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.
Palm Sunday Weekend - On Saturday, April 12th, Dignity/Washington will be doing the Stations of the Cross at 11:00 AM, at the Franciscan Monastery (14th & Quincy Streets, NE). Those planning to attend are asked to please gather at the main entrance to the Monastery at 10:45 AM. Following the Stations, all are invited to join us for lunch nearby. On Sunday, April 13th, we will celebrate Palm Sunday at our regular time of 6:00 PM at St. Margaret’s Church.
Holy Thursday - On Thursday, April 17th, Dignity/Washington will have the following schedule of joint services with the congregation of, and at, St. Margaret’s Church: 6:30 PM Liturgy of the Word; 7:00 Passover Meal; 7:45 PM Washing of the Feet & Eucharist; and, 8:30 PM to 6:00 AM Repose of the Blessed Sacrament Vigil. (Please note that those planning to participate in the Passover meal must RSVP to the Chair of our Liturgy Committee.)
Good Friday - On Friday, April 18th, Dignity/Washington will have a 7:30 PM Veneration of the Cross & Communion Service at St. Margaret’s Church.
Holy Saturday - On Saturday, April 19th, Dignity/Washington will have a 10:00 PM Easter Vigil Mass at St. Margaret’s Church.
Easter Sunday - On Sunday, April 20th, we will celebrate Easter at our regular time of 6:00 PM at St. Margaret’s Church.
On Sunday, June 9th, Washington’s “Capital Pride” Day, Dignity/Washington is pleased and proud to announce a very special guest homilist for our 6:00 PM Sunday Mass – Maryland State Delegate Heather Mizeur. Delegate Mizeur, who is Catholic and one of Maryland’s eight openly gay legislators, represents Takoma Park and Silver Spring in the Maryland General Assembly. Mizeur has been a visible leader in efforts to secure marriage equality and other protections for LGBT families, culminating in 2012’s successful campaign to have marriage equality legislation passed and signed into law in Maryland.
Dignity/Washington, the LGBT Catholic organization serving the nation’s capital, holds its weekly Sunday evening Mass at St. Margaret’s Church, which is located at 1820 Connecticut Avenue, NW (in the Dupont Circle neighborhood). All are cordially invited and welcome to join the members of our congregation for our 6:00 PM Pride Day Mass on June 9th, and hear what we know will be Delegate Mizeur’s very positive message to the DC area’s LGBT Catholic community.
See the Facebook Event for more information.
Dignity/Washington continues to collect and review data relating to its current mission and priorities and redefine them in a future-oriented and systematic process. Further steps were taken in an all-day Strategic Learning and Planning Day held on April 22nd at the Dignity Center, led by Chris Pett, a professional consultant/facilitator and Dignity/Chicago member, who was hired by the community’s Board.
Twenty-five members were present, evenly divided between Board and non-Board members. Building on the Final Presentation of the Hilltop Consultants from Georgetown University’s School of Business, delivered in December 2011, and new input from those present, the group saw the community’s top priority as expanding and enlarging the community through a concerted campaign to women, racial/ethnic minorities and young adults. The motivation and impetus for this ambitious enterprise was clearly the common desire to introduce and share the joy and the support of Dignity/Washington’s community life with a wider audience. In the months ahead the campaign will draw on resources and expertise from community, and non-community, members, will utilize a multi-pronged marketing and media strategy, and programs and events targeted to the various under-represented groups. Stay tuned for more details.
by Henry Huot, Dignity/Washington Board member
On March 10, 2012 over sixty friends of Saint Joseph were convened by Dignity/Washington to honor him near his March 19 Feast Day with a traditional banquet in the Sicilian style, complete with a festive procession of flags and icons, a beautiful liturgy of music, Scripture reading, litany and blessing, a wonderful home-cooked Italian dinner of rich food and pastries, a film retrospective entitled “The Irish in Movies” and live entertainment by Celtic musicians “Hangman’s Faire” (yes, there was some infiltration of the ranks by the sons and daughters of Saint Patrick). The proceeds of a 50/50 raffle benefited the ministries of the Dignity/Washington community. “To you, O Blessed Joseph, we have recourse . . . . Shield us under your patronage that, following your example, and strengthened by your help, we may live a holy life, die a happy death, and attain to everlasting bliss in heaven (taken from a traditional prayer).”
Pictures from the annual St. Joseph’s Day Dinner and celebration held Saturday, March 10, 2012.