Scenes from Word Pride 2012 in London

July 8, 2012

Catholic and other religious groups were well-represented at the World Pride March 2012 which wound through the streets of London on July 7th.  The Soho Masses community of London wore T-shirts that said “All Are Welcome at Soho Masses” on the front, while the reverse said “Nobody Knows I’m Catholic.”    Members of Quest, a Catholic LGBT group in the United Kingdom marched with their banner. And New Ways Ministry was present, proudly marching with our banner amid the thousands upon thousands of marchers and spectators.

Here are some photos which I hope will give you a sense of the strong faith presence in the march, as well as the diversity of attendees:

Soho Masses community member

Francis DeBernardo and Martin Pendergast carry the New Ways Ministry banner down Regent Street.

Julian Filachowski and Martin Pendergast, leaders in the Soho Masses community.

Matias Wibowo and John Falcone, who entered into a legal UK civil partnership on the morning of the Pride festival.

The rainbow flag flies atop the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, near Trafalgar Square.

A Vietnamese marcher

The Pride Rally under Lord Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square.

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry


Greetings from London and World Pride!

June 19, 2012

By the time you read this post, I will have made myself “across the pond,” and be firmly settled in London, England, for a three-and-a half week trip to the United Kingdom for World Pride and to visit with a variety of church reform and LGBT organizations.  Oh, and also to do some sightseeing, too!

As I mentioned here previously, I will be participating on a panel at a multi-national, ecumenical conference as part of World Pride, a two-week gathering of LGBT people from around the globe, as well as conducting New Ways Ministry’s popular “Next Steps: Developing Catholic LGBT Ministry” program. I will also be networking with British and international organizations who are working for equality and justice for LGBT people in church and society. I can’t wait to let them know about the great work that Catholics are doing for LGBT issues and the Catholic church in “the colonies.”

Throughout my stay, I intend to keep on blogging, so I do not expect to pass any day without posting something here.  Because my schedule will not be as regular as usual, some days the posts may appear later than usual. However, because of the time difference (I’m five hours ahead of the U.S. Eastern Time Zone), many times the posts will appear earlier.  Don’t be surprised if there’s an occasional “electronic postcard” as a post–photos from various places that I travel to that I think may be of interest to people who are concerned with Catholic LGBT issues.

I’m open to any suggestions of places to visit that blog readers may have for me while I’m here.  My “home base” will be in London, but I have a BritRail pass and plan to visit a wide-range of places throughout England.  If any readers will be here in London for World Pride, please be in touch so we can say “hello.”

So, the blog will go on while I’m traveling!  It just may be a little different than the regular news and opinion that you may have become used to.  I hope you will enjoy the change. Cheerio!

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry


New Ways Ministry to Participate in World Pride Celebration in London

June 8, 2012

World Pride, an international celebration of all things LGBT, will be held in London this year, and New Ways Ministry will be there.

Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry’s Executive Director (and your humble author/editor of this blog), will be crossing the Atlantic to join with thousands  of LGBT leaders from around the world.  The World Pride 2012 website describes the event:

“The LGBT community from across the globe is expected to descend on the city for two weeks from 23 June – 8 July for a festival of art, culture and campaigning culminating with the Parade through central London on Saturday 7 July.”

DeBernardo will serve on a panel at a conference entitled “Mind the Gap: Faith and LGBT Rights, ” a multi-faith, multi-national event, on Thursday, July 5th, 12 noon-5:00 pm, at Friends Meeting House, 52 St. Martin’s, Lane, London WC2N 4EA. For information, contact: cuttingedgeconsortium1@googlemail.com, or go to http://www.cuttingedgeconsortium.co.uk.

Francis DeBernardo

He will also conduct New Ways Ministry’s very popular “Next Steps: Developing LGBT Ministry” program on Saturday, June 23rd,  St. Anne’s Church, 55 Dean Street, Soho, London W1D 6AF.  For registration details: info@sohomasses.com, or  + 44 208 986 0807.

DeBernardo will carry the New Ways Ministry banner in the Pride Parade on Sunday, July 7th, along with scores of other LGBT faith groups.

“I’m excited at this opportunity to connect with LGBT advocates from all over, particularly those from the faith community,” said DeBernardo, who was the keynote speaker at the conference on religion and homosexuality at the first World Pride celebration in Rome, Italy, in 2000.  “We have so much to learn from one another, and this is a great opportunity to show one another support.”

London has a strong Catholic LGBT community, with diocesan-sposored semi-monthly liturgies, called the Soho Masses.  A national organization, Quest, also helps to facilitate activities and programs there.  Additionally, the Roman Catholic Caucus of the Lesbian & Gay Christian Movement also coordinates activities.  The blog, QueeringTheChurch.com, is an excellent resource on news, opinions and events of concern to Catholic LGBT people in the UK.

DeBernardo will be traveling to London on June 18th to meet informally with London’s LGBT and Catholic church reform leaders before World Pride begins. Stay tuned for photos and posts on this blog beginning after that date!

–Dwayne Fernandes, New Ways Ministry


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