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, 2018 was the 35th Anniversary in our 36th year in Ministry.
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Benedictine Sisters and Brothers of Ray Of Hope Church

updated 10/30/2017


Another wonderful gift of God to Ray Of Hope Church is the option of living as a Professed Sister, or a Professed Brother in the Religious Life of your choice. Currently we have Br. Benedict who publically professed the three Benedictine Solemn Vows of Obedience, Stability, and Conversion Of Life on June 15 of 1996. Notice we do not require any vow that restricts one's sexual life.  We firmly believe that each person is called by God to fully live out the sexual orientation and gender expression God has given them.  Therefore, we expect some of our future Benedictines might be married to persons of any gender, some might remain single and celibate, and some might remain single and not celibate but sexually active according to their orientation.  The vows we require are all encompassing and provide a strong scaffold on which to build a healthy life of service in the church. 


St. Benedict guided the church toward a great devotion for the worship of God in a community setting where all persons are equal.  He also encouraged the church to come together for worship many times a day.  Some churches today in fact have at least one worship event every day of the week.  Some Benedictine churches have as many as eight public worship events every day of the year.  One influence of this communal worship that is evident at a Ray Of Hope Church worship event is the number of persons who have leadership roles during the event.  We endeavor to include as many of the persons in attendance as we can in assisting to lead and present the worship activities. 


Additionally, Benedictine Life lends itself particularly well to the charism of public Ministry at Ray Of Hope Church. St. Benedict brought to the Church a disciplined way of life where the Christian balances three axioms: Prayer, Study, and Labor. Benedictine Christians will find their spirituality to be very helpful when they are in Vocational Ministry at Ray Of Hope Church due to the fact that each Clergyperson has to be motivated and disciplined to do the work of God on their own. Our Clergy have to be so radically in love with Christ that they desire to do everything required of them (all the works of leading the Body Of Christ) with enthusiasm. Those interested in Benedictine Life should express their interest in becoming a Benedictine Sister or a Benedictine Brother. One can be a Benedictine Sister or Brother without being "Clergy."



St. Benedict was the father of Western Monasticism. He was born in Nursia, Italy, in 480. Beginning in 520, he founded twelve monasteries in the region of Subiaco. The foundation at Monte Cassino (529) became the cradle of his Order. His twin sister was St. Scholastica. Benedict died March 21, 542 at Monte Cassino.  St. Scholastica died February 10, 543 at Monte Cassino.


St. Benedict had a profound veneration for the Holy Cross and for our Savior Crucified. In virtue of the Sign of the Cross he wrought many miracles and Christ exercised great power over the spirits of darkness through St. Benedict's faith.

In consequence of the great veneration in which St. Benedict was held from the early middle ages, it followed that a medal was struck. 

The following is an introduction to the Saint Benedict Medal as has been traditionally used by the Order of Saint Benedict.

St. Benedict's Medal

The Saint Benedict Medal


Believers have worn the medal as a reminder that the Christian has exceptional powers against the demons of Hell in the Name of Jesus.

The Medal of Saint Benedict is one of the Sacramentals of the Church. A Sacramental is a symbol that is used to remind the Christian of a doctrine of faith. In this case the doctrine is "Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world." (1 John 4:4). The medal of Saint Benedict also reminds the person wearing it that many thousands of women and men have lived their Christian lives following the example of St. Benedict since the 5th Century. The Church has been deeply enriched by Benedictines in all cultures and times, and even in many denominations of the Church of Jesus Christ.


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The front of the medal shows St. Benedict holding a cross in one hand and the book of his Rule for monastic communities in the other.

Flanking him on each side are the words: Crux S. Patris Benedicti 

(The Cross of the Holy Father Benedict).

Below his feet are these words: Ex S M Casino MDCCCLXXX (From the Holy Mount of Cassino, 1880). On that date , Monte Cassino was given the exclusive right to produce this medal.
Inscribed in the circle surrounding Benedict are the words: 

Ejus in obitu nostro presentia muniamur 

(May his presence protect us in the hour of death).


The other side of the medal is where the real exorcistic force reveals itself. In the center is the Cross. Benedict loved the Cross and used it to drive away demons.


The vertical beam of the Cross has five letters: C.S.S.M.L., meaning 

Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux (May the holy Cross be for me a light).

The horizontal beam of the Cross also has five letters: N.D.S.M.D., meaning Non Draco Sit Mihi Dux (Let not the dragon be my guide).


The four large letters at the angles of the Cross: C S P B stand for 

Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti (The Cross of the Holy Father Benedict).

Encircling the Cross in a circle around the right margin are these letters:

V.R.S.N.S.M.V., meaning Vade retro Satana; nunquam suade mihi vana (Begone Satan! Suggest not to me thy vain things).


Around the left margin of the circle are these letters: S.M.Q.L.I.V.B., meaning Sunt mala quae libas; ipse venena bibas (The drink you offer is evil; drink that poison yourself).


At the top of the circle is the word PAX (Peace).




St. Scholastica is the twin sister of St. Benedict.



