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Will Your Catholic Parish Stand Up Against Bullying?

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On Sunday, Oct. 14, will your Catholic parish live the Gospel message of inclusion?

This October, cities across the globe, professional sports leagues, major corporations, schools and hundreds of community organizations will raise awareness about the negative impact of bullying by participating in Spirit Day. This annual day is organized by GLAAD to remind lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth that they are loved and respected. The importance of this day is evident in the events that led to its establishment -- young people who were committing suicide due to the painful realities of bullying.

With this in mind, and in embracing Catholicism's social teaching, please consider taking a public stance against bullying at Mass on Sunday, Oct. 14 by wearing purple. And please spread the word about the national observance of Spirit Day held on Friday, Oct. 19, when LGBT youth will see teachers, celebrities, athletes and classmates go purple.

This request is not political; rather, this is a request for displayed compassion that will allow LGBT youth to know they are loved and created in the image of God.

Here are some other ways Catholic faith communities might consider participating in Spirit Day:
  • Distribute purple ribbons at Mass along with a half-pager about bullying
  • Include a prayer for youth who are victims of bullying among the petitions offered at Mass
  • Incorporate a message about the harm of bullying in the homily (the Gospel for that week is particularly meaningful)
  • Offer a reflection/discussion on bullying and Catholic social teaching during religious education
  • In addition, GLAAD has prepared a faith-based resource for Spirit Day, which is available at glaad.org/spiritday/faith
  • Join millions by observing Spirit Day at your place of work and in the community on Oct. 19. More information and a list of participants is available at glaad.org/spiritday
Catholics can pledge their participation in Spirit Day and support for LGBT youth who are bullied by visiting Catholics for #SpiritDay's website. Together, can show the world that Catholic social teaching taught us that bullying is wrong and love truly does conquer all (omnia vincit amor).

This article was originally written for Believe Out Loud.