On Saturday November 15 Father Jim Smith will present on Catholic Worker Justice– a look at the recent firings of LGBT Catholic teachers, organists, and administrators, and the new homophobic contracts that are now mandatory for job renewal in Catholic schools and parishes.
The presentation will take place at 3:00 pm at the Dignity Center, 721 – 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003. The presentation, sponsored by Dignity/Washington, is free and open to the public. Feel free to invite friends and allies. Refreshments will follow the presentation.
Fr. Jim Smith has served Catholic parishes as priest or retreat and spiritual director for over 20 years. He is currently a consultant for parish-wide visioning and life-long formation planning, as well as Dignity/USA’s Associate Director.
Fr. Smith is also the author of Welcome the People: Ways to Gather & Nourish Adult Catholics (Twenty-Third Publications), and presenter of many spiritual reflection videos available through www.youtube.com.
A document published after the first week of the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family demonstrated a more open and accepting tone toward Gay and Lesbian Catholics. The news was picked up by the local ABC station in Washington, DC. Dignity/Washington President Dan Barutta and Board Member Kenneth Dowling are featured in this news segment from WJLA. Click on the link below to view the video.
Join Dignity/Washington and Dignity NoVA on October 25th at the Walk to End HIV. Both chapters of Dignity are walking in memory of Jimmy DePersis. Join the Dignity team by registering on their team page using this link:
We have 20 complimentary registrations and a special promo code for our team members to register online at no cost. Select the “Join a Team” option, choose the Dignity team from the drop-down menu, and enter the promo code DIGNITY.
Join Dignity/Washington on October 18th, 3:30 PM at the Dignity Center, 721 8th Street, SE Washington, DC, for a presentation on “LGBT Elders Coming of Age” by Dr. Imani Woody.
Dr. Woody is the founding director and CEO of Mary’s House for Older Adults, a LGBT friendly residential housing development in Washington, DC. She has a PhD in Human Services, specializing in non-profit management. Her thesis: Lift Every Voice: A Qualitative Exploration of Ageism and Heterosexism as Experienced by Older African American Lesbian Women and Gay Males when Addressing Social Services Needs. She holds a Master of Human Services degree from Lincoln University and is a graduate of Georgetown University’s Paralegal program.
Dr. Woody is currently working as a diversity consultant in the field of health, aging and issues affecting the LGBT and people color communities. She has worked as the pro-bono coordinator of the D.C. Bar and has served as the director of training for the National Association of Protection and Advocacy, coordinating and facilitating trainings across the country for people with disabilities and promoting cultural diversity.
As the director of client services at the Mautner Project, Dr. Woody managed programs that provided educational and direct services to lesbians and bisexual women with cancer. She was also a program manager for the National Caucus and Center on Black Aged, working on national health programs to educate elderly African American women. Formerly a training specialist for the AARP’s Foundation, Dr. Woody developed curriculum and delivery of on-site and web-based trainings. She trained substantive experts to become trainers through the Train-the Trainer program and provided on-going technical assistance to field trainers. Formerly a co-chair of PRiSM, AARP’s ERG group, Dr. Woody worked to help form the Washington, DC LGBT Elder Coalition.
Dr. Imani Woody has been an advocate of women, people of color and LGBT issues for more than 20 years and has served on the board of directors of the Mautner Project, Women in the Life Association and Whitman Walker Lesbian services. She currently is a Commissioner on the (Washington, DC) Mayor’s GLBT Advisory Council, the Program Officer for the Older Adults Advisory Council for the Metropolitan Community Churches, is the Chair of SAGE Metro DC (an organization serving LGBT elders), an Advisory Board member of the SAGE National Resource Center on LGBT Aging and a Board member of the LGBT Technology Partnership.
Dr. Woody has been a life coach for more than 10 years and is the founder and principal of Living Life Like It’s Golden, a six-part program that empowers people to live their lives more fully through visioning. She lives with her wife of thirteen years in the Brookland neighborhood of Washington DC.
In this blog post from Global Sisters Report, Sr. Jeannine Gramick, co-founder of New Ways Ministries, reflects on the Vatican Synod on the Family. Click on the link below to read the whole article.
“Most LGBT Catholics have spent their lives working through negative and condemning messages from church leaders. They now feel they do not need approval or recognition because they have achieved a harmony and serenity that comes only with self-acceptance.” –Sr. Jeannine Gramick
Liturgy and Discussion on June 28th
On Saturday, June 28th, Dignity/Washington will have the next in our series of community conversations in our education and discernment process regarding the issue of inviting Roman Catholic Womenpriests to celebrate Mass. This June 28th meeting will be held at our Dignity Center, beginning at 2:00 PM with a liturgy led by Rev. Ann Penick, followed by a social and a discussion hour. We invite and encourage all interested members to attend and participate in this very important community discussion.
Rev. Ann Penick is originally from the Chicago area. She and her husband, Jim, live in Maryland near Washington, DC. They have been married for 25 years. Ann has long been an active member of the Roman Catholic Church. She has done ministry volunteer work as a music minister, minister in sacred dance, retreat facilitator, a member of the liturgy team at various parishes where she’s been a member, and a member of welcoming and hospitality committees.
In 1993 Ann received a certification in lay ministry from the Diocese of Birmingham, in Alabama. In 1995 Ann received a Masters in Counseling degree from the University of Birmingham in Alabama. In 1997 she completed 3 units in CPE at Bon Secours/St. Francis Hospital in Charleston, SC. In 2008, Ann received her Masters in Pastoral Ministry degree from Boston College. Ann served as chaplain to college students from1997-2008—with the Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina and with the Archdiocese of Boston.
