Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-10-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Denomme's ordination ends search, anguish
by William Burks
2010-04-07

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


Janine Denomme's path has taken her from growing up in a Detroit Catholic grade school and high school; through studies at a Jesuit university; teaching theology at a Catholic girls' high school and history at DePaul University; through working in recent years at the Center on Halsted, where she served as director of youth services.

While she's had her ups and downs with the church, she considers it perhaps the greatest influence on her life. "It was really at the University of Detroit, a Jesuit university, where I was introduced to social justice through church teaching and a feminist interpretation of the scriptures."

Within the Catholic church, Denomme has been a lay preacher, led music ministries and offered spiritual direction. During a period of frustration with the official church, she helped organize an alternative Catholic faith community with democratic governance and presiders. Eventually, Denomme said, "I began recognizing some of my gifts, and that my calling was to the priesthood, and began preaching and presiding at some non-Eucharistic liturgies—those led by lay people."

In the meantime, the church was changing, at least according to some women and their supporters who participated in an ordination of seven women as priests on a cruise boat on the Danube River—and thus not within any particular Catholic bishop's diocese—in 2002. While the Vatican declared that the women had excommunicated themselves from the church by their action, as did anyone ordaining a woman as a priest, the group known as Roman Catholic Womenpriests has grown to include approximately 100 priests and five women bishops. The first two bishops were ordained in 2003, by a number of bishops in full communion with Rome, the Womenpriests organization affirms, but their names have not been disclosed in order to protect them from Vatican retaliation.

"In the summer of 2007," Denomme, 45, said, "I went to a conference on women in the church, and I began meeting some of the women who'd been ordained. My own sense of vocation evolved over time, especially since my diagnosis with cancer last year." On April 10, she and Marty Meyer-Gad of Minnesota will be ordained priests at a Chicago service by bishop Joan Clark Houk of Pittsburgh.

Last April, however, Denomme's journey towards priesthood took an unexpected turn when the symptoms she was suffering turned out to be colon cancer. An early CT scan revealed that the lesions had already spread to her liver. Thus began a year of chemotherapy treatments received—or delayed based on her fluctuating blood-cell numbers—radiation treatment of one lobe of her liver, unimagined pain and unfathomable emotional lows, several hospitalizations, along with new questions.

"What does it mean to be a priest or minster when I have stage four colon cancer, and not a lot of energy for a lot of things, especially starting and building a congregation?, she began to ask. "So I see my biggest ministry as working with people one-on-one and continuing to journal about my health journey and spiritual journey."

Shortly after her diagnosis, Denomme began an online journal about her experience at CaringBridge.org, an organization offering free Web sites to those with serious illness in order to stay connected with family and friends. Denomme's illness and treatments often left her needing the care of others, especially of her partner, Nancy Katz; close friends; her mother; and her brother Mark, also gay, to whom she's closest among her siblings.

Her online journal describes the impact of her diagnosis, symptoms and treatments, with painful candor and dry humor. At times when she's in the hospital, Katz has provided updates for her.

Loss of control over her life and her body is something Denomme has tried to come to terms with. Rather early in her treatment, she wrote, "During my massage this week, two phrases and an image kept repeating themselves to me. One was, "Let it go," and it was accompanied by this image of releasing handfuls of feathers into the air and watching them float away with the breeze. The other phrase that kept repeating itself was, "You are loved. You are love." Two gifts for sure. So I am working on letting go of work, of feeling so responsible, of being in control."

The support of friends and family help her stay focused, as she describes her daily bath in another entry: "I want you all to know how much your thoughts and prayers mean to me.... [ The baths ] are a part of my morning ritual. As I lay back in the tub, I close my eyes, place my hands over my liver and colon, and call together all of your prayers, thoughts and energy that you have sent into the universe. I gather them in my mind's eye and they become a ball of white light in my hands. I then imagine the light penetrating my body, washing over me and through me, healing and transforming my body and spirit. You are with me every day. It's a sacred moment and I am grateful to you for joining me on this journey."

