Friday, July 19, 2024
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LGBTQ and Catholic? Here’s a new resource for you

Outreach, a worldwide website is uniting and supporting queer folks of faith and and those who minister to them.

Outreach, a new website designed to help LGBTQ Catholics, their families and friends, and those who minister to them in the church, will publish news stories and essays from around the world, offer a resource page gathering together articles, videos, books and other online resources; and, in a feature called “Gaudete,” will highlight individuals, parishes, schools and other Catholic ministries who are helping to make the church a more welcoming place. The site launched yesterday, on the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker.

“We realized that there was a need for a clearinghouse to bring together the many resources that already exist worldwide for the community,” said Fr. James Martin, SJ, editor at large of America, who has been coordinating the new venture. “Outreach, in its website and conferences, also hopes to share new resources to help LGBTQ Catholics, who can often feel marginalized and ignored.”  Last year Pope Francis sent Father Martin a letter, praising his ministry to LGBTQ Catholics for its “closeness, compassion and tenderness.”

Outreach, sponsored by America Media, a Jesuit media ministry, will publish articles in many languages, from a wide variety of people and perspectives, to reach LGBTQ Catholics worldwide. For its launch it features an essay by Michael O’Loughlin, America’s national correspondent about his experiences speaking about his book Hidden Mercy, on the church’s response to the AIDS crisis; an article by Grace Doerfler, a Notre Dame student, on being a young LGBTQ Catholic and an article by Ish Ruiz on LGBTQ ministry in Catholic high schools.  

Father Matt Malone, SJ, president and editor in chief of America Media, said, “By hosting Outreach as a channel within America Media, we are able to provide a secure and accessible home for this important new ministry.”

The website also aims to be a place where church leaders, both clergy and lay, can come to know the LGBTQ faithful, by hearing their stories.  Its mission statement says that it is “rooted in the love of Jesus, who reached out to those who were excluded; inspired by the saints who cared for those who were neglected; and grounded in the church’s call to treat LGBTQ people with “respect, compassion and sensitivity” (Catechism #2358).  

More information can be found at outreach.faith.

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