The mission of the deaf ministry is to provide priestly pastoral care and the full scope of Catholic liturgy and Catholic sacraments to deaf Catholics through the parish of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Northeast Minneapolis. There are 160 families registered at the parish, one quarter of whom have a deaf family member.
The CSAF supports the Deaf Ministry as 1 of 17 Collective Ministries served each year.
Here is a testimonial from Vicky, a parishioner at Our Lady of Mount Carmel:
When I first attended a deaf Mass at our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, I fell in love with the beauty of sign language. The sign for Jesus Christ touching the open palm of the right hand with the left finger and then touching the open palm of the left hand with the right finger indicating the wounds of Jesus was a beautiful visual that was an entirely new way to experience the Mass. My husband and I have been attending Our Lady of Mount Carmel for 17 years and we have come to love and appreciate everything about this small, but lively parish. Our Lady of Mount Carmel also serves as the parish for the Deaf community in our Archdiocese. Although my husband and I are both hearing, we have come to appreciate the Deaf community and the blessings they bring to us as individuals and to our Church. We are fortunate to have a priest who knows sign language. Father Tom is both a priest and a seminary instructor, and he is a strong advocate for the Deaf and their pastoral needs in the Catholic Church. I believe it is why the Deaf in our parish are so actively involved and many drive a long way to come to Our Lady of Mount Carmel every Sunday. I also love that everyone participates together in all aspects of our parish life—from social events, to donuts and coffee after Mass to our Catholic Book Club. Father Tom fosters a very respectful and inclusive environment for our diverse parish.
Both my husband and I are lectors and I think we are especially privileged in this ministry because of the Deaf. At Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the readings are read by a hearing lector and signed by a deaf lector together. We are all one family in Christ, and even though we have different languages, we are able to participate in the Mass together in a unique way. Our choir also includes both deaf and hearing and when the music and the gestures and movements of sign language are combined, it is especially captivating.
One of the reasons I love being a Catholic is the beauty of our faith and the Mass. Being a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel enriches my faith with the beauty of the Deaf culture and gives me a deeper understanding of what it means to part of a universal Church.
For more information on the Deaf Ministry, visit their webpage on the CSAF’s website at – http://csafspm.org/whom-you-help/deaf-ministry