Serving the Tri-State Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community
Nativity's Deaf Community
Serving the Tri-state Deaf and Hard of Hearing Communities
3635 Pollack Ave., Evansville, Indiana 47714
Voice only 476-7186
A recent survey shows that less than 10% of Deaf people attend church! Deaf and Hard of Hearing people need to know that Jesus is not just for hearing people. Jesus loves Deaf people and wants Deaf people to know and love him too!
Over the years of the existence of the Diocese several priests have accepted the challenge of learning Sign language to provide Masses for the Deaf, especially Msgr. Ken Knapp and Fr. James Lex.
Bishop Francis Shea officially began an Office for Deaf Ministry in the Evansville Diocese in 1985 when he asked a seminarian at Sacred Heart School of Theology in Franklin Wisconsin, Henry Kuykendall, to take courses in Sign Language so he could reach out the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in the Diocese after his ordination. Fr. Henry took courses at Milwaukee College, interned with Fr. Bill Key, Coordinator of Deaf Ministry in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and was able to use several school electives to study religious signs and the theology of Deafness.
Fr. Henry was ordained in June 1986 and had the first Deaf Choir and ASL signed ordination ever in the Diocese with the help of Fr. Bill Key. After ordination Fr. Henry was sent by the Bishop to Gallaudet University for the Deaf in Washington DC for six weeks to study Sign Language. The Bishop established an Office of Deaf Ministry with an annual budget of $1,000.00 that has been continue by Bishop Gettelfinger and grown to over $13,000.00 annually through CPC funds. With these funds Fr. Henry pays for Interpreters for Masses in Evansville and Ferdinand, Indiana. For three years, 2003--2006 the Federal Government provided a free senior citizen employee, Mary Jane Rhodes, to coordinate Deaf Ministry and teach the faith to all Christian Deaf citizens regardless of denomination. Fr. Henry has continued his Deaf ministry since 1986 with Total Communication Mass (voice & ASL Interpreter) every Saturday night, first at Holy Redeemer, then St. John, Daylight, now at Nativity.
Nativity Total Communication Mass – Saturdays, 4:30 pm, Marg Luebbehusen, Interpreter.
“Assisted Listening Devices” available at Nativity for the Hard of Hearing at all services with a grant from the Diocesan Office of Deaf Ministry with CPC funds;
Ferdinand Interpreted Mass – every Saturday, 4:30 pm – Ferdinand, Indiana
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