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Health: second European meeting for Catholics with hearing impairment in Prague. “Mutual support and sharing”

“Our meeting is very important for the life of persons with hearing impairment. It is the expression of a desire for unity with the Church, and for fidelity to Jesus Christ and the Church, as well as to the Baptismal mission of spreading the faith”. This message, published yesterday on the website of the Archdiocese of Prague, comes from the second European meeting for Catholics with hearing impairment in Prague (12-15 May 2017). Attending the event were the representatives of 12 European countries, hearing impaired persons, assistants and priests. The goal was “mutual support and sharing”. This “grassroots” initiative, the statement explains, comes from the “great desire of hearing impaired people to understand the Gospel and be an active presence in their communities”. During the work, the spiritual and pastoral activities of individual countries were presented together with the “efforts to translate the Bible into national sign languages”. “Specific pastoral needs” were also addressed as well as the “priestly formation” in this service and the new opportunities offered by the Internet and multimedia tools. The testimonies conveyed “joy for the return of many hearing impaired persons to an active life in the Church, as well as pain” since not always is there awareness among people of how essential sign language is. Particularly touching was the witness of some participants who said hearing loss does not prevent people “from living a full life, at the personal, professional but also spiritual levels”. Poland will host the next meeting in 2019.

 

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