In the spirit of supporting and encouraging deaf Catholics living in Maine, the goal of the Catholic Deaf Ministry in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland is to assess the needs of the community and implement events, services and programs that will encourage deaf Catholics to be more active in their parishes; to share their gifts within the Catholic community and beyond; and to enjoy new communication, religious education and pastoral materials.
Fr. Kevin Hughes, S.J., of Our Lady of Hope Parish in Portland, attended Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. to begin studying American Sign Languatge in 2010. Gallaudet is a federally chartered private university for the deaf and hearing-impaired. He has since worked with deaf Catholic communities in St. Louis, Missouri; Rochester, New York; and Toronto, Ontario, where he also served as a deacon in the St. Francis de Sales deaf ministry.
Our Lady of Hope Parish will offer a signed Mass on the third Sunday of each month at St. Pius X Church, located on 492 Ocean Avenue in Portland, at 9 a.m. The Masses will begin on Sunday, September 20. The Masses will also be live-streamed at the Our Lady of Hope Parish website.
Deaf Catholics in Maine who are unable to attend the above Masses can visit www.facebook.com/deafmass to watch a livestream of an ASL Mass each Sunday at 11:30 a.m. or watch a replay of the Mass at any time. To view weekly homilies signed by Fr. Michael Depcik, visit www.frmd.org.
“Diocesan ministerial services is assessing the needs of the deaf community and trying to implement opportunities, services, and programs to support and encourage deaf Catholics in Maine, which includes an invitation to be more active in their parishes through sharing their gifts,” said Deacon Peter Bernier, who oversees this and other specialized ministries.
“The deaf community is an important part of the parishes in which they live,” said Bishop Robert P. Deeley. “The diocese wants to reach out to the current and new generations of deaf Catholics to make sure that their needs are being met in terms of having children baptized, catechized, and that they feel welcome at Masses in their churches.”
For more information about opportunities for deaf Catholics in Maine, contact Deacon Peter Bernier at (207) 321-7845 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For interpreters: Mass Interpreting Prep Guide