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Richard Cardarelli Collection


Richard Cardarelli is a native of Connecticut. From an early age, he knew two things about himself: he was gay and called to the ordained priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church.

God, his family and friends, and his Church were the great loves of his life: this extended to his high school community (Xavier, Middletown, CT) and to his college community (St. Michaels, VT). He received his BA in French Literature and received a teaching certificate from Central Connecticut State College and embarked upon his career teaching French and religion in Catholic High Schools until he entered the Capuchin Franciscan Order in 1976, having fallen in love once again: with St. Francis of Assisi. Richard Cardarelli

He professed solemn vows in 1981 and was ordained a priest in 1982. He received his M.Div. and M.Th. at Maryknoll School of Theology and served God and the Church as chaplain to Mercy High School in Middletown, CT (sister school to Xavier High) and later as Director of his province's Office of Peace and Justice.

He began his gay activist career in 1971, the summer of his first gay parade in New York City. He later joined DIGNITY, USA in 1974 and helped to found the Springfield/Hartford Chapter in 1975. This career paralleled his peace activities which started with his first peace march in Boston in 1969. Once he was assigned to full-time peace and justice activities, he engaged in civil disobedience to protest war, the nuclear arms race, apartheid in South Africa, and homophobia/heterosexism. His arrest at the Supreme Court for gay/lesbian rights made news headlines and his public gay ministry began to be questionned by the hierarchy.

With the support of his superior, he was very public with gay activism and ministry, first and foremost with DIGNITY and then with the Connecticut Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights. He engaged in dialogue with local bishops and testified at the State Capitol for gay legislation.

He spoke at colleges, on panels for clergy and religious, on television and radio, and continued to march each June in New York City.

After DIGNITY was forced out of Catholic facilities around the country, he came out as a gay celibate priest in the press; soon, bishops revoked his priestly faculties and he was silenced, banned, and after he stood with ILGO in New York City when it was barred from the St. Patrick's Day parade, he was forced into a leave of absence from his Order and active ministry.

After a few years, he was told that he would never be able to function as a priest again. Devastated, but still committed to gay ministry, he sought creative ways by which he could continue his ministry. He discovered the Independent Catholic Movement and made inquiries into one such denomination. He started a parish for this church, but realized that he could never leave Rome and that he would sacrifice his priesthood. However, his new superior told him that his celebrating Mass for this new Church caused his automatic excommunication from the Church and expulsion from the Order. He became emotionally sick and begged to be told what he needed to do to get right with Rome. He never received an answer. Instead, he was given copies of a letter sent to Rome which declared him expelled and excommunicated. Cut off from his religious family and beloved Church, he later joined the Ecumenical Catholic Church.

Within a relatively short time of rapid growth, the ECC appointed him as bishop of the new diocese of New England. Unfortunately, this community broke with the ECC in its attempts to be less patriarchal and more egalitarian and ecumenical, without loss of Catholic identity. The American Apostolic Catholic Church was born from this painful experience, embracing lay and ordained persons who share authority; women and men are ordained; all persons are offered the seven sacraments. Richard Cardarelli

The tiny yet prophetic denomination was not able to satisfy Richard's longing to be a parto fo the Church Universal in living out his baptismal commitment and his dedication to social justice for the g/l/b/t community. Thus, in May 2000, he was welcomed into the Episcopal Church and into membership within the Anglo-Catholic Parish of Grace Church in Hartford. From his new spiritual home, he hoped to find a way to continue his priestly ministry to all of God's People. He took one more step toward his goal of self-sacrifice by becoming a brother in the Anglican Society of St. Francis. Meanwhile, he continues to participate in the ever-increasing prophetic ministy of Dignity/USA.

EMAIL ADDRESS: Kendick05@aol.com

The Richard Cardarelli collection is valuable for the material it contains relating to the Catholic Church and the gay and lesbian Community. The collection contains records of Dignity/Hartford for the period 1975 to 2003. There are ten folders of newspaper and magazine articles about gays and the Catholic Church issued between 1969 and 2003. Material may be found on the 1987 and 1993 national marches on Washington, as well as material on Connecticut's Gay Rights Bill several folders contain gay pride articles published between 1970 and 1996. There is also an extensive collection of pins and buttons relating to the Gay Rights movement. Recently, the collection was augmented with a gift of fifteen T-shirts. The T-shirts represent Dignity Functions as well as New York and Connecticut Gay Pride Days. There are no restrictions on the use of this collection by the public.

