On June 22, 2022, the Young Adult Group at the Archdiocese of San Francisco’s Most Holy Redeemer Roman Catholic Parish (MHR) will host a Pride Month Parish-Wide Happy Hour at The Mix Bar in the Castro District. The Mix is described as a “small gay bar that has a patio and pool table, plus frequent happy-hour specials.”
The Catholic parish of Most Holy Redeemer in the Castro District of San Francisco has a long history of dissent. Fr. Donal Godfrey. S.J., who wrote the definitive history of MHR (“Gays and Grays: The Story of the Inclusion of the Gay Community at Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Parish in San Francisco”) described the parishioners stand in relation to the institutional Church as a “defecting in place.”
The transformation of MHR from neighborhood church to what silenced dissident Sister Jeannine Gramick described as “a model for other parishes,” “in terms of how it meets the needs of gay and lesbian people,” did not take place overnight. Probably beginning in the 1980s with the presence of Pastor Anthony McGuire, who tried to respond to the then growing AIDS crisis with noticeable care and compassion, the parish had an increasingly predominant gay membership.
From then on, the pastoral approach at MHR has been singularly focused on a welcoming spirit, making people feel comfortable, and, as Donal Godfrey pointed out, “…to accommodate the new reality.” Later, with the next MHR Pastor, Zachary Shore, according to Godfrey: “gay partnerships were almost routinely acknowledged.” By the time Shore left MHR in 2002, a number of openly gay and lesbian parishioners held leadership positions as well as serving on liturgical committees; with the most famous being Patrick Mulcahey, who was vice president of the MHR Parish Council until 2008; in 2013, Mulcahey taught a course in gay bondage for “Daddies,” Masters, and their slaves. The class bio included this description: “He has served as a judge for the International Master/slave and International Leather SIR/boy contests…” Godfrey then described how Archbishop Levada took “an aloof, hands-off approach to the Parish.” In 2012, Fr. Brian Costello became Pastor, but his stay at the Parish proved short-lived….
The above comes from a June 7 posting on JosephSciambra.com.