A Father and Mother carrying their kids by a lake
Faith and Family

Welcome to My Family

Oct 4, 2021
Family having picnic in backyard/Photo by Askar Abayev from Pexels

I wish you could meet my family. Our children—and their spouses and children—enrich my life and my husband’s life in countless ways. 

We have five children, three of them married, and two young grandchildren. Of the eight adults, caring professions are the norm: a social worker, an adolescent psychologist, a children’s librarian, an essential medical worker, an educator. Others work in analytics, marketing, and sales. 

They are all good-hearted, generous people. Some of them are artistic and creative. Some are analytical. Some are outgoing, others introspective. Some volunteer to make Christmas possible for hundreds of children every year. Others volunteer at women’s service agencies. They are fierce proponents of justice and human rights. All have welcomed rescue dogs as forever members of their families. Some are conservative, while others land on the liberal side. All of them are the kind of smart, thoughtful, loving people anyone would be proud to call their children.  

And don’t get me started on the grandkids! They’re the smartest, cutest, most clever kids you ever saw. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. 

I love them all fiercely, proudly, and unconditionally.  

In many ways, we’re like every other family out there. We’re certainly not perfect. We fight, reconcile, and grow stronger in our family bonds. We’ve held together through highs and lows, through marriages and divorces, deaths and new lives. We celebrate the good times and mourn the bad. We love each other.  We’re probably very much like your own family. 

I wish you could meet my family. The people I just introduced are bisexual, gay, straight, and transgender. Single, married, divorced, remarried. Stepfamilies. A surrogate to a same-sex couple.  Would you still like to meet my family? 

Did the doors of your mind slam shut after you read that paragraph? I hope not, because my children and their spouses are the same people I described at the start of this article. They’re still smart, caring, wonderful people. Did you picture them as the Catholic Church says they should be, or as they really are?  

The Catechism of the Catholic Church calls some of my children “intrinsically and objectively disordered.” But I doubt God sees them that way. The Bible says we’re all made in God’s image and likeness. Years ago, bumper stickers proclaimed that “God doesn’t make junk.” My family members are not junk. They have a right to be the people they were born to be. 

The Church’s behavior on the subject of sexual ethics is muddled, to say the least. Repeated actions and revelations about clergy sex abuse—as well as the cover-ups from the higher-ups—have tarnished Catholic leaders’ reputation and severely compromised their credibility. I wish Church leaders would look at my family members through God’s eyes and see the beautiful souls within. I wish they would recognize their beautiful physical selves as well. 

But you—the reader—what do you think?  

I wish you could meet my family.  

Would you welcome them? Or would you turn away?


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Comments

Patty
Thu, 10/14/2021 - 10:22 AM
Patty
I enjoyed reading about your family, I have had much unsettling feelings from the Catholic Church for a number of reasons. A member of my immediate family suffered from childhood abuse from a priest . Wasn’t known till she was an adult and had small children of her own. The priest had threatened her with my dad dying . My dad passed early at 66 yrs . This brought everything out . I am one of seven children raised Catholic, my father and mother felt our faith was important enough to send us to Catholic schools.I am the only one of the seven that remained Catholic- as far as going to church. The secrecy and cover up about abuse has discourage me more recently from attending eventhough the Church had made available zoom. I don’t attend . However I attend only with the sisters of St Joseph in St Augustine Fl. The sisters were a big part to my foundation in my faith journey. Starting with my first Communion. I also attend Mass for funerals of close friends. I also knew a priest that was recently left the Church because of judgement passed on him because of his hugging. No accounts of abuse ever. The torcher he went through, by the bishop not allowing him to travel to different locations was awful and of coarse not allowed to be a priest. So painful for me my family snd friends, to hear about this .My faith continues to be strong, God is in control and can see the big picture.
Alisha Attella
Fri, 10/15/2021 - 11:27 AM
Alisha Attella
Thank you for this <3
Maggie
Fri, 10/15/2021 - 12:08 PM
Maggie
I would love to meet your family. They are my family too. I also pray for the day when we are all seen as made in God's image.
Donna Thomas
Fri, 10/15/2021 - 12:41 PM
Donna Thomas
How beautiful!! This is the true meaning of God’s magnificent Love for each & every one of us!!
Marg Dowsett
Fri, 10/15/2021 - 08:15 PM
Marg Dowsett
You know what ? my family would LOVE to meet your family.....you all sound like a great crew My family has seen its share marriage breaks ,divided and estranged members mantal and physical illness and we range in beliefs, politics and ethnicity . We're a mixed bag but we have learned the value of taking people as we find them...my parents were born to live through two world wars and realised early on that when the chips are down there's only one way to go.. and that's TOGETHER Much love from us to you Marg
Rita
Mon, 10/18/2021 - 09:21 AM
Rita
We too would love to meet your family. My family also are gay and straight and as they are still growing we don’t know yet. They are also really good and caring souls.

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