"Thank you, God, for making me gay and Catholic"

Sometimes, two cultures central to a person’s identity can seem incompatible, but Sam Albano does his best to prove otherwise.

Sam Albano knows how to ask the tough questions.

What does it mean to be gay?

How am I supposed to be a good Catholic?

Does God love me?

When Sam joined the parish pastoral council at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in 2012, he brought those questions with him. At the council’s annual retreat, the pastor asked the group to figure out why so many registered members didn’t show up for Sunday Mass at their church in Carmel, Indiana. It’s unavoidable, some said. All of America is running from religion.

Sam, who has asked tough questions about the Catholic Church since high school, had a different idea.

Is there something we’re doing wrong that keeps people away?

Silence.

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