“Going to Wings”: A Catholic Lesbian’s Memoir of Coming Out

Sandra Worsham

Today’s post is from guest blogger Sandra Worsham, author of  Going to Wings, the memoir of her coming out as a Catholic lesbian.  (published by Third Lung Press, August, 2017, available at independent bookstores and on Amazon.com)

“The struggle of the gay Christian’s complicated effort to reconcile sexuality and faith is often overlooked by church leaders and more secular gays. But it is a complex, and deeply engaging journey.”     –George Hodgman, author of Bettyville

It has taken me seventy years to write my “coming out” memoir, Going to Wings, because I had to live it in order to write it. When I was twenty-seven years old, I tried to tell my mother that I was gay. That day of “The Telling” was a dividing point in my life. My mother’s reaction was so bad that I couldn’t follow through with my decision to be public. She said that she would have to move away, that she couldn’t live in our town if I was going to be gay.

From that day forward, and for the next thirty years, I tried to change myself. I decided that day that I would not be gay and that I would be “as good as I could be.” I would never have to feel guilty again. That period was the beginning of my leaving the Baptist Church and becoming a Catholic. The Catholic Church, I believed then, would tell me in no uncertain terms what was right and what was wrong. Not to be gay would be “right.” At age twenty-seven, I gave myself to the Catholic Church. For twenty-five years I played the organ for the Saturday night vigil, and I cantored the Psalm. Singing the Psalms was my way of praying. And I formed a close celibate relationship with my good Catholic friend, “Teeny.”

After my mother, and later, Teeny, died, I realized that for all those years, I had buried a part of myself. I got on Match.com and met someone. I began to explore all of me, even the part that I had hidden. I met Letha and, on Valentine’s Day, 2010, we were legally and spiritually married at the Second Congregational Church in Bennington, Vermont. That summer we had a wedding reception at our home in Milledgeville, Georgia, complete with a tiered cake and a guest list of over fifty people, straight and gay. I didn’t send my parish priest an invitation, but someone in the church showed him hers. She needed the priest to tell her that it would be “all right” if she attended. He told her no, that her attendance would signify approval. Then he called me into the rectory and fired me from playing the organ. This priest, who had only been at our church for a few months, didn’t know me, and he didn’t know about my many years of faithfulness to the church. Yet, I hung my head in shame and left the rectory.

As I left, he called out to me, “You and Letha are welcome to worship with us.”

I stopped and turned, “Can I receive the Eucharist?”

“Well, no, not that,” he said.

Letha and I tried to find a church together. But on the Sundays that she didn’t go with me, I knew that no church was going to give me the close feeling I had to Jesus that I had found in the Catholic Church. Yet, I was not welcome to receive communion, and I could no longer play the organ. Finally, after several years of trying other churches, I went back to talk to the priest. I told him that I was angry with him, that I needed to forgive him, and that I wanted to come back. I told him that I wanted to receive the Eucharist. He asked me if I could go to one of the surrounding churches, but not to ours. “Where you went wrong,” he said to me, “was making it public.”

I talked with Sister Jeannine Gramick from New Ways Ministry who told me that the priest could not refuse me if I came to him in the communion line. “They are not supposed to presume,” she said. She told me that my going to communion might make the priest feel uncomfortable but that he would get used to it. I talked with the priest again before I went back to communion, not in the confessional, but in a face-to-face conversation. I told him that I had missed mass for a long time. I told him that I had tried to join the Reformation. I did not refute my marriage, I did not express sorrow for being in a gay relationship, and I did not ask his permission to receive the Eucharist.

Sister Jeannine told me that I had a mission:  the more people I told about being gay,  the more tolerant people would become. But she warned me that things would not be easy, that the servant could not expect more than the Master. Many times when I go to mass, the priest seems to rise up like a big black shadow with wide bat wings, obscuring my view of the altar. I keep reminding myself that there is hope in Pope Francis.

Letha and I are happy. We have a good marriage. I sit in my chair and read and write. She draws intricate designs on a pad. I’ve written my story as a book, Going to Wings  which has been published, and the enthusiasm and support have been overwhelming. I have told my story, and Letha designed the cover.

What about the title Going to Wings? On Tuesdays we meet our friends for dinner at The Brick, a restaurant in downtown Milledgeville, Georgia. When they first invited us to come to “Wings,” I thought, Cool! An expression of new-found freedom!

