Saint Joseph’s College welcomes and supports all people – students, families, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members – as an expression of our core values of community, respect, and compassion as well as the longstanding Catholic virtue of hospitality. In the words of Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, we are to “bear to each other great and cordial respect and affection, not in outward behavior, looks, and words only, but also really indeed in heart and mind.”
It is for these reasons that Saint Joseph’s extends the same welcome and hospitality to members of the LGBTQ+ community as we do to everyone. All of us “are created in the image and likeness of God and thus possess an innate human dignity that must be acknowledged and respected” (U.S. Catholic Bishops). Accordingly, members of the Saint Joseph’s LGBTQ+ community “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided” (Catechism of the Catholic Church).
While clearly summarizing the Church’s moral teaching on human sexuality, the U.S. Catholic Bishops also advise that ministry to the LGBTQ+ community should include a “welcoming stance of Christian love” that nurtures “the bonds of friendship among people.” More specifically, the local Church community should be a place where LGBTQ+ persons “experience friendship” because this community “can be a rich source of human relationships and friendships, so vital to living a healthy life.”
As an extension of the Church’s ministry to the LGBTQ+ community, Saint Joseph’s College supports groups and events that raise awareness about its inherent human dignity and foster just such relationships and friendships. As an institution of higher learning founded by the Sisters of Mercy, our core value of respect calls us to join the Sisters in their goal “to become better educated and to participate in engaged dialogue on gender identity and sexual orientation” so as to accompany in solidarity all who are relegated to the margins of society.