Comfort, Acceptance, and Space

I am committed to working in the church to further change and creating a home for LGBTQ+ Catholics.

Andrea Miller, School of Theology and Ministry, Boston College, MATM ’20

In my own faith journey and coming to awareness of my sexual orientation, one key moment was the Mass of Belonging at St. Ignatius. This came at a time when I had been trying to understand what it meant for me to be a student and minister who is LGBTQ+ in the church. I found comfort, acceptance, and space at the STM to wrestle with these deeper questions through classes, friendships, and different mentors. However, this particular Mass was advertised as a special welcome for LGBTQ+ folks to feel like they belong and are part of the church. I asked friends to come with me, and it was one of the first experiences where I felt like I didn’t have to hide a certain part of my identity. I was reminded that I was made in the image and likeness of God, that I am beloved and perfect just as I am, and that God doesn’t want me to be anyone other than who I am. 

I have continued to be a practicing Catholic and minister in the parish setting. One of the primary reasons I have stayed is to continue to be a model for people in my community who might be questioning if they are LGBTQ+, and demonstrate that they don’t have to give up their faith in order to be who they are, but show them that they can bring all of themselves to God and their faith. Also, in a place where LGBTQ+ people might not feel accepted, I am committed to working in the church to further change and creating a home for LGBTQ+ Catholics. In my current ministry, I maintain authenticity by living my life with integrity and fully engaging with myself as an LGBTQ+ minister and what that means for my work.

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