“Nope!” they said. “The chicken wings are cheap on Tuesdays.”

But for me, “Going to Wings” means a lot more than that.

–Sandra Worsham, September 15, 2017

 

Advertisements

Seminary Cancels Fr. Martin’s Talk Due to Criticism of His LGBT Book

The following is a statement by Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director, New Ways Ministry, in response to the decision by a national Catholic seminary to disinvite Fr. James Martin, SJ, due to criticism of his new book on LGBT issues.

Theological College, a national seminary in Washington, D.C., has delivered a devastating blow to the Catholic Church, academic freedom, and pastoral outreach to LGBT people by canceling the speaking engagement of Jesuit Father James Martin because some social media sites have criticized his book, Building a Bridge, which encourages dialogue between the institutional church and the LGBT community.

The decision is an impotent one in which the seminary’s leaders reveal that they are powerless to stand up to commentators whose views are beyond the mainstream of Catholic thought. It reveals cowardice on the part of the seminary’s administrators who do not have integrity to withstand pressure from outside forces, and instead opt for censorship instead of discussion.

Fr. James Martin, SJ
Unless it reverses its decision, Theological College’s renown as an academic institution is irreparably damaged.  Worse yet, the decision does great damage to the tenuous relationship between the Catholic Church and the LGBT community which Fr. Martin’s book has already been strengthening. Scores of Catholic parishes and colleges have welcomed Fr. Martin to speak since the publication of Building a Bridge.

It is astonishing that the seminary leaders did not side with the two cardinals and a bishop who praised Fr. Martin’s book as it was being published.  One of those cardinals, Kevin Farrell, is the head of Congregation for Laity, Family, and Life at the Vatican.  Indeed, Fr. Martin himself is a Vatican consultor on communications.  What could possibly motivate the seminary rector, Fr. Gerald McBrearity, to feel that he could not let a speaker with the impressive credentials and Vatican approval that Fr. Martin has to speak in an academic setting?

This decision is ludicrous for two other reasons.  First,  Fr. Martin was not scheduled to speak on the book in question or on the area of LGBT issues. He, instead, was speaking on his book about the historical Jesus and the Christ of faith. Second, by his own acknowledgement, and the reviews of many scholars, Building a Bridge is a mild book, whose most strong claim is that Church leaders should treat LGBT people with “respect, compassion, and sensitivity”–ideals which are demanded by Catholic doctrine in the Catechism.

Theological College’s statement said that Fr. McBrearity made the decision “in the interest of avoiding distraction and controversy.”  Based on those criteria, the decision is an epic failure as, in fact, it will attract more controversy than Fr. Martin’s speaking appearance would ever have done. It tarnishes the reputation of the school and of the Catholic Church in the U.S.  It makes Catholic leaders look censorious and small-minded.  Indeed, almost everyone in the Catholic Church has been discussing LGBT issues over the past decade.  Why should a book whose aim is reconciliation on this topic be cause for barring a celebrated author from speaking?

Since its publication early this summer, Fr. Martin’s Building a Bridge was reaching a wide audience of church leaders, including many bishops.  In my travels to several Catholic professional and ecclesial conferences these past few months, everyone said they had read, were reading, or intended to read the book.  All who had read it spoke of its great value. Instead of being a danger to the church, all saw it as a great gift. Despite this setback, the conversation on LGBT issues in the church to which Building a Bridge has given new life will still continue.

Fr. Martin is experiencing the rejection of many who speak out prophetically.  It is the same rejection experienced by millions of Jesus’ followers and, indeed, by Jesus Himself. For the sake of Fr. Martin, for Catholic academics, and for LGBT Catholics, we pray this sorry and shameful action by Theological College will soon be reversed.

To ask Theological College to reverse its decision disinviting Fr. Martin, write to:

Reverend Gerald McBrearity, Rector

Theological College

401 Michigan Avenue, NE

Washington, DC 20017

Phone:  202-756-4907

Email:  olkiewicz@cua.edu

Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry, September 16, 2017

 

Students Resist Catholic School’s Anti-Marriage Equality Program

Students and parents at an Australian Catholic school have resisted administrators’ decision to host a program where the presenters advocated that people vote against marriage equality in the nation’s non-binding plebiscite on that issue, which is now underway.

