Debbie's picture

Home again

I wasn't able to blog while at the WMOF, partly because I was technically challenged and mostly because I was  exhausted.  Monday I arrived in Philly full of hope.  As I made my way to the convention center to get my registration package, I ran into my first bigoted Catholics.  They were two woman giddy with excitement for being at the WMOF, they had some kind of booth in the exhibition hall, something about divine healing from the Holy Spirit.  A women with a full berka came walking in the opposite direction, one of these women, stepped in front of this woman preventing her from walking an

Equally Blessed Works on Margins, Leads Church Toward Transformation

Pilgrims welcomed by majority despite challenges

I had the honor this past week of working with the Equally Blessed pilgrims as they journeyed to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families. These lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex (LGBTQI) Catholic families bravely bore witness to a vision of Church in which all are welcome, loved, and embraced for the experiences and gifts they offer the Catholic community. 

Claire and Leslie's picture

It's the Little Things

So many magical moments this week. The most touching experiences occurred in line to purchase coffee, walking down the street, or having a family member with an LGBTQI friend or relative tell us how much they appreciated us being there. The best was today! The TSA Officer was checking my clear WMF backpack and saw the Equally Blessed sticker on it. She asked me, "What is this?" I thought I was in trouble with TSA (!) but instead, she said she didn't know about it and asked if I had another sticker. I was able to give her a button and some info. She was very grateful!

Claire and Leslie's picture


Reflecting on a week of learning, insight and making new personal connections! We had two wonderful panels, including last night where Marianne Duddy-Burke and John Freml provided articulate and insightful reflections on content from the WMF. Great questions, comments and reflections from the participants as well! Thanks to all!

LGBTQI Spirituality & Catholic Identity Workshop

Last night the Equally Blessed pilgirms and friends gathered for a workshop on LGBTQI spirituality & Catholic identity. The standing room only crowd laughed, cried, applauded, and reflected together on what it means to live on the margins yet embrace our faith and who God created us to be. Some memorable lines from the panlists:

I've come back to my faith as a gender-queer Catholic. It's been a long journey.

Catholicism was all about social justice - that is my primary orientation to this day.

Press Conference: Duty to do Good

This morning's press conference at the Arch Street Methodist Church was a great success! The pilgrims shared their experiences, hopes and dreams with several media outlets on hand to cover the event. 

Some quotes from today's pilgrim voices at the press conference:

"We want to hear words of love, not destruction"

"We ask the institutional Church to reflect on its own identity, not the LGBT community's"

"As Pope Francis has said, we have a duty to do good."

Preparing for the start of the official 2015 World Meeting of Families

Today was our first full day in Philly: the time to get registered, figure out travel logistics, welcome the EB Pilgrims to Philadelphia, and bond. As our family waited for the train to head into the convention center, we had our first opportunity to witness. We connected with a group from a Naples, Florida parish, and started chatting. They asked what group we were with, and we told them about the Equally Blessed Pilgrimage. Then we discussed our families. Very pleasant. We ran into some members of the group in the registration line, and it was like seeing old friends.

Sun Rises on Equally Blessed Pilgrimage: Reflection & Prayer

As my flight this morning pushed out over Lake Michigan I was greeted with the beautiful colors of the day's sunrise. My trip to Philadelphia for the 2015 World Meeting of Families commenced with a stunning horizon full of life and new opportunity. I couldn't help but give thanks to God for these gifts.


To all the pilgrims traveling in the next couple days, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Please pray for my recovery after this long and drawn put illness and know I would ove being there with you this week.


God bless.

Marianne and Becky's picture

One Day to Go!

How did we spend our final day before heading to Philadellphia? Helping out at a charity bike ride! At Fini's insistence, we joined our Dignity/Boston team supporting bicyclists who rode 125 miles from Boston to Provincetown to raise funds for HIV/AIDS research and services. It was a great day of cheering on the riders, offering food and beverages, and watching the bikes while riders took short breaks.


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