Deaf Ministry

Mass with ASL Interpreting American Sign Language hand symbol

  If you know of someone who would benefit from sign language at Mass, direct him or her to St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Student Center (near Drake University), where sign language is offered at every Sunday 10:30 a.m. Mass.

Sign language is offered at Sunday Mass 9:30 a.m. each week at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in West Des Moines.

For more information, upcoming retreats or events where sign language interpretation will be offered, contact Patty Origer.

Catholic Religious Enrichment Week is July 25-30, 2021

Catholic Religious Enrichment Week is for Deaf/ Hard of Hearing adults who use ASL, who desire a deep understanding of their faith and to be empowered to live and share their faith.  This is an opportunity to encounter Jesus, and become a disciple –Jesus' Deaf Crew!

Christian Experience Weekend (CEW) for Deaf/Hard of Hearing held at Our Lady's Immaculate Heart parish, Ankeny, IA in fall 2019. Coming again fall 2022!

 three pictures including group of 3 priests and deacon standing; group of 30 people sitting in church, four clergy standing praying over woman standing

Catholic Resources 


National Catholic Partnership on Disabilities

  • Rooted in Gospel values that affirm the dignity of every person, the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD) works collaboratively to ensure meaningful participation of people with disabilities in all aspects of the life of the Church and society. 
  • NCPD staff, Board, and Council members work with Catholics across the country to offer a disability perspective to Catholic organizations and events.
  • NCPD promotional video on who we are including history, mission, and staff.
  • Role of NCPD and their partnership with V Encuentro

National Catholic Office for the Deaf

  • The National Catholic Office for the Deaf (NCOD) is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to promoting Pastoral Ministry with persons who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.
  • NCOD implements its ministry by collaborating with Bishops, diocesan leaders and pastors; by providing support to ordained and lay pastoral workers in Deaf Ministry and by assisting catechists and families with deaf children. NCOD is a clearinghouse of information and creates special media resources for Deaf Catholics

International Catholic Deaf Association- U.S. 

  • ICDA-US is an organization of Catholic deaf people and hearing people in the church working with the deaf in the United States of America.

Deaf Ministry Resources

  • ASL Resources for Interpreting the Mass for interpreters from Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Ministry with Archdiocese of Indianapolis and Resources for Parishes working with ASL interpreters and understanding Deaf Ministry. (scroll down to access them)
  • Camp Mark 7 offers an array of recreational, educational, leadership and spiritual programs for deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing individuals of all ages.
  • Deaf Apostolate resources:
  1. Boston Deaf Apostolate
  2. Archdiocese of Chicago
  3.  Archdiocese of Detroit
  4.  Archdiocese of Milwaukee
  5. Archdiocese of Philadelphia

  6. Archdiocese of San Francisco/St. Benedict Parish for the Deaf

  7. Diocese of Rockford

  • Religious American Sign Language Week is a program is intended for Priests, deacons and seminarians who work with the Deaf Community;  Working interpreters who have been certified (or qualified in their state); Deaf ASL Lectors (members of the Deaf community who are now doing the readings for Sunday liturgies).  Participants will learn from very qualified instructors: Msgr. Glenn Nelson, Deacon Patrick Graybill and Joan Macy.  The entire event will take place at the Bishop Lane Retreat Center in Rockford, Illinois.

Faith Formation Resources utilizing ASL

ASL YOUCAT is a national project to translate the Youth Catechism (YOUCAT) into American Sign Language (ASL) in order to help evangelize our Deaf brothers and sisters in Christ who do not know Catholicism. This is the first time a Catholic Catechism as been translated into ASL!

ASL YOUCAT resources from the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas including promotional and introductory videos

Deaf Catholic Mom includes YouTube videos posted by a catholic mom of 7 or 8 children from Kansas.  It includes videos of prayers & spiritual reflections in ASL. 

Father MD's Kitchen Table is a website by Father Mike Depcik a deaf Priest from the Archdiocese of Detroit.  It includes homilies, saints information, prayers: Rosary, Stations of the Cross, Chaplet of Divine Mercy all in ASL

Hands of Grace: The Catholic Sacraments in American Sign Languageis an innovative program that features video presentations by Father Séan Loomis teaching in ASL, as well as a workbook that is specifically designed with a visual emphasis to provide a better, dynamic learning experience for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. 

My First Euchartist from NCOD is an online program that you can add into your Religious Education Program for the Deaf. This online resource consists of six lesson plans to incorporate your First Eucharist curriculum for Deaf children, the hearing children will also benefit from it as they can be exposed to ASL and Deafness

NCOD Strengthened in Faith Confirmation Sacramental Preparation in ASL (DVD) study program from the National Catholic Offi ce for the Deaf and Our Sunday Visitor.

Our Daily Hopeis produced by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Deaf Catholic Ministry and is a daily videolog in ASL.

Religious Signs for Families is an app from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and is a delightful and engaging way to learn ASL using religious words that are not often found in other ASL apps. The goal of the app is to help families with young Deaf children and Deaf couples with young children to foster prayer in the home.  This app provides a way for families to connect while learning religious signs and to bond to one another and God as they pray in ASL.  Users extend beyond the family unit because this app is perfect for anyone who wants to learn and use ASL to pray. 

Parish Faith Formation Resources

St. Catherine of Sienna Catholic Parish and Student Center in Des Moines

Provides several faith formation and social opportunities at their parish for the Catholic Deaf Community including weekly Bible study and every two weeks you can participate in a Saint Movie and discussion and Quilting Queens social group.

Partner Organization Resources

Hearing Loss Association of America

The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) is the nation’s leading organization representing consumers with hearing loss. HLAA strives to give people the tools they need to live more successfully with hearing loss and to show them they do not have to face hearing loss alone. HLAA reaches people with hearing loss through its network of chapters and state organizations. HLAA State organizations and chapters provide strategies and support that are modeled after HLAA Founder Howard “Rocky” Stone’s self-help philosophy. 

  HLAA Omaha Area Chapter

Iowa School for the Deaf

Iowa School for the Deaf is not just a ‘special’ school. It is an extraordinary language and learning environment for children who sign, talk or use both communication methods. We welcome children who have cochlear implants, hearing aids, or who use no assistive hearing devices. We value our students’ strengths and design individual learning goals centered around each student’s unique needs.

Relay Iowa 

Hamilton Relay provides telecommunications relay services for the state of Iowa including TTY, Voice Carry Over (VCO), Hearing Carry Over (HCO), Speech-to-Speech (STS), Visually Assisted Speech-to-Speech (VA STS), Spanish and CapTel®.  When you connect with Iowa Relay, a Communication Assistant (CA) will connect on the phone with you. Simply give the CA the number you wish to call and your call will be processed promptly, professionally and accurately.

Telecommunications Access Iowa

Our goal is to provide access and assistance to individuals in selecting equipment that best suits their communication needs. Qualified individuals can receive a voucher that pays for approximately 95% of the average cost of specialized telecommunications equipment. Telecommunications Access Iowa (TAI) is a program of the Iowa Utilities Board and is administered by Deaf Services Unlimited, Inc. This program was established as a result of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to work in conjunction with Relay Iowa.

For Additional Information

Patty Origer, Coordinator of Persons with Disability Ministry and Scheduler of ASL Ministry, phone 515-237-5073