Georgetown’s administration has approved the proposal drafted last spring for the IgnatianQ LGBTQ Catholic conference to be held on the Hilltop, according to GUPride President Thomas Lloyd (SFS ‘15). The Office of Campus Ministry, Division of Student Affairs, and GUPride will partner to host the event.
The conference, which will be held on campus March 2015, will include delegations from Jesuit and Catholic schools throughout the country.
Lloyd hopes for a turnout of approximately 200 delegates. He believes that participation from as many universities as possible will allow Georgetown to learn from the best and worst practices of other LGBTQ campus communities.
“It’s really important that there is transparency among the LGBTQ communities on Jesuit campuses that allows the progress of one school to influence the actions and progress of another,” Lloyd said.
IgnatianQ was originally founded by a group of LGBTQ students at Fordham University in 2013 who wanted to create a space for finding God in the LGBTQ communities on Jesuit campuses.
Lloyd, who participated in Georgetown’s delegation to the conference, said it filled the rift many LGBTQ students feel when trying to reconcile their LGBTQ and religious identities.
“It was sort of healing for students who felt as though there was no place for that part of their identity on a Jesuit campus,” he said.
GUPride formed a partnership with the Office of Campus Ministry to make sure the conference continues the conversation that began at Fordham last year.
“Students have invited chaplains from various faith traditions to participate in the dialogue whose aim is reconciliation, understanding and growth of a loving community,” wrote Roman Catholic Chaplain of Campus Ministry Fr. Greg Schenden S.J. in an email to the Voice.
The theme of this year’s IgnatianQ will address forming contemplative communities to ignite action drawing on Jesuit values and rich LGBTQ community history, according to Lloyd. Campus Ministry will play an advisory role in planning the content of the conference and will possibly provide monetary support for the conference, although Campus Ministry did not confirm this claim.
“We recognized what Georgetown in particular could bring to this conversation,” Lloyd said. “There are very few LGBTQ spaces that exist nationally to address this question … that’s why this conference is so important.”