Denomme also reflected on the spiritual impact of her diagnosis in a series of meditations on the Stations of the Cross she wrote for a Catholic publication. She remembers the elderly women, mostly, who during her childhood walked around the inside of the church, praying and reflecting on Jesus' suffering and death at each of 14 "stations" depicting his final days and hours.

The fifth station—Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the cross—reminds her of the support of Katz, who is an associate judge in the Cook County circuit court and Denomme's partner since 2001: "I cannot imagine walking this road without Nancy. In the early days and weeks of my diagnosis, she and I clung to each other, shaken and shattered. A natural caretaker, Nancy began accompanying me to appointments, cooking all our meals, walking the dog by herself, screening calls, and holding me when waves of sadness rolled over me.

Denomme added, "My own sense of loss engenders much of my sorrow, but I also carry a pool of tears for Nancy. We did not imagine this. None of us do. Call it the price of love. And so each day is a gift. Unbending in her love and commitment, no matter how this all plays out, Nancy walks beside me assuring me I am not alone." The support and prayers of many friends and family also accompany Denomme as she completes her journey toward ordination as a priest this week.

Denomme will be ordained Saturday, April 10, at Ebenezer Lutheran, 1650 W. Foster, at 1 p.m. See Ebenezerchurch.org for more information.


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Kol Hadash Congregation embraces LGBTQ inclusivity 2019-10-02
Incoming Second Unitarian minister discusses new role 2019-09-18
OutRight Report: Conversion therapy is global 2019-08-23
Goldie Goldbloom on new book, being a queer Chasidic Jew 2019-08-21
Reports: Teen to testify against Aurora church employee 2019-08-20
Lighthouse plots continuing protest strategies 2019-08-18
EXCLUSIVE: Community activists launch focus on Center on Halsted 2019-08-06
NATIONAL Consent decree, Lyft, AOC, priest, Univ. of Michigan 2019-08-06
Unity Chicago to temporaily move 2019-07-31
Lighthouse Church holds racial-justice summit, announces new foundation 2019-07-15
Feminist theologian Dr. Mary E. Hunt kicks off DignityUSA conference 2019-07-11
Activist/author Urvashi Vaid keynotes DignityUSA event 2019-07-07
LGBT flags vandalized at Wicker Park church 2019-06-26
One Indiana school refuses to fire gay teacher for Catholic status, another fires 2019-06-26
Dignity/Chicago prepares to host national conference 2019-06-25
DignityUSA reponds to Archbishop denying school "Catholic" label 2019-06-21
Lighthouse Church to host anti-racism forum July 13 2019-06-19
Lighthouse Church to host anti-racism forum on July 13 2019-06-13
Dignity president blasts anti-trans Vatican statement 2019-06-12
Community forum discusses Boystown experiences and solutions 2019-06-10
Vatican publishes anti-LGBT document 2019-06-10
WORLD Extremists charged, Virgin Mary controversy, Taiwan marriage bill 2019-05-14
Majority of Public Favors Same-Sex Marriage, Divisions Persist 2019-05-14
MOMBIAN Passover Questions for LGBTQ Families 2019-04-13
Catholic bishops stopped my surgery because I'm transgender 2019-04-10
Mormons change policies to benefit LGBTs 2019-04-04
Anti-gay fliers criticizing Lightfoot distributed near churches 2019-03-18
Cardinal sentenced in child sex-abuse case 2019-03-13
Chicagoans contemplate path forward after anti-LGBT church vote 2019-03-10
Lighthouse Church provides 'soul care' for queer community 2019-03-02
Night Ministry head discusses proposed Crib move 2019-02-28
Hiring a Wedding Consultant/Coordinator/Planner: How it all works 2019-02-27
Bishop Phyllis V. Pennese on leadership, 15-year anniversary 2019-02-27
Methodists retain ban on pro-LGBT measures 2019-02-26
Senior cleric convicted of child sex abuse 2019-02-25
Drag worship services Feb. 17 2019-02-15
Annual Burning Bowl Jan. 12 at Morgan Park 2019-01-09
LETTER Season of wonder 2018-12-19
DignityUSA condemns Pope Francis' book 2018-12-10
Affinity Community Services plans Burning Bowl 2018, will honor Kim Hunt 2018-12-04
 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Submit an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.