Last year, on July 12, my daughter, Sara, married her fiance, Lauren on a beautiful pasture with the trees and mountains in the backround in the very beautiful Vermont, where we live. They had been together a long while and were social justice minded, it was truly a match made in heaven. The wedding was wonderful, lasting a weekend, but even better, the marriage is beautiful. I could not ask for a better wife for Sara. They share genuine caring for each other in even the little things that happen during the day.
Sara and Lauren also happen to be 2 of the best Catholics I know. They are in a parish that embraces and accepts them. One where they belong and are valued members of. They live their faith daily and it is wonderful to see.
The last time they we here in VT for Christmas (we have to share) they went to Christmas Eve mass at our parish here. This is where Sara made her first Communion, became an altar server, and was active in the youth group that went on spring vacation to work with Habitat for Humanity. The current priest who was celebrating Mass, was so homophobic they left. It hurt me that they were made to feel unwelcome in a parish we were once very active in.
When they went to Rio for the World Youth Day, I admit to being a little nervous as to how they would be received. I shouldn’t have been, God took over and they were welcomed and encouraged as they encouraged others.
When I was asked if I wanted to see the Pope when he came to America, of course I said yes. Pope Francis is an inspiration. He won’t change everything, but he is more inclusive and more inclined to listen. There is that social justice thing again, those Jesuits! (Sara graduated from Fordham and then they both did a volunteer year year with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, that is how they met). Then I was told about the World Meeting of Families and became a pilgrim. I have never been a pilgrim before.
I worry that I don’t have all the correct or at least politically correct language down and that I am not going to remember a lot of what the Catechesis says. My goal, my mission is to show support for the LGBT Community in the Catholic Church (and out as well). My daughter is no less a Catholic than the most pious nun you may know. She loves a woman. She has pledged her life to that woman and Lauren to her. Together, they celebrate being Catholic and living their faith. As I share my story during my pilgrimage, I share their story. I don’t know a lot about changing the Catechesis to be more inclusive. I just keep changing the he and she words to they, them, the couple.
What I know, what I believe, is the Church needs to accept the that the Lord made man in His own image and it was good. So God is all things. All things. Not just husband and wife, not just black or brown or white, not just straight, gay, transgender or any other one thing. He is ALL things. We need to embrace and love those that we have previously shunned as a church, who we have told that their love for each other is wrong. Why does it matter who we love? God loves us all just as we are.
So here I am now. I’ll be back and share more about my family. I am excited and a bit nervous but also thrilled to have this opportunity. Till the next time, God bless.