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This is the NEWS page of this website. In reality, however, it serves not so much as a news page as an announcements page, for it is (at least for now) beyond the scope of this page to act as a newspaper. Announcements found on this page will likely be of general interest to chapter members, and likely to others as well. Indeed, in some cases, they will be of interest even after the date of the event or announcement (and the About Us page, there is a Photo Gallery Index where may be found photos from an event of interest, even after it no longer appears in the News Flashes column on the Home page); and when deemed to do so, they will be moved to a page that will serve as an archive of such articles retired from this NEWS page: to go there, click here.


New here: November 2016
Event: periodic

On Sunday, November 20, 2016, chapter held its annual Homecoming; to see a copy of the flyer on the event, click here; and to see a page of photos from the event, click here.


New here: October 2016
Event: Indefinite

In October 2016, the chapter posted (see link below) a copy of its updated decorative banner, featuring Our Lady (or in Spanish: Nuestra Senora). It is based on the original name of the chapter's home city (Los Angeles) founded on the banks of a river, the original name of which was the Porciuncula River (named in turn after an area near Assisi, Italy, made famous by St. Francis). The full name of the city (town) was El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles sorbre el Rio de la Porciuncula (or in English: the town of the Queen of the Angels on the River Porciuncula). Click here to see it; and click here to see the commemorative placque posted near the site of the original settlement, in downtown Los Angeles.


New: June 2016
Event: Indefinite (notes an anniversary)

In June 2016, the chapter held a celebration to mark the 50 years that Fr. Kevin Steen has been a priest. Click for the photo page on the celebration (and more about his 50 years as a priest).


New: June 2015
Event: Indefinite

A decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2015 holds that marriage is a Constitutional right under the U.S. Constitution and that no State can deny it on the basis that a given marriage will a same-sex union. Justice Anthony Kennedy concludes his opinion for the majority of the Court with a beautiful summary of the insights that led to the Court's decision, as follows:

      No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say that they disresepct the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in lonliness, excluded from one of civilization's oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution gives them that right.

      The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.

                                                                              It is so ordered.

IRS Rules on Charitable Deductions

New: 2007 (and revised periodically since)
Event: Indefinite

The IRS has updated its rules as to deductions for cash gifts (including by check) to charitable organizations, such as Dignity. A gift is deductible only if the taxpayer has in hand a receipt (when the tax return claiming a deduction is filed), regardless of the amount; but your cancelled check can serve as a receipt. For any gift of $250 or more, one must have an acknowledgement of the gift from the donee; but this may be one for each gift of $250 (or more) or an overall one listing all such gifts for the year, showing date and amount of each and the total of gifts for the year. The chapter each year acknowledges the total of verified gifts made by an individual when the total for the year is $250 (or more), specifying the date and amount of each gift and the total for the year. Gifts given in any unverifiable manner (such as loose cash in the collection basket at a liturgy) cannot be included. Those who want the ability to deduct their donations should consider the annual pledge drive as the way to donate and to then satisfy the pledge by check(s), so that the chapter can easily compute a verifiable total and acknowledge the total and each gift, promptly at the end of the tax year (in time for the tax-return season) and meeting IRS rules.

Click here for the record-keeping rules (see Publication 526), including for cash gifts (see pp. 17-18) and the special rules for non-cash gifts (see pp 18-19), out-of-pocket expenses (see p. 19), and reporting gifts on your tax return (see p. 19-20).

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"We are not on Earth to guard
a museum, but to cultivate
  a flourishing garden of life."

                        Pope John XXIII

"We must beware of those who
   burn with zeal but are not en-
 dowed with much sense."

                        Pope John XXIII

In 1958, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (see picture above) was, at age 78, elected Pope John XXIII (after what was widely rumored to be a near miss by Giovanni Batista Montini, who at the time was not yet a Cardinal but would later be elected Pope Paul VI). Pope John was expected to be a caretaker; but he was not. He spoke out for an "updating" of the Church, admitted it needed "some fresh air," and summoned the Second Vatican Council to help supply it. The Council enacted many reforms, of which many still remain not fully implemented, partly because Pope John died in 1963 (and was succeeded by a cautious, almost fearful, Pope Paul), while the Council was just starting its deliberations.

Pope John was canonized in 2014.

After six months as pope, Pope Francis I urged that a more pastoral approach be taken by the Church. In doing so, he cited Pope John's example and quoted a motto used by Pope John:

"See everthing; turn a blind
      eye to much; correct a little."

                        Pope John XXIII


Pastoral Care

Event of enduring significance for sure:

At a biennial national convention in July 2007 in Austin, Texas, DignityUSA issued its Guidelines on the Pastoral Care of GLBT People; click here to read them.

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Fr. Roy Bougeois
   Hear the School of the Americas founder on May 31 (5-8 pm) & June 1 (2-4:30 pm).

Anniversary Dinner
   This event was held Oct 12; click here for photos & here for the Keynote Speech.

Reformer Priest
   An Austrian priest leads a reform effort; and in Pasadena on Aug 2, he spoke. Click here for flyer for more info on his tour of the U.S., click here for the tour's website (scroll under "Tour Dates" to events, including the L.A. event in Pasadena) and here for photos of local speech.

Convention 2013
   Dignity Convention 2013 was in Minneapolis on July 4-7. Click to see our ad in program.

Open Letter
   DignityUSA wrote an Open Letter in the NY Times to respond to a recent statement by Cardinal Dolan about LGBT persons.

Report in Dateline    Read the report on the visit to our area by a DignityUSA rep.

Vatican Spring
   Swiss Theologican Hans Kung is speaking out for Church reform as a conclave to elect a new Pope started.

