The heartache of man’s imperfection in God’s church

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

The readings on Pentecost are my favorite readings. The message is wonderful and easily received, and I’ve always felt like it’s the one day in the Liturgical year where being a professional announcer was useful—being able to verbally make long lists into a story the people could better understand with my interpretation.

It’s with great sadness that it’ll likely be a long time before I’m able to use those skills which God gave me to help tell his story on Pentecost or any other day.

During my campaign for Erie County Clerk last year, I was relieved of all my ministries at my parish– sacristan, Eucharistic Minister, Lector, and altar server.

A two-word *political* stance printed in the newspaper apparently didn’t pass the *political* litmus test of The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, and without discussion and after an average of 18 hours of weekly volunteer work at my parish, I was stripped of my ministries via email.

On complicated matters of the heart– where questions of what is life and what is womanhood clash, I would expect more delicacy, understanding, and willingness to see good people trying to provide an environment where goodness and truth can thrive through better understanding and love.

That didn’t happen.

I am no longer able to use my God given ability to share His word or volunteer to unlock the doors for daily Mass. The way that happened has brought what has proven to be the greatest sadness of my life.

Some of the lowest points of my life have come sitting in Mass over the seven months, which is a painful contrast to the exuberance I have always felt in church.

Today’s readings– those favorite readings of mine– have brought me some comfort.

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon writes about Buffalo’s pop culture history. His stories of Buffalo's past have appeared more than 1600 times in The Buffalo News. He's a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. Since the earliest days of the internet, Cichon's been creating content celebrating the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The 25-year veteran of Buffalo radio and television has written five books and curates The Buffalo Stories Archives-- hundreds of thousands of books, images, and audio/visual media which tell the stories of who we are in Western New York.