The Catholic Deaf Community of the Syracuse Diocese
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Rose Coriale
Friendly Faces through the years
Newsletter's 10th year
Local News
Our Catholic Faith: Epiphany


Many of you may know her from NYSSD, as she taught there for  a while.  Rose graduated from the old New York State School for the Deaf campus a long time ago, before World War 2. She went on to attend a hearing college, 
and teach at a Deaf school in the midwest. 
        Everywhere she went, Rose showed hearing people that truly Deaf people can do anything!  Some people did not think she could go to a hearing college and keep up with the work, but she did, and she did well.Some people thought she could not drive a car because she was deaf. Rose did not let that stop her. She learned to drive, bought a car, and drove 
out west to her teaching job. That was a long time ago, when Deaf people faced  more negative attitudes, compared to today. Rose always was a brave lady, and an inspiration to many. 
        Through the years, Rose was a teacher, and touched many lives of our young deaf people. She showed them that they too can do anything. Thekids admired Rose, showing her great respect, such as asking her to be sponsor for the senior class, to join them on trips, and other activities. 
        Rose has been a great student and teacher, very skilled in English, lipreading, and voicing, but especially proud of being a Deaf person who communicates in sign language. She has shared this love of our sign language with many hearing people, to help them understand the lives of deaf people. 
        Rose is showing her strong spirit even now, as she goes through atough illness.  Her family and her faithful poodle are at her side. We are lucky to have such gifted people in the Deaf community. 

Please keep her in your prayers! 


We often have photos of some of our folks in this newsletter, the "Friendly Faces." 
Over the previous 9 years, here are people who have been featured. Do you know them? 

1990--Fr Dick Kapral, Jane Long, Anne Parish. 
1991--Tom Johns, Johnson City group,Cliff Kavanaugh, Sr Helen Gertrude, Jim and Pauline Lewis. 
1992--Marion Baratta, Suzi Meka, Stan Suchocki, Rt 20 deaf people, Bea Murphy 
1993-- NYSSD classes and teachers, Rev and Mrs Durand, NCOD people, Mary Kay Barber, Fr Fred Daley, Teresa Varano. 
1994--Ramon Zayas, Holly DeLillo, Jeanette Romanowski, Sterly family, TimPardi, Edith Broadbent and Glynn Gregory, 
NYS Pastoral Workers. 
1995--Christian Wojnar, Steve Charma, Bishop Moynihan, Cherie Byrnes, Bertha Coughlin. 
1996--Frank and Pauline Rakowski, Oswego County kids, Mary Margaret VanDamme, Deaf rally in Albany, summer picnic scenes. 
1997 --Mattie Letham, Jeff and Sheila Stevens family. 
1998-- Utica coffeeand donut sale, Binghamton area friends Nettie Fusco and Pauline Lewis. 

In our newsletter's 10th year... 
looking back on interesting stories: 
 There have been many different activities and events reported in our newsletter. 


Some of the stories were not written in the newsletter. People in the community remember  painful events in the months before the first issue. We had to fight for the survival of a full-time deaf ministry. After Sr Margaret Duffy notified the diocese she would be leaving the Deaf ministry office, she hoped the diocese would be quick to find ways for deaf ministry 
to continue. That did not happen. 

Misunderstandings followed, with some angry meetings between representatives of the Deaf community and the diocese. There were some letters in The Catholic Sun criticizing the diocese. But things improved! The diocesan leadership acted 
to set things right. 

Early in 1990, Bishop O'Keefe appointed Fr Pete to head the Deaf ministryoffice, and funding was restored. Today, the diocesan leaders have betterunderstanding of deaf people, and their support is stronger. We learned alot from that experience. When we listen to each other, we know we  can 
solve problems. 

We often  have stories in the newsletter about situations that need to 
improve, in the church and in our society. When we stand up and "speak 
out", things can improve. 