Ann came face-to-face with her calling to the priesthood in 2005 at the WOW conference in Canada. She has been supported in her journey to the priesthood by Jim, her step-daughter, Katie, her step-son, Mike, and her brother, Rob. Currently, Ann works as a mental health counselor at a Maryland community college. In her spare time Ann enjoys music, dance, travel, her granddaughter Meg, and their cat, Numbers. In preparation for her visit with us please see the website for Roman Catholic Womenpriests: http://romancatholicwomenpriests.org
Special Guest to Deliver Sermon on Gay Pride Weekend
Rabbi Laurie Green of Washington’s Temple Bet Mishpachah will deliver the sermon at this year’s Capital Pride Sunday Mass sponsored by Dignity/Washington on Sunday, June 8 at 6:00 PM.
Dignity/Washington will celebrate its annual Capital Pride Mass as it falls this year on the Feast of Pentecost. At D/W the feast is always observed as the heavily symbolic anniversary of the chapter’s first Sunday Mass outside of Catholic facilities in 1987, after its eviction from Georgetown University’s St. William’s Chapel.
On June 22, 1987 D/W members marched from St. William’s Chapel to their new home, at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Dupont Circle, where D/W worships every Sunday to this day. D/W’s annual Capital Pride Mass also celebrates the peace. hopes, diversity, history, and faiths of the metro DC LGBT community.
This year’s guest homilist at D/W’s annual Pride Mass will be Rabbi Laurie Green of Temple Bet Mishpachah. From her entrance into rabbinical school, through her ordination in 2007, and until today, she has served pulpits in Colorado, New York and Connecticut, as well as working as a Jewish educator, a hospital chaplain, and an interfaith organizer and activist. Rabbi Laurie, her wife, Mira, and their son, Gus live in Baltimore, MD. Come and join us for this special event.
Dignity/Washington holds a weekly mass at St. Margaret’s Church, 1820 Connecticut Ave (at the corner of Connecticut and Bancroft), just three blocks north of the DuPont Circle metro station.
“MOON OVER WASHINGTON” POTLUCK: On Saturday evening, May 31st, our annual “Moon Over Washington” potluck dinner party takes place on the rooftop of “The Altamont” (1901 Wyoming Avenue, NW). We’ll have drinks at 7:30 PM, and dinner at 8:00. Please bring a main dish, side dish, beverages, or dessert, and join us to see the sunset over Washington and its monuments.
LGBT Catholics at Dignity Washington hosted a variety of Holy Week activities. These included: stations of the cross, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil.
Stations of the Cross
On Saturday April 12, a larger than usual group of members from Dignity/Washington journeyed the Stations of the Cross together in the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land’s very beautiful garden near the campus of Catholic University in NE DC. The gardens are settled in many acres of the Monastery grounds with outdoor shrines and, of course, the Stations which lead you uphill to the eleventh station. That day everyone took turns reading the meditations as well as a prayer before each station. The majority of the group gathered for lunch and fellowship at a nearby Mexican restaurant afterwards.
On Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday) Dignity/Washington and St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church celebrated an ecumenical liturgy. Both communities gathered in the social hall for the Liturgy of the Word, before feasting on a beautiful Agape meal (Love feast) of lamb or vegetarian stews, nuts, olives, and wine provided in the social hall. Rev. Emily Guthrie provided an amazing welcome and homily centered on service and love, even referencing the great works of Dorothy Day.
After the meal, both communities gathered in the church and the procession began. During the washing of the feet, all were invited to have their feet washed and wash the feet of others. Numerous members expressed how moved they were by the experience. The Eucharist was concelebrated by St. Margaret’s Rev. Kym and a priest from Dignity/Washington. After communion, both communities processed the Eucharist to the Altar of Repose where a vigil was held until 6:00 the following morning.
On Good Friday members of Dignity/Northern Virginia joined Dignity/Washington for a lay led service presided by members of both communities. The narrative and reflections of the “Seven Last Words” by Rev. Richard Fairchild was read and a candle was extinguished in Tenebrae style. A traditional procession of the cross to the foot of the altar and veneration took place before communion was distributed.
Dignity/Washington celebrated the Great Vigil of Easter at 10:00 in the evening on Holy Saturday with all of the incredibly traditional and powerful grandeur. Some passers-by along Dupont Circle’s busy Connecticut Avenue even stopped to witness the lighting of the Paschal Candle.
It was an exceptionally Holy Night for the Dignity/Washington community as Jason, a young adult member, received the Sacrament of Confirmation after several months of formation and preparation. His sponsors, Kenneth and Alexander, and all in the community were invited to extend their hands during the laying of hands and anointing of his head with the Sacred Chrism. Jason chose the name “Francis” for his confirmation. After Mass, members gathered in the social hall for a late night dessert social and to present Jason with gifts.
On Sunday, February 23rd, Dignity/Washington was pleased to host Mr. Chuck Hicks, DC Black History Celebration Committee activist and librarian, for a special presentation in commemoration of Black History Month. Mr. Phil Pannell and Mr. Courtney Williams, long-time DC gay black activists, joined Mr. Hicks in speaking from their own life experiences about the history, purpose and on-going value of Black History Month. Mr. Hicks related how the month grew out of early black celebrations of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass whose birthdays both occurred in February.
Mr. Pannell praised Dignity chapters whose foundations followed closely after the 1969 Stonewall riots and drew upon the spiritually militant yet non-violent Catholic tradition of Dorothy Day and Dan and Phil Berrigan. Mr. Williams spoke about growing up as a gay black teenager at historically African-American St. Luke’s Catholic Church in NE DC and the changes in consciousness over the years about the contributions of African-Americans and LGBT individuals to the District.
This event was the latest in an ongoing special lecture series, sponsored by Dignity/Washington and was held at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, 1820 Connecticut Avenue, NW.