Deaf Apostolate 2010 Spring Newsletter From the Desk of Fr. St. Martin Director of the Office of the Deaf Apostolate For over a year now we have been having Adult Religious Education meetings at the Sacred Heart Convent on Monday nights. I did it for those who were interested. The group has grown and we recently saw Justin receive Baptism, and Rachel, Mary, Ken, and Kristen brought into full communion as well. This has all resulted in a meal together with food different people prepared as a time of rejoicing and congratulating for the upcoming wedding of Mary and Justin. Fr. Shawn and I were also able to travel to meet the good people of St. Bridget's in Framingham. There was a good group of people there who were Deaf and some of the Deaf Catholic Community that we have never met before. What a surprise. We arrived to help with access through interpreting and direct access through concelebration for the parents of one of the children receiving First Communion and were greeted with a grandmother from Florida, and two other siblings of the parents there were also Deaf.. There was also a child of another couple, unrelated to said family, who was Deaf and she was a joy to serve as well. The son of the Deaf parents offered one of the prayers of the faithful in ASL. That was an inspiration. There was wonderful enthusiasm in the entire community and the Deaf were not only able to access it they were indeed part of the reason for it. God is good. Sometimes people ask me how many parishes have Deaf ministry. I am inclined now after doing events like this at St. Bridget's for three years to say that all parishes have Deaf Ministry. Sometimes we say that we don't see any Deaf people in this or that parish or town. Deaf people are invisible. You could be standing right next to a Deaf person and not know it. I remember that I often thought I had never met Deaf people before I was asked to do this work but it wasn't true. My cousin is deaf and blind and I have a second cousin who is deaf too. The family that I met at St. Bridget's were all relatives of Fr. Matt Williams as well. So most of us do have a relationship and contact with people who are Deaf but we might not recognize it for some reason or other. The event revolving around the reception after the First Communion also served to show the level to which it is true that there is Deaf Ministry going on, for and by the Deaf.. ex: There were these wonderful First Communion ILY hand shape party favors with little crosses sown into the palm that were handed out. What a powerful and beautiful evangelization for the family that was. There was a whole bucket full of them.
Fr. Shawn, Fr. Joe Bruce, Fr. Mike Depcik and I were present for the ordination of the now Rev. Mr. Christopher Klusman. This was a great day to remember. One of the great moments for me was to meet some of the sisters who have been successful ministers of God's love for many years. They gave me a beautiful blessing in which they prayed that I would have a share in the Spirit that they had as servant/coworkers for people who are Deaf. There have been so many blessings it would be impossible to describe them all. Marge and her husband Dom at the Wednesday, NewEngland Homes for the Deaf mass and seniors from Bishop Fenwick in Peabody who were able to meet Ida, Mario, and all the good residence there for Mass:
1st Communion at St. Mary's in Foxboro,
There was the wonderful 1st Communion for the Costello Family:
The Osborn's have been brought into full communion:
It was great to have Fr. Michael Depcik visit us. He is a great support to us all and his advice remains with us. He preached at Sacred Heart and a few times at St. John's. He celebrated mass and helped us to better express the our selves in prayer as only he can do from his unique position as a man who is Deaf and born of a Deaf family. God is good to send us such a friend.
The Lord is good and we are grateful. We look forward to the surprises of grace that the Lord has planned for those who love him. We look forward to a NFP (Natural Family Planning) class for the Deaf couples and a few marriages. In Christ, Fr. St. Martin
Congratulations to our Milwaukee Brother, The Newly Ordained Deacon Christopher Klusman By Fr. Shawn Carey On April 23, Fr. Jeremy St. Martin, Kathy Carey, and I traveled to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to attend the Diaconate Ordination of Christopher Klusman. It is hard to believe that time has flown so quickly since he last worked as our intern here in Boston! During our travel, we flew with MidWest Airlines, well-known for their scrumptious in-flight baked chocolate chip cookies. Funny, how God has always loved to give His people surprises! As we informed the flight attendant of Christopher's diaconate ordination , she gave us a bag full of (about 40) cookies that we gave him as one of his ordination gifts from us. To make this bag gift look "decorated" in honor of the newly ordained deacon, Fr. Jeremy drew a sketch of portrait of myself on one side of the bag. On each other sides of the bag, we threw in several words of wisdom including all the promises; life-long of chastity and celibacy, daily prayers of the Liturgy of the Hours, and obedience to the bishops and his successors, professed at the transitional diaconate ordination. As soon as we arrived in Milwaukee, we delivered the fully-sketched bag of delicious MidWest's chocolate chip cookies to Christopher! We actually wondered if he had eaten the entire bag overnight to ease his anxiety and nervousness as his diaconate ordination was just around the corner on the next day! Then on the next day, April 24, Saturday, we all drove to St. Matthias Parish in the western suburbs of Milwaukee where the Deaf Catholics regularly attend for Sunday Mass.With praise and thanksgiving, this day was really a great day for the Catholic Church as our Deaf brother, Christopher Klusman was ordained to the Order of Transitional Diaconate through the imposition of hands and the invocation of hands and the invocation of the Holy Spirit by the Most Reverend Jerome E. Listecki, Archbishop of Milwaukee. The most important moment of the ordination rite we witnessed was when Christopher, with his glowing smile showing his happiness as a powerful revealing sign of his saying a firm "Yes" to God's call. At that moment, he made three promises to the Church; a promise of celibacy in his life as a deacon, and God willing as a priest, will imitate Christ's life to be of full service to the people of God, and witness to us that our true lives come from us being sons and daughters of God. The second promise he made was a promise of prayer in his entire life with and for us. At last, he made a promise of obedience to Archbishop Listecki and all his successors, witnessing to his call to serve the people of Milwaukee. These signs of commitment brings Christopher's life to the church. The service had a deep intensity as one might expect from the type of