Deaf ministry in our diocese goes back much longer than 10 years. The diocese has provided services for deaf Catholics since at least 1948. Sr Margaret Duffy spent many years building up our Deaf Catholic church community, and it is good to see her work is enduring. We have featured stories about our local deaf church history in many of our newsletters. One 
of our favorite stories in January 1993 reported that Liza Boardman, wife of Laurent Clerc (the first deaf teacher in the USA) was actually from Central NY, born in Whitesboro. She was Episcopalian. 


We have enjoyed reading about Deaf people from around the world. Rememberwhen Fr Pete met Deaf people in Ghana in West Africa? Remember when Marion 
Baratta met Deaf people in Ireland. We try to keep up with deaf vacation stories and other family events of our folks in our Local News section. 


We try to make the newsletter educational for everyone. We tell you what 
our kids are learning in our church school classes. The regular page of Our 
Catholic Faith helps to teach things Catholic Christians should know. ForExample, in February 1996, we had a lesson about the 10 Commandments, especially the 5th commandment and defending human life. 


From 1993 to 1995, many issues gave information about the ICDA convention planned for Utica. At first we were all afraid--could we do it? Pah! the convention was a big success. People were happy, and we had a profit! 


Our first issue was printed on a mimeo machine at St Lucy's rectory. 
Later on, we used mimeograph equipment at St Francis in Utica. We moved up 
to "high class" printing through the Catholic Sun people, in 1992. In 
recent years, and today, our newsletter is printed by the nice people at 
Quinn Printing, on South Street in Utica,  not far from our office at  StFrancis De Sales Parish Center. 
Now, here we are on the web! 

by Fr Pete Williams:
While I am the main editor of the newsletter, I do not produce this all by myself. I often receive information for stories from people around the Diocese of Syracuse. And when the newsletter is printed and ready to be mailed, I can usually count on help from people in the Utica -Rome area to put on the stickers and labels, sort and count the newsletters, to have everything ready for the main US post office bulk mail center in Utica. 

The funds which cover the cost of this newsletter come from several sources. The Diocese of Syracuse provides funds for our mailing costs. The cost of the printing is covered by ad sponsors and other donations. 

We send out about 500 of these newsletters each month. Most are to Deaf households within our diocese. Many are sent out to local pastors, interpreters, and friends of our local deaf church groups. Others go to deaf and hearing friends around the 

I hope you enjoy reading this issue of the Sign of Christ. If you want tohelp us have more success in the future, I call your  attention to the page inside with info about donating money for our newsletter. :>) 



We will miss Eve O'Donnell, who died in December. Deaf people in her home town of Auburn, NY, and the nearby Syracuse area,and Deaf people all over Central NY will miss her smiling face and positive attitude. Eve was always involved in many deaf activities in Central NY. If we had Deaf Awareness Week, dinners, picnics, tournaments, she was there.Often she helped on committees to make things happen. Our prayers are with her family. 

We had an interpreter at St John's Church in Liverpool on Christmas Day. It seems  the Catholic Deaf Community and Saint John's Church (on Soule Rd) will be working together in 1999 to provide more interpreters for Deaf people in the Northern suburbs. Do you like this idea? 


Jean Hebbard has flown south with the geese, and will return from Florida in April.  

The next ICDA meeting is on Jan 20th at St Francis Parish Center at 7PM. 

The Utica -Rome "Barber Shop" adult group meets again on Jan 19 ,10 AM to1PM.  Feb 16 ,also 10 Am to 1PM. 

Mary Margaret Van Damme will be going to the NCOD Pastoral Week in TucsonArizona later this month. It will be her first time at NCOD. Those of us who have been there before know people will give MM a warm welcome. MM will already know some of the people there, because she has attended a few of our NY State pastoral workers' meetings. She will see some of our NY people at the NCOD week. 

We were iced in on January 3, so we did not have Mass or the annual Christmas season spaghetti dinner. 
We might have the dinner  in February. Because of the bad weather, Fr Pete did not  visit the nursing homes for 
communion calls. He might do that later this month. At the end of the month, Jane Long will be off to Arizona for the NCOD 
annual pastoral week. Jane will be going strictly for business. Don't be fooled by the golf clubs! 


