Asian Deaf Catholic Conference 6

The next day was a cruise out to an island in the Java Sea north of Jakarta.

All 150 of the ADCC participants were on this boat for a 1 1/2 hour cruise to Pramuka Island. Passengers had a choice of the open upper deck or the air conditioned lower deck.
Just after getting off the ferry, everyone was offered a coconut to drink.
One half the group then took a smaller boat to go snorkeling in a shallow area of the Java Sea but I was in the other group that went to a mangrove rehabilitation center where we planted a mangrove cluster that protects the island from erosion by the sea.
Then we walked to a sea turtle preserve where the seven different species of sea turtles were shown and a park ranger explained their turtle conservation efforts.
Then it was back to Jakarta and we had a special dinner at a seafood restaurant before heading back to the retreat center.

Asian Deaf Catholic Conference 5

Cultural Night
After the meetings, we gathered in the hall for our Sunday liturgy with the priest from Korea presiding.
Then it was time for a special dinner. A traditional symbolic basket of food was presented first.
Some trained dancers then presented traditional Indonesian dances.

Then the deaf country groups performed short national dances. First, Japan…
….then Thailand.

Notable Quotes

“If you want God to hear your prayers, hear the voice of the poor. If you wish God to anticipate your wants, provide those of the needy without waiting for them to ask you.”

St. Thomas of Villanova

Asian Deaf Catholic Conference 4

After two days of sightseeing, the work of the conference began, but first each country was invited to set up a display of their culture and activities and the deaf community. Here Japan posts some photos from their activities.
As part of their display, Japan offered deaf people from other countries to dress up in Japanese costumes.
Then the meetings began. A major focus of discussion was whether this organization should continue as just a regular conference or should become a forma association of Catholic deaf people in Asia.
the first discussions were followed by reports from each of the countries on their activities.
Later discussions on the that major issue were continued in small groups.

Asian Deaf Catholic Conference 3

After visiting the National Monument, the three buses went to the Jakarta Cathedral for a mass with the cardinal of Jakarta.

When we arrived at the cathedral, we had a tour of the cathedral museum, a game, and a short prayer at an outside grotto, and then another box lunch. We had a lot of box meals as we traveled around over three days.
The liturgy was complex with many ministers and participants, but it was well planned by a very competent staff.
At the end, Fr. Park Min Seo showed a video made by Cardinal Bo of Myanmar, welcoming our group on behalf of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences. Fr. Park was using sign language and I was interpreting that into spoken English. Other interpreters listened to my English and then interpreted the thoughts into their national sign languages.
Then the cardinal and all the ADCC 3 priests posed for pictures with these ministers and then with each of the national groups. I am wearing an ear piece connected to my phone which was connected to Zoom and a service that translated spoken Indonesian Bahasa into English.

Asian Deaf Catholic Conference 2

National monument

We spent quite a few hours in these three buses this week. On the first full day, after breakfast we boarded them to go the Indonesian National Monument.
Inside building below the large monolith, a guide gave a brief summary of Indonesia history which interpreters relayed in sign language.
As might be expected many school children were at the monument for field trips. These students were waiting their turn to see the exhibits.
The exhibit hall had four walls of colorful, historically accurate dioramas with figures (not paintings) to depict important scenes in Indonesia’s past.
Later, back outside, we ate a box lunch on the monument’s platform before boarding the buses to go to the next stop.

Asian Catholic Deaf Conference 1


The Catholic deaf groups of Asia started a conference held every three years to bring the Catholic deaf people together for a time of learning and celebrating our faith together. This third conference, delayed several years by Covid, attracted 150 participants.

Four of us from Cambodia attend ADCC 3 in Jakarta. Here we have arrived at the Samadi Center at 1:30 AM and encountered a Filipino deaf family I first met in Cebu in the Philippines 35 years ago.
In the morning our group was fortunate to encounter Fr. Park Min Seo, a deaf priest from Korea, who is the main figure in the Catholic deaf church of Asia.
The curse of the Internet is that work follows one everywhere. Shortly after breakfast, Julie Lawler and I participated in a Zoom meeting with two technical assistants in New York who are coming to teach interpreter training in Cambodia.
The first formal activity of the conference was an opening mass presided over by Fr. Park Min Seo who welcomed everyone and invited their participation.
In the evening, the South Koreans had not yet arrived but everyone else gathered for an introductory session to explain what would happen during the next five days.

Notable Quote

“If a political party does not have its foundation in the determination to advance a cause that is right and that is moral, then it is not a political party; it is merely a conspiracy to seize power.”
-Dwight D. Eisenhower

Sunday Liturgy

Today our Sunday liturgy was a little bit special. After the homily, Jay, one of our parishioners, received the sacrament of confirmation.

We celebrated the beginning of a new school year by inviting all our students–and even those not yet in school–to come forward after communion to receive a blessing.