Catholics Help Queer and Trans Youth Start West Virginia Retreat and Farm – New Ways Ministry

How did four queer and trans young adults end up running a retreat house and farm in the middle of Appalachia? The answer to this question can be found in an unusual story of how Catholics who live the church’s social justice tradition are helping to preserve natural resources while standing up for LGBTQ equality.

The Catholic Committee of Appalachia (CCA) has been educating, advocating and raising a prophetic voice for social, economic and environmental justice in the mountains since 1970.  Yet, our organization had not focused any efforts on LGBTQ issues until 2013 when we began preparing to write a “people’s pastoral,” The Telling Takes Us Home: Taking our Place in the Stories that Shape Us.  Research for this groundbreaking document gave due credence to the “magisterium of the poor.” We conducted over 1,000 listening sessions with those on the margins.

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