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

Our Annual Pride Mass

Sunday, June 29th, 3:00 p.m., St. Matthew Catholic Church, 672 Temple Ave., Long Beach

A photo of the altar at Blessed Sacrament Church in Hollywood taken a few years ago, just prior the start of the mass celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Los Angeles Archdiocese’s Ministry with Lesbian and Gay Catholics (now called Catholic Ministry with Lesbian and Gay Persons)—which Saint Matthew’s was a founding member of back in 1986.
Credit: Gretchen German.

Saint Matthew’s Church in Long Beach is proud to be a parish that offers a welcoming attitude to gays and lesbians. We continue our tradition started some years ago with our hosting a Pride Mass following Los Angeles County’s two major gay pride festivals. This year’s mass will be held in the church sanctuary and will be followed with a reception in the parish hall, which will include food, drinks, and an opportunity to celebrate our 28 years together as a community that openly and happily includes all of God’s people—gay and straight alike.

We send out a special invitation to all of those persons who stopped by our booth at the Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride Festival last month and, as result, subscribed to this newsletter. We hope you’ll join us—we very much look forward to seeing you (and everyone else) at this special liturgy! We’ve got some wonderful things planned, and some delicious stuff to snack on at the reception that follows!

A Note about parking for those who have never been to Saint Matthew Church: There are three entrances to the parking lot, one off Temple Ave. (to the right of the rectory/parish office building, which is just to the right of the church building), and two others off Theresa St (which parallels 7th St.).

Summer Ecumenical BBQ

Saturday, July 19th, 11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. in Huntington Beach

As happens every summer, members of Comunidad and members of lesbian and gay ministries of other faith traditions gather in Huntington Beach for an “ecumenical” barbeque. A relaxing and fun time is had by all. Please join us! Our hosts provide hamburgers, hot dogs, and margaritas—feel free to bring something other than an entrée to share. Contact Steven at (714) 536-5172 to RSVP and get directions.

The Spiritual Significance of Pride

This month’s Perspectives entry, by Rev. Patrick S. Cheng, Ph.D., was first published in 2010 in the “Gay Voices” column of The Huntington Post. Rev. Cheng is Associate Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA; Pastoral Assistant at Emmanuel Church in the City of Boston; member of the Committee on the Status of LGBTIQ Persons in the Profession of the American Academy of Religion; and author of several books on spirituality as it relates to LGBTQ persons

What is the spiritual significance of pride?

June is Pride Month for millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people across the country. During this time each year, we commemorate the weekend of June 27-29, 1969, when the patrons of the Stonewall Inn bar in Greenwich Village, fed up with police brutality and harassment towards the LGBT community, resolved to fight back. This turning point represented the birth of the modern LGBT-rights movement.... (Continue reading here)

Many Thanks to Our Generous Donors

We’d like to offer our sincerest gratitude to those who have so generously responded to this year’s annual appeal. If you’ve not yet responded, can you give of your time, talent, or send a financial contribution?

Comunidad’s annual appeal has gotten off to a great start thanks to those who quickly and generously responded with a contribution and/or offer to volunteer. If you’ve not yet responded, and are able to send us a small financial contribution or help us by volunteering your time or talent, it would be much appreciated. Because we have been, since last year, running in deficit spending mode, the financial contributions we have thus far received have been especially helpful. Every donation, no matter the amount, and whatever the kind, helps.

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

If you did not receive our annual letter in your postbox it is likely because you are registered with us only through your e-mail address or because the postal address we have on file for you has changed since it was provided. Indeed, several dozen envelopes were returned to us as undeliverable with no forwarding address, a situation that results in the postal address portions of those member records to be purged. Thus, if you believe that your contact information has changed since it was supplied, we ask you to please visit your membership profile page and update your information—or you can send a message to moc.bldadinumoc@pihsrebmem‎, and we can update it for you.

Even if you did not receive our annual letter via the postal system, you can respond to the campaign by downloading the return form and mailing it back to the address declared on it. Financial contributions can be sent electronically via PayPal, which will save you the cost and trouble of affixing a stamp on an envelope. You needn’t be an PayPal account holder (or create an account) to use the service. To do so, visit our donation page.

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!

Reflection for the Easter Season

This short reflection—first published for the 2012 Easter season by Rev. Michael A. Zampelli, S.J., Rector of the Jesuit Community of Santa Clara, Associate Professor at Santa Clara University, and past board member of CALGM, the Catholic Association for Lesbian and Gay Ministry—was offered as our Perspectives column in our May, 2014 newsletter

The Triduum has been a rather dramatic time for us. Over the course of three days, we have explored the central mystery of our faith: the God who takes our flesh in Jesus offers himself in life, death and resurrection for us, for all of us, so that we might have life and have it to the full. We have journeyed through these days washing and being washed, eating and drinking real food and real drink, venerating the wood of the cross, lighting new fires, and telling the stories of our salvation in Christ... (Continue reading here)

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.