Since the departure of Sr Carmel McEvoy who had worked with the deaf community in our Diocese for over 30 years, a new coordinator was appointed to serve the deaf community in the Northern dioceses. Ms Denise Flax was formally commissioned by Cardinal Sean Brady at a special Mass for the deaf in the summer of 2007. Denise works alongside the chaplains to the deaf in the Northern Dioceses. Since she was appointed she has worked very hard getting to know the deaf community, helping to plan the various masses. Denise has introduced recreational days, days out and workshops.

In our own Diocese there is a bi-monthly Mass for the deaf. These are arranged by Denise, the Chaplain, Fr Garrett Campbell, and the Clarke family. This Mass is celebrated in the Chapel of St Patrick’s Grammar School. To help facilitate the needs of the deaf community Denise has the text of the Mass on PowerPoint and Paula Clarke signs the Mass as Fr Campbell celebrates. These masses are not only prayerful but also social experiences for the community. After each mass there is good social interaction, where the community have a chance to communicate and share experiences. The Clarke family and friends always arrange tea, sandwiches and cakes after each celebration. At Christmas the Mass is celebrated by the Cardinal, followed by a Christmas dinner.

When there is no Mass in our Diocese, Dromore Diocese and the Diocese of Down and Conner offer Mass for the deaf community. There is much support between the Dioceses. We have been greatly supported over the years by Fr Paul Strain of Down and Conner. Fr Paul and Sr Carmel worked very well over many years and as a Diocese we are indebted to this work by Sr Carmel McEvoy.

The Chaplain’s contact details are:

Rev Garrett Campbell CC,
Parochial House,
17 Eagralougher Road
Co Armagh, BT61 8LA
Tel (028) 3889 1231
Fax (028) 3889 1827
E-mail: [email protected]