1505380420199
Pro-marriage equality signs posted by students

Officials at St. Brigid’s College, Lesmurdie, a high school in Western Australia, invited a Christian group called “Loving for Life” to lead a sexual education program for 11th and 12th graders. Students claim the presenters urged the registered voters among them to vote “No” in the plebiscite.  Students have responded by posting pro-marriage equality signs around the school.

A St. Brigid’s parent told WA News that “kids came out of the program saying it seemed they were urged to vote no, and they were obviously pretty upset.” The parent added:

“‘They said they were told about how marriage should be between a man and a woman and why that’s the case, and of course there’s a few girls in the class who are gay, and they said they just felt completely unsupported by their school. . .Why would they come out to the school the week the postal vote was sent out? I don’t believe [it was a coincidence] for a second.'”

A student said presenters framed the program as an “open discussion,” but “any time that one of us had our own opinions. . .we were shut down, ignored and told we were wrong.” Parents were also upset that no consent form had been sent to them, as is standard for sexual education.

Both Loving for Life and St. Brigid’s administrators are denying the program’s content deviated from the normal presentation to include anything on marriage equality. Dr. Amelia Toffoli, the principal, said:

“‘The College has no intention of influencing individual family decisions in relation to the Marriage Equality postal survey, nor does it endorse programs that are intended to politicise important social matters affecting its community’. . .

“‘St Brigid’s College seeks to provide a learning environment that supports students to develop as critical thinkers, who are able to consider and respect diverse viewpoints and contribute meaningfully to their communities whilst understanding Catholic teaching on important issues, such as the Church’s teaching on marriage.'”

Whether administrators intended to influence students’ views on marriage equality or not, hosting an LGBT-negative program at this moment was an insensitive decision. The plebiscite now underway has prompted a heated and sometimes nasty debate, including the public posting of neo-Nazi literature targeting LGBT parents. This moment is therefore one in which Catholic schools should be especially supportive of LGBT and questioning students.

If St. Brigid’s administrators need a model for how to provide this support, they can look to other Catholic schools in Australia. For example, rectors at Xavier College in Melbourne and Saint Ignatius’ College in Sydney called on their school communities to discern carefully about how they will vote in the plebiscite. In addition, Trinity Catholic College in New South Wales recently welcomed two transgender students and provided them necessary accommodations.

Beyond officials’ actions, however, are students’ actions to be inclusive. Faced with programming that was not inclusive and may have created an unsafe environment, St. Brigid’s students affirmed clearly the goodness of LGBT people and their relationships. In their resistance, we can all find hope for the future.

Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, September 15, 2017

Fr. James Martin Responds to Vile Attacks with Integrity and Solidarity

Fr. James Martin, SJ, has received a variety of different responses to his recent book on LGBT issues in the Catholic church (Building A Bridge). One recent exchange on social media revealed just how harsh and childish some critics can be, and how well Martin is choosing to respond.

James Martin cropped
Fr. James Martin, SJ

Austin Ruse, who writes for the alt-right website Breitbart and is president of a right-wing organization (which used to be identified as Catholic but has since become secular) that opposes LGBT equality, attacked Martin on Twitter recently. According to the National Catholic Reporter, Ruse used harsh anti-gay slurs, and said the priest was leading lesbian and gay people to hell.

Ruse’s comments were a response to another Twitter controversy during which the conservative website CatholicVote.org had tweeted, “And then this Dominican showed up and started beating @JamesMartinSJ like a rented mule. The crowd went wild.”

But against such vile language and even the implicit threat of violence, Fr. Martin has responded with integrity and solidarity. He explained his decision to respond on Facebook:

“I almost never engage with hateful social media comments. But this time was different. For me, it represented, in the first place, the crossing of a line by a prominent Catholic website (the encouragement of violence even in a joking way is beyond the pale); and in the second, a teachable moment brought about by a slur (‘pansy’), about homophobia in our church, even in high echelons.”

In another Facebook post, Martin acknowledged that LGBT people face “hatred and contempt” every day and he hoped that through the support of community he would try to”make them feel like beloved children of God.”

Michael Sean Winters of the National Catholic Reporter defended Martin as a “gifted spiritual writer” and “gentle soul,” while calling Ruse a white nationalist “fire-eater.” He stated:

“To most American Catholics, Martin is one of the sons in whom we take the most pride, a churchman who helps others grow in their relationship with the church and with its head, Jesus, a priest who makes ancient traditions accessible to modern readers. And, to those of us who have known him as a colleague, the private Fr. Martin shines with the same wit and holiness and pastoral solicitude as the readers encounter in his writing. He is a treasure and his works will be read long after the fire-eaters have been forgotten.”

