Sunday, 15 April 2012

Yes, we have young Easter People, Deo gratias!

George brings us a friend's story and says, "This is a slightly edited story in order to protect those at its origin.  It could have and should happen in many places. I find it especially gratifying that it was a woman, a young woman who is the person that made it possible. We can be proud of her, and her parents and everyone else in her life who helped to form her character."

A story I'd like to share is about my 17-year old daughter: After a recent bishops' letter condemning gay marriage, she said to me and my wife that she wanted to do something to respond. Without much help from us, she drafted some words that she was going to say at the end of Mass to the congregation. My advice was to keep it short and sweet because she'd probably get cut off. She did keep it short, but she didn't get cut off.

She said how hurt many of the mothers, aunts and grandmothers must have felt at hearing that letter the previous week. She told the congregation being gay was not wrong and that we should all think carefully about a special Easter prayer we have been using in the parish, something about being tolerant and thinking of others. It came straight from the heart and direct family experience.

I was unable to be present and so missed what happened next. She received rapturous applause and whooping from the back of the church, plus numerous congratulations afterwards on her courage. One woman said 'she only said what the rest of us were thinking'. One parishioner gave her a dressing down, but she gave back as good as she got. There were probably 200 people in the church.

Of course the following week the Parish Priest had woken up to what had happened and apologized to the congregation for letting it happen (she had asked his permission to say a few words, but didn't tell him what they were!) There was a 'hear hear' from the reactionaries down at the front. Apparently, a delegation had gone to complain to the priest about her..

This week, one of the women in the choir gave my wife a Mass card she had had made for her late gay son and his partner. She said 'It isn't wrong, is it?' Maybe hearing those words from a teenager had given her inspiration and comfort that she didn't have to grieve in secret. We feel so proud of her that she stood up for what she believed in, and also that she has had the courage to go to Mass since with head held high. She even went to wish the Parish Priest a happy Easter. I believe a seed may have been planted.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comment is welcome.