Most Holy Redeemer in San Francisco’s Castro, the best known lgbt – friendly Catholic parish, is the currently the focus of a series of articles at National Catholic Reporter. Because of it’s fame, the congregation attracts a steady stream of visitors from around the world. One post from the series, in which a visitor from Colorado shares his story, shows how there are in fact many other parishes across the US (and elsewhere) in which lgbt Catholics can find a welcome – but in most, that welcome exists only as long as we remain closeted.
Born in a small town in western Nebraska, his parents split when he was 2-years-old, and he was raised by his maternal grandmother. He attended Catholic schools, growing up in a traditional Catholic home. He had a solid Catholic foundation. “I always had people who believed in me,” Pickering told me. “My family showed me God’s love.”
He recalls having been “a geeky shy kid” growing up, often protected by teachers. That made him feel special.
In junior high he began to feel like there was something about him “like no one else in the entire world.” It was then he discerned that he was attracted to boys. It confused him and he often prayed to God to help him understand. “I prayed all the time. I asked God ‘why?’ And I cried.” One day something amazing happened to him, he recalls. “I felt God’s hand on my shoulder. From then I felt everything would be OK.”
– read the full report at National Catholic Reporter.