March 2023 Newsletter

Where We Are Going 2023

Last year was a challenge with COVID but we have got through it.

This year is shaping up to be busier than last year.  The Deaf Social group is running on the last Friday of the month and we are close to trialling the Mass Translations in parishes.  Every week now we are uploading an Auslan translation of the Gospel on Facebook.  We plan on being more active on social media this year.

Mental Health is also firing up.  The program Do Not Be Afraid we have prepared has been trialled in two Parishes and is now available to all Parishes.  So far we have run sessions in Kalgoorlie and Karrinyup/Innaloo, specifically designed to meet their requirements.  Later this year we will be doing a program in Bateman Parish.  Hopefully toward the end of the 2023 we will running all ten sessions in one program.  During the year we plan on having Masses for the Mental Health Group.

The Activities group is running and we have new participants.  The Committee of Management has approved us taking the participants on excursions which will start soon. Shannon has got an interesting program organised for the participants for Term 1 and is already looking at ideas for Term 2.

Gospels in Auslan

We are very happy to announce that we have started a youtube channel that will have weekly Gospel reading in Auslan. We hope that it will be helping the Catholic Deaf community in our faith journey. We started it to coincide with the start of Advent  Year A. And we will continue to publish one weekly, hopefully until we complete the cycle of year A, B, and C. You could subscribe to it so that you don’t miss out and feel free to forward it to anyone who would benefit from this:

Emmanuel’s Christmas Party

The Emmanuel Centre would like to thank everyone who attended our Christmas Party in December 2022. Despite the rainy weather, we hope you enjoyed yourselves as much as we did and here are some pictures from the event.

Pastoral Centre’s Statues Restorations

Our resident artist Geoff  has been busy doing some restoration work on two statues at the Catholic Pastoral Centre, Highgate. The process  started in October 2022 and the first step was for Geoff to assess the statues to see what needed doing. The statues are very old, possibly 100 years old or more, and were in pretty bad condition. One had some damages including a broken limb that was previously inexpertly cemented back together by a handyman (the arm became a lump protruding out of the side of the statue), so Geoff needed to fix it first.

He spent November with Eric’s help sanding down, plastering, and preparing the statues before painting them in January this year, making sure he gets their skin tone as close as possible to the original. To make sure he has the materials he needs, a staff member from the Pastoral Centre went with Geoff to the art shop to order suitable paints and other supplies.

They are finally finished now. Geoff’s been working on them indoor in the chapel but once they’ve been given a weather proof coating, they will go out into the grotto where they belong.

If you or your organisation has some religious statues that need Geoff’s loving restoration, you could contact us via

Eric has left the building

Eric (pictured below at his last Christmas party with us last year) has left us for a well-paid job as a journalist. Here is a few words from Joe:

Eric is a character that doesn’t stop, with amazing energy.  Always smiling. What we often don’t think about is Eric’s other qualities.  He holds two university degrees and is without doubt a very intelligent person, who is brilliant at putting words together. He is passionate and caring, willing to bend over backwards for anyone.

He is incredibly attentive and doesn’t miss a lot, this combined with being genuinely good at listening makes people feel comfortable.  It could be said he is somewhat charismatic.  He puts his heart and soul into anything he does picking up Auslan quickly after he started work with Catholic Deaf.

We will miss him as nothing is ever boring when Eric’s around.  We wish him the best in his new adventure.

We were saddened by the news of Graham’s passing in January. Fifty one years ago Graham was instrumental in the founding of Catholic Deaf and Hard of Hearing WA which is still running today. We offer our sincerest condolences to Michael, Jenny and family in this time of grief.

Below is some of the beautiful sentiments Michael shared with us at his funeral.

Hi I am Michael, Graham and Helen’s second eldest son.

It was a surprise to mum and dad when they realised I was deaf not too long after I was born. Dad was very supportive and took me into the Speech and Hearing Centre to learn more about having a deaf child and how to communicate with me. Dad was so involved and invested so much time in the Speech and Hearing Centre he eventually became a life member. I was very proud.

Some of my favourite memories of Dad was through playing sports especially baseball which was Dad’s favourite sport, Dad was always there watching and made sure he was involved in one way or another. He would always tell me how I could improve and give me some strong feedback after the game.

I was lucky enough to be able to travel the world with Mum and Dad when I was 23. To this day this trip is still so memorable to me and I love reflecting back on it thinking about how fun it was especially the part when he forgot his key and I was sitting in the room watching TV for 1 hour while he was knocking at the door. He wasn’t very happy.

Dad helped me get my first job in a printing factory and I eventually worked with him for 6 years at Cypress Print which had its good and bad moments. But it is something I am forever grateful for.

Dad was always very strict with us growing up but always looked after me and was a good role model for me teaching me the importance of hard work and providing for your family. Dad thanked me for bringing my wife Jenny and two boys Tim and Liam into the family which he loved so much.

I am very lucky to have a father like him and I will miss him so much but I am sure he will be so happy to be reunited with Mum.

Love you Dad.

Snippets from our weekly program

A lot has happened since our last newspaper, but the highlight was definitely our Christmas party. Although this year there was rain!! We had a couple of tables set up with some examples of the Arts and Crafts we do during the year, as well as lots of yummy things to eat. Here are some pictures of the great day we had .

We started again after the holidays in January. We celebrated Allan’s birthday during our first week. Allan was very pleased that we remembered, as his birthday is during the holidays.

Do Not be Afraid is a Mental Health Program published by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference which is headed by our very own Bishop Don Sproxton. It is a resource for parishes for ministry to people with mental illness and their families. 

Emmanuel Centre has put in the additional resources such as articles, links to you tube videos etc to help us better understand the different mental illnesses and ways in which we as parish members can walk with and accompany people in their recovery journey.   

Emmanuel centre has conducted a condensed version of the ‘Do Not Be Afraid’ program in the parishes of Innaloo and Kalgoorlie and are in the process of planning their next parish session.

This programme is available on the Emmanuel Centre website.  Below is the Link:

I encourage everyone to visit this website and avail yourself of this resource.  It is of course a work in progress.

Whether you are a Parish member or not, I promise, you will find this very useful in understanding some of the mental health issues and hopefully journey in faith with someone in need .

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