Year 5 students at St Joseph’s Catholic School in Narrabeen learned how to pray in Auslan, Australian Sign Language, after their new parish priest Fr Joseph issued them with a challenge.
Fr Joseph, of the Lakes Parish, was inspired after the students told him about their buddies at St Lucy’s Catholic School in Wahroonga for children living with disabilities. Some of those children are deaf or hearing-impaired, but communicate through Auslan and other means.
Fr Joseph challenged the students to learn the ‘Our Father’ prayer in Auslan, and the children took to the challenge with determination.
Year 5 classroom teacher, Kathryn McCamey, and Stef Thom, the Religious Education Coordinator, who is fluent in Auslan, shared this new way of praying with the children. The students of Year 5 quickly learned the prayer, practising repeatedly throughout the day, and sharing it with siblings, parents, and other members of the community.
At a special Mass to celebrate grandparents and grand-friends, students took to the stage to lead the prayer in Auslan. The students shared the ‘Our Father’ prayer in front of the packed crowd, with Fr Joseph praising them for taking up the challenge and bringing back their learning to share with the people of our Church.