the lost flockThe Lost Flock offers a look at an LGBT friendly Catholic ministry.

The Lost Flock is a new documentary split into seven videos by Washington, DC-based editorial photographer and videographer Eric Kruszewski. Kruszewski’s documentary and journalism work focus on people who have undergone transitions in life, individuals and groups who are marginalized by society, and unique subcultures that might not receive mainstream attention.

Saint Matthew Catholic Church, located in Baltimore, Maryland, has begun a ministry designed to affirm the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) members of its parish family and the broader community. This ministry, known as LEAD (LGBT Educating and Affirming Diversity), strives to offer a sense of home and familiarity to LGBT individuals.

LEAD was established four years ago, and in its short history, the mission has grown in scope and members. Now, under the direction of Fr. Joseph Muth, Jr., LEAD includes around 50 people – some of whom fall under the LGBT label and are general supporters of the mission. LEAD offers a safe place for the diverse LGBT community to congregate, share, and find comfort amidst a larger church environment that does not fully accept them.

Inspiration peaked for Kruszewski to pursue a project about Saint Matthew Catholic Church after hearing about the congregation from one of the parishioners. Raised Catholic but no longer practising, Kruszewski said he was instantly “interested in meeting the members of LEAD and hearing their stories.”

Kruszewski said that he “was amazed at how welcoming, giving and warm people were.” about his first time meeting the LEAD members at one of their monthly meetings. He continued to say, “I had never felt anything like it. There were hugs, tears and laughter. When a lesbian couple announced they were getting married and moving into a new apartment, another member offered rooms-worth of furniture to get them started.”

“It was clear that there was something special within this congregation.”

Kruszewski would like to see these videos accurately capture the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of the LEAD members and LGBT Catholics. He stated “Perhaps the video series becomes a platform for open discussion surrounding LGBT Catholics acceptance, as well as fuel to keep alive their passion for change and desire for full inclusion. After all, before they knew their sexuality, the Saint Matthew LGBT people were baptized Catholic. Why should that change upon discovering themselves?”

The Lost Flock: Rachel and Vania from Newsweek on Vimeo.