New Notre Dame LGBT Alumni Organization Promotes Same-Sex Marriage

Official @NotreDame LGBT Alumni Organization Promotes Same-Sex Marriage #GoCatholicND Click To Tweet

We devote this bulletin primarily to the promotion of same-sex marriage by the Alumni Rainbow Community of Notre Dame (“ARC”), the new “affinity group” created by the Notre Dame Alumni Association that began operations January 1.

When the NDAA announced the establishment of ARC last fall, we explained why this amounted to official recognition of the unofficial Gay and Lesbian Alumni Association of Notre Dame (“GALA”) and predicted that ARC would continue GALA’s promotion of same-sex marriage. 

It took but two months to prove us right. 

As we show below, ARC, in partnership with GALA, will shortly renew on campus GALA’s annual tribute to gay marriage and gender reversal, while the NDAA independently is featuring alumni who champion same-sex marriage.

The Background

In a recent bulletin, we described the collaboration between the NDAA and GALA that resulted in the creation of ARC; the hostility of GALA to Catholic moral teaching; and the reasons to believe that ARC will in substance be a duplicate GALA empowered by official status and access to the entire alumni network.

Here are just a few of the salient considerations we identified:

  • Both the NDAA and GALA described the design and launching of ARC as a collaborative effort.
  • The chair of GALA, who is married to another man, is also the chair of ARC.
  • Most of the other members of GALA’s leadership team are also in same-sex marriages (as are at least half of ARC’s leadership team).
  • For many years GALA has honored one prominent champion of same-sex marriage after another at its annual awards dinner, many of them dissident Catholics. 

The Coming ARC/GALA “LGBT+ Awards Weekend”

After a two-year COVID-19 hiatus, GALA has announced a resumption of GALA’s celebratory gathering in April at Notre Dame, this time in collaboration with ARC.

The notice was also posted on the NDAA’s Facebook “Notre Dame ClubHub,” a site “reserved for current Notre Dame Club leaders.” 

As usual, the principal event will be an Awards Dinner.

And as usual, the recipients will be prominent adversaries of the Catholic Church on sex, marriage, and gender. 

  • The Distinguished Alumni Award will go to Greg Bourke (’82), who, with his male spouse, was party to the litigation that resulted in the Supreme Court’s holding same-sex marriage to be a constitutional right. 

We have recently reported in some detail on the publication and promotion by Notre Dame Press of Bourke’s autobiography in which he tells of the litigation, his praise by Father Jenkins, and his dissent from the teaching of the Catholic Church. 

  • The Distinguished Service Award will go to Meghan Buell, a leading South Bend transgender LGBT activist who was formerly executive director of the LGBTQ Resource Center of Michiana and is currently the founding president of the Transgender Resources, Educational and Enrichment Center of South Bend. 

A frequent speaker, Buell is quoted as having said that the “goals of South Bend” in “welcoming people of different backgrounds” “conflict with the religious principles of Notre Dame.” 

  • Finally, the Congregation of Holy Cross will share the spotlight when Father Joseph Corpora is given the Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award in Support of the ND LGBTQ+ Campus Community. His public contribution to the cause was his call in The Notre Dame Magazine for a reconsideration of Catholic teaching on sex, marriage and gender. 

Violation of USCCB Policy

There could scarcely be a clearer violation of the relevant policy of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and a more obvious cause of scandal to the Notre Dame student community than the conferring of these awards upon Bourke and Buell.

The bishops have declared:

Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platform which would suggest support for their actions.

The violation will be inarguable. Bourke and Buell will be honored precisely because of their actions “in defiance of “the Church’s “fundamental moral principles.”

Mass and Communion

There is yet another USCCB policy that will be implicated.

The weekend will end with the 10 o’clock Mass in the Basilica, where Greg Bourke and his husband and many more same-sex married alumni will presumably come to the Communion table.

When they do, they will transgress the injunction of the nation’s bishops, renewed just last November, that persons who “knowingly and obstinately” reject the Church’s “definitive teaching on moral issues” should refrain from presenting themselves for Communion. 

The reason is that

Reception of Holy Communion in such a situation is likely to cause scandal for others, weakening their resolve to be faithful to the demands of the Gospel.


The scandal associated with the awards and Communion will be especially blameworthy because of its potential effect on Notre Dame LGBTQ students.

Many members of the student LGBTQ organization (PRISM) will doubtless be at the Awards Dinner and at the Mass. 

They will have seen the University’s Alumni Association bestow awards on a same-sex married alumnus and a transgender for their activities hostile to Church teaching.

They will have seen a prominent CSC priest join in applauding the awardees. 

Then they will see them and other same-sex married alumni and spouses receive Communion in Notre Dame’s Basilica at the hands of Notre Dame priests.

Who could blame those who want to be faithful Catholics and are struggling to live true to Church teaching for concluding that Notre Dame doesn’t seem to regard the Church’s teaching on sex, marriage and gender as very important and so why should they.

Scandal it surely will be, and in a university entrusted with the moral formation of those scandalized. 

NDAA Senior Alumni Tribute to Same-sex Marriage

Apart from ARC, the NDAA is promoting same-sex marriage through its senior alumni “Project Real.”

In the recent “Love” phase of this project, the senior alumni publication Golden Domer featured the account of alumnus Jack Bergen of how he left his wife after 12 years of marriage; married a man (their hands with wedding bands above); “came out” to his ND classmates at their twenty-fifth reunion; became an active NDAA alumnus; and takes pride in his daughter, a lesbian Notre Dame alumna who married a lesbian Notre Dame classmate, and their children. 

The Golden Domer cites this account as an example of “Love – Leverag[ing] our Catholic faith.” 


Certainly the NDAA would not have acted on these radioactive issues without administration approval, and probably at its direction. The NDAA initially denied GALA’s petition for recognition after prolonged consideration, only then to reverse course. And its new LGBT direction corresponds to the sharp administration pro-LGBT turn we have described in a number of prior bulletins. 

Concluding Note

Father Jenkins recently declared that his administration’s “first goal” is to “ensure that our Catholic character informs all our endeavors.” 


Hold the Date

After two years of restrictive Covid policies, Reunion 2022 is “scheduled to return in full to Notre Dame’s campus from June 2 through June 5, 2022.” Accordingly, so too will our Annual Breakfast. If you plan to attend Reunion, or if you will be in the area, please hold the date for our event on

Saturday, June 4, 2022
8:00-9:30 AM
McKenna Conference Center (and livestream)

Watch your email for more information and registration instructions.

A Call for Alumni of Catholic Colleges & Universities

If you are concerned about the Catholic identity of your alma mater and would like to discuss organizing an alumni group like Sycamore or if you are involved with something similar already, please get in touch with us by filling out the form below. Just as efforts to undermine Catholic identity on campuses across the nation have increased in number and coordination, we believe that so, too, should the fight for Catholic identity.


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If you are like us and want to see an authentic Catholic renewal at Notre Dame, please consider lending a hand by making a donation to Sycamore Trust.

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