For over forty years, Call To Action’s National Conference has been the place where progressive Catholics have gathered to transform our church and world.
As we prepare to meet on November 9-11 in San Antonio, it is clear that our Catholic message of inclusion, justice and love couldn’t be more needed in our church and world. This year’s theme, “Santuario, Resistencia, Sacramento (Sanctuary, Resistance, Sacrament)” finds itself in stark opposition to many of the values we see proclaimed by our leaders. When the powerful of the world preach deportation, we’re called to offer sanctuary. When the powerful preach unthinking obedience, we’re called to resistance. When the powerful preach hatred, we’re called to proclaim the sacramental power of love.
This year’s conference will have many of the things you’ve learned to love about Call To Action: inspiring worship, warm and inclusive community and a diverse and thought-provoking line-up of speakers. It will also have many new elements, including new CTA leadership, new insights brought to us by our 20/30 Young Adult Leaders, and an opportunity to more deeply engage with border and migration issues in our host location of San Antonio, Texas.
Over the years, thousands of Catholics have come to our conferences seeking sanctuary and have found homes of resistance and sacrament.
This November, we look forward to continuing that proud tradition.
We look forward to welcoming you home.
Many truths of our faith have come from the early centuries of Christianity. Our understanding of humanity and of the universe is radically different now, so we need to find new ways, new language, and new images to make sense of the Gospel message in the modern world. Our aim will be to help us have a closer relationship with the Creative Spirit, whom we call God, as someone who is not distant from us in the “Heavens,” but is with us, within us, and all around us in every aspect of creation. For those interested in LGBT issues and those concerned about church reform, the retreat will provide a sound theological and spiritual base to ground their work, even when the road ahead is stormy.
Today “sexuality” means anything and everything: identity; orientation; the way we organize love, desire, and affection; even our whole way of being in the world as embodied spirit. We are part of a Church still struggling with how to connect all these fluid, evolving meanings. We come from a religious past with a narrow vision of binary sexes created for the purpose of procreation, in which a limited degree of male sexual desire is sanctioned and women’s experiences are considered irrelevant.
From January 21-27, 2019, six brave young adults are headed to World Youth Day in Panama to create the space now for LGBTQI people within the Catholic Church. This comes in the wake of:
- a Synod on the Youth, where LGBTQI issues were discussed, and where only (mostly older) cisgender men were allowed to vote;
- a recurrence of rhetoric that blames child sexual abuse on homosexuality;
- the attempted erasure of LGBTQI Catholics and same sex couples from the church;
- an alarming increase in unjust treatment of LGBTQI church workers, including violence and threats of violence;
- public silence from Pope Francis on all of these recent developments.
While our church has repeatedly villainized LGBTQI people as “disordered,” our pilgrims will counter this with a message of love and radical inclusion.
Our pilgrims commit to embracing the spirit of prophetic non-violence and witnessing to their fellow World Youth Day participants by:
- Engaging in one-on-one conversations about issues of importance to young LGBTQI Catholics on the streets of Panama City, Panama
- Engaging with the media
- Being a visible presence at World Youth Day events
- Sharing the message that we are all Equally Blessed!
While we raise awareness about issues of gender and sexuality in the lives of Catholics, we will challenge harmful teachings and pastoral practices that dehumanize us rather than celebrate the gifts that we LGBTQI people bring to the church and to the world.