LGBTQ+ Justice in Faith-Based Communities


LGBTQ+ Justice in Faith-Based Communities:

Understanding the Evolving Story of Gender & Sexuality


Friday, July 8th 2016 

Grace Place

637 South Dearborn Street

Chicago, IL 60605

8:30 | Gather

 9am - 12pm | Workshop

$20 suggested donation 

What does it mean to be queer?  How can we better understand queerness so that our faith  communities can be more inclusive?  How might the story of the evolving universe inform our understanding of sexuality and gender? What might a church that is fully embracing of the queer community look like?

Please join us as we explore these questions and more during a workshop on understanding gender and sexuality, and how that relates to Catholic identity.  Chris McNulty will lay the foundation for our discussion with the basic language and tenets of queer theory.  What is queer theory?  What terms are most inclusive and appropriate?  How might we need to challenge our pre-conceived understandings of the human person?  How do gender and sexuality intersect with race, ability, and economic status?

We will then feature a panel with Chantal de Alcuaz, Pat Curran, and Lydia Gajdel to explore questions of how their LGBTQ+ identities relate to their faith lives.

We hope you will join us for this exciting, interactive, and important discussion so that we may all grow into deeper understanding so that we can build faith communities and our world into a truly just and equal place.

About Our Presenter & Panelists…

Chris McNulty, M.A. is a social justice activist, educator, philosopher, and active listener. He earned his Master’s degree in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness from the California Institute of Integral Studies where he studied the history and philosophy of science in relation to social justice and environmentalism under the mentorship of Dr. Brian Swimme. He works on queer justice issues in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, particularly focusing on youth education and empowerment as a board member of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network of Northeast Ohio and as a speaker at youth events. He identifies as a human, gay, cis-gender, white, male Clevelander who dabbles in karaoke and stands in solidarity with those who are oppressed by current social and political structures.

Pat Curran grew up in Hartford, Connecticut and after graduating from Georgetown University, he moved to Chicago to spend a year working with refugees Catholic Charities through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. For the past three years, he has worked on the social work team at Chicago Jesuit Academy while working toward a Master of Social Work degree from Loyola University Chicago. Pat enjoys running and memorizing the lyrics to Hamilton.

Chantal deAlcuaz began her Catholic school education in kindergarten, and finished with a Masters in Theology from the University of Notre Dame.  She has worked as a high school campus minister, carpenter, baker, book keeper, and most formatively, as an activist and Catholic Worker.  She and her partner live in Alaska where they enjoy climbing mountains and watching baby moose frolic in their back yard.

Lydia Gajdel is a proud Iowa native who is a Masters of Divinity student at The University of Chicago. In her free time she likes to try new craft beers, build architectural Legos and dig into the biggest burrito she can find.

Cosponsored by Call to Action

For more information and to register for the event please contact Mary Ellen Madden at

Support for Orlando

The 8th Day Center for Justice Staff, Coordinating Council, and Assembly are deeply saddened and angered by the senseless massacre that happened at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando on Saturday evening. Our deepest sympathy, presence, and prayers are with the families of the many innocent victims and the survivors, who have all been left to deal with the trauma of this atrocity. As we have for many years, we stand with the LGBTQ+ community whose safety and dignity have once again been threatened by this unimaginable attack.

As is the case in any situation, we know that the actions of one are not representative of any group. In times of tragedy, it is both easy and tempting to fall into the trap of blaming in order to provide answers for our hurting and healing for our wounds. We stand with the Muslim community who once again fall victim to Islamophobia simply because the perpetrator was Muslim himself. The correlation of Islam and violence is a fallacy; it is a gross generalization to blame an entire community for the action of an individual.

This attack on the queer Latino community of Orlando was inexcusable; it is an attack on the human community at large. The shooter’s actions are representative of the ills and pathologies of our culture, a culture that perpetuates violence, racism, homophobia, and hyper-masculinity. Until we address these ills of our society, we will never see an end to this violence. As a faith-based organization, we know that we must address the flawed structures and attitudes within our own faith communities that perpetuate these ills so that true justice, peace, and safety can be achieved for all.  

8th Day Center vows to stand with the LGBTQ+ community to address the systems that allow such heinous acts to take place. We cannot and we will not rest until the diversity of  the human community is celebrated, and all are reverenced for the sacredness of their humanity.

Watch our June 17 Lunch & Learn

CAN-TV showing of

Inside the Refugee Crisis

A View from Sr. Norma Pimentel of the Humanitarian 
Response along the Texas/Mexico Border



We were so pleased to have Sr. Norma Pimentel join us for a live interview to discuss her work on the U.S.-Mexico Border.  


