Jeannine Gramick, a Roman Catholic nun, was born in 1942 and educated in
Catholic grade and high schools in Philadelphia. She moved to Baltimore in 1960
to join the School Sisters of Notre Dame, until her transfer to the Sisters of
Loretto in 2001.
Sister Gramick taught in junior and senior high schools in Baltimore. In
1971, while engaged in graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania,
Jeannine Gramick became involved in a pastoral outreach to the lesbian/gay
community. She continued this pastoral ministry as a co-founder and chaplain of
the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. chapters of Dignity, a national organization
for Catholic lesbian and gay people, while teaching mathematics at the College
of Notre Dame of Maryland.
In 1977, along with Fr. Robert Nugent, she co-founded New Ways Ministry, a
national, Catholic social justice center working for the reconciliation of
lesbian/gay people and the church. She engaged in writing, research, lectures,
retreats, and consultation on lesbian/gay issues and Catholicism. She traveled
throughout the United States and abroad to educate Church personnel and other
interested persons. For approximately 20 years, the School Sisters of Notre Dame
assigned her to this church ministry.
She has written and edited numerous articles and books, including
"Homosexuality and the Catholic Church," "Homosexuality in the Priesthood and
Religious Life," and "The Vatican and Homosexuality." Her two books,
Building Bridges: Gay and Lesbian Reality and the Catholic Church
and Voices of Hope: A Collection of Positive Catholic Writings on Lesbian/Gay
Issues, were the subject of a Vatican investigation. Building
Bridges was translated into Italian and published as Anime Gay: Gli
omosessuali e la Chiesa cattolica (Editori Riuniti, Rome, 2003).
In 1999, the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith permanently
prohibited her from any pastoral work with lesbian or gay persons. In 2000, the
School Sisters of Notre Dame ordered her to cease speaking about the Vatican
investigation and about homosexuality in general. In conscience, she chose not
to collaborate in her own oppression and continues to engage in lesbian/gay
ministry. In 2001, she transferred to the Sisters of Loretto.
Sister Gramick has been recognized for her work in this pioneer ministry by
many Catholic Church groups, including the National Coalition of American Nuns,
the Loretto Community, the Paulist Community in Boston, Call to Action; and GLBT
groups such as Dignity USA and various Dignity chapters, the Gay and Lesbian
Alumni of the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College, Pridefest
America, Washington P-FLAG, and Division 44 of the American Psychological
Association. She is the subject of a documentary film, In Good Conscience:
Sister Jeannine Gramick's Journey of Faith.
Sister Gramick holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from the University of
Pennsylvania (1975) and an M.S. in Mathematics from the University of Notre Dame
(1969). She was an Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Education at the
College of Notre Dame of Maryland, the University of Maryland and the University
of California at Los Angeles.
She is vitally interested in religious life and in promoting the recognition
of women's ministries. She served on the national boards of the National
Assembly of Women Religious, the Religious Network of Equality for Women, the
Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the Women's Ordination Conference.
She co-chaired the board of the National Coalition of American Nuns (NCAN) from
1995 to 2000 and is currently a member of the NCAN Executive Committee. She is
strongly committed to a justice agenda.
(This biographical statement provided by Jeannine Gramick.)