“I think the culture wars have been won,” says Mercy Sr. Donna Ryan. In the 13 years she has served as chaplain to a group of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Catholics, she has seen growing acceptance of this community by society at large. “It is kind of like the church is becoming the last group in our culture to face this reality,” says Ryan. HOPE, the organization she serves in the Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., diocese, was recently asked to leave its meeting place in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, but the group carries on, she says, because its members “care about the church and they care for one another.”
Ryan has worked in various ministries within the diocese, most recently as education resource coordinator at the cathedral. As the cofounder of the Center for Spirit at Work, she serves working people who wish to integrate spirituality, ethics and values in their work environments.
NCR recently spoke with Ryan about her work as chaplain to HOPE.
NCR: Tell me about your HOPE ministry.