During Mass at Old Saint Patrick’s Church in Chicago on June 19th, Father Joe Roccasalva gave the pulpit to Alex Shingleton and Landon Duyka for a Father’s Day “Gospel reflection” in lieu of his homily.
Shingleton and Dukya said they have been part of the parish for a decade, calling their same-sex marriage a “blessing” and their adopted children “miracles.”
“This week Chicago is celebrating Pride, and today is Father’s Day, and conveniently we tick both of those boxes. Let’s be honest, there are probably not too many gay dads speaking on Father’s Day at many Catholic Churches on the planet today. We wanted to raise our children in the Catholic Church. On the other hand, we didn’t want to expose our children to bigotry and have them feel any shame or intolerance about their family.”
They also called the “radical inclusivity” of LGBTQ+ affirming community at Old Saint Patrick’s a “miracle.”
“Today we had the Gospel where Jesus fed the masses from five loaves and two fishes – clearly a miracle. Something that is unexplainable, unexpected, and truly marvelous, where something that started small became a huge blessing. Well, our journey to fatherhood has been marked by a series of events that started small, but became huge blessings. And while they may not meet the strict definitions of miracles – meaning no one will be gaining sainthood here today – they are unexplainable, unexpected, and truly marvelous nonetheless. The first miracle of our story came in 2007, when gay marriage – which was then called civil union – became legal in the United Kingdom, which is where I’m from. The final miracle in our story is here – Old St. Pat’s. While other Catholic churches and their leaders may be tone deaf, Old St. Pat’s has figured it out. On this Father’s Day, during Pride, we pray that if you are ever given the opportunity to stand up for families like ours, that you will do so. Because our voices are very strong, but they are not nearly loud enough without yours.”
Watch their “Gospel reflection” starting around 29 minutes in:
Catholic Canon Law states “the homily, which is part of the liturgy itself and is reserved to a priest or deacon … must be given at all Masses on Sundays and holy days of obligation which are celebrated with a congregation, and it cannot be omitted except for a grave cause.” (Code of Canon Law 767)
Photo Credit: Old Saint Patricks' Church Vimeo Livestream, Fair Use