World Youth Day

Major Inspiration: Diversidade Catolica

On Thursday we got a major shot of inspiration by attending an event by a local LGBT Catholic group call Diversidade Catolica. We had connected with the group while planning for our pilgrimage and attending the event turned out to be an incredibly rich experience. 

Receiving Communion at World Youth Day

Lauren and I attend a parish that we love in Baltimore. We feel very welcomed as a couple there, and never have to worry about being turned away from Communion or any of that other lame stuff. Here at World Youth Day, I have felt a little bit more nervous about that other lame stuff. We have been donning loads of rainbow attire, after all: rainbow sashes, rainbow pins, rainbow stickers, etc. Since I make a point of not attending churches in the U.S. where this might be a possibility, receiving communion at the masses we attended this week felt like a big deal to me. 

Planting seeds and making a whallup through introverted activism

When we think of activists often time the images that come to mind are of a person with a bullhorn leading a chant or a passionate orator giving a speech to set people’s hearts ablaze or the community organizer who brings together all of the logistics for a public education campaign. 

Catechesis Interactions

Today was a day full of interesting experiences and interactions. Lots of adventures trying to navigate public transportation and good conversations with other pilgrims. Trying to retell it all would go on got pages, so for now I will just focus on our morning experience of catechesis (for any non-catholic readers, catechesis is religious education). 

The language of hospitality

Our team began our day exactly as I had hoped for, with the people. We walked down from our hotel and onto the streets of Brazil. It was wonderful to see a glimpse of the everyday life of the Brazilian people. Then as we made our way to the train station, we heard a roar from the youth of many parts of the world as they expressed their excitement about World Youth Day.

The Diverse Church

When we were planning this trip, it was hard to find any information about schedules, locations or other details for planning an itinerary.  As a person who likes maps, calendars and well thought out routes and itineraries this was frustrating.  I comforted myself by remembering the point of this trip was simply to meet other pilgrims, and none of the other pilgrims had the necessary planning information either; we could all be lost together and God’s grace would do the rest. 

What does “go and make disciples of all nations” really mean?

Arriving at World Youth Day has been an exciting experience but also one that is mixed with many other emotions from OMG to eek to “what are we getting into” to “wow this is really happening!” 

"How did you get involved in that?"

When I explain our upcoming pilgrimage to World Youth Day, people often ask me, "How did you get involved in that?" In some cases, I imagine that this question reflects some puzzlement that a straight, cisgender person would want to take such a long and unpredictable journey to witness for LGBT equality. I've never gotten an unsupportive response, but I have seen hints of confusion on peoples' faces -- despite the fact that I know so many allies who would do the same thing that I am doing if they had the chance. 

Light posts on the journey

I am going to World Youth Day with a dual mission: to be a point of light for any LGBT youth that are present, and spread the message to all who encounter our pilgrimage, whether in person or through the media, that we must change the the harmful stance of the church on LGBT people. The relationships I have formed within the Dignity community give me the strength to make this journey, and I will be carrying all of their stories in my heart throughout the pilgrimage.

Almost there!

I just want to start off by saying that for me, this journey with Equally Blessed is an opportunity and a blessing of a lifetime. To simply say, I am a pilgrim on this journey because I truly do believe in the idea of all being welcome in the church. This idea is one of the main reasons why I wanted to become more involved with Call to Action. Call to Action has reminded me that I do belong to a community that does accept me for who I am. I take pride in being young, Black, a female,  bisexual, and a Catholic, now I am not always one for labels, but I am proud of who I am.

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