Colleen Simon is a Lutheran who has spent decades as a Catholic, drawn to that church by its social work mission. She was the coordinator of social work ministries at St. Francis Xavier Church in Kansas City and spent years encouraging food donations from the congregation and seeing that it was efficiently distributed to the needy. Her devotion to this work was highlighted in a profile in the Kansas City Star and that’s when she got into trouble.
Colleen Simon and her wife, the Rev. Donna Simon of St. Mark Hope and Peace Lutheran Church, were mentioned deep in the story, along with the fact that they are a married couple.
The freelance writer didn’t intend to out the couple. They bear no grudge to her, nor to the priest currently serving St. Francis. The Simons have never hidden their marriage (in Iowa on May 19, 2012).
Rather, Colleen Simon kept a don’t-ask, don’t-flaunt attitude. She said she told the pastor who hired her in July 2013 (he is no longer at the parish) of her marriage.
But the bishop has fired her.
In November, Simon will reach the milestone of being three years cancer-free from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. But many bills from her treatment remain unpaid. At 58, she worries about her ability to find a new job quickly.
But the church doesn’t care about things like that or the fact that was a woman who put her heart and soul into helping the poor in her community through her adopted church. Gays and lesbians must not be allowed to sully their purity.