March 25, 2009

Pioneers in GLBT Faith; Michael Kelly

From the LGBT Religious Archives Network:

Michael Bernard Kelly is known internationally for his work in integrating Christian spirituality and gay experience. Born in Australia in 1954 into a devout Catholic family, he joined the Franciscans after finishing high school, and his spirituality has continued to be nourished by the spirit, vision and example of Francis of Assisi, though outside formal religious structures. Michael is an educator, writer, activist, and retreat leader who has worked in the U.S. the U.K. and Australia. He holds professional qualifications in theology, spirituality, creative media and education, and is currently working on a doctorate in the field of Christian mysticism and gay experience.

For 17 years Michael was a religious education specialist and campus minister in Catholic schools and universities, in both Australia and the U.S. In 1993, he came out publicly and let go of his career in the church. Since then he has committed himself to developing new forms of creative ministry with gay and lesbian people. In 1995, Joseph Kramer of Erospirit Institute published Michael's eight-hour video lecture series, "The Erotic Contemplative: the spiritual journey of the gay Christian," which John J. McNeill hailed as "The most powerful and insightful study of gay spirituality that I know of." Michael has created communities of ritual and challenge on the fringes of the church and has offered spiritual direction to gay men from many Christian communities. In 1998, he co-founded the Rainbow Sash Movement in Australia, which publicly challenges the Catholic Church's treatment of gay and lesbian people. In this role, he became a prominent media spokesperson for gay Catholics in Australia, and he is frequently sought after for commentary on current religious issues.

Click here to read more about Michael Day.

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