Guide to the Richard Cardarelli Papers:

Collection number 7; Special Collections Department

Compiled by: Francis Gagliardi in December 2006.



Collection Number: 7

Creator: Richard Cardarelli

Quantity: 20.5 linear feet

Forms of Material: Subject files, correspondence, notes, flyers, printed material, photographs

Repository: Special Collections Department, Central Connecticut State University

Restrictions: None


Box 1


Affirming Every Person. New England Conference About Lesbians & Gay Men, Feb. 10-12, 1995

AIDS [flyers, brochures, articles] 1983-1995, 2 folders

Always Our Children. A pastoral message to parents of homosexual children, 2000

American Apostolic Catholic Church, ConnecticutPamphlet

Anglican Church of St. Savior, San Francisco, 2003

Anglican Communion and Homosexuality, 2003-2005, 4 folders

Anima Christi, [1 page]

Articles 1969-1982, 1985-present, [newspaper and magazine articles on homosexuality, legislation and movies. Articles about gays and organized religion especially the Catholic Church], 12 folders

Box 2

Bayside, The Lourdes of America Articles, 1 folder

Bibliography, 1 folder

Boswell, John, 'Rediscovering Gay History', 1982

Bridge Building Award, presented to Sister Margaret Farley, Nov. 16, 2002, [program]

Brown, Keith, 'Anals of Gay Spirit' Radio, 2001, [typescript, 162 leaves]

Buttons/Pins (Dignity 19; AIDS 21; CT Pride, 23; N. Y. Pride, 39; March on Pamphlet, QUEER STATIONS OF THE CROSSWashington, 8; Miscellaneous Gay Pride, 68.)

CMI Conference for Gay and Lesbian Clergy and Religious. August 31, 1989

Call to Action, Nov 5-7, 1999, Nov. 7-9, 2003 [conference announcements]

Call to Compassion: The Seven Last Words of Christ [typescript]

Cardarelli, Richard [articles about, 1976-1999], 1 folder

Cardarelli, Richard [correspondence], 1 folder

Cardarelli, Richard, The Faithful Faerie, Typescript, 1982

Cardarelli, Richard, Farewell Party for Fr. Richard, Pond House, April 11, 2003

Cardarelli, Richard, [pictures of his profession], November, 2004

Cathedral Project, Hartford, 1989

Cathedral Project, New York, 1987-1988 [protests against Cardinal John J. O'Connor], Flyer, DIGNITY. Illustration figure of a priest1 folder

Catholic Coalition for Gay Civil Rights 1987-1992, 1 folder

Catholics For A Free Choice, Campaign to end ban on condoms, 2001

Celibate and Gay [writings by Brother William Roberts], 1976-1990, 2 folders

Children from the Shadows, 1994, 1997 & 1998, 2000-2002 [conference materials], 4 folders

Christopher Street Liberation Day Committee, flyers, 1970Dignity Providence

Church documents (on homosexuality), 1 folder

Church of the Advent of Christ the King, San Francisco.

Civil Disobedience At The U. S. Supreme Court, October 13, 1987 [March on Washington material], 1 folder

Collazo, Vincent, Jonathan Lebolt Wedding Invitation and Thank you pamphlet, April 10th,1994

Committee for Women's Concerns, 1990-

Communication, v. 1, no 8 - v. 15, no 1, May, 1978 - Oct. 1992. [Stored with Periodicals]

Communication Retreat, August, 1985

Congregation for The Doctrine of the Faith: Considerations Catholic Response to Legislative proposals on the Non-Discrimination of Homosexual Persons, 1992

CT Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights, Middlesex County Chapter, [flyers minutes of meetings, articles], 1987-1990, 1 folder

CT Lesbian & Gay Antiviolence Project, 1988

CT Pride Day Programs, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1999

CT Pride Day Photographs, June, 1988

Connecticut Stonewall Congress Programs, 1997, 1998

Courage (Support Group), 1989, 1 folder

Different Voices, One Community Conference, New London, February 20, 1993, 1 Official Guide for the NATIONAL MARCH ON WASHINGTON FOR LESBIAN AND GAY RIGHTS, October 11, 1987folder

Dignity and the Inquisition Follies[Hartford Dignity typescript]

