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Bartending and the priesthood.

While I was bartending one evening, a friend of mine joked about how ridiculous it now seemed that we had met a year earlier at a college gathering for those who were considering the priesthood. I glanced up from pouring his vodka and tonic long enough to say, "I still am." The surprise that touched his face spoke a thousand words.

Why should it be so shocking that I, a bartender at a gay bar, leader of a gay-straight alliance, 'also consider a spiritual vocation, even one in the Catholic Church?

Now a senior at Marquette University in Milwaukee, I have been considering the priesthood for about two years. Marquette, while Catholic, is also Jesuit, a sect of the church that has long been considered a liberal bastion of the faith. This fall I will be filling out applications for both law schools and seminaries. After being in and out of Catholic education all of my life, I have seen the power and grace of the living church, gifts that I know are bestowed to as all. I feel called to spread the truth that I know and to share the ways in which the church has reached into my life and helped my family and me: through community, education, and spiritual guidance.

Many people ask, "Why would you consider a career in an institution that discriminates against gay people?" But we see thousands of gays and lesbians serve the U.S. government faithfully even though there are antigay laws in that establishment.

Oftentimes change does happen from within.

I accept my relationship with the Catholic Church in the way we must accept all relationships: with its beauty, its flaws, its strengths, and its weaknesses, but above all for the love it can shine into the lives of gay and straight people alike. Yes, changes are needed in the church, but it is also time for gays and lesbians to accept religion, flawed as it may be, back into their lives.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Generation Q
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Sep 28, 2004
Previous Article:A friendlier Bible.
Next Article:Congressman Studds comes out: September 15, 1983.

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