California Catholic Daily exclusive.
This July, a letter and brochure was mailed from New Ways Ministry to religious communities of women around the country. The letter, signed by the notorious Sr. Jeannine Gramick, SL, was an invitation to an upcoming conference, and said, in part:
“Dear Sister…In order to network lesbian sisters with congregational leaders and formation/vocation ministers, New Ways Ministry is sponsoring the tenth conference for these groups, Nov. 16-18, 2018, at Siena Retreat Center in Racine Wisconsin.
The conference will assist vocation, formation, and leadership Sisters in understanding the unique contributions of lesbian members to religious community and to the Church. Mary Ann Zollman, BVM, one of the speakers at the last conference, stated that these conferences have ‘often resulted in a much more whole and healthy relationship between religious communities and their lesbian members.’”
The networking conference is titled “Gracious Embodiment: Embracing a Capricious Sexuality” with the subhead “A dialogue among lesbian sisters, congregational leaders, and vocation & formation ministers.”
Speakers include Cristina L.H. Traina, Professor and Chair of Religious Studies at Northwestern University. The professor’s topics will include “The Challenge: Sexuality in Two Paradigms. How did our Church arrive at its current place of confusion?” Her bio on the conference flyer says “Cristina is a life-long Catholic and member of St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Church in Evanston, IL, where she is active in the Gay and Lesbian Ministry.”
The conference will also include ‘a retreat on Friday morning and afternoon for lesbian sisters to gather and network among themselves,” and a screening of the film “The Danish Girl” about an early 20th century Danish man who thought he was a woman.
New Ways Ministry, the organization sponsoring the retreat, seeks to undermine Catholic teaching on life and the family. It has received funding from organizations such as the Arcus Foundation, which aims to mobilize “moderate and progressive faith leaders” and to leverage “strategic opportunities in historically resistant faith communities,” including Roman Catholic churches, to limit religious freedom and to foster dissent on abortion and LGBT issues.
Racine, Wisconsin is in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. To contact the Archbishop:
Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki
PO Box 070912
Milwaukee, WI 53207-0912