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Dignity’s Third Biennial Convention is held in Chicago



Dignity International Convention


September 2 to 5, 1977

Major Speakers

Gregory Baum, Barbara Gittings, and Patricia Nell Warren

Registration Fee



Bismarck Hotel







National Officers elected

  • Walter Kay, San Diego, President
    (October-December, 1977)*
  • Carla L. Kaesbauer, Secretary
  • Madeline Ritchie, San Francisco, Treasurer

*Carla L. Kaesbauer, San Diego, Acting President (January, 1978 to April, 1978)
*Paul C. Weidig, President (May 1978 to September 1979)


  • Father John McNeill is asked to be a speaker at the convention but sends a letter stating he will remain silent in obedience to a directive from Rome that he not speak publicly on the issues of homosexuality or sexual ethics. A copy of the letter is spotlighted on an empty chair as the convention begins. It is then opened and read to the delegates.
  • St. Sebastian’s Church is packed for a mass concelebrated by 100 priests.
  • The Board of Consultors approves a new Constitution and By-Laws. Key elements:
  • Regionalization is approved with eleven new Regions created. Each has a Regional Director.
  • A Board of Directors is formed which is comprised of the National Officers, the Past President and the Regional Directors.
  • A new House of Delegates is approved to replace the Board of Consultors.
  • One of the new Regions (XI) is comprised of Canadian chapters. The House of Delegates decides to grandfather existing Canadian chapters with the provision that Dignity wants to eventually be a national organization comprised solely of chapters within the United States. As a result of this decision, the Canadian chapters eventually formDignity/Canada/Dignité and the common name for Dignity, Inc. eventually becomes DignityUSA.
  • A campaign is launched to raise $25,000 to fund a permanent site for a national office for Dignity and a paid staff position to handle the organization’s clerical work.
  • A new Women’s Caucus is established as a standing committee.


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