I’m Catherine Buck, and I’ve been a blog writer for New Ways Ministry since June 2018. I’m excited to be joining the Equally Blessed pilgrimage to World Youth Day in Panama! As an allied Catholic woman (she/her), I’m committed to working for LGBTQIA+ rights with this incredible coalition.
Since writing for New Ways Ministry, it’s been tremendous to become part of the conversation about the growing LGBTQIA+ rights movement within the Catholic church. It feels critical for the presence of the Equally Blessed pilgrims to be recognized at World Youth Day, as part of highlighting the huge number of LGBTQIA+ youth and allies in church communities. I am thrilled to be part of this journey specifically with this group because of the great work Equally Blessed does, as well as for my own personal faith development.
I’ve studied and taught in a variety of Catholic schools, and have received my most significant religious education in the Lasallian tradition. This is a philosophy grounded in social justice and inclusive community, values that can only be fully implemented with a full recognition of the human spectrum of sexuality and gender identity. My faith is rooted in the necessity for radical love that transcends all borders, with a recognition of historical and ongoing trauma at the directive of the Catholic church.
I’ve worked extensively in Central America in the past, in particular with members of open and affirming protestant churches, including the United Church of Christ. I have learned an immense amount from their kindness. With these groups, I worked in Chacraseca, Nicaragua, a base community founded by Maryknoll sisters. While in Nicaragua, I first learned about the teachings of liberation theology, which I believe has great implications in the fight for LGBTQIA+ equality within the church as we work to recognize and disrupt wider systems of oppression.
This trip feels like a first step of many in my hopes for the church, and the ways I hope to be part of its transformation. This January, I’m excited to meet young people from around the world, begin to know Panama, and be part of a once in a lifetime gathering of young Catholics at the forefront of change and growth within our church.