I don't usually pay too much attention to Pride Week activities. This year however, it was brought to our attention at our church's Sunday mass. The homily, the songs and the intentions all emphasized the theme of inclusion.
What I have not written about yet is the fact that I am a Roman Catholic. There are days when it is difficult to feel much pride about that because of the many scandals in the media. However I think it is safe to say that many of us remain Catholic, not because of Vatican dictates but because we have found a local parish that really does follow and encourage the central teachings of Christ...the lessons of compassion, inclusion, love, mercy and generosity. For us, St Joseph Catholic Church in downtown Ottawa is such a parish. St. Joes, with its Women's Centre and Supper Table is a special place.
Anyhow this Sunday the homily, or reflection on the readings, was given by a young woman who reflected on her experiences as a lesbian and how she had overcome her feelings of guilt and shame. In her moving message she spoke about our diversity and unity. It's not often that you hear clapping in mass, after a homily, but that's what happened. It was the visiting priest who started the clapping.
Perhaps she was encouraged by our new pope's recent message, who am I to judge? More about him in a future post.
As we walked to the car, I wondered what my elderly mother-in-law thought about it all. After all she is no spring chicken. When asked about her age, she likes to say that she's "a pair of eights." As we left the parking lot she piped up, "Well, I never thought I would hear that in a Catholic Church." There was a pause and then she added, "and it's about time." Amen.