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1011 Alton Avenue
Madison, IL, 62060
United States

We are a Roman Catholic Religious community of men who serve the Deaf and disabled.  We are a group of priests and brothers who are Deaf and hearing living together as a family. 

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Consider the Dominican Missionaries for Giving Tuesday

The Brothers

After a weekend of buying gifts for ourselves and others.  Perhaps it is time to give one gift to an organization in need.   

There are organizations around the world doing wonderful work.  Many of these organizations rely on donations to do the work they want to do.  

The Dominican Missionaries for the Apostolates of the Deaf and Disabled are one of these organizations.  We are working very hard to become Priests and Brothers to bring God's Word to people who are Deaf and those who live with other disabilities.  Often, Deaf people are forgotten or ignored in the Church.  Frequently, those who live with disabilities struggle to simply enter the Church.  It is our mission to provide full accessibility to the Catholic Church for all people regardless of the linguistic or physical obstacles they face.  

We need your support to pay for the education of the brothers who are entering our community.  Not only are they in need of their seminary education, they also need to attend classes to learn sign language.  (For Additional Information see our Donation Page)

In return, we will pray for you and for your needs every day during our morning Mass and evening prayers.  

Thank you for your help and support. 

 

For Online Donations, Please Use this Form. Recurring Donations require a free, Paypal account.

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Please note: Our legal name is Mark Seven- Depaul House of Studies while our religious name is Dominican Missionaries.
 

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Deacon Adam's Homily- 10/26/16- Wednesday of the 30th Week of Ordinary Time

Adam Zawadzki

 
Readings and homily for Wed. 10/26/16 in ASL.

Deacon Adam signs the readings of the day and his homily in ASL.  

Readings can also be found at www.usccb.org/readings/102616.cfm  

 

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26th Sunday of Ordinary Time. Deacon Adam Zawadzki's Homily.

Adam Zawadzki

This is the first of many homilies that will be posted this year.  I will be posting videos very frequently.  Keep checking back for more.  

 
Deacon Br. Adam Zawadzki, OP Miss. does the readings for the 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time (9/25/16) in American Sign Language. He also signs his homily for that day. Deacon Br. Adam Zawadzki is at Our Saviour's Parish in Jacksonville, IL.
 

-Deacon Adam

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Friday of the 5th Week of Easter- Homily by Deacon Br. Adam

Adam Zawadzki

This whole week has been about loving God and one another.  I am not sure if you figured that out yet among all the one liners that Jesus has been using this week:

Tues- If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I
Wed- Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit.
Thurs- As the Father loves me, so I also love you.  Remain in my love!
Today- This I command you: love one another.

My question for you today is: Are we in L-U-V Love with God? 

I decided to ask the internet what it means to be in love.  My search was sidetracked by articles that were primarily focused on the love between humans.  There was one article that struck me, however.  It was how to know that you are in love with another human person.  However, I would like to briefly relate the article’s points to a relationship with God. 

1) Know that you focus on someone else’s interests, not just your own, when you are in love.

The key question for us is always, “What does God want me to do?”  We look at what we can do in the world and focus on where God wants us to go. 

2) Know that you do not need to share all the same interests to be in love. 

There may not need to be 100% of the same interests shared in a relationship, but there should be some overlap.  We know what God’s interests are: Feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, helping the poor, visiting the prisoner, talking with his mother, teaching the ignorant, world peace, etc.  We also know that we are human.  We have limitations to what we can and cannot do.  We may become involved in St. Vincent de Paul and take food to the poor.  As teachers, we can teach children or even adults.  There are many ways that we can work to bring about the kingdom of God.  This work does not have to be explicitly one of the things on this list.  Rather, as long as our goals are in line with God’s then we are working with God.

3) Be yourself with the person you love and love them for being themselves as well.

We should never need to pretend we are someone that we are not, whether with each other or with God.  Of course, God already knows who you are.  God love you because of who you are, not always just in spite of who you are.  This means that while God loves who you could become, God also loves you because of your quarks and personality.  This is not to say that when you act completely contrary to God that it does not hurt God.

4) Know that loving someone doesn’t mean that you never fight.

We know this as common sense with each other.  In our families, we may love them even though we argue like… well like siblings.  Many people think it is wrong to be angry at God.  About 1/3 of the psalms are called laments.  These psalms are angry at God for not giving what the author needed or wanted.  There are other places where, like Job, people are tested and they become angry at God.  In these stories, much of the point is that we return to God in mind and spirit.  Perhaps in the process, we will have to apologize for our anger… Just as we would for any of your family or friends. 

