The World Meeting of Families will open in less than a week. Despite the fact that LGBT people and issues have been for the most part shut out officially from the event, these topics will still get an airing in Philadelphia.
In the tradition of an engaged and active Catholic laity, organizers from a variety of Catholic LGBT groups are planning a week filled with events where issues and topics concerning families with LGBT members will be front and center. Though LGBT issues will not be on the World Meeting’s agenda, the scope and breadth of all the activities planned independently of the big gathering indicate how important these issues are to the Catholic laity.
The full list of Catholic LGBT activities happening in Philadelphia next week can be found by clicking here. Below, I will try to highlight just a few of them:
Equally Blessed pilgrims: As Bondings 2.0 reported earlier this summer, a group of 14 families with LGBT members will be attending the World Meeting of Families (WMF) events, and they will be available to share their family and faith journeys with other WMF participants. These 14 families, which have been meeting by phone for months to prepare for their WMF pilgrimage, are sponsored by Equally Blessed, the coalition of four national Catholic organizations that work for LGBT justice and equality (Call To Action, DignityUSA, Fortunate Families, New Ways Ministry).
In addition to a Tuesday, September 22nd to Equally Blessed will introduce the families to the public at a press conference on Tuesday, September 22, 10:00 a.m., Arch Street United Methodist Church, 55 North Broad St., Philadelphia.
Believe Out Loud The interfaith website Believe Out Loud will host a reception for Catholic partners and friends, entitled “Stations of the Cross: The Struggle for LGBT Equality, Monday, September 21, 6:00-8:00 p.m., William Way LGBT Community Center, 1315 Spruce St., Philadelphia.
“Full of Grace” 95 North Productions presents a play featuring the voices of LGBT Catholics: “Full of Grace: Journeys of LGBT Catholics,” Tuesday-Friday, September 22-25, 7:00 p.m., Christ Church Neighborhood House, 20 North American St., Philadelphia. For tickets and information visit fullofgraceplay.com.
Philadelphia LGBTQ Catholics and Allies hosts a workshop: “LGBTQ Spirituality & Catholic Identity: Future Directions and Needs,” Tuesday, September 22 and Thursday, September 24, 7:00 p.m., Arch Street United Methodist Church, 55 North Broad St., Philadelphia.
Fortunate Families sponsors “Listening Session” for parents of LGBT people, Wednesday, September 23, 7:00 p.m.,William Way LGBT Community Center, 1315 Spruce St. Philadelphia.
Call To Action hosts “Conversation and Cake” coffeehouse for young adults in their 20s and 30s, Friday, September 25, 7:00 p.m. Another young adult social with snacks will be held on Saturday, September 26, 9:00 p.m. Both events are at Arch Street United Methodist Church, 55 North Broad St., Philadelphia.
New Ways Ministry sponsors a workshop, “TransForming Love: Exploring Gender Identity from Catholic Perspectives,” Saturday, September 26, 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Arch Street United Methodist Church, 55 North Broad St., Philadelphia.
Keystone Catholics hosts “LGBT Family Papal Picnic,” Saturday, September 26, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., John C. Anderson Apartments courtyard, 251 South 13th Street, Philadelphia.
Dignity/Philadelphia holds their weekly liturgy, Sunday, September 27, 7:00 p.m., St. Luke and the Epiphany, 330 S. 13th St., Philadelphia.
More news and opinion about the World Meeting of Families coming in a post later today.
–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry