Search Results for: LGBTQ

These reflections are part of an ongoing series, Pride with Mercy, that began during Pride Month 2019. These reflections grew out of the Sisters of Mercy’s Chapter 2017 Declaration challenging each of us to respond to those who suffer from oppressive systems and to “become better educated and to participate in engaged dialogue on issues of gender identity and sexual orientation.” We encourage you to forward these posts to someone who might need to read them. Together, may we grow in our tolerance, acceptance and understanding, and extend a hand of welcome to the LGBTQ+ community.

Called to a New Consciousness: The Importance of Being an LGBTQ+ Ally

June 25, 2020

This blog reflection is part of an ongoing series, Pride with Mercy, that began during Pride Month 2019. These reflections grew out of the Sisters of Mercy’s Chapter 2017 Declaration challenging each of us to respond to those who suffer from oppressive systems and to “become better educated and to participate in engaged dialogue on issues of gender identity and sexual orientation.” We encourage you to forward these posts to someone who might need to read them. Together, may we grow in our tolerance, acceptance and understanding, and extend a hand of welcome to the LGBTQ+ community.

By Sister Michelle Gorman

As Sisters of Mercy, associates and companions, we continue to envision ways to live more deeply into our Recommitment Statement: Called to a New Consciousness. Given our tradition of solidarity with those relegated to the margins of society, it seems appropriate, in this Pride Month 2020, to consider how we can be an ally to LGBTQ+ persons.

An ally is generally defined as an individual from a dominant group who recognizes that their privilege is unearned and who advocates for those who don’t possess that privilege. Allyship with any marginated group is vital to their being seen and heard in the integrity of their personhood, created and loved by God (First Principle of Catholic Social Teaching). In the case of the LGBTQ+ community, the dominant heterosexual community in whose favor society is arranged—socially, economically and religiously—has the opportunity to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community so that they can more easily live with greater integrity without fear for their physical and psychological lives. There are several steps one can take toward a deep and full allyship:

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Singing the Song of a Loving, Affirming God

June 18, 2020

This blog reflection is part of an ongoing series, Pride with Mercy, that began during Pride Month 2019. These reflections grew out of the Sisters of Mercy’s Chapter 2017 Declaration challenging each of us to respond to those who suffer from oppressive systems and to “become better educated and to participate in engaged dialogue on issues of gender identity and sexual orientation.” We encourage you to forward these posts to someone who might need to read them. Together, may we grow in our tolerance, acceptance and understanding, and extend a hand of welcome to the LGBTQ+ community.

By Anne Boettcher

“Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord? I have heard you calling in the night…”

I came across this song just the other day while looking for music for a virtual retreat I was helping to plan. It brought back many memories. Written by Dan Schutte, one of the St. Louis Jesuits, it was released the year after I graduated from high school and has accompanied me throughout my adult life. While studying theology in college and later grad school, this song was familiar background during prayer and reflection times.

As a lesbian woman (though I wasn’t aware of my orientation at that time), I’ve always felt extremely blessed to have had teachers in my life who helped me relate to the “Lord” of this song as someone who created me as I am and loves me deeply. Unlike others in the LGBTQ+ family, I’ve never had to contend with a warped image of a judging, wrathful God condemning me for who I would eventually discover myself to be.

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Seeking Understanding Through Accompaniment

June 10, 2020

This blog reflection is part of an ongoing series, Pride with Mercy, that began during Pride Month 2019. These reflections grew out of the Sisters of Mercy’s Chapter 2017 Declaration challenging each of us to respond to those who suffer from oppressive systems and to “become better educated and to participate in engaged dialogue on issues of gender identity and sexual orientation.” We encourage you to forward these posts to someone who might need to read them. Together, may we grow in our tolerance, acceptance and understanding, and extend a hand of welcome to the LGBTQ+ community.

By Sister Christine Seghetti

In this Pride month of June, we will meet: A Catholic high school senior, a Catholic high school faculty member (maybe more than one?), the director of the local LGBTQ center, a Lutheran pastor and me. Both the pastor and I are allies of the center, providing spiritual accompaniment to people who use its resources; I have done this ministry with them for the last year. The anticipation of this meeting takes my breath away and makes my heart beat faster!

