The Rev. Richard “Dick” Mahaffy serves as President of the Episcopal Conference of the Deaf, a national organization serving Deaf Ministries, and as a priest on the staff of St. Margaret of Scotland Episcopal Church in Sarasota, Florida. He has been profoundly Deaf since birth and is one of only three active Deaf Episcopal priests in the United States. He communicates with people orally (i.e. through speech and lip-reading) and with Sign Language. He earned an undergraduate degree from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and a Master of Divinity degree from the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2016. He was ordained through the Diocese of Western Massachusetts.
He writes, “The Episcopal Divinity School has taught me how important it is to consider the differences in race, ethnicity, sexuality, and culture among the people we meet. It has also helped me think about how we can make the Church more inclusive so that everyone can feel part of the community. One of our responsibilities as ministers is to create space for people to meet as equals and to learn from one another. For many marginalized people, this means learning about their rights and privileges as citizens and as members of the Church. My training and education at EDS have deepened my passion and my call to fight oppression and to affirm others, especially Deaf people.”
Dick is a member of the Fellowship of St. John the Evangelist (SSJE) in Cambridge, MA. His hobbies are reading books, collecting antiques, and walking. Dick and his husband Doug were married in the Episcopal Church in 2015. They moved to Florida in 2017. Doug is also profoundly Deaf. They have one beautiful pug, named Max.