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Not an isolated event

Shannon Warchol | Thursday, September 26, 2013

Unfortunately, the story Bianca Almada tells in “The fight is far from over” (Sept. 25) is not a unique one. It was so nearly identical to the one that occurred at my Lasallian Minnesota high school this summer that I stopped midway through to see who the author was, sure that I would find the name of another alumnus of my high school.
At Totino-Grace High School, our president resigned, allegedly after anonymous sources outted his sexuality. A teacher was fired after blurting out during an all-staff retreat that she was in a relationship with a woman and was happy. She was unveiling the campus ministry’s all-school theme, “Make Your Mark,” and reviewing past themes such as “A Place at the Table” and “One Human Family” when she began to stumble through her words, thinking, “How can I ask others to give themselves entirely to the work God calls them to when I couldn’t do this myself?” because of her need to hide and deny who she was.
Some of our best and longest-employed teachers at Totino-Grace are homosexual. They don’t discuss it in class, you would never see a picture of their spouse, but we’re such a tight-knit community that it is just known. Some have been there since the school was founded in 1966. They worked tirelessly to build the community we enjoy today. And that is the sad part. The community present at Totino-Grace and in Catholic groups across the country is amazingly strong, so much so that while I’m not even Catholic, Totino-Grace and Notre Dame will always hold a large piece of my heart. But it is unbelievably frustrating that something which does so much good for so many people – to the extent that people hide who they are for decades because they love the community so much – cannot allow everyone to participate.
As the daughter of two lawyers, I understand that contracts are contracts. But apply them equally. Fire the divorced and those with children out of wedlock or with homosexual partners. See how many teachers you can find with perfect Catholic pasts. Or, recognize the good people can do despite the sins they have committed.

Shannon Warchol
Class of 2016
Sept.  26