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Highlights of DignityUSA's History: 1971

The following history is based on the commemorative booklet entitled DignityUSA at 25: A Chronology, 1969-1994 compiled by former DignityUSA President Pat Roche. Copies are available from the Dignity national office and were also printed in the Dignity Journal 27:2-3 (Autumn 1995). Highlights from 1995-Present compiled by former Dignity Vice President Pat McArron.
  • The membership becomes more and more active and wants recognition from the Los Angeles Diocese. Although Father Nidorf does not think sending a letter to the Bishop is prudent, "after continual prodding" a letter is sent. It does not meet with favorable results. The Bishop sends for Father Nidorf.

  • On February 11, Father Nidorf and the Provincial of his Augustinian Order meet with Los Angeles Co-Adjutor Archbishop Timothy Manning, who is offended that Father Nidorf is working in the Los Angeles diocese without his permission and thinks that the principles of Dignity are "untenable." The Archbishop forbids Father Pat to have anything further to do with the group, and Father decides to respect the Archbishop’s wishes.

  • On February 20, Father Nidorf announces his resignation to some ninety members of Dignity at the group’s monthly potluck/meeting. Gloom turns to determination after an inspiring talk by Bob Fournier, and the group strongly agrees to continue Dignity as a lay led ministry.

  • On March 10, the first national Dignity Newsletter is published. Bob Fournier is the Editor.

  • On March 20, Dignity begins a monthly speakers program in conjunction with its meetings. The first speaker is Evelyn Hooker, Ph.D., Research Psychologist at UCLA.

  • In April, annual Dignity dues are raised to $10.

  • From August 13-15, Dignity’s first retreat is held at St. Andrew’s Benedictine Priory in Valyermo, California.

  • The following appears in the September 5 newsletter:

    "OUTSIDE LOS ANGELES: If you live outside the Los Angeles area, why not try to organize a chapter of Dignity for your area. Write to Joe Gilgamesh for particulars. It would be a great thing if gay Catholics could be organized throughout the country. Our voice would be much more effective in the Church if coming from one organization. We would have a common clearinghouse of ideas and eventually a national Board of Directors. Think about it. Contact others. Let’s hear from you."

  • In November, Dignity/Louisville becomes the first chapter of Dignity outside Southern California.