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Writer Jamie L. Manson to speak to Dignity/San Diego in mid-July

SAN DIEGO -- Dignity/San Diego will mark 40 years of ministry for LGBT Catholics and their families and friends as part of “Keeping the Faith: Rejoicing in Hope: A Celebration of Catholic Inclusiveness and Renewal” in mid-July.

Events will be held at various locations July 19 through 22.

The main celebration will feature guest speaker Jamie L. Manson. A columnist for National Catholic Reporter, Manson received her master of divinity degree from Yale Divinity School, where she studied theology, spirituality and sexual ethics.

Manson most recently served as director of Social Justice Ministries at Jan Hus Presbyterian Church in New York City, where she ministered to the needs of Manhattan’s poor and homeless populations.

Dignity/San Diego will partner with Mary Magdalene Apostle Catholic Community and Call To Action in sponsoring a public lecture by Manson at Gethsemane Lutheran Church at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 19, on the topic of “Just Love: The Controversy over Christian Sexual Ethics.”

The lecture will address the Vatican’s recent condemnation of Sister Margaret Farley’s “Just Love,” which attempts to ground a sexual ethic for the modern world that is faithful to the Christian tradition and open to other sources of information and reflection.

In addition, Manson will be the guest homilist at a festive Mass and potluck celebrating Dignity/San Diego’s 40th anniversary and the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene. The Mass will be held at 6 p.m Sunday, July 22 at The San Diego LGBT Community Center in Hillcrest.

“We are very excited to have Jamie Manson come and give us her thoughtful, wide-ranging perspective on important issues within the Church and society,” said Brian Kelly, Dignity/San Diego board president.

“At a time when Church officials seem to be doing everything they can to show there is only one way to be Catholic, we seek to celebrate that Catholicism embraces a broad range of people, each of whom offers unique gifts and perspectives. This is the faith that Dignity/San Diego has been witness to for 40 years,” he said.

Dignity/San Diego is one of five Dignity chapters celebrating their 40th year of ministry in the LGBT community this year. Those chapters include: Chicago, Boston, New York and Washington, D.C. Each chapter remains committed to its affirming ministry in the LGBT community as well as to other Catholics who join them in their mission to seek justice and equality in the Catholic Church and society.

“From coast to coast, Dignity has offered LGBT Catholics and allies a place of refuge and affirmation for more than four decades,” said Marianne Duddy-Burke, DignityUSA executive director.

“Dignity/San Diego was a pioneer in developing liturgies that celebrated the lives and loves of gay Catholics, in supporting families in staying together, and modeling the transformative power of faith. We are excited to see this community reach such a significant milestone,” she said.

Jamie Manson said she was pleased to speak with the local Dignity chapter.

“Dignity has shown other Catholics how to live with integrity, and how not to succumb to bullying by Church hierarchy. I think there are lots of other people in the Church who can learn from that. I am thrilled to share in this celebration,” Manson said.

For more information about the anniversary events, send an e-mail to info@dignitysandiego.org or visit HERE.

About Dignity/San Diego

Dignity/San Diego, an independent, lay-led organization, was formed in May 1972 at the home of Pat McArron in Santee, a San Diego suburb. For months, the group attended Mass together either at Immaculata or Christ the King parish. From the very beginning, Dignity/San Diego had both gay and straight members. It is one of San Diego’s longest continually active organizations founded to serve the LGBT community. With weekly liturgy being its primary public activity, Dignity/San Diego has held a Mass nearly each Sunday of its 40 years.