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This website has a NEWS page; but in reality, the News page is not so much a page for news page as a page for announcements, for it is (at least for now) beyond its scope this website to act as a newspaper. Some of the announcements found on the NEWS page will, however, likely be of some interest even after the date of the event or announcement. So this NEWS ARCHIVE page will serve the function of containing copies of some of the retired articles from the NEWS page itself. At times, the heading for an article may have two lines, one to show when it appeared or was retired and the other to show the date of the event discussed. In general, the order in which things will be shown on this NEWS ARCHIVE page is to be as follows: the more recent a retirement from the NEWS page, the closer to the top of this NEWS ARCHIVE page will the retired article appear. Estate Planning
   Workshops on estate
planning & finances will be held on Apr 1 & 4 at WeHo's Plummer Park

Easter Brunch
   Easter Brunch (on a
potluck basis) at noon,
April 12, at the Center Oscars Party
   The chapter's annual Oscars party was held Feb. 22 at the Center.

Midnight Mass

Traditional Xmas Mass was held Xmas at Dignity Center. Click here to view photos of the celebration.
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Xmas Party

Retired: February 2008
Event: December 2007

As it does each year, the chapter had a Xmas Party for the members of the chapter and their invited guests in December. Thank you to Bill and Henry for hosting it at their home, again this year. In accordance with tradition, was a potluck affair; and each attendee was asked to also bring a toy to help to ensure that children in even the poorest of families receive at least one Xmas gift. There was also the traditional "White Elephant" drawing.
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Anniversary Dinner (2007)

Retired: February 2008
Event: October 2007

The traditional annual Anniversary Dinner was held at Maggiano's Little Italy Restaurant in The Grove in Los Angeles in October. Click here for photos and more details about the celebration.
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Art Exhibit

Retired: February 2008
Event: June 2007

An Art Exhibit was held at the Center on Sat. June 23, from 11 am to 2 pm. It was a successful event in terms of the number of exhibitors, the number of pieces of artwork exhibited, and even in attendance. A repeat next Spring is already in the works.
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MOTA Event

Retired: February 2008
Event: May 2007

On Sunday, May 20, a group from the chapter went on an excursion to take part in the annual MOTA Day, to visit some of the six Museums of the Arroyo (MOTA) that grace the Arroyo de Seco which runs close by the Center. Click here to view some of the photos taken on the excursion.
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Retired: February 2008
Event: March 2007

On March 25, 2007, there was a day-long Retreat at Dignity Center on spirituality and gay sexuality. It was led by Fr. Peter Canavan, assisted by outgoing President Kevin Steen. For more info, click here.
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Farewell Address: Telling Our Stories

Retired: February 2008
Event: February 2007

As his time as the chapter President draws to a close, Kevin addressed the community at Mass on February 18.

The readings for February this year help us to know our story. We all have a story to tell; and our community has a story to tell. Our story is a story that the hierarchy does not want to hear. That means that we have to tell our story to each other. As we gather this month, we hear the story of our faith tradition; but we also must become story-tellers ourselves.

I am reminded of the pueblo Indians in New Mexico where, I have heard, missionaries arriving from Spain wanted to destroy the stories of the native peoples; so for a long time, the native peoples abandoned their tradition of making figurines to illustrate their stories. However, in the 20th Century, the figurine tradition was revived when a potter made a figure of an elder seated with children seated about him. They were listening to the story that tells them where they are from and from whom, and where they came from and where they are expected to go.

During this month at liturgy, we too gather. We gather around the Word and the Eucharist. We remember and celebrate, in order to become who we are, the People of God, the mystical Body of the Christ whom God has sent us, a light to the world:

  1. First we heard the story of God calling His people, from Abraham to the exodus, along with countless gifts upon this Earth. It is a call to become God's people.
  2. Today we hear from Samuel, whose story is filled with heroes for us to emulate: Like David, who has reason to do away with King Saul; but David chooses the way of mercy, leaving all retribution to God. Then centuries later, Jesus follows; and He challenges us with the Great Sermon, representing the high road. His call to us is part of our story: to love our enemies, to bless and pray for those who curse us, to turn the other cheek, and to give even the shirt off our back to those in need.
  3. Finally, Paul reminds us of our eventual destiny, a timeless destiny. He tell us that because Jesus rose from the dead, we will follow Him to resurrected glory.
This is our story of faith. Along with the story our own lives, we share these stories until the resurrected Christ comes again.