We all enjoyed the December  Mass and party at Immaculate Conception Church in Fulton. We had prayer, food, presents, and fun. 

Our next home Mass in Oswego County will be in February. 


In November, Father Pete had a nice visit with the Menard family at their auto garage business near Oxford. Some of you may know there are 3 deaf sons in that family, all grown up adults now. The Menards are good honest business people and fun to visit,too! 

Whether your car is hearing or deaf, they will do a good job! 

At St Paul's Parish in Norwich, Fr Doug Cunningham has another new son. Yes, that's right. He has 2 sons, adopted from an orphanage in China! 

People in Norwich support his decision to do this. They are a big help toFr Doug, who has a big job, with both a parish to run, and 2 sons to takecare of! St Paul's parish is one of the groups that supports our newsletter. 

Since our people are spread all over 7 counties of the diocese, communication can be a problem.  But with  our newsletter, 
 we can all find out what is happening in the diocese. 

Of course, everyone receives this for free. But it costs money to produceour newsletter and mail it out to you. We estimate that 10 issues we send to your mailbox each year costs us about $8.00. It was a bit cheaper when we printed it on the mimeograph in the old days, but now you can actually READ the print in the newsletter. It's worth it,isn't it? 

Think it over, and if you can, help us out with a donation. You can clip the form below and mail it to our office in Utica. 
If you are tuning in on the web, we want you to know we appreciate support from any of our friends. 

print, clip and mail: 
YES!  I CAN HELP!  $$$ 
Dear Sign of Christ: 
I want to help keep the SIGN OF CHRIST newsletter going strong! 

Here is my donation of $ _________ 

YOUR NAME ______________________________________________ 

YOUR ADDRESS ___________________________________________ 


(we appreciate any help you can give) 

The Catholic Deaf Community 
Of the Syracuse Diocese 
1119 Elm Street 
Utica NY 13501 

Epiphany stories
By Fr. Peter Williams
The Christmas Season ended with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord on January 10. 

In the middle of the Christmas season, we celebrate the FEAST OF THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD. Usually when we think of Epiphany we think of the story of the "3 Kings". See Matthew 2: 1-12  in your Bibles. 

Actually, the Bible does not call them "kings", and does not say that there were 3. They left 3 gifts, but is possible that it was a big group that left the gifts. Matthew doesn't give all the details. 

But why is this story important? The word Epiphany is from the Greek Language, it means "God's Light shines through." Epiphany means that God reveals Love to the world through Jesus Christ. The story of the wise visitors going to visit Jesus, from the East teaches us. 

We learn that Jesus is light for all of the world. 
We learn that we are like the wise people-- we thirst for God in our lives, 
Our hearts want to experience the love and wisdom of God. 

You have already experienced God's love in your life. 
Really? True? Yes, really! 

Think about people who love you. Think back on your past years-- the many special people who helped you and were good to you. 
These people are Epiphanies of God's love. 
These people show God's love is close to you. 
"Epiphany"-- God's love shining through in the world. 

When you have tough times, sad times in your life, remember God's love is with you. 
Think of the "Epiphany people" God has already given to you. 

 About Our New Web Site!

For a few months now, the Catholic Deaf community has sent information out
to all the computer world with our new web page.

What is a web page?
A web page is computer information that everyone in the world can read on their computers. It is like a bulletin board or newsletter that any one in the world (really! the whole earth!) can read. The World Wide Web is a way
all computers in the world can share information with everyone. All you need is a computer and a phone hook-up.

We already have many people "on line" with electronic mail in our Catholic Deaf community, and we send messages and letters from our computers all the time. That's really handy when you live 100 miles from other mebers of our church

Our web page address is:

Of course, if you're reading this on the web, you already know that!
Thanks to Jim VanDamme for making our web page happen!
And those of you visiting our site, thanks for checking it out! :>)