Hello Friends. In my work with the wonderful New Waves Ministry, which was founded by Sister Phyllis Diller (who identifies as non-bipolar) I have come across an apostolate that was founded in the city of St Francis. This is a new order of sisters called the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. This courageous group of individuals have built a bridge between the Catholic Church and the LGBTSJ community. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence engage in an entertainment ministry, but they also raise funds for local AIDS charities and other good works within the wider community.
I encourage you to check out their website and, if you can, to donate. We need more ministries like this within the Catholic Church–ministries that are truly inclusive and diverse–ministries that have a real sense of humor and fun. If you are a youth worker in your local parish why not plan an SPI weekend and invite the members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to lead a youth retreat at a local camp? Believe me, they will give you a whole new understanding of “camp”. If you are a teacher in one of our fine Catholic parochial schools, in a true spirit of inclusion and diversity why not invite one of the sisters to tell some Bible stories to your K5 and first grade kids? I’ve heard some of the sisters do their dramatized version of the Jezebel story and it is hilarious, scary and really exciting!
I was very encouraged when I recently met Pope Francis to share with him some of the exciting things happening in the California city that shares his name. He chuckled and slapped my hand in that endearing way he has and said, “I believe what you are doing is truly synodical in a synodical spirit of the synod of synodality for the proliferation of synodical synods.” I may have mistaken exactly what he said because my Spanish is a bit rusty, but that was certainly the synodical spirit of what he was saying and I thought to myself, “This is truly a wonderful Jesuit pope. So clearly being led by the Holy Spirit–the spirit of synodical synodality. Afterwards I met with my friend, the diminutive journalist Edward Ebony. Edward was feeling rather miffed and told me how annoyed he is by American Catholics who drip poisonous words onto the synodical system of synodality. “It’s blasphemy against the. Holy Spirit to disagree with my opinions!” Eddie fumed.
My friend is a great communicator and has written the best biography of our dear Pope, but unfortunately he is not very well versed in Sacred Scripture or theology. Therefore I had to correct him. “Edward” I said, “Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is something different. It is the failure to integrate and include those who are outside the Catholic Church into the synodical process.”
This is where groups of courageous individuals like the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are showing the New Way Forward. If doctrine continues to be so frozen I may join the sisters myself! Now wouldn’t that be a bit of fun?
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