5) Know that love takes time to develop.

Unless you are a psychologist, you wouldn’t expect to have a completely honest and open conversation with someone the first time that you meet them.  The level of trust needs time to build.  Each of us is at a different place in our relationship with God.  Some people are ready to truly “Let go and let God.”  They may see, hear, and experience God in many different places and in many different ways.  Others are struggling to see or feel God in the Mass or in the Eucharist.  Many of us are somewhere in the middle.  One thing that is common to all of us is that we have places we can improve our relationship with God.

This has all been about how we love God.  Today’s gospel didn’t say to Love God.  Jesus told us to love one another.  So, what about loving each other?  There are people I know that I would rather not have to love.  There are people that I just cannot stand to be around!  Do I really have to love them?  And what about people on the other side of the world from me?  I don’t even know them!

It is important to recognize here that loving each other is not about being best friends or even having that type of relationship with them.  Instead, loving them here is about wishing them the best possible life.  Loving other means working for their good, even when it conflicts with something that benefits us. 

Returning to my original question, “Are we in L-U-V Love with God and others?”

L-U-V love would be: 
   +Supporting, or doing nothing to change, a system of inequality that benefits you.
   +Calling on God to be life’s repairman. 
   +Taking advantage of the generosity of others.
   +Ensuring that your work is noticed so as to receive the praise of others. 
   +Doing favors for others so that they will owe you one in the future. 

True love would be:
   +Working for a fair wage for people in Africa and other countries, even though it will raise the price of things we want to buy. 
   +Working to secure that job for someone else that we know is more capable, even when this means that we are not considered for the same position.
   +Protecting freedom of religion, even when that religion conflicts with our own.
   +Refusing to accept extra change when a cashier makes a mistake in counting. 
   +Kicking a child out of the house when they have overstayed their welcome and need to move on, even though it is incredibly difficult to see them suffer.
   +Helping, simply because you are available and you want to. 

If we are honest, we are probably in both kinds of love God and with many different people.  The goal of LUV is my benefit through you.  The result of LUV love is short term satisfaction.  The goal of true love is your benefit, period.  The result of this kind of love is eternal Joy… and a fuzzy warm feeling inside.

So again, what kind of love are you in with God…. With others? 

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Friday of the 4th Sunday of Easter- Homily

Adam Zawadzki

For the readings of the day, click here.

I am really bad with names.  I tell myself that I am better at remembering faces, but that is probably a lie.  There was one embarrassing day when I walked up and introduced myself to someone I thought was a completely new face.  “Hi, my name is Br. Adam.  Who are you?”  “Uhh… I am John, we had like a 45 minute conversation like 3 weeks ago.  I take it you don’t remember me?”  As my face turned Pentecost red, I cover my tracks, “Ohhh, Yea!  Of course I remember, I was just testing you!”  This happens to me more than I would like to admit. 

And yet, we struggle to do that every day when we miss seeing Jesus in the poor, in those who serve us in restaurants, or in our co-workers.  Why do we not see Jesus in these people?  My theory is that it isn’t that we don’t recognize Christ in the people around us.  Rather we have tunnel vision.  There are several different videos on the internet that highlight this by asking you to count the number of passes in a basketball game and while you are busy doing that have a person dressed like a 6 foot tall rabbit walk through the middle of the court.  It is proven, we cannot both accurately count the passes and notice the rabbit. 

Similarly, we become so focused on our life, and rightly so at times, that we start to miss when Jesus walks through our life.  We fail to notice that he is calling us to help our own neighbor who is struggling to make it through the next paycheck.  This is exactly the reason that we return to the church, to Mass and to the Eucharist to help us to open our tunnel vision to be able to hear what God is saying to us.  We seem to get this.  It is the reason that many of you here today come often during the week as well as on Sunday. 

So what exactly is God reminding us today?  The responsorial Psalm has this answer for us:  “You are my Son (or Daughter); this day I have begotten you.”  We are God’s children.  God cares for us as we would care for our own children.  We see this in the gospel for today as Jesus tells us: “Do not let your hearts be troubled… have faith in me”

I used to work at a summer camp.  Every summer the parents would drop off their kids for the one or two week camp.  Invariably, the parents would say something like, “Don’t worry, you are going to be fine… if you need me, I will be nearby.”  Of course, there are some kids for whom this experience of camp is their first time away from mom and dad.  However, often the one being comforted is not the child.  Rather, the parents are the ones comforting themselves.  These parents love their kids and they are genuinely feel some amount of fear that the kid is not going to be ok.  However they drop off their kid, knowing that the kid will learn something at this summer camp.  And at the end of the camp, the parents and the children are reunited. 

