Sacred Heart and Pride Month
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..