Call to Action of Michigan:  Pope John XXIII Open Window Award

Presented to Linda Karle Nelson in recognition for the development and implementation of the “Putting a Human Face on Homosexuality” program in the Archdiocese of Detroit. August 22, 2007.



 Manistee Area Peace Group

 Linda and Tom Nelson received an award from the Manistee Area Peace Group for establishing a PFLAG group in Manistee, MI.  May 2010



Elephants in the Living Room – Detroit

The annual Thomas J. Gumbleton award was presented to Tom Nelson and Linda Karle-Nelson at the May 2 meeting of the Elephants in the Living Room in Detroit. The award is given each year for “…exceptional service, courage, and dedication to Gospel values, and to the Catholic Church.” Tom and Linda are the first recipients to receive the award as a couple.  May 2013

New Ways Ministry Bridge Building Award

Presented to MARY ELLEN AND CASEY LOPATA For compassionate ministry, personal witness, and national leadership to promote justice for lesbian/gay Catholics and their families.  April 10, 2005 Rochester, New YorkThe Board of New Ways Ministry instituted the Bridge Building Award to acknowledge those individuals who
Past recipients are Rev. Charles Curran (1992), Bishop Thomas J Gumbleton (1995), and Sister Margaret Farley, RSM (2002).by their scholarship, leadership, or witness have promoted discussion, understanding, and reconciliation between the lesbian/gay community and the Catholic Church.Mary Ellen and Casey have also received the following awards:

  • Dignity USA  President’s Award, For Extraordinary Leadership as Founders and Co-Directors of Fortunate Families.  July 4, 2011
  • Faith in Action Award, from the Greater Rochester [NY] Council of Churches, “celebrat(ing) those who glorify God by . . . acting for God’s justice & god’s vision for a whole and holy people.”  June 4, 1997.
  • Grand Marshalls, Rochester, New York, Gay Pride Parade.   June 22,  1996

Memphis Women of Achievement Award

Deb Word received the 2011 Memphis Women of Achievement Award in the category of “Courage for her Work with GLBT youth and for her “dialogue with the bishops”. This award was conferred in March 2011




Grand Marshall – Midsouth Pride Parade, Memphis, TN  Oct 15, 2011

Memphis Midsouth Pride 2011

 Deb Word was honored in recognition of her Social Justice efforts for the LGBT community of Memphis: Taking in LGBT children abandoned by their families; Support to the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center; A member of the Fortunate Families Board of Directors and Listening Parents program; and Leadership in the Memphis Catholic Diocesan LGBT Ministry.

Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center 2009 Volunteers of the Year

Deb and Steve Word received the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center 2009 Volunteers of the Year award for their work with GLBT youth

Father Henry F. LeMay Pastoral Ministry Award

Ron and Myrna Ohmann received the Father Henry F. LeMay Pastoral Ministry Award from the Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities in the Twin Cities in June, 2007.



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