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Thursday, June 2, 2016

Indianapolis' "Legacy House" offers Free Counseling to Victims of Violent Crimes

Every time we turn on the news, we watch tragedy falling upon families across our cities.  Vicitms of Burglary and/or Sexual Assault;  Loved ones being murdered leaving surviving family members in shock and terror; families torn apart by Domestic Violence; Victims of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation; and/or families losing their children, not even out of their adolescence, to suicide.

But even in the midst of tragedy, there is hope.  Organizations like the not-for-profit organization "The Legacy House" located in Indianapolis, Indiana, offer free counseling to victims of violent crime from children ages 5 and up to Teens (Adolescents), to young adult, to parents and and grandparents.  Trauma from violence can literally paralyze victims and their families.   This type of trauma is much different than any other loss of a loved one through say the natural progression of a terminal illness to old age.  As such special programs and services  are needed to address the very specific needs people have when victims of violent crimes.
Both the Chaplain's Office and Victim Assistance Unit of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department often refer victims of violent crimes (burglary, sexual assault, suicide, homicide, sexual exploitation, vicitms of human trafficking,  etc.) to The Legacy House for short and long term trauma intervention.  A victim of trauma caused by violence may have many needs that they are unable to address without help. Legacy House provides that support, and our staff offers a healing presence to help clients move from victim to survivor to thriver.
The Legacy House counseling services are focused on addressing the resulting long-term trauma of violence and include crisis intervention, individual and family counseling, and support groups. The Legacy House also provides victim advocacy services such as courtroom support, assistance with preparing petitions for emergency protective orders and victim compensation applications, shelter and social service referrals, and other support unique to the individual needs of their clients.
If you live in Indianapolis (Marion County), are a victim of a violent crime (burglary, domestic violence, sexual assault, a mother or father trying to deal with the loss of a child by suicide, to a mother or father losing their child by murder), then please contact The Legacy House for free assistance.  Sharon (photo above with me), the receptionist and intake specialist, will be more than likely be the person to greet you, welcome you, and help you and help you become registered for assessment so proper programs/services can be identified and started for you, your child, your spouse, your parents or grandparents, on your road to recovery from the shock you or a loved one experienced as a result of a violent crime.
If you are a victim of a violent crime, visit their website at, their Facebook page at, or contact The Legacy House at (317) 554-5272 and schedule an interview assessment today. Sharon will be happy to assist you. Remember, their services and programs are free!
Take a Virtual Tour of The Legacy House at and hear "Testimonials" of clients of The Legacy House at
Thank goodness for people like Sharon and the entire staff of The Legacy House for all they do in helping individuals in need, when they are most vulnerable,
...not just survive, but thrive!".

About Locating Victim Services Near You

To Find an organization which offers Assistance to Vicitms of Violent Crimes in your area, check out these online resource to find assistance where you live:

Find Local Assistance - Connect Directory

The National Center's Connect Directory provides a fast and easy way to locate crime victim assistance in a wide variety of jurisdictions throughout the country.

Office for Victims of Crime - Help for Crime Victims

To help victims of crime find needed resources, support services, victim assistancevictim ... children, international terrorism, identity theft, and workplace violence. ... OVC to help support local victim assistance and compensation programs. Crime Victims

Resources on Children Exposed to Violence ... If you or someone you know needs victim assistancefind out how to get help by clicking on one of the links ...

Office for Victims of Crime - Help for Victims - gov.ncjrs.ovc

National Criminal Justice Reference ServiceIt also lists national organizations that help victims find information or obtain ... The program provides victims of violent crime with information about ... Help in your area is available from your State/Local Victim Compensation and Assistance ...
About the Author

Rev Bro Jeff Wolfe, OSFoc, is a Franciscan and Co-Pastor of St John XXIII (Old) CAtholic Church and a Police Chaplain with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.  For details, see or visit Chaplain Jeff''s Facebook Page at  You an also visit Chaplain Jeff's blog at
About the Article

Information on details of "The Legacy House" are taken from The Legacy House' website.