MartinInclusion.jpgWinters’ defense of Martin is especially important since the columnist disagreed with parts of the priest’s book.  Winters said Building a Bridge was “not my favorite book” on homosexuality, and like other reviewers quibbled with Martin’s decision to forgo any discussion of sexual ethics. Winters also said he thinks there are theological hurdles to the LGBT discussion and “some of those hurdles may prove insurmountable.”

 

A wide spectrum of reviewers have critiqued Building a Bridge, from Jamie Manson of the National Catholic Reporter to Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia. But despite these critiques, Martin’s book is having an impact on the church. He has used it to breathe new life into the conversation on LGBT issues in the church, and has likely opened the eyes (and possibly hearts) of Catholics who might be less affirming of LGBT people. If nothing else, he is using his high profile platform to help eradicate in the church the kind of hate speech used by Ruse and those faithful like him. For his efforts, Winters is right: Martin will surely be remembered long after his vile critics are forgotten.

Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, September 14, 2017

Andrew Sullivan: Nashville Statement Is ‘Suicidal’

“The Nashville Statement,” the Evangelical anti-LGBTI manifesto which made headlines recently, has been roundly denounced by many religious leaders in other Christian denominations. Instead of persuading others to join their bandwagon, the authors of the document seem to have repelled many religious-minded people.  Their over-the-top reach to use Scriptures, natural law, and what they believe they know of the mind of God has backfired and they have ended up isolating themselves more than accomplishing anything else.

Andrew Sullivan

Catholic gay writer Andrew Sullivan critiqued “The Nashville Statement” (“NS”) recently in an essay for NYMag.com entitled “The Religious Right’s Suicidal Gay Obsession.”  His thoughts provide some good ways to argue against the kind of rhetoric that the statement exemplifies.  This is especially important to note since, though no Catholic leaders signed the statement, the same rhetoric often appears in Catholic discourse about LGBTI issues.

Sullivan starts off with a familiar argument:  why pick only on LGBTI people?  He writes that after one reads “NS”:

“. . . [Y]you immediately wonder if the statement is going to condemn divorce or contraception or multiple successive marriages or pornography or masturbation or countless other questions of sexual morality that heterosexuals grapple with. And you can search the document for any thoughts on these questions. In fact, it has almost nothing to say to 97 percent of humanity on sexual matters.

 “What it does instead is condemn the 3 percent.”
I have never read a satisfactory response to this kind of argument.  I don’t believe there is one.
But Sullivan goes deeper, hitting on the core of the “NS’ ” structure, which, he observes is to make LGBTI people invisible.  He points out that the authors try to deny that LGBTI identity exists:
“[The Nashville Statement] erases our self-understanding entirely. Money quote: ‘We deny that adopting a homosexual or transgender self-conception is consistent with God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption.’ It is not just what we do that these Evangelical leaders object to; it is who we are. Our very ‘self-conception’ is a defiance of God’s will. We sure aren’t part of nature, even though scientists have observed variations on the sexual norm in countless other species.”
What I found most interesting about Sullivan’s commentary is that he uses the example of intersex people (those born with both male and female biological characteristics) as the linchpin to topple all of “NS’ ” arguments.  Sullivan writes:
“When nature produces intersex people, the Evangelicals therefore have a bit of a problem. It’s very hard to simply say that intersex people have chosen some kind of sin by being neither male nor female, because their identity cannot simply be ascribed to their minds and souls, but to their bodies. Nature, i.e. God, surely made them. So what does the statement say? ‘We affirm that those born with a physical disorder of sex development are created in the image of God and have dignity and worth equal to all other image-bearers. They are acknowledged by our Lord Jesus in his words about “eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb.” With all others they are welcome as faithful followers of Jesus Christ and should embrace their biological sex insofar as it may be known.’ I’m afraid to say I actually chuckled at this obvious cop-out. Even when confronted with the undeniable visible fact that God does not always create human beings who are clearly male or female, they simply say: Well, they are. Pick one.”
Sullivan very pointedly sums up the blindness inherent in this kind of thinking:
“What Evangelicals cannot seem to accept is the possibility that for the vast majority of humankind, male and female self-conception does indeed come completely naturally, that it is clearly integral to humanity’s reproduction and rearing of the next generation, that the sexes are indeed complementary rather than interchangeable … but that this is not the entire story. A small minority does not quite fit this rubric. God’s creation — a function, we now know, of evolution and natural selection — is more complex, and more wonderful and diverse, than most of us used to understand.”
I would add that a number of Catholic leaders also have problems accepting this reality.
Sullivan concludes by noting that the Evangelical thinking in “NS” is basically “suicidal,” because the younger generation is so far ahead of this anti-LGBTI mindset:
“I believe that for an entire generation, this question is a litmus test for whether Christianity really is about love, and whether the Gospels (which have nothing to say about homosexuality) should even get a hearing. I can date my own niece’s and nephew’s rejection of Christianity to the day the priest urged them to oppose equal rights for their uncle. That’s why Evangelicalism is dying so quickly among the young. The latest PRRI survey shows that only one in ten Evangelicals are now under 30. It is no accident that the generation that has come to know gay and transgender people as people also finds it hard to dehumanize us in the way the Nashville Statement does, and see a church leadership that still treats us in this fashion as inimical to their own, yes, Christian values. And they are right to. This is what the signers of the Nashville Statement do not quite grasp. They just signed one of the longest suicide notes in history. Because what they’re saying is not merely callous. It is manifestly untrue.”
By extension,  Catholic leaders who continue using the same or similar arguments in their statements about LGBTI issues are hurting not only LGBTI people (which is bad enough) but the whole possibility of reaching the next generation.  Unlike Evangelical thinking,  Catholic leaders  have a long social justice tradition in their belief system which supports equality and justice and can easily be applied to LGBTI topics and people.
If nothing else, the Nashville Statement should serve as a wake-up call to Catholic leaders who still maintain an anti-LGBT stance to mend their ways before it is too late for the church.
Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry, September 13, 2017

