oakland diocese


Pretty Churches / Horrible Photography: Part 1

Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Diocese of Oakland

Across the street from the iconic Lake Merritt, Our Lady of Lourdes is a small yet vibrant parish in the heart of downtown Oakland whose primary focus centers around justice and community. This parish was one of the many after the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council who took the documents to heart and ran. The old altar (where the choir seats are now located) was removed and placed in the center of the nave to give a more inclusive and participatory environment for Mass–a style that has been wonderfully implemented throughout the diocese in years past, and is, sadly, slowly being undone by the recent wave of ‘traditionalism’ within diocesan leadership, planning, and capital campaigns. Personally, this is my favorite church to just sit and pray the Liturgy of the Hours. I almost always stop by here when I walk around the Lake.

Currently, with the recent death of the primary advocate (Rev. Seamus, pastoral administrator) of its existence, the future viability of the parish is once again called into question. There are two reasons:

Politics: Since the laity virtually have no voice in diocesan or even parochial decision-making, the chances of anyone fighting at the upper levels of administration on behalf of the parish is slim. Should the fate of an entire parish community be held to the whims of the bishop and his wants?

Economics: With the diocese deep in debt, this Lake-front property could sell at a very high price considering it’s in one of the priciest and scenic locations in Oakland. Will the bishop sellout an entire faith community merely to make quick money?

My favorite images are the icons of Dorothy Day and Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Trinity and Their Mother, Mary.

anonymous asked:

Wait, gays can't participate in active, open, public ministry? Does that mean AT ALL or stuff that contradicts the Church's gay marriage stance? What about community and counseling?

Sadly, LGBT persons in active Catholic ministry largely live in fear of being outed (if not already) and removed from office. To give you examples:

  • Catholic school teachers can be fired (and many, many have been) for being openly gay and married. This is why teachers in both the San Francisco Archdiocese and Oakland Diocese are fighting for their rights. Clauses were added into their contracts by assholes bishops that would allow the diocese to fire teachers for ignoring Church teaching in public.
  • Parish catechetical and liturgical volunteers can be easily removed from ministry if they are found to be ‘at odds’ with the bishop. (Multiple cases on the East Coast especially.)
  • Even priests and nuns are, for the most part, barred from being open about their orientation, or risk losing their status and job.

While most pastors (of the Vatican II era) are friendly and welcoming and really couldn’t care less if their ministers were LGBT, they can get away with it because it’s not general public knowledge. But once the bishop gets wind of it and it’s publicly confirmed, the bishop will undoubtedly get involved and force the minister to resign.

This is horrifying, and a reason I must remain relatively closeted at my parish, where I’m an employee. (I’m out to my pastor, DRE, and various other lay ecclesial ministers whom I trust.)