St. Anthony Shrine & Ministry Center has two existing ministries dealing with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered persons:
- A support group for parents, family and friends of LGBT persons to assist them to love and care about their loved ones. The specialized group meetings are designed to inform and enlighten the participants to concerns and issues they may be experiencing.
- An LGBT spirituality group that is a community of faith where people are provided the opportunity to explore and express their Catholic Christian spirituality and to grow in hope with one another through prayer, sacraments, community and service.
There is nothing in either group contrary to Church teaching.
St. Anthony Shrine strives to reach out to those who are outside the four walls of the church. Echoing Pope Francis’s words, our underlying theme is “Who am I to judge?”
This weekend, our sole activity will be hosting an information booth on City Hall Plaza about the Shrine’s ministries and volunteer opportunities, inviting those who are waiting for an invitation from the Church to join us.
As Franciscans, we continue the long-standing ministry of our founder, St. Francis of Assisi, who always reached out to those on the margins of the community and welcome them with uncompromising love and acceptance. From the writings of St. Francis, Letter to all the Faithful, “In that love which is God [cf. 1 John 4:16], I, Brother Francis, the least of your servants and worthy only to kiss your feet, beg and implore all those to whom this letter comes, to hear these words of our Lord Jesus Christ in a spirit of humility and love, putting them into practice with all gentleness and observing them perfectly. And may God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless all those who welcome them…” Here at St. Anthony Shrine we strive daily to put into action the commitment of our founder. All Are Welcome!
We welcome feedback and comments to Fr. Tom Conway, the executive director of the Shrine, at [email protected].