Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan, great friend and supporter of the Catholic Association for Lesbian and Gay Ministry, died on June 7th, 2013 from injuries sustained in an automobile accident. The New York Times article on his death notes that “when Pope John Paul II named him an auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Brooklyn, he said his mission was ‘to serve the hurting people of society.’” He did that exceedingly well.
Bishop Sullivan was educated as a Social Worker and was the Executive Director of Catholic Charities. Both by education and ministry, he became skilled at welcoming people, at listening to and honoring their stories—and for so many of us, he was the compassionate presence of Christ. Bishop Sullivan was instrumental in bringing NACDLGM (now CALGM) to Brooklyn for our 2006 Conference: “Good News Stories—Promise of Hope.” He spent those days with us and delivered the Sunday morning plenary address: “The Church: A Communion We Strive to Become.” Bishop Sullivan was also the founding convener of the diocese’s ad hoc Committee for Pastoral Care to Gay and Lesbian Catholics and Their Families.
Bishop Sullivan brought hope to so many of us LGBT Catholics and those marginalized. He made room for us in the Church, telling us clearly that we are valued members of the community. We mourn his loss here on Earth, but we celebrate his homecoming and beg him to continue to intercede on our behalf. He will be missed.
Who we are:
The Catholic Association for Lesbian and Gay Ministry (CALGM) is an association of diocesan, parish and campus-based ministries and those involved in these ministries. CALGM reflects the Catholic Church's commitment to pastoral concern and support for lesbian and gay Catholics, their parents, families and friends. These ministries, under the leadership of bishops, pastors and other pastoral leaders, seek to apply Church teachings regarding the successful integration of sexuality and spirituality and the recognition of the dignity, respect and inclusion of gay and lesbian persons in the life and mission of the Church.1 As a pastoral association, CALGM focuses on connecting people with local parishes and faith communities where they can better learn about Church teaching under the immediate guidance of pastors and other trained Church leaders. For those, however, who look to us for initial guidance, we have provided links to Church documents on our RESOURCES page .
1"Homosexuals, like everyone else, should not suffer from prejudice against their basic human rights. They have a right to respect, friendship and justice. They should have an active role in the Christian community." (Live in Christ Jesus, National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1976)
The Gospel of Jesus Christ leads the Association to affirm and provide inclusive pastoral care with lesbian and gay people and their families and friends in the Catholic community.
Our Vision: Setting the Table
In January 2009, the Board chose SETTING THE TABLE as CALGM's vision statement because of the power of the visual image it evokes. For Catholics of course the image of TABLE speaks to Eucharist— all of us gathered around the table in Christ’s name to be nourished by God’s word and Christ’s body and blood. But much more primal is the image of the family table: that place where we experience belonging, where we laugh and argue and share our days. Table, too, is the most typical place where we discover who “the other” is, and where we reveal ourselves. It is the place where true intimacy develops. When dating, when building a friendship or getting to know a new neighbor, often even in a job interview, we sit down and talk over a meal. The table is a place of deep conversation. Even on a political level, the table is an extremely significant symbol. It is a place of negotiation, of learning to listen to one another, of struggling to get beyond our own experiences and preconceptions, of working through problems and resolving conflicts; what a great accomplishment when two opposing parties “come to the table”! CALGM aspires to work on all these levels: in our parish churches and Eucharistic celebrations; in families with GLBT children, parents, or spouses; in educating people about what it is to be GLBT; in situations where there is conflict and negotiation is necessary.?But note, too, that our vision is an ACTIVE one: we are about SETTING the table! Our ministry is in large part about creating openings, making ready, doing the preparation so that people will have a table to come to, will find a welcoming space, will discover at the table food that nourishes. Too often GLBT persons and their families and loved ones have been turned away or have gone away hungry, have not found the understanding or the openness or pastoral touch that heals and brings life and wholeness.
The National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries (NACDLGM) was formed in 1994. At our annual membership meeting in Long Beach in 2008, our name was changed to the Catholic Association for Lesbian and Gay Ministry. The new name reflects the growing involvement of members outside the United States, and also the reality that diocesan ministries are less common than parish or local ministries.
• Fosters ministry with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and transsexual Catholics, their families and friends
• Serves as a network of communication regarding Catholic LGBT ministry
• Provides educational resources and conscience-formation materials
• Provides models of ministry and training
• Encourages the participation of lesbian and gay Catholics within the Church
• Communicates with other Catholic organizations, especially the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
CALGM includes people involved in gay, lesbian, and bi-sexual ministries, ministries to their spouses, parents, and families, and ministries to transgender and transsexual persons. The organization also includes those who support these ministries in other ways.
The Association recognizes that each ministry is a unique response to particular needs. Therefore these ministries take many different forms. They can be diocesan, parish-based or campus-based. They can reach out to gay and lesbian Catholics, or work primarily with their parents or spouses. Some ministries focus on educating the wider Catholic community about relevant issues. All these ministries share in common a desire to welcome GLBT Catholics into the Church and to support their families and friends.
Our office is located at 1798 Scenic Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709. Click on the CONTACT US tab to send us an e-mail message. We'd love to hear from you!