Easter is one of my favorite holidays, because it symbolizes the triumph of rebirth over death, just like the season it falls within. During the last few years, I've resumed going to confession and taking communion Christmas and Easter. As a 21st century Catholic, I find a lot that I can't accept in church doctrine, but have grown to appreciate Pope Francis and his humility. I am heartened by his reemphasizing care for the poor, a central tenet of Jesus' own beliefs, one carried on in the preaching of his brother James, who stayed in Jerusalem while Peter and Paul traversed the Roman empire.
Carolisa Pomerantz took the time join me in a celebration of my faith. We attended mass for the first time together at Saint Monica's Church, in Santa Monica. It's a gorgeous structure built in 1925. In the late 19th century when the parish was established, there were no other churches within miles. The mass had a full choir and chamber orchestra but what really made it special was that it was one of the most welcoming, accepting services I had ever been to. For the first time in my life, I heard a priest from the altar speak of welcoming gays to mass.
In contrast, at my uncle's funeral, the word never came up. When I spoke there, I didn't dare mention it, although in his obituary, I did write that one of his proudest moments was winning the lawsuit that ended discrimination due to sexual orientation in post office hiring. My uncle used that solid, middle class income to publish several newspapers, giving me my first byline in something beyond a student publication, a boon that has caused me to write thousands of pieces since. As a child, we never figured out that this single guy, who never had a girlfriend, and lived alone in San Francisco was a homosexual. Maybe, just maybe, with Pope Francis stating last July, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” who knows what might come someday, perhaps allowing priests to marry or letting women finally get ordained?
In once sense, Easter's triumph over death is what we seek through anti-aging. It's hard to believe that I'll soon turn the age my uncle was when he died nineteen years ago this month- why I have to redouble my own efforts to reverse aging. Don't forget to read this month's Reverse Aging News.