Deaf & Disabilities Ministries
November 2020
Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!
Dear Friend,
Welcome to the November newsletter of the Deaf and Disabilities Ministry of Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph!
Online Film Screening
This past Tuesday, we gathered for an online screening of None of Us Want to Stand Still, a new film about improving healthcare for adults with developmental disabilities. It was a thought-provoking event. Many thanks to Access II of Gallatin, Missouri for being our co-sponsor. Jessica Adkins of Access II was especially helpful with promotion and with setting up the logistics for the screening.
Many thanks to all who attended- and to our panelists, Laura Gaffney, MD, founder and medical director of SPAN, Special Pediatric to Adult Need program, (Kansas City), Molly Bathje, PhD, of Rush University (Chicago), and Moya Peterson, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC, Director: Adults with Down Syndrome Specialty Clinic (KU Medical Center).
L’Arche KC MO Formation Group
L’Arche (“The Ark”) is an international federation of communities focused on sharing life with adults with developmental disabilities. In 1987, the L’Arche Heartland community was started in Overland Park, KS, and, at this time, the community has five houses and a day program. A L’Arche KC MO Formation Group has recently been created to start a new L’Arche home in Kansas City, Missouri. If you would be interested in attending an upcoming online Informational Meeting about this project, please contact George Harris at
Finally, if you have ideas for future articles or individuals to interview for Together, please let us know! To share your thoughts, please contact Lisa Wagner-Carollo, Deaf and Disabilities Ministries Coordinator, at (816) 659-8262 or
In Christ,
Lisa Wagner-Carollo, Deaf and Disabilities Ministries Coordinator
& Linda Hopkins, Department Supervisor
Please know that you are in our prayers as you continue to navigate the COVID-19 Crisis.
Thompson Family Collage
FAITH JOURNEY: Juanita Thompson
The Faith Journey introduction for this issue has been written by Becky Turner, one of our interpreters:
Bill and Juanita Thompson have been a tremendous blessing for me throughout the years in Deaf Ministry in the Kansas City/St Joseph diocese. They attended many interpreted masses, participated in Bible studies and lead them, supported our Diocesan Commission for Persons with Disabilities, have been faithful members of their Catholic community, and have helped in many other ways. The most beautiful testimony of their lives is the way they have been salt and light for every person they have met; truly living like Jesus taught – “to love others as I have loved you.” For Christmas one year, I received their family collage (above). Among many cherished memories, I will never forget how Bill used to always hand out small cards that read, “Jesus Christ Loves You, as I Do Love You.” Thank you, Juanita, for your love and witness.
Lisa- Can you tell us about yourself? For example, what are three important things we should know about you?
Juanita- I am a deaf woman, that is important to know. I’m 86 years old. So, I’m not out as much as I used to be. I stay home a little more often, but I certainly still go to church. I’m a church-going person.
L- How long have you been involved with Catholic Charities – encompassing the deaf ministry and the Bible studies, among other activities?
J- I think it would be in the 80s when I became involved.
L- And I know that there was a time when your husband, Bill, was involved with leading Bible studies?
J- Yes, he was. He really enjoyed the Bible studies. He led them for 35 years. My husband has passed away now; three years ago-it will be this Friday. We had sixty years of marriage.
L- My condolences.
J- As far as the Bible studies, I know that people did a lot of reading on their own, and there were certainly things that were shared with others. There would be the preaching that would go on, and people would come together; they would visit and share their thoughts on the preaching with each other, with their friends.
L- Can you tell me a little about your experience of Becky and Rhonda’s interpreting at St. Joseph the Worker Church?
J- Once a month, usually on the last weekend of the month-that’s when they are there. We’re very happy, certainly, to have them present, because if we didn’t have interpreters, then we’re just sitting there and not really knowing what is going on-what is being preached about. We often do receive written materials, but we’re very happy when the interpreter is present.
L- What do you love the most about being Catholic?
J- I grew up Catholic. I’ve been involved all my life.
L- What do you love the most about the Mass?
J-The deaf and blind coming together. In the past, just all the people from our community coming together and sharing a meal. I really enjoyed that. It really meant a lot.
The National Catholic Partnership on Disability
Mission Statement
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 promotes this ever-evolving mission to renovate and sustain ministry to-and-with all people with disabilities and their families through the following initiatives:
Trainings, workshops, and regional meetings.
• Topics include:
  • Meaningful participation in the sacraments
  • Accessible parishes
  • Catechetical best practices
  • Workshops for seminarians
  • Theology and disability
Promotion and development of resources:
  • USCCB Guidelines for the Celebration of the Sacraments with Persons with Disabilities
  • Pastoral Statement on Persons with Disabilities
  • Ministry specific resources (Autism, Deaf/hard-of hearing, intellectual disability, mental illness, prenatal, veteran related)
  • Accessible design
  • Adapted catechesis
  • Large-print Roman Missal in three font sizes
  • Webinars
  • Diocesan Resources
Participation in International Ecclesial Conferences:
  • 2014 Autism conference sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers
  • 2016 Living Fully Conference sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Culture and Family
  • 2017 Conference on Catechesis and Persons with Disabilities sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization
For more information, visit us at, subscribe to our email list, and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter!
Down Syndrome Guild of Greater Kansas City
Down Syndrome Guild of Greater Kansas City has several upcoming online events. To check out their calendar, please go to:
Online – Chaplet of Divine Mercy
Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph sponsors an online gathering to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet every Monday – Thursday at 3:00 PM.
If you would like to receive the link to join the prayer, please contact Lisa Wagner-Carollo at
(Closed Captioning Available)
For the D/deaf & Hard of Hearing
 December 6 – St. Elizabeth Church
2 E. 75th Street, Kansas City
10:00 AM
December 13 – St. Thomas More Church
11822 Holmes Road, Kansas City
11:00 AM
December 20 – St. Peter’s Church
701 E. Meyer Blvd., Kansas City
11:00 AM
December 27 – St. Joseph the Worker Church
2200 N. Blue Mills Road, Independence
11:00 AM
All are welcome!
In these uncertain times, this listing is subject to change. Thank you.
Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph
Deaf and Disabilities Ministries Team
4001 Blue Parkway, Suite 250 ● Kansas City, MO 64130 ● 816.221.4377
1123 S. 10th St. ● St. Joseph, MO 64503 ● 816.232.2885


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