Particularly here at Dignity, we claim the language that empowers us to revise and reinvigorate our Catholic identity, so that we can both "keep the faith" and be true to ourselves.

Dignity is our space of "deconversion," by which I mean that we can lower our faith in the institutional Church in order to find God. That is our experience because the institutional Church with its rigid rules and uni-dimensional view of sexuality that do not make good sense in the lives of gay Catholics. How shockingly presumptuous it is of mere clergy to claim the protective mantle of God! These men demand that we separate being gay from doing gay; but we know that it is impossible to bifurcate our lives. We are whole persons, not some theory or theology of the impossible.

The task of our community, and other communities like ours, is to open the eyes of the Church to its sinfulness and to thereby induce (and participate in) an institutional examination of conscience. Reconciliation cannot happen in a community if it believes that it has no need of God's mercy. Reconciliation cannot happen in a community in which the majority believes that they do not need conversion and that the minority does not deserve it. Just as the Church tried centuries ago to force the faith community to believe in the heliocentric planetary system, so now it tells the faith community that it must not accept the gay minority as God created them, that their stories must not be told.

As one authority put it, "We have attempted to explain the moral lessons that we gays have learned in the real world of family and sex and work and conflict. But so many church leaders - from the pope on down - do not seem to hear or even to care." However, through our stories, we reach out to those who abuse us and we praise God for creating us as queer people of God.
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Results of Officers Election

Retired: February 2008
Event: February 2007

Each year in February, the chapter conducts its annual Election of officers. In the February 2007 election, the results are: Jason Craig, President; Tom Vos, Vice-President; Bob Eberhard, secretary; and Michael Rademacher, treasurer. The newly-elected President will nominate (for membership approval at the General Meeting in March) the chairpersons who will be the remaining members of the Board in the new Administration.
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Xmas Party

Retired: February 2008
Event: December 2006

As it does each year, the chapter had a Xmas Party for the members of the chapter and their invited guests, on December 9, 2006. Thank you to Bill and Henry for hosting it at their home, again this year. In accordance with tradition, was a potluck affair; and each attendee was asked to also bring a toy, so the chapter could donate them to a local drive designed to help to ensure that all children, in even the poorest of families, will receive at least one Xmas gift. In accordance with tradition, there was a "White Elephant" drawing at the Party, to help re-circulate all of those priceless treasures that clutter the homes of members.
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Homecoming (2006)

Retired: February 2008
Event: November 2006

Each year, the chapter holds a Homecoming Sunday on the Feast of Christ the King, the last Sunday of the liturgical year. This time it was held on November 26, 2006, with Mass at 5:30 pm, followed by a buffet dinner. All good time was had by all, including those who have not been seen at Mass for a while.
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Anniversary Dinner (2006)

Retired: February 2008
Event: November 2006

Each year, sometime in October, the chapter celebrates the anniversary of its formation as the founding chapter of Dignity, in 1969. In 2006, this event was held at Maggiano's Little Italy Restaurant located at The Grove in Los Angeles, on Saturday, October 14, 2006. Cocktails, a sit-down dinner, the keynote speech (by Mario Guerrero, Development & Public Affairs Director of Bienestar), and the presentation of awards, including Archangel Awards to chapter members Tom Vos and Arturo Vargas and cash grants to Bienestar and the Minority AIDS Project, were featured. There also was a silent auction for the benefit of the chapter. Click here for photos and more details about the celebration.
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Helping the Poor at a Local School

Retired: February 2008

Dignity/Los Angeles has for many years assisted the poorest who live in the neighborhood of Dignity Center, primarily by its donations at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter to a local school which chooses the recipients and distributes food baskets or food certificates to the neediest of families. At the most recent Easter, in response to the donation made by the chapter for the holiday, the school sent the chapter the following note of thanks:

