Hundreds of Catholics from around the world gathered for prayer in a virtual celebration of Pride earlier this month, marking the Feast of Corpus Christi with a recognition that “We, Though Many, Are One Body.”
Sr. Jeannine Gramick, SL, opened the celebration, which was hosted by New Ways Ministry, with a prayer. Gramick said, in part:
“This year, as we commemorate Pride, we remember that the world is still wounded by the scourge of racism. You have created a world teeming with diversity and have blessed us with the ability to be united when we work to open our hearts to those who are different from us and address systemic injustices. We thank you for our LGBTQI and Ally identities which help us to remember and to teach others that love is indeed a rainbow of variety. Inspire us to recognize that it is our responsibility to work towards ending all forms of oppression.”
Ruby Almeida,co-chair of the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics, proclaimed the day’s epistle, 1 Corinthians 10: 16-17, from which the event’s theme was taken.
Intercessory prayers were offered thanking God for the diversity of creation, for LGBTQ people, especially those most marginalized, for a just and inclusive church, for an end to racism, and for all who have died. The readers were:
- Michael Sennett, a trans man from Boston, Massachusetts who is part of the parish staff at St. Ignatius of Loyola Church;
- Claire Jenkins, a trans woman from Nottingham in the United Kingdom, where she serves as her bishop’s coordinator for LGBT diocesan pastoral care;
- John Michael Reyes, a gay man from San Francisco, California, where he is an active leader at Most Holy Redeemer parish, a predominantly LGBTQ parish located in the city’s Castro district;
- Elsie Miranda, a Cuban-American woman, who is a program director at The Association of Theological Schools, and studies Hispanic Latinx Theology and Queer Theology;
- Isaac Bunbury, a gay Catholic who is active in parish events at his home in Georgetown, Guyana;
- Maribeth Dono, the mother of a transgender teenager and the leader of the Rainbow Ministry at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Brooklyn, New York.
Finally, three reflections were offered by the following theologians, based on their previous contributions to Bondings 2.0:
- Alfred Pang, a doctoral student in Theology and Education at Boston College who comes from Singapore;
- Allison Connelly, a queer, disabled graduate student at Union Theological Seminary;
- Fr. Bryan Massingale, an openly gay priest who holds the James and Nancy Buckman Chair in Applied Christian Ethics at Fordham University, New York.
You can view a video of Fr. Massingale’s reflection below or by clicking here. A video of the entire online prayer service will be available soon through New Ways Ministry. Bondings 2.0 readers and New Ways Ministry supporters will be informed when it is available. If you are not a regular subscriber to this blog and are not on the New Ways Ministry mailing list, please send an email requesting the video to [email protected].
Leading up the virtual celebration, New Ways Ministry asked Catholics globally to say a Pride prayer as a source of unity across borders and differences. We invite you to pray the prayer one more time before this month of Pride ends:
OUR PRIDE, OUR PRAYER
God of Many Colors, you once set the rainbow, high up in the clouds, to be the sign of the life- giving covenant between you and the earth. Let this symbol of faithfulness resonate with us as we renew our relationships with each other, and you, during this season of PRIDE.
Creator God, we thank you for our LGBTQ/ally diversity because these colorful expressions let us see your many faces. Although many, we come together as ONE in you, and joyfully proclaim, “You are our God and we are your people.”
Loving Jesus, as you left the ninety-nine to go in search of the one lost sheep, set your sights on those who are excluded in our world and church. Bring them home, so ALL may return – with pride – to the music of triumphal rejoicing and feel embraced by extravagant welcome.
Emboldening Holy Spirit, continue to animate us with your fire and flamboyance, and dare us to embody your inclusive love in our Church and world. Let YOUR will be done in us, so that at day’s end, we, too, may hear the voice from heaven say, “This is my beloved child, with whom I
am well pleased.”
May these affirming words always echo in our ears and hearts as testament to that life-giving- rainbow-covenant between you, our God, and us, your LGBTQ/ally people.
—Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, June 26, 2020