Christopher Klusman was born deaf so he understands the feelings of isolation and marginalization that a lack of hearing can bring. Now that he’s been ordained a Catholic priest, he hopes to be a bridge of inclusion to the deaf parishioners of St. Roman’s Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
With an estimated three to five million deaf Catholics in the United States, Father Klusman knows he is serving a traditionally
under-served community. After the 34-year-old finished celebrating Mass in American Sign Language, he was happily greeted by the congregation. “I feel like I’ve learned more about my faith from him than I have my whole life,” parishioner Karen Lausten told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “It’s so important to have a priest that understands our language, our culture.”
Father Klusman embodies a “joyful boyishness” irresistible to everyone he meets. In his ministry, he strives to show deaf people they are loved by God. “They are equal members of the body of Christ,” he says. “They have so many gifts.”
Remember, we are all equal in the body of Christ.
He made godliness prevail. (Sirach 49:3)
Lord, speak Your words in my heart.