commitment being made. In Archbishop Listecki's homily, he emphasized the freedom that those ordained to the transitional diaconate exercised in making this decision. Although the world may view their commitment as a restraint on their freedom, their freedom, as well as all true freedom, comes from following the will of God. As I recalled Fr. Jeremy asking me, "What was my favorite part of the ceremony?", I immediately responded that it was during the time of the Litany of the Saints, which occurred after making the promises. Why was this my favorite part? I was watching Sue Gudenkauf, one of the professional Catholic interpreters in Wisconsin, signing the sung words, "St. Christopher" which came no surprise to me as I was expecting this renowned saint to be sung. At that moment, I grinned. What interested me about this saint name was that it means Christ-bearer. According to legend, when Christopher put the child on his shoulder to cross the river, he found the child to be unbelievably heavy as the child was Christ carrying the weight of the whole world. This made Christopher a patron saint of travelers. He died a martyr during the reign of a tryant emperor Decius who oppressed Christianity in the third century. When I further reflected on this saint name, I gazed at God for a moment as I realized the journey to the priesthood has never been really an easy one and knew that how much Deacon Christopher has since
persevered in his journey. Indeed, he is the Christ-bearer! Suddenly, I rejoiced with God at this moment when I , along with the assembly of the great faithful, prayed the saint name, "St. Christopher" while Deacon Christopher prostrated. It truly was a divine moment! Christopher becoming a transitional deacon marks an important milestone in the journey to becoming a Catholic priest. Priestly ordination generally takes place six months to a year after diaconate ordination. Christopher and his three classmates will, Godwilling, be ordained priests for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in the spring of 2011. Let us all now pray for Deacon Christopher to continue on his journey with the grace of God as his guidance. Congratulations to Deacon Christopher!
From the Desk of Fr. Shawn Carey Assistant Director of the Office of the Deaf Apostolate Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Now, the first year of my priesthood has come to completion on Sunday, May 23, 2010. Can you all believe all that time this year flew by since Ordination Day?! As I recall to the first year experience, I really want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your generosity, kindness, love, and support in my transition from being a seminarian to being your priest. I am so grateful to both Fathers Paul Clifford of St. John the Evangelist Hopkinton and Jeremy St. Martin of Deaf Apostolate for their outstanding and respectable mentorship as I learn all the aspects of priestly ministry with the hearing and Deaf communities. Also, I want to offer my gratitude to our God, who is so good for being a great companion guiding me through the trials and tribulations of my first year as His servant working to lead our flock. Indeed, you are now wondering what my recollection of first-year priesthood are? When I celebrated my First Christmas Vigil Mass at St. John the Evangelist, the church was packed. As I began to deliver my homily from the ambo, I noticed on my left that to my surprise, the doors to the chapel were opened. There were another crowd packed in that chapel. I waved at them and then they waved back. After completing the challenging Christmas liturgy schedule, I joined Fr. Paul Clifford and Fr. Jeremy St. Martin for breakfast and I noticed that I was so quiet. Then I realized something and told Fr. Paul and Fr. Jeremy that "I am overwhelmed with joy!" At first, they thought I was really overwhelmed with something. But it was not burdensome. Instead it was full of joy! Celebrating 3 Christmas Masses and concelebrating the Midnight Mass at St. John, and celebrating 1 Mass each at Sacred Heart Newton and the New England Homes for the Deaf seemed like a full and packed schedule. However, with the grace of God, I discovered that all the hard work during Advent really prepared all of us the faithful for such a joyous feast of God's gift, sending His Son to us. All the preparation can really be exhausting and demanding. When I celebrated all the Christmas Masses, I recognized how all the work during Advent really led us to appreciate the gift of God, His begotten Son so much more than we can imagine. What an awesome joy that was! During Lent season, I had the opportunity to lead retreats back in my old stomping ground, California in Orange County and San Francisco. The topic of these retreats was "I Will Choose Christ" which focused on the exegesis of the famous biblical passage from the Gospel of Luke about how Jesus resisted Satan's temptations during his 40 day exile in the desert. Participants were given an opportunity to do a mini-performance on this passage, then to discern themselves on the meaning and the impact of Satan's temptations in their lives and to attend Daily Masses on both Friday and Saturday, Penance Service on Saturday evening, and Sunday Mass. They felt that the retreat really challenged them in an inspiring way to better appreciate how to be Christ's disciples by being able to identify and resist temptations that can easily deceive them.
On the weekend of April 9-11, 2009, I led a successful Spring Retreat for the Deaf Catholic Community in Ottawa, Canada. The theme of the retreat focused on encountering the Risen Christ with scripture analysis and meditation starting with the account of The Empty Tomb and ending with the Road to Emmaus from the Gospel of Luke. Several members of the community traveled from various parts of Canada to attend the retreat. They all really enjoyed it! At the closing, one member remarked that when he arrived at the retreat on Friday, he felt like his cycling skills were not on the "straight" path and that he kept falling off his bike. However, at the end of the retreat on Sunday, he enthusiastically exclaimed that he was able to ride his bike efficiently without having to fall. This was how he described his experience in spiritual renewal with the Risen Lord at the retreat. Another divine moment of God's grace occurred on a beautiful sunny Patriots Day, April 19, 2010 when I celebrated ASL Mass for the runners of the Boston Marathon at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Hopkinton, the famous town for the starting line of the Marathon. I also had the opportunity to greet, meet, and give God's Blessings to the runners as they eagerly warmed up for the good 26-mile journey.
I also want to take the opportunity now to thank you all for your great efforts in making delicious soups as we were invited to join the community of St John the Evangelist for Soup & Stations of the Cross as one of our Lenten practices.
