As Pride month concludes today, Bondings 2.0 brings you three stories about how a Catholic bishop, a Catholic parish, and a Catholic entertainment celebrity chose to mark the annual occasion.
Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv. of Lexington, Kentucky, sent a letter to attendees of the city’s first Pride Interfaith Service. The letter was posted on Facebook by the Catholic Committee of Appalachia for whom he is the episcopal liaison. In the letter Stowe wrote:
“It is a commendable outreach to people in the community who too often have suffered discrimination from people of faith. It is good to know that in the midst of the festivities, members of the LGBT community are taking time for prayer and reflection and coming together in celebration of a bond of faith. May a great outpouring of praise and thanksgiving rise to the Creator along with our prayers for relief for all who are suffering in any way.
‘Though our religious traditions and backgrounds vary, they all teach the virtues of loving respect expressed in compassion. May that spirit become ever stronger in our Lexington community. May your gifts truly be celebrated in a spirit of thanksgiving. And may we all grow in our ability to join hands and hearts to resist hatred and intolerance in any form.”
Catholics in Lexington joined Bishop Stowe’s outreach by hosting a table at the city’s Pride Festival earlier this month.
In April, Bishop Stowe offered scriptural reflections at New Ways Ministry’s Eighth National Symposium, “Justice and Mercy Shall Kiss: LGBT Catholics in the Age of Pope Francis.” The National Catholic Reporter interviewed him about the event:
“Stowe said he is humbled by those who have pursued ‘a life of faith in a church that has not always welcomed or valued’ them or their worth. . .both the presence and persistence of LGBT Catholics inspired him.
“They’ve shown ‘a valuable expression of mercy’ in calling the church ‘to be more inclusive and more Christ-like despite being given so many reasons to walk away,’ he said.”
Stowe also offered LGBT-inclusive reflections at the Conference of Major Superiors of Men’s 2016 conference.
In Baltimore, the LEAD Ministry at St. Matthew’s parish and other Catholics joined with interfaith groups to both acknowledge the first anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub massacre. The faith groups then also marched in the city’s Pride Parade.
In New York City, comedian Jim Gaffigan and his family posted about Pride on social media. Gaffigan, who is quite public about his Catholic faith, tweeted, “I’m so proud of my gay kids. Happy
Gaffigan entertained Pope Francis and throngs of Catholics at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia last year.
How did you celebrate Pride? Leave a note in the “Comments” section below, or share a picture of your celebrations with us on New Ways Ministry’s Facebook page.
—Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, June 30, 2017