Early in 1969, Father Patrick X. Nidorf, O.S.A., an Augustinian priest and psychologist, starts a ministry for gay and lesbian Catholics as an extension of his professional work. Father Pat would later describe the beginnings of Dignity in his own words as follows:
"The Catholic gay people whom I had met were frequently bothered by ethical problems and identity with the Church. It seemed obvious that the Church wasn't meeting the needs of the gay community. In counseling gay Catholics, there always seemed to be an excessive and unreal problem of guilt that was sometimes reinforced in the confessional instead of being resolved. With these ideas rattling around in my brain, I wrote a paper on a proposed group for Catholic gays and presented it to our members at a Provincial meeting. Most of the priests seemed to favor the idea of forming such a group and I did."