The community at St John really were delighted and grateful to have you being part of their community. They have shared with me how much they enjoyed interacting with the Deaf. They also felt inspired and moved when they joined us in praying the Stations of the Cross with me leading in ASL. They have never seen a sign-language prayer service and they commented that it was a very prayerful event they experienced. This event really showed me that not only ASL benefit us the Deaf, it does benefit both the Deaf and the hearing in many ways than we can even imagine. ASL provides a two-way street opportunity to help break down the communication barrier. Without ASL, how are we ever going to be able to communicate and reach out to others. No wonder there is always the Spirit of the Pentecost as our model for bridging the gap between the Deaf and the hearing. Indeed, we all are one body of Christ as brothers and sisters that make any barriers impossible to break. Praise to be God!
Let us all continue our daily prayers to the Good God for enabling us to remain as one family in Christ. In Christ, Fr. Shawn Carey
ALLELUIA! FIRST ASL EASTER VIGIL EVER IN HISTORY OF BOSTON DEAF CATHOLIC! Fr. Jeremy St. Martin The ASL Easter Vigil at St. John the Evangelist in Hopkinton celebrated by Fr. Shawn Carey was momentous. Fr. Shawn, still the baby priest, lit the night on fire. No one was hurt. In fact the very opposite was worked through his priestly service. Christ, Our Light, was worshiped, rising from the dead. After the world had become really dark in Hopkinton, Fr. Shawn, lit the fire in the back of the Church. The Deaf Catholic Community was there with all the faithful of the area, to see the moment of the remembering Christ's death change to the moment of the darkness of death being overcome by the power of His resurrected new life. Deaf people of all ages, from many parts of the Archdiocese of Boston, gathered around so that they could have direct access to the Easter mystery. It may be the best and maybe the first Easter Vigil with direct access for the Deaf ever. The Alleluias of Easter were "heard" with the eyes of the Deaf and the gift of seeing the Alleluias proclaimed was given to the hearing. Fr. Shawn loved it when there was a song being sung and suddenly a figure appeared near a column like a ghost. It was Fr. Paul. He knew the song being sung well and he noticed that the interpreter needed some "feeding." Fr. Paul has experienced "new life" a "new gift" living with Fr. Shawn. The Deaf noticed that Fr. Paul was really, full out, interpreting. There was an interesting role for an altar server. At the beginning when all was in darkness, they were in charge of a flashlight so that Fr. Shawn's proclamation could be "heard." He was illuminated in the darkness as he proclaimed with clear sings. For me, the night felt like the culmination of a great deal of work. I was genuinely rejoicing. For a few years now it has been a challenge to see access for this sacred time of prayer not be as accessible to the Deaf as it should. However, Fr. Shawn and I, did have the access to that over the years through interpreting. I remember one year the other interpreter got sick and I tried my best to do the whole thing. The Church was big and dark. It was good but required perseverance and patience. It was the best we could do. The blessing of Fr. Shawn's priesthood is a great work that we saw bear natural and genuine fruit at the vigil. It was truly a time to sing Alleluia! Fr. Shawn also loved the moment of the renewal of Baptismal promises. The entire crowd of hearing and Deaf seemed to wait for the response of "I do" as it was delivered in ASL and not as it came through the voice interpreter, which is never %100 in sink. It felt like a united community responding as one to the questions as they were delivered so clearly by Fr. Shawn in ASL. Fr. Paul Clifford and all involved were very happy and we thank God for them all. Deacon Michael Mott did forget to actually share the light of Christ with the faithful, but fortunately no one noticed. This huge mistake is better left unmentioned. I am sure he did it on purpose just in case anyone else made a mistake just so they wouldn't feel bad considering his advanced spiritual state.
Senior Deaf Wellness Program Mrs. Mary Brooks, Assistant Coordinator of the Deaf Senior Wellness Program is hard to believe that this is the beginning of Holy Week! There are many wonderful opportunities for participating in services and reflecting on Christ's Passion and what He suffered for us. The depth of His great love boggles my mind. Last Friday evening there was a large number of deaf and hearing families who gathered at St. John the Evangelist Parish Hall in Hopkinton, MA for "Soup and Stations". Deacon Michael Mott had extended the invitation for the deaf community to celebrate in ASL this Lenten tradition. It was an amazing experience. After a delicious dinner of different varieties of soup, bread and beverages, we all gathered in the upper church, for the service which was led by Fr. Shawn Carey and Fr. Jeremy St. Martin. Several children from St. John's assisted, with guidance from Deacon Mike. The evening was very powerful on many levels. One of the strong themes of the night that I noticed was "Family": Individual families with small children, families with older children in their middle school or high school years, families that consisted of married couples perhaps experiencing the "empty nest", families which comprised grandparents and their grandchildren, "families" of friends, who, while not blood related, were there worshiping together. There was