May 9, 2006

Dear Friends at Dignity/L.A.,

The staff at Garvanza Elementary School would like to extend our deepest gratitude. Your generous donations help our neediest families make it through the Easter Holiday. Our families used the Food 4 Less certificates to purchase food and Easter baskets for their children. As you know, many of the recipients of these certificates are single mothers struggling to make it day to day. Each recipient expressed genuine relief and appreciation. One mom had a tear in her eye as she said, "We are hungry." Another mom signed audible and said, "This month, I don't have to decide between rent and food." Your generosity has once again made a difference in the lives of children. Your warm hearts and helping hands are treasured. We hope you enjoy the banner that the students made as a token of our appreciation.

s/ Shanon Arriaga, Assistant Principal

Again in the Fall of 2006, the chapter made a $2,000 donation to the school to assist the poorest of the children in buying school uniforms.
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Homily on Good Friday

Event: 2006

So what is so good about Good Friday? This is a question that we should ponder today. After all, this is the day when we commenmorate that Jesus was handed over by a friend, suffered at the hands of his own people, and was crucified. Is that good? In fact, it is good because the Christ then rose from the dead, conquering death and offering us a new and eternal life.

Jesus did not just do what he wanted to do; he did what he was called upon to do. We are told in the Gospel of St. Mark that Jesus prayed in the garden: "Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Take this cup away from me, but not what I want but what you will for me to do." In this way, Jesus shows us that we must accept God's will, not insist on our own, for we are called upon to be like Christ. Again, Jesus did not do what he wanted to do, but rather he did what he was called upon to do.

  • Jesus did not do what was popular. He proclaimed the truth even when it was a difficult message for some people to accept.
  • Jesus did not do what felt good. He did what was good for all of us, by taking upon himself the burden of our sins.
  • Jesus did not do what was quick and easy. He took the time to be with people who were in need.
  • Jesus did not make wars and create conflicts between people. He turned the other cheek.
  • Jesus did not turn away people who were different. He broke bread with them, washed their feet, and challenged them: "Come follow me." He loved them, even unto death.
  • Jesus was not proud. He humbly accepted his fate, as he was being called upon to do.

Are we like Jesus?

  • Have we ever done what was quick, instead of what was right?
  • Have we ever told an easy lie, instead of telling a difficult truth?
  • Have we ever taken more than our fair share, instead of being generous with what we have?
  • Have we ever done what was easy, instead of what was just?

Of course, we have; but the really good part of Good Friday is precisely this: through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we can be forgiven for those times when we were weak. We get to try, once again, to accept more fully his invitation to: "Come follow me." Good Friday should really be called Great Friday, because by the conquest of death by Jesus Christ, we are invited to share in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We need to be grateful for the love and ever-living presence of Jesus Christ with us, always.

Adapted from the homily written and delivered by chapter VP Jason.
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Oscars Party (2006); GLBT Wins

Event: 2006

The chapter's Oscars Party at the Center on Sunday, March 5, 2006, was a great success, thanks to Dayne (and many other as well). There was much to celebrate. Although Crash edged out Brokeback Mountain for the Oscar for best movie, two movies that have GLBT element(s) wona total of four Oscars: Brokeback Mountain for best director (Ang Lee), the best adapted screenplay (Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana), and the best original score (Argentinian Gustavo Santaolalla (of Motorcycle Diaries fame)); and Capote for best actor (Philip Seymour Hoffman, whose performance in Capote has been aptly described by the New York Times as "inhabiting" the role of Truman Capote, the author of the non-fiction novel In Cold Blood). Felicity Huffman was a nominee for best actress for her role as the male-to-female transgender in the leading role in TransAmerica. In clearly the best highlight of the evening, Ang Lee in his acceptance of his Oscar for best director for Brokeback Mountain thanked its lead characters, Ennis (best actor nominee Heath Ledger) and Jack (best supporting actor nominee Jake Gyllenhaal): "They taught all of us who made Brokeback Mountain so much about not just all the gay men and women whose love is denied by society, but just as important, the greatness of love itself."
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Election of Officers (2006); Formation of New Board

