Jesuits at the World Meeting of Families 2018

Dominic Robinson SJ, Superior of the Mount Street Jesuit community, has just returned from the World Meeting of Families in Ireland where he gave a presentation with Farm St Church parishioners Nick O’Shea and Sherwyn Sicat (via video) which described how the LGBT+ Westminster community were welcomed to Farm Street parish, and have since contributed to the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral life of the Church.

They discussed the practical steps that made this journey possible and the positive impact this has had on both communities, as well as sharing the learning for how other parishes who may also want to extend a welcome to members of the Catholic family who are LGBT+.

“It was a great joy to be there to witness the tremendous enthusiasm of such a diverse range of people and to hear so many wonderful presentations on the importance of family life to the life of the Church” observed Fr Dominic.

Fr Dominic was one of a number of Jesuits who have contributed to this important event in the life of the Church. Fr James Martin SJ, renowned American author and consultant to the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communications, also spoke on this subject in a talk entitled “Showing Welcome and Respect in our Parishes for ‘LGBT’ People and their Families,” which was attended by 1000 people. He recounted experiences of deep pain among LGBT people as well as examples of parishes where great work was being done regarding LGBT inclusivity. Listen to the podcast of James Martin SJ:

Fr James offered concrete suggestions to bring about change in parishes so that LGBT people and their families could feel welcome and supported. Just such an example was described by Farm Street's presentation.

Fr Michael Czerny SJ (of the Holy See's Migrants and Refugees Section) gave a presentation which discussed the terrible impact of forced migration on family life using the example of one Syrian family.

“Sadly, I couldn’t stay in Dublin to see Pope Francis as I had to come back to the parish to celebrate a wedding this weekend, which is strangely appropriate” said Fr Dominic.

Pope Francis will arrive in Dublin on Saturday morning.