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A conversation with Shelly Fitzgerald

Posted at 9:27 AM, Nov 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-11 17:12:22-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Former Roncalli guidance counselor, Shelly Fitzgerald, is sharing parts of her faith journey.

Fitzgerald spoke to her church, The Life Journey Church, on Sunday and said her faith has been an instrumental part of her life.

Fitzgerald was fired after the Archdiocese in Indianapolis found out about her marriage to her wife of 23 years.

That decision prompted an outcry from many fellow Catholics and the Indianapolis LGBTQ community. Fitzgerald says, in a moment, her life was changed forever, and since then, she has focused on becoming a public advocate for what she calls progress in the church and beyond.

"My hope is to continue advocating for people who want to be a part of the church," Fitzgerald said. "Advocating for people who want to be a part of Roncalli … the Archdiocese. I don't want people to leave the church ... I want to work on making it better, so people feel safe and welcome there."

Fitzgerald has filed a federal lawsuit against Roncalli and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis for what she calls their "wrongful and unlawful discrimination" against her.

The suit alleges that the church did not take similar actions against other employees whose actions contradict Catholic church teachings.

In a statement, the Archdiocese says, "If a school's leader rejects core aspects of the Catholic faith, it undermines the school's ability to accomplish its mission."