COVID-19 Community Cancellations & Updates


March 19, 2020
Please read this letter from
Daniel Barutta providing you with information about Dignity/Washington in the era of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Also you can view a modified version of the Sunday Bulletin. This transmittal message highlights what is happening and we encourage you to review each document.
  • All Dignity/Washington in-person activities are cancelled for the foreseeable future.
  • We are in the process of producing a virtual Sunday Mass (3/22 and each Sunday going forward) via Facebook and YouTube. These recorded Masses will be available on both sites Sunday afternoon and can be viewed without any membership. 
  • Lenten Soup Night Series: If you are interested in participating virtually, please contact Denis Pringle or Jeff Vomund for specific details.
  • We are preparing an outreach to senior community member who live alone and may need some sort of assistance.
  • The Pastoral Care team is available to help any member who might be having difficulty coping with this crisis. Please contact us at 202-546-2235 and select Option #2 to leave a confidential message. Someone from our Pastoral Care Team will be in touch with you.
  • In lieu of receiving weekly donations during the Sunday collection, The Board of Directors encourages you to make financial donations as described in the Bulletin.
The leadership of Dignity/Washington is working diligently to respond to the needs of our community. Please let us know if you or someone you know needs our help during this pandemic.
Peter Edwards
Member, D/W Board of Directors

March 12, 2020
The Dignity/Washington Executive Committee along with the Liturgy Committee is reevaluating the latest developments in the DC area in response to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

In order to ensure as best we can the physical safety of our members, many of whom are in the high-risk category due to the impact of the virus on older Americans, and due to our responsibility as a community of faith to help stop the spread of the virus in the DC area, the Executive Committee made the following decisions:

  • Mass this Sunday (March 15th) is CANCELED.
    We will reevaluate the situation Monday to determine if we can offer Mass at the Dignity Center the following Sunday (March 22nd). Two considerations:

    • Evaluating and upgrading the cleanliness of the Center to allow a safer environment for gatherings;
    • Consider live streaming the mass from the Center involving only a few people who are healthy.
  • The Lenten Simple Suppers Thursday evenings will continue as scheduled at this time.
  • The St. Patrick’s Day Parade (March 15) has been postponed by the organizers.
  • The St. Joseph’s Day Dinner (March 28) is postponed,
    due to the closure of all Episcopal buildings at least until March 29 (the day after our scheduled dinner); a new date for the dinner has not yet been

The decision to cancel Mass was not made lightly. March 11, the Episcopal bishops in the DC metropolitan areas announced the closure all Episcopalian buildings for two weeks (including St. Margaret’s). Furthermore, Mayor Muriel Bowser declared of a “state of emergency” in the District of Columbia. These actions forced the Executive Committee to act and respond. Part of our discussion included the possibility that someone in our community or Dignity/Northern Virginia may have already been exposed to the virus and may yet become asymptomatic. We are following the lead of those bishops and the Mayor’s office to act out of an abundance of caution.

As President, I ask for your continued prayers and support for all our members in both Dignity communities and for everyone in the world actually who have been impacted by the virus. Though it may not be prudent to meet in person temporarily, our collective prayers and concern will have an impact. And keeping ourselves and our communities healthy will be the best sign of Christ in our lives. Thank you and we appreciate your cooperation.

Daniel Barutta
President, Dignity/Washington

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Get the Snugsafe App

As many of you know, Len Latham had a serious fall in his home and is still recuperating. Mark Clark also fell in his home and lie on the floor for 3 days before help arrived. Because of these recent falls and the impending spread of the Corona Virus, the Board of Directors encourages ALL Dignity members, and especially those who live alone, to join us in a daily wellness check-in program.

We have identified a phone app, Snugsafe, which will check on our members safety and well being daily.The Snugsafe app is free and is easy to download, set up and use on your iPhone or Android. The only information needed is Name, cell phone number and email address. We recommend that each of you have two safety contacts:

  1. Someone located nearby who has access to your home in an emergency and
  2. A fellow Dignity brother or sister as a backup. You will need contact’s names, phone numbers and email addresses for setup.

