Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Comments from St. Mary's Academy alumni. The fruit of a Catholic education?

 Here are a couple of very telling responses from past studenst of St. Mary's Academy. 
 We need to pray for the Archbishop and true Catholic teaching for very vulnerable girls.

"Priesthood and Sisterhood are very deeply intertwined with homosexuality. When you risk being ostracized and shunned (or worse) from your work, school, family, church etc. because you are gay, being a priest or nun gives you a safe role in society with no questions asked. Now laymen feel that you are the one closer to god. go figure.

The sisters from this institution are mostly all on board with this, I grew up with several of them. Common thought is "Well, I knew I couldn't marry a man, but I still wanted my family and friends to love me and not face open discrimination daily"

A lot of girls transferred to St. Mary's for school because they were gay. Having gay teachers/nuns/students around made it such a great, safe place."

"I’ve scanned through the bigotry and trolling below and I didn’t see many comments from actual alumnae of St. Mary’s so I wanted to chime in. The news from today for some didn’t seem shocking, those on the outside looking in but for me, and countless other women this news came as a gut wrenching punch to the abdomen and not because we should’ve seen it coming and were naïve to it but because we didn’t see it coming because it’s NOT the SMA we know and truly love! My time at St. Mary’s (1995-1998) were quite literally the years the solid ground work to my foundation as the woman I am today were built. It’s a school founded on the principles of diversity and social justice. Most have nightmare stories about high school but the experience I had at St. Mary’s provided me with not only the opportunity to exist in a space more diverse than I had ever known, but also to expand my horizons on what this world truly is. The curriculum was vast, challenging and utterly rewarding.

The teachers were top notch and pushed us to become the women they know we could be whether they were gay or straight and WE HAD GAY TEACHERS, they may not have been out but they most certainly were gay.

It didn’t just teach the principles of Catholicism. It’s because of St. Mary’s the seeds of other spiritual practices were planted into my sponge of a brain… we learned about The Tao, Confucius, Shamanism, Hinduism and Buddhism. I consider my education in world religions, from a Catholic school, the initial seeds to my desire and then actual action of moving to India for a few years to study yoga, meditation and dive into the worlds of Hinduism and Buddhism and a culture nothing like my own. St. Mary’s sparked that in me…

St. Mary's was a place where I finally felt like I found a place I fit in into this world, not the religious aspect, which I still don’t subscribe to, but with the vast spectrum of amazing woman who graced their halls.

As I read the OBP article my dear high school buddy sent me tears flowed... not just for the teacher who has been wronged, not just for realizing my own alma mater would take advantage of their rights and allow their beliefs based on hate to fuel their actions, not just for ALL THE GAY teachers who HAVE taught at the school (there were at least 2 I can name off hand who taught while I attended '95-'98) but for all the girls just coming into their place in this world and their own sexuality who attend the school now or may in the future.

I didn't know I was gay when I was in high school but looking back now, it was painfully clear I was. It was the first time in my life I was around women, strong, wonderful, intelligent, witty, amazingly inspiring women who were openly gay. It was the first time I was around women who may not have been open about their sexuality but it was clear what their preference was and it's obvious now why they didn't come out.

When I think back through my own journey, which seems to never end, of coming
more into my true, authentic self, I think about those women and the impact
they had on me. This teacher wouldn't have just been able to provide the
support for the role hired but could have also been a shining inspiration for
the girls she interacted with.

Christina Friedhoff stated in her statement to everyone, "We all recognize that now more than ever, we need to come together as a community so that St. Mary’s will continue to be a safe
place for all young women.”

The only thing I can think the girls need to be kept safe from now is the hatred in the hearts of their
leadership. The fact that finger pointing, the blame game, denial statements and spin is rampant right now saddens me deeply and it makes me feel like we’ll never know the actual truth
behind what happened behind closed doors.

What HAS become clear though, through this time is that those looking in from the outside at the overall SMA experience will never know what it truly is/was to be an SMA woman. What I’ve been able to see today, because of this incident, is countless women across the generational divide, banding together not in support of the school’s/ archdioceses/catholic church’s decision, but in
support of each other, in support of the strength, confidence, passion,diversity, feminist principles and acceptance we’ve all seen, felt, experienced and embraced because of this school.

I’m proud to stand with all of them and fight for the school we know SMA IS, HAS
been and CAN BE for all past, present and future strong women. This decision… while it may have been SMA Administration making it (or whomever anyone wants to blame), is not the soul
and heart beat of what St. Mary’s Academy truly is."

 "Girls make out in the halls and cuddle. Apparently that makes them supporters."


James Ross said...

Click onto the SMA alumnae magazine IMPRINT Fall/Winter 2009 and scroll to pages 36 and 37 to see lesbian couples were being held up as examples of SMA years ago. President Christina Friedhoff has been working to undermine the school for years. This is truly a case of the fox guarding the chicken house.
Under Friedhoff's jurisdiction the silly ninny girls have learned absolutely zero about what the Church teaches on the Sacrament of Matrimony. Instead theyh ave been brainwashed into being little feminists. And Christ will keep her lucrative position after betraying the trust put in her.
Go Chris Friedhoff!

Albert Oakley said...

The "Continuing Conversation" at St. Mary’s Academy.
This is a response to another bloggers question.
We hope you have time to read it.
It is important to click the links on the highlighted words.
What is infecting the Diocese of Portland is also at work across our entire nation.
People need to get informed and stand up with our Bishops against this sickness.