A deacon’s personal account of parenting a transgender child.
Fifty years ago this year, the church restored the permanent diaconate, opening the doors to married clergy who brought and continue to bring with them all the joys, sorrows, and complexities of family life to ordained ministry. In the case of my family, that included first-hand experience with LGBT people. In the fall of 2013, at the beginning of our oldest child’s sophomore year at Georgetown University, she came out as transgender. With that news, my family found itself plunged into questions and issues that surround families of faith with LGBT children.
Righteous anger brings hope, not despair.
On election night 2016, hands full of dirty dinner dishes, I tripped over a slightly ajar cabinet door and fell hard on my left knee, my right leg overextended at an ugly angle behind me. Two friends ran in to assist me when they heard the plates clatter to the floor. They propped me up against the refrigerator, immobilized with a bag of frozen peas on my knee, while they watched the returns in the next room, and I listened in disbelief as what I’d thought was impossible happened. The phrase “adding insult to injury” comes to mind.
Nothing, says this scholar of women’s ordination in the early church.
The confusion remains. One priest, a convert to Catholicism, wrote me recently: “It seems somewhat disingenuous for an expert in women’s ordination to the diaconate to then insist that there is no connection with women priests.”
Scripture scholar Barbara Reid says women have something powerful to offer when interpreting the Bible.
Scripture scholar and Dominican Sister Barbara Reid took her first Bible course when she was a junior in college. It was an elective. “I was just so amazed at how it opened up a whole world for me,” she says. “I was also a little angry and thought, ‘Why didn’t anyone ever teach me anything about the Bible?’ ”
How can Korean American Catholic communities address the gap between men’s and women’s work?
My first child was born in January and, as I hold him in my arms, I often think about how my wife and I will pass on our Catholic faith to him. However, almost immediately, my mind goes in a more negative direction. I find myself agonizing about the obstacles that he is going to face within our faith community. I wonder about how to teach my son to navigate gender roles and his own maleness within our Korean American Catholic faith community.