Last night I went to a peace vigil in the community in which I live. It was a chance for people to come together, express solidarity, and pray after the mass shooting in Orlando this last weekend.
Over 100 of us stood together in the hot sun. Different people spoke, using words of shock and sorrow and comfort. There were calls for justice and the importance of safety. Prayers were said, songs sung, and all the names of the victims were spoken.
The mayor of our village was there along with other elected officials. Various church leaders were there as well: the Unitarians, the Unity Church, the Methodists, Baptists, and more. The local rabbi was there along with a Muslim woman. As I appreciated the uniting of so many faith traditions, I also noticed who wasn’t there. Of the four Catholic Churches in my community, not one priest was there. I don’t know if they weren’t invited. I don’t know if they had previous commitments. All I know is the leaders from my church were absent.
I wondered about all the Latinos who were murdered early Sunday morning. Did they grow up in the Catholic Church? Did they still attend? Had they been hurt and rejected by people who profess to follow the Gospel? And now, at a simple prayer service to honor their tragic deaths, where was the Catholic representative?
Call To Action’s upcoming webinar came to mind: HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS: BEING LGBT & HOME IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. Why do LBGT people stay in the Catholic Church? Join Owen Borda and enter the conversation on Wednesday, June 22 at 7:00 pm central.
As the the Church – the people of God – let us be a welcoming presence. Let us offer a welcoming voice. Let us love as Jesus loved. Not just after this great tragedy, but every Sunday, every day.
HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS: BEING LGBT & HOME IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22 | 7:00PM CT | $9.99 WEBINAR FEE
Owen Borda, PhD
I am so often asked, “How can you stay in THE Church?” For me it all comes down to the adage that “Home is where the heart is.” Being “home” and in relationship with “family” is always a complicated dance of acceptance, boundaries, and frankly, God’s grace. In this webinar, I will share some of my experiences in the struggle as a gay man in and out of the church as a pastoral musician, AIDS provider, and family member. Our dialogue will include a open forum for discussion and mutual support. To get us started, I propose a few guiding questions:
- How do/can LGBTQI Catholics reconcile who they are and still invest in the faith they love?
- What “best practices” have worked for you/others in navigating the LGBTQI-Church relationship?
- In what ways can Catholicism spiritually nourish and support our LGBTQI brothers and sisters in their faith journey?
Owen Borda is an Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Keuka College and faithful Catholic. He will bring his stories, experience, and perspective of this topic to the webinar conversation and ask others to give voice to theirs. He is passionate about the topic and is looking forward to providing a platform to explore and discuss the state of LGBTQI affairs in the Catholic Church today.