Thursday, January 22, 2009

Listening Parents Network -- Fortunate Families

Catholic Families with Lesbian Daughters and Gay Sons
January 22, 2009                     Contact: Jerry Furlong
 402-895-6386 or
Rochester, NY: Catholic parents struggling with the knowledge their daughter or son is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender have a new place to turn for support. Fortunate Families, Inc., a national ministry for Catholic parents of LGBT children, announced a new “Listening Parents Network premiering in late January 2009. This network is designed to lend an “understanding, compassionate and non-judgmental ear to parents who may be struggling with their child’s orientation,” said Fortunate Families President Mary Ellen Lopata.

Fortunate Families’ listeners are Catholic parents of LGBT children themselves. They have volunteered to field the phone calls or e-mail messages of other parents who find they “just need someone to talk to,” according to Lopata. “Our listeners know something about the way these parents feel,” she said. “They’ve experienced the fear, confusion and doubts themselves. They know the importance of talking with someone who can personally relate to what they’re going through. Many of our listeners, in fact, first found hope and help themselves by talking with other parents.” The names, locations and information about the volunteer listeners, and how to contact them, can be found on Fortunate Families website

The listening parents are not professional counselors and cannot give professional advice of any kind, Lopata said. They will, however, be provided resource and training materials to help with their contacts. “The real treasure of knowledge our listening parents hold,” Lopata emphasized, “is their own personal experience.” Fortunate Families was founded in 2004 by Mary Ellen and Casey Lopata, Catholic parents of a gay son.

Mary Ellen & Casey Lopata
PO Box 18082
Rochester, NY 14618-0082

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