Happy Thanksgiving to all Bondings 2.0 readers! We hope that you have much to be thankful for this year.
At New Ways Ministry, we are particularly grateful for all those people around the globe who support us spiritually, financially, and in many other ways great and small. We are also thankful for all our blog readers and commenters. Your thoughts and reflections make this site a wonderful place for discussing Catholic LGBT issues.
Our tradition on Bondings 2.0 for Thanksgiving is to gather thoughts of gratitude New Ways Ministry’s volunteers, board members, and staff. Their reflections are below.
What are you thankful for this year, especially items that may pertain to Catholic LGBT issues? We invite you to share your items in the “Comments” section of this post.
Glen Bradley, Staff Associate:
I am thankful for all the inclusive and supportive people in my life who helped me find God’s love for everyone, including myself. I am also thankful for all the safe spaces that our LGBTQ+ siblings and allies build with great devotion, particularly those prophetic spaces in Catholicism.
Mary and Joseph Byers, Board Members:
This Thanksgiving, as all other Thanksgivings and always, we are grateful for our blended family of gay sons and straight daughters. They are a blessing to us and each other. Together they bring joy to our family and a shining example to others.
Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director:
This year, I am thankful that so many Catholics are speaking out about LGBT equality. I’ve worked in this field for 24 years, and I can’t remember a year when so much discussion has happened as in this past year. We may not have achieved our dream of full equality in church and society, but I think we have reached a point where the discussion cannot be stopped.
Sister Jeannine Gramick, SL, Co-Founder:
I am grateful that Pope Francis recently named three U.S. cardinals who smell like the sheep and are not afraid to defend their sheep. I’m thinking, in particular about Cardinal Kevin Farrell, head of the Vatican’s new Dicastery for the Laity, Family, and Life, who said he does not agree with Archbishop Chaput’s guidelines that exclude LGBT people from church ministries and same-gender couples from Communion. These “Francis bishops” give me hope for the future of the Church and LGBT ministry.
Brother Brian McLauchlin, SVD, Volunteer:
Vern Smith, Volunteer:
I am thankful for those individuals who, when treated with bigotry and injustice by the church hierarchy, have spoken out and told their stories. Many have lost their jobs or their ministries merely because they were married or came out as LGBT+. I have heard so many painful, touching, and courageous stories by those who experienced terrible treatment by their official church. They are powerful, important stories that must be heard. I am so thankful that the spirit has moved them to speak out honestly, in their own voices, bringing light to the implications of hierarchical actions.
Cristina Traina, Board Member:
I am grateful for :
1.LGBTQ Catholic groups, both local and national, especially the group at my parish, St. Nicholas, in Evanston, Illinois. Thanks to you all for your faithfulness, joy, hospitality, and visible involvement in parish life;