Since its inception, the Archdiocese of Washington has taken to heart the statement issued by the American Catholic Bishop’s Pastoral of 1978 by providing services to Deaf and hard of hearing Catholics and their families. The Center for Deaf Ministries strives to preserve Deaf Catholic Culture while celebrating the Deaf Person in the Life of the Church.
The Center for Deaf Ministries in Landover Hills, MD houses St. Francis of Assisi Deaf Catholic Church, which functions on a parish model. Because of the size of the Archdiocese, there are also many parishes which offer interpreted services for the deaf, but St. Francis serves as a “home” to all Deaf Catholics in the Archdiocese.
All events at the Center for Deaf Ministries are offered in Sign Language. Some examples of Deaf Ministry Programs currently running are:
- Sunday Signed Masses and Interpreted Liturgies across the Archdiocese
- Children’s Religious Education Program
- Penance Services
- Lenten and Advent Services
- R.C.I.A. (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) in ASL
- Adult Faith Formation in ASL
- Sacramental Preparations in ASL, such as Baptism and Marriage Prep
- Pastoral Counseling
- Training Programs for Lectors, Eucharistic Ministers and Catechists
- Social Activities, Special Events and Retreats
- Pilgrimages for the Deaf
- Deaf Third Order Franciscan Fraternity
- ICDA Chapter #29 (International Catholic Deaf Association)
- Sign Language Interpreter Training and Workshops
- Office of Campus Ministry of Gallaudet University
Click here for more information on how to request an ASL interpreter for Catholic liturgies and events. Weddings, wakes and funerals can be interpreted by request. Deaf, blind, and trilingual interpreting services can be provided. Please also review this guide titled Working with Sign Language Interpreters – Code of Ethics Fact Sheet.