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News Archive (2013)

World Youth Day Gets Splash of Rainbow Colors

The following story on our World Youth Day pilgrims appeared in the Athens (Ohio) NEWS

OU LGBT Center director attends global event as part of advocacy team

By Erica Mowry

One of the individuals responsible for organizing a recent pilgrimage to Brazil to relay a pro-LGBT message is the recently appointed director of Ohio University's LGBT Center, 31-year-old Delfin Bautista.

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On St. Clare Feast Catholics Support Sisters, Pray for Authentic Dialogue; LGBT Catholics Part of Group Standing with Nuns

WASHINGTON D.C., August 7, 2013 – Next week, hundreds of Catholic nuns are expected to gather in Orlando, FL for the annual meeting of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).

On August 11, 2013 in solidarity with U.S. women religious, thousands of Catholics will join in prayer http://nunjustice.org/download/ on the Feast of St. Clare.

“The pope intentionally chose St. Francis of Assisi as his namesake, and he has shown himself to be open to dialogue” stated Erin Saiz Hanna, spokesperson for the Nun Justice Project.  “St. Francis of Assisi’s sacred friendship with St. Clare is well documented.  St. Francis worked collaboratively alongside his sisters rather than against them. We pray Pope Francis, and Archbishop Sartain, will not only speak but listen and authentically dialogue with the sisters as St. Francis did with St. Clare.”

DignityUSA Convention Recap

By Mateo Williamson, DignityUSA member 

We celebrate the success of DignityUSA’s 21st biennial Convention, which marks over 42 years of ministry and advocacy for the LGBT community in the Catholic Church. Dignity’s call to reform and justice for those marginalized within the Church has now bridged several generations, and the fruits of this unceasing labor were evident at this year’s national gathering, which brought together nearly 300 attendees from across the country, with a span of over eight decades in age. This year’s biennial Convention was held in progressive and lively Minneapolis, Minnesota, July 4-7, 2013.

Father Helmut Schuller: A Call to Disobedience

by Lourdes Rodriguez-Nogues, President, DignityUSA

"Wondering why we are closing parishes, rather than opening ordination…”
"Celebrating God's image in LGBT people…”
"Betrayed by Church structures that promote sexism, heterosexism, misogyny..."
"Come, Lord Jesus, send us your Spirit and renew the face of the Church..."

The gathering started with the reading of several statements like the above, followed by the sung response. This opening prayer was recited by over 400 Catholics who recently came together at a Unitarian Church and its adjacent green in Massachusetts on a sweltering summer night.

DignityUSA Mourns Passing of Past President James A. Bussen

​By Marianne Duddy-Burke, DignityUSA President 

Just as we gathered for the Convention opening song and first plenary session on the morning of Saturday, July 6, word came that Jim Bussen, DignityUSA President from 1985-1989, had passed away during the night. While Jim had battled a rare cancer for more than three years, and had been in hospice care for the previous few weeks, this news still shook many Convention attendees who had known and loved Jim, as well as people all across the nation who were inspired by his passionate advocacy. In a fitting tribute, those gathered repeated the morning’s anthem, We Shall Not be Silent, in Jim’s honor. Friends later gathered for an impromptu Irish Wake, sharing memories, laughs, and tears before that evening’s dinner dance.

Updates from the Board

Submitted by Paula Lavallee, Secretary, DignityUSA

The DignityUSA Board of Directors met in Minneapolis on the days leading up to the Convention, July 2-3 and then after the Convention on July 7th.

The directors spent the first morning discussing the executive director’s report, programs and committee reports and other business of the board. The afternoon included an update of the Convention plans given by Marty Grochala, Convention Chair. Everything seemed to be in place and ready to go, waiting for attendees to arrive.

Night Out With the Nats Draws Many Dignity/Washington Fans

Joining just under 4,000 fans from the LGBT community, over 80 members of Dignity/Washington cheered for their favorite home team which defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks, 7-5, at the 9th Annual LGBT Night Out at Washington Nationals Stadium, held on June 25.  Team D.C. sponsored the event again this year with openly gay Division I football player Alan Gendreau throwing the ceremonial first pitch. The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington performed the national anthem to the applause of an appreciative crowd. White House Associate Director of Public Engagement for LGBT Issues, Gautam Raghavan, participated in the lineup card delivery and U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), the nation’s first openly gay senator, announced “play ball” from the microphone. Many words of thanks were given to Dignity/Washington outgoing vice-president Jake Hudson, a huge Nats fan himself, who promoted the event within the Dignity/Washington community.

LGBT Catholics Respond to Pope’s Remarks, Welcome Change in Tone

Boston, July 29, 2013. Marianne Duddy-Burke, Executive Director of DignityUSA, the nation’s leading organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Catholics, spoke today about comments made by Pope Francis during an onboard interview on his flight back to Rome following World Youth Day. In response to a reporter’s question, the Pope spoke about his views on gay priests, and, many believe, gay people more broadly.

Duddy-Burke said,

2013 – 2014 New Board Members

By Mark Matson, Elections Committee Chair

The results are in! 456 members cast votes in the 2013 Board Election. The members overwhelmingly endorsed another two-year term for Lourdes Rodriguez-Nogues and Lewis Speaks-Tanner as President and Vice-President. Three board members were elected: Alice Knowles (Dignity/Boston), Jack Frielingsdorf (Dignity/Metro New Jersey) and Ray Panas (Dignity/Washington).