Dr. Lorraine D. Siggins Fund

Est. 2022 by Dr. Lorraine D. Siggins

Dr. Lorraine Siggins
Dr. Lorraine Siggins

Lorraine D. Siggins, MD, is drawn to many things about Christ Church in New Haven — its religious rituals, its music and its mission: “a call to daily prayer can go hand in hand with a call to daily action.”

It also matters deeply to her that women are ordained as priests, that the church is welcoming to the LGBTQ+ community and that for nearly 50 years, Christ Church’s parish hall has been home to New Haven’s Community Soup Kitchen.

Christ Church is an urban church in the truest sense, located in the heart of downtown on Broadway. Families who have been part of the congregation for generations worship alongside students and faculty from the city’s universities, people from the neighborhood and nearby towns who work in the city and new visitors who drop in to find sanctuary.

“The church adapts to people’s schedules and their lives,” Dr. Siggins said, noting that Christ Church has daily services— some of which can be tucked into a work lunch hour. “I like that the church is open, that people can come in if they happen to be shopping in the area or just want to pop in. The church is here for everyone.”

Dr. Siggins, a nationally renowned psychiatrist in young adult mental health, is clinical professor emeritus of psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine. For 30 years, she was the director of Mental Health and Counseling for students at Yale Health.

She discovered Christ Church shortly after arriving from Australia in the 1960’s to do her residency in psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine. She was looking for an Episcopal Church and found it in Christ Church, which has been part of the New Haven landscape since 1854.

“I love the beauty of the building, the gothic design, the stained-glass windows which make it a beautiful place for the services,” she said.

As she began thinking about her legacy, Dr. Siggins spoke with friends and colleagues who suggested she talk with the staff at The Community Foundation, who showed her how she could establish a fund to support Christ Church in perpetuity.

She chose to create the Dr. Lorraine D. Siggins Fund to make certain that others will have the chance to become part of an inviting and socially conscious church community.

While Dr. Siggins retired as director of Mental Health and Counseling at Yale Health, she continues to teach at Yale and to research and write, and relishes having time to be even more active in the church and creating a Fund to sustain it.

“It’s very important to me to know that Christ Church will be here for the people of New Haven for decades and decades to come,” she said.