SANANTONIO -- A local gay Catholic congregation hosted a vigil Saturday evening outside of San Fernando Cathedral, largely considered the epicenter of Catholicism in San Antonio.

Underneath the moonlit sky in front of one of the oldest running cathedrals in the country, the voices of San Antonio's gay Catholic community prayed for acceptance from fellow Catholics and church leaders.

We were baptized by the Catholic church this should be our church. We shouldn't just be outside it, we should be in it. said Fred Anthony Garza of Dignity San Antonio.

Dignity San Antonio, a gay Catholic congregation, received a letter last month from the San Antonio Archdiocese ordering the organization to immediately end their weekly mass at Saint Ann's Catholic Church after 15 years.

With next Tuesday's installation of San Antonio's new Archbishop, Gustavo Garcia-Siller, the group hopes this vigil will lead him to reconsider the Archdiocese's latest decision.

We can begin a dialogue of peace and respect between each other, that way we understand him and he understands us, Garza said.

Many parishioners leaving San Fernando Cathedral said they support the group's courage for speaking out.

You're still a human being and there's nothing wrong being the way you are, whatever it is you chose to be, Easter Clauson said.

We'll just have to pray and hope that possibly they will reconsider, Dave Guenther said.

And with that glimmer of hope from other Catholics, Garza prays that the city's Catholic leaders will embrace gay Catholics, too.

It's wonderful and refreshing to hear that so many Catholics out there feel that way and we hope that the hierarchy of the church will begin to see that and understand that Jesus loves everyone, Garza said.

Currently the group gathers every Sunday at Beacon Hill Presbyterian Church in the absence of a priest.

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