Ministry to the deaf has been an important work of the Sisters of Providence since 1851. It began in Montreal and spread to every country where the Sisters settled. In Edmonton, Sister Elizabeth Kass, SP served for several years as pastoral care worker with St. Mark’s Catholic Community of the Deaf.

Sr. Elizabeth Kass and Fr. Matthew Hysell

Several Sisters of Providence attended the ordination to the priesthood of Father Matthew Hysell, a long-time friend of the Sisters. Father Matthew, who was ordained at St. Joseph’s Basilica, Edmonton on Dec. 7, 2012 as the first deaf priest in Canada, celebrated his first Mass next day in the Providence Centre chapel, Edmonton.  Father Matthew has been associated with St. Mark’s Catholic Community of the Deaf since his arrival in Edmonton over six years ago.  Sister Elizabeth Kass encouraged him throughout his seminary studies at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Edmonton.

During the Mass, Father Matthew several times gave thanks for the Sisters of Providence ministry and concern with and among the poor and vulnerable.

His mother Bonnie, sister Wendy and brother-in-law Robert (Bob) were here from the United States to celebrate this special occasion.  Other visitors included Deacon Kevin Brockerville, Richard Csabi, Reverend Thomas Coughlin, Deacon Keith Dorschner, Father Peter Monty, SJ, and Christopher Roeback all of whom minister to the deaf in Canada and the United States.

The chapel was filled with parishioners from St. Mark’s Catholic Community of the Deaf, St. Thomas More Parish and St. Theresa’s Parish where Father Matthew is now stationed.  He will also continue to minister to the St. Mark’s Parish Community.