Look at what Jesus says again, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.  You have faith in God; have faith also in me…  I will come back and take you to myself.”  

While this is an imperfect comparison, consider what it would mean if we are like summer campers.  Our guides would need to work extra hard to convince us to work together.  We may have to work through that skinned knee or aggravating fellow camper, because we are not in this world alone, to create a camp environment where we can learn and love so that we can be a better person when we finally go home to the Father. 

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Friday of the Second Week of Easter- Homily

Adam Zawadzki

For the readings of the day, please click here. 

This Easter Season seems to be very busy this year.  It seems like we haven’t stopped since Palm Sunday.  I don’t know about you, but I feel a little run down or maybe run over and it is only the end of the second week of Easter. 

When I looked at today’s readings, I felt like all I wanted to do is sit and break some bread with God.  However, I realized, I still have so much more to do before the end of the semester and that adding just one more thing might make me topple over.  Some of you might feel the same way.  I realized that I really needed to hear today’s psalm.  “One thing I seek, to dwell in the house of the Lord.” 

But, how do we do this?  The Church, in her wisdom, tells us.  The first reading reminds us that organizations and groups that have God as their center will survive the test of time.  God will support them.  We look at our Holy Mother Church.  For 2000 years, our church has survived.  We believe that no power on earth or in hell will ever destroy it. 

This is true for many other things in our lives.  God will, indeed, God does support your life when you do things that support the church.  As we have finished our Lenten practices, I hope that you were made a better person, not just a crabbier one, because of it.  However, throughout the year, we are taught to trust God, become more joyful and generous with those around us, and to remember to pray.  It is through these practices that we are able to learn to trust more deeply in God.

As we look toward the Gospel, we see the depth of the trust that the people, especially the apostles, had for Jesus, that he would be able to feed them.  We are called to have a similar faith.  While we are not necessarily relying on God completely for our bread: We recognize that we need to work to earn the money.  We know that God is not a conveyor belt; we have to do the work.  However, we trust God to give us good weather to grow the wheat, we trust God to give us good health to be able to work, we trust God that we will be loved and cared for and God will give us the grace to love and care for others. 

If we return to the Responsorial Psalm and look at the verses, we learn a little more about trusting. 

The Lord is our light and our salvation, Whom should I fear?

The Lord is my life’s refuge, of whom should I be afraid?

I believe that I shall see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living.

Wait for the Lord with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the Lord. 

Wait for the Lord, for he will come.  Indeed, He has come in our hour and time of need.  It is this that We celebrate, We trust, We believe. 

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Ordination Videos Posted to Youtube

Adam Zawadzki

 
 

A friend of Deacon Br. Fernando recorded and posted the the full video of the ordination to youtube.  The links are found below.  We do thank him for sharing!

 

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Ordinations of Deacon Br. Adam and Deacon Br. Fernando

Adam Zawadzki

 
From Left to Right: Deacon Br. Adam Zawadzki, OP Miss.; Bishop Thomas John Paprocki (Diocese of Springfield, IL); Deacon Br. Fernando Solomon, OP Miss.

From Left to Right: Deacon Br. Adam Zawadzki, OP Miss.; Bishop Thomas John Paprocki (Diocese of Springfield, IL); Deacon Br. Fernando Solomon, OP Miss.

 

We congratulate our newly ordained Deacons!  

Brothers Adam and Fernando were ordained to the Order of the Diaconate oh February 6, 2016 at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Alton, IL.  Bishop Thomas John Paprocki from the Diocese of Springfield, IL presided in a beautiful Mass.  

The newly ordained deacons will continue to serve as deacons in Saints Peter and Paul Parish.  

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Betrayal and Love

Adam Zawadzki

I have a confession to make, I have been watching a lot of Dr. Who on Netflix lately.  I found the series at the recommendation of a couple of friends.  There are several things that I enjoy about the series.  I love how the Doctor talks about humanity.  We are squishy, slow, and fragile.  However, we have an amazing desire to survive any way possible.  When we are at our best, we are inventive, passionate, and amazing.  The Doctor often tells people that they are brilliant and beautiful, especially when they think they are the opposite.  