Artwork of a rainbow.

Just five months ago, this student e-mailed the LGBTQ center director; for ease of reference, and so as not to assign a gender pronoun, I will call this student “Chris.” Chris was not “out,” was feeling stressed and was seeking support. The director forwarded the e-mail to the Lutheran pastor and me, asking if we could be present with her to meet with Chris. Soon we did.

Chris, although not out, is friends with students identifying as LGBTQ at the Catholic school and says, “I cannot live in fear and hide forever.”

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The Gift We Have Been Given

June 4, 2020

This blog reflection is part of an ongoing series, Pride with Mercy, that began during Pride Month 2019. These reflections grew out of the Sisters of Mercy’s Chapter 2017 Declaration challenging each of us to respond to those who suffer from oppressive systems and to “become better educated and to participate in engaged dialogue on issues of gender identity and sexual orientation.” We encourage you to forward these posts to someone who might need to read them. Together, may we grow in our tolerance, acceptance and understanding, and extend a hand of welcome to the LGBTQ+ community.

By Sister Janet Rozzano

An image of a person holding a rainbow paper heart in their hands as if they were receiving it as a gift.

I’d like to share with you some thoughts on the spirituality of gay and lesbian persons, based on my own experience and reading on this topic. I suspect that what I say would apply also to persons who identify as bisexual or transgender.

A healthy spirituality begins with two questions that must be resolved. First, as a lesbian or gay person, am I good and loved by God? This question involves the resolution of a crisis of trust and the person’s most basic relationship with God. Can I trust the words of Scripture?

“Yes, you love all that exists, you hold nothing of what you have made in abhorrence; for had you hated anything, you would not have formed it!” (Wis. 11:24)

“You are my beloved child; my favor rests on you.” (Mark 1:11)

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Sustaining Mercy with Our LGBTQ+ Sisters and Brothers

June 29, 2019

By Sister Helen Marie Burns

These blogs are part of a five-part Pride Month series, Pride with Mercy. They grew out of the Sisters of Mercy’s Chapter 2017 Declaration challenging each of us to respond to those who suffer from oppressive systems and to “become better educated and to participate in engaged dialogue on issues of gender identity and sexual orientation.” We encourage you to forward these posts to someone who might need to read them. Together, may we grow in our tolerance, acceptance and understanding, and extend a hand of welcome to the LGBTQ+ community.

The Constitutions (rule of life) of the Sisters of Mercy says simply in paragraph #9:

We strive to witness to mercy when we reverence the
dignity of each person, create a spirit of hospitality
and pursue integrity of word and deed in our lives.

Our Institute Chapter statements from the last five gatherings highlight the importance of that verb “strive” as these documents speak of “a call to continual conversion,” “a yearning for integrity of word and deed” and “a suffering world [which] calls us to speak and act with integrity and clear intention.”

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On Pride and Against Prejudice

June 25, 2019

By Mary E. Hunt, Co- Director of WATER

These blogs are part of a five-part Pride Month series, Pride with Mercy. They grew out of the Sisters of Mercy’s Chapter 2017 Declaration challenging each of us to respond to those who suffer from oppressive systems and to “become better educated and to participate in engaged dialogue on issues of gender identity and sexual orientation.” We encourage you to forward these posts to someone who might need to read them. Together, may we grow in our tolerance, acceptance and understanding, and extend a hand of welcome to the LGBTQ+ community.

I asked my teenage daughter if she wanted to join me for the local Pride celebration in Washington, D.C. She had been before as a younger child and remembered it fondly for the tons of swag she got—a bright frisbee, a colorful keychain, endless candy from groups and businesses showing their support for LGBTQ+ people. But now, as a teen and more aware of the world, she was not quite clear why we needed a Pride celebration at all. What’s the big deal, she asked? Typical teen attitude, but she made me think about it as I tried to persuade her to join me.