the St. John the Evangelist "Family", there was the Deaf Community "Family", there was the forging of the deaf and hearing communities together as members of God's Family, worshiping as brothers and sisters in Christ. Yes, indeed, it was a beautiful night. I think maybe a new family tradition was born in the parish hall and upper church of St. John's. How beautiful. Our Senior Deaf Wellness Program has had some great meetings the last couple of months. In February we were blessed with the students from the MGH nursing program who came to visit and hear stories from the deaf community about their experiences in medical situations without an interpreter. The students came with their program coordinator, Mr. Tom Dolon. The students were eager to participate and learn from all of the folks who shared their experiences; and they made the effort to communicate by asking for the interpreters to help communicate, using paper and pen to write back and forth when an interpreter was not available and also depending on our seniors' ability to lip read, during the individual conversations they carried on. Fr. Shawn Carey shared an account of his recent hospital experience with everyone, as well, which then led to a great discussion about how interpreters are made available to, and paid for through not only individual hospitals in the Boston area, but through MCDHH. Cher Allen, one of our beloved, interpreters, who works for MCDHH, was able to address many of the questions that were raised. The students asked some additional poignant and in-depth questions and received answers that will hopefully guide them in the future if they encounter deaf patients. Also present at our February meeting, was Linda Ballard, a Catholic Worker, in Boston, who has a shared history in the deaf community from past years. She regaled us with stories of people in the deaf community that she knew and worked with. She also described her current work for the Catholic Church at a homeless shelter in Boston, where she works with her son. They serve the homeless community and have invited us to go sometime to the shelter to help prepare a meal for the residents. We may be able to do that sometime during the summer. Please stay tuned for more details. We are so grateful to Tom Dolon and his wonderful nursing students and to Linda Ballard for sharing her loving presence with us. It was an amazing morning of sharing! The March meeting was fabulous as well. Lori Gonzalez and Bethany Bertrand, from D.E.A.F. Inc., gave two wonderful informative presentations. Lori focused on the different services that are available through their office, including individual home visits by a D.E.A.F. Inc. staff member to members of the deaf community, if it is difficult for them to make it into the offices. She had a wonderful power point presentation which was colorful, clear and concise. She also gave everyone handouts that described the different services, with her contact information. Lori left several copies with me and I have them in my office if anyone needs an additional copy. Bethany Bertrand continued the morning's presentation with a description of Project HOPE, which is a new program that focuses on senior physical health, through nutrition education, cooking instruction and light exercise. The program is funded through Tufts University and requires a commitment of one full year from any group who wishes to participate. The seniors who attended and saw the presentation were unanimously supportive of the concept; so we are actively trying to figure out the particulars to see if we can participate. We will be letting you all know very soon. There are so many volunteers who help make our program such a success throughout the year, and one of them we only see once a year. The volunteer that I am going to tell you about is Sharon Hughes. For the past several years she has come to us in March with her laptop and her knowledge of all the intricacies of the (YUCK) Tax Codes! She unfailingly greets anyone who wants help preparing their taxes with her gentle smile and quiet voice. She has been coming for the last three (or is it four now?) years, and we are so grateful for her unfailing willingness to provide this service through the AARP program. This year she met us at the convent and promptly went about weaving her annual magic of making the stress of the tax season disappear for several of our lucky senior citizens. Sharon, we salute you and say you are a blessing to us! Thank you for your wonderful gifts of time and expertise! Speaking of volunteers, we would be hard pressed to have such a successful meeting every month, if it weren't for the unfailing and loving service of our nurses, Joanie Siriac, Lorriane Kilty and their wonderful assistant, Angela Lentoni, who have been coming since the beginning of our program. And our new volunteer, Kerry Normandin, who
not only volunteers with the blood pressure readings but who is an amazing interpreter, as well! Ladies, Thank You, from the bottom of our hearts! You are all shining examples of Christ's love in action every month and we are the benefactors of His loving embrace through you. Bless you.We had a great deal of information presented to us at our last meeting. Maureen Hennessey, of Medicare gave a presentation that was very informative (and quite honestly, overwhelming). It seemed very convoluted and intimidating; but she answered many questions and is available to us via e-mail or phone if any of us have more questions in the future. As many of you know, we lost two dear members of the deaf community in the last month. Clara Scancarello and Yolanda ("Yoyo") Chambers both went to their rest. It was an honor to know both of these women. They had both been an integral part of the Deaf Community Center for many years while it was housed at Bethany Hill, in Framingham. They will be missed and we can continue to pray that they will greeted in Heaven by our loving Father. Just a couple of months ago, Fr. Carey celebrated Mass at St. Patrick Parish in Stoneham. A fairly large group of the Deaf community showed up to support him as he delivered an "educational" visit to St. Patrick's. After the service, several parishioners from St. Patick's came up to me and commented about how much they had enjoyed the service and hoped that Fr. Shawn would return. A few of the comments stood out..."When Fr. Shawn indicated the gifts on the altar and said 'This is the body that shall be given up for you', I experienced the eucharist in a new way today. I saw Christ's body through Fr.Shawn's hands, differently, than when I only hear the words.", "When Fr. Shawn held the host and the cup and showed them slowly to every part of the congregation, I was so moved! It was so beautiful and so PERSONAL! I'm so glad my family was able to experience the mass today with him." We are so very blessed to have Fr. Shawn with us, and in the larger Catholic community! His impact in not only the deaf community, but the world at large is impacting people's understanding and desire to breach the limitations of "communion" between the deaf and hearing communities. Thank you, Fr. Shawn! Next month we will be visiting Patriot Place in Foxboro. I will have more specific details about times, bus scheduling, etc., by next week. I think we are going to have a great day! Check the website early next week to get final details. Happy Spring!