Today, I watched "Dark Water" (8:11).  (If this is a spoiler to you, you might want to skip this post.)  I was struck by the theological applications on what might just be my favorite exchange in the series so far.  Clara, after just throwing the keys to the Tardis (the time machine ship) into a volcano as a punishment to the Doctor for refusing to do something that would be completely unethical and dangerous, finds out that the setting of a volcano was all caused by a drug induced dream.  Had the dream been real, it would have been absolutely devastating.  The Doctor would have had no further access to the Tardis. 

Clara: You're going to help me?
The Doctor: Well, why wouldn't I help you?
Clara: Because of what I just did, I just...
The Doctor: You betrayed me. You betrayed our trust, you betrayed our friendship, you betrayed everything that I've ever stood for. You let me down!
Clara: Then why are you helping me?
The Doctor: Why? Do you think that I care for you so little that betraying me would make a difference?

Let that last line sink in for a moment.  Imagine a relationship where utter betrayal is understood in a context that it cannot destroy a friendship or relationship.  It is hard for me to imagine a relationship that could weather even absolute betrayal with any of my friends.  Sometimes I worry that I said the wrong thing or poked a little too hard in a corner of their life that they did not want to share.  For me to betray a friend's trust is devastating to a relationship.  For me to actively work to destroy what my friend worked so hard to establish might cause us to cease to be friends.  I admit that if I were on the receiving end of this, I might not be able to forgive too easily.  Trust, once broken, is not easy to give back. 

Now, at this point in this essay there are a few turns I could take- Forgiveness, damage of jealousy, damage of anger, human relationships, as well as several others.  However, this is the Year of Mercy.  

This is precisely the relationship that God has with us.  We need to only look at salvation history to realize that the story of the Jewish people is the greatest love story ever told.  God loves people, people wander away, something bad happens, people come back to God.  And every time this happens, God takes them back.  It is no secret in the Jewish scripture (Old Testament) that God is desperately in love with us, despite our stubborn rebelliousness.  Then, God decides to send Jesus.  We humans (Yes, all of us are included here.) think it is a great idea to kill him.  After all Jesus might be dangerous.  So, we kill the Son of God by way of crucifixion.  

If we think that is the end, it isn't.  Jesus proclaimed a life of peace and love.  Instead of listening to this, we are still fighting, arguing, bombing each other... We are destroying the Earth and becoming more distanced from each other... We don't care for our brothers and sisters in our human family and, sometimes, we no longer care for our blood siblings.  We are slowly abandoning everything that God has worked so hard to teach us since the beginning of time.  

We have betrayed God.  

We have betrayed God's trust in us to care for the Earth and each other.

We have betrayed and neglected our relationship with God. 

We have even worked, whether consciously or unconsciously, to undermine what God has tried to do for us. 

We have let God down! (That was hard for me to even type.)

BUT... and this is a very important point...

God loves us anyway.  God can take the betrayal.  God can take the lies and cheats.  Listen to the doctor's words again, "Do you think that I care for you so little that betraying me would make a difference?"  On my best days, when a friend does something that hurts me or stings just a little, I like to say, "You can't get rid of me that easily."  On our worst days, God is saying to us.  "I still love you.  You cannot get rid of me that easily.  After all, do you think that my love for you is so weak that even your biggest mistakes could really do us in forever?  Just come back.  I love you for who you are." 

 

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The Christmas Revolution- A New York Times Article and Response

Fr. Tom Coughlin

 

You should click on this and read it first. It is a NY times article that was printed recently.  Below is a response to Peter Wehner's excellent article titled "The Christmas Revolution."

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Excellent homily! This is exactly what we need to hear on Christmas morning in our sorely besieged society that is constantly bombarded with pessimism and hopelessness. Peter Wehner definitely should be awarded the top prize in the Preaching of the Stars contest, if any and, moreover, his sermonizing skills equal 10 top-homilists and a prestigious position at St. Patrick's Cathedral or St. John the Divine Church. There is no need for him to go to School of Theology to complete a grueling 4 year of stale theology lectures in order to deliver a message of refreshing hope in our society that is devaluing practically everything. Peter has successfully delivered this important message both to believer and non-believer that God does value everything in our lives which is the core message of Incarnation. Without Incarnation, nothing else makes sense. God did become a man and dwelt among us. We have seen Him. We have heard Him. We have touched Him. We have killed Him and yet He did not go away, always coming back to us with forgiveness and reconciliation. Such is a magnificent Christmas message today. I look forward to his Easter message this coming March.

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