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placeholder 9/11:


Thieves strike Antioch church

Oakland Cathedral begins series of concerts through December

Crowd gathers for Twilight by the Lake

At relocated interfaith service, life, legacy of Rev. King recalled

St. James parish celebrates Mother of Vailankanni festival

New book aids parishes in ministering to gays

Gala aids Oakland sculpture honoring 25 peace leaders

College students spend summer vacation working with poor

Events target teens, parents

Youth group in San Leandro

Principals receive Medal of Merit

• Deacon Hector Victoria
• Sister M. Alice Gough, SHF
• Father Ralph Murphy, SDB
• Sister Mary Leonard Donovan, SHF
• Mary Lou Stelly

Group offers faith events on topics for young people

Church has evolving answer on reality of Adam and Eve

Serra High christens $21M arts, science, pool complex

Study finds cohabitation more harmful to children than divorce

Rice Bowl grant applications sought

Casa Vincentia sets fundraising goal

Film project seeks Cristeros

Interfaith Blood Drive exceeds goal

placeholder September 5, 2011   •   VOL. 49, NO. 15   •   Oakland, CA
New book aids parishes in ministering to gays
"Setting the Table: Preparing Catholic Parishes to Welcome Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People and Their Families," Father James A. Schexnayder, 121 pages, paperback, $15, including mailing, to CALGM, 1798 Scenic Ave., Berkeley 94709.

Father James A. Schexnayder, who has a decades-long ministry to gay and lesbian Catholics and their families, has written a concise handbook, “Setting the Table,” as a resource guide for parishes that want to explore how their communities can be “safe, supportive and healing places” for those who “have been challenged and enriched by their sexual identity and personal integration.”

Father Schexnayder was born in Lafayette, Louisiana, moved here when he was in the second grade and spent most of his life in the Bay Area. He was appointed diocesan director for ministry to gay and lesbian communities and their families by Bishop John Cummins, retired in 2000 and is currently resource director for the Catholic Association for Lesbian and Gay Ministry.

“This book came out of my experiences not only locally,” Father Schexnayder said in an interview, “but in working with various diocesan clergy regarding welcoming gay and lesbian families into parishes.”

While the book references Church teaching, he said, “there is nothing in it contrary to Church teaching.”

Schexnayder writes: “Ministry to and with lesbian and gay people can cause uneasiness in Church communities for a variety of reasons. Some people make judgments about what lesbian and gay means, resulting in accusations that those who minister are supporting a ‘gay life style.’”

Rather than being judgmental, Father Schexnayder takes “a pastoral approach to healing people within Church teaching.”

The book manuscript was read by Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, who made suggestions which Father Schexnayder followed.

The book references Scripture, Church teachings, human sciences and effective diocesan and parish models of ministry, and offers survey results, and lists other resources such as books and organizations.

Schexnayder hopes the book will aid each parish in its mission as it “speaks the good news of Jesus Christ and the universal and surprising love of our God for all people.”

Proceeds from sales of the book will benefit the Catholic Association for Lesbian and Gay Ministry, a support network for those involved in the ministry.

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