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Pictures | Sat Jan 10, 2015 | 10:42pm EST

Church for the deaf

A choir performs a hymn in sign language at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation, December 21, 2014. St. Elizabeth, the only Roman Catholic parish dedicated to serving a deaf congregation, is in danger of losing its identity. The Archdiocese of New York has plans to merge St. Elizabeth with a hearing church, part of a sweeping consolidation of congregations that reflects long-term changes in where New Yorkers worship. Members of St. Elizabeth's fear the move means the loss of the special significance of their deaf church.  REUTERS/Mike Segar

A choir performs a hymn in sign language at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation, December 21, 2014. St. Elizabeth, the only Roman Catholic parish dedicated to serving a deaf congregation, is in...more

A choir performs a hymn in sign language at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation, December 21, 2014. St. Elizabeth, the only Roman Catholic parish dedicated to serving a deaf congregation, is in danger of losing its identity. The Archdiocese of New York has plans to merge St. Elizabeth with a hearing church, part of a sweeping consolidation of congregations that reflects long-term changes in where New Yorkers worship. Members of St. Elizabeth's fear the move means the loss of the special significance of their deaf church. REUTERS/Mike Segar
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Monsignor Patrick Cahill leads a mass in sign language at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation, December 21, 2014.  REUTERS/Mike Segar

Monsignor Patrick Cahill leads a mass in sign language at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation, December 21, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Monsignor Patrick Cahill leads a mass in sign language at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation, December 21, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar
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Congregants respond in sign language during a mass at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation, December 21, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Congregants respond in sign language during a mass at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation, December 21, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Congregants respond in sign language during a mass at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation, December 21, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar
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Congregants respond in sign language during a mass at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation, December 21, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Congregants respond in sign language during a mass at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation, December 21, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Congregants respond in sign language during a mass at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation, December 21, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar
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A choir performs a hymn in sign language at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation. REUTERS/Mike Segar

A choir performs a hymn in sign language at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation. REUTERS/Mike Segar

A choir performs a hymn in sign language at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation. REUTERS/Mike Segar
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5 / 17
Congregants respond in sign language during a mass at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Congregants respond in sign language during a mass at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Congregants respond in sign language during a mass at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation. REUTERS/Mike Segar
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Congregants respond in sign language during a mass at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Congregants respond in sign language during a mass at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Congregants respond in sign language during a mass at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation. REUTERS/Mike Segar
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An altar boy speaks in sign language at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan before a Christmas service for its deaf congregation. REUTERS/Mike Segar

An altar boy speaks in sign language at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan before a Christmas service for its deaf congregation. REUTERS/Mike Segar

An altar boy speaks in sign language at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan before a Christmas service for its deaf congregation. REUTERS/Mike Segar
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Margaret Shea (R) speaks in sign language to other congregants at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan before a Christmas service for its deaf congregation.   REUTERS/Mike Segar

Margaret Shea (R) speaks in sign language to other congregants at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan before a Christmas service for its deaf congregation. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Margaret Shea (R) speaks in sign language to other congregants at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan before a Christmas service for its deaf congregation. REUTERS/Mike Segar
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A Catholic nun responds in sign language during a mass at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation.   REUTERS/Mike Segar

A Catholic nun responds in sign language during a mass at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation. REUTERS/Mike Segar

A Catholic nun responds in sign language during a mass at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation. REUTERS/Mike Segar
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Congregants respond in sign language during a mass at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation.   REUTERS/Mike Segar

Congregants respond in sign language during a mass at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Congregants respond in sign language during a mass at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation. REUTERS/Mike Segar
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11 / 17
A choir performs a hymn in sign language at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation.  REUTERS/Mike Segar

A choir performs a hymn in sign language at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation. REUTERS/Mike Segar

A choir performs a hymn in sign language at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation. REUTERS/Mike Segar
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12 / 17
Congregants receive communion during a mass at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation.
REUTERS/Mike Segar

Congregants receive communion during a mass at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Congregants receive communion during a mass at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation. REUTERS/Mike Segar
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An altar boy holds a cross before leading a procession into the St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation. REUTERS/Mike Segar

An altar boy holds a cross before leading a procession into the St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation. REUTERS/Mike Segar

An altar boy holds a cross before leading a procession into the St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation. REUTERS/Mike Segar
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Monsignor Patrick Cahill leads a mass in sign language at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation.  REUTERS/Mike Segar

Monsignor Patrick Cahill leads a mass in sign language at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Monsignor Patrick Cahill leads a mass in sign language at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation. REUTERS/Mike Segar
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15 / 17
Monsignor Patrick Cahill leads a mass in sign language at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation.  REUTERS/Mike Segar

Monsignor Patrick Cahill leads a mass in sign language at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Monsignor Patrick Cahill leads a mass in sign language at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation. REUTERS/Mike Segar
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Monsignor Patrick Cahill leads a mass in sign language at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation.   REUTERS/Mike Segar

Monsignor Patrick Cahill leads a mass in sign language at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Monsignor Patrick Cahill leads a mass in sign language at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Manhattan during a Christmas service for its deaf congregation. REUTERS/Mike Segar
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