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AGLO is Answering the Call to Love

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Published:
January 9, 2024
July 17, 2023
Watch and read how AGLO answers the call to love.

When we say to someone, “You are welcome here as you are,” we extend a hand. We reach across barriers of indifference and chasms of judgment and hate, and we build a bridge. Suddenly, the differences between us don’t seem so significant. The distance between “us” and “them” closes. And we’re able to see each other for what we are: fellow humans, united in our struggles and triumphs of life. We’re sons and daughters of the same God, brothers and sisters in Christ, and neighbors walking the same earth. At its core, this bridge-building is a call we all receive — a call to love. How do we answer that call? What do our communities look like when we do?

One example can be found in the Archdiocesan Gay and Lesbian Outreach of Chicago (AGLO). This year, the ministry marked their 35th anniversary of providing a welcoming space for LGBTQ+ persons in the Church. They honored this achievement with a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Blase Cupich at Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish in Lakeview East. Former Director of Liturgy for AGLO, Dan Weitendor, shared that it was “a great honor” to have Cardinal Cupich preside over the Mass — just as other cardinals had before him in previous years.

Their presence at these Masses over the years sends a message: there is a place for you in the Church. “That’s the whole point of ALGO,” Dan expresses, “to be open and accepting to everybody who comes through those doors because that’s what God does.” This commitment, however, does not come without trials. “We’re not unfamiliar with protests,” Dan shares. “They’ve happened at almost every anniversary celebration.” Knowing that these voices of opposition are something LGBTQ+ people confront on a daily basis, AGLO is working to maintain a welcoming space for marginalized people through their ministry. As AGLO Director of Spiritual Life Kevin Pease shares, “If any of us feel unable or unwelcome to participate in other secular contexts because of our identity as LGBTQIA+ persons, we are able to nevertheless gather around the table of God’s love and celebrate together as a community.”

For 35 years AGLO has lived out their call to love — holding weekly Masses, hosting retreats, and organizing regular social gatherings. Their ministry serves as an example of how we can build bridges with our faith, rather than feed division. After all, as Kevin shares, “That’s what our ministry is all about — one Catholic faith united in the love of Christ.”

Creators:
Grotto
Published:
January 9, 2024
July 17, 2023
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