The app reminds you to check in once a day by tapping just one screen button. You can pick your preferred daily check in time but since we know that most household falls occur in the bathroom, we recommend selecting a time slot after your daily shower routine. If you do not check in, the app alerts your safety contacts that you may need help and reports your last known location.

Detailed information about Snugsafe can be found at and instructions for downloading and installing the app are included below. If you need assistance, call Jim Sweeney at 202-320-6077.

We are undertaking this initiative as a family for the safety and well being of our Dignity siblings. We cared for each other through the AIDS crisis and now we are called to do so again.

Instructions for downloading and installing Snugsafety:

  1. Tap the App Store icon on your iPhone Home Screen
    Search for Snug Safety.
  2. Tap Get.
  3. Tap the new Snug icon on your I-Phone home screen.
  4. Tap Get Started.
  5. Enter your Name, Cell Phone number and email address.
  6. Retrieve and enter the 4 digit text code.
  7. Select preferred check-in time (preferably after daily shower routine)
  8. Tap Grant Location Access.
  9. Tap Turn on Notification Access green button.
  10. Select contacts from your address book. (Pick at least two: someone who has emergency access to your home and someone from Dignity Washington.)
  11. Tap Autosnug for Free at the bottom of the screen.
  12. Check in for today. You’re all set!
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Lent 2020 Daily Reflection

Forty-seven different members of our community shared their thoughts on Scripture, their stories, and their faith in order to make this booklet a reality.  It stands as witness against those who see people as somehow less due to their non-typical sexual or gender expression.  Over and over again, these writers have spoken of how their own experience of oppression and fear, when mixed with grace and with their faith, has helped them broaden their love for all of God’s people and given them courage to speak up not only for the LGBTQ community, but for the dignity of all.

Download PDF Booklet

Subscribe to Receive Scripture and Story to Your Inbox!
You are able to receive the reflection each day as an email directly to your inbox. Enter your email in the form below to signup. We encourage you to share this with people in your lives that could use an LGBTQ lens to their Lenten journey.

Contribute to Future Projects
In the years ahead, We hope to complete the liturgical cycle with additional LGBTQ Catholic resources such as this, so we may continue to learn and grow from our shared stories. Projects just like this one are only possible because of the generosity of people like you, our community members, and our family and friends. Please consider a donation to Dignity/Washington to help us continue such work by visiting

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The Walk to End HIV–October 26

Join Dignity for the Walk To End HIV Saturday, October 26, 9 a.m. Team Dignity/Washington and Dignity/Northern Virginia have once again come together to support the important work of Whitman-Walker Health (WWH). Team Dignity is walking in memory of Jimmy DePersis who served for many years as Dignity’s team captain for the Whitman Walker Health’s AIDS Walk before his passing in October 2009.

Registration is free for the first 20 people using promo code “DIG19.” To register, go to:

Agree to the notice then:
• Either log into your account from a previous year or enter your personal information. (Note: you do not need to enter a “Registration Type.”)
• Choose the “Join a Team”
• Search and select “The Dignity” team found towards the bottom of the list
• Enter promo code “DIG19” and click “Apply” and you will not be charged the registration fee.

Even though registration is free for the first 20 people who register with the code, please consider making a donation to show your support for the Dignity Team and for the WWH. Any amount is greatly appreciated, is much needed, and will be used for our Community.

Saturday morning, meet Team Dignity at the east end of Freedom Plaza near the equestrian statue (13th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW) arriving before 9:00 a.m. There you will find Larry Ranly who will distribute T-shirts for the Dignity Team members. Nearby Metro stations are Metro Center and Federal Triangle.

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Dignity Washington Prayer Series

Called to live out fully the blessing of who God created us to be. Communion with God is awakening and listening with our hearts – becoming attentive to Love’s presence within and around us always. In our prayer series, we will spend time with God together through a variety of prayer forms to help us go more deeply into our spiritual hearts and prepare us to open our awareness to God’s presence.

What is prayer really?
Come experience old and new ways to pray in community!


