So much negative news regarding Pride seems to have arisen this year. For this final week of Pride Month, we are instead highlighting, in a series of posts titled “How Catholics Celebrate Pride,” all the good ways that the people of God are celebrating queerness and advocating for equality. Some of the content will be highly visible news events. Other bits will be the more local, somewhat quieter, but no less significant actions of pro-LGBTQ+ Catholics in their parishes, schools, and communities. This is the third and final post in the series. You can find the first two posts by clicking here and here.
Today’s post features short updates from Catholic parishes, schools, communities of women religious, social justice groups, youth ministries, and more about how they celebrated Pride this year. You can learn more about a given item using the links provided. Many of the churches are on New Ways Ministry’s listing of LGBTQ-friendly parishes and faith communities available here.
St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Catholic Church, Dublin, Ireland celebrated its second “Ecumenical Prayer Service of Belonging” with the nearby Church of Ireland’s St. Catherine and St. James parish. A flyer for the event said the service would “focus on highlighting the minority members of the LGBT+ community, and making them visible in our community,” as well as praying for LGBTQ+ people in Uganda and elsewhere who face persecution.
“Beyond the Habit” Podcast, hosted by two Sisters of St. Joseph, Colleen Gibson and Erin McDonald, released two episodes interviewing New Ways Ministry’s co-founder, Sr. Jeannine Gramick, and associate director, Robert Shine. You can listen to the episodes on the podcast’s website or wherever you get your podcasts.
LGBT+ Catholics Westminster, United Kingdom, will march in London’s Pride parade this weekend, as well as exhibit at the Pride festival. Earlier this month, a Pre-Pride Celebration Mass and luncheon was hosted, which included a discussion with the group’s refugee and asylum seeker members about the human rights situation in Uganda.
All Saints Catholic Church, Syracuse’s LGBTQ+ Taskforce hosted several events in June, including a presentation entitled “Saints to Take Pride In: Hearing Our Stories in the Communion of Saints” and a discussion of the book Sanctuaries that is a gay man’s memoir. Parishioners also attended local Pride events, including an interfaith prayer service and the city’s Pride parade and festival.
The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas published several reflections for Pride Month, including one by Sr. Amy Westphal, who wrote about bringing rainbow crispy rice treats to her parish’s Pride social and recognizing the need for “space to share, to hope, to desire in a diverse crowd at table.” Westphal wrote specifically about her community’s reflections on becoming more transgender inclusive.
Welcoming parishes in the Archdiocese of Boston held several Pride events such as the “All Are Welcome” Mass and a booth at the city’s Pride festival. The parishes included the Paulist Center, St. Anthony’s Shrine, Blessed Trinity, St. Joseph, St. Susanna, and St. Cecilia. A list of all the activities can be found here.
Proud Catholics, United Kingdom, a group in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle will participate in the local Pride parade and host a stall in the Rainbow Village, which brings together LGBTQ+ organizations.
The Catholic Health Association posted “Limitless Love – A Prayer for Pride Month,” which reads, in part: “As we gaze, then, upon your children, the special co-creators you have made to experience you and your beauty, may we always appreciate the dignity of each person: straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender. May we witness your extravagant artistry of each beloved, celebrate your Divine imprint upon each heart, and recognize how You fashion each human being with purpose and wonder. Your limitless love creates us all.”
Dignity/Boston marched in the city’s Pride parade, tabled at the city’s Dyke March, and celebrated a Pride Mass, too.
United Catholic Youth Ministries, Evanston posted on Instagram information about several LGBTQ+ groups, including New Ways Ministry and the Archdiocese Gay and Lesbian Outreach (AGLO) in Chicago, which recently celebrated its 35th anniversary.
St. Katherine Drexel Church, Frederick, Maryland’s Together in Hope support group for LGBTQ+ people tabled after Mass on the weekend of local Pride celebrations. It also happened that a large rainbow appeared over the church that day, too.
The Congregation of St. Joseph, a community of vowed religious women in Michigan, sent members to the Kalamazoo Pride Festival to “act in solidarity with all those who are marginalized, including those in the LGBTQ+ community.”
All Inclusive Ministries, Toronto celebrates the anniversary of its founding in 2012 each June, which includes celebrating the group’s monthly Mass. This year, the group is also sponsoring a study group on a new publication from “Cristianisme I Justícia,” a Jesuit group in Spain.
The Ignatian Solidarity Network posted “An Examen for Pride Month” by Susan Haarman, using the Jesuit spiritual practice to reflect specifically on one’s engagement with the world as an LGBTQ+ person or ally. (Also available here.)
The U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph held a “Pride Month Prayer Service,” co-sponsored by the SOGI Working Group of the Sisters of Mercy, the Sisters of Charity of Leavenwroth’s JPIC Office, and the Providence Community of Sisters and Associates of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana. The service intended to both celebrate the “joy and sacredness of [Pride] from the perspective of vowed religious communities” and “lament the pains of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.”
St. Joseph Parish, Seattle held its annual LGBTQ+ Pride Picnic after Sunday Mass. Parishioners also joined the “Taking Pride in Capitol Hill” community cleanup held near St. Joseph’s, a service event that is part of PrideFest celebrations in the city. An LGBTQ+ display was also set up at the parish.
Old St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Chicago hosted “You Are Beloved: Praying with LGBTQ+ Catholics,” a “special evening of music, scripture, and reflection” for LGBTQ+ people and allies at the Paulist-run parish.
Boston College High School had students and alumni read LGBTQ-focused prayers during morning announcements during the first week of June, as well as hosting a Pride information display and raising money for a local charity that houses LGBTQ+ youth who are unhoused, have faced family rejection, or are in foster care. The programming was organized by the school’s Catholic Gay-Straight Organization.
@LGBTCatholics on Instagram posted an image of Nuestra Reina del Orgullo/Our Lady of Pride, also referred to as GuadaluPride.
Other organizations and individuals that recognized Pride on social media included: the Women’s Ordination Conference; the Marianist Social Justice Collaborative; Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest; Catholic Women Preach; the iconographer Kelly Latimore; St. Ignatius Parish, Chestnut Hill; and Creighton University, Nebraska.
Finally, to conclude this post, Geez Magazine, a Christian publication with several Catholic writers, published a Pride prayer by editor Lydia Wylie-Kellerman that is useful year round:
“Oh God, who created us in our beautiful queerness, be with us in these dangerous times. Call us toward courage + community as we honour ourselves, just as you summoned us to be.”
—Robert Shine (he/him), New Ways Ministry, June 29, 2023