What we do

We offer an array of educational, spiritual, and pastoral programming. You are invited to attend an upcoming program, a listing of which you can find here. If you would like to schedule a program at your parish, school, or institution, please contact us here.

Programs

Bondings

New Ways Ministry provides daily news and commentary on Catholic LGBT issues through our blog, Bondings. The blog has been cited by media outlets including Religion News Service, the National Catholic Reporter, The Advocate, and Religion Dispatches, and by other LGBT organizations, including the leading Christian LGBT website, Believe Out Loud.

Bridge Building Award

The Board of New Ways Ministry instituted the Bridge Building Award to acknowledge those individuals who by their scholarship, leadership or witness have promoted discussion, understanding, and reconciliation between the LGBT community and the Catholic Church. The first recipient was Rev. Charles Curran in 1992.

The Bridge Building Award contains the icon, “Christ the Bridegroom,” designed by Robert Lentz. He describes the icon thus: Image result for Robert Lentz, christ the bridegroom

Old Testament Prophets and mystics ever since, have searched for ways to describe God’s love for humankind. They have compared God to father, mother, bridegroom, lover. Bridegroom was how many mystics thought of Christ in the high Middle Ages. This icon depicts Christ as the royal bridegroom, together with St. John the Evangelist, an intimate friend. In the Christian scheme of things, love is the only path to God, and God is called Love.

William of St. Thierry, a 12th century monk, summed up the spiritual life in this way: “You first loved us so that we might love you. And that was not because you needed to be loved by us, but because we could not be what you created us to be except by loving you.”

The award plaque was produced by a company in Burlington, Vermont, named appropriately: Bridge Building Images.

RECIPIENTS OF THE BRIDGE BUILDING AWARD

1992                Reverend Charles E. Curran

1995                Bishop Thomas Gumbleton

2002                Sister Margaret Farley, RSM

2005                Mary Ellen & Casey Lopata

2009                John McNeill

2016                Reverend James Martin, SJ

Catholic Parents Network Retreat Program

Since the 1990s, the Catholic Parents Network program has sponsored retreats for parents with LGBT children. Gradually, the retreats have welcomed LGBT Catholics and pastoral ministers, as well as parents. These retreats have been held in Catholic retreat facilities throughout the East and Midwest.  For past retreats, click on the month and year below.

November 2018: New Language for Old Truths

Gay Priests and Religious

New Ways Ministry sponsors retreats and conference for gay priests, religious brothers, deacons, and their congregational leaders and formation/vocation ministers. Retreats have been held in New Mexico, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.

2018: Living in Truth: The Call to Authenticity

Connecting Catholic Parishes Program

New Ways Ministry sponsors meetings with priests and pastoral ministers who serve in LGBT friendly parishes in the same region. New Ways Ministry has connected parishes in the Boston area, Chicago area, Denver area, Tennessee, and Florida.

Equally Blessed Program

New Ways Ministry is a partner organization of Equally Blessed, a coalition project with Dignity, Fortunate Families, and Call to Action. Monthly conference calls and yearly in-person meetings are held to work on common projects and public statements, which have appeared in social and print media.

History Program

Since 1978, New Ways Ministry has chronicled the history of LGBT ministry in the Catholic Church. This is done, in part, through a paper newsletter called Bondings, which is published seasonally. We have continued this project of archiving news and opinion on Catholic LGBT issues through our blog, Bondings 2.0.

HIV-AIDS Support Program

New Ways Ministry has provided spiritual support for persons with HIV/AIDS and their caregivers by sponsoring retreats.

International Program

The International Program promotes LGBT education beyond the United States. In 2015, New Ways Ministry participated in a gathering of reform organizations in Limerick, gave public interviews supporting marriage equality in Ireland before their referendum, delivered presentations during the Prague Pride celebrations in the Czech Republic, helped to organize and participate in the founding meeting of the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics in Rome, and reported on LGBT topics from the Bishops’ Synod on the Family in Rome. Previously, New Ways Ministry hosted delegations of LGBT leaders from Belarus, Poland, and Venezuela, met Salvadoran leaders and spoke at the first national conference on LGBT human rights in El Salvador, spoke at the Fifth Convention of La Asociación Internacional de Familias por la Diversidad Sexual (International Association of Sexually Diverse Families) in Lima, Peru.

Marriage Equality Education Program

The Marriage Equality Education Program educates Catholics and opinion leaders that Catholic theologians and laity strongly support civil marriage rights for committed same-sex couples. New Ways Ministry produced a booklet entitled Marriage Equality: A Positive Catholic Approach. Education has been conducted around the U.S., particularly in Washington, Maine, Delaware, and Maryland.

