Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc.
The Church in Central New York founded and consistently fostered by the GLBTQIS community. October 31, 2017 was the 34th Anniversary in our 35th year in Ministry.
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      Welcome to:
Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ

The Church of Jesus Christ serving the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Straight, Queer, Intersexed, Community of Central New York.
The Church where everyone is welcome in the Name Of Jesus!

This is the church by you, for you!

All are welcome here.


This is the Ray Of Hope Church

Appointed Pastor's Page and it was updated March 4, 2018.


The link to the Pastoral Blog is at the bottom of this page. The Pastor will give updates on what is happening in our Parish from time to time.

Meet Our Appointed Pastor

Rev. Brother Shawn Francis Benedict +

     I believe “..that neither death nor life,

    nor angels nor principalities

nor powers, nor things present

nor things to come,

nor height nor depth,

nor any other created thing,

   shall be able to separate us from the love of God

   which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

(Romans 8:38,39 NJKV)

Any message contrary to the message of these verses is not the voice of God.


The GLBTQIS community has been lied to for centuries

by people in “church world” who have inserted words into

the Sacred Scriptures that are not there in the original texts

for the sole purpose of persecuting those who do not fit

into some preconceived construct of sexual orientation and gender expression. 

In short, religionists in “churchianity” have used God’s name in vain,

the third of the Ten Commandments. (Exodus 20:7)


In our hearts we have known all along that God really created us with a

 spectrum of sexual orientations and gender expressions. 

Scripture puts it this way; “The Holy Spirit bears witness with

our spirit that we are children of God.” (Romans 8:16)

I call this the verse that says all our lives

“we know that we know that we know”

we are God’s very own special people.


I invite you to hear the Word of God and receive all the Sacraments

with us and allow God to draw you out of the darkness of the

lies of the “church” and “society” and to bring you

into God’s marvelous light.

Holy Scripture puts it this way:

“..you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood,

a holy nation, God’s own special people,

that you may proclaim the praises of

God who called you out of darkness and into God’s

marvelous light.  For once you were not a people but

now you are the people of God, who had not obtained

mercy but now have obtained mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9)


You are the saints of God, every one of you who is reading

this is a saint of God.  Come out of the tombs of lies you have heard all your lives

and come together with us to give God thanks and praise

for all that God is doing for God’s GLBTQIS people.  I stand on these

words as truth and I place my eternal destiny on these statements.



I believe in the eternal divinity of the Christ.

I believe Jesus is Lord and is truly present

in the hearts of believers today through

His Real Presence equally known and manifest

in the Eucharist (Holy Communion),

the Holy Scriptures,

the Sacraments,

the Congregation of Believers, and

the witness of the story of the Church, called Tradition.


Rev. Br. Benedict is a solemn professed monk of St. Benedict of Nursia having professed the vows of Obedience, Conversion Of Life, and Stability on June 15, 1996.  The Rev. Fr. Dr. John James McNeill (September 2, 1925 – September 22, 2015), priest and author of The Church and the Homosexual (1976) was Br. Benedict’s Spiritual Director and Therapist for years prior to the celebration of the Sacrament of Ordination and Solemn Monastic Profession.  Fr. McNeill presided as the principal celebrant at the Ordination

and received Br. Benedict’s profession of Benedictine Vows.


Rev. Br. Shawn Benedict is eternally grateful to Fr. McNeill, who is now in Paradise with all the Angels and the Saints, for his tremendous guidance in psychotherapy and Spiritual Direction sessions and ultimately for Fr. McNeill’s willingness to preside at the Ordination Ceremony and to receive the promises of life Solemn Vows as a peer also living the charisms of religious life as a life-long Jesuit Roman Catholic Christian.  Rev. Benedict is also grateful to Charles Chiarelli, Fr. Mc Neill’s married partner for his testimony to the love that was made in Heaven for these two Christian men to testify to the Church in the world. 


Now in Paradise, Fr. McNeill prays for all of us as we continue the glorious work of spreading the Gospel that says so many wonderful things including “that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality and that people of all sexual orientations can experience healing and rewarding relsationships with God.”

(quote from Fr. McNeill’s web site The Owls Nest.  See the link below to visit the site.)

Additionally, as part of the Ordination Ceremony to the Ministerial Priesthood, and his profession of Benedictine Vows, Rev. Leo W. Mc Dermott, II retired the use of his secular birth name, and was given the name in religion, Brother Shawn Francis Benedict, O.S.B. by Fr. McNeill and the Council of Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc.

     http://www.rayofhopechurch.com/franci~2.jpg                         http://www.rayofhopechurch.com/benedi~2.jpg 
The spelling "Shawn" is the Hebrew spelling and means "God is gracious." The name "Francis" was given in honor of St. Francis of Assisi because St. Francis taught the Church to welcome all people, especially the people society finds undesirable. "Benedict" was given in honor of St. Benedict of Nursia who taught the Church how to pray in common worship as central to the Christian life, and how to redeem time (Ephesians 5:15-17; Col.4:5) with the liturgy of the hours - a revival of the singing of psalms "seven times a day" (Psalm 119:64) and "at midnight" (Psalm 119:62) and who also welcomed all people in the Name of Christ. 

St. Benedict also gave the Church a tremendous gift with the vow of Stability which all "Benedictines" take. This vow says the Benedictine Christian will remain in the religious community where they took their final vows all the days of their life. They will not transfer from place to place as is the custom of most professional religious people. By staying, the Benedictine cannot hide his or her failings and sins. Rather they must live the full Christian life in the sight of all, asking forgiveness and seeking restoration like everyone else. The ministries of Francis and Benedict provide excellent examples for those who would lead the People Of God in ministry at Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

One verse in Holy Scripture that has deeply spoken to me is 1 Corinthians 15:10 where St. Paul wrote: by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.

We all can sing the song lyrics I am what I am with St. Paul, and celebrate that we are who we are by the power of the Grace of God working within us. I realized by the time I made my First Communion in second grade that I was wired and made to do this work. I had no idea how difficult it was going to be and how important it was that I was born at this time in the story of the Church. I was born into the storm of sexual orientation, gender identity, and marriage equality, and all the struggles the churches continue to have with these questions. This was the perfect time for me to be born, of course. Each day I grow in the realization of how significant it is to thank and praise God, who has made me and called me to witness out loud that by the Grace of Almighty God, made known in this Dispensation through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, I am what I am. I am a gay Christian and made so by the real, the living, and the moving work of God's Grace through the powerful ministry of the Holy Spirit. Growing each day deeper into this awareness leaves me profoundly in awe of the Real Presence of Christ with us and energizes my continuous gratitude. I invite everyone reading this to join me in the Rainbow Parade designed, started, and continuing forward by Almighty God. This whole thing is the hand of God at work. To put it bluntly, this is all God's fault! Praise the Lord. Come and see the wonderful works of God and join us in giving God thanks and praise.
                         Rainbow line


Rev. Brother Benedict + Appointed Pastor Of Ray Of Hope Church

(607) 280-0374

                             Email Pastor Benedict:  rayofhopechurch@aol.com






VISIT THE OWLS NEST Fr. McNeill’s official web site by clicking here.

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