Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Love is love is love is love -- but not at Florida's Father Lopez Catholic High School

Below is an e-mail I sent to Father Lopez Catholic High School President Pat LaMorte in Daytona Beach, Florida. It's in response to Mary Kate Curry's "resignation under duress" at the school when it became public that she was engaged to a woman. To read more about this, go to the New Ways Ministry web site at https://www.newwaysministry.org/2017/10/23/catholic-school-teacher-fired-gender-engagement/. Thanks to fellow Lopez alum John Bartelloni (Class of '70) for alerting me about this.

My letter:

Dear Pres. LaMorte:

My Father Lopez High School education taught me that the Catholic Church should be alleviating pain and suffering in the world, not adding to it.

I just read about Mary Kate Curry's "resignation under duress" as a theology teacher and the school's decision to forbid her from coaching (even volunteering to coach) the FLHS girls' basketball team. 

Curry's letter was heartbreaking. She obviously loved her jobs as teacher and coach. To take those away from her is the worst kind of cruelty. 

And the reason? She publicly outed herself as a member of the LGBT community, someone who loves someone of her own gender. She couldn't live a lie any more and you punished her for it. Shame on you, the school and the diocese. Shame.

I attended Father Lopez from 1965-69. I was president of the National Honor Society and lettered in basketball, part of the team that went to the state tournament in 1969. I am proud of being a Lopez alum. 

Make us all proud. Alleviate the pain you caused in this young woman's life by reinstating her as a teacher and coach. 

Some 50 years from now, a 2018 Lopez grad will look upon his or her time in the classroom or on the court with Ms. Curry and say, as I do today, that I learned how to be a honorable human being at Father Lopez. 

Do the right thing.


Michael Shay
Cheyenne, Wyoming


RobertP said...


Good letter. Sadly, I suspect it will not be read with the same good faith as it was written.


Michael Shay said...

I keep thinking about the 18-year-old Mike (named Mr. Catholic by the Knights of Columbus at our graduation ceremony) who didn't have a clue about gender identity. My LGBT friends have taught me about it by living their lives in the open. And working in the arts taught me that there are many identities, many ways of viewing the world, many avenues to creativity.

Lynn said...

Good, heart felt letter. And frankly, it doesn't matter how it is received. We can't control others. But you spoke your truth and offered a challenge for justice, and DAMN, that's a fine thing.