We had a lot to offer to the Church, but the Church was not ready to accept our gifts.Margie Winters, School of Theology and Ministry, Boston College, MDiv,’07
At the encouragement of a Weston faculty member, upon graduation from Weston, I took a leap of faith and became the Director of Religious Education at Waldron Mercy Academy. There, I became immersed in the gospel life of Mercy already present and yet to be in that community. As I ministered by forming and shaping the Waldron Mercy community, my identity in the Mercy charism and as a leader of faith grew and deepened. What a sacred and gifted place in my faith journey!
But all of me could not be seen at Waldron Mercy. As a married LGBTQ couple, my partner, Andrea Vettori, and I stayed closeted. As lesbian women of faith, we had a lot to offer to the Church, but the Church was not ready to accept our gifts. Not only did the Waldron Mercy community miss out on knowing us as a couple and receiving the gifts of our relationship, but our relationship also suffered because we lived it in the shadows.
More tragically, our marriage put us in the middle of the Church’s political-religious battle against same-sex marriage. In 2015 my employment was terminated because of our marriage. It set off a firestorm of protest against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the Sisters of Mercy, and Waldron Mercy.
From a place of deep faith, however, we gave voice to this injustice, calling the Church to treat LGBTQ people, in particular, Church Workers, with dignity, respect, equity and justice. Joining us in this prophetic witness were many of the Waldron Mercy community. They stood with us. Their accompaniment and their echo of the call for justice remains a most profound moment in my faith journey.