10-22-1975: Gay sergeant challenges the Air Force

Air Force Sergeant Leonard Matlovich, a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, is given a “general” discharge by the air force after publicly declaring his homosexuality. Matlovich, who appeared in his air force uniform on the cover of Time magazine above the headline “I AM A HOMOSEXUAL,” was challenging the ban against homosexuals in the U.S. military.

In 1979, after winning a much-publicized case against the air force, his discharge was upgraded to “honorable.” In 1988, Matlovich died at the age of 44 of complications from AIDS. He was buried with full military honors at the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C. His tombstone reads, “A gay Vietnam Veteran. When I was in the military they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one.”

[source]

Mark’s comment: Change is not easy or fast. And it comes not at all without a struggle. The fight for LGBT rights has come far since 1975, thanks to courageous and bold acts like Leonard’s. Stand up. Be seen. Speak up. Be heard.

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Solemn Novena to St. Jude for All Souls

Send your petitions for the Solemn Novena to St. Jude for All Souls, October 21st—29th at the National Shrine of St. Jude. This Novena is a time of prayer dedicated to our deceased loved ones.

And don’t forget on October 28th we celebrate the Feast of St. Jude! Please join us on Facebook at 5:30 p.m. CDT for a live-stream of our bilingual Feast of St. Jude Mass from the National Shrine of St. Jude in Chicago.

Below are all nine days of prayer. You can also view the daily Novena prayers on our website and send your petitions to the altar of St. Jude.

DAY 1 — Saturday, October 21st

As we begin the Solemn Novena for All Souls today, we pray for our departed loved ones.

Intention to St. Jude
St. Jude, we pray for our deceased family and friends, that they may find eternal rest in God.

Prayer to St. Jude
Most holy Apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the Church honors and invokes you universally as the patron of hope. Please intercede on my behalf.

Make use of that particular privilege given to you to bring hope, comfort, and help where they are needed most. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven as I work with my challenges, particularly (here make your request).

I praise God with you and all the saints forever. I promise, blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you. Amen.


DAY 2 — Sunday, October 22nd

On this 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, we come together to ask St. Jude for assistance. Sometimes it takes courage to hand our troubles over to God, but He is always there to ease our burdens.

Intention to St. Jude
St. Jude, we pray for all families, that they will grow together in love and faith.

Prayer to St. Jude
Most holy Apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the Church honors and invokes you universally as the patron of hope. Please intercede on my behalf.

Make use of that particular privilege given to you to bring hope, comfort, and help where they are needed most. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven as I work with my challenges, particularly (here make your request).

I praise God with you and all the saints forever. I promise, blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you. Amen.


DAY 3 — Monday, October 23rd

On this third day of the Solemn Novena, we come together to ask St. Jude to show us how to love our neighbor the way he did as he spread the Word of God.

Intention to St. Jude
St. Jude, we pray for those who are sick, including those with cancer, that God will ease their anxiety and give them strength.

Prayer to St. Jude
Most holy Apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the Church honors and invokes you universally as the patron of hope. Please intercede on my behalf.

Make use of that particular privilege given to you to bring hope, comfort, and help where they are needed most. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven as I work with my challenges, particularly (here make your request).

I praise God with you and all the saints forever. I promise, blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you. Amen.


DAY 4 — Tuesday, October 24th

As we begin our fourth day of Solemn Novena prayer, we celebrate the Feast Day of St. Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretians. The Claretians pray for our petitions at the altar of St. Jude.

Intention to St. Jude
St. Jude, we pray for everyone in need of hope and healing.

Prayer to St. Jude
Most holy Apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the Church honors and invokes you universally as the patron of hope. Please intercede on my behalf.

Make use of that particular privilege given to you to bring hope, comfort, and help where they are needed most. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven as I work with my challenges, particularly (here make your request).

I praise God with you and all the saints forever. I promise, blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you. Amen.


DAY 5 — Wednesday, October 25th

As we begin the fifth day of the Solemn Novena for All Souls, let us remember that we are not alone in life. St. Jude listens to our prayers when life’s path becomes uncertain and guides us to the light of God’s love.

