Profile Remembrances

Brother Richard Jonathan Cardarelli

As Remembered by Rev. Sarah Flynn

I met Richard through Dignity Hartford sometime in the early l980's. What he didn't mention here in this profile was that after a period of being silenced and banned from Dignity, Richard came back and continued to minister as one of the chaplains of Dignity, and in so doing risked being excommunicated, which eventually did happen. He felt the loss deeply being a Roman Catholic to his core, but also an out gay man who felt called to serve the LGBT community. For a time he worked as a caregiver to a developmentally delayed middle-aged man and became friends with him as well as his professional caretaker. Richard had a vibrant ministry with the Society of St. Francis, first as a brother and then as a priest when he was incardinated in the Episcopal Church. He became Novice Master for the Order and travelled extensively. His warm personality, devout religious practice, his delightful sense of humor combined with his liberal social values were attractive additions to his teaching and preaching responsibilities in the Society of St. Francis. Richard developed lung cancer about a year ago and died of the disease June 22, 2012, two days after attending his mother's funeral mass. He touched the lives of many hurting people and made his life work serving the LGBT community, following the example of St. Francis and Jesus his Lord and Savior. I am proud to have been his friend and co-worker in many of his endeavors. Deo Gratia for the gift of Richard to the LGBT community and to the Church.

June 25, 2012