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June 10, 2003


The Deaf Apostolate of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Chapter # 8 of the International Catholic Deaf Association (ICDA) will co-host the ICDA's Biennial - United States Conference 2003 from June 29 - July 5, 2003. During the week that Philadelphia Welcomes America, the ICDA Conference takes as its theme Freedom and Independence Rooted in Faith. The conference site is the Wyndham Franklin Plaza Hotel. The approximately 300 participants will attend Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, tour historic sites in the Greater Philadelphia area and view an exhibition of History Through Deaf Eyes at the University of Pennsylvania in West Philadelphia. All are welcome to attend the July 3rd Mass.

The International Catholic Deaf Association was founded in 1949. It is an international membership organization of national, county and local chapters. ICDA members are deaf and hard of hearing Catholics, priests, deacons, members of religious orders and lay ministers working with deaf and hard of hearing Catholics. The ICDA promotes the teachings of the Catholic Church among deaf and hard of hearing people and provides for the international exchange of ideas and information.

Freedom and Independence Rooted in Faith
ICDA Conference Highlights

Civic Reception
Monday, June 30, 2003
6:30 p.m.
Wyndham Ballroom
Wyndham Franklin Plaza Hotel
17th and Race Streets
Dignitaries such as Miss Deaf Pennsylvania, Tracey Tasselli, will join Swoop, the Eagles' Mascot, and a Mummers' String Band to welcome ICDA members

ICDA - US Conference Mass
Thursday, July 3, 2003
4:00 p.m.
Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
18th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Most Reverend Nicholas A. DiMarzio, Bishop of Camden, is the main celebrant
A banquet will follow at the Wyndham Franklin Plaza Hotel
(approximately 6:00 p.m.)

Keynote speakers include Rev. Mr. Patrick Graybill (master of ceremonies for July 3rd banquet) and Mr. Gregory J. Hlibok, Esq., (presenter at banquet). Deacon Graybill is an actor, an American Sign Language storyteller and a teacher from Rochester, New York. Mr. Hlibok is an attorney with the Disabilities Rights Office of the Federal Communications Commission.

For more information, visit or call the Deaf Apostolate at 215-587-3530 (voice) or 215-587-0510 tty.

Donna Farrell
Broadcast and Media Specialist

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