September 29 – Poetry
October 20 – Guided Imagery Visualization
October 27 – Contemplative Movement
November 3 – Chanting
November 17 – Native American Sacred Music

Our format for each session will be:

3:30 Welcome!
3:40 Begin check-in and ice breaker sharing
3:55 Guidance for exploring the day’s prayer form
4:00 Experiencing the prayer form and entering silence
4:20 Silent presence to God in community
4:40 Journaling on reflection questions (silent break as needed)
4:55 Group sharing of our reflections and prayer experience and refreshments
5:25 Closing prayer and blessing
5:30 End on time!

St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church,
1830 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC
Meet in Library

“…[I]t’s an enormous act of faith to believe that if you start listening, you will hear something; or that if you enter solitude,
you will find intimacy; or that when you are silent you are not going to be dead silent…
It is an act of faith that there is a God who loves us.”
― Henri Nouwen, Beloved

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Dignity/USA Celebrates 50 Years

As President of Dignity/Washington and on behalf of our entire D/WA family and Dignity/NOVA I want to thank the 26 people from our Community who attended DignityUSA’s 50th Anniversary Conference in Chicago, IL over the 4th of July weekend.

We joined over 300 people from across the US and this year from all over the world as representatives from all 6 continents and 20 nations came together as one global family of Catholics. DignityUSA is a major sponsor of the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics (GNRC). On Thursday, July 3 Dignity/USA with a substantial donation from Dignity/Washington sponsored a one-day Forum for both groups at our conference hotel in downtown Chicago. We heard stories from all over the globe of what LGBTQI Catholics are experiencing from the Church and their governments. Many delegates from the GNRC also stayed to attend our Conference.

We Came, We Led, We Celebrated!!!!
Reflections of Dignity/Washington & Dignity NOVA
At the Dignity/USA 50th Anniversary Conference

Dignity/Washington and NOVA members were everywhere: Martin Witchger, Linda Roberts and I (Daniel Barutta) as DignityUSA Board Members worked tirelessly behind the scenes in planning the conference and assisting in all sorts of tasks during the convening. Tom Yates did a fantastic job involving hours and hours of work researching, interviewing, editing and producing the 18-minute feature video showcasing our 50 years of advocacy and support. He was honored at the final banquet with a one-time 50th Anniversary Award and a Paxie (a gay Oscar) trophy.
It’s a must see! Our members chaired important caucuses: Jim and Jason helped run the Dignity with Aging Caucus, Linda facilitated the Transgender Caucus, Chris Flow and Martin ran the Dignity Young Adult Caucus.
Two of our members – Jon Strickland and Doug Kilburg sang in the marvelous group choir. Our own Mary Hunt gave a passionate keynote address at the opening on how DignityUSA has weathered 50 years of advocacy with the Church and how important it is we continue to support our community for the next 50 years and beyond. AND I am thrilled to report we are still well represented on the Dignity USA National Board with the election of Rev. Ann Penick, re-election of Martin Witchger and the continued work of Linda Roberts as Treasurer.

We prayed, we danced, we strategized about our future, we honored the past and looked forward to the many ways we can be a prophetic voice for change for The Catholic Church!

Tom’s Piece on the 50th Anniversary Video (we should add the link to YouTube or our website)
Video Premier: In Our Own Words: 50 Years of DignityUSA

At the end June we completed the video In Our Own Words: 50 Years of DignityUSA. The video is available on YouTube and links to it are on both the Dignity Washington Community Forum and the DignityUSA FaceBook pages. We had almost ten hours of videotaped interviews which we distilled into an 18-minute video. We wanted to highlight the major events and crossroads of Dignity’s history: the social and political background when Dignity was founded; the bold jump to become a lay-led organization when Fr. Patrick X. Nidorf was ordered to step away from Dignity; the expansion from strictly pastoral local ministries to include gay and lesbian rights advocacy; the struggles of Dignity through the 1980s with the HIV epidemic and Dignity’s expulsion from Catholic spaces. And finally highlight our successes and looking forward Dignity’s future role in the Church.