Transgender Woman’s Ministry Continued Long After She Left Priesthood

If you have not heard of Nancy Ledins, who passed away in July at age 84, her story is very much worth reading if you are concerned with Catholic LGBT issues.

Nancy saying benediction copy
Nancy Ledins leading worship

Ledins, then presenting as a man, was an ordained Roman Catholic priest for ten years. A member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, she left the priesthood in 1969 to get married to a former woman religious. Eventually the couple divorced around the time that Ledins transitioned in 1979.

In news accounts and profiles of Ledins after her transition, the perennial question of whether she was still a Catholic priest arose. Reporter John Dart of the Los Angeles Times explored this question in 1980. He wrote at the time, as reported by the Charlotte Observer this year:

“‘[Ledins] might be the first woman priest in Roman Catholic history in a technical sense. . .since she never sought to be returned officially to lay status, has never been summarily notified of such by the church and, by the usual understanding of church law, is still a priest – though not a legally functioning one.'”

The National Catholic Reporter’s (NCR) coverage agreed with this assessment, saying the first woman priest came about not through a bishop but through a surgeon. Incidentally, Ledins’ had her gender-confirming surgery on Holy Thursday when the church celebrates the institution of the priesthood.

Church officials never formally responded to Ledin’s situation, and Ledins has never challenged that silence. She told NCR that though technically ordained, “there is probably a canon somewhere that spells my demise as a priest” if she tried to celebrate the sacraments. Still, on the 55th anniversary of her ordination, Ledins prayed:

“‘Lord Father, my special thanks for the gift of ordination and ministry over the years. . .And thank you for letting me be here. Amen and amen. Alleluia.'”

nancy ledins la times_new.jpeg
1980 Los Angeles Times piece on Ledins

Beyond any canonical questions, the spiritual testimony Ledins offered about her journey is what is most impactful. She knew in childhood that she wanted to be like her sister, saying, “I didn’t know what to call it, but I felt it.” The stress led to depression for many years. The Observer reported that after Ledins’ transition, she “was shot at, had her car bombed and was sent dead animals in the mail.”

Nonetheless, she powerfully affirmed the decision to transition. In a 1978 letter to her parents, Ledins wrote:

“‘For the first time in my life, I am running into and not from. What a healthy feeling!. . .I am now very very glad to be alive. . .My bucket of tears (and there were many) are over. The sunshine is real.'”

