Yesterday we had a wonderful Medjugorje healing day at Saint Mary of the Angels and one of the fun things of being Catholic and living in London is that there are a lot of Irish people!.

Yesterday I was very touched to meet an older Lady from County Clare who was full of the Holy Spirit and the joy of Jesus at the ripe old age of 87.

Of course not everyone is privileged to come from County Clare and we have others from places such as Galway and Mayo and all over the place. We must love them too!!!

All joking aside, it was a great day and the momentum is now building in the church for our pilgrimage to Medjugorje from June 6th to 17th.

Yet before all that we will have Saint Patrick’s day on March 17th and shortly afterwards I will be visiting Ireland with Rayne!

I haven’t visited Ireland now for over two years and Rayne has never seen it so it’s sure to be exciting and of course also a bit daunting with the ‘meet the family’ side of things.

Being catholic and gay certainly has its challenges and of all my siblings and first cousins (about 40) I am the only one!!

Of course statistics would say otherwise but sadly I did come from a very homophobic type of family where being gay was seen as a weakness or a “faulty gene” and so something to be ashamed of in front of the neighbours and the ‘real men’ of the family.

Anyway, who knows? Maybe things will be a lot better than I expect and I’m unlikely to meeta lot of them anyway!!

That said, I am really proud of my mother who is really looking forward to meeting and seeing Rayne and who has always believed in Jesus and in prayer despite the obstacles that life threw at her.

It is certainly not easy for catholic parents which they have LGBT children because they often don’t know how to react and how God would like them to behave and that’s mainly down to the lack of understanding and pastoral care and theology in the church.

Parents shouldn’t have to choose between God and their children and that’s where the church needs to step into the breach and to bridge the gap between sexuality and spirituality so that the parents and families of gay people and the gay people themselves can all live in peace, harmony, love and diversity.

And so as I thank Our Lady for all the blessings so far I continue to pray for all the broken, divided and hurting families out there simply because of someone being LGBT.

Our Lady of Medjugorje, Queen of peace, pray for us and bring peace to our hearts and to our families!

Michael