The Church of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Francis of Assisi LGBT Ministry hosted a “Pre-Pride Festive Mass” on June 23, 2018 to coincide with the New York City “Pride” Parade on June 24. According to the Parish:
Identifying as LGBT+ and Catholic can sometimes be a challenge, however, we affirm you…We’re here for you in returning to celebrate life, love, and God. At St. Francis of Assisi, our unconditionally loving LGBT+ Ministry reassures you that we’re not the church that made you leave. Join us in celebrating our shared humanity and love.
The LGBT Ministry at St. Francis has a problematic history including:
- The “Drink Pray Love – Can I Be Queer & Catholic?” event which was held at the Stonewall Inn;
- A “Mardi Gras” party at a well-known gay bar;
- A “Cinco de Mayo” celebration at another notorious gay bar;
- The contact person for the St. Francis LGBT Ministry, Meredith Dean Augustin, has publicly supported Planned Parenthood;
- Previous “Pride” Masses to coincide with New York City Pride and LGBT retreats
The Parish is staffed by the Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province; their Provincial Office is located in New York City. The Friars also operate gay-affirmative ministries at St. Patrick – St. Anthony Church in Hartford, Connecticut, at the St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, and at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Raleigh. Recently, The LGBT Book Club at St. Patrick – St. Anthony Church promoted a book about “Discovering the Queer Christ.”
After the “Pride” Mass at St. Francis in 2017, the Parish hosted a BBQ celebration complete with a rainbow frosted cake, rainbow-colored tablecloths, and rainbow flags. On the Parish’s web-site are posted numerous pictures from the event.
In attendance were: the Pastor – Andrew Reitz, O.F.M., Parochial Vicar – Michael Carnevale, O.F.M., the contact person for the Parish’s LGBT Ministry – Meredith Dean Augustin, the Parish’s Director of Evangelization – Joseph Nuzzi, and Michael Delany – the Pastor and the Episcopal Cathedral of the Incarnation in New York City which has a long history of gay-marriage advocacy.
On June 23, 2018, Meredith Dean Augustin, who is also a frequent musical performer at the LA Religious Education Congress, posted an image of the Our Lady and the Christ-Child drapped in the rainbow flag.
Other high-profile pro-gay Catholic events that took place during the “Pride” month of June (2018), including a speech from James Martin at St. Francis de Sales and a “Pride” Mass at the site of the Stonewall Riots hosted by St. Paul the Apostle Church.
Please contact the Archdiocese of New York:
Cardinal Timothy Dolan
1011 First Ave
New York, NY 10022