Anniversary Dinner: 2012
   Annual Anniversary Dinner was on Oct. 13. Click for photos and for Pax Nidorf speech.

Hans Kung
   In 2010, the renowned Swiss theologian (and former collegue of the Pope) wrote an Open Letter to all bishops, to call for an Ecumenical Council. More recently (in 2012), he has called for a revolution from below to force radical reform at the Vatican, particularly its crushing of dissent by use of "rigid ... rules for choosing bishops." The "only way for reform is from the bottom up," he says. "The priests and others in positions of responsiblity need to stop being so subservient, to organize themselves and say that there are certain things that they simply will not put up with anymore."

Pastor on a Vatican Mandate To LCWR
   Cleveland pastor has written on the Vatican mandate to U.S. nuns; click here to read.

Priests Speak Out
   400 Austrian priests issue broad appeal for a reform movement in the Catholic Church.

Women's Meeting
   Dignity's women will meet May 4-6, 2012, in Illinois; click for more info.

   Dignity/USA has endorsed an open letter on public policy on contraception.

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Parish Closings
   Vatican has reversed Cleveland's bishop on closing of 13 parishes. Click here for more.

Church Workers
   Click here to read an Open Letter from CTA to Lay Church Workers.

Open Ltr to Bishops
   DignityUSA issued an Open Letter to U.S. bishops to demand they consult us before commenting on public policy affecting GLBTs.

Picking Bishops
   The VOTF petitions to reform the process of picking bishops.

Catholic or RC?
   Dilemma that Rome poses for Catholics is analyzed by a priest in DignityUSA QV article.

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Firing Protested
   CTA is spotlighting a campaign to hold back donations, to protest firing of church worker.

Art Show
   The Chapter's Third Annual Art Exhibit will be held May 16. Click here for details.

Picking Bishops
   Popes appointing all the world's bishops is not the traditional way.

New McNeill Letter
   Read the new Open Letter to the Pope, by Jesuit Fr. John McNeill (Quarterly Voice, pg 5).

UN Declaration

Event: December 2008

The UN has amended the Declaration of Human Rights to include gays and lesbians.

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Prop 8 Opposition

Event: Nov. 4, 2008, Election

California voters rejected Prop 8 to limit marriage to one between a man and a woman. A gay Fresno priest had opposed Prop 8 from the pulpit. click here re a press conference at Dignity/LA on him. Click here for the chapter Press Release on Prop 8.
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Anniversary Dinner 2008

Event: Oct. 11, 2008

The chapter's 39th Anniversary Dinner was held on Sat, Oct 11, 2008. The Guest Speaker was Tony Sweet, a musician-gospel singer; and the annual Archangel award was given to long-time member Pedro; and the annual community charity award (in the amount of $1,000) was given to the Serra Project (with its Executive Director Terry Goddard II accepting the award for the Serra Project). Watch the About Us page for the posting of photos of the event.
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Summer Party
   Chapter's Summer Party was held on Sat. Aug 16 at the Vargas home.

Wedding of J&R
  Jim & Raoul wed at Mass on July 20. Click for photos.

Hollywood Bowl
   The chapter's annual excursion to Hollywood Bowl for a picnic and concert was on July 12. Click here for photos.
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Abuse of Power
Event: June 2008

A retired bishop from Australia spoke in San Diego and L.A. in June on abuse of power by the hierarchy. Click for more info. Click here for his own reflections on his U.S. tour.
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Art Exhibit 2008

Event: June 21-22, 2008

The chapter's second annual Art Exhibit was held at the Center on June 21-22.
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Petition to Pope

Event: April 25-20, 2008

Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) sponsored a petition to the Pope for his April 15-20 visit to U.S.
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Lay Convocation of southern California

Event: March 29, 2008

A Lay Convocation was held for southern California on March 29, 2008, at the St. Joseph Center in Orange, California. It was a Calling Together of the Laity. Its purpose was to focus our attention on the participation and responsibilities of the laity in the Catholic Church, reflecting on the gifts received, the hurts endured, and the desire to respond to the needs of the Church. The objectives were to inspire hope for the future of the Church and a commitment to action. The oligations and rights of the laity, as articulated in the documents of the Second Vatican Council (1963-65) and in Canon Law, were addressed. All were welcome.
   To read more about this Lay Convocation (as planned), click here to visit its website.
   A report on the Convocation is to be issued in due time.
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Results of Officers Election (2008)

Event: February 2008

Each year in February, the chapter conducts its annual Election of officers. In the February 2008 election, the results are: Jason Craig, President; Saul Farias, Vice-President; Steve Leffler, secretary; and Michael Rademacher, treasurer. The President will now nominate (for membership approval at the General Meeting held in March) the chairpersons who will be the remaining members of the Board in the new Administration.
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There is a good article on Pope John Paul II and evoluation in the Jesuit America magazine. Click here to read it.
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New IRS Regulation on Charitable Deductions

New: 2006 Event: Indefinite

See the entry re the newer regulation in 2007.
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Meeting of U.S. Bishops On GLBT Issues

Events: November 2006 & July 2007 The Catholic Bishops of the United States met in mid-November 2006, in Washington, D.C. An item on the agenda was approval of a major statement on the pastoral care of GLBT persons. Since it was largely unfavorable, Dignity/USA issued a critical press release (that got good press coverage in the general media) and organized a protest for the time of the meeting. Unfortunately, the statement was approved anyway; and subsequently, in July 2007, Dignity/USA issued its own Guidelines on the pastoral care of GLBTs.

VOTF Calls for Bishops to be Accountable

Up: 2010 Read VOTF demand that Catholic bishops be more accountable.
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