Spirit Day 2016: Catholics Should Go Purple!

By Glen Bradley, New Ways Ministry, October 8, 2016

New Ways Ministry encourages all of our readers to join us in participating in this year’s Spirit Day on Thursday, October 20th, 2016.

Spirit Day is an international event organized by GLAAD to raise awareness of anti-LGBT bullying and bias in schools. The first Spirit Day was in 2010, when 1.6 million Facebook users in 2010, according to ABC, joined GLAAD by integrating purple into their social media posts.

According to GLAAD, LGBT students experience high rates of bullying from both their peers and their school teachers and staff. In most cases, when bullying was reported the school staff did not intervene. The following  GLAAD visuals show specific statistics from this year’s Spirit Day Resource Kit.


Our Catholic Context

In an America magazine post days before the 2012 Spirit Day, Fr. James Martin, SJ, encouraged all Catholics, regardless of their views on LGBT equality, to take heed of Spirit Day. He told readers:

“The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us that gays and lesbians should be treated with ‘respect, compassion and sensitivity,’ and that ‘every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.’ … For Catholics overall it is an opportunity to demonstrate their ‘respect, compassion and sensitivity’ for their gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, and thus heed the call of the Catechism.”

A New Ways Ministry Campaign

New Ways Ministry has published a brochure (see below) for Catholic schools, colleges, and universities explaining Spirit Day, why Catholic schools need to participate, and connecting the mission of Spirit to the call from the Catechism. We hope that Catholic educational institutions will use this resource to both better understand the problem their LGBT students face and to take action on Spirit Day and beyond.

Click here to download a PDF of the brochure.

Participate Now!

Pledge to go purple for #SpiritDay
Wear purple on Thursday, October 20, 2016.
Join #SpiritDay on Facebook
Join New Ways Ministry’s new hashtag campaign: #LGBTmercy
Use these too:
#SpiritDayAtCatholicSchool, #SpiritDay, #SpiritDay2016, @NewWaysMinistry, @GLAAD
Tweet to your school about #SpiritDay
Tweet the pope! @Pontifex
Check out the #SpiritDay Resource Kit
Learn how to stop anti-LGBT bullying with GLAAD’s kit for students and the kit for parents and educators.
Sign up to be a #SpiritDay partner
Download the #SpiritDay App
Spread the Word
On Spirit Day, use GLAAD’s  pre-made print-outs, available here or below.


4 thoughts on “Spirit Day 2016: Catholics Should Go Purple!

  1. Friends October 8, 2016 / 8:33 am

    I have a purple t-shirt from Holy Cross (my undergraduate college) — and I’ll certainly wear it under my white dress shirt at work on the appointed day. (Out-front T-shirts of ANY color are not allowed to be worn by employees at the Salvation Army store, where I work in my semi-retirement job. I would endorse anyone in a similar “dress code” situation to do the same thing.)

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