Below are photos of our United in Love Pre-Pride Festive Mass and rooftop BBQ which took place Saturday, June 24, 2023 at our regular 4:00 PM Saturday Mass.  It was a wonderful celebration of our community and our faith that God calls all people and everyone is welcome in the Father’s house.  Thank you to our LGBT+ Ministry for hosting the festivities and to all of our volunteers who helped make the day a wonderful celebration.  A special thank you to Keith Kemp for taking the photos.

A note on why this day is important:

In the Gospel of St. John, at the last supper the Lord prayed to the father that his flock “might be one” as He and the Father are one (Jn 17:21). Yet, sadly, some members of the Church are made to feel by other members that they don’t belong, or that they are not welcome.  This has happened to divorced Catholics, it has happened to people who disagree with the church’s teaching on birth control and it happens to LGBT people.

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Catholics have recently been particularly singled out for vitriolic, uncharitable, and frankly, unchristian, attacks by some members of the Church.   In one photo you will see a small protest which took place outside of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi before and during our Mass which underscores this point.  This attitude is completely against the teaching of the Church and does not bear witness to Christ who said “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another just as I have loved you.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (Jn 22:34-35)

At the Church of St. Francis we try to combat this hatred and division with love and inclusion.  We strive to build a community that is welcoming to all people. Love, unity and inclusion are values we cherish and they are rooted in our faith in Christ and His teachings.

Our United in Love Pre-Pride Mass is not only attended by members of our LGBT+ ministry.  This is a community event and all members of our parish who are committed to proclaiming our faith that God loves all people celebrate this love of God for God’s children in all of our glorious diversity.

If you didn’t make it this year, join us next year on the Saturday afternoon before NYC’s annual Pride celebration.

-Joseph Nuzzi, Director of Evangelization

Photos by Keith Kemp, all rights reserved.