Networking Program

New Ways Ministry networks with other Catholic and LGBT organizations. These include the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, Call to Action, the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics, Call To Action, DignityUSA, Fortunate Families, Pax Christi, PFLAG, Catholic Volunteer Network, the Ignatian Family of Jesuit Colleges, Equality Forum, and members of the Catholic Organizations for Renewal.

Next Steps-Training Program

The Next Steps-Training Program guides those interested in LGBT ministry to develop models in their communities. Trainings have been held in several cities around the U.S., as well as in London, England.

Pilgrimage Program

The Pilgrimage Program provides spiritually-oriented travel for LGBT Catholics, their parents, friends, and other interested persons.

2019          Spiritual Gems of Belgium and Germany

2016          Ireland: Land of Rainbows and Wedding Bells

2015          “Rebuild My Church” – Rome, Assisi and Florence

2014          The Holy Land: Ancient and New

2011          Spiritual Treasures of Northern Italy

2009          El Salvador: Land of Martyrs

2008          Along Italian Roads, Ancient and New

2006          Spiritual Sojourn to Southern Spain

2005          The Catholic Treasures of Austria and Bavaria

2003          Eastern Europe

2001          Jordan and Egypt

2000          Spain and Fatima

1999          France

1998          Greece and Turkey

1997          Rome, Assisi and Florence

1996          Holy Land

Publications Project

The staff of New Ways Ministry publishes articles in the mainstream media and produces and distributes its own publications. These include Always Our Children, Homosexuality: A Positive Catholic Perspective, In Good Conscience, Out of Silence God Has Called Me, and Marriage Equality: A Positive Catholic Approach.

Symposium Program

Every five years, New Ways Ministry sponsors a symposium especially designed to educate Church leaders and ministers, and LGBT people and their supports on the latest theological developments and pastoral practices in LGBT ministry.

2017 – Justice & Mercy Shall Kiss: LGBT Catholics in the Age of Pope Francis

Held in Chicago, IL. Around 300 church leaders attend. Bishops John Stowe and Thomas Gumbleton, Rev. Bryan Massingale, Leslie C. Griffin, Lisa Fullam and Frank Mugisha are some of the speakers.

2012 – From Water to Wine: Lesbian/Gay Catholics and Relationships

Held in Baltimore, MD. Around 400 church leaders attend. Martin O’Malley – Govenor of Maryland – speaks along with Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Patricia Jung, Luke Timothy Johnson and Richard Rodriguez.

2007 – Lesbian/Gay Catholics in a Sacramental Church

Held in Minneapolis, MN.  About 100 Catholic organizations endorse the symposium, and over 550 church leaders attend.  Archbishop Francis Hurley of Anchorage, AK, and Bishop Joseph Sullivan of Brooklyn, NY, speak on a panel.

2002 – Out of Silence God Has Called Us: Lesbian/Gay Issues and the Vatican II Church

Held in Louisville, KY.  More than 100 Catholic organizations endorse the symposium, and over 500 church leaders attend.

1997 – The Church Teaching/Teaching the Church

Held in Pittsburgh.  More than 100 Catholic organizations endorse the symposium, and over 650 Catholic leaders attend.

1992 – Lesbian and Gay People and Catholicism: The State of the Question

Held in Chicago.  Over 450 Catholic leaders attend.  Three bishops – William Hughes of Covington, KY, Kenneth Untener of Saginaw, MI, and Thomas Gumbleton of Detroit, MI – speak on pastoral care of lesbian/gay people.

1986 – Homosexuality in the Priesthood and Religious Life

Held in Washington, DC, San Francisco and St. Louis in 1985 and 1986.  Over 300 church people attend.

1981 – Homosexuality and the Catholic Church

Held in Minneapolis, MN.  About 100 Catholic organizations endorse the symposium, and over 550 church leaders attend.  Archbishop Francis Hurley of Anchorage, AK, and Bishop Joseph Sullivan of Brooklyn, NY, speak on a panel.

Transgender Education Project

New Ways Ministry sponsors workshops and educational sessions about transgender issues. Programs have been held in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington, DC, and Illinois. In 2014, New Ways Ministry testified in support of a Maryland state bill banning discrimination based on gender identity.

Womanjourney Weavings Program

The Womanjourney Weavings Program is a program of support and education for lesbian sisters, congregational leaders, and formation/vocation ministers. Through conferences, a newsletter, and a listserv, the Womanjourney project networks lesbian sisters and their congregational leaders. Between 2005 and 2008, yearly conferences were held at the Dominican Retreat Center in Racine. Between 2010 and 2015, conferences were held at Catholic retreat facilities in the West and East. In 2016, the conference returned to the Midwest.

November 2018: Gracious Embodiment: Embracing a Capacious Sexuality