Copyright (c) 2016, Jeffery Wolfe and The Legacy House


    Friday, February 27, 2015

    A Tribute Letter to Lenoard Nimoy (Mr. Spock from Star Trek: The Original Series)

    Mr. Nimoy... You and Bill Shatner inspired a whole generation who grew up watching you. I was one of that generation - the last of the baby boomers. Star Trek has inspired Civil Rights, Technology Development and Space Exporation... The list goes on...  

    No one television has affected so many, so widely for so long and still affects yet a new generation of "Trekkies" through the acting of Chris Pine, Zachery Quinto, Karl Urban, and the entire new cast of a "new timeline" of Star Trek.

    The contributions you and your fellow actors by bringing to life Gene Roddenbury's vision of a
    better, kinder, and gentler world made a difference when it first Broadcast. After the first year Nichelle Nichols had decided to leave the show until one night at an event she ran into a fan of Star Trek, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who she told she was quitting to which Dr. King replied "You Can't !... Don't you know what you represent.. The first female, African-American bridge officer ever portrayed on screen. ". Nichelle returned and you and your comrades continued to bring to life Gene's vision.

    Those of us who grew up with you, no one except our generation, will know the love, the reverence, and the kindred spirit that we all share with your cast. You realized it for the first time a Star Trek convention was held expect 300 to 400. When you went on stage, there were 3000-4000 fans waiting. You knew then this was not just another series. It was an event. It became a cult of "Trekkies". 

    Those same Trekkies who grew up and created things like the floppy disk drive (like you used on your computer on the Enterprise), the cell phone (which was developed in part from inspiration from your communicators), the PADDs which, more on later versions of Star Trek (like Next Gen and DS-9), that those same data PADDs inspiried what we have today - they called iPads and Tablets; and even what we have today that is in every house, on our walls and tables - the Flat Screen TV. 

    You even brought from an ancient Jewish cabal, the vulcan sign of peace (the famous "v" made with your had by separating your middle and ring finger to form a "v".  So much of what
    you and the cast brought to life, meant everyting to a generation which grew uip and changed the world through the inspiration of Gene Roddenbury's vision, portratyed like no other actors have like your fellow cast members.

    You you will truly be missed. Loved and adored by many. But your spirit will always be with us. In our hearts, in our inspriations, in our visions of a better, kinder, gentler world. Even with the horrific tragedies humanity is inflicting on itself (ISIS), you and your cast helped a whole generation and now whole generations, to see beyond the mundane and look beyond to the future, where no one has gone before - where there is no hunger, no want, no need unfilled so that humanity can pursue higher pursuits.

    You will always be with us in our hearts and we will never forget you , nor will we let our children, grand-children, and great-grandchildren the incredible cadre of actors who through not just acting, but emboding the characters which Gene Roddenbury envision, brought to life hope for the future. Leonard, may your spirit "Live long and prosper".

    Friday, February 20, 2015

    An Insider's View of Channel 13 WTHR's "Nightbeat" story, "Minister with a Badge" by Andrea Morehead (originally aired 02/19/2015)

    by Jeffery Wolfe, Indianapolis, Friday, Feb. 20, 2015

    Yesterday, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) Chief Richard Hite held a press conference where he highlighted not only the successes which IMPD had in 2014 resulting in the arrests of some of the worst criminal offenders in Indianapolis, but spent a significant amount of time showing that IMPD is not just concerned about arrests, but those whom they arrest.   Expanding on a number of programs designed to support their officers through police shootings, to early on set of stress and in some cases PTSD with its officers and how a number of programs are designed to be there to support our fine men men and women in blue.   Chief Hite also had a number of individuals speak at the press conference on a number of programs and initiatives designed to help not only its IMPD Officers, their families and IMPD staff and their families, but also those victims of violent crimes and their families.

