Always Our Children Program
SFA’s GLBT Ministry Always Our Children program provides a confidential setting in which GLBT persons and parents, families and friends of GLBT persons support one another by sharing their concerns and experiences in a confidential and Catholic setting. Our goal is to help people develop acceptance of themselves, free themselves from fear, foster loving families, and establish a fulfilling relationship with the Church.
Our program is named after the American Bishops’ 1998 pastoral letter Always Our Children and reflects our membership in two families, the family into which we were born and the family into which we were baptized.
Our principal target audience is the SFA community. We welcome others looking for a GLBT support program including Catholics at universities and colleges. We will also reach out to secular organizations that may have Catholics among their clientele or membership.
The Always Our Children program is a support ministry. We meet people where they are, offer them our love and support, and help them address the issues troubling them. It is a response to the American Bishops’ 1998 pastoral letter Always Our Children. In their letter the Bishops encouraged Church ministers to: “Help to establish or promote support groups for parents and family members” (page 12, no. 6).
We listen to our guests relate their situations and tell our own stories on how we addressed and resolved these issues and questions. Our approach is “I faced this situation and I this is how I handled it” rather than “I had this same problem and this is what you should do.” We are individuals and parents with lived experience. That, and loving support, is what we offer. We will refer people with theological questions to SFA Friars or other SFA recommended theologians.
As encouraged by the Bishops, we will be aware of SFA and community resources in other areas of expertise for appropriate referral if they ask for specialized assistance (page 12, no. 5).
The Always Our Children program will have two activities: (1) group meetings, and (2) personal meetings.