Reflecting the Gospel Message of Loving and Serving Experiences of Queer Students at a Catholic University

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Kaitlin Gabriele-Black

Abstract

Catholic campuses can be perceived to be hostile spaces for LGBTQ+ students, given the Catholic Church’s stance on gender and sexuality. This qualitative study explored how being at a Catholic college—and specifically, a Mercy institution— influenced queer students’ experiences. Twenty-nine emerging adults representing a range of genders and sexualities shared how they embodied the Mercy mission of contemplation and action, service, and social justice, why this was important to them, and the barriers they perceived to living out the values of the Sisters of Mercy. Findings have implications for Catholic universities seeking to support their LGBTQ+ students in identity and academic development.

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