The Choice Is Clear for Reverend John Unni

Mark Arsenault wrote a piece in today’s Boston Globe about Reverend John Unni, the Boston-based priest who welcomes gays and lesbians into his Roman Catholic parish. It’s a follow-up on the story I wrote about Sunday on the controversy surrounding a Gay Pride Month mass planned by Father Unni.

Arsenault writes:

Four years ago, a methodical search for a new place of worship led a group of gay Roman Catholics to the Rev. John Unni, the youthful priest at St. Cecilia’s Church. The search committee was blunt: Would the priest accept an influx of gay and lesbian parishioners. “He told us, ‘All are welcome,’ ’’ said John Kelly, now head of the St. Cecilia Rainbow Ministry.

He continues:

Unni was 16 when his father died. The St Theresa Parish community in his hometown of North Reading responded with meals delivered to the family’s door, with rides to practices and rehearsals and whatever help they could offer a broken family.

“People lived out the Gospels,’’ Unni, 49, said in an interview yesterday evening. “That’s when I learned what church was.’’

“All we’re trying to do is welcome a group that has been marginalized,’’ said Father Unni. “Jesus met people where they were at. He went to them and reminded them who they were in God’s eyes.’’

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About Tom Matlack

Tom Matlack is the co-founder of The Good Men Project. He has a 18-year-old daughter and 16- and 7-year-old sons. His wife, Elena, is the love of his life. Follow him on Twitter @TMatlack.

Comments

  1. Roger Durham says:

    Glad to see Rev. Unni live out the Jesus-legacy of openness and inclusion. There will come a day, I hope, when his actions will no longer be viewed as bold; a day when groups of people will not have to go out in search of a faith community that will welcome them.

  2. Father John inspired me back when he was a priest at St. Richard’s in Danvers. He was always vibrant, engaging and truthful. My family and I loved him and his real approach to speaking and spreading the message of love and faith. I even drove into Boston so my boyfriend (now husband of 7 years) and I could attend his mass filled with college students. I am proud of him for staying true to who he has always been and welcoming all those who believe to celebrate as a community of faith. Good for him!

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