Last week, the renowned Church of St. Paul the Apostle in New York City hosted an extraordinary moment in the LGBTQIA+ community’s history. Marianne Duddy-Burke, the Executive Director of DignityUSA and GNRC CO-Chair, delivered a powerful keynote address at the 2023 Outreach Conference that sought to invigorate and inspire attendees to engage in meaningful actions for the advancement of justice.

The Outreach Conference, held at Fordham University, is a robust platform that brings together different voices and perspectives to encourage dialogue and foster understanding. This year’s theme, “Learning from Dignity: 50 Years of Ministry with LGBTQ Catholics,” was a celebration of progress made and a challenge to the community and the church to strive for greater inclusivity.

Marianne’s address, delivered on the evening of June 17th, was nothing short of groundbreaking. As the leader of an organization that has served the LGBTQIA+ community for five decades, her words carried the weight of experience, the wisdom of perseverance, and the hope of a more inclusive future.

Drawing from the rich history of DignityUSA’s contributions to the church and the LGBTQIA+ community, Marianne issued a call to action. She urged the audience to imagine a Church that better serves not just the LGBTQIA+ community but everyone, regardless of their identity. Her speech was a passionate plea to embrace a new Pentecost — a time of rebirth and renewal, striving for justice and equality in these challenging times.

Her message was for those in attendance and everyone who values dignity, justice, and inclusivity. Those unable to attend the conference can partake in this inspirational call to action by watching Marianne’s address. DignityUSA continues its Pride Appeal to raise funds to further its impactful work, and I urge everyone to consider supporting this noble cause.

In conclusion, Marianne Duddy-Burke’s keynote address was more than just a speech; it was a heartfelt call to unity, a challenge to the status quo, and an invitation to each one of us to strive for a better, more inclusive world. As DignityUSA moves forward in its unique work, Marianne’s words will continue to inspire and shape the organization’s vision and the broader conversation around inclusivity in the Church and society.