The deaf senior citizens of the All Angels Guild celebrated Christmas on Thursday, December 3 with a luncheon at Angelo’s restaurant in Elmhurst.  Fr. Trenton Pitcher opened the luncheon with a prayer and had the pleasure of introducing eight new people attending the event.  Volunteer Toni Sundling and Laura Thompson were presented with poinsettias for their generous support this past year. Laura introduced a deaf volunteer from her agency that is working with her on the All Angels project. Laura also presented a coffee mug loaded with candy treats to everyone attending.  Several people expressed thanks for the day’s activities and for the programs Bishop Anderson House has sponsored this past year.

The All Angels Guild program began over sixty years ago and has continued to reinvent itself as it’s sponsorship transferred from St James Episcopal Cathedral to Bishop Anderson House.  Today our outreach extends itself to people of all faiths throughout the Chicago area.  This is in large part due to our location at the center of the Diocese in Elmhurst as well as our cooperation with The Du Page Center for Independent Living located in Glen Ellyn.  We are the only religious organization in the Chicago area to have an association with another non-profit agency that assists deaf, as well as disabled, people.

Why has Bishop Anderson House chosen to support this ministry?  The answer is that we are the only agency in our diocese that ministers to people living with a disability that handicaps their to access the many services we take for granted such as communication of symptoms, needs and feelings.  Often given the fast pace of modern medicine, doctors may not be able to provide important life saving treatment due to the patient’s inability to successfully communicate his or her symptoms.  Also, deaf individuals are often not adequately informed of their rights to equal treatment because medical staff is unable to talk directly with deaf patients.

Deaf people, more than any other group of people, suffer with loneliness and isolation.  Therefore perhaps the most important thing our ministry provides is an opportunity for them to come together and share their life experiences with one another.