Saturday, April 22, 2006

Those Darn Jesuits . . . Liturgy in Sign

You might remember that former blogger Father Ethan of the now defunct Diary of a Suburban Priest was learning to offer the Mass in sign language. The NYT had an article today about the great need for this ministry and the difference being made in Rhode Island by one of our Jesuit priests, Fr. Joseph Bruce, who is himself deaf:

For Deaf Priests and Parishioners, a New Mass Works

For most of her 67 years, Mary Lomastro could not fully understand the Roman Catholic Mass that she attended each Sunday.

Ms. Lomastro, of Coventry, R.I., is deaf. She attended weekly services at her home parish, but could not follow the Mass beyond what was printed in the missalette.

That all changed last summer, when the Diocese of Providence became one of the few in the country to have a deaf priest celebrate a Mass in American Sign Language, with a verbal interpreter.

The priest, the Rev. Joseph Bruce, says Mass at St. Ann's Church in Providence and at other parishes throughout Rhode Island, where 60 percent of residents are Catholic, the highest percentage of any state.

"Attending Mass with a deaf priest who uses sign language is more inspiring than an interpreted Mass," Ms. Lomastro, who now volunteers as a lector at the deaf Mass, wrote in an e-mail message. "When Father Bruce signs, it is coming from his inner self."

Father Bruce is one of seven deaf priests ministering in the United States, said the Rev. Thomas Coughlin, head of the Dominican Missionaries for the Deaf Apostolate in Hayward, Calif. Four deaf seminarians are studying to be priests, the most ever at one time, according to the National Catholic Office for the Deaf . . .

Read the rest.


Blogger ShadowMayhem said...


12:52 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I believe this post needs to bilocate, if it hasn't already.

BTW I have added categories, among which is "Those Darn Jesuits."

11:19 AM  
Blogger angelmeg said...

Now that is a great example of Mass in the vernacular.

Isn't the Body of Christ amazing?


5:26 PM  

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