The Seminarians My name is Scott Carpentier. I am the oldest of seven children. My family is from Woonsocket, Rhode Island. When I was five, my family moved to Southern California, more inland near the desert. We lived there for nine years before the family moved back to RI. After High School, I was very blessed to spend the majority of my college years at Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio. After receiving a BA in Philosophy, Theology and Catechetics and a MA in Theology, the Lord confirmed to follow Him to His priesthood which led me to enter the seminary with my home Diocese of Providence. This past September (2009), I began studies at St. John's Seminary. My first pastoral assignment (aka: field education) with the seminary in Boston is with the Deaf Apostolate. I was first introduced to American Sign Language and Deaf culture when I was in High School. It wasn't until college where I was able to take a class in ASL and learn more about the Deaf culture, the people and their language. At that time I did not think that I would be interacting with a Deaf community as I have been with my pastoral assignment at the Seminary. It is a great gift to meet Fr. Medas, Fr. Jeremy St. Martin, Fr. Shawn Carey who have directed, guided and encouraged Nelson and I as we learn from the Deaf community and God to become better men who are following God's call to His priesthood. Over the past five months I have been blessed to experience the Deaf community up close. Their enthusiasm, encouragement, patience, openness, worship and hospitality witnessed to the presence of God among them. The Lord calls us each by name to serve each other ultimately in love. Visiting the Deaf community in Newton on Sundays has been an example to me of how each Catholic community should welcome all visitors with Christian fraternity. I thank God, not only for the experience, but for the people I have met serving the Deaf Apostolate. We all are continuing to grow closer with our Heavenly Father who sent His Son and sets our hearts on fire with the Holy Spirit. I am blessed by God for the fellowship of the community in Newton. They have witnessed to me their faith by their perseverance and fraternal bond in the Lord. My name is Nelson Rivera. I'm from Colombia. In Colombia I studied at Medellin's seminary. There I worked in many kinds of pastoral experiences. Out of the many places I served, I cherished the apostolic ministry with the deaf community. At that time this kind of pastoral experience didn't exist, so my classmates and I were the first group of religious to work with Deaf people. We and the Deaf Catholic community started to define signs for the interpretation of the Mass and some of the words for the Sacraments. It was an historical moment for the deaf community because they were working in the unification of sign language throughout the country. It was a fantastic year! Now I'm here trying to learn a new language (English), but also still with this work that I really love, I work with deaf community. For me, it is a double effort, but it is nothing in comparison with the happiness that I feel when I'm sharing my faith in Jesus our Lord with you . In the future, I hope to work with deaf people in my diocese of Worcester. I don't know yet if there is a deaf community there. However, I'll be prepared for them and for others who need the message of the Gospel. After one semester working with the Catholic Deaf community of Boston I am very thankful to be with them because I have found a deep experience of Christian Love, and all of them have been so kind, patient and helpful to me in this process to learn English and ASL at the same time. This is the best experience in my pastoral work. Every weekend I go to my pastoral assignment and they bring me that kind of vitality and love for God and for one another. It is just fantastic to share your life and faith with such wonderful people.
Good News about the Media Mrs. Michelle Solomon, Dir. Of Rel. Ed., Sacred Heart Parish, Newton Fr. Shawn recently spoke to the Confirmation classes of Sacred Heart Parish on “God and the Media”. He was very animated and spoke openly about what it was like to grow up deaf. He pointed out how the development of technology in the media has greatly enhanced his ability to communicate and interact more intimately with those around him. Fr. Shawn has particularly appreciated how technology has given him access to literature come to life in movies. Fr. Shawn explained his love of movies and deep spiritual life led him to look for God in any movie, no matter how dark or despairing. He showed the students how Catholic themes of good vs. evil, redemption, self sacrifice and the destruction and despair that comes from a sinful life are showed vividly in movies and are good for teaching the gospel of Christ. We have the ability to learn from the characters in movies, what the consequences of sin are and decide to turn away and make different and better choices. Fr. Shawn showed us in the most effective way how God’s presence is calling us to Him, even in the most violent or hate-filled movies! We are most grateful to Fr. Shawn for such a relevant and insightful presentation!
Hello dear members and friends of the Deaf Catholic Community! Mrs. Margaret Miller, Administrative Associate My name is Peg Miller and I work in the office at Sacred Heart Church. Although I do not sign, I try to keep in regular communication with Fr. St. Martin and Father Carey. I try to help them as much as I can with the paperwork necessary for activities to take place with members of the deaf community. When new members need to register, I send out the forms. When people volunteer to chaperone events or work at the senior deaf wellness program, I am responsible for sending in the requests for background checks. Part of my job is to keep records of the sacraments that take place at Sacred Heart Church which includes those celebrated at the ASL Mass. This means that every time you celebrate one of these special occasions, I know about it and can celebrate with you in spirit even when I am not there. It is such a joy for me to see so many new things happening. Occasionally I am able to drop in at the Senior Wellness program and I delight in some of the crafts that are done with Mary Brooks. On Sundays as I leave our 9 AM Mass, I often greet those who are arriving for the ASL Mass. I have come to know many of the “regulars” at Mass. It is a special treat for me when our communities participate together in the same services. Good Friday celebration of the Passion has a greater meaning for me when I watch it being signed. It is truly “passionate” when done so beautifully by your talented lectors. Keep up the good work! And keep spreading the Good News. And keep praying for Fr. St. Martin and Fr. Carey. They need lots of support for the work they do. If you have any questions about Sacred Heart or about what is happening here, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I try to help out whenever I can.
