Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Out and About - June 2008

Above: On Thursday, June 7, 2008, as I was cycling across the Lake St./Marshall Ave. Bridge that connects the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, I paused and took this photograph looking downstream on the Mississippi River. As you can see, it was a beautiful late spring day in Minnesota!

Above: The twenty-third annual Bloomsday in St. Paul – June 16, 2008.

Founded by lawyer and writer Donal Heffernan (above, second from right) and hosted by Carol Connolly (above left), St. Paul’s Bloomsday celebrates all things James Joycean – and Irish!

And in St. Paul in 2008, Bloomsday also celebrated a little something Australian when my friends Molly Culligan and Brigid McDonald (pictured with me at left) joined me in singing “The Wild Colonial Boy.” We were accompanied on guitar by the very talented Michael Zieghan. Brigid also sang a beautiful rendition of “The Green Fields of France,” while Molly performed her famed Molly Bloom soliloquy.

As well as singing “The Wild Colonial Boy,” I read an except from Jamie O’Neill’s novel, At Swim, Two Boys. For more about this book (and to read the excerpt I shared), see the previous Wild Reed post, “A Beautiful Novel.”

Above: CPCSM’s Annual Community Meeting on June 23 featured transgender author and advocate Vanessa Sheridan, who spoke on “Living a Life of Principle.”

Pictured from left: Vanessa Sheridan, Paul Fleege, Gerry Sell, Abigail Garner, Rev. Marty Shanahan, and Mary Beckfeld.

To read a commentary by Vanessa, see the previous Wild Reed post, “Living Lives of Principle.”

Above: CPCSM co-founder, David McCaffrey, with Mary Beckfeld, the recipient of CPCSM’s 2008 Father Henry F. LeMay Pastoral Ministry Award – June 23, 2008.

This award was given to Mary in recognition of her loving and dedicated service to the LGBT community through her leadership and work with CPCSM, Catholic Rainbow Parents, and The Progressive Catholic Voice. The award also honors Mary’s “outstanding example as a role model promoting inclusive family values for struggling parents of LGBT children” and her many years of “prophetic and compassionate service” with the Women’s Commission and the Diaconate Program of the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis.

For The Wild Reed’s report on last year’s CPCSM Annual Community Meeting, click here.

Above: Art Stoebrel, the recipient of CPCSM’s 2008 Bishop Thomas Gumbleton Peace and Justice Award.

Art was honored with this award for his many years of loving and tireless service (often behind the scenes), especially through his faithful and dedicated leadership within the LGBT community - in particular with Dignity Twin Cities and the Quatrefoil Library. The award also acknowledges Art’s life-long commitment to justice-making with and for the marginalized of our society, in particular the immigrant community.

Because Art was unable to be present at CPCSM’s Annual Community Meeting on June 23, I presented him with his award at the Annual Dignity Twin Cities’ Pride Liturgy on Friday, June 29, 2008.

Above: CPCSM’s Pride Prayer Service - June 25, 2008.

For many years the parish of St. Joan of Arc in South Minneapolis has hosted a Pride Prayer Service during the week leading up to the Twin Cities LGBT Pride Festival. Yet just days before the church’s 2008 Pride Prayer Service was scheduled to take place on June 25, the chancery of the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis issued a directive that “people who fully adapt to the GLBT lifestyle are not permitted to . . . be the subject of a prayer service that endorses that lifestyle.” The parish complied, canceled its LGBT Pride Prayer Service and, in its place, hosted a “peace service.”

In response to these events, the Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities (CPCSM), the organization to which I have the honor of serving as executive coordinator, decided to continue the tradition of a Catholic LGBT Pride Prayer Service. Furthermore, so as to acknowledge and honor the good work that the community of St. Joan’s has done in relation to initiating and hosting such a prayer service for many years, it was deemed appropriate to hold CPCSM’s inaugural Pride Prayer Service at the entrance of the parish, a half hour before the community’s replacement “peace service.”

For more images and commentary on this event, click here and here.

Above: A Catholic presence at the 2008 Twin Cities Gay Pride Festival. (For more images and commentary, click here.)

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Back in the USA
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
Out and About - October 2007
Out and About - November 2007
Out and About - December 2007
Out and About - January 2008
Out and About - February 2008
Out and About - March 2008
Out and About: April 2008
Out and About - May 2008

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