She was also called of God and dedicated her adult life to serving God in Religious Life.  It is likely that she lived in a hermitage with one or two other religious women in a cluster of houses near the place where there is an ancient church named after her at the base of Mount Cassino.  It is well documented that once a year she would go and visit her brother at a place near the abbey.  They would spend the day worshiping God together, discussing Scripture, and issues of the day.  It is also well documented on one of their visits, which in fact would be their last visit, they enjoyed supper and it was getting late.  Some have suggested Scholastica sensed her death was nearing, but at any rate, she requested her brother to stay longer.  He was concerned that this would cause him to break his own rule for the monastery.  Scholastica close her eyes and prayed and suddenly there was such a wild storm that it would have been death defying for her brother to leave.  It is well documented that he asked; "What have you done? ", and she replied according to the writings of St. Gregory, "I asked you and you would not listen; so I asked my God and he did listen. So now go off, if you can, leave me and return to your monastery. "  Unable to survive the storm if he tried to pass through it, they spent the night together and continued their devotion and study.  According to St. Gregory's Dialogues, it was three days later that Benedict watched his sister's soul leaving the earth and ascending to Paradise in the form of a white shining dove.  (read more of this testimony here: Gregory the Great.  Dialogues, Book 2, Chapter 34).  Benedict had her body brought to the abbey and laid it in a tomb he had prepared for himself.  He was later buried next to her.


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St. Scholastica and St. Benedict

are twin brother and sister.  They are the inspiration for

Benedictine women and men all over the world from

every denomination of Christianity.

We pray and ask Our Lord Jesus to send us men and women servants who will serve through Ray Of Hope Church as Benedictine men and Benedictine women in Christ.

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Saint Francis Of Assisi


St. Francis lived from 1182 A.D. until 1226 A.D.. St. Francis is considered to be a real friend of the GLBTQS Community. He was a radical reformer who listened and followed the Holy Spirit. Francis knew and believed that everyone was called to the free gift of Salvation in Christ. Francis was totally convinced that God shows no partiality. "But in every nation whoever fears God and works righteousness is accepted by God." (Acts 10:34-35)

Francis was a perfect example of what Jesus meant when He said: "The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of their heart will flow rivers of living water." (John7:38) Francis was a flowing fountain of God's Love. What was his secret? Simply put, Francis loved Jesus so much that Christ was able to live through Francis. We look to St. Francis as our role model on how to accept and welcome all people in the Name of Jesus. It is true that many so-called "Christians" will not welcome us these days because of their pre-conceived ideas about our sexual orientations. Simply put, if the sexual orientation is different than their own, (very narrow-minded and poor presentations of heterosexuality - very unlike true and healthy Heterosexuality) it is forbidden, and the person is cast out.

In Christ, our response to this is: Though we may not be welcome in many communities today, everyone, absolutely everyone is welcome in our community. Francis showed the Church that by the power of Christ all things are possible. Francis showed the world that in God everyone is loved and equal. We thank God Almighty for St. Francis, and we ask the Holy Spirit to inspire us to follow his example of radical love for Jesus and radical yes to everyone who comes to us seeking Christ Jesus. 

It is our hope that Ray Of Hope Church will be gifted with Franciscan Sisters and Brothers someday in the future when the Lord Jesus calls women and men to this charismatic vocation.

St. Clare of Assisi  Monstrance Clare of Assisi.jpg

Saint Clare of Assisi (July 16, 1194 to August 11, 1253) is considered co-founder of the Franciscan Family. In 1211, after hearing Francis preach a series of Lenten sermons in San Rufino, Clare began to meet with Francis to discuss her vocation. They discussed the importance and beauty of chosen poverty to be free in spirit to concentrate on the Gospel.  They also decided caring for the poor and the sick was more important than the wealthy lives their parents had provided for them.  Following the powerful call of the Holy Spirit, on March 28, 1211 she left her father's house to receive her habit from Francis in the Porziuncola on Palm Sunday evening.  Basically, Clare decided to elope, not with the young man her family had chosen for her, but to Jesus.  It is well documented that she arrived dressed in her finest dress and jewelry.  Francis and his assembled brothers and friends lit candles and sang psalms.  Clare removed her fine clothing and jewelry, put on the rough habit of poverty and sandals.  Francis himself cut off Clare's beautiful long hair as she renounced the wealth and lure of the world and embraced the freedom of the Word of God.  Francis arranged for her to stay in a women's Benedictine monastery where she would learn the monastic way with other women.  After her time there she opened the first Franciscan monastery for women.

Clare went to live a cloistered life in San Dominano. Women soon joined her and a new form of Religious Life was started.  Soon, her blood sister, Agnes joined her too.  Her parents were furious, to say the least.  After her father's death, even Clare's own mother would join her.  Her monastic rule was written for the Order of Poor Ladies, and is thought to be the first known monastic rule to be written by a woman.  Franciscan women live in communities all over the world.  Some Franciscan women live in cloistered monasteries and some live in apartment houses among the poor, some are teachers, some are doctors, some are social workers, some are volunteers in their cities.  All of them, whether they go by the name of Poor Clares or Fransican Sisters live that same charism of Christ living through them and reaching out to everyone around them.  It may come as a surprise to our readers that there are Franciscan men and Franciscan women in many different denominations of Christianity, not just Roman Catholicism. 


After Francis's death, his body was brought to San Dominano so Clare could say goodbye to him.

Clare died on August 11, 1253, shortly after receiving a Bull from Pope Innocent IV granting her and her sisters the Privilege of Poverty. She was canonized in 1255, and her feast day is August 11. In 1958 Pope Pius XII proclaimed St. Clare the patron saint of television.

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St. Clare and St. Francis

holy friends in Christ

the inspiration for Franciscan women and men

all over the world of every

denomination of Christianity.

We pray and ask Our Lord Jesus to send us men and women servants who will serve through Ray Of Hope Church as Franciscan men and Franciscan women in Christ.

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