Saving a Seat Fr. Paul Clifford, Pastor of St John the Evangelist Parish, www.stjohnshopkinton.com One of my favorite magazine cartoons is one that I saw in a Catholic magazine. The perspective is looking down from the choir loft of a huge cathedral-type church. It’s obviously before Mass: there are about 4 people kneeling or sitting here and there in the pews, the altar server is lighting the candles, and this one old woman has shuffled 2/3 of the way down the aisle to a pew where a man is sitting. And in this cavernous church that can seat 1,000 people or more she taps him on the shoulder and speaks: “Excuse me, sir, but you’re in my seat!” Ever since we began offering ASL interpretation at Mass at St. John’s in 2008 one of the things we have to keep remembering as staff is to make sure we reserve appropriate seating for members of the congregation who are deaf, so that there is good visual access to the interpreter. At St. John’s, that means the first few pews of the middle aisle, right in front of the pulpit. Sometimes we’ve forgotten to do so, or we haven’t saved quite enough seats. In those moments it falls to me or Fr. Shawn or one of our staff or interpreters to ask a few folks to move to a different seat. Just like the old lady in the cartoon, we can all become creatures of habit; we get used to “my seat,” “my kind of beer,” “my brand of coffee.” Change is difficult for everyone. So I was always nervous when I would have to ask someone to change their seat. No more. One of the most encouraging things for me as pastor is that I’ve never had a single complaint when asking someone to move back a bench (or 2 or 3). It shows that St. John’s is a welcoming place. People who will make room in the pews will also “make room” in their hearts, so that all of us can worship God in the best way possible. So, know that you are always welcome at St. John’s. The Triduum and Fr. Shawn’s 1st Anniversary Mass showed us how well even special occasions can work. But even on ordinary Sunday or Weekday Masses, know that we’re always happy to save a seat for members of the Deaf Catholic Community. As we transition into Summer we will drop back a little bit on providing ASL interpretation at Mass. Basically, it will be available only at the Masses celebrated by Fr. Shawn. (That schedule is always up at deafcatholic.org) But if a special need comes up for you and you feel the need to attend Mass at St. John’s (for example, when Fr. Shawn is away) e-mail me and we’ll make every effort to provide the access you need—to “save a seat” for you. We are always happy to do so for anyone who seeks to worship God in our midst. Summer Blessings to all! In His service and yours, Fr. Paul Clifford email@example.com
Mary Leads our Children to the their 1st Eucharist Fr. St. Martin We left from Sacred Heart parking lot in Newton at 12:30 p.m. ate together and arrived at the Basilica of the Our Lady of Perpetual Help, The Mission Church, at 2:00 p.m. We had tour that began with a teaching on the concept tabernacle. This church has many beautiful tabernacles but only one of them is in use at the moment. Jesus, present in the Eucharist is present in one of the tabernacles. After the teaching it was the children's task to figure out which one. We used a worksheet developed by Bruce Bucci with different vocabulary words they needed to find in the Church. They were led on a tour of the Stations of the Cross by the Seminariarians who joined us and they filled out the worksheets with diligence. We had a little teaching on the Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Isabella noticed that the shandle of Jesus was falling off and we told the story of the Icon. We gave the children a general tour where they are encouraged to ask questions. After that at about 3:00 p.m. we went to the garden for a break. Then at about 4:00 p.m. we went to a beautiful little chapel and did Eucharistic Adoration with the children. After that at about 4:30 p.m. we went back in the van and drove back to Sacred Heart parking lot in Newton and met parents for a little pizza in the convent. Special thanks to one of the dads, Mr. Osborn, for coming along as a chaperon. It was great to have our two seminarians with us and thanks for the great work of Celia as interpreter. Fr. Shawn, Bruce Bucci and I were very happy with the whole day. God is good.
“Evangelization in Sign” Mrs. Janet Benestad , Secretary for Faith Formation and Evangelization On Sunday, January 17, I had the privilege of attending Mass at Sacred Heart parish in Newton celebrated by His Eminence, Sean Cardinal O’Malley, OFM, Cap., Archbishop of Boston. Almost all of the people in the congregation were deaf. In fact, the Mass was a local celebration of National Catholic Deaf Pastoral week, a time set aside by the bishops of the United States to foster awareness of the gifts and challenges that exist within the community of hearing-impaired individuals. I noticed that, while an interpreter on the altar was signing the Mass, there was another interpreter sitting in the main aisle directly in front of a little girl. When I asked later why there was a special interpreter for the child, I was told that she was not only deaf but losing her sight as well; having an interpreter directly in front and very close to her was the only way that she could fully participate in the Mass. A few weeks later I attended Sunday Mass at St. John the Evangelist parish in Hopkinton, where Fr. Shawn Carey is parochial vicar. Fr. Carey works with me in the archdiocesan Pastoral Center in Braintree in the Office for the Deaf Apostolate. While I had attended Mass celebrated by Fr. Carey before in the chapel at the Pastoral Center, I had
never had the opportunity to attend Mass with him as celebrant in a parish. As Fr. Shawn signed the Gospel and began his homily, I noticed something—people in the pews were paying very close attention. They were looking intently at Fr. Shawn and listening carefully to the voice interpreter; it seemed to me that they were hearing the Gospel proclaimed in a way they had not done before. In Redemptor Hominis, Pope John Paul II says, “The Church’s fundamental function in every age and particularly in ours is to direct man’s gaze, to point the awareness and experience of the whole of humanity toward the mystery of Christ. . .” My two experiences, the one at Sacred Heart and the other at St. John’s, started me thinking about the nature of evangelization. By gazing intently at the hands of her interpreter, the little girl at Sacred Heart demonstrated beyond what any words never could her profound desire to know and love Jesus Christ. By gazing in rapt attention at Fr. Shawn as he preached, the people in the congregation at St. John’s showed the depth of desire that exists in the human heart to experience God’s Word in all its expressions. Both show the profound need that human beings have to be evangelized; and that evangelization does not require spoken words. I have attended Mass with the deaf many times and I am always struck by the beauty of the silence. Where large numbers of deaf people gather to participate at Masses said for the hearing, the deaf often sign the hymns in unison with the choir and the congregation. At the Mass at Sacred Heart in January, many deaf people rose to participate in the Prayer of the Faithful offering touching stories of spiritual and material need among their families and friends, fervently asking for prayers for them. In November of 2009, Pope Benedict spoke about the “hearing-impaired person in the life of the Church” at the 24th International Conference organized
by the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers at the Vatican. “Dear hearing-impaired brothers and sisters,” he said, “you are not only recipients of the announcement of the Gospel but, by virtue of your Baptism, also its announcers. Live every day, then, as witnesses of the Lord in the environments in which you live, making Christ and His Gospel known.” It has been my privilege this past year to be a recipient of that great witness to which the Pope refers and to experience the grace of an evangelization that is spoken in sign and that evokes intense listening and deep faith. I am grateful to Fr. Jeremy, Director of the Archdiocesan Office for the Deaf Apostolate, and Fr. Shawn, Assistant Director, for helping me to share in the profound faith that belongs to the people in the deaf community. I am grateful to Cardinal Seán for the opportunity to serve, along with them, Christ, His Church, and the faithful of the Archdiocese of Boston.
