The Portland Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, The Order of Benevolent Bliss, is a fully professed house of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. As a 501(C)3 public charitable organization, we are dedicated to the support, education, and development of the LGBTQQIP2SAA+ communities. The Order was founded on June 18, 2005 at the beginning of Portland’s Pride weekend. The Sisters were introduced to Portland during that weekend celebration with the help of our Sisters from The Abbey of St. Joan in Seattle.
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence came into existence on Easter weekend in 1979. Four men dressed in full traditional nun habits went out into the San Francisco community and began what has become our mission. Since that weekend in 1979 many have heeded the calling. There are now hundreds of Sisters manifesting in countries all around the world. The Portland Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are dedicated to continuing the work started by those 4 Sisters 40 years ago. The name of our House, the Order of Benevolent Bliss, reflects our desire to help our community through charitable acts, community outreach, and education; doing so in a fashion that promulgates universal joy.
We are an Order of 21st century radical nuns dedicated to the promulgation of omniversal joy and the expiation of stigmatic guilt. Our ministry is one of public manifestation and habitual perpetration as we continue to rise and respond to the needs of our LGBTQQIP2SAA+ communities and those who find themselves ‘othered’ by dominant culture.
Diversity and Radical Self Expression
While we focus on the LGBTQQIP2SAA+ communities, we strive to support everyone in our operating area. We come from diverse backgrounds, and mutual respect is essential to allow the members of the OBB to do the work of our Calling. Equity, Inclusion, and support of those who are marginalized even within the greater LGBTQQIP2SAA+ umbrella is vital to fulfilling our vows.
We believe that all people should be free to express themselves as they choose. We recognize that doing so is dependent on the agency a person feels. We support and encourage identity exploration and self-discovery in all its forms, and we challenge limiting factors and beliefs that keep people restricted from being more of who they are.
Social Activism through Community Engagement and Inclusion
The very nature of our organization is one of social and political change. In essence, as representatives of OBB we are agents of that change. We work to counter dominant narratives and break down systems of oppression. We encourage members to confront their own biases as part of their personal growth. As Sisters we continually strive to meet the changing needs of our community. Our ministry includes:
- Advancing consent, safer sex, and harm reduction education.
- Affirming and promoting understanding of gender and sexual identities.
- Advocating for increased equity for those with differences that are stigmatized.
- Holding space for those who are marginalized even within the greater LGBTQQIP2SAA+ communities in order to amplify their voices.
- Listening to emergent community needs and using our shared wisdom to respond rather than react to those needs.
The OBB does not adhere to any organized religion or faith system but we identify as nuns and do the traditional works of nuns. We recognize that spirituality comes in a welcome diversity of forms and as such, there is room in our House for each member’s spiritual identity, beliefs, and practices. We all feel a Calling to witness for our community, perform community service, and engage in social activism. We are united by our ministry and the universal vows of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to expiate stigmatic guilt and promulgate omniversal joy.
Where many traditional religious organizations often fail our communities by promoting rigidity, dogmatic thought and conformity, The Sisters manifest love, acceptance, and ecstatic self expression. We endeavor to meet the unrequited spiritual needs of our often marginalized community and act to support and inspire the processes that all people go through to find joy, freedom, and meaning in their experiences.