The U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph decries the homophobic and transphobic mass shooting at Club Q, an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs on November 19. We grieve for the five individuals who were killed and the 18 people injured in a space known for sanctuary and celebration, and on the cusp of the Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20.
As vowed women religious, associates, agrégées, St. Joseph Workers, and partners in mission who share this charism of unifying love, we name that violent hate crimes do not happen in isolation. Language, beliefs, and practices that condemn, reject, target, or blame LGBTQ+ people must be explicitly rejected, particularly by religious leaders and churches.
In the wake of the 2016 Pulse Nightclub mass shooting, the CSSJ family gathered in solidarity in Orlando and affirmed the Gospel truth that all people are beloved and made in God’s image and likeness. All people deserve a life free from violence, persecution, discrimination, and hateful rhetoric that targets an individual or group because of their sexuality, race, gender identity, ethnicity, and/or religion.
We are called to actively interrupt hateful interactions in daily life and dismantle the systems that reinforce this rhetoric and violence in society, including anti-LGBTQ+ legislation that is sweeping across the country. This includes calling out the Catholic Church’s support and endorsement of such legislation.
We must embody our Gospel charism of unifying love for the healing and transformation of the world. May we act to transform politics, our church, and our country to ensure that the dignity of every person is acknowledged, boldly accepted, and celebrated.
Please take a moment to pray for each victim. When dignity is robbed from one, it is robbed from all. May all those who love them experience God’s consolation:
Daniel Aston, 28
Kelly Loving, 40
Ashley Paugh, 35
Derrick Wayne Rump, 38
Raymond Green Vance, 22
- Donate to a local LGBTQ+ serving organization or Club Q Victims Fund
- Educate: LGBTQ+ terminology, realities, and prevalence of anti-transgender violence
- Advocate: for laws at the local, state and federal levels that restrict civilian access to assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines; require universal background checks
- Amplify: Catholic LGBTQ+ ministry, including New Ways Ministry and Outreach
- The U.S. Federation is a proud organizational endorser on the following statements:
- Tyler Clementi Foundation’s “God is on Your Side” for LGBT Youth (Feb. 2021)
- New Ways Ministry’s “We Will Bless Same Gender Couples” (March 2021) and “A Home for All: A Catholic Call for LGBTQ Non-Discrimination” (August 2021)