SOME THOUGHTS ON THE LORD’S ASCENSION INTO GLORY Rev. John J. Connelly, Pastor at Sacred Heart Church, Newton Center On Easter Sunday, it was the Lord’s resurrection that was the cause of our joy. In this column, our rejoicing is focused on the Lord Jesus’ glorious ascension into heaven. Just think for a moment what this means for our humanity: the Son of God and the son of Mary, victorious over death, has chosen to remain his human self for all eternity. In other words, Jesus, from all eternity equal to the Father and Son in divinity, takes our human nature into the very glory of God the Father, the risen Christ’s final goal in his humanity, and our final goal as well. It is not easy for us to discuss divine mysteries. Our everyday language seems too clumsy for such a purpose. We use such expressions as – He came down from heaven, He rose from the dead, He ascended into heaven – as though we could express these truths of faith with spatial or geographical imagery. This can leave us with some puzzled understandings. For example, did the Lord Jesus, in his ascension, take off on some well-deserved vacation with the promise that he would return some day; and when we say “He ascended into heaven”, what do we have in mind when we think about heaven? As one writer puts it: Do we think of heaven as some old folks home somewhere off in the cosmos? And when Jesus rose on Easter Sunday, he did not begin to live again the life he lived before he died. Jesus entered into what the Scriptures call “newness of life”, something eye has not seen, something beyond what we could imagine. The risen Christ – body and soul existence – lives with God the Father. That brings up the question – Where is God? The Catechism tells us God is everywhere. Here and now, we do not have the capacity to see him. To believe in him we need the grace of faith, the light of faith. To see him effectively when we get to heaven, we need the light of glory. Baptism brings us a share in God’s life through faith, hope and charity. However, we will not and cannot see God until faith gives way to vision and hope gives way to possession. How are we to grasp something of the mystery of the Ascension? A good way is to look prayerfully at the two Preface Prayers which the Church uses at the Liturgy between now and Pentecost Sunday. Christ, the mediator between God and man, judge of the world and Lord of all, has passed beyond our sight, not to abandon us but to be our hope. Christ is the beginning, the head of the Church; where he has gone, we hope to follow. In his risen body he plainly showed himself to his disciples and was taken up to heaven in their sight to claim for us a share in his divine life. Where is the risen, ascended Christ this very moment? We can answer this question by thinking about the prayer that opened the Sunday Liturgy on the 7th Sunday of Easter. We say to God our Father: “Help us to keep in mind, that Christ our Savior lives with you in glory and has promised to remain with us, in the Church and in the world, until the end of time”. There are so many different ways the risen Lord remains present with us. First and most importantly, he is with us in the great gift of the Eucharist which means his real, true, sacramental presence in sacrifice and in sacrament. But the Lord is with us in other ways also: in our hearts through faith, in his Church as he governs the Church through the ministry of his apostles and their successors, in his scriptural words which are read in the Church, in promoting among believers the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. All this, of course, means the risen Christ’s presence in his Holy Spirit given to the Church.
St. Augustine has a wonderful way of speaking about the Ascension. He writes – “He who ascended into heaven is with us now, and we who are here are also with him by faith. He did not leave heaven when he first came among us, and he did not leave us when he ascended into heaven. That is why he could promise his apostle-friends and us also – ‘I will be with you always’.” Rev. John J. Connelly, Pastor at Sacred Heart Church, Newton Center
“The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy.” Psalm 111:7 Susan Horne (The following article is a reflection paper submitted by Susan Horne for her Master of Arts in Ministry Field Education with Marriage Ministries Office in the Archdiocese of Boston. With her permission, she wants to share with us her experience attending Fr. Shawn Carey's ASL Daily Mass at the Pastoral Center in Braintree, MA.) It has been a blessing to do my field education for the Master of Arts in Ministry for the Laity program at the Marriage Ministries Office in the Archdiocese of Boston. I have the privilege of working at the new Pastoral Center that is now the central location for the various offices that comprise the many ministries of the Archdiocese. Previously these offices had been spread throughout many buildings and cities in the Archdiocese. With the sale of the Chancery property to Boston College and the generous donation of Dan Flatley and the Flatley family of an office building in Braintree, the decision was made to bring the majority of the Archdiocesan offices under one roof. Since my first visit in October to the Pastoral Center I have continually been impressed by the professional atmosphere and genuine spirit of good will among the people who staff the many offices and ministries. The staff includes cardinal, bishops, priests, religious brothers and sisters and laity of all ages, backgrounds and experience. It has been humbling to see just how hard these people work in serving the needs of the Archdiocese of Boston and beyond. These employees and volunteers work with limited financial and human resources to accomplish their mission “to continue the saving ministry of Jesus Christ in serving and guiding the Catholic parishes, schools, hospitals and agencies within the 144 cities and towns of the Archdiocese of Boston.”1 I marvel at the enthusiasm, energy and expertise of these “compassionate professionals who are valued for their faith, service and integrity.”2 There have been many moments that have inspired me in seeing how the Pastoral Center’s Vision of “giving Glory and Honor to God, serving Christ and His Church, and honoring and respecting those whom I serve and those with whom I serve”3 is lived out. One particular event had a profound impact on me. I like to attend the daily Mass at noon on the two days that I volunteer at the Pastoral Center. It is a beautiful chapel that is accessible to staff, visitors and neighbors. During the season of Lent every seat in the chapel is filled and there is a wonderful sense of community. One Wednesday I had an early morning phone call at work from someone I’ve come to know in the past two years. She was distraught and looking for support from someone who is working in Marriage Ministries (me) and might know how to help her in her troubled marriage. I felt totally inadequate in responding to her needs. I gave her what I did have…a listening ear as well as some contact information for someone who might be able to help professionally. As I came to Mass I had a heavy heart thinking of all those people struggling in difficult and challenging marriages, those I know and love as well as those numbering half the population of my country. I was wondering what I could do with my limited experience and knowledge in the field of marriage ministries. I have a happy marriage and often have difficulty putting myself in another’s shoes. I prayed for understanding and guidance on what God might be asking of me despite my limitations and weaknesses. There is a priest in the Archdiocese of Boston who is deaf. I have seen him at the Pastoral Center and I am looking
