On June 2, Catholic San Francisco, the newspaper of the archdiocese of San Francisco announced the clergy changes that will take effect in the coming year. The changes included the news that Father Brian Costello will be leaving the city’s notorious Most Holy Redeemer parish. Father Costello will be replaced by Father Jack McClure C.PP.S, who will serve as pastor, and Father Matthew Link C.PP.S, who will serve as parochial vicar. C.PP.S. is the acronym for Missionaries of the Precious Blood.

On June 6, the National Catholic Reporter ran an article titled “San Francisco’s largest gay parish to get new pastors.”  From the article:

“(Father) McClure said when Link learned in January that Most Holy Redeemer would be looking for a pastor, he approached McClure and suggested they apply as a team. Eventually, the men met with Auxiliary Bishop William Justice, who heads pastoral ministry for the archdiocese….the Precious Blood Fathers have had an outreach to the LGBT community since 2007. They say the ministry was developed to foster dialogue, reconciliation and justice with people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.”

By 2002, the New York Times was reporting “…about 80 to 90 percent of the members are gay.”

Father Brian Costello, the outgoing pastor, truly had the spiritual welfare of his parishioners at heart. Some parishioners did not see it that way. The NCR reported that Father Costello had requested a transfer last August, and quoted him:

“It just didn’t work out. I did the best I could. My best was just not good enough for a lot of people here,” he said. “There are real challenges here, and the truth is I just didn’t have the gifts to meet those challenges.”

One example of the tension between Father Costello and “a lot of people here” occurred early in his tenure. On April 19, 2012 CalCatholic reported that in the previous week transvestites had MC’d/judged a Castro Country Club fundraiser at the parish. The MC went by the name “Laybelline” and the judge “Syphilis Diller.” In October of 2012 the same group wanted to come back, but the archdiocese and Father Costello nixed the event. The homosexual oriented Bay Area Reporter covered the story, and quoted Father Costello ““I am the new pastor…There is a new archbishop. The archdiocese told me straight out, ‘No drag queens.’… “I am big on compromising.”  Father Costello said “[Castro Country Club] would not work with me. It was all or nothing. And they got nothing.”


The archdiocese eventually made the ban more generally applicable, thus appeasing homosexualist activists. Following the ban, Costello had received push-back from parishioners, which MHR’s business manager, Michael Poma, described as “education.”  Poma was quoted in Bondings, the blog of New Ways Ministry: “‘Father Brian wasn’t educated about the importance of drag queens in the gay community…We are part of the community here and to think that we’re banning drag queens is obnoxious and ridiculous.”


Another example was related by Father Costello himself in the March 3, 2013 MHR bulletin:
“Two weeks ago, after Pope Benedict XVI had announced to the world that he would be resigning the office of Peter as of February 28th, I put the Pope’s picture, that usually hangs in the rectory, in the church. A handful of people told me that they would rather it not be there. They explained that the feeling was while he was Pope, as well as his time as a Cardinal, Pope Benedict had made hurtful and hateful statements regarding the LGBT Community and thus, his picture should not be placed on the altar of MHR. I was also warned, many parishioners would walk out of Sunday Mass if the picture was not removed. I spoke with a close priest friend of mine, and even though both of us were saddened by this, the wisest course, I felt, was to remove the Pope’s picture…..”