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
– by Tom Bower and John Fegan, Events Co-Chairmen
Dignity/Washington is celebrating its fortieth anniversary this year. We are among four Chapters celebrating in 2012 forty years of bringing good news and renewed life to the Catholic Church and LGBT community. Our plans include several events throughout the year. We welcome individuals from other Chapters who might wish to join us. Our theme will be to embrace our history, honor our present activities, and look forward to our future.
Right now we are creating a brochure and a banner to be used throughout the year. The design for the banner will be revealed at our St. Joseph’s Day dinner on 10 March. Since our first Mass as a Dignity Chapter was held on Pentecost in 1972, we will be commemorating this milestone on May 27, Pentecost Sunday, with a special liturgy. Then, on the weekend of June 9-10, we are participating in DC’s Pride events as a Community Partner. We’ll have a float and large contingent in the Saturday parade and a booth at the Sunday festival. Please check the D/W website for more details as the year proceeds.
On Saturday evening, December 1, we will be having a gala dinner celebration at a panoramic dining room on The George Washington University. This will be a home coming of sorts as the chapter had its first regular meetings at the Newman Center on the GWU campus. There will be a Mass, cocktail reception and silent auction, and then we’ll gather for dinner and entertainment.
John Fegan and Tom Bower are co-chairing these events with much help from other Chapter members. Please contact John at (202) 291-2277 or at email@example.com or contact Tom at (202) 986-0917 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
We hope to see as many of you as possible at these events.