Above: Pride Mass in June, 2021. Below: A talk with parishioner Cerissa Cafasso and Fr. Bryan Massingale, March, 2022.
Our LGBTQIA+ ministry at Holy Trinity Parish began in 2019 at the initiative of some long-standing LGBTQIA+ members of our parish and with the approval of the Parish Pastoral Council and the full support of parish staff.
Holy Trinity had long been known as a friendly home for LGBTQIA+ folks and their families, but in recent years we decided that we had the ability and the responsibility to create a more organized, public ministry. Many of our members are involved in many other ministries in the parish (as catechists, lectors, RCIA team members, hospitality ministers, and choir members, among others), but wanted a space where we could specifically address our identities and stories as LGBTQIA+ Catholics.
Since 2019, our ministry has grown dramatically. The heart of our work is our program of regular meetings for discussion and prayer – a monthly meeting for the entire group, and break out meetings focused on the distinctive experiences of women, men, and families. As a parish with an elementary school, we are particularly proud of our ability to welcome both LGBTQIA+ parents and parents of LGBTQIA+ children to our ministry.
We also hope to expand to have specific discussion groups to intentionally support trans Catholics and Catholics of all genders. Held virtually during the height of Covid-19, our meetings now use a hybrid model which allows us to continue support some of our members from outside of our immediate area who found us on zoom during the pandemic.
Our ministry has sponsored special masses to commemorate Pride Month and World AIDS Day; led our parish in listening sessions to help other Catholics hear our experiences; invited speakers like Fr. James Martin, SJ, J.R. Zerkowski, and Fr. Bryan Massingale; and had our first one-day retreat this past year. And, with dinners and receptions, we also have a lot of fun as LGBTQIA+ Catholics who support each other in our faith journey together! If you live in the DC area, or are just passing through, we welcome you to join us, as you are able, as we continue to grow and expand our ministry.