Renowned Jesuit author James Martin, SJ, has tweeted his support for Spirit Day, a national event where people will be wearing purple to show their support for LGBT youth who face bullying.
In anticipation of the event on October 19th, Fr. Martin tweeted the following message:
New campaign to end bullying against LGBT youth seeks Catholic support : catholics4spiritday.wordpress.com
The WordPress address is a specifically Catholic effort to get individuals and organizations to participate in Spirit Day this year. They are asking people and parishes to endorse the following statement:
We, the undersigned, pledge our support for Spirit Day. We pledge our support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth who have been victims of bullying, so as to let them know that they are truly created in the image of God and they are loved.
“At the center of all Catholic social teaching are the transcendence of God and the dignity of the human person. The human person is the clearest reflection of God’s presence in the world; all of the Church’s work in pursuit of both justice and peace is designed to protect and promote the dignity of every person. For each person not only reflects God, but is the expression of God’s creative work and the meaning of Christ’s redemptive ministry.”
– The Challenge of Peace, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1983
As a symbol of our support, we pledge to wear purple to Mass on Sunday, October 14 at parishes across the country.
We believe that our Catholic faith provides a solid basis for standing up against bullying and working to ensure that our schools are safe for all students without exception. Catholic social teaching reminds us that bullying is wrong.
New Ways Ministry has endorsed Spirit Day, as well as the following national and regional Catholic groups: the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Ministry with Lesbian & Gay Catholics, the Catholic Association for Lesbian and Gay Ministry, DignityUSA, Fortunate Families, and Church of St. Francis Xavier in New York City.
In addition to being culture editor at America magazine, Fr. Martin is a frequent contributor for CNN, NPR, Fox News, Time Magazine, and The New York Times. Fr. Martin also has the distinction of being the “Chaplain to the Colbert Nation” on Comedy Central’s Colbert Report. He is also the author of the popular spirituality books: My life with the Saints, The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything, and Between Heaven and Mirth.
While wearing purple on October 19th is the primary way to participate in Spirit Day, many churches, synagogues, and other religious organizations will be preaching about the event on the Sunday preceding October 19th. For other ways to get involved in preparing for Spirit Day, click here.
Let’s hope and pray that thousands of Catholic individuals, parishes, and organizations will take part in this event!
–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry