The Sign of Christ

News from the Catholic Deaf Community

Diocese of Syracuse

Vol. 15 No. 3 - June-August 2004




Anne & Dorothy - A Lesson in Friendship

"$182.00 to go to a picnic!!?? I knew I had to do something." That's what Anne Parish said in explaining how her relationship with Dorothy L. went to a new level, and forever changed the course of Dorothy's life.

Their journey together started in January 1997 when the former coordinator of the PRCA office in Fulton, approached Anne, who is an interpreter for the deaf. Dorothy, who is deaf and blind, had been living in a local nursing home since 1990, and was in desperate need of someone to assist her in her efforts to communicate with nursing home staff - who had no formal training in sign language. Initial meetings between Anne and Dorothy went very well, and within a short time, Anne became Dorothy's advocate. As Anne said, "The coordinator threw the bait in the water and reeled me in."

Anne's presence made an immediate difference in Dorothy's life. When staff at the nursing home informed Anne that they planned to cut Dorothy's hair, Anne's response was, "Why don't we ask her?" (She didn't and it wasn't.) In most instances, Anne seemed to be successful in advocating on Dorothy's behalf. However, she realized that those "successes" related to relatively minor issues. When the issue was of major importance, Anne's input went unheeded. "I had no power," she said. That changed when, with the support of PRCA and the approval of Dorothy's family, Anne gained legal guardianship of Dorothy. In her new role, Anne was included in all planning decisions relative to Dorothy, and was able to obtain special funding that enabled Dorothy to attend a day program outside the nursing home. However, this funding did not extend to include transportation to social events, and when Dorothy expressed an interest in attending a picnic sponsored by a club in Syracuse for persons who are deaf, Anne learned that transportation to and from the picnic would cost $182. That's when she realized that she "had to do something."

What she did was to meet with a representative of the Helen Keller Institute to research possible options and seek advice. With the support of the PP:CA office and the local office of the Developmental Services Offices, Anne eventually gained the services of an attorney from Legal Aid, who prepared a lawsuit on Dorothy's behalf that called for her relocation to a more appropriate residence. The lawsuit resulted in Dorothy's move from the nursing home to an Individualized Residential Alternative in Oneida County, where she is able to come and go freely.

Pursuing a legal resolution was a difficult decision for Anne. She knew from the start that, if successful, it would probably mean that Dorothy would no longer live nearby, resulting in far fewer visits between the two of them. She said she asked herself, "What's more important: to be her friend or that she has a life?" Considering the life-changing impact that Anne has had on Dorothy's life, what better definition of "friend" could there be?

Walt Snyder October 10, 2003
Person to Person: Citizen Advocacy Newsletter



Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat

June 2004







1

Pastoral

Workers

2

Pastoral

Workers

3

Liverpool Group

10AM - 2PM

4

NYSSD

Family Day

5

Rome 5:15PM

6

Dewitt 10:30

Syracuse 9

7 8

Barber Shop

10 AM - 1 PM

9



10 11

Catechetical

Leaders

12

Johnson City 5

13

Dewitt 10:30

Syracuse 9

14
Flag
Day
15 16 17 18 19

Rome 5:15 PM

20

Dewitt 10:30

Syracuse 9

Fathers' Day

21 22 23

24

NYSSD

Graduation

25

26

Johnson City 5

27

Dewitt 10:30

Syracuse 9

28

29

30





June Birthdays



1 Paul Ryfun

9 Mabel Edic

11 Valerie Allen

12 Fr Peter Williams

14 John Stevens

17 Frances Harmon

19 Kelly Jo Cutler

20 Mary Ryfun

23 Albert D Perry Jr

June  Anniversaries

16 Maria & Ralph Mingolelli

21 Jennie & Bob Joseph








Fr. Peter  teaches at a Lenten get-together in Whitesboro

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat

July 2004

1
Canada Day
2 3

Rome 5:15

4

Dewitt 10:30

Syracuse 9

Independence Day

5 6



7



8 9

10

Johnson City 5

11

Dewitt 10:30

Syracuse 9

12 13

Barber Shop

10 AM - 1 PM

14
Blessed Kateri
Tekakwitha

15 16 17

Rome 5:15

18

Dewitt 10:30

Syracuse 9

19 20 21

22 23 24

Johnson City 5

25

Dewitt 10:30

Syracuse 9

26

27

28

29

30

31




July Birthdays

10 Sue Weaver

19 Bob Thurlow Jr

20 Holly Kavanaugh

26 Robert Menotti

30 Ryan Lee

July Anniversaries
6 Jim & Mary Margaret Van Damme
   30 years



Another Lenten get-together in the South



Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat

 August 2004




1

Dewitt 10:30

Syracuse 9



2


3


4
5

6
Feast of the
Transfiguration
7

Johnson City 5

Rome 5:15



8

Dewitt 10:30

9 10

Barber Shop

10 AM - 1 PM

11



12

MM's Vacation



13

MM's Vacation



14

15

Dewitt 10:30

Syracuse 9

Feast of the
Assumption

16

MM's Vacation
17

MM's Vacation

18

MM's Vacation

19 20 21

Johnson City 5

22

Dewitt 10:30

23 24 25

26 27 28

29

Dewitt 10:30

Syracuse 9

30

31






August Birthdays

1 Justin Frechette

5 Matt Cutler

5 Jonah Frechette

13 Mattie Letham

19 Margaret Rocco

20 Sr Margaret Duffy
Rachael & Rebecca Chmiel

30 Marion Baratta




Face painting in the North

THIS & THAT


Congratulations to the new officers of the Catholic Deaf Community Council:
President:  Patty Thurlow
Vice President: Elaine Coleman
Secretary:  Jane Long
Corresponding Secretary:  Mary Margaret Van Damme

The meeting was held April 24th at St James in Johnson City.
We learned what was happening in each area of the diocese, planned for the years coming up, and just enjoyed
being together.   Plan on coming to the next meeting on August 3rd in Syracuse!
     


The Religion Classes at the  NYSSD closed with a party on May 26th.  We joined with the classes of Rev Virginia Nagel for extra fun!

On May 22, a group attended the retreat with Fr Mike Depcik near Scranton, PA.  Maybe there will be pictures for the next newsletter.  It was a grand time for sure!

Don’t just think about the Cursillo...SIGN UP!

High school students: Plan on the Youth Congress on July 31st!  Call now!



Yet another Lenten get-together (North)


Blessed are those who can give without remembering

and take without forgetting.

---Elizabeth Bibesco

Thank you to those who give!

March 2004    Envelopes: 9      Amount: $197

April 2004     Envelopes: 5      Amount: $57

Needed for Budget: $210/month

Jolene Schill poses with Jesus statue, First Communion day

Keith Grant and Fr. Abe, First Communion day



Please pray for these friends who have died...and for their families who will miss them:

Nellie Combs
Bishop Frank Harrison
Lorraine Coppola
Vito Vaccaro
and Angeline Starks





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The Sign of Christ newsletter keeps everyone informed of what is happening in the seven counties covered by the Diocese of Syracuse.

Some generous groups support us...   BUT that doesn't cover the total cost. Your $5 will keep the news coming!

Send your contribution, along with your name and address to:

Catholic Deaf Community

PO Box 572

Rome, NY 13442-0572


Angelo Mingolelli


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Last wordsmithed May 24, 2004