Our Lady of Lourdes

Oakland, CA

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Website for Our Lady of Lourdes: www.lourdesoakland.com
May 2006

Re: Looking for very liberal Catholic church

I'd like to recommend my parish, Our Lady of Lourdes. It's pretty left-leaning, there are a lot of gay families, and there are many people and cultures from all over the world represented. Many people come to that Church with big issues with the church at large as well as struggling with our beliefs. It provides a safe atmosphere to question, reconcile, forgive, and figure out where we belong in the complex world of Catholicism.

Now, if you asked the priest if OLOL was liberal, he'd say we're smack dab in the center, but I am drawn to the place because he believes in the gospel and life of Christ. He practices social justice. I have learned so much from the place and non catholic friends who have attended services there with me are blown away at the atmosphere there. It has changed some peoples' minds about the Church just by going there. I have never met a more compassionate leader of a church and he sets the tone for all who enter that place to create an atmosphere that I say is what I always dreamed Catholicism represented. I am someone who came back to the faith after 15 years of wanting nothing to do with Catholicism. I felt ''culturally Catholic'' but find that the more I go, the closer I move toward the spiritual. I say that I always had a non believing side and a believing side and for now, I'm nurturing side. Given that, the hierarchy of the church can make it difficult to be Catholic sometimes. But, I've found some wonderful heroes in the Church who rise above all that and continue to work hard to help the poor and disenfranchised, to ease suffering, etc. So, give us a try. We'd welcome you, for sure. anon

I go to Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Oakland. I was used to very traditional Catholic churches and was pleasantly surprised at the very warm and not so rigid environment there (the alter is round and in the middle of the congregation!) It was built in the 1920s so it does still have that lovely old Catholic Church feel to it. The music is excellent as well. They have a website: www.lourdesoakland.com Good luck in your search Jamie
I have heard that Our Lady of Lourdes in Oakland is very welcoming, diverse (in religious background, ethnicity, and sexual orientation), and fairly innovative. It's also a lovely building. The church's website is at http://www.lourdesoakland.com/ Lake Merritt Local