Sunday, February 01, 2009


Earlier this evening a number of friends hosted a “welcome back” party for me. I know and value many of these good folks through my work with both the Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities (CPCSM) and the Progressive Catholic Voice.

In the photo above, for instance, I’m pictured with former CPCSM president, Mary Lynn Murphy, and current CPCSM president, Mary Beckfeld. (Also in the picture is my friend Michael Douglas.)

(Mary Lynn recently had a powerful piece published in the Progressive Catholic Voice about why she can no longer identify as Catholic. It can be viewed here.)

Above (from left): Michael Douglas, Mary Beckfeld, Brian McNeill (president of Dignity Twin Cities and convener of the Rainbow Sash Alliance USA), Mary Lynn Murphy, Rick Notch (CPCSM treasurer), and Kate McDonald.

(For a thought-provoking article that Brian recently wrote for the Progressive Catholic Voice, click here.)

Above: With Brian and Rick.

Above: CPCSM president, Mary Beckfeld, with former CPCSM treasurer and long-time CPCSM supporter, Paul Fleege.

Above: With three inspiring women: Rita McDonald, Darlene White, and Rita O’Brien.

I arrived back in the U.S. from Australia on the evening of Wednesday, January 28. So far, jet lag has been minimal - which, believe me, is something to be grateful for. The weather, though obviously a marked change from summer in Australia, hasn’t been too much of a shock. I guess I missed the really bad sub-zero temperatures experienced in the Twin Cities a couple of weeks ago. I can’t say I’m sorry.

I’m happy to be back and am looking forward to a productive and fulfilling year with my work with both CPCSM and the Progressive Catholic Voice. We have some exciting projects in the works – some of which I previously referred to at the end of this post.

As it was difficult to say goodbye to my family in Australia, I appreciate the warm welcome back that I’ve been receiving from friends since my return to Minnesota. Tonight’s little party was especially appreciated, and I’d like to extend a big thank you to CPCSM co-founder David McCaffrey as well as to Mary Lynn Murphy, Paula Ruddy, and many others who helped organize it.

Yes, it’s good to be back, my friends, and to be once again involved with all of you in the important work we’re doing of coalition building and the taking of proactive measures that respectfully challenge and counter the reactionary and regressive efforts within our local Catholic community. And, of course, I never doubt for a moment that what we are doing is contributing, in some small way, to a global movement that is bringing about renewal and reform – and thus hope and justice – to the Catholic Church.

But, before I get too carried away, a rather mundane task: the completion of CPCSM’s Annual Member Report to
Community Shares Minnesota - due Monday! (Hmm, I’m thinking tomorrow night is shaping up to be an all-nighter.)

See also the previous Wild Reed post:
Back in the USA (January 2007)

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