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LGBT Catholics Recount 40-year History

By Marty Grochala, Dignity/Chicago Member

Dignity/Chicago ended its 40th Anniversary year with a history panel with current and past members sharing stories about their faith journey and the many changes experienced in church and society. The event took place on Sunday, October 21 from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. at Broadway United Methodist Church in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood.

The panel was facilitated by Dr. Thomas O'Brien, Director of DePaul University's Center for Interreligious Engagement. Dr. O'Brien is an associate professor of religious studies at DePaul University. He is a social ethicist by training, and more narrowly, a student of Catholic social theory and public theology. He has also recently done some work in business and professional ethics, as well as LGBT issues. He is the author of numerous articles and books, and he's currently working on a book that applies Catholic social thought to business ethics.

The panel was representative of each of the Chapter’s four decades. Chris Pett, Dignity/Chicago board president, said, "As family members, we've all enjoyed hearing stories, funny and sometimes sad, about those people and events that shaped our lives and relationships. Dignity Chicago's history panel offered this same experience, but in this case also offered the opportunity to tell the real story about where we've come from and where we are going as LGBT Catholics. It is a story of fidelity to becoming the church Jesus intended, and to be out and proud as LGBT Catholics. This community has been out there leading, nourishing, and providing safe space for 40 years."

Stay tuned for more news on this memorable event.