Seoul (Agenzia Fides) - The proclamation of the Word of God and catechesis to deaf children and adults makes use of new media tools such as videos, in which sign language is used: this is the initiative of the "Korean Catholic Pastoral Research Institute", which has produced and distributed to communities, parishes, associations and Catholic schools the sign language version of "Catholic Video Doctrine," filmed catechesis that can and are used in pastoral care with the deaf throughout the country.
The "Korean Catholic Pastoral Research Institute," acting under the auspices of the Bishops' Conference of Korea, for this specific work commissioned the "Busan Catholic Mission for the Deaf," led by Father Cho Jo-hee, to translate and produce the videos in sign language. A number of deaf people and volunteers participated in sign language interpretation, completing the deaf version of the 47 episodes of the "Catholic Video Doctrine," already used as an auxiliary textbook for evangelization and catechesis in all dioceses across the nation. The videos are equipped with subtitles and graphics, and were produced jointly with the "Catholic Peace Broadcasting" organization, which dealt with video shooting, graphic work, editing and technical supervision.
The Bishops' Conference of Korea wished to support the work of translating sign language in order to meet all those community realities where deaf people are often marginalized, mainly for lack of adequate means; the goal is to give them the opportunity to listen to the Word of God and to reflect on it, with the presentation of the fundamental contents of the Christian faith.
"Some deaf people, who have communication difficulties, end up turning away even from the sacraments, while these videos are a sign of attention for them and can help make them feel fully members of the community. They themselves must realize that they are children of God, loved by Him".
The Korean Catholic Church also has the first deaf priest in Asia, Father Min Seo Park, who was ordained a priest in Seoul in 2007. After 14 years of commitment in Seoul, in pastoral work and apostolate with the deaf, Father Park is now a missionary in Landover Hills, Maryland (USA), where he continues in the mission of proclaiming the Gospel with the deaf. (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 23/1/2023)