On Thursday we got a major shot of inspiration by attending an event by a local LGBT Catholic group call Diversidade Catolica. We had connected with the group while planning for our pilgrimage and attending the event turned out to be an incredibly rich experience.
Jul 27 2013
I was struck by how similar Diversidade Catholica is to DignityUSA. They meet once a month at the home of a priest for Mass and socializing afterwards. They started in 2006 with just six members and have since grown to over 300. Their mission is very similar to that of Dignity: to be an affirming space where people can authentically live both their sexuality and their spirituality. For more information, check out their website: http://www.diversidadecatolica.com.br/english.php.
The event was geared at world youth day pilgrims and was well attended. During the event three members of the group shared their stories of being both gay and catholic. After they shared, they had an open mic where anyone could come up and share, and about 10 more people came up. Thankfully one of the group members spoke fluent English and was able to translate for us. We were so grateful for this because the stories were so powerful, especially in their similarity to our own stories and the stories of other LGBT Catholic in the US. Even though our language and culture are so different, I could easily relate to many people who shared, and kept thinking of all my LGBT Catholic friends.
Everyone at the event was so excited to hear about our group and what we were doing at world youth day. Everyone kept thanking us, taking pictures, and asking great questions. I was inspired by the event because it showed me that the movement for LGBT justice in the church is not just an American movement- it is a world wide movement. Sometimes DignityUSA can feel so small compared to the enormity of the Catholic Church, but knowing that there other movements just like it in other parts of the world gives me hope that one day the church may actually change.
(photos: The above pictures are of us at a gathering called "The Church and The Young hHmosexual"... It was hosted by a local group called Diversidade Catolica whose mission is similar to that of DignityUSA in offering community and support for LGBTQ catholics. The forum was opportunity for folks to share their stories and to know that they are not alone in the struggle to live reconciling faith and sexuality. The event was in portuguese but one of the participants, Arnaldo, graciously served as a translator (he unexpectedly came up to us and started to translate from portuguese to english).)