forward to meeting him when he comes to the next Transformed in Love Marriage Preparation week-end at the end of March. There are two deaf couples who have registered and Fr. Shawn Carey will be there to support them. Fr. Shawn had a translator at this Wednesday Mass who was signing the prayers, readings and homily for him. During the Eucharistic Prayer when the priests who are present at Mass move around the altar, Fr. Shawn’s translator moved so he would be able see her. She ended up standing directly in front of me. Since I was no longer able to see the consecration of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, I closed my eyes and concentrated on listening. A few minutes later I was a bit startled to hear a woman’s voice praying part of the Eucharistic Prayer that I have only ever heard spoken by a priest. Surprised, I opened my eyes and saw that the translator had moved to the microphone at the lectern and Fr. Sean was signing these last words of the Eucharistic Prayer. It was an amazing and moving experience. I couldn’t take my eyes off of Fr. Shawn’s hands and I felt an overwhelming movement of the Holy Spirit in my heart. Even though I wasn’t able to wrap my brain around why what was happening before me was touching me so profoundly, I savored how uplifted my spirit felt. I focused on how this woman became Fr. Shawn’s voice for us, the congregation, and yet it was through Fr. Shawn’s hands that the words were given to her. I reflected on how God is continually calling us to be His voice and His hands in the world. He often shows us how He wants us to fulfill this in the most unexpected of ways. As I prayed throughout the next few days I asked God to help me to understand how He wants me to be His voice and His hands in my life. I know how inadequate I often feel in serving Him and yet it is in this very weakness that I can recognize His strength. I thought back to a talk I gave a few years ago to a Wings group entitled “Being the heart, hands and voice of Jesus in the Community.” The call is continuous and I must be open to go wherever His Spirit leads. The day before this experience at Mass I had a conversation with one of my former classmates who began in the MAM program with me and who had recently been accepted into the Diaconate Program. We were surprised to find that each of us was taking a course on New Testament taught by Celia Sirois and we both had a paper on gospel parallels that we were trying to write. I told John that I was planning to write about the Parable of the Mustard Seed and how something so tiny can grow into something so great. John shared with me some ideas that he had and when he mentioned the Baptism of the Lord, I was stirred to tell him that another classmate of ours had just presented a talk on the Baptism of the Lord to Harvard students on a retreat as part of her MAM Field Education. John proceeded to show me something he noticed in Luke’s gospel. After baptism by John, “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil (Lk 4:1).” After forty days in the desert, “Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone (Lk 4:14).” My classmate John pointed out that after Baptism, Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit, but it wasn’t until after the forty days of temptation, that Jesus was full of the power of the Holy Spirit. I was struck by that insight and thought about these forty days of Lent being very different from what I had originally planned on Ash Wednesday. It has been a real struggle and a test of faith in many areas of my life. I’m beginning to see how God is calling me to listen in a new way and to trust in His power. Whatever He calls me to, whatever He asks of me, it will be through His power that the work is accomplished. I need not be afraid of my own inadequacies because “‘He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you,’ and ‘on their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone. (Psalm 91)’” Having the opportunity to see the power of God’s good work in action through the people called to work in the central organization for the Archdiocese at the Pastoral Center has been so inspiring. I am grateful for these dedicated and generous people who give their time, treasure and talent in fulfilling the work of being God’s heart, hands and voice in the Archdiocese of Boston and beyond.
Message from Fr. Michael Depcik, a Deaf priest from the Oblates of St. Francis DeSales:
Christian Youth Leadership Week August 1 - 6, 2010 This program focuses on Deaf teens, ages 13 - 18, who want to deepen their Catholic faith while having a good time at the beautiful Holley Family Village. Directed by Fr. Michael Depcik and Kid Black Fedio, and staffed by qualified counselors who are fluent in sign language, teens will have many role models to help them appreciate their faith and their unique gifts from God. Daily schedule includes morning talks on spirtuality, activities that promote teamwork, various fun activities in the afternoons and evenings, liturgy, and prayer services. Teens of other faiths are welcome as well. Please let either Fr. Shawn Carey or Fr. Jeremy St. Martin know if you are interested in signing up for this adventurous program! Registration is available now, please sign up fast as space is limited. We strongly encourage Deaf Youth to attend - ask Fr. Shawn as he had already experienced this incredible program!
ATTENTION DEAF CATHOLIC YOUTH:Youth Events We have had Extreme East and WYD in Australia We have attended Extreme East in R.I. 2009 NCYC is happened in the fall. Fr. Shawn was a speaker at that. That was in Kansas City, 2009. This is all to prepare for:
WORLD YOUTH DAY 2011
August 2011 If you are interested in joining the pilgrimage to World Youth Day in Madrid, Spain, please see Fr. Shawn Carey or contact him. He is in the process of planning this exciting spiritual trip which may include a visit in a diocese where the Deaf Catholics in Spain live. The dates, August 15-21 are for the actual events going on in Madrid. We may be going earlier than August 15th for a few days with the Deaf Catholics of Europe. It will be a blast! If you have any questions about World Youth Day experiences, please see Dominick Boyd and his mother, Teri to share with you their experience in World Youth Day 2009 Sydney, Australia. Youth in ages over 18 to 40 are welcome to join. For those who are 16 or 17, an accompanying parent is required. For further information, let Fr. Shawn know. Here are some pictures from last WYD 2008:
Office of the Deaf Apostolate of the Archdiocese of Boston 66 Brooks Drive Braintree, Massachusetts 02184