A Twin Cities teacher has written about the pain of being fired from a local Catholic high school in 2013 in a new Huffington Post blog.
"There are a million things to say about being gay and working at a Catholic school where you get to do work that is truly your vocation," former Totino-Grace High School teacher Kristen Ostendorf wrote in the blog post. "The separate peace one has to make with so many things is almost crippling. And soul-crushing. Staying alive is hard."
Ostendorf worked at Totino-Grace for 18 years. She says she was fired after she told colleagues that she is gay and in a relationship with another woman. Ostendorf was let go in August of 2013, about one month after Totino-Grace President William "Bill" Hudson was forced to resign after he revealed he was in a same-sex relationship.
Ostendorf now teaches English at Highland Park High School in St. Paul, where she was hired soon after she was let go from Totino-Grace.
"I am the teacher who hopes to create moments when light bulbs go on for students," Ostendorf wrote in her post.
The Huffington Post blog is part of a series on Catholics who are lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or transgender and have held onto their faith.
"This has been the most difficult struggle I have faced, " wrote Ostendorf. "I take hope in the pastoral approach of Pope Francis and the generosity of spirit he encourages."
In the post, titled "I am Catholic and I am gay. This I know for sure," Ostendorf wrote that she has hope for the future. "As someone on the margins, I am glad to feel like the Good Shepherd may be calling us all in at last."
Photo: Aimee Engebretson, left, and Kristen Ostendorf were married in July in St. Paul. Photo: Kat Campbell-Johnson