Dominican School for the Deaf
The Dominican nuns at Cabra, Dublin are still renowned throughout the city for their educational and religious work, but in a special manner their name is linked with their work for the deaf. We here in Cape Town were fortunate enough, through the efforts of the late Dr Grimley, Vicar Apostolic of the Western Cape, to welcome those same Dominican Sisters to our shores in 1863. More fortunate was it for the poor, neglected Deaf of the Cape that the first Mother Prioress of these good sisters was Mother Dympna Kinsella, who had worked for years in Cabra for the Deaf and was deeply interested in them. Mother Dympna could not ignore the afflicted persons in the Cape and her maternal heart warmed to them immediately. She took care of them and taught them with the greatest delight and enthusiasm. She also called upon her fellow Sisters to come from Cabra, Ireland and assist her in the Cape with her school for the Deaf.
The Dominican School for Deaf Children, Wittebome, is inspired by the spirit of its predecessors and hopes to continue carrying out their dream and vision. In the words of Sister Sally, “May we have the courage to take risks, meet the daily challenges and allows Christ to work miracles through us.” The school teaches that all children are a miracle, and children born deaf who learn to speak are evidence of Christ’s work. The school aims to help them discover the treasure locked within each of them. “We may not reach the gold at the end of the rainbow, but its beauty will be with us as we travel the road together.”
John F. Kennedy once said; “You see things as they are and you ask ‘Why?’, I dream of things that never were and ask ‘Why not?’ .” We all need to as “Why not?” as we search for ways to provide appropriate educational opportunities for our deaf children.
PO Box 19027, Wynberg, 7824