Picking up my recent Advocate, I was totally shocked to see this headline: “Married gay man denied communion.”

Having been born into a Catholic family, he should have known that since he was living in the state of mortal sin, he had to refrain from receiving Holy Communion.

He claimed that the Rev. Mark Beard embarrassed him. … If there was any embarrassment; he brought it upon himself! I have never ever attended a Mass that Beard did not say, “Please, if you are not in the state of grace, and haven’t gone to confession, please refrain from going to receive Holy Communion. But, you can come up with your arms crossed over your heart and I will gladly bless you.”

This is what I liked about Beard: the fact that he talked about sin and the seriousness of it. I wanted to hear about hell, fire and brimstone; I wanted to hear about sin … especially mortal sin. With 500 million abortions worldwide, same-sex relationships and marriages, heterosexual relationships, divorce and cohabitation, mortal sin should be a hot-button issue inside all churches, not just the Catholic Church! Is there still such a thing as hell anymore, or do we all go to heaven now?

I was beginning to lose hope for my family; I wanted them to have what I had growing up as a young child. I wanted them to know that sin still exists and that we will be held accountable for those sins if we don’t repent; and that’s what I have found in Beard … the truth!

Our entire family attends Mass there now, and I have found peace in my heart. They understand the message now and look forward to going to Mass every Sunday. And one thing I can promise you, you will not fall to sleep at Beard’s Mass; his light shines bright!

In 1 Corinthians 11:27-29, it reads, “Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of our Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body (accepting all the doctrines of the church and in being in full communion with the Catholic Church) eats and drinks judgement on him.”

Before closing, the thing that I found most upsetting about this was that Beard never received an apology from the bishops, but the man denied communion did. “Woe to those who call that which is bad, good and that which is good, bad, who substitutes darkness for light and light for darkness”(Isiah 5:20). God bless you, Father Mark!

Mary Ann Notariano McAndrew