Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities (CPCSM), the non-profit organization I've have led as executive coordinator since 2003.
Above: Pictured center with (from left) Bill and Deb LeMay and Lisa and Brent Vanderlinden.
Catholics for Marriage Equality - Minnesota (C4ME-MN), which played a crucial role in defeating the proposed 2012 anti-marriage equality amendment to the Minnesota constitution and securing marriage equality within the civil sphere in 2013. One of our most signifant undertaking during this time was the creation (in collaboration with filmmaker Aleshia Mueller of Reel Nomad Productions) of Catholic for Marriage Equality, a series of five video vignettes of faith, marriage and family from the perspective of LGBT Catholics and supportive family members.
Another important project of C4ME-MN was led by Jim Smith and involved over 300 Catholics coming together to record David Lohman's powerful song, "For the Children." Both a audio and video recording was made, and the final result was premiered at a special event in Loring Park in August 2012.
Since August 2014, both CPCSM and C4ME-MN have largely been inactive, although earlier this month I was quoted as the "former coordinator for Catholics for Marriage Equality MN" in Jean Hopfensperger's Star Tribune piece on Catholic reactions to Pope Francis' Amoris Laetitia.
Of course, well before CPCSM's focus on marriage equality, the organization worked to create environments of respect, acceptance and safety for LGBT persons and their families within both the Catholic Church and wider society; environments wherein the experiences, insights, and integrity of LGBT persons and their loved ones are recognized, affirmed and celebrated.
Our work has included a range of services – from the training of parish-based professionals and volunteers working with LGBT persons in the 1980s to “safe staff” training of secondary school professionals at eight of the eleven local Catholic high schools in the 1990s. CPCSM's work also included a variety of educational and consultative programs – from family support groups and parish-based educational lectures and workshops to consultations provided to a number of parishes, religious communities, and other church and community groups within the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis.
In 2007 we had our first book published: Creating Safe Environments for LGBT Students: A Catholic Schools Perspective. I had the honor of editing this collection of strategies, resources, and reflections that helps Catholic high school teachers and counselors in their interactions with students who have either “come out” as LGBT or who are struggling with questions related to sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
To date, Creating Safe Environments for LGBT Students: A Catholic Schools Perspective remains the only resource specifically drawn from and written for the Catholic high school context. (For reviews of this book, click here, here, and here.)
Following are some images of the April 17, 2016 "wake" for CPCSM/Catholics for Marriage Equality MN, an event that brought together folks from different times in the organization's 30+ year history.
Above: Beverly Barrett and Bill Hunt.
For many years Beverly served as CPCSM's secretary, maintaining meticulous minutes and notes.
Throughout the 1980s and '90s, Bill Hunt served as CPCSM's peritus (theological advisor), having attended the sessions of the second period of the Second Vatican Council in that same capacity in 1963. Bill holds a doctorate in theology from the Catholic University of America and taught Catholic theology at the graduate level for fifteen years. A number of his erudite articles have been published at The Progressive Catholic Voice online forum (see, for example, here, here, and here).
Above: Former CPCSM board members Craig Barrett and Mary Ellen Foster, CSJ.
Above: Mary Beckfeld, Mary Lynn Murphy and Darlene White. Along with other Catholic parents of LGBT children, Mary, Mary Lynn, and Darlene where co-founders in 2004 of Catholic Rainbow Parents.
Above: Former board members Brigid McDonald, CSJ and Alice Rice.
Above: Former CPCSM treasurer Paul Fleege with a display board I created in 2004.
Above: Mary Lynn Murphy, Rob Pieck, and Br. Michael Lee.
Above: Darlene White with her son Tim (left) and Paul Fleege.
Above: Brigid McDonald, CSJ, Cheryl Maloney, and Ruth Brooker, CSJ.
The signs in the background were created for Catholics for Marriage Equality MN's 2012 Lenten prayer vigil outside the chancery offices of the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis.
Above: My good friend and housemate Tim with Paula Ruddy, who's been described as the "matriarch of the Catholic reform movement" in the Twin Cities. She's also a very good friend of mine and a very articulate and thoughtful communicator of ideas! (See, for example, here, here, here and here.)
You may recall that Paula and I were part of a delegation from the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (CCCR) that met with then-Interim Archbishop Hebda (now the actual Archbishop) of St. Paul-Minneapolis in September 2015. (For more about this meeting, click here.)
CPCSM helped co-found CCCR in 2009. It's an organization that, in a number of important ways, carries forward CPCSM's mission and work. (See, for example, here.)
Above: With Bill Hunt – Saturday, April 17, 2016.
For more on the history and accomplishments of CPCSM, see the following previous Wild Reed posts:
• CPCSM and the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis (Part 1)
• CPCSM and the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis (Part 2)
• CPCSM and the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis (Part 3)
• CPCSM and the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis (Part 4)
• CPCSM and the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis (Part 5)
• CPCSM and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis (Part 6)
• CPCSM’s Year in Review – 2006 (includes an announcement of the January 29 death of CPCSM co-founder Bill Kummer.)
• CPCSM Co-founder Responds to "Not Catholic" Assertion
• Inclusive Catholics Celebrate Gay Pride (2007)
• Choosing to Stay
• 300+ People Vigil at the Cathedral in Solidarity with LGBT Catholics
• CPCSM's Year in Review – 2007
• 250+ People Attend Catholic LGBT Pride Prayer Service in Minneapolis
• A Catholic Presence at Gay Pride (2008)
• How Times Have Changed
• CPCSM's Year in Review – 2008
• History Matters
• Putting a Human Face on the 'T' of 'GLBT'
• A Catholic Presence at Gay Pride (2009)
• Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Courage
• For the Record
• CPCSM's Year in Review – 2009
• At UST, a Rousing and Very Catholic Show of Support for Marriage Equality
• LGBT Catholics Celebrate Being "Wonderfully Made"
• A Catholic Presence at Gay Pride (2010)
• CPCSM's Year in Review – 2010
• A Catholic Presence at Gay Pride (2011)
• Sad News (The Wild Reed's July 10, 2011 announcement of CPCSM co-founder David McCaffrey's death.)
• A Catholic Presence at Gay Pride (2012)
• GSAs and the Catholic High School Setting
• Doing Papa Proud
• A Catholic Presence at Gay Pride (2013)
• An Inspiring Evening of Conversation and Camaraderie
• Minnesota Catholics, LGBT Students, and the Ongoing Work of Creating Safe and Supportive Schools
• On the First Anniversary of Marriage Equality in Minnesota, a Celebratory Look Back at the Important Role Played by Catholics
• Catholics Make Their Voices Heard on LGBTQ Issues