No article on deaf ministry in the St. Louis Archdiocese would be complete with mentioning the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.
The sisters arrived in St. Louis in 1836 at the invitation of Bishop Joseph Rosati to serve the deaf, as well as other marginalized people. A year later the sisters established St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf in Carondelet, now part of south St. Louis. Since then, the school has moved twice, first to University City and later to Chesterfield, and the CSJs have continued their long ministry to the deaf community.
Growing up in India, Brother Joseph Thermadom was not keen on learning the Catechism. His Catholic family attended Mass on a regular basis, but he was often lost — because he was deaf and the parish did not offer an interpreter.
"I couldn't understand anything," he said. "And so I would be very patient. That was just kind of the normal way it was."
Ten years ago, he received an award from the Syro-Malabar Oriental Rite Diocese of Kalyan, in Bombay, for a written a Catechism exam he took, which he said was the beginning of his desire to become a priest.
The "awesome responsibility" of preparing the next generation of priests was cited Sept. 1 at a Mass marking the opening of the Kenrick-Glennon Seminary school year and the installation of Jesuit Father John Horn as its new rector.
Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, celebrant of the Mass, welcomed the new rector and invoked the outpouring of the Holy Spirit's grace on the new rector and the faculty. The Archbishop also asked for blessings upon the seminarians as they begin the academic year. The Mass included a profession of faith and oath of fidelity by Father Horn and the faculty.
Sister Hang Pham, ASC, who has served in St. Louis in recent years, will profess her final vows as an Adorer of the Blood of Christ at an 11 a.m. Mass Saturday, Aug. 20, in the chapel at the congregation's Ruma Center, 2 Pioneer Lane in Ruma, Ill.
Sister Hang, 45, is the daughter of Gia and Hue Pham of Overland Park, Kan. Baptized Catherine, Sister Hang was born in the central region of Vietnam. After Saigon's fall in 1975, her father was imprisoned for three years in a Viet Cong re-education camp and then released. The family relocated to Overland Park in 1992 when Sister Hang was 26.
St. Martha, whose feast day is celebrated July 29, was, in her lifetime, perhaps best known for being a hard worker, a servant of the Lord.
But in the lessons learned from her life, there's something to be said about taking time from the laborious distractions of life and staying focused on what should be the center of our lives: Jesus Christ.
Archbishop Robert J. Carlson has appointed Father Christopher M. Martin as the new director of the archdiocesan Office of Vocations.
He will fill a position held the last three years by Auxiliary Bishop Edward M. Rice, who has added new administrative duties with the archdiocese since his ordination as a bishop in January. Father Martin, associate pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Cottleville, will begin his new role in June. Bishop Rice will continue serving in the Vocations Office through early August to help with the transition and with the conclusion of various summer programs.