Lesbian and Queer Religious: Our Sacred Stories Continue

A dialogue among lesbian/queer religious and members of congregations of women religious

March 18-20, 2022

Siena Retreat Center, 5637 Erie St, Racine, WI 53402

Conference Description

Love Tenderly: Sacred Stories of Lesbian and Queer Religious is an anthology written by twenty-three vowed women religious who embrace their sexual identity as lesbian or queer. Queer? What is this new terminology emerging from gender studies? Several authors of the book will discuss their sexual/gender identification and the impact of this anthology for themselves and their communities. Participants will explore the meaning of queer, transgender, intersex, other gender identifications, and the facets of a person’s psychosexual-spiritual journey.

Pre-Conference Retreat Day for Lesbian/Queer Sisters

This retreat day, Friday, March 18, 2022, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm, is an open and safe space for lesbian/queer sisters to listen, share, and pray. Arrival and overnight Thursday, March 17, plus Friday breakfast and lunch: $100 in addition to conference fee. With no overnight or Friday breakfast, with only Friday lunch: $50 in addition to conference fee.

Conference Speakers

Susan Becker is a 60-year member of the Sisters of the Divine Compassion, White Plains, NY. Sue is a clinical social worker in private practice and serves as the Interfaith Chaplain at Pace University Pleasantville, NY. Since September 2020, she has been in congregational leadership.

Julie Brown has been a Sister of Mercy for more than 40 years and is a Sister Life Minister within her community. Julie identifies as non-binary/queer and is a strong advocate for those who are marginalized within the Roman Catholic Church.

Jeanne Christensen serves as the Justice Advocate against Human Trafficking for the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas and is a founding member of the Board of U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking. Jean is a member of the Board of Directors of the College of St. Mary in Omaha, Nebraska.

Fran Fasolka entered the Scranton IHM Congregation in 1993 as an out lesbian. She began the “Lesters” listserv in the mid-90s as a safe place for lesbian sisters to connect with and encourage each other. Fran wishes to continue to support lesbian and queer sisters.

Diana Rawlings is a member of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, U.S. Region. She has served her community in leadership and as vocation director. She is currently a member of the ASC Community Life Team and has participated in the Womanjourney retreats and conferences since 2001.

Registration & Logistics

Schedule: To view the conference schedule, click here.


$249: Conference (from Friday supper to Sunday lunch)

$349: Conference + Pre-conference retreat (includes Thursday overnight, Friday breakfast and lunch)

$299: Conference + Pre-conference retreat (no Thursday overnight or Friday breakfast

Donations to the Scholarship Fund are most welcome.

Scholarships: To apply, email [email protected] or write New Ways Ministry by March 1, 2022.

Cancellation Policy: $25 cancellation fee

When Making Flight Plans: We will try to provide transportation to/from the Milwaukee Airport, which is 30 minutes from Siena Retreat Center. Please try to arrange flights as follows: arrive at airport by 4:00 pm on Friday, March 18 and depart after 3:00 pm on Sunday, March 20.

Register by Mail: To submit your registration via mail, click here and complete the form on the brochure. Please mail to 4012 29th St, Mount Rainier, MD 20712.

Questions? Please call 301-864-3604 or email [email protected]

Registration Form