TAMPA — Frank Sammartino and Don Sullivan said they did not feel welcome at Catholic churches in New Jersey.
At first, the men, both 72, said they didn’t feel wanted at several churches after moving to Tampa. That changed in 2006, they said, when they first attended Sacred Heart Catholic Church on North Florida Avenue.
On Sunday, Sammartino and Sullivan were two of hundreds of parishioners who attended Sacred Heart’s “Mass of Belonging,” held at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts.
The event was held several days after the conclusion of Pope Francis’ widely-covered first visit to the United States.
A gay couple who have been together 45 years, Sammartino and Sullivan said they were grateful to have been accepted at Sacred Heart.
“By the time we reached here, I had just about fallen away from the Catholic Church,” Sullivan said. “I couldn’t find a parish where I felt I belonged.”
“From Day One, they opened their doors up to everybody,” he said.
-Full report at The Tampa Tribune