Deaf Catholics and others to gather in Atlantic City

Saint Michael wears armor and is armed with a sword in the stained glass at Saint Michael Church, Atlantic City, which will host the Deaf community on July 28.
Photo by Peter G. Sánchez

When you look closely at a picture, you can see many things. For an example, the the stained glass image of Saint Michael at Saint Michael Church in Atlantic City pictures him holding a sword. Why a sword? Saint Michael the Archangel is our protector. That is why the Deaf community from all over New Jersey will be making their pilgrimage to Saint Michael Church to celebrate our faith in American Sign Language on Saturday, July 28.

The international sign for love — Pope Francis greets a group of pilgrims from the Deaf Catholic Youth Initiative of the Americas with the international sign for love.

Deaf persons acquire their information visually through American Sign Language or through words made into pictures. Deaf people can read, Deaf people can drive, can own homes and can marry and raise families, but reading can become a difficult concept when we talk about our faith. Adult faith formation is a challenge sometimes, so we use visual art or pictures to help us explain or understand our faith better.

Saint Michael Church is a perfect place to visit. It has art that conveys Bible stories and the lives of the saints.

We invite you to come and join us and invite your Deaf and Hard of Hearing brothers and sisters in your parishes to join us too. Our picnic is from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., ending with Mass. We will view the church at 11:30 a.m., start serving lunch at 12:30 p.m. Father Hugh Bradley will use American Sign Language for Mass and we will have voice-over interpreters for our hearing brothers and sisters who will join us. We ask a donation of $5 per person for lunch (hoagies, potato salad, veggies and dessert and other food). If you are interested in coming or for more information, please contact Kate Slosar at 856-283-3962 or

Mass for the Deaf is celebrated on Sundays at 10 a.m. at Holy Saviour Church, 50 Emerald Ave., Haddon Twp. 08108.

Kate Slosar is co-director, Ministry With the Deaf, Diocese of Camden.