Dignity, [Articles about and by], 1986-1989, 1999, 2000-Present, 1 folder

Dignity Atlanta

Dignity Baseball Cap in rainbow colors

Dignity Boston, 1973-1975

Dignity Convention, Boston, 1975 1 folder

Dignity Convention, Boston, 1997, 1 folder

Dignity Convention, Denver, 1999, [convention announcement]

Dignity Convention, Denver, 1999, 1 folder

Dignity Convention, New York, 1985, 1 folder

Dignity Convention, Seattle, 1983, 1 folderMarch on Washington

Box 3

Dignity Convention, Bal Harbour, FL, 1987, 1 folder

Dignity Convention, San Francisco, 1989, 1 folder

Dignity Convention, Washington, DC, 1991, 1 folder

Dignity Convention, New Orleans, 1993, 1 folder

Dignity Convention, Los Angeles, 1995, 1 folder

Dignity Convention, Chicago, 2001

Dignity Convention, Las Vegas, 2003, 1 folder

Dignity Convention, Philadelphia, 2005, 1 folder

Dignity East Coast Conference, Philadelphia, 1976

Dignity Fall River Retreat, 1995

Dignity Hartford, 1979-1994, [16 folders, flyers, notes, booklets]

Box 4

Dignity Hartford, 1995-present, [13 folders, flyers, notes, booklets]

Dignity Hartford Archbishop's Committee, 1985-1987

Newspaper, GAYS NABBED AT ST. PATS MASS ACTION Illustrations, photographs of Cardinal O Connor and pollice arresting demonstratorsDignity Hartford Archdiocese of Hartford, 1985-1989, 1 folder

Dignity Hartford Board, 1984-1985, 1988-1994

Dignity Hartford Commemorative Booklet, 1975-2000, by Richard Cardarelli

Dignity Hartford Fifteenth Anniversary, 1990, 1 folder

Dignity Hartford History, 1990-2003 [typescript]

Dignity Hartford Liturgy Committee, 1983-1990, 1 folder

Dignity Hartford Public Expression of Hurt, January 16, 1988, [flyers, minutes, notes, protesting the Archbishop's expulsion of Dignity], 1 folder

Dignity Hartford 'Rearticulation' of Identities in Dignity: Dignity/Hartford's Sunday Liturgy as an Identity Project, by April 19, 1996 by Kathleen Cassidy, Newspaper HOUSE PASSES BILL TO ESTABLISH GAY RIGHTS, December 1991. Photograph of supporters of the billDebra Minkoff

Dignity Hartford Survey, March, 1994

Dignity Hartford Retreats, 1982-1987, 1993-2002

Dignity Hartford Tenth Anniversary, 1985, [Program]

Dignity InternationalNewspaper Clipping

Dignity Jacksonville, FL 1982

Dignity Los Angeles

Dignity National, 1987

Dignity New Haven

Dignity New York, [flyers, pamphlets], 1977-1993, 1 folder

Dignity Providence Retreat, 1992

Flyer, HELP MAKE HISTORY IN CONNECTICUT RALLY AT THE CAPITOL JUNE 7, illustrating two triangles and the Statue of LibertyDignity Region I Convention, 1990, 1 folder

Dignity Region I Liturgy Workshop, October 22, 1983

Dignity Region I Retreat, 1989

Dignity Regional Conference, Buffalo, May 24-26, 2002

Dignity Regional Convention, Boston, February 25-27, 2000, 1 folder

Dignity Regional Meeting, 1995

Dignity San Diego, 1977

Dignity San Francisco, 2003, 2004

Box 5

Dignity San Francisco, 2005

Dignity Springfield, [flyers, articles, notes], 1974-1976, 2 folders

Dignity Springfield, 1979-1980, 2 flyers

Dignity Springfield/Hartford, [charter, treasurer report, etc.], 1977-1978, 2 folders

Dignity Suffolk, New York, 1990

Dignity/USA, 1987-1998, 2004, 2005, [articles, flyers], 3 folders

Dignity/USA Restructuring Task Force, 1992?Newspaper clipping 2

Dignity/USA Worship Committee, 1994, 1 folder

Dignity/Washington, [flyers, brochures], 2000

Dignity-Integrity Newsletter Rochester, New York, June, 1977

Diocesan Programs for Gays and Lesbians, 1981-1985, [articles] 2003, 1 folder

Episcopal Church and Homosexuality, [articles], 2003, 1 folder

Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist, San Francisco, 2003-2005

