Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Out And About - February/March 2009

Above: On the evening of Sunday, February 22, I had some friends over to watch the broadcast of the 81st Oscars award ceremony. With me in the photo above (from right) is Kay, Rick, Kathleen, and Daniel.

For my 2009 “Oscar Observations,” click

Above: Phil and Randi Reitan (at left) stand with some of the young people who attended a special screening of the documentary film, For the Bible Tells Me So – Monday, March 9, 2009.

Above: Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with my friends (from left): Mary, Pepper, Tom, Polly, and Susu.

For more photographs of this celebration, click here.

Above: My friend James Pennington’s installation as pastor of Spirit of the Lakes United Church of Christ – Sunday, March 8, 2009. (James is standing at far right.)

Above: With Rita McDonald, CSJ, Marguerite Corcoran, CSJ; and Catherine Jenkins, CSJ at the St. Joseph’s Day celebration of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, St. Paul Province – Sunday, March 21, 2009.

I’m happy and honored to be a CSJ consociate, and to have had Rita and Marguerite as my companions during my two-year consociate process.

Above: My “Spirit daughter,” Maya! As you can see, Maya is a very gifted artist. This photo was taken at Spirit of the Lakes United Church of Christ on the morning of Sunday, March 22, 2009.

Above: The last two months have been full of meetings of one kind or another! In this photo, members of the Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities (CPCSM) are meeting with Haven, Katie, and Enzi - three young members of Soulforce – March 22, 2009.

We had gathered to discuss how CPCSM can best assist in a local embodiment of Soulforce’s 2009 Spring Catholic Action.

From left: Enzi, Haven, Rick, Mary Lynn, David, Mary, Paula, and Katy.

Above: A meeting of the recently formed Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (CCCR) – Wednesday, March 25, 2009. Clockwise from left: Connie, Bernie, Dan, Bob, Eileen, Dorothy, Paula, Mary, and Lonne.

CCCR is a coalition of Minnesota Catholic organizations dedicated to church reform. We define ourselves as a coalition of concerned and caring Catholics working to promote the full participation of the baptized in all aspects of church life. Organizations within the coalition include the Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church (ARCC), the Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities (CPCSM), Call to Action-MN (CTA-MN), Corpus, Dignity Twin Cities, the Progressive Catholic Voice, and Roman Catholic WomenPriests.

To learn more about CCCR and the series of “Synods of the Baptized” that the coalition is planning, click here.

Above: Standing at right with (from left) Kurt, Kathleen, and Margaret at the March 28 screening of the documentary film, Stop the Reroute: Taking a Stand on Sacred Ground.

The film tells the story of the unique coalition of neighborhood groups, environmentalists, and Native Americans that came together in the late 1990s to oppose the rerouting of Highway 55 through an area of South Minneapolis containing both parkland and the last remnant of bur oak savannah in the Twin Cities. Situated between Minnehaha Falls and Coldwater Spring, this area of land is not only of historic significance to the the State of Minnesota, but of special sacred significance to the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota.

I was involved in the struggle to prevent the reroute, and documented through photography the period of resistance from the establishment of Camp Two Pines in August 1998 to the destruction of the four sacred oaks in December 1999. A number of my photographs are featured in Stop the Reroute: Taking a Stand on Sacred Land.

These and many other photos can be viewed in Gallery 7 of my online photographic exhibit, Faces of Resistance. This particular gallery is dedicated to the coalition that came together to stop the reroute - a coalition that Jon Lurie of the Southside Pride newspaper described in April 1999 as “the kind of coalition that had rarely been seen in America: the joining of indigenous and non-native people whose shared vision and complementary talents could combine to create a better future for all.”

Sadly, the rerouting of Highway 55 was not stopped. As a result, a large area of green space was paved over, ensuring that a grove of four oak trees, considered especially sacred to the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota, was destroyed. Coldwater Spring, however, was saved - though efforts continue to this day to ensure its continued preservation.

See also the previous Wild Reed post:
Stop the Reroute Premieres in Minneapolis

Above: Standing at right with the four guest speakers at the second session of CPCSM’s 2009 Bill Kummer Forum - Monday, March 30, 2009.

From left: Jacqueline White, a Catholic bisexual woman married to a transgender man; Rob Dingmann and Brian Miller, parishioners at St. Joan of Arc in Minneapolis who have been together for 15 years and who exchanged their vows at a commitment service 13 years ago; and Beth Hentges, a member of Dignity Twin Cities and who, with her same-gender partner of 15 years, is raising two children.

This year’s Bill Kummer Forum is entitled “Catholic and LGBT,” and is being specifically directed to priests and pastoral care professionals within the local church.

CPCSM strongly believes that LGBT Catholics and their families within our archdiocese are greatly in need of compassionate and competent pastoral ministry based on solid scientific findings as reported in professional peer-reviewed publications. Indeed, we feel that their spiritual, psychological, and perhaps even their physical lives depend on it! Accordingly, presenting such findings was the focus of the first session of our series, held in St. Paul in February.

Sadly, given the climate of fear within the archdiocese, and the
hostility that the chancery has recently shown toward the type of educational and pastoral initiatives that CPCSM is known and respected for, we have decided not to go public with the times and venues for the various sessions of this year’s series. We chose to do this so as to ensure the safety of both our hosts and the series’ attendees.

At the March 30 session of the forum, Jacqueline, Rob & Brian, and Beth shared their stories as LGBT Catholics in today’s church - and in particular their experiences, observations and insights regarding the building of a church that truly welcomes all.

I plan on writing more about what they had to share in a later Wild Reed post.

See also the previous Wild Reed post:

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