Dignity began in San Diego in 1969 when an Augustinian priest, Father Patrick Nidorf, formed a support group for gay Catholics. The support group rapidly gained in popularity.
After a few months, Fr. Pat began conducting meetings in Los Angeles. Archbishop Manning learned of the group and ordered Father Pat to stop his work in that city. Instead of folding, the support group organized itself into the first official chapter of Dignity, and in the next several years, the idea spread like wildfire around the country.
our chapter is born
In 1972, San Diego formed a chapter within Dignity. Our first meeting took place in May in Santee. For awhile we met in homes and several other locations. Since that time, the chapter has worked within the local community, the state, and the nation to effect changes for the lesbian, gay, and bisexual Catholic. We provide a space where women and men can come together for worship, express their views, and grow.
Things have changed a lot since the early days, when many people feared for their lives and livelihoods if they came out. Some people adopted pseudonyms, like Gilgamesh, Evans, Fournier. But fears still remain today (especially for people serving in the armed forces).
Dignity/San Diego met for many years at the Catholic Cardijn Center in Old Town. When the Center closed in 1981, we moved to Chiles Realty on 30th St. A year or two later, when MCC San Diego purchased its current church facility, we celebrated at their new location with them, moving our liturgies to their new building a few blocks south at 30th and El Cajon Blvd.
For several years, we also maintained our own Dignity Center, at Park and Adams, but eventually had to close it because of the expense and because it was not suitable for the large gatherings we have, such as liturgies and potluck suppers.
our story continues
In the spring of 1994, we moved to the Universalist Unitarian Church in Hillcrest, where we celebrated Mass for 23 years. In July of 2017, we moved to Mission Hills Methodist Church and continue to celebrate the Eucharist every Sunday at 6pm.