Lesbian and Gay Ministry at St. Matthew’s Church, Long Beach, CA

Our October Meeting: Celebrating National Coming Out Day with a screening of the film Pride

Pride directed by Matthew Warchus, screenplay by Stephen Beresford, and staring Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West, and Paddy Considine, was nominated, among many other awards, for the Golden Globe (Holywood Foreign Press Assn.) best picture of the year, and it won many others, incl. Best British Independent Film of the year (British Independent Film Awards) and LGBTQ Film of the Year (Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association).

Tuesday, October 6th, 7:00 p.m. sharp!, Fr. Gerald Meisel Hall, St. Matthew Catholic Church, 672 Temple Ave., Long Beach

A reminder that our October meeting is tonight. We’ll be screening Pride, Matthew Warchus’ debut film of last year that turned heads and delighted audiences everywhere. Its subject is the inspiring, surprising, and true story of Thatcher-era LGBT advocates from London who took up the cause of out-of-work miners from Wales and improved the lot of both groups in the process. If you’ve never seen the film, please come, for you’ll be glad you did. It’s a terrific film. If you’ve already seen it, you’ll no doubt want to see it again. The film runs just under two hours, so we’ll be starting tonight’s meeting right on time at 7:00 p.m. Doors will be open a few minutes early and, as we do at each of our monthly gatherings, complimentary light food and drinks will be served.

Join us and the GLBT & Friends Groups from St. Luke’s and St. Wilfred’s Episcopal Churches in the 11th annual National Coming Out Day Service

Sunday, October 11th, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Santuary/Church, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 525 E. 7th Street, Long Beach

The program include testimonies by LGBTQ persons of faith, family members, and other supporters, and it will also include music and prayers. What is especially wonderful about the serivce is that, as it has for the past ten years, it is held as potent witness against the anti-queer violence and hate-filled messages that permeate our society, too much of it from religious organizations. A reception follows in the parish hall. For additional information, contact Tom Crowe at (562) 436-4047 or

A note about parking: St. Luke’s (map) has two parking lots, one just north of the church on the Atlantic Avenue side, the other on the back side of the church at the intersection of 7th Street and Linden Avenue.

Our Annual Appeal is Underway—Can You Give of Your Time, Talent, or Send a Financial Contribution?

Letters were delivered by post approximately six weeks ago. You can also donate electronically.

Comunidad’s annual appeal campaign is underway. This year we have, wherever possible, trimmed budgets, but your financial contribution and the influx of talent and participation brought by new and old members alike is greatly appreciated. Every donation, no matter the amount, helps.

Know that St Matthew Catholic Church—Comunidad is a registered 501(c)3 charity organization, so your donation is tax-deductible.

If you have a postal address on file with us, you’ve probably received a letter in the mail from which you can respond. We also also offer the means to send financial contributions electronically via PayPal. It’s a safe and secure way to deliver your contibution through the use of a credit card or your PayPal account, if you have one. Sending your contribution electronically will save you the cost and trouble of affixing a stamp on the return envelope that is provided in our mailing. You needn’t be a PayPal account holder (or create an account) to use the service. To provide your donation electronically, visit our donation page.

If you have not received a mailing delivered by post from Comunidad in the past eighteen months, it’s likely that we do not have your current postal address on file. In this case, you can send your donation via the PayPal method or download this form and mail it in along with your check or money-order.

The Last Mass

Fr. Jerry Meisel, just out of the seminary and as pastor of St. Matthew

By Joe Maffucci

In October 1966, in the beginning of my third year of Theology I left St. Joseph Seminary of the Archdiocese of New York. To borrow the lyrics from a popular song of the time I came undone. I found a mountain that was far too high. I lost the sun, the moon and the stars. Aside from my mother’s death, the lingering emotional effects of my leaving still resonate. Dark memories of that time in my life persist. Nevertheless, there is one memory from those days that I relish. At the end of the scholastic year, the deacons were ordained to the priesthood; it was the culmination of six years of study and spiritual development. It was a joyous as well as spiritual moment for all seminarians. Each year I had the privilege of attending and sometimes participating as an altar server at a First Mass—that is, the first Mass celebrated by a newly ordained priest. We eagerly waited in line for the first blessing of the newly ordained. (Continue reading here)

It’s Killing Me

By Joe Maffucci

She keeps her distance
And sits on fences
Puts up resistance
And builds defenses

What's the problem?

You leave me hanging on the line,
Everytime you change your mind.

First you say you won’t
Then you say you will
You keep me hanging on,
And we’re not moving on
We're standing still, Jenny
You’ve got me on my knees

It's killing me

In the 2005 song Jenny, The Click Five sing about a courtship that is going nowhere and seems doomed to failure. Sound familiar? It should if you were paying attention to the reports from the Extraordinary Synod on the Family that Pope Francis called for last year and which recently met and finished its first session in Rome. (Continue reading here)

Food for Thought: Catholic Parents of LGBTQ Children

Videos Released by Ignatian News Network

Given the subject of our member’s meeting this past February, we thought it especially timely that two new episodes to the Ignatian News Network’s video series on Gay and Lesbian Catholics were released at about that same time. The first videos in the series, parts one and two of “Who Are We to Judge?—Gay Catholics,” were published in July of last year. The two new episodes focus not on lesbian and gay Catholics themselves but on “Catholic parents of LGBTQ children.” We think the videos are worth watching and thinking about. Each episode runs about six minutes. The videos are hosted on Ignatian New Network’s YouTube channel, “IN Network.”

We’ve got other upcoming events, too!

Tear Down This Wall

By Joe Maffucci

“Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate!” exhorted Ronald Reagan in his now-famous speech during the early summer of 1987; “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Shunning the advice... (Continue reading here)

An Interview with the Holy Father

Pope Francis, in a lengthy interview conducted by Antonio Spadaro, S.J. of La Civiltà Cattolica, which took place over three meetings this past August, and which was simultaneously published by several influential Jesuit magazines around the globe so as to provide the world’s Catholics the content of the interview in each of the world’s major languages, has revealed a welcome change in tone regarding the Church’s ministry as it pertains to gays and lesbians. The interview provides much insight into our Pontiff’s personality, thinking, and theology. The editors of America, who provided the English translation, titled the interview “A Big Heart Open to God,” which seems fitting. We teased you with several, short excerpts from the interview in our October e-newsletter—but it’s worth reading in its entirety here.