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Moon Over Washington Potluck Dinner

Saturday, August 17 at 7:30 pm
On the rooftop at the home of Jim Bedore
1901 Wyoming Ave, NW, Washington, DC

Please bring a main dish, side dish, beverages, or dessert. Watch the sunset over Washington and its monuments. Enjoy spectacular view of the National Cathedral and the city’s night lights.
For more information, contact Jim at

Tom, Russell and Ted

Paul, Ian, and Denis

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NEW READ | Book Club Summer Selection

On May 30  the group began reading reading “Leading Men,” by Christopher Castellani.
New members are cordially invited to join the discussions. For more information, contact Maurice at (703) 527-9284.

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Open Discussion: Committee on Church, May 19

The Dignity/Washington Committee on the Church will hold an open discussion regarding the new Archbishop of Washington, Wilton Gregory. All are invited to attend and to share your opinions about our relationsship with the institutional Church and our new Archbishop. The discussion will be held after Mass this Sunday, May 19th at St. Margaret’s Church.
All are welcome to participate.

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DignityUSA Jubilee Conference July 2019

Register today for DignityUSA’s national conference as we celebrate 50 years of ministry and move forward to envision the future together. July 4-8, 2019 Chicago, IL

Conference Speakers:

Urvashi Vaid: Attorney and organizer whose leadership in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and social justice movements spans legal,advocacy, philanthropic, and grassroots organizations.

Mary E. Hunt, Ph.D., is a feminist theologian who is co-founder and
co-director of the Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (WATER)
in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA. A Catholic active in the women-church
movement, she lectures and writes on theology and ethics with particular
attention to social justice concerns.

Forum on the State of the Global LGBTI Catholic Justice Movement: DignityUSA and Global Network of Rainbow Catholics will jointly hold a powerful and engaging one-day Forum on the State of the Global LGBTQI Catholic Justice Movement, with panelists from around the

Register Today at DignityUSA Jubilee National Conference

DignityUSA 50th Anniversary Conference
July 4—8 Westin Michigan Ave, Chicago

Experience the Future of Global LGBTI Catholic Justice

Join DignityUSA and the Global Network for Rainbow Catholics for a day-long Forum on July 4 in Chicago, prior to our Jubilee Conference to hear from Catholic LGBT leaders from around the world. Speakers including Miguel Diaz, Mary Hunt, and Rev. Bryan Massingale will offer their insights on the foundations and implications of this increasingly vital work.
Learn more here:

Donate Gift Cards for the Convention Raffle!

Back by popular demand from the 2017 Conference, we’ll be raffling bundles of gift cards for conference attendees and DignityUSA supporters nationwide. Winning tickets will be drawn periodically throughout the conference, and ticket-holders need not be present to win.

Please mail gift cards of $25 or more to national store chains (or donations for us to purchase them in your name) no later than
May 10th — to DignityUSA Development Chair, Patty Stricker, 9660 Hemple Road, Germantown, OH 45327.
Ask D/W member and D/USA board member Martin Witchger with any questions or for more information. Thank you!

Have a part in our Jubilee Conference!

Since 1969, DignityUSA has been a voice of affirmation, advocacy, and pride for LGBTQI Catholics and allies within our Church and
in society. Your gift of whatever amount — $5, 50, $500, or $5000 – helps brings this mission to life. Have you given toward our
Jubilee Fifty & Forward fund yet? Any gift given during this Jubilee period so far and before May 1, 2019 will be named in our
special commemorative conference program.
Give here:

Sign Up to Volunteer

Our conference couldn’t happen without the help of volunteers! Whether its help with setup, cleanup, registration, or something
else, check out the roles and indicate your interest on our Volunteer Form. Lots of roles for liturgy – musicians, singers, lectors or
dancers also needed!
Volunteer here:

Program Ads & Greetings

We would also love to see an Advertisement from your business or organization, or your Greeting to other attendees, in the 50th
Anniversary keepsake conference program. All are great ways to connect with the DignityUSA community and share your milestones, honor loved-ones or even introduce yourself as a new member. Submit your Advertisement or Greeting soon — deadline is May 1!
Learn more here:

Sponsor a Conference Event

Sponsor a liturgy or help decorate with flowers. Offer a scholarship to help someone else attend.
Learn more about sponsorship or scholarship options here:

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