The Dominican Missionaries for the Deaf Apostlate is a congregation of men who, ispired by the Dominican charism of preaching, dedicate themselves to the preaching of the Gospel in sign language, the better to help individuals who have hearing troubles who are often neglected or marginalized by society because of their condition. The congregation currently has twelve members, most of whom live in Texas. Recently, however, three of their community have founded a new house in Illinois, and two of them are now students at Aquinas Institute of Theology--the graduate institute sponsored by my province.
Today, I had the pleasure of attending the profession of perpetual vows of Br. Adam Zawadzki, a member of the of the Dominican Missionaries. The chapel was filled with family, friends, and Dominican religious--priests, brothers, sisters, and laity. It was a joyful occasion, as professions usually are, and a treat for us who have never experienced attending Mass in sign language (translation was provided). The beautiful hand gestures brought flavor to the words many of us have grown so accostumed to.
You will notice from the picture of Brother Adam that the Dominican Missionaries of the Deaf Apostolate wear a habit very similar to that of the old lay brother habit. It is not exactly the same, however, since their capuce (hood) and scapular (apron) are dark blue, whereas the brothers had black capuces and scapulars.
If you would like to learn more about this unique community, see their website at: http://www.dominicanmissionaries.org/
Br. Paul, OP~
*Please keep in mind that this community does not yet have official recognition by the Master of the Dominican Order, and so its members are not officially Dominicans.