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In Solidarity: Vowed Catholic Religious Honor Trans Day of Visibility

Note: The undersigned religious communities represent more than 6,000 vowed Catholic religious and partners in mission in more than 18 states.

As vowed Catholic religious and our partners in mission, we wholeheartedly affirm that transgender, nonbinary, and gender-expansive individuals are beloved and cherished by God. We mark March 31, International Day of Transgender Visibility, as a time to celebrate, acknowledge, and uplift folks who identify as transgender, nonbinary, and/or gender-expansive. We know our actions and commitments must extend beyond this day’s observance.

As members of the body of Christ, we cannot be whole without the full inclusion of transgender, nonbinary, and gender-expansive individuals. At this moment in the United States, transgender people are experiencing harm and erasure due to:

  • The introduction and approval of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation across several states
  • Harmful rhetoric from some Christian institutions and their leaders, including the Catholic Church, and
  • Daily discrimination and violence.

The Gospel call of unifying love compels us to actively interrupt harmful interactions in daily life and dismantle the systems that reinforce this rhetoric and violence in society, particularly for Black, Indigenous, and other folks of color. We will remain oppressors until we – as vowed Catholic religious – acknowledge the existence of LGBTQ+ people in our own congregations. We seek to cultivate a faith community where all, especially our transgender, nonbinary, and gender-expansive siblings, experience a deep belonging.

May we act to transform our hearts, our church, our politics, and our country to ensure that the dignity of our trans, nonbinary, and gender-expansive siblings are acknowledged, boldly accepted, and celebrated.

Stirred to Act

Learn: Check if elected officials are attacking LGBTQ+ rights in your state legislation with Trans Legislation Tracker.

Support: The Trevor Project, Transgender Law Center, New Ways Ministry, or another organization supporting transgender individuals.

Evaluate: Assess your religious community’s capacity to fully welcome trans folks, including internal attitudes, behaviors, policies, and having gender-neutral restrooms.

Act: Consider signing on as an individual, congregation or organization to the declaration “Beloved by God.”

Statement Endorsers

Note: This statement and call to action was prepared by representatives of several religious communities: U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph, Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, and Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth JPIC office on behalf of the undersigned communities:

  • Adorers of the Blood of Christ, U.S. Region JPIC office
  • Atlantic-Midwest Provincial Council of the School Sisters of Notre Dame
  • Department of Social & Environmental Justice, Congregation of St. Joseph
  • Dominican Sisters of Houston
  • Franciscan Peace Center, Clinton, Iowa
  • Leadership Council of the IHM Sisters, Monroe, Mich.
  • Leadership Team of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana
  • Leadership Team, Sisters of St. Francis, Clinton, Iowa
  • Leadership, Presentation Sisters of Dubuque
  • Leadership Team, Congregation of St. Joseph
  • Loretto at the United Nations
  • Loretto Feminist Network
  • Medical Mission Sisters – Justice Office
  • Office of Peace, Justice, and Ecological Integrity, Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth
  • Provincial Council of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, Central Pacific Province
  • Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Office of Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation
  • Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Congregational Leadership
  • Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Western Province Leadership
  • Sisters of Charity, BVM Leadership Team
  • Sisters of Loretto/Loretto Community
  • Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, Justice Coordinating Commission
  • Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet – Albany
  • Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi
  • Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet
  • Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield
  • Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood
  • The Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes Leadership Team and JPIC Office
  • U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph

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Sisters of Providence

The Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, are a congregation of Roman Catholic women religious (sisters) who minister throughout the United States and Taiwan. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin founded the Sisters of Providence in 1840. The congregation has a mission of being God's Providence in the world by committing to performing works of love, mercy and justice in service among God's people.

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14 Comments

  1. Philip Ewoldsen on March 31, 2023 at 9:47 am

    We celebrate your day of honoring our trans sisters and brothers and celebrate with them God’s expansive and all inclusive love.

  2. Jay on March 31, 2023 at 8:12 pm

    You’re heretics to the catholic cairn. We are called to love and care for all, but not support all of those ideologies directly in contradiction to the catholic faith. Your order is only catholic in name anymore and has been this way for decades. Mother Theodore is turning in her grave with your apostasy. And you wonder why your numbers of vocations are slim to none and your average age of nuns is simply elderly. I pray for you sisters to convert and to truly love these people by not supporting their ideologies. Being trans is a mental issue and they must be respected and told not to change their bodies because it’s immoral. Homosexuals are loved by God but homosexual actions are an abomination. This is how you deceive people. Loving someone does NOT demand approval of their actions. They are called to live chastely.

    • Hoi on April 5, 2023 at 9:53 pm

      “… Homosexuals are loved by God but homosexual actions are an abomination …” and “… Loving someone does NOT demand approval of their actions…” hit the nail on its head for me. Also, what about those who have regretted their “trans” time and want to “go back”? Statement forthcoming in support of them? Why this “topic”? Sure seem 1-sided. I had the opportunity the read the original statement: ” … The Gospel call of unifying love compels us to actively interrupt harmful interactions in daily life and dismantle the systems that reinforce this rhetoric and violence in society, particularly for Black, Indigenous, and other folks of color. We will remain oppressors until we — as vowed Catholic religious — acknowledge the existence of LGBTQ+ people in our own congregations. We seek to cultivate a faith community where all, especially our transgender, nonbinary, and gender-expansive siblings, experience a deep belonging …”. Who is reinforcing this “rhetoric”? this “violence”? And you/sisters of Providence “will remain oppressors(!!!) until we — as vowed Catholic religious — acknowledge the existence of LGBTQ …” !!!!!!!