Annually, the chapter elects its officers, with nominations at general meetings in December and January and balloting at a general meeting(s) in February. For this cycle, balloting was held at the Center after Mass on February 5; and the results of the election were: Kevin Steen has been retained as President; Jason T. has been elected vice-president; Bob Eberhard has been retained as secretary; and Michael Rademacher has been retained as treasurer. At the General Meeting on Sunday, March 5, 2006, the President nominated the chairpersons to hold seats on the Board, as per the chapter's By-Laws; and the membership gave its approval. The chairpersons for the next 12 months are as follows: Aldo Falcinella for Social; Steve Leffler for Building Liason; W. Dirk Farasee for Christian Service; Dayne Navarro for Membership; and Arturo Vargas for Newsletter.
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Pope Comments on Role of Women in Church

It has been widely reported in the media that on March 4, 2006, the Vatican released a transcript of a closed-door session that the Pope had with priests of the diocese of Rome on March 3, 2006.  After being asked to explain the Church's reasoning behind the lack of women in "governing roles," the Pope stated in part that "...it is right to ask oneself if more space, more positions of responsibility, can be given to women, even in the ministerial services ...." of the Church; but he also repeated an oft-stated position that women cannot be ordained into the priesthood.
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Seminary Visitation & Gay Seminarians Directive

The Vatican is conducting a project to visit all seminaries in the United States. Its stated objectives are to search for "evidence of homosexuality" and for faculty who dissent from Church teaching on homosexuality. The Vatican has also issued a new directive to all of the bishops regarding the suitability of gay men as candidates for the priesthood, even those who have long lived celibate lives. In a press release issued on September 16, 2005, Dignity/USA roundly condemned the whole visitation project, criticizing it as a "witch hunt" as presently conceived and pointedly detailing many flaws in the approach taken to date by the hierarchy in regards to clerical sexual abuse.
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Petition to the U.S. Bishops

Through January 16, 2006, the Washington, D.C., chapter of Dignity solicited signatures for its "Petition From A People In Exile" for presentation to the Roman Catholic Bishops of the United States on Ash Wednesday, February 28, 2006. The Petition is a poignant and well-written document that seeks from the Bishops a far greater degree of credibility on all GLBT issues (and other sexuality and church governance issues too). Please click here to read the Petition.
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ECC Priest Celebrates Mass

On Sunday, January 15, 2006, at 5:30 pm, an ECC priest, Giovanna Piazza, celebrated the Mass at the Center; for more information on the ECC (the Ecumenical Catholic Communion), see the article below on this News page that is entitled "Bishop of ECC Has Visited." Also at the Mass, a healing blessing was conferred on John Warrington, in anticipation of his surgery later the same week. John Warrington is an ordained Catholic priest who is also encardinated in the ECC.

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Xmas Party (2005)

As we do each year, the chapter had a Xmas Party (for the members of the chapter and their invited guests). In 2005, we celebrated on December 10, at the home of members Bill and Henry. In accordance with tradition, the party was a potluck affair; and each attendee also brought a toy, so the chapter could donate them to a local drive designed to help to ensure that children in even the poorest of families will receive at least one Xmas gift. In accordance with tradition, there was a "white elephant" drawing conducted at the Party as well, to re-circulate all those priceless treasures that clutter the homes of members.
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Vatican Instruction on Gays in Seminary Is Condemned

Dignity/USA has condemned the new Instruction issued by the Vatican in late 2005 on the subject of gay candidates for the priesthood. To read the press release issued by Dignity/USA, click here; and to read the Instruction itself in full text, click here.
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Homecoming Sunday (2005)

Each year, on the Feast of Christ the King (the last Sunday in the liturgical year, in late November or in early December), the chapter holds its annual Homecoming Sunday. On this day especially, we invite all current and past members to attend Mass at the Center and to join in the chapter fellowship after Mass, including a complimentary dinner for all. In 2005, Homecoming Sunday took place on November 20, with a Mass as per usual at 5:30 pm. Many members, present and former, attended and joined also in the feast after Mass. Thanks to all who attended, as well as to those who worked on this celebration.
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Bishop of Ecumenical Catholic Communion Has Visited

Event: November 2005

Bishop Peter Hickman of the Ecumenical Catholic Communion ("ECC") visited Dignity Center on November 27, 2005.

