Advent 2022 Listening Session: Diversity

Focus Questions: Is our experience of diversity, as we come to know it at Holy Cross, a goal in itself, or is it a tool we can use to achieve some greater goal? If it is a tool, to what purpose or use can we put it?


Main Ideas from the gathering

5 PM Mass

  • Understanding needs to grow
  • inclusion: racial, ethnic, disabled, etc.
  • “crossing boundary” is important – increases knowledge
  • helps one grow more than a symbol
  • get to know others, Sunday Social works
  • Suggestion: dinners with various cultures
  • helps to learn and adjust
  • elephant in the room: Gay Community “Are we excluding people.”
  • Stop when you see someone you don’t know and introduce yourself
  • Forgiveness may be needed. Pray for person who hurts you.

9 AM Mass

  • Gift: listening can help foster understanding
  • celebrate differences – tell the story of our diversity.
  • “All are Welcome” Use the (Mission) statement as an example of diversity
  • “Come as you are”. Quirkiness works.
  • we see diversity in our parish. Goal: to appreciate diversity in our every day
  • need to educate people that we are open. Reaching out is essential
  • immigrants are here – do we listen?
  • people who used to come – where are they?
  • not a goal; it’s a blessing. Openness to differences can be a goal

11 AM Mass

  • Diversity: differences between true and false diversity. True diversity is authentic because it is practiced, involved.
  • Further the mission: “to love one another” – God loves everyone.
  • Philosopher said, “We are becoming all the time…” Discernment is needed to weave together diversity.
  • I came because of diversity. Maybe Holy Cross could be a hub for diversity. We need young people
  • Gift. Diversity is a gift we have been given. How do we use this gift?
  • Commonweal and America magazines. Speaker: Jean Luc Marion (You Tube) Sources of modern thought – Christian and Catholic 
  • Diverse persons: How is it possible to express in real terms the Welcome?
  • Welcome the person. Stay Catholic and compassionate. Diversity of experience includes separated and divorced Catholics
  • LGBT face real obstacles. How is it possible to express in real terms the welcome, incorporation of people. Get to know the person. Gay or Trans – see the person
  • How do we show people what it means to be Catholic? Mission: to extend compassion
  • Invite others to Social Sunday. There is power in the invitation.
  • Awareness, education, and advocacy is needed in areas of diversity.
  • Catholic Social Teaching – begins with Human Dignity.
  • Dialog vs. Discussion. Get to know the person – leads to an understanding
  • Focus: Jesus who is “The Way”. Goal: Look around and get to know people. Don’t get bogged down.

6 PM Mass

  • Diversity is a goal. We need to reach out to all of God’s people. Also a tool. We not only gather – we need to be open to others and use diversity to understand and improve the world around us.
  • Diversity is a continuous process
  • It is a way of welcoming those around us as Jesus would.
  • I wonder if the word “tool” is the right word. It is a directional posture. Not so much a way of being but a mindset. It points us toward a way of understanding ourselves.
  • It is an orientation of our mind. An attitude by which we do everything we do.
  • If we live as Jesus wants us to, or goal is to be one. If we love that way, diversity happens.
  • Our mindset leads us.
  • If we live as all may be one, diversity happens.
  • Unity is different from uniformity. If diversity is the goal, what are the objectives (actions to get there)?
  • Social Sunday happens because we are looking for a way to be inclusive. Happily, we find ourselves in a diverse community.
  • Holy Cross is mostly older people. Young people think the Catholic church is too boring. But then often they come back.
  • Race is an obvious difference but not a deep difference. I grew up in an integrated area but I never thought about race.
  • I think we could do a better job reaching out to youth.
  • I was disappointed in the Synod process that we did not have the input of those who are no longer here.
  • Why can’t we meet in church?
  • I like the idea of a meeting area within the church.

Additional Comment: via phone call

  • Diversity is a part of Holy Cross. Don’t go back to the history in the 60s. If person want to know the history of the parish “integration” or “merger”, let them have a discussion separate from the meeting. Stay with the present!


  • “That All May Be One”;
  • “Come as you are”;
  • “Let all the nations praise the Lord.”;
  • “All are Welcome”;
  • “Liberty and Justice for all”;
  • “Diversity: ask to the party. Inclusion: ask to dance”

Possible Events (TBD):

Multi-cultural Mass; Permanent Committee (Diversity); Various Programs on Diversity; Gatherings in church


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