Dignity/Chicago to honor 42nd anniversary and Legacy Project

Tue. May 13, 2014 9:18 AM

Chicago, IL - Dignity/Chicago, the inclusive faith and advocacy organization for LGBT Catholics and our allies, will host a special anniversary Mass on Sunday, May 18 to celebrate 42 years of ministry. Dignity has also named an annual award in memory of James Bussen, former DignityUSA President and Chicago LGBT rights advocate who passed away last June. The Mass and award presentation will be held at 5:00 pm at Broadway Methodist, 3338 N Broadway.

Dignity spokesperson, Chris Pett, said "We are pleased to remember Jim with this award which will go to individuals and organizations that advance our mission to seek justice and equality in church and society. It gives us great pleasure to announce that the first recipient of this award will be Victor Salvo and The Legacy Project. The project's work to make our history and our lives as LGBT people visible and public is at the core of our values and public witness at Dignity. We have been honored to partner with The Legacy Project in raising funds to install a plaque in recognition of Fr. Mychal Judge on the Legacy Walk. Fr Mychal serves as a visible symbol for the thousands upon thousands of LGBT people of faith whose lives have been silenced and hidden."

Victor Salvo expressed his honor in receiving the award saying "20 years ago, the urgent work of trying to survive the horrific onslaught of AIDS and the virulent politics it unleashed on this vulnerable community - things Jim Bussen and countless others fought against - forced a decade-long delay in the implementation of the Legacy Project. That turbulent time was the crucible - the FIRE - that forged this community into the dynamic force it is today...a community which has earned the right to celebrate its own history and the legacy of those who came before us. I honestly don't think the Legacy Walk could ever have been created anywhere else. I am most flattered and honored to accept this award on behalf of the Legacy Project. Jim Bussen was a friend of mine waaaay "back in the day" - one of my favorite people - so full of wit and integrity and wonderful, wonderful humor - what a character! I loved that man and I wasn't alone - few people in Chicago from that difficult era were more beloved than Jim, or are more fondly remembered today."

Dignity/Chicago is a chapter of Dignity/USA, and shares its mission to work for respect and justice for all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons in the Catholic Church and the world.

As independent organizations created to support LGBT Catholics and our families and friends, DignityUSA and Dignity/Chicago envision and work for a time when Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Catholics are affirmed and experience dignity through the integration of their spirituality with their sexuality, and, as beloved persons of God, participate fully in all aspects of life within the Church and Society. We minister through education, advocacy and worship and believe that same-sex relationships are loving, life-giving, and life-affirming. We open our doors to all and welcome you to join us.

From a news release