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Social Justice Reading Club

Spring 2021 Discussions

Building a Bridge by James Martin, SJ

In this revised and expanded paperback of his groundbreaking book, Jesuit priest and New York Times bestselling author James Martin makes the surprisingly controversial argument that Catholic leaders should stop seeing the LGBT community as "the other" and instead reach out to them with greater compassion and openness.

This new edition includes a new introduction along with forty percent new material, including stories from LGBT Catholics, and responses to the common questions about ministry to LGBT people. Father Martin turns to three virtues from the Catechism of the Catholic Church—"respect, compassion, and sensitivity"—as a model for how both the Catholic leadership and LGBT Catholics can move together on a "two-way bridge" toward reconciliation and love.

This revolutionary book also includes spiritual and biblical resources for the LGBT community and their families, friends, and allies. Father Martin offers biblical passages, accompanied by meditations and questions for reflection, to help LGBT people find their place in the church and enter into a deeper relationship with God. Building a Bridge is a compassionate book desperately needed in today’s climate of divisiveness. - Review from HarperOne 

Ways to read (or listen to) the book

Gumberg has a copy of the book to check out, or you can borrow a digital copy from Carnegie Library of PIttsburgh.

To borrow a digital copy:

1. Sign up for a Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP) library card (Use your DUQ campus address)

2. Then go to and create a new account. After you put in your email and a password you pick, it will ask you to identify your library (Carnegie Library of PIttsburgh) and enter your library card number. View this video on signing up for a Hoopla account. Hoopla contains movies, ebooks & audiobooks - you can borrow 15 items a month. Books check out for 21 days.

3. Search for Building a Bridge and borrow the ebook or audiobook!  

4. Take a look at all of the other great free resources you can access with your Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh card!

Father James Martin Video Introduction


In Support of a Free Exchange of Ideas: A Librarian's Review by Sara Baron

America Magazine: "Building a Bridge" by Father James Martin seeks respect between church and LGBT community

New York Times: The Scariest Catholic in America (you will need to enter your Multipass credentials to access this article)

Find local resources at the Pittsburgh Equality Center

Gumberg's guide to LGBTQ Resources

Past Events

Catholic Universities Welcoming LBGTQIA+ Students: a conversation for Duquesne Students

Monday March 22, 2021, 7:00 - 8:30 pm | Register Here.

Help start an open conversation about LGBTQIA+ students at Duquesne. This book discussion is co-sponsored by WGS, the Gender Forum, Gumberg Library and ODI. 

CTE Faculty Book Discussion

Virtual Discussion: Wednesday, March 10, 2021, Noon - 1:00 PM, via Zoom

Help start an open conversation about LGBTQIA+ students and colleagues at Duquesne! 

Discuss the presentation and book with faculty colleagues from around campus. Free book copies are available to the first 15 faculty to register for this session, which will be co-hosted by Women's and Gender Studies, Gumberg Library, and the Center for Teaching Excellence. Registration is closed. 

Catholic Universities Welcoming LGBTQIA+ Students: A Conversation with Fr. James Martin, SJ

Virtual Discussion/Q&A: February 24, 2021, 4:15-5:45 PM, via Zoom

Fr. Martin presents a talk on how Catholic colleges and universities can welcome LGBTQIA+ students and on his book, Building a Bridge.

  • A recording of this event can be viewed here.

Further Reading
America Magazine: How can Catholic Colleges Welcome the L.G.B.T. Person? by James Martin, SJ