Sacred Heart and Pride Month

Source: twitter

Being gay and Catholic is not an oxymoron. Baptism conferred membership in this international community of believers that professes care and concern.I was raised in a traditional Catholic family in the fifties. In my mid twenties I “came out,” ignored going to church, and denied the need for a spiritual  life.

I justified my thinking on the idea that I wasn’t welcome. Eventually a few priests challenged my spiritual wasteland, and offered positive pastoral care. They confirmed that the Lord is my shepherd and He knows I’m gay. Good thing they did, because I had a lot of funerals to attend in the HIV/AIDS eighties and early nineties. What’s next I asked in prayer?

I felt called twenty years ago to facilitate a Day of Reflection for Catholic parents of LGBT children. With the support of Jesuits and many others, seventeen of these annual events occurred before Covid. The vast majority of evaluation forms evidenced a need that Catholic parents have for meeting someone like themselves.

June is the month of the Sacred Heart. It’s also Pride month. For me both are important reminders of who I am, and what I’m created for: loving. It’s taken a long time to understand how to do this. Some say it’s in old age that we become the person we were meant to be. Covid has given me time and opportunity to quietly reflect on what’s unimportant.

Pride month is a chance to witness our loving community to wider society. Western democratic countries are changing the paradigm that different sexual orientation is shame based. LGBTQ people are not out to “convert” anyone. As this millennium evolves, more folks, both political and ecclesiastical are speaking up for change and acceptance. The Sacred Heart beats strong. Pride month means that only love can bring us together, and perfect love can make it a joy..

John Montague earned his Master of Divinity from Regis College, University of Toronto. He is an active member of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. He has a Master of Social Work, and, until his retirement, provided counselling to individuals, couples, and families. For the past seventeen years he has organized a Day of Reflection for Catholic parents of lesbian daughters, gay sons, and transgendered children.

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14 Comments
  • Vicky Chen
    Posted at 05:37h, 10 June Reply

    Your personal testimony is powerful in evangelization. Thank you for sharing.

  • Beverley Ares
    Posted at 05:43h, 10 June Reply

    God bless you and keep you close to His Heart❣️

  • Jeanette Woodley
    Posted at 06:38h, 10 June Reply

    The only flag that should be flying at our schools and churches should be the Canadian flag or a flag of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, not the Pride flag.,..pride goes before a fall.

  • Bernard Carroll, SJ
    Posted at 09:53h, 10 June Reply

    Thank you John for your openness, honesty, generous commitment and faithful service.

  • Peter Bisson
    Posted at 12:43h, 10 June Reply

    Thank you John!

  • Lorraine Majcen
    Posted at 12:45h, 10 June Reply

    Thank you for your commentary John! I am on the outside, looking in. Trying to follow my Catholic faith and teachings and certainly not wanting to judge the heart of Gods people. Only He has the authority to do that. Acceptance and love are what all humans are seeking and will find, in knowing our Lord Jesus Christ. My heart and mind is open to what he wants me to know and understand. Thank you for sharing your perspective John. May God bless you!

  • Pieter Niemeyer
    Posted at 15:11h, 10 June Reply

    Thank you for this reflection

  • Karen Arthurs
    Posted at 16:41h, 10 June Reply

    Accepting one another as human beings without the identifying adjectives will be a welcomed day!
    As humanity we are all sacred. Accepting one another without the fear of conversion or any other charge is a good path forward.

  • Philip Shano
    Posted at 17:16h, 10 June Reply

    Thanks John. I’m always inspired by your desire to unite your Catholic identity with your gayness. These are challenging times in that combination.

  • Peter LeBlanc
    Posted at 20:18h, 10 June Reply

    Don’t know you, John, but thank you for a moving piece. It gives me a new perspective on June and the Sacred Heart.

    Peter

  • Grace Colella
    Posted at 11:33h, 11 June Reply

    Thank you for your meaningful reflections on your personal experiences.

  • Connie Shaw
    Posted at 16:52h, 11 June Reply

    Thank you John for your long time witness and service/ministry to those LGBT and their families, and those impacted by HIV and Aids. I too remember the challenges of the 80’s and 90’s. Through out it all, I was always struck by the deep faith and love of this community. Blessings to you.

  • Sheila Profit
    Posted at 18:25h, 11 June Reply

    Thank you John Courageous and loving

  • Dina Amicone
    Posted at 21:21h, 12 June Reply

    Dear John,

    Thank you for writing this. I would love to join the day of reflection for parents. It is a ministry that is so needed.

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