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Campus Ministry hopes to increase attendance at LGBT community Mass

Photo by Maryam Tunio

Photo by Maryam Tunio

Maredithe Meyer, Health Reporter

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Campus Ministry hosted one of its monthly Masses for the LGBT community and its allies at the St. Joan of Arc Chapel on Nov. 20.

Theology professor the Rev. Bryan Massingale led Mass with the eight students and community members who attended.

“Many of the LGBTQ community members have heard stories that they are not welcome in the church,” Massingale said. “It is important to have a Mass where they feel welcome and that God does love them and no one is excluded.”

Jacob Perez, a sophomore in the College of Engineering and vice president of Marquette Gender Sexuality Alliance, said he thinks the Mass is cool because it’s not always common for Catholics to accept LGBT youth into religious buildings.

“It is nice to have a day where we are all invited because it gives LGBT youth an opportunity to feel welcome in a religious establishment,” he said.

Massingale spoke about conflicts in the readings and the Gospel, and compared them to present-day societal violence.

“Human divisions are ultimately meaningless in God’s reign,” Massingale said during his homily.

Steve Blaha, assistant director of Campus Ministry, works with student leaders from Marquette’s LGBT and allied community to plan and host these Masses. They started by way of small discussion groups and grew to evening prayer sessions before a Mass was suggested.

“This is a community gathering with a special welcome,” Blaha said. “This (Mass) is for all of us.”

Blaha said he considers the Mass to have been well attended, but he would still like to see audience growth.

“I’d like more of our Catholic community to see that (the Mass) is an important commitment on our behalf as support and encouragement,” Blaha said.

Perez said he would like to see the Masses happen more often and celebrated at the Church of the Gesu.

“Having it at Gesu would be showing that not just Marquette is welcoming us, but the whole community is welcoming us,” he said.

The next Mass with the LGBT and allied community will be Dec. 10 at 4 p.m. in the Joan of Arc Chapel. Other Marquette worship opportunities include Islamic prayer, Jewish services, Lutheran worship and Eastern Orthodox Vespers.

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