Quest, the national pastoral support for LGTB+ Catholics celebrate their 50th anniversary this year.
From small beginnings in 1973.
A young Ralph Long put an advert in Gay Times asking gay Catholics to meet and discuss their faith. Out of 17 replies, nine men turned up. That was the start of what came to be known as Quest. The group grew fast and had numerous local group in and around England, Wales and Scotland, with four in London itself.
There were many priests and bishops closely associated with Quest as friends and allies and members, but none of this was public. However, Quest did have a very public ally in Cardinal Basil Hume who once wrote: "To love another, whether of the same sex or a different sex is to have entered the area of the richest human experience".
Quest was then viewed as not fully agreeing with the Church teaching on celibacy, until 2017 when Cardinal Nichols recognised the work of Quest and its pastoral support for LGBT+ Catholics . See: https://questlgbti.uk/cardinal-nichols-support-for-quest/
Sister Jeannine Gramick SL was a key note speaker and delivered a wonderful talk about her own 50 year ministry to the LGBT community in the USA. And fittingly after her own battle against ostracisation by her own bishops as well as by the Vatican, Pope Francis commended her ministry as being "in the style of God."
So, how wonderful and blessed was Quest to receive the greeting and blessing from Pope Francis himself, and which was delivered by Sr. Jeannine
Quest continues to reach out to LGBT+ Catholics and works closely with Refugees and Asylum Seekers to offer them vital spiritual nourishment and fellowship and scholarship at our conferences.