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C. Gordon wrote:

Hi, guys —

For years I have tried to get the Catholic Churches near our home to help with getting an ASL (American Sign Language) interpreter for Mass or even just the classes.

I have two years of e-mails with the Brooklyn diocese and others, so my son, who is deaf, can receive his First Communion. Zero help. He is 19 years-old now and thinks he doesn't need it.

I am considering just having him receive Communion with me when we go to regular Mass on Sunday. In an e-mail I was told to teach him at home so I went to the church to get the workbook.

  • We have done that, but now what?

It's been super frustrating but I'm at the point that organized religion is a mess and I've lost my faith a bit in the Catholic Church but not my faith in God.

  • Is there any reason why my son can't just go to Sunday Mass and receive Communion every Sunday?
  • Do you have any thoughts?

Thank you!

C. Gordon

  { Since we can't get ASL, is there any reason why my son can't just go to Sunday Mass and receive? }

Mike and Andrew gave the following team answer:

Dear C.,

I wish we could help a little more, but I did receive the following feedback from a good friend and helper to our web site and apostolate.

He said:

Dear C.,

I'm not surprised to hear that the local parish seems to have no organized catechesis or ministry for deaf Catholics. Most dioceses seem to offer ministry for the deaf in only one or a few places, if at all. Certainly, Brooklyn is a big enough place that I do expect a deaf ministry to exist.

And maybe it does exist, though not at your local parish. According to these parish websites, there are interpreted Masses at two locations in Brooklyn and one in Queens.

There is also a congregation of deaf Catholics across the river in Manhattan:

I hope at least one of these is potentially useful for you.

Yours in Christ,


I would add only a couple things.

You mentioned nothing about what your local parish pastors have had to say about your situation.

Bureaucracies like Catholic dioceses can have a lot of people who, for some reason, may not be able to address your problem.

Instead of just having your son go to Communion at Sunday Mass, I would first make an appointment with the bishop and insist that you meet with the bishop. Know ahead of time, the first thing he is going to ask you is what your local pastors have said to you. This is why it is important to first meet and discuss the issues with your local parish pastors.

This way you will get the proper guidance for your specific situation.

If my colleagues have anything else to add, I'm sure you will hear from them.

I hope this helps,

Mike and Andrew

C. Gordon replied:

Hi guys,

Thank you!

The priest I dealt with in 2018 and the current Secretary for Evangelization and Catechesis have been of little help.

I will follow your advice.

C. Gordon

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