Dignity/Washington celebrated its 40th Anniversary on the weekend of December 1-2, 2012, culminating a year of community celebrations that attracted widespread interest and congratulations. The Washington Blade, for instance, ran an extensive article entitled, Faith of Our Fathers, about the chapter, our history and Dignity USA’s long list of activities, in its edition of November 30 written by staff writer Joey DiGuglielmo.
On Saturday night, December 1, a sold-out gala dinner, silent auction and entertainment for ninety members and guests was held in a private function room at Clyde’s of Gallery Place. Thanks to the generosity of our members and local businesses who donated works of art, weeks at a beach house at Rehoboth, Delaware, restaurant and theater certificates and tickets to MLB and NFL sporting events, the proceeds from this silent auction exceeded any from those previously held. Tim Gartshore, one of Washington, DC’s most respected stage performers, winner of two Helen Hayes Awards for Best Actor and an eight-time nominee, provided a pleasing balance of amusing and tender singing. Past Dignity USA president Mark Matson spoke inspiringly about the LGBT movement within the Catholic Church and the importance of Dignity both nationally and locally in creating progress. Dignity/Washington community awards were given out to deserving members and one award to a non-member, Sr. Maureen Fiedler, SL, for her inspirational work on progressive issues and her current NPR show, Interfaith Voices, especially her series, Gay in the Eyes of God (in July and following months).
Then, at the 40th Anniversary Mass, December 1, the First Sunday of Advent, we were delighted to have Sr. Jeanine Gramick, SL, a founding member of Dignity/Washington, as guest homilist. She concluded her fine remarks by reciting the lyrics to the song I Am Who I Am as a prayer. Never did Broadway sound so right.
For more photos of the event, please check out Dignity/Washington’s Facebook page under Dignity/Washington 40th Anniversary Dinner.
by Tom Bower, Dignity/Washington Board member and co-chairman with John Fegan of the event