Silent Dialogue between a Deaf-Blind Priest & a Deaf Priest

Silent Dialogue between a Deaf-Blind Priest & a Deaf Priest

This is an article inĀ an Asian news site about deaf-blind priest Fr. Cyril Axelrod (originally from South Africa) reuniting with his friend, the first and only Korean deaf priest, Park Min-seo. Essentially, it is world news about an entirely silent, tactile conversation between two preachers. Fr. Cyril, who recently won an Order of the British Empire for his work in Korea, was the person who inspired Min-seo to persevere in becoming a priest so that he too could preach to the deaf.

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Patrick Graybill preaches in sign language on Luke 9:18-24

Deacon Patrick, an ASL poet and actor, joined the National Theatre of the Deaf in 1967. He has taught at the National Institute for the Deaf (NTID) at Rochester Institute of Technology. His acting skill and understanding of audience contribute to a strong, expressive delivery in preaching. Here he begins his homily with an example about a selfish customer in a mattress store who annoys the patient salesman by trying out every bed in the store. By the visual and spatial nature of ASL, good examples and and stories become what ancient rhetors called enargeia–the use of visual imagery to make the subject vividly present to the audience. In Patrick Graybill’s hands, visual enactment of an example also conveys a sense of vigor and energy. In this case, it’s the feeling of being vigorously annoyed and needing a way to accept people who are a pain in the neck with peace, even in the course of everyday hassles.