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Dignity in the COVID-19 Era

Dear Members and Friends of DignityUSA,

As we continue to celebrate this most unusual and challenging Easter season, we wanted to share some thoughts on how the work of Dignity carries on even in the coronavirus era.

First, we are very pleased to report that we have heard of very few cases of COVID-19 within our community. Thank you to everyone who is adhering to the advice of medical professionals and knowledgeable public officials to stay home, practice social distancing, and use technology to stay connected with those important to you. We offer our prayers and support to those who have been directly impacted by the virus, to those who have loved ones who have been sickened, and to those working in essential service jobs whose health continues to be at risk.

We also want to thank our amazing community leaders who have demonstrated so much innovation and care in maintaining our local and national, even international, connections. Whether you are live-streaming liturgies, offering participatory liturgies on a conferencing platform, hosting socials, or doing individual check-ins, we have heard the profound thanks of many members who have been touched by Dignity’s commitment to remaining connected even while apart. We appreciate the efforts of everyone who has stepped up to figure out how to manage these new forms of relationship, and to our staff who have supported Chapter and Caucus leaders in utilizing technological solutions.

DignityUSA recognizes that many Chapters do not have an income source while gatherings are suspended. We are also aware that some would like to support the Chapters that have offered spiritual nourishment during this time. If you would like to make a financial contribution to your Chapter or any Chapter, you can click here, fill in the Chapter’s name in the appropriate box, and we’ll be sure your gift is sent on in a timely way.

Finally, we want you to know that we remain hard at work, even as we work differently. Here are just some of the things DignityUSA is and has been doing in the past two months:

  • Supporting Dignity/Detroit as they deal with the Archdiocese’s recent prohibition against meeting in Catholic space and ban on priests presiding at Dignity-sponsored Eucharist
  • Filing Amicus briefs in three cases addressing LGBTQI Catholic issues
  • Protesting Springfield, IL Bishop Paprocki’s mistreatment of transgender and non-binary people with petitions and letters sent to the bishop, Cardinal Cupich, and the Papal Nuncio
  • Soliciting examples of religiously motivated discrimination in the child welfare system in support of a Supreme Court case (see related story this Dateline)
  • Continuing to monitor the State Department’s Commission on Human Rights, which threatens our nation’s history of supporting LGBTQI rights
  • Rolling out our new logo on our website, publications, and social media formats to further communicate our identity and future-forward perspective
  • Preparing for the election of four Board members, which will begin in May
  • Maintaining our weekly Breath of the Spirit and biweekly Dateline publications
  • Providing support to Chapter and Caucus leaders on a range of challenges, both corona-virus related and ongoing
  • Planning for our 2021 and 2023 national conferences
  • Helping to plan the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics on-line Assembly to be held in late April

We are deeply grateful to all of you who have maintained and renewed your membership in DignityUSA, who provide regular or occasional financial support, or who offer your time and talents through local or national leadership. Maintaining our mission throughout this crisis truly “takes a village,” and we are blessed by having you as part of our community. We recognize the impacts the current health crisis is having on many economically, and we deeply appreciate any form of giving that you can provide, including your contributions of time and talent, to ensure our mission and work continue.

If you would like to support DignityUSA financially, we will gratefully accept that support. You can donate via our website.

Please, remain safe, well, and connected during these challenging times. If there is any way that we can support you, please contact Kelli at info@dignityusa.org.

Christopher Pett, President 
Meli Barber, Vice President