The following was sent to Cal Catholic on April 7 by one of our correspondents.

Father John Kavcak has announced in his Sunday bulletin that there will be an “LGBT Lenten Retreat: We Are the Passion of Christ” in the parish hall on Saturday, April 12, from 9:30 am until 2:30 pm. Lunch included. No charge, free-will offering.

Kavcak, a priest of Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. was once the pastor at Our Lady of Solitude in Palm Springs and is now pastor at neighboring Saint Theresa Church where the retreat will be held. Father Kavcak rented Our Lady of Solitude Church for at least two full days to Hollywood producer, Jerry Weintraub, so that church scenes could be filmed in the movie Behind the Candelabra, a gay men’s sordid love story involving Liberace in his late 50s and a young teenage guy.

Father Kavcak sits on the San Bernardino Diocese Commission for Ministry with Families of Gay and Lesbian Catholics – a takeoff on the secular gay advocacy group PFLAG (Parents of Families of Lesbians and Gays).

The retreat at St. Theresa’s will be led by Father Joseph Jablonski, M.S.C. of Illinois and will concern itself with three themes:

  1. We are all made in the image of God
  2. What to do with the hurts, pains, and sufferings of life? A deeper look at the passion of Christ
  3. How do I begin to forgive and move on?

Palm Springs, once a seasonal desert resort that catered to celebrities and families, has developed a reputation as a gay town, having a gay mayor, many gay hotels, gay bars and a Gay Pride Parade. The major yearly gay event occurs on Easter Week in Palm Springs,  Jerry Sanker’s White Party, ”which is billed as one of  “the premier gay circuit parties in the world”.

Father David Foxen, M.S.C., current pastor of Our Lady of Solitude church where scenes from the gay movie were shot, promoted the LGBT retreat  by saying, ”Many of us know individuals who are separated from the church because of their sexual orientation. Perhaps they have left because they were hurt by the Church’s statements…..It is about accepting a person and who he/she is as a child of God, in the spirit of Pope Francis who said, Who am I to judge?  This retreat is not about changing a person.”