Years later, Ledins finally returned to pastoral ministry leadership, serving at a North Carolina church that is affiliated with American Baptist Churches USA and the United Church of Christ. Half of the congregation’s members are LGBT people. Ledins’ passing in July led many people to share the pastoral experiences they had with her. Rev. Marsha Tegard said of Ledins:

“‘She was just so welcoming and just kind of embraced me as someone just starting out on my journey. . .She told me, “It’s OK to be you. God loves you. You have a place in the Kingdom.”. . .I believe Nancy blazed the trail for people like me.'”

Another member of the congregation, Maddison Wood, said hope was found “in the lines of Nancy’s face” because “she had lived – not just survived, but lived – to old age.”

Regardless of Nancy Ledins’ canonical status in the Roman Catholic church, she was a Christian minister leading people to God until her death. Judging from her fellow congregants’ accounts, it was precisely Ledins’ courage and authenticity that made her such an impactful minister. The comment she made about her transition is a true Resurrection message: “I am now very very glad to be alive. . .The sunshine is real.”

Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, September 12, 2017

 

Canonizing Father Mychal Judge, the Saint of 9/11

Today the U.S. and the world mourn the tragic loss of life that took place on September 11, 2001, as a result of several horrific terror attacks in New York, Washington, DC, and rural Pennsylvania.  Only God’s love can heal the fear, pain, and loss that so many experienced because of that day.

Judge Final (1)Where was God on 9/11, one might ask?  One answer is that God was at the World Trade Center when it was attacked. God’s Love was present in the person of Father Mychal Judge, OFM, the New York City Fire Department chaplain.  As the towers were being devoured by flames and people were rushing out as fast as they could, some realizing that the only “escape” from the inferno was to jump to their deaths from the uppermost floors, Fr. Judge rushed in to minister to victims and to the other brave first responders. He raced into a deathtrap so that others could know that even in this horror, God was with them.

Fr. Judge is a model for all Christians who believe Jesus’ teaching that “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).  He is a particular model for the LGBT community since a big part of his ministry was reaching out to this group which had been so marginalized and stigmatized.  He raced into their lives, too, letting them know that God was with them.

He did the same for alcoholics and other addicts, for people suffering from HIV/AIDS, for people in parishes who struggled with the daily challenges that life presents.

Fr. Judge is lovingly remembered by many as “The Saint of 9/11.” Now is the time to make that title official by working to canonize him in the church.

New Ways Ministry has been in touch with Fr. Luis Fernando Escalante who works with the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints.  Fr. Escalante is gathering testimonies that are part of the first step toward canonization.  He needs to hear first-person accounts from people who knew Fr. Judge and whose lives were touched by his ministry.

Did you know Father Judge through his parish work, his Fire Department ministry, his LGBT outreach, his solidarity with those suffering from addictions, his compassionate service to those with HIV/AIDS, his hospitality to the homeless, or in some other way?  Were you a personal friend or colleague of Fr. Judge?  Have you prayed to him since his death and believe that his intercession has caused a miracle in your life?  Do you know communities of people who were close to him with whom you can share this information?

Here is what you can do:

  1. Share this blog post (or simply the request for information about Fr. Judge) with your social media, email, and personal contacts.  Ask them to share this information with others by the same means, which will spread this message far and wide.  We need this to go viral to find people who knew Fr. Judge, who feel they have experienced his intercession in a possible miracle, or simply want to support and help the preliminaries of his Cause.
  2. Refer anyone who has first-hand information about Fr. Judge to contact New Ways Ministry by email (info@NewWaysMinistry.org), phone (301-277-5674), or postal mail (4012 29th Street, Mount Rainier, Maryland 20712).
  3. Persons who have testimony about Fr. Judge need only make an initial contact.  Follow-up material will be sent to them to elicit the type of information that is needed.
  4. Ask other organizations to which you belong who also might know people who encountered Fr. Judge to share this information.
  5. To read this information in Spanish, click here.  To read this information in Italian, click here.
  6. Pray for the canonization of Fr. Judge.

While the canonization is a process overseen by the institutional church, it is initially dependent on the motivation and contributions of the grassroots church.   Please share this information as widely as possible, so that we can find many people who have a story to tell.

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry, September 11, 2017

 

Related Bondings 2.o posts:

“It’s Time to Canonize Fr. Mychal Judge: Seeking Personal Testimony” 

Movement to Canonize Fr. Mychal Judge Takes Off, But More Help Is Needed”  

“Saint of 9/11: Remembering Fr. Mychal Judge as a Gay Priest”