Norma Pimentel is a Sister with the Missionaries of Jesus. As 
Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley for over 12 years, she oversees the charitable arm of the Diocese of Brownsville, providing oversight of the different ministries & services in the areas of the Rio Grande Valley. Sr. Norma is an alumna of the Loyola University Chicago Institute of Pastoral Studies with a Master of Arts degree in Pastoral Counseling. She will be honored at Loyola University Chicago's Founders Dinner as one the 2016 Damen Awardees.


Tune in at watch at these times and channels

Sunday, June 26th, 9:00 AM, CAN TV21
Monday,  June 27th, 8:00 AM, CAN TV19
Tuesday,  June 28th, 12:00 PM, CAN TV21


SOA Watch Fundraiser

Kayak OR Canoe for a Cause!


Join us to raise funds for Chicago-area students to attend the SOA Watch Border Convergence this October!

Sunday, July 17

$30 to $50 Donation

Chicago River Canoe & Kayak

The Chicago River @ Clark Park

3400 N. Rockwell

Just west of Western Ave/Lane Tech High School; just south of Addison. 

Street parking available.
Kayak or Canoe: 2-3pm
Potluck meal to follow.
Arrive: 1:30pm

Families welcome! Contact Mary Ellen about family rates.

RSVP by Friday, July 8 to

Send check to 8th Day Center for Justice | 205 W. Monroe| Chicago | 60606 (Memo: Kayak for SOAW) or pay in-person with cash, check, or credit card.

Can’t make the event, but want to help a student get to the Border Convergence? Email

Young Adult Council - Art Exhibit


Join us for the third annual art show, "These Are Not My Problems," presented by the Young Adult Council of 8th Day Center for Justice. The art shown will represent an artistic expressions of justice through this years theme "creative expressions of reclaiming our bodies."

Information on Artist will be posted as they are added so watch for more info.

Saturday, September 24
7pm - 9:30 pm

Preston Bradley Center
People's Church
Mason Hall (4th Floor)
941 W Lawrence Ave 
(3 blocks from Lawrence Red line)

Tickets $40
Students $20
2 drink tickets included

Raffle Tickets
1 for $10 or 3 for $25

Prizes include
Fitbit Alta
Kindle Paperwhite

Tickets available at

Convergence At The Border


The SOA Watch Convergence at the Border is taking place from October 7-10, 2016 at the border wall in Nogales, Sonora / Arizona. Mobilize your communities to take a stand for justice and against militarization. The convergence will include workshops and events on both sides Border Convergenceof the U.S./ Mexico border, as well as art, music, and resistance. To learn more about why SOA Watch is moving from the gates of Fort Benning to the border, read the article From the School of the Americas to the Border and watch the documentary The Empire's War on the Border.

This page includes hotel and travel information. Sign up to receive updates.

Download and distribute the Border Convergence fliers, and post information and images on your social media networks (click here for sample tweets). Get your group or organization to endorse the convergence, and to spread the word.

History is made by movements - mass movements of people who organize themselves to struggle collectively for a better world. The SOA Watch movement is a nonviolent force to change oppressive U.S. policies as represented by institutions like the School of the Americas, and to resist militarization at home and abroad. It is made up of people from many backgrounds who work towards a positive and fundamentally different alternative to the racist system of violence and domination.

Supporting “A Church For Our Daughters”

8th Day Center for Justice - Women in Church and Society Committee is a supporting organization for the “A Church For Our Daughters” campaign.

The campaign states:
 “We pray together as a family of the faithful with the vision of a Church community that at its core upholds the full equality of all of its members. So that our daughters and yours may know radical inclusion and justice, equality without qualification, and an institution that transforms oppression into love without bounds, let us build a Church for our daughters.”

Join 8th Day Center - Women in Church and Society Committee and the many other organizations in signing the petition asking US Bishops to Build a Church for Our Daughters by clicking here

Learn more about the campaign here.

Spring Revel

Spring Revel 

Thank you for joining us!

Thank you to all who joined us at Revel in the Revolution with Jamie Manson. It was a pleasure having you all with us, experiencing the moving words from Jamie, together. The roll out of our Feminist Plattform could have gone no other way. Thank you for being a part of it with us.  The full text of Jamie Manson's speech can be found by clicking here.

To see photos from the event click here.




Click here for more information about the Feminist Platform.

Good Friday Walk for Justice - March 25




Thank you for joining us for

Good Friday Walk for Justice


Download a copy of the 2016 Good Friday Walk for Justice program book.


Click here to see photos from the Walk.

8th Day Speakers


Watch last months Evening Speaker Series with Imam Malik Musahid. 



Watch last months Lunch & Learn with Adelaida Jiménez Cortés.