Intention to St. Jude
St. Jude, we pray for all leaders—of the Church and governments around the world—that they listen for God’s guidance.

Prayer to St. Jude
Most holy Apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the Church honors and invokes you universally as the patron of hope. Please intercede on my behalf.

Make use of that particular privilege given to you to bring hope, comfort, and help where they are needed most. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven as I work with my challenges, particularly (here make your request).

I praise God with you and all the saints forever. I promise, blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you. Amen.


DAY 6 — Thursday, October 26th

St. Jude followed Jesus throughout His ministry and learned all that he could from Him. Just like St. Jude and the other Apostles, we strive to grow in our faith, nourish it, and be strong enough to share it with others no matter the cost.

Intention to St. Jude
St. Jude we pray for an end to violence around the world and a new focus on respect for all of God’s people.

Prayer to St. Jude
Most holy Apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the Church honors and invokes you universally as the patron of hope. Please intercede on my behalf.

Make use of that particular privilege given to you to bring hope, comfort, and help where they are needed most. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven as I work with my challenges, particularly (here make your request).

I praise God with you and all the saints forever. I promise, blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you. Amen.


DAY 7 — Friday, October 27th

During this seventh day of the Solemn Novena, we pray to St. Jude to lead us to the light of Christ.

Intention to St. Jude
St. Jude we pray for all those who have lost a loved one, that God will give them comfort and peace through their memories.

Prayer to St. Jude
Most holy Apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the Church honors and invokes you universally as the patron of hope. Please intercede on my behalf.

Make use of that particular privilege given to you to bring hope, comfort, and help where they are needed most. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven as I work with my challenges, particularly (here make your request).

I praise God with you and all the saints forever. I promise, blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you. Amen.


DAY 8 — Saturday, October 28th

Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Jude. In St. Jude’s letter to us, he says we should always remember that we are “beloved in God” and “kept safe for Jesus Christ.” This is his message of hope for us when our life has difficult moments. Together we join in prayer to strengthen our faith.

Intention to St. Jude
On your Feast Day, St. Jude, we pray in thanksgiving for the blessings we have received through your intercession.

Prayer to St. Jude
Most holy Apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the Church honors and invokes you universally as the patron of hope. Please intercede on my behalf.

Make use of that particular privilege given to you to bring hope, comfort, and help where they are needed most. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven as I work with my challenges, particularly (here make your request).

I praise God with you and all the saints forever. I promise, blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you. Amen.


DAY 9 — Sunday, October 29th

This 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time marks the ninth and final day of Solemn Novena prayer for All Souls. On our final day of prayer together, we ask for comfort as we reflect on the memories of loved ones we have lost.

Intention to St. JudeSt. Jude, we pray for all those participating in the Solemn Novena, that we will find peace in this time of prayer and reflection. Prayer to St. Jude Most holy Apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the Church honors and invokes you universally as the patron of hope. Please intercede on my behalf.

Make use of that particular privilege given to you to bring hope, comfort, and help where they are needed most. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven as I work with my challenges, particularly (here make your request).

I praise God with you and all the saints forever. I promise, blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you. Amen.

Yours in prayer,


Fr. Mark Brummel, CMF
Director, St. Jude League

Feast of St. Luke

St. Luke the Evangelist was a well-educated Greek physician and a native of Antioch in Syria. He was one of the earliest converts to Christianity, believed to have been one of Jesus’ seventy disciples. He was a follower of St. Paul the Apostle and spent most of his life evangelizing with him in Asia Minor up until the time of Paul’s martyrdom in Rome. Luke wrote a canonical account of his apostolic journeys with Paul (the Book of Acts) as well as a biography on the life of Christ (the Gospel of Luke). The two books of Luke’s Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles were originally a single work. The intimate accounts contained in Luke’s gospel of the early years of Christ’s life (the Visitation, the Nativity, the Presentation, etc.) lead many scholars to believe that one of the eyewitnesses he interviewed was the Blessed Virgin Mary herself. According to tradition he was also a skilled artist and painted the first icons of Our Lady with the Child Jesus. Several of these icons are still venerated today, the most famous of which hangs in the Church of St. Mary Major in Rome. St. Luke is the patron saint of many trades including artists, painters, doctors, surgeons, and bachelors. His feast day is October 18th.

