Gallaudet University

At Gallaudet University, deaf culture and faith mix to create something new

A woman walks through the Gallaudet University campus in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. Gallaudet University is an institution of learning, teaching and research for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

WASHINGTON (RNS) — When a student stood to read from the Bible during a Catholic service at Gallaudet University earlier this year, she conveyed the sacred words in a language the group would understand: American Sign Language. The psalm — often chanted or sung — was signed as well.

And when the priest addressed the worshippers, he signed: “The Lord be with you.”  A flurry of hands signed back: “And with your spirit.”

For many, vocalized hymns, homilies, and prayers make up much of the experience of a typical religious service. Yet worshipping silently — in ASL — is standard fare at Gallaudet, the world’s premier college for the deaf and hard of hearing. And religious students say the language shift is but a small window into the subtle ways their communities intertwine deaf culture with the divine to produce uncommon expressions of faith and activism. Read more HERE.

Marriage v cohabitation

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SALT LAKE CITY — The share of Americans who cohabit has been rising and most adults say that’s acceptable, whether a cohabiting couple intends to marry or not. And married couples are more satisfied with their relationship and have more trust in their partner than do those who cohabit.

Just over half of American adults say they believe society is better off if longtime couples do marry, while 46% think society will be just fine if long-term cohabiters don’t marry. Nikki Graf, a Pew research associate, said that even after the researchers controlled for age, race, education, duration of the relationship and religious affiliation, married adults still expressed higher levels of satisfaction and trust than did cohabiting adults.

Those are among the findings of a Pew Research Center survey released Wednesday.  Read the article HERE and see the entire survey and analysis HERE.

Church uses crop duster plane to spray holy water upon Louisiana faithful

Agriculture - Aerial chemical application close up of crop duster as it pulls up from it’s run / California, USA.A99B74 Agriculture - Aerial chemical application close up of crop duster as it pulls up from it’s run / California, USA.

Following a Mass at St. Anne’s Church on Saturday morning, parishioners traveled to a nearby airstrip to load water onto the crop duster. The agricultural aircraft was flushed of pesticides before it took off on its trip around the neighborhood, The Guardian reports.  Barzare said he asked the pilot to focus on spraying locations where people gathered, such as grocery stores, schools and churches. Read more here