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AngloCatholic and HIV+
Aug 25, 1998

Father, up until the time I was diagnosed HIV+, I was a very devout Anglo-Catholic. I was also very active in my parish, being an acolyte every Sunday for Solemn Mass, going to Confession once a month and trying to lead a very prayerful life with special devotion to our Lady. Well, it seems my entire life and faith had been shattered with my diagnosis. I've stopped serving at Mass, and basically stopped going altogether. I feel like I've let down God, the Church and feel ashamed to even go back. Can you suggest anything to bring about the faith I once had and loved? Thanks, and God bless you.

Response from Father DeMartini

Dear Friend,Thank you for your very honest letter. First of all, I invite you to remember the support and consolation which you once felt by attending Mass, going to Confession and being active in your parish. I trust that you would have given support and understanding to any of your fellow parishioners in need because you valued your Catholic community and identity. I encourage you to let the Church, your parish and people who love and care for you to be able to reach out to you in your fear, confusion and shame. Please don't hide from them because it is through the loving response of people of faith that God acts to heal and console. God has not stopped loving and caring for you and God invites you to identify in a special way with the suffering of Jesus who experienced shame, rejection and pain on the Cross but never stopped believing in the power of God to save. Ask Jesu to walk with you back to your parish, Mass and the sacraments and let these graces touch you again. I will keep you in my prayers, Fr. Rod

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