When the AIDS crisis emerged in the early 1980s, Grace Cathedral and the Episcopal Diocese of California were at the forefront of a compassionate response.
They communicated widely that all impacted by the disease were welcome at the cathedral to seek solace and support. The cathedral offered labyrinth walks, reviving an ancient spiritual practice of peace and healing.
The cathedral also offered funeral services for anyone who succumbed to AIDS, regardless of whether a person was a member of the congregation — this at a time when some churches hesitated to offer such services to the afflicted.
At the peak of the AIDS crisis in San Francisco, the congregation was burying up to 35 people a week. Many of the first panels of The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt were sewn in cathedral meeting rooms. And, in 1995, the cathedral and the community began to work on creating the AIDS Interfaith Memorial Chapel; it was completed and dedicated in 2000.
ContactStephanie Martin Taylor, The Episcopal Diocese of California
Michael Rolph, Grace Cathedral
Tel: (415) 749-6300