Pastoral Care


Hexham and Newcastle Diocesan Deaf Service

The Hexham and Newcastle Diocesan Deaf Service has been active since the 1970's and provides pastoral care to Deaf people in the North East of England, enabling them to participate fully in the life of the Church through the co-ordination of volunteer helpers: preparing Deaf children for the sacraments, promoting the faith development of Deaf adults, enabling and empowering Deaf people to play an active and appropriate part in the life of the church and developing hearing people's awareness of the need and abilities of Deaf people.

News from the Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle CDA's Pilgrimage to Lourdes 10th September to 14th September 2018

Candle Laying CeremonyFive members from Our Lady of Lourdes Deaf Centre Newcastle went on a pilgrimage to Lourdes with over 50 members of the Catholic Deaf Association (CDA). We had a busy programme during the pilgrimage, we visited Bartres and Cachot, Moulin De Boly (bakery shop) where St. Bernadette grew up and met Our Lady at the grotto. We also visited St. Bernadette’s museum.

Vincent Soubirous and members of the pilgrimageWe had Mass at the grotto with a large group of hearing people from County Meath in Ireland, who kindly let us join them for Mass. After Mass we went to a place to pray where Fr. Paul Fletcher blessed our large candle brought by the CDA’s pilgrim. See photos on left; this person was with our Lady of Lourdes Deaf group Newcastle he is Deaf and works helping to lay candles for pilgrims from all over the world, his name is Vincent Soubirous who is a descendant of St. Bernadette (her great great great nephew). It was a great privilege to be with Vincent whom I am sure has met and made many new Deaf friends from around the globe.

Comment and reflection from Diane & Anthony Murphy

After the pilgrimage we reflected on our experience, we had really enjoyed ourselves so much due to the visual experiences and British Sign Language (BSL) translations - understanding deeply and seeing with open hearts. This still stays with us today, more humility towards others. Thank you Father Paul for letting us open our hearts and minds much more to our Father and Jesus our Lord. May we have more of these visual experiences as Father Paul is a very invaluable link between our God and us, as a bridging person between our Father and us BSL users to continue our faith in the Catholic Church. Without them we wouldn't have gained the knowledge and understanding which leaves us very humbled and thankful for sharing together with the group and making new friends.
Diane & Anthony Murphy

Thanksgiving Mass to celebrate the life of Sr Kevin Allen DC

Thanksgiving MassOn 6th October there were approximately 30 plus Deaf people attended the Thanksgiving Mass to celebrate the life of Sr Kevin at Our Lady of Lourdes Deaf Chapel. Fr. Kinlen officiated at the Mass, the choir signed two hymns: 'The Lord is My Shepherd' and 'Now Thank We All Our God'. We had a short eulogy by Rachael Bell (née Costello) who recalled that Sr Kevin loved Irish dancing and taught the boys and girls Irish and Scottish dances. When Rachael left school she thought it was the last of Sr Kevin, but to her amazement Sr Kevin appeared in Newcastle where she started work as a Social Worker with the Deaf for many years.

Bill Lawson could not attend, but sent the following message:
Dear friends. I apologise for not being able to be with you all today on this special occasion where we remember our great friend Sister Kevin.
I am sure everyone present has great memories of Sister Kevin like me who over the years I worked with her was a great friend and support. My greatest memory of Kevin is the day I was elected in 1983 in the Deaf Centre as the President of the SVP Tyne Central Council with responsibility for the SVP members in Northumberland and Durham. Sister Kevin was present at that meeting when I was elected, she congratulated me with a big hug and then said in her strong Irish voice:
Right Bill, I want to know what you are going to do to help all our Deaf friends, so to help you I have booked you on the bus leaving in two days time to go to the Deaf National Pilgrimage to Walsingham and everything is paid for and here are some raffle tickets to sell.
It was one of the best weekends in my life and all these years later I am proud to still be involved with the Deaf Centre thanks to Sister Kevin.

Sr KevinFr. Kinlen also give a brief eulogy about how he first met and worked with Sr Kevin way back in the 80's. She forced Fr. Kinlen to attend training for Sign Language at Mass in York with other priests in this country. Fr. Kinlen commented that if it had not been for Sr Kevin he wouldn't have been here to sign the Mass. Fr. Kinlen has been with us for over 30 years. After Mass we had a lovely buffet and there were lots of photos displayed of Sr Kevin's work in the Diocesan Deaf Service; she worked with different groups that she set up. The photos were evidence of her joy and love with the Deaf and hearing people for 26 years.

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Sr Kevin Allen DC. May perpetual light shine up on her forever.

Wow!! Another wonderful milestone!!

Jim and Jean 90th BirthdayEarlier this year we had another wonderful milestone - the two eldest and longest serving members of our Deaf centre James and Jane Aitchison celebrated their 90th birthdays. James was on 7th January and Jane on 18th April. The Social Club kindly gave them a surprise buffet with lovely birthday cake and gifts. We all wish them many more years of good health.

Weekly Mass

The outstanding event in the life of the Centre is the weekly celebration of the Eucharist in our own Chapel. Fr. Robert Kinlen is the Director and Chaplain to the Deaf community; Mass in BSL is celebrated each Sunday evening at 6pm in the centre's own chapel.

Please Note: Since Father Robert Kinlen has moved to his new parish in Sunderland. The Mass on a Sunday at 6pm will say the same except every 4th Sunday there will a Eucharistic Service which will start at 6pm.


Reconciliation, Baptism, Weddings, Funerals or hospital visits can all be arranged via Fr. Kinlen, who can be contacted at: Fr. Robert Kinlen

Fr. Robert Kinlen
SS Peter and Paul,
Belle Vue Crescent,
Tyne Dock,
South Shields,
NE33 4RE

Telephone: 0191 456 1858
Type talk: 18001 0191 456 1858