Manchester, England, 1980, Towards a Living Eucharist; Newark, New Jersey, USA, 1984, Catechesis for the Hearing Impaired, Today and Tomorrow; Louvain, Belgium, 1986, Religious Education of the Deaf: a practical approach to Eucharist; Manchester, England, 1998, Eye People; Rome, Italy, 1991, Eye People Ministering & Seeing is Believing & Religious education in a Special School Setting; Vallolodid, Spain, 1994, Ministering where no bird sings & On Eagles Wings; and these have provided priests, teachers and parents with invaluable help in their efforts to bring the Good News to deaf people.
The Logo of the International Catholic Foundation for the Service of Deaf Persons consists of:
Wavebands representing communication which are connected indicating contact.
Communication about the Word of God is signified by the cross at the center to symbolize that the Word of God is at the center of life of all hearing impaired people.