Tuesday, June 19, 2007

History: Catholic Aborted ASL (American Sign Language) Deaf Education!

My 3 minutes and 47 seconds video clip.

Since 1837, SJI has provided a nurturing ASL (American Sign Language) environment for children and families until 1934 the Catholic aborted our beautiful ASL (American Sign Language) here in St. Louis.

Right now to my concern: Does St. Louis Archbishop have a right to abort the closed captioned from his own video clip on both Quick Time format and Windows Media format?
Please do go view on St. Louis Archbishop Burke's video link:


What shall we, Deaf Catholic Community do with St. Louis Archbishop Burke if he do still stubborn for not using the Closed Captioned for us all Deaf Catholic Community??


Anonymous said...

Hey, you did not print my message in your previous vlog. Why? I was trying to inform you that you could not go to heaven if you were a Catholic without believing that Jesus Christ died for our sins. What is good to fight with the Catholic church while they dont teach you all according to the Holy Bible. Read Acts 4:12. Try to find a good church that where you can learn God's words from the Bible. Virgin Mary cant save you from your sins. See John 14:6

LaRonda said...

Hi Shawn.

I’ve been watching your last couple of vlogs about your frustrations with this particular archbishop. I understand your desire for equal access and respect from this archbishop towards the deaf community. That is clear.

At the same time, I wanted to shed some light on the role of an archbishop. (This comment is lengthy, so bare with me. It is sent with great respect for what you are saying, so please don not misinterpret this as a judgment on you. It’s not. It’s just constructive feedback.:) )

An archbishop is a bishop who oversees a group of dioceses in a large area (often a metropolitan area). He is a bishop of highest rank, but he is an "over-seer" or "supervisor". He is not a service provider. An archbishop is responsible for various duties to his province according to canon law. Canon law is the ecclesiastical law of the Roman Catholic Church. It is a fully developed legal system, with all the necessary elements: courts, lawyers, judges, and a fully articulated legal code and principles of legal interpretation.

So here are my thoughts:

1) You suggest the Archbishop keep politics out of the church, but trough canon law, politics do play heavily in the Catholic church. The leaders in the church do strive to influence Catholic voters by reminding them of their faith-based values. So it’s not likely that you can request that politics be kept out.
2) You are seeking rightful access to information, such as captions on the archbishop’s videoclips. While I absolutely agree with you, I think you’re focusing on the wrong person. The archbishop would not be the person to caption videos for deaf. What you would need to do is investigate who runs the Catholic services for the Deaf under this diocese. Making your needs known to the service providers who serve deaf ministry would be the place to make noise.
3) I share our frustrations about only having deaf mass at certain locations or on certain Sundays. It’s just not fair. We should have equal access to church services all the time. But the reality is that liturgical services for the deaf community are often set up based on the number of deaf people in a particular diocese. If the numbers are small in your area, the deaf liturgical services will probably be located where there are greater numbers of Catholic Deaf Community to serve.
4) My suggestion, rather than attack the overseer of the diocese would be to make your needs known to those whose jobs are to be stewards of the deaf community in the catholic church in your diocese. Writing letters or making appointments with those who are responsible to serve the deaf will go farther than attacking the big guy who most likely has very little to do with direct services. He is more of a supervisor who keeps the church faith and laws in tact.
5) The Catholic church us not mandated to follow ADA laws. The church and the state are separate. Some churches to their best to follow ADA laws anyway as part of their stewardship to serve deaf and disabled, but none are mandated by law to follow ADA. (At least that is my understanding.)
6) As far as the archbishop’s view on removing ASL from deaf education, my guess is that he is simply unaware of the needs of the larger deaf community. Friendly and informative letters sent to him about what ASL means to the deaf community might be a way to help inform him and help him turn around his thinking. But I can guarantee you lashing out at him will not bring about the change you want. Try something more constructive. You have the passion and the intelligence to make a difference.

Best of luck.

~ LaRonda

Anonymous said...

You bring up some really good points, some EXCELLENT points. However, I have to point out to you that the archbishop cannot ACCESS them! You asked him to view your previous video clip. You should really caption it, or write a transcript so that he can understand you. I really doubt that he will call a sign language interpreter to understand what you are saying. I hope you're not offended by this comment. I just thought someone should point it out.

-- Kate

ASL Risen said...

Hi All!

I was out of town all day yesterday with my Deaf son and his deaf friends. Got sunburn!

I was aware of some Catholics were good people and some are not. Same thing with other different religion.

LaRonda, thank you so much but I wish there was a video clip to explain how the system will work out because I am not a leader of Deaf Catholic here in a big city. I do NOT have time going to Deaf Catholic Society here in St. Louis.
Maybe someone or you will have time to explain how that systems will work out.

Im tired from sunburn. Shawn

Stephen J. Hardy said...

Contact for resources:


Contact someone to give you some advice on closed captioned. Arguing with the Bishop is not a way to go. The Bishop focus on church business matters.

There are organizations that serves Deaf catholics and contacting them is the appropriate way to get things you need.

Good luck!

ASL Risen said...

Stephen Hardy,

Thanks for your comment and hope
thatsomeone will do contact.

michele said...

Is there a deaf Catholic church that you belong to in St. Louis? Is there a deaf Catholic organization in St. Louis, perhaps you all can work together in making the church more accessible for deaf people, also you may contact Tom Coughlin for advice/suggestion to see what he has to say and all that.

Many churches/temples are not very accessible to deaf people which is unfortunate but if one can set up a relationship with the church or temple, then they are more likely to go out of their way to get an interpreter and help out as much as they can. The only church that I see is very active in the deaf community are mainly Southern Baptist churches. It is amazing at how they have the energy to get deaf preachers, set up interpreters or whatever whereas other religions like Catholic or Jewish, we don't see that happening very much.

We should do some vlogging/blogging on this kind of issue. Thanks for bringing it up.

LaRonda said...


YOU have to be the change you want to see happen. That change has to come from you.

If you want help writing a letter, ask the community for help. You are one voice in the crowd, but your words can be powerful.

Start by listing what you want or need. For example:

1) I want to see Catholic mass in ASL every Sunday.

2) I want to be able to have mass in ASL in my town.

3) I want to go to ASL mass in my parish.

4) I want to be able to access any video clips that are on the diocesan websites. To access these, I would need them to be closed captioned.

5) I want.....

You get the idea.

This will help you draft a letter. Explain that you are deaf and that you are seeking social justice as a Catholic. Then send this letter to you church priest, deaf liturgy services, the diocese office, or to whomever you think will help you.

Best of luck.

~ LaRonda

ASL Risen said...

Good morning Stephen Hardy, Michelle and LaRonda!

I have 6 minutes and 5 seconds video clip messages for you, 3 that you may need copy and paste on this youtube video link:


Hope there will be develop the Deaf Catholic Community around the world by improving leaders and teamwork in the future.

Have a good day! Shawn

Scott Thies said...

Hi, I think there is a reason for many Catholic churches or Jewish temples that does not have deaf access-- they don't worry about deaf soul because they are baptized as a baby so they are all right or on Jewish side, they will enter the Messanic kingdom without any problem because they're Jewish. Compare to Southern Baptist, who seek to lead deaf soul to the Lord by their own mouth theofore they need interpeters to clarify what the preacher tell to the audience. I myself used to be Catholic and never had interpeters at all. I was led to the Lord when I was 14 years old by Baptist Church. They already had interpreters then. They cared about my soul just enough to provide interprters! Now I am leading deaf ministry in ASL but hardly bring many deaf into my church! (due to many barriers relate to transportation situation- in other word- no money to pay gas to the church 30 miles away!)