Dear Members and Friends of the Catholic GLBT Community,
I am a sociologist, teaching at the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University in Central Minnesota. As a committed Catholic, I have long been interested in Catholic identity and how Catholic organizations serve their target populations and advance their specific missions while maintaining their legitimacy within the larger Catholic community. My current research focuses on organizations engaged in ministry and outreach to the Catholic GLBT community. I am interested in better understanding how organizations can improve the dialog about GLBT issues within the Catholic community at this time of increasing polarization within both our society and our Church.
In order to do this, I need your assistance. Please click on the following link, and it will take you to an on-line survey. When you have completed the survey, simply click the SUBMIT button and your answers will come to a central site on campus with no identifying information—you are assured complete confidentiality. While many of the questions ask for your personal beliefs and understandings, know that my primary interest is in these organizations. The personal questions will help me identify who is being served by the various organizations, whose needs are not being met, and how these organizations might better serve those in need of their ministry. Those of you who have connections with multiple organizations may receive multiple invitations to complete the survey, but you may only submit ONE survey per person. I’d like to get as diverse a sample as possible, so feel free to forward the survey link to anyone else you think might be interested in completing it. While the intent is to get a wide cross-section of the Catholic community, it is not necessary that people be currently practicing Catholics in order to participate in the survey. It is important that I hear from those who have left the Catholic community as well as those who have joined and those who have chosen to remain.
The survey will take you approximately an hour to complete. You may skip any question that doesn’t apply or that you are unable or choose not to answer. I know that your time is precious, and I deeply appreciate your willingness to provide your thoughts and perceptions. Your participation is vitally important!
I would appreciate your completing the survey as soon as possible. I hope my findings will be useful to organizations serving the Catholic GLBT community. Summaries of my research will be provided to them and hopefully included in their newsletters and posted on their websites. If, however, you personally would like to receive a summary report, e-mail your contact information (name and e-mail address) to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your request after submitting your survey.
Sheila Nelson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Sociology
College of Saint Benedict/St. John’s University