deaf priests


Saturday at Mother Angelica’s Shrine in Hanceville AL I met a deaf priest, Fr. Tim _________ (I can’t remember his last name except that it is Irish). I didn’t have a lot of time to talk w/ him but he says that the Vatican has lifted restrictions (I guess in certain cicumstances, depending upon the priest’s abilities in communication) He says he has been deaf since birth, lipreads heavily, and is able to use the comfessional for confessions. I have heard that there is a deaf Catholic community in Alabama, and I suspect he is located there. H4e also says there is 1 other deqaf priest and he is in
England. I would appreciate any info that forum readers could supply about these priests. Thanks.


Other than a retired Priest that has filled in here from time to time that is blind. Yes, blind. He has assistance from the deacon and has the prayers at Mass recorded on a tape recorder that he listens to as he celebrates, the Deacon reads the Gospel, but he gives the Homily.


There are actually several deaf priests! In the Archdiocese of Los Angeles there were two: Fr. Brian Dornan and Fr. Tom Schweitzer. Both were “post-lingually” deaf meaning they lost their hearing after they learned to speak. Both have had cochlear implants in recent years (long after their ordinations) so both can again hear. Both sign fluently.

There is also a deaf priest in San Francisco who was part of a singing group before he lost his hearing.

There have been several deaf deacons as well – one in my diocese and one in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles as well as one in Rochester. There may be others but because I left deaf ministry some 16 years ago I haven’t really kept in touch with what’s happening there.

Deacon Ed


Here are a couple of interesting links on this topic…


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