  3. Debbie Griffey on April 1, 2023 at 7:25 am

    Absolutely! We cannot leave this alone, when they need us the most.

  4. Paula Modaff SP on April 1, 2023 at 7:57 am

    I am so proud to be a sister of Providence participating in supporting some of our most vulnerable siblings at this time.

  5. Bernadette Newland Heitzman on April 1, 2023 at 8:40 am

    Love, yes! Absolutely! Pray for, yes!! Support, no. God made man and woman in His infinite wisdom.

    • Christian Seibold on April 1, 2023 at 6:59 pm

      God made ALL HUMANS in his infinite wisdom, including those society does not view as the typical man or woman (or third gender in some ancient societies). Fun fact, in Jewish Tradition, there is a very clear recognition of a larger spectrum of genders. There’s a Midrash from the 6th to 8th century CE regarding Dinah’s sex change by God. From the 3rd century CE we have Rabbinic discussions of the “Androginos” in the Mishnah, a debate about how these types of humans, who are said to definitively exist, fit in with the Halakhic system. A midrash from the 5th century portrays the first human being as androgynous prior to being split in two and forming Adam and Eve.

      Considering we are in a time where Trans people are being harassed, harmed, and silence, we *must* support them as real human beings created with a dignity given to them by God. Who are you to limit what God can create to your own conception of “man” and “woman”? God is infinite and can create anything! You don’t get to erase the existence of people that don’t fit your modern binary thinking. History shows a different picture, and that is why God is calling all of us to account for the forgotten and alone.

      Listen to the LORD’s Word being spoken among the forgotten of God’s creation. God does not want your offering, your prayers. He is sated with them, with vain words and fleshly conceptions. Your prayers are an offence to His creation. Who asked all this of you? Who asked you to trample on God’s creation as if they were nothing? Bring no more of your empty gifts – they are foul. They have become a burden. When you spread your hands out skyward, God will turn His eyes away. When you pray with such verbosity, God is not listening. Wash your hands clean, learn to do good, seek justice, and correct what is cruel.

      • Sabrina Falls on April 3, 2023 at 4:28 pm

        Thank you, Christian, for calling this teaching from Judaism to our attention! Through the ages, Jewish rabbis and sages studied and searched intently for what God’s Spirit was saying “between the lines” of Torah, holding all in the light of God’s hesed (steadfast love) and tzedakah (righteousness). This is the faith and tradition and milieu from which Jesus emerged and taught, and which all of God’s people have inherited.

  6. Sister Sue Paweski on April 2, 2023 at 5:10 pm

    I am so proud of our Congregations and all the Congregations who support all people! Our Provident God is beyond our comprehension so we follow the gospel values of Love, Mercy and Justice in the living presence of Jesus. All are welcome in our diverse human family. I daresay we mirror the diversity that is evident is all of creation.

  7. Sabrina Falls on April 3, 2023 at 4:31 pm

    As a Providence Associate, I wonder if there is a way for us to join the Sisters in statements of solidarity like this. Thank you, Sisters, for your courageous and compassionate stand for justice and with all of God’s creation.

  8. MegvanDeVito on April 5, 2023 at 6:58 pm

    Keep the great work Sisters. All people are equal in God the Father’s eyes. Now If that were only true in the world we live in. Your courage and understanding will lead the way for others.

  9. Robert on April 6, 2023 at 1:04 am

    My Dear Sisters in Christ…I am saddened by the militant stance you have taken in this matter. Gender confusion seems to be rampant – at least be the amount of attention it is getting in the media. Regardless of the reasons, “celebrating” gender confusion and supporting the transgender ideology is flawed. Compassionate support, yes. Acceptance in our community of worship, yes. Cherished by God? Yes!!! Pretending that individuals can truly change their sexual identity (biologically/scientifically speaking) is untruthful and does nothing to get to the root of an individual’s confusion. Seriously, do you support the use of giving hormone blockers to children, teens, before they have had an opportunity to experience the world in the skin they were given at birth? Drugs that have not been for gender dysphoria by the FDA?
    I have to wonder “what would Jesus do?” He would certainly be compassionate but I doubt that he would support the experimentation that is taking place in the name of ‘Transgenderism”. I have felt for some time that your politics were probably not in alignment with mine but respecting your status as “vowed religious” was enough to keep you in my prayers – and I will continue to do so. Unfortunately, due to your political activism, I can no longer provide financial support to the Sisters of Providence. Please pray on this matter.

    • Nia on April 18, 2023 at 12:35 pm

      I agree with Robert. There are only two sexes, man and woman, created by God. These people deserve support and compassion but affirming their delusion that they can change sex is wrong. Gender identity is a newfangled concept that is causing the younger generation much consternation. For you to be propagating this idea is short-sighted and harmful. Women deserve sex-segregated spaces free from men, such as prisons, locker rooms, sports teams and bathrooms. That is for the safety and dignity of women and girls. Children deserve to grow up without confusion regarding “gender.” If they are a tomboyish girl or an effeminate boy, that’s ok! That doesn’t mean they need to have their genitals hacked off or their breasts removed or be put on hormones. This movement reinforces gender stereotypes, rather than eliminates them. It is very disappointing to see a group of women in support of an ideology that actively harms women and children.

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