Thursday, May 18, 2006

Special Mass For the Deaf in Green Bay

For the first time in her life, Marie Stapleford of Dykesville feels able to fully participate in Mass. She attends the Rev. Guy Blair's signed Mass at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church every Sunday morning.

"The format is simple," she said through sign and an interpreter, "but it has a point. It's nice to know what's happening. I like being able to meet other deaf people. This is getting me more involved. Right now, I do the newsletter for us."
A seven-member choir signs the music to the accompaniment of a boom box. For the readings, the lectors sign and Blair talks. For the petitions, everyone comes to the front and signs their prayer requests. If they don't also speak, Blair interprets. If they are too shy to come forward, Blair signs for them.

In other Catholic churches, people hold hands or raise their hands in praise during the Lord's Prayer. At St. John the Evangelist, everyone touches shoes to keep their hands free for signing. There is a special lectionary that makes it easier to proclaim the Scripture through sign. [snip] Duluth News Tribune

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