The simple answer is that pride is a survival mechanism for dealing with prejudice. Jane Austen forgive me, but heterosexual people do not have a corner on complicated marriage choices and the right to marry for love. Yet it is only in my lifetime—born in the 1950s—that the notion of same-sex love as healthy, good, natural and holy has been conceivable.

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To Heal LGBTQ+ Youth, First Put Your Mercy On

June 18, 2019

These blogs are part of a five-part Pride Month series, Pride with Mercy. They grew out of the Sisters of Mercy’s Chapter 2017 Declaration challenging each of us to respond to those who suffer from oppressive systems and to “become better educated and to participate in engaged dialogue on issues of gender identity and sexual orientation.” We encourage you to forward these posts to someone who might need to read them. Together, may we grow in our tolerance, acceptance and understanding, and extend a hand of welcome to the LGBTQ+ community.

By Sister Jeanne Christensen

We know our God comforts all people and shows mercy to the afflicted. Some believe that God has forsaken them, forgotten them. God promises, “I will never forget you.”

Earlier this year, during Lent, the Sisters of Mercy in the West Midwest Community were invited “to put your Mercy on.”  What does this mean? How can we put our Mercy on during June Pride Month?

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The Pride Parade – Just Imagine!

June 11, 2019

These blogs are part of a five-part Pride Month series, Pride with Mercy. They grew out of the Sisters of Mercy’s Chapter 2017 Declaration challenging each of us to respond to those who suffer from oppressive systems and to “become better educated and to participate in engaged dialogue on issues of gender identity and sexual orientation.” We encourage you to forward these posts to someone who might need to read them. Together, may we grow in our tolerance, acceptance and understanding, and extend a hand of welcome to the LGBTQ+ community.

By Sister Betsy Linehan

My late nephew Danny, my sister and I shared a vivid fantasy: the three of us plus mymother marching arm-in-arm in the Pride Parade in Washington D.C. We’d be dressed in the colors of the rainbow, of course. Mom died in 1996, several years before Danny came out to us. So, you ask, how can I be so sure about our mother, Danny’s beloved grandmother?

My youngest brother and my oldest niece both have childhood memories of picketing the White House with mom. She stood up and marched for a number of causes: racial equality, fair housing (in Virginia where she lived), women’s rights. She also marched against some things: the Vietnam War, creating more superhighways like I-66 in Virginia. She was not given to bumper stickers, but she had one on the family car that read “The Road to Hell Is Paved.” One of her favorite accolades was when a minor politician in Arlington called her “Doris Linehan, that Bolshevik.”

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A Flag of Many Colors

June 4, 2019

These blogs are part of a five-part Pride Month series, Pride with Mercy. They grew out of the Sisters of Mercy’s Chapter 2017 Declaration challenging each of us to respond to those who suffer from oppressive systems and to “become better educated and to participate in engaged dialogue on issues of gender identity and sexual orientation.” We encourage you to forward these posts to someone who might need to read them. Together, may we grow in our tolerance, acceptance and understanding, and extend a hand of welcome to the LGBTQ+ community.

By Sister Janet Rozzano

Every June in our country, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ+) community and its allies come together for a month-long celebration of love, diversity, acceptance and pride. Parades, concerts, memorial services and speeches are scheduled. Rainbow flags pop up everywhere.

And what does this have to do with us as Sisters of Mercy? Perhaps it gives us an opportunity to heed the call of our Chapter 2017 Declaration to respond to those who suffer from oppressive systems and “become better educated and to participate in engaged dialogue on issues of gender identity and sexual orientation.”

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LGBTQ Issues: How Do We Respond As Jesus Would?

February 5, 2019

By Sister Natalie Rossi

Sister Natalie Rossi

After Bishop Lawrence Persico of the Diocese of Erie received a letter from a parishioner about her transgender child, the bishop asked Monsignor Edward Lohse, the vicar general, to set up a study day on a “Pastoral Response to Gender Identity Questions.”

Two-hundred people in leadership positions in parishes, schools and agencies in the diocese attended over two days in October. I attended the first day and Sister Margaret Park attended the second.

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