Sermon for Dick Mahaffy’s Ordination to the Diaconate – Br. David Vryhof

Br. David Vryhof

Jeremiah 1:4-9
Romans 10:8b-15
Luke 22:24-27

In the year 1883, on the 14th day of October, the Episcopal Church ordained Henry Winter Syle to the priesthood.  Mr. Syle was born in China, the son of missionary parents, and became deaf at an early age after contracting scarlet fever.  He went on to be educated at Trinity College in Hartford – the same institution from which Dick Mahaffy received his undergraduate education – and at Yale University.Syle was a student and a parishioner of Thomas Gallaudet and through Gallaudet’s influence, he became more and more involved in Christian ministry with Deaf people.  Henry Winter Syle was the first Deaf man to be ordained in the Episcopal Church, and the first to be ordained in the United States.  He went on to become the founder of All Souls’ Church of the Deaf in Philadelphia. Read More