Thursday, 16 June 2016

Go to Joseph

After I heard about the recent massacre in Orlando, there was really only one Catholic voice I wanted to hear on the topic: Joseph Sciambra's. I kept checking his blog (not safe for little brothers) to see if he had written about it yet. You see, Joseph Sciambra is the one  Catholic blogger I know who loves men who have embraced what he calls "gay" and goes to the center of their world (i.e. the Castro district of San Francisco) to help them out of it.  Joseph credits our Lord Jesus Christ and the help of good priests for his own escape. He also has a huge devotion to Saint Joseph.

Today I discovered that he had just given an interview to Steve Skojec of OnePeterFive (here). He doesn't say that much about Orlando, actually. What struck me is that he called the victims "those poor guys...and gals", seeing them FIRST as men and women and only then reflecting that places like Pulse is where they have found love and acceptance.

The interview is 1 hour and 22 minutes, so you may want to find some household chore to do while you listen. It actually is safe for little brothers, so you need to the sound down for fear of PC types.

I was struck by Joseph's gentleness but also by his story about being rejected as a speaker at a San Francisco Catholic parish. Unfortunately, Catholic churches are not interested in Joseph sharing his story or his message. Maybe they are afraid of the shock factor (which you could understand if you had read some of the sad stories on his blog). But maybe Joseph's traditional message about rejection, sin and redemption is not what they want to over there in San Fran. Joseph is never rude, but he did speak rather frankly about men not needing to be coddled by religious sisters.

When a parish told Joe no thanks, he walked the short distance to Castro and started his own street ministry. Sometimes that's just what you have to do, and Joseph did it. He gets a certain amount of abuse, but he seems rather nonchalant about it. As I said, he really loves the men he talks to, never forgetting that he used to be in the life himself.


  1. Joseph Prever (pen name 'Steve Gershom') is also an awesome source. (Although I think he stopped blogging, so maybe not for news on Orlando. But I think he still gives talks.) He's a very strong Catholic (and an excellent writer) who struggles with homosexual tenancies and writes about what it's like to live as a (chaste) Catholic man with SS tendencies. (He's Simcha Fisher's brother, actually.)

  2. Joseph Prever has written some posts that did a great deal to explain a culture and mindset that was largely foreign to me. Actually, the whole are shockingly good writers and I hold them largely responsible for my own shift towards sympathy with religious conservatives.

    I've also learnt a lot from other writers named under the 'spiritual friendship' umbrella: especially Melinda Selmys, Eve Tushnet, Ron Belgau, Gabriel Blanchard [Mudblood Catholic], Wesley Hill, and Lindsey and Sarah who blog at A Queer Calling . They're all highly intelligent, and write in an incredibly moving way about the Christian life.

  3. edit: the whole Fisher clan