Episcopal Diocese of California. Celebration and Blessing of a Covenant Relationship [various drafts], 1983-2004

Faerie Father, Richard Cardarelli, [article]

Farewell Party for Fr Richard Cardarelli, Pond House, April 11, 2003

Father Bernard Lynch, [articles], 1989, 1 folder

Fierstein, Harvey "Defamation" Gay & Lesbian Alliance against Defamation, [tape]

Franciscans for Same-Sex Marriage, [e-mail, image of Fr. Cardarelli holding this sign]

Freedom in Christ Evangelical Church, San Francisco [brochure]

Gallup Poll of Catholic Opinion, [Questionnaire], 1992

Gay & Lesbian Youth Workbook Dignity Convention, New York, August, 1985, 1 folder

Gay Canon of the Mass, by R. Cardarelli, [typescript]

Gay Catholic Articles, 2005

Gay Hollywood, 2000, A Special Report. Entertainment, Oct. 6, 2000

Gay Life (Special issues of the Village Voice June 4, 1979 - July 2, 1996, [19 issues oversize box #1]

Gay Marriage [news articles and newsletter], 1995-1996, 1 folder; 2004-2005, 4 folders, [album of articles]

Gay Men's Health Summit, 2001

Gay Parents & Parents of Gays, [articles], 1976-1982, 1 folder

Gay Pride Various Newspapers New York City News, New York Native, Village Voice, 1981, 1983, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1999 [oversize box #1]

Photograph of Two Sisters of Perpetual IndulgenceGay Pride, 1970-2000, [four albums, filed separately]

Gay Religious Archives, 1997-1999, 3 folders

Gay Rights Articles, 1975-1983, 1 folder

Gay Rights Bill, 1987, Connecticut, 4 albums

Gay Rights Bill, Connecticut, 1989, 1 folder

Gay Rights Bill, [album filed separately]

Box 6

Gay Spirit Camp. Easton Mountain, 2003, [brochure]Flyer

Gay Youth, 1983-1987, [articles, flyers, NGTF student organization packets], 1 folder

Gunnison, Foster Memorial Service, February 19, 1994

Hartford Cathedral Project, 1989, 1 folder

Homosexuality and Churches, [articles], 2004

Horizon Foundation, San Francisco, [letter, flyer], 2000

Institute for the Protection of Lesbian & Gay Youth, New York, 1983-1986 [articles, transcript of A. Damien Martin's testimony] September 21, 1984 (before Pennsylvania Legislature), 1 folder

International AIDS Candlelight Memorial

Love Makes a Family

MCC, San Francisco

March on Washington, 1987, [Photographs]

Marriage Equity Rally, San Francisco, May 17, 2004, [album of photographs]

Mercy of God Community, 1 folder

Mercy of God Community, Brief History, 2003, [typescript]

Metropolitan Community Church of Hartford, 1997, church service

Metropolitan Community Church, San Francisco, 1 folder

Military and Gays, 1982-1984, [articles, brochures], 1 folder

Morality of Homosexuality, by Richard Cardarelli, 1971

Most Helpful Articles on Homosexuality, 1979-1993, 1 folder

Names Project, 1988

National AIDS Candle lights March, October 12, 1996, Washington, D.C., [program]

National March On Washington For Lesbian & Gay Rights, October 11, 1987, 1 folder

National Queer Arts Festival, San Francisco, 2004, [program]

New England Notes. Dec., 1999, Dignity New England periodical

New Ways Ministry, 1981-2003, 2005, [articles, flyers, letters], 1 folder

New Ways Ministry, 1985, Conference, 1 folder

New Ways Ministry, 1987, Conference, 1 folder

1993 National March on Washington, April 25, 1993 [various articles from Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, USA Today (oversize box #1)]

Northeast Faerie Register, 2003

Nugent, Robert/Geannine Gramick vs. Vatican 1999 -

One in Christ Jesus? Women and the Future of the Church. St. Joseph's College, March 29, 1993

Order of Saint Mary Magdalene, 1997-1999, 1 folder

Out Awards. Connecticut Coalition for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Civil Rights, 1999- , 1 folder

Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, CA

Pastoral Care Team Dignity Hartford, 1991, 1 folder

Peace and Pride [symbols on canvas bag], 1990's

Box 7

Permanent Partners Immigration Act Rally, San Francisco, March 11, 2004, [album of photographs]