[source: morning offering]

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VALUES VOTER SUMMIT: WHOSE VALUES?

From the Southern Poverty Law Center:

The Family Research Council (FRC) is hosting its annual Values Voter Summit Oct. 13-15, a rogues’ gallery of the radical right, this year keynoted by President Trump himself.

The FRC is an organization that has relentlessly vilified LGBT people – portraying them as sick, vile, incestuous, violent, perverted, and a danger to children and the nation. Because of its demonizing lies about the LGBT community, it has been named as a hate group by the SPLC.

Like its host, the Values Voters Summit claims it stands for “values.” But whose values?

1. What’s the Values Voter Summit?
2. What can you do?

What’s the Values Voter Summit?

The Values Voter Summit is an annual political conference bringing together some of the most extreme groups on the right, including multiple designated hate groups. It was founded in 2006 and is hosted by the Family Research Council.

Who’s Family Research Council?

The Family Research Council (FRC) is an organization that often makes false and intentionally dehumanizing claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science. The intention is to denigrate LGBT people as the organization battles against same-sex marriage, hate crime laws, anti-bullying programs and the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. To make the case that the LGBT community is a threat to American society, the FRC employs a number of “policy experts” whose “research” has allowed the FRC to be extremely active politically in shaping public debate. Its research fellows and leaders often testify before Congress and appear in the mainstream media. It also works at the grassroots level, conducting outreach to pastors in an effort to “transform the culture.”

Here’s their statement on “homosexuality:”

Family Research Council believes that homosexual conduct is harmful to the persons who engage in it and to society at large, and can never be affirmed. It is by definition unnatural, and as such is associated with negative physical and psychological health the effects. While the origins of same-sex attractions may be complex, there is no convincing evidence that a homosexual identity is ever something genetic or inborn. We oppose the vigorous efforts of homosexual activists to demand that homosexuality be accepted as equivalent to heterosexuality in law, in the media, and in schools.

Read more about the Family Research Council.

What can you do?

Bigotry is not an American value. You can stand up for equality and speak out against the bigotry displayed by the Family Research Council. Here’s how:

  • Let people know that President Trump is lending the legitimacy of his office to a hate group that relentlessly demonizes LGBT people and works to deny them of their equal rights. Share this message on social media.
  • Expose the Family Research Council’s true values. Download this image and share.
  • Educate yourselfRead our profile on the Family Research Council.
  • Take action against hate in your community. Follow our 10 Ways to Fight Hate guide.

Mark’s take:

This is what Trump’s America looks like. This is what the conservative rights means when they say “Make America Great Again.” This what they mean when they say “Take our country back.” And they do it, in large part, in the name of Jesus Christ.

This is an affront to Christianity. Anyone who has read Jesus’ words knows that He was accepting, welcoming, and loving. He preached to, and associated with, the outcast, the marginalized, the poor, the sick, the sinners.

Jesus commanded us to love one another. He said not one single word about homosexuality. Not. One. Word.

The people that host and attend these events are bigots and haters. And Trump stands arm in arm with them.

#RESIST!

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

Sunday, Nov. 5, is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP).

Join thousands of other churches across the United States and the world in prayer for our persecuted brothers and sisters. This year, The Voice of the Martyrs announces the release of the IDOP video Solitary Prayer, about VOM founder Richard Wurmbrand. This video features excerpts from the new Tortured for Christ movie, to be released in spring 2018.

 

As we pray for our persecuted Christian brothers and sisters, we must remember Jesus’ call to pray for the persecutors as well. We pray that persecuted Christians will have the grace and love to share the gospel with them and that they will come to know Christ.

