Hi! I’m Rosa Manriquez. I’m a mother, grandmother and life-long Catholic from Los Angeles, California. I serve as a lector at St Agatha Church, a board member for Call to Action and a Listening Parent for Fortunate Families. I am also a member of the Immaculate Heart Community.
I am traveling to World Meeting of Families to represent parents of LGBT children, and to make sure that my family’s voice is heard. Families like mine have been overlooked by the Synod on the Family, and I want to make sure that they’re represented at World Meeting of Families. I love my children, their partners and my grandchildren. I want to be their voice and a witness to their love and goodness. They are a grace-filled family capable of teaching others what family love looks like.
I’m excited to travel to World Meeting of Families because I think it’s an opportunity to help the church I love grow in God’s grace past where it is now. The Roman Catholic Church has a history of failing to acknowledge the humanity of all people (shown through its support of slavery and racist colonization of native peoples), but through the witness of saints the Church is coming to know the truth of our common humanity. Now is the time to include the LGBT community and all of our families in that understanding. It is my hope that my grandchildren will not be seen as members of a second class family simply because they have two moms.
If I met Pope Francis, I would invite him to get to know my family in an intimate way. I would invite him to spend time with us. I would invite him to be a part of our familia and see the love of God among us. There is so much about love that the Roman Catholic Church can learn from families like ours.