In February 2021, we were the first religious community of sisters to issue a statement in support of the statement, “God Is On Your Side,” by twelve U.S. Catholic Bishops in support of at-risk LGBT youth and the work of the Tyler Clementi Foundation. Some of the campus ministry staff at the schools sponsored by the Ursuline Sisters wanted to start an outreach program for LGBTQ students at the high school and asked the sisters if they had a statement in support. While the community had general statements in support of all life, we did not have one specific to support of LGBT youth. I was aware of the “God is On Your Side” statement by twelve U.S. Catholic Bishops, so I worked with leadership to craft a statement in support of it. We then posted it to our website and social media.
“We support the recent statement, “God Is On Your Side,” by twelve U.S. Catholic Bishops in support of at-risk LGBT youth and the work of the Tyler Clementi Foundation. We respect the intrinsic dignity of all human life, including the lives of LGBT youth, who face many challenges, including bullying, harassment and violence, as well as being at higher risk for suicide. As followers of Christ, we are called to welcome and defend those on the margins, especially those whom society rejects. As Jesus commands us, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” [John 13:34]. LGBT youth are children of God, created by God and loved by God. We stand in solidarity with them.”
Our Feb. 5, 2021, Facebook post went viral (110,841 people reached, 10,676 engaged, 365 shares and 60 comments) after Fr. James Martin (an internationally known writer and speaker) reposted it on his Facebook page. In subsequent posts, we reposted Fr. James Martin’s post about our initial posts, and we posted the names of the other religious communities that signed on with us to social media and our Facebook page. We believe that we were able to influence other communities to sign on to the statement due to the attention our posts received. I sent our statement to Global Sisters Report, who ran an article about it and featured statements from our president in the article. With over 110,000+ reach on the one post, having other communities sign on with us and the feature in Global Sisters Report, we feel that this campaign was very successful.
Global Sisters Report article on the women religious that signed the statement that features the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville:
Statement on website
More Facebook posts:
February 5, 2021