As this Catholic Deaf Awareness week, we look back at the difference pilgrimages that the Deaf Community have been part of, I am reminded how often the hearing people on these trips with the Deaf Community come away with a totally different understanding of having sign language at Mass. A signed Mass can make everyone pause and think that little bit more about the words being used, what they actually mean and how they are expressed in sign language.
On this trip to Padua, we stayed opposite the beautiful basilica that contained the relics of St Anthony (and had bells that rang at 6 a.m. every morning, which the hearing interpreters were less pleased about!) Visiting the Scrovegni Chapel to see the powerful frescos by Giotti showing the life of Mary, the life of Jesus and the Last Judgement was a very special experience. On this trip we also visited Venice and we had the amazing privilege of having Mass in St Mark’s Cathedral. We had a boat trip, visited the relics of St Luke in the Bascilica di Santa Giustina and walked around Verona where Shakespeare’s play, Romero and Juliet is set. A really cultural week.