Pilgrimage to the Shrines and Cathedrals of France, 1999

Prayer in Honor of those Whom Jesus Loved, [5 cards]

Prayers, 1 folder

Presbyterian Church: Keeping Body and Soul Together [document for 203rd General Assembly], 2003

Presbyterians, [flyers, brochures, articles], 1995-2000, [1 folder]

Priests still die of AIDS as Church postpones needed dialogue, National Catholic Reporter, Oct. 27, 2000

Q Sangha Buddhist Spirituality, San Francisco, 1 folder

Queer Nation, 1991-1992, [articles], 1 folder

Queer Nation, [pledge card]

Queer Nation, Hartford, [songs]

Queer Stations of the Cross, n. d.

Radical Faeries 1987-2000, [flyers, gatherings, 1 folder]Nuns

Rainbow Interfaith Covenant and Outreach, [1 folder]

Rearticulation of Identities

Role of Spiritual Direction in Gay Ministry

Saint Francis Saint Claire Parish, 1994-2000, 3 folders

Saint Patrick's Day Parade New York Gays, March 17, 1994, [flyers, articles], 1 folder

Same Gender Marriage Bill, Connecticut, 2001

Same Sex Marriages, San Francisco City Hall, February 14, 2004, [album of photographs]

Same Sex Marriage, February-May, 2004, [2 folders]

Same Sex Marriage Album, March 1-15, 2004

Same Sex Marriage Album, April 1 - May 22, 2004

Same Sex Marriage Album, June 3 - August 19, 2004

San Francisco Gay Pride, 2003, 2004, 2 folders

San Francisco Gay Pride, 2004, [handouts, cards, flyers, postcards]

San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, 2003, [program]

Senior Gays & Lesbians, 1982-1984, 1 folder

7x7 Celebrates San Francisco Pride, 2005, [program]

Shabbat Service Celebrating installation of Rabbi Elissa Miram Kohen, Oct. 29, 1999 [program]

Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, 25th Anniversary, April, 2004, [album of photographs and articles]

Solidarity Sunday, Washington, DC, October 8, 1995, 1 folder

Solidarity Sunday, Washington, October 4, 1998, 1 folder

Soul Force

Stonewall, 1989, [articles], 1 folder

Stonewall 25, June 26, 1994, 1 folder

Stonewall, 1999

Stop the Hate, Nov. 1999, [1 folder]

T-Shirt Collection:

TARC, Tenderloin AIDS Resource Center, San Francisco [brochure]

Tri-State Area Committee on Lesbian/Gay Issues

True Colors, Sexual minority youth and family services of Conn. Resource Guide, 1999

Video Collection:

Vigil in Memory of Matthew Sheppard, October 15, 1998

A Way to the Cross for the Lesbian + Gay Community, by Claudia Windal

What the Church Teaches about Homosexuality, by Richard Sparks, July 1999

Winter is a drag ball, Burlington, VT n.d. [flyer and card]

Witness Our Welcome (W.O.W.), [Program Book, with materials picked up at the conference], 2000

Photograph Albums and Scrapbooks

Connecticut Gay Rights Bill, 1987-1994, [4 albums]

Dignity Conventions, 1989-2005, [4 albums, 490 photographs]

Dignity Hartford, 1975-2005, [16 albums, 2,840 photographs]

Dignity San Francisco, 2005-2006, [1 album, 110 photographs]

Drag Show, 1980, [1 album, 21 photographs]

Gay Business Expo, 1994-1996, [1 album, 12 photographs]

Gay Pride, Connecticut and New York, 1969-2000, [4 albums, 12 photographs]

Hartford Gay Pride, 1991-2003, [2 albums, 178 photographs]

New York Gay Pride, 1989-2002, [2 albums, 404 photographs]

Marches on Washington, 1993-2000, [1 album, 68 photographs]

Queer Nation, 1991, [1 album, 18 photographs]

Radical Faeries, [3 albums, 622 photographs]

Saint Patrick's Day Parade Protest, [1 album, 15 photographs]

Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, [1 album, 57 photographs]

Same-Sex Marriage, 2003-2005, [11 albums]

San Francisco Gay Pride Day, 2004-2005, [1 album, 20 photographs]

Witness for Disarmament, 1985-1997, [6 albums, 433 photographs]


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