Former Holy Family music director raising money for legal fund

  • Parishioners at Holy Family in Inverness place their hands on former music director Colin Collette, center, who recently started an online fundraising campaign to help pay for his legal challenge to be reinstated at the church.

    Parishioners at Holy Family in Inverness place their hands on former music director Colin Collette, center, who recently started an online fundraising campaign to help pay for his legal challenge to be reinstated at the church. Daily Herald File Photo, 2014

 
 
Updated 4/14/2016 4:43 PM

The former music director at Holy Family Catholic Community in Inverness has started an online crowdfunding campaign to help fund his legal fight to overturn his 2014 firing for getting engaged to his male partner.

Colin Collette, who worked at Holy Family for 17 years, has raised just over $1,100 on the crowdfunding site www.fundedjustice.com and hopes to raise a total of $150,000 for his legal representatives at the Palatine-based Lavelle Law Ltd.

 

"They have not pressured us in any way about legal expenses, but we know that their services have already exceeded $125,000," Collette wrote on the website. "My goal is to raise enough money that Will (Nifong, his husband) and I can remain committed to this journey and in the end, create a better church and a better world for those who face discrimination."

Collette's firing divided the church community. Large crowds, many of them in support of Collette, turned out at subsequent parish events held to address his situation.

In the federal lawsuit filed in March against Holy Family and the Archdiocese of Chicago, Collette seeks reinstatement to his position, back pay and compensatory and punitive damages.

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