Thursday, November 01, 2007

Out and About - October 2007


Above: Standing at right with (from left) Brian McNeill and Pat & Jenny Downey – Solidarity Sunday, Cathedral of St. Paul, October 7, 2007.

Solidarity Sunday, a faith-based, anti-violence initiative of DignityUSA, the nation’s largest Catholic lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) organization, is held every year on the Sunday before October 11 (National Coming Out Day) and is dedicated to the memory of the many who have lost their lives through violence because of who they were or who they were perceived to be.



Above: My dear friend Jenny Downey, who, with her husband Pat, are longtime allies of LGBT persons, their families, and their rights – Solidarity Sunday 2007, St. Paul.

Solidarity Sunday began in 1995 when the Board of Directors of DignityUSA recognized that 70-80% of American Catholics supported equal rights for gays and lesbians. It was decided to invite these people to join in solidarity with LGBT Catholic and to work with them to end verbal and physical abuse.

Locally, Solidarity Sunday events are organized by Dignity Twin Cities. This year, Dignity Twin Cities encouraged Catholics to attend the noon Mass on Sunday, October 7, with a small rainbow ribbon attached to their clothing.

Sadly, it’s now Archdiocesan policy to deny communion to anyone wearing a rainbow ribbon or sash. Accordingly, my friends and I were denied communion on October 7.



Above: The keynote speakers at the 14th Annual Twin Cities National Coming Out Day Luncheon – Minneapolis Convention Center, Friday, October 12, 2007.

From left: Kevin Winge, executive director of Open Arms of Minnesota and author of Never Give Up: Vignettes from Sub-Saharan Africa in the Age of AIDS; Beth Zemsky, former co-chair of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, founding director of the University of Minnesota’s GLBT Programs Office, and the driving force behind the foundation of the Steven J. Schochet Center for GLBT Studies and Campus Life; Dr. Nancy “Rusty” Barcelo, Vice President and Vice Provost for Equity and Diversity at the University of Minnesota; Sam McClure, executive chair of Quorum, the Twin Cities GLBTA Chamber of Commerce; and Joe Wright, currently a freshman at the University of Minnesota, and recently honored as the first winner of the Quorum Scholarship.



Above: Celebrating Dignity Twin Cities’ 33rd anniversary - October 12, 2007.

As part of DignityUSA - the nation’s largest Catholic LGBT organization - Dignity Twin Cities envisions and works for a time when LGBT Catholics are affirmed, experience dignity as beloved persons of God, and are able to participate fully in all aspects of life within the Church and society.



Above: Sr. Kate Kuenstler and Lena Woltering, keynote speakers at Call to Action Minnesota’s Annual Conference - Saturday, October 13, 2007.

Sr. Kate Kuenstler, a canon lawyer, spoke on “The Rights of the Christian Faithful,” while Lena Woltering explored the growing lay synod movement through her presentation entitled “Powerful Persuasion.”

For an interview I conducted with Lena, see the inaugural issue of the online magazine, The Progressive Catholic Voice.



Above and below: As often as I could throughout October, I took advantage of the pleasant fall weather and rode my bike, “Kongoni,” down to the shoreline of the Mississippi River, just a ten minute ride from my home!

How lucky am I?




Above: Standing at right with (from left) Rev. James Pennington, Carol Curoe, and her father Robert – The House of the Beloved Disciple, Monday, October 22, 2007.

The Curoes, co-authors of the recently released book, Are There Closets in Heaven? A Catholic Father and Lesbian Daughter Share Their Story, were the keynote speakers at CPCSM’s Second Annual Bill Kummer Forum. This event was originally scheduled to take place at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church, but after the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis intervened and prohibited the Curoes from speaking on Catholic property, it was relocated to the recently established House of the Beloved Disciple, a center for progressive Catholics dedicated to “preserving Catholicism in the spirit of Jesus.”

For a commentary and pictures of the Curoes’ October 22 presentation, click here.

For The National Catholic Reporter’s coverage of the Archdiocese’s treatment of the Curoes, click here.

For The Rainbow Spirit interview with Carol Curoe, click here.



Above: Celebrating my 42nd birthday with Ken and Carol Masters, my “surrogate American parents” – Tuesday, October 23, 2007.

I was even mentioned (and quoted) in a story in the Star Tribune newspaper on my birthday!



Above: Celebrating my birthday with the many wise and inspiring women in my life!

From left: Marguerite Corcoran, CSJ; Kate McDonald, CSJ; Brigid McDonald, CSJ, Paula Ruddy, Mary Beckfeld, Theresa O’Brien, CSJ; Mary Lynn Murphy, Rita McDonald, CSJ, Jane Arnes, CSJ; and Rita O’Brien, CSJ.



Above: From left: Marguerite Corcoran, CSJ; Jane Arnes, CSJ; Steve Boyle, Rita McDonald, CSJ; and Paula Ruddy – October 23, 2007.



Above: From left: Kate McDonald, CSJ; Theresa O’Brien, CSJ; Brigid McDonald, CSJ, James Pennington, Rita O’Brien, CSJ - October 23, 2007.



Above and below: Halloween hijinks at the house-warming party of my friend Sue Ann (above right) - Saturday, October 27, 2007.







See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Back in the USA
It Sure Was Cold!
An Energizing and Spirited Weekend
Out and About - April 2007
Out and About - May 2007
Out and About - June 2007
Out and About - July 2007
Out and About - August 2007
Out and About - September 2007


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