It's a Guard Thing!
Written by Guard Isaac Weiner, Edited by Sister Donatella Soul
Isaac Weiner is a Guard with The San Diego Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, The Asylum of the Tortured Heart
Usually, you will see the guards out with our Sisters, staying more-or-less in the background, empowering our nuns to take center stage in their various ministries. However, on one day of the year, the guards run the show: when they put on the annual homage to all things grilled, Guard B-Q.
Guard B-Q takes place on the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend at The Loft (3610 Fifth Avenue) in Hillcrest. At this event, the guards handle everything — they plan, they cook, they take orders, they sell jello (heyyo) shots, and they do prize drawings; all to benefit The San Diego Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence general fund which supports local charities.
Guard B-Q isn’t just a typical grilling event at a local bar; Guard B-Q gets the entire community involved. The guards take special care to make sure that the food they serve is high-quality, that the atmosphere stays light and fun, and that nothing is taken too seriously. As Guard Inya puts it, “It's always been one of the most special [events] to me. It's rather like a ministry of presence as an event. It's still a fundraiser, but there's less focus on the selling, and more on the being of the community."
You can tell that a lot of love goes into Guard B-Q every year from the campy naming of items like “Guard Inya Face Cheeseburger” and “The Famous Quarter-Pound Isaac Weiner,” to the Facebook posts and memes about the event filled with humor and innuendo, and the enthusiastic way that the entire Guard Corps get involved in the process. Guard B-Q is a very special event that bonds together our House and community members.
Guard B-Q is special not just to the guards, but to the nuns as well. Sister Bianca Tempt comments, “Our guards form a support network that helps us feel especially cherished >swoon< as we werq . . . our magic. Any time I can return the favor, well, I’m all in.”
Sister Bianca is not alone in her sentiment. Novice Sister Gwenn N. Dowtte agrees and adds, “I love and support our guards! The Guard Corps is usually the silent support group for the Sisters, and I always know I can count on them to watch my back when I'm out in face.”
Guard B-Q started about six years ago and, with the exception of one year when it took place over Independence Day weekend, it has been held on Memorial Day weekend Sunday, and always at The Loft (3610 Fifth Av). “St. Andrew, the owner of The Loft, has always been a great supporter of The San Diego Sisters,” says Guard Isaac Weiner. “A major reason why this event is such a blast is because of him and the awesome staff there.”
Guard B-Q started as an extension of The Sisters' Memorial Day Weekend Barbeque fundraiser that was originally produced by the House in 2013 and 2014 with Sister Raven Lunatic as Grill Mistress. The Guard Corps made the barbeque event their own in 2015 and have since expanded the offerings and sides and overall JOY of the event.
It remains a mystery as to who came up with the name Guard B-Q. Was it Guard Inya, who was Captain of the Guard at the time Guard B-Q started? Or was it Sister Ida Know? Or was it Guard Isaac Weiner? Regardless as to who named the grillfest, Guard B-Q has become an annual tradition and a cherished event.
For a look at the fun that was had at last year's Guard B-Q, visit the FaceBook album of Saint Angel con Cuernos here.
Guard B-Q is May 26, 2019, noon until five PM, at The Loft, 3610 Fifth Avenue in Hillcrest. Bring cash for food and prize drawing tickets!
Blog by Sister Develyn Angels and Edited by Sister Donatella Soul
Ever have a Facebook Memory pop up in your feed and you think, "Wow, time sure does fly by"? I had that response recently when I scrolled down to find posts from the past four years of The Purple Party for Youth Rally.
Five years ago I was a Novice Sister with The San Diego Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Novice Sisters are required to complete a Novice Project before they request consideration for elevation to a Fully Professed Sister. When I reached the point in my journey to create a project, I knew I wanted to raise awareness and funds related to something personal and something that became the cornerstone of my Ministry as a Sister.
After three years of living with a misdiagnosis for ulcerative colitis, in 2008 I was diagnosed correctly with Crohn's Disease. I was informed by my doctor that I had suffered from this most of my life based on the severity of the damage to my colon.
Life progressed on and off Crohn's medications, I got divorced, and I developed a massive abscess on my colon which led to a parade of hospital visits. In February 2013, in a final act of desperate advocacy for myself, I put my foot down and demanded to have surgery.
"Stomie" was born on March 9, 2013. Stomie is my ileostomy, the opening in my belly through which the lowest part of my small intestine was brought to form a stoma. My colon had nearly been completely removed. I have under 3" left. To this I attach ileostomy pouches, or, as I call them, "poop bags". Yep, I wear a poop bag.
Post surgery, I felt good. I felt awesome! I had been sick for so long that I had forgotten how it was to feel good. Even better, I was alive! I was relieved my family was visiting me in a hospital room instead of a funeral home. The colon abscess removed by the surgeon was the size of his fist. I would have been days away from death. So began my renewed life and my new normal.
Just two months later, in May of 2013, I began my journey with The San Diego Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, The Asylum of the Tortured Heart. I had a new lease on life and I wanted to bring awareness to conditions like mine that affect health and well-being. So, when the time came to create a Novice Project, I knew I wanted to do something related to Crohn's and digestive disorders.
I ended up speaking with one of the Saints of the House, Saint Shuttabug, Sarah Biggart, so named for her photographs of the San Diego Sisters. Sarah is an osteomate. She wears a pouch and is a manager at Ostomy Secrets.
Sarah and I discussed organizations I might raise money for. She suggested I visit the Youth Rally, Inc. Website.
After reviewing the site I knew I had found my beneficiary. For more than 30 years Youth Rally has sent kids ages 9 through 17 who are living with bladder and digestive issues to a 5-night camp that encourages self-confidence and independent living. They learn self-esteem, comradeship, and how to care for themselves medically. Most importantly, they get to be kids and are surrounded by others who understand what they are going through.
The camp staff, including the counselors and nurses, have the same conditions as the campers and, in some cases, formerly attended the camp.
The hardest part was that first step of sending an email saying, "Hi, I am a Queer Nun and I would like to host a fundraiser for you!"
Happily, the CEO for Youth Rally, Inc., Paul Hastings, is openly gay. He not only knew about The Sisters, he welcomed us into the Youth Rally family! Paul also has Crohn's Disease and had ileostomy surgery in 1979.
That first Purple Party was held at the now defunct Numbers Nightclub and was packed with supporters. They donated money, voted for their favorite decorated bags in the ostomy pouch fashion show, tipped the performers (who donated the tips to the fundraising efforts), bid on auction items, and, best of all, had fun doing it!
They enjoyed the mashed-potato-with-all-the-fixins bar and the decorations, which were created with toilet paper rolls.
I gained a great deal of knowledge, friendships, and working relationships from that first Purple Party, but what touched me the most were the personal stories I heard. Some attendees wore a bag or were dealing with digestive issues, or they knew someone, or they had a relative. It was the first time I shared my complete story. That night, we all realized the truth of the Youth Rally catchphrase, "You are not alone".
There is more to the Purple Party story, but that first year sparked an annual event. The Sisters welcome your attendance at the 2018 Purple Party on Sunday, October 14 at The Rail in Hillcrest. Doors open at 5 PM and the stage entertainment starts at 7 PM. Admission is 10 dollars which is donated to Youth Rally. Your emcee is Brother Love Joy Vey.