You’re HOW Old?

Remember 2011?  Let me refresh you.

The major Catholic headline for that year was the introduction of a new, controversial translation of the English language missal. The major international headline was the outbreak of the Arab Spring revolutions in the Middle East.  In LGBTQ news, one of the top stories was marriage equality becoming law in New York State, the 6th and most populous state to do so.

Less well-known is that 2011 was also the year that Bondings 2.0 debuted. The first post went live on November 28, 2011.  So today this blog turns nine!

If you look back at some of those early posts, you will definitely see how Bondings 2.0 has certainly been a work in progress.  To be quite honest, I was producing them as I was learning the technology (And I still have a lot to learn!  Thank God for Robert Shine!)  Through most of that first year, I was the sole blogger, until Bob Shine joined the New Ways Ministry staff in September of 2012, lightening my load somewhat, and providing a younger perspective on the news.

Since then, we have had a slew of young bloggers who’ve contributed news posts, and we are now posting more and more analyses by theologians, and scriptural reflections from people in the pews.  Without a doubt, the personal and spiritual reflection posts tend to attract the most readers.  We are so grateful for the contributions of all these writers!  And we look forward to the new ones who will continue to emerge.

And let’s not forget that a blog is a form of social media.  So, we would not be anywhere without our readers who comment on our posts.  I’m always impressed that people provide us with perspectives that I would never have imagined.  It’s also an amazingly humbling experience to sense the emotion behind some of the most passionate comments, positive and negative.

As I always tell my friends when my own personal birthday comes around:  “No presents, please!”  But I do often allow them to do me favors for my birthday.  So I’m going to ask our readers for a favor on the blog’s birthday.  The best thing that our readers can support the blog at this time of the year is to tell their friends and family members about it and encourage them to subscribe. If you yourself haven’t subscribed yet, you can do so by entering your email in the box at the top of the right-hand column of this page, under the word “Subscribe,” and then click the subscribe button below it.

You can also email them a link to the blog, along with this subscription page link.  Your endorsement would be the most persuasive way to get others to subscribe.  Tell them what you like about the blog and what they can expect to learn from it. If you would rather that the invitation come from us, just send us their names and email addresses and we will send them an invitation.

We would be most grateful if you can take a few minutes to do us this kindness.

And while you’re at it, you can shoot us an email ( to tell us what you like–and don’t like–about the blog.  We’d love to hear your suggestions for improving!  This is still a work in progress!

Birthdays are about looking back, but also about looking forward.  On this day, we ask you to pray with us that God will give us the grace, people, and skills to continue this ministry of education, communication, and advocacy, spreading the message of God’s abundant love for all people and for the wonderful gifts that LGBTQ people bring to our church.

Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry, November 28, 2020



4 replies
  1. Thomas Ellison
    Thomas Ellison says:

    To the entire New Ways staff, editorial team , researchers and writers , a very happy birthday / anniversary. You provide a wonderful service. This blog is,perhaps, more representative of the Church than some of what the Church publicly proclaims. If polls can be trusted, rank and file Catholics are much closer to New Ways’ positions than the “firm” .
    Thanks for all your efforts.

    DON E SIEGAL says:

    Pope Francis: A Crisis Reveals What Is in Our Hearts

    Off topic, but related. Pope Francis penned an op-ed published by the New York Times about the world response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    One paragraph in Francis’ op-ed grabbed my attention: “If we are to come out of this crisis less selfish than when we went in, we have to let ourselves be touched by others’ pain. There’s a line in Friedrich Hölderlin’s ‘Hyperion’ that speaks to me, about how the danger that threatens in a crisis is never total; there’s always a way out: ‘Where the danger is, also grows the saving power.’ That’s the genius in the human story: There’s always a way to escape destruction. Where humankind has to act is precisely there, in the threat itself; that’s where the door opens.

    There it is in Francis’ quote from Friedrich Hölderlin’s ‘Hyperion.’ If we want to solve the reconciliation of our queer families with the Catholic Church, then we have to work in the midst of the problem. And that is exactly what New Ways Ministry is all about. Happy Birthday to Bondings 2.0.

    The full op-ed is here.

    Opinion | Pope Francis: The Covid-19 Crisis Reveals What Is in Our Hearts – The New York Times (

  3. Tom Bower
    Tom Bower says:

    Happy Anniversary to Bondings 2. You have graciously been doing what the hierarchy should have been doing for centuries and certainly recent decades. If there are questions about the rightful participation of the LGBT community under the wings of the Church, then there should be a conversation to explore the love by which both parties would reveal their spirit. Who speaks of love and understanding and who of abuse and denial of basic human rights? Bondings has done the Christian thing for which it will receive much reward in heaven and our hearts.
    Peace and health.


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