Our World Youth Day presence told LGBTQI Catholics they are not alone

Equally Blessed pilgrims
Image credit: Breanna Mekuly

All my life, the only thing I ever wanted to do is work for the church. And for eight years, I did. Working in youth ministry, I eventually became the director of religious education for a low-income parish in Indianapolis primarily serving a Latino immigrant community. I thought I would do this for the rest of my life.

Then I met the woman who is now my wife. I didn’t plan on meeting her. I didn’t try to meet her. When we met, I had a no-dating rule. I fell in love with her despite my best efforts not to. Because of her, I am a better person. And there is much more joy in my life than before we met. We encourage each other and have each sacrificed deeply for the other. My wife is getting me closer to heaven, and I hope I am doing the same for her.

But from the moment I realized I loved her, I knew I would have to choose between her and my vocation working in the church. In recent years, dozens of workers in Catholic institutions have been fired for being openly LGBTQ or for entering into a same-sex marriage.

In December 2015, I quit my job because I knew it would be impossible for my wife and me to have the life we wanted and for me to continue working as a director of religious education and youth minister. I accepted a job as a social worker, recruiting and licensing foster families for a national nonprofit agency.

I recently went to the Jan. 22-27 World Youth Day in Panama as a witness for LGBTQI equality because that is a choice I never should have had to make.

Continue reading at the National Catholic Reporter.

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