Always God’s Children (AGC) is a Cathedral ministry that fosters Christian community and spiritual growth among persons who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual, as well as their friends and family members. This occurs primarily through regular meetings for discussion of issues, and other activities. It affirms the teaching of the Catechism that all “enjoy an equal dignity” (1934); that persons who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity” (2358); and that “all Christ’s faithful are called to lead a chaste life in keeping with their particular states of life” (2348). AGC welcomes everyone who is seeking to engage in a respectful dialogue on these subjects, with the goal of deepening their awareness of Christ’s love for them.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does Always God’s Children do?
(Note: Meetings in the current COVID-19 closure period take place via online Zoom chats at 3:30pm on dates announced on the website. The next one is Sunday, July 26, 2020. To join this virtual gathering, email Eve Tushnet for details on how to connect.)
Always God’s Children meets once a month to discuss topics such as spiritual growth, friendship and community, and the faith, as well as to answer questions and offer support for issues that people are facing in their personal lives. We also hold occasional fellowship activities, perform works of mercy, and seek to deepen our relationship with God through Eucharistic adoration. But none of these activities are requirements for participatrn!
If you want to know what we’re all about, by far the best way is to just stop by our monthly meeting in the West Conference Room (accessible via the stairwell in the alley along the west side of the Cathedral). It’s usually held on the second Sunday of each month, from September through May. The specific details are announced in the Cathedral’s weekly bulletin, on the parish website, and in the monthly Cathedral events e-letters (sign up by clicking on the "Sign Up for Email Updates" on the website front page). One of the Cathedral’s priests normally attends the meeting to help moderate and to answer questions. We hope to see you there!
For further information about our activities, or for any other questions not answered on this web site, please contact Monsignor Jameson at the rectory (202-347-3215 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Is Always God’s Children affiliated with other groups?
No, Always God’s Children is a ministry of the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle that began as a response to the needs in our own parish and in the surrounding community. It has no affiliation with other groups.
Do I have to be a parishioner at the Cathedral to participate in Always God’s Children?
No, Always God’s Children welcomes participants from outside our parish. Non-Catholics also are welcome. Cardinal Wuerl has declared that “We must be inclusive, we must recognize the bonds of mutual charity, and we must continue to reach out to all of those brothers and sisters who come to be with us.”
Do I have to agree with the Catholic Church’s teaching on chastity to participate in Always God’s Children?
No, Always God’s Children seeks to meet people wherever they are in their spiritual journey, without any formal requirements for participation. We are a Catholic ministry that affirms the Catholic Church’s teaching on chastity, which all the baptized are called to discern and follow according to their particular states of life. We also recognize that there are those who hold different views on the subject of chastity. Regardless of these views, we believe that everyone is a beloved child of God and has gifts to contribute to our community. We therefore welcome everyone who is willing to commit to a respectful dialogue, with the goal of deepening their awareness of God’s love for them.
What is the Catholic Church’s teaching on chastity?
The Catholic Church’s teaching on chastity is a subject that could easily fill an entire book. For a thorough explanation of the subject, please see the Catechism of the Catholic Church at paragraphs 2331 through 2400. What follows here is a very short summary.
Under the Catholic Church’s teaching, chastity can be thought of as the virtue of self-discipline that elevates human sexuality from the biological dimension and integrates it with the personal and spiritual dimensions. The purpose of this self-discipline is not self-denial for its own sake, but rather to develop the personal freedom that allows one to make a radical gift of oneself to others: the gifts of spouses to each other and to their children in marriage; the gifts of ordained priests and consecrated religious to the communities they serve and particularly to the Church; and the gifts of single persons to their friends, families, and communities while following the universal call to holiness. In each of these states of life, the self-giving of the human person becomes an icon, or image, of the self-giving of the three divine persons of the Holy Trinity. In this context, the Catholic Church teaches that physical sexual activity achieves its full personal and spiritual meaning in the gift of a man and a woman to each other in a marriage that is permanent, monogamous, and open to the gift of life.
Catechism of the Catholic Church:
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Always Our Children: A Pastoral Message to Parents of Homosexual Children and Suggestions for Pastoral Ministers (1997): http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/homosexuality/always-our-children.cfm
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Ministry to Persons with a Homosexual Inclination: Guidelines for Pastoral Care (2006): http://www.usccb.org/about/doctrine/publications/homosexual-inclination-guidelines-page-set.cfm