Voice of the Martyrs

 

Feast of St. Francis

St. Francis (1181-1226) was born in Assisi, Italy, to a wealthy cloth merchant. He was a spoiled child given to pleasure, fine dress, liberal spending, and worldliness. Handsome and courteous, he was a favorite among the nobility. As a chivalrous young knight he took part in a battle between the Italian city-states and became a prisoner of war in Perugia.

After his release he became seriously ill, and while reflecting on his wanton life he had a profound conversion experience. He gave up his frivolous life, cut off his family ties, and embraced a life of extreme penance and poverty in such a dramatic manner that it caused many to think he had gone mad.

While praying before a crucifix in the church of San Damiano in Assisi he received his call from Christ to rebuild his Church, which had fallen into ruin. St. Francis followed Christ in a radical manner by patterning his new rule of life after the example of the Apostles in the most literal way possible; he dressed himself as a poor peasant, worked odd jobs for food, and went through the countryside preaching repentance, love of Jesus, and peace.

His religious enthusiasm attracted followers, and with these he founded the Order of Friars Minor and the Poor Clares. His Order was approved by the Holy See in 1210 and it grew rapidly. Two years before his death he became the first known saint to receive the stigmata. His holiness was so widely attested that two years after his death the Church proclaimed him a saint.

St. Francis of Assisi is the patron of peace, ecology, the environment, animals, Italy, merchants, and families. His feast day is October 4th.

[source – morning offering 10-4-17]

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Devotion to Saint Francis of Assisi

O beloved Saint Francis, gentle and poor, your obedience to God and your simple, deep love for all God’s creatures led you to the heights of heavenly perfection and turned many hearts to follow God’s will. Now, in our day, pray also for us, in our ministry to the many who come here searching for peace and intercede for us as we come before the Lord with our special requests.

[Mention your special intention.]

O blessed Saint of God, from your throne among the hosts of heaven present our petitions before our faithful Lord. May your prayers on our behalf be heard and may God grant us the grace to lead good and faithful lives. Amen.

Saint Francis of Assisi,
Pray for us. Amen.

 

Saint Francis’s Prayer Before the Crucifix

Most High, glorious God,
enlighten the darkness of my heart and give me
true faith, certain hope, and perfect charity,
sense and knowledge, Lord, that I may carry out
Your holy and true command. Amen.

 

The Peace Prayer

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, the truth;
Where there is doubt, the faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

 

Saint Francis’s Vocation Prayer

Most High, Glorious God,
enlighten the darkness of our minds.
Give us a right faith, a firm hope and a perfect charity,
so that we may always and in all things act according to Your Holy Will. Amen.

[prayers source – national shrine of st francis]

Help Send More Bibles

Last month we received an exciting report from our partners on the Korean Peninsula: “We’ve exceeded our goal!”

Voice of the Martyrs

As the year began, our goal for this project was to deliver 37,500 Bibles into North Korea. The Bibles are attached to weather balloons and launched from neighboring countries when wind conditions are right to carry them into North Korea. GPS technology helps us verify where the balloons and their life-giving cargo land.

Last summer it seemed that we might not reach our goal because weather conditions had not been favorable for the balloon launches. We posted a note on social media asking people to pray for better conditions, and God answered our prayers. Instead of falling short of the goal, our partners exceeded the goal, delivering 39,970 Bibles.

Please pray for the North Koreans who find these Bibles. Pray that God will open their eyes to the truth of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ, and protect them from being discovered and arrested.

This North Korea project was just a small piece of VOM’s overall strategy to deliver more than 1 million Bibles in 2017. More than two-thirds of the Bibles are already funded by people like you who are willing to give sacrificially to ensure that God’s Word reaches those in hostile and restricted nations.

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In addition to covert operations like the one in North Korea, VOM also provides Bibles in countries where we can distribute through local churches and other Christian groups. Children’s Bibles are an important part of these distributions as we help prepare the next generation to stand strong under persecution.

We invite you to join us in this vital work by contributing to our Bible-distribution efforts today.

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