During the past year, Dignity/Los Angeles has had seminars, presentations, and panel discussions by experts, and has discussed church reform and our place in the Catholic Church, as it is presently constituted. We have talked about ways in which the chapter might become a more inclusive community, such as by inviting other reform-minded catholics to join us in becoming a more ecuminical catholic community, not just the center for Mass for GLBT persons.

The Roman authorities (under John Paul II and now under Benedict XVI) have marginalized GLBT Catholics, even pushed us away as unwelcome. We cannot wait for the hierarchy to get serious about church reform. Thus, the chapter invited Bishop Peter Hickman from the ECC to talk to us about the ECC's experiences in being catholic outside the structures of the ROMAN Catholic Church.

ECC is a fast-growing organization -- comprised of about 20 independent catholic faith communities all over the country. We took advantage of this excellent opportunity to learn more about this reform-minded movement and to explore coming together with others in providing for the spiritual needs of our members and seeking the Jesus of the Gospel -- in the company of other reform-minded catholics. At some point in the future, the chapter may even want to create some sort of formal affiliation with the ECC. Thus, it is vital that we all understand the ECC and what the implications would be, for us as a chapter, to grow closer to the ECC.

Click here to the photo gallery page on his visit; and click here for the website of his ECC parish, St. Matthew Church, in Orange, California; and click here for the website of the EEC, i.e. Ecumenical Catholic Communion (which is apparently separate from the Ecumenical Catholic Church, because the latter has its own website and its own bishop).
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Anniversary Dinner (2005)

Event: October 2005

Each year, sometime in October, the chapter celebrates the anniversary of its formation as the founding chapter of Dignity, in 1969. In 2005, as in many times in the past, this Dinner was held at Taix French Restaurant in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles, on Saturday October 15.

The keynote address at the Anniversary Dinner in 2005 was by Debra Weill, the newly-selected Executive Director of Dignity/USA. She has the distinction of being the first transgender person to be the executive director of a major GLBT organization. Her speech covered several topics, short-range and long-range alike. For a status report of the project to develop a long-range plan and goals for Dignity/USA, click here.

An important part of every chapter Anniversary Dinner is making awards to members (or others) in recognition of service to the GLBT community, but particularly to the chapter. In a unique, but now well-established, tradition of the chapter, each honoree is presented with a statue of an archangel. Thus the awards themselves have come to be called the Archangel Awards. The awardees in 2005 were Michael Macchierella and Gabino Cabanilla, each of whom is a long-time member of Dignity/Los Angeles and has served Dignity in a number of capacities over the years. They are long-time partners and have recently moved to the Palm Springs area.

Also, as a part of each Anniversary Dinner, the chapter makes cash grants to agencies that serve the GLBT community in the metropolitan Los Angeles area, usually those serving persons who are living with HIV/AIDS. In 2005, a $1,000 grant was given to the Pasadena AIDS Service Center and a $1,000 grant to Project Angel Food.

Click here for photos of the festivities.
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Vatican Speaks Out On Evolution Controversy

Event: 2006

In connection with an impending conference on the subject of science and religion, a top Vatican official has spoken out on the subject of the age-old "conflict" between science and religion. He emphasized it is important for persons of faith to stay current with scientific developments, to avoid having their faith degenerate into fundamentalism. In doing so, he cited a statement made by the late Pope John Paul II that "evolution is more than a hypothesis ... (because it is supported by) proof" from many independent sources.
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"We are not on Earth to guard
a museum, but to cultivate
 a flourishing garden of life."

                        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 is a candidate for sainthood.