    Chief Hite also asked paid Staff Chaplain David Coatie at the press conference yesterday at 1pm to say a few words about his Chaplain team and how they try to make a difference not only in the lives of our officers, but also the entire administrative and support staff of IMPD as well as the victims and victims families of violent crimes.   Chaplain Coatie's team is composed of an ecumenical cadre of men and women ministers, pastors, priests, and rabbis who volunteer their time and talent to help achieve this important work as volunteer chaplains.  But don't let the word "volunteer" fool you.  These men and women are anything but ordinary volunteers.   All were screened from hundreds of candidates of some of the top ministers, pastors, priests, and rabbis in the City of Indianapolis.

    But it doesn't stop there. Once Candidates are weeded out based on their resume and their references and finally offered the position of '"volunteer chaplain", their work training just begins. These final candidates go through a rigorous vetting process by a "hiring board" of the Command Staff of IMPD and its this "board" which actually gives the final approval for these final candidates.  Then their training begins.   IMPD treats these "volunteer chaplains" the same as they do their paid staff. A rigorous training program is a time when these men and women volunteer chaplains go through an intense training program designed by Chaplain Coatie. They are required to join the International Conference of Professional Chaplains ( and enter their intense training program for credentials as "professional chaplains. But Chaplain Coatie won't take the credit.  He adamantly points out that Indianapolis has one of the top chaplain programs in the country for two reasons: 1) the work they do is entirely supported and encouraged by Chief
    HIte and his entire Command staff; and, 2) because of the incredible work of Chaplain Coatie's predecessors like Chaplain Philip Bacon, Chaplain Rick Kassel,,  who were staff Chaplains for as much as 30 years for IMPD , whom have literally wrote the book on current Law Enforcement Chaplaincy and whose model of IMPD is an example to which many other police departments from around the country look to for making positive changes in their own Chaplain programs.  

    And don't think "volunteer" means these ordained ministers, pastors, priests, and rabbis are "part-time volunteers".  Many have put in as much as 180 hours of logged time in just three weeks (that roughly 60 hours per week to do justice to the role they fill as "IMPD Chaplains").   Many are usually supported through their local and/or national churches, Some are supported through their retirement savings.  Some are in the unique position where their spouses become the bread winners for their respective homes so that these dedicated men and women of G-d can do the work of an IMPD chaplain.  

    The week, Andrea Morehead on Channel 13 WTHR's Nightbeat highlighted this important and often invisible work of IMPD to its officers, staff, ,their respective families, and the victims of violent crimes and their families.  Its been invisible for the most part because these volunteer ordained men and women of G-d are doing the work of an IMPD Chaplain volunteer not for status, nor ego, nor fame, nor even recognition.  All of them didn't choose to be volunteers for the IMPD Chaplain program. If you ask each of them, the will tell you that its a "calling" into this specialized and often unnoticed but very important work.  The are men and women are dedicated to make a difference in the lives of IMPD officers, staff and victims of violent crimes. 

    Last night, WTHR's "Nightbeat" highlighted this work they do through through following some of these chaplains as they go through a typical day.   Chaplain Coatie would tell you that the training which these ordained ministers pastors, priests and rabbis is tough, but its one of the best training programs in police chaplaincy.  Below is video form Channel 13, WTHR's Nightbeat of IMPD's Chaplain program and Staff Chaplain's team and the daily grind of good works these men and women of God accomplish each day.  Being an IMPD Chaplain and the work which that it entails would be challenging even if these Chaplains were paid - but they are not - a job that would make most "full-time paid staff Chaplains" running back to church or parish ministry. These volunteers stick it out because 1) it is their calling;and 2) they each have a servant heart whose sole purpose to literally and simply be ministers, pastors, priests and rabbis; and, 3) the entire Chaplaincy Team views the men and women in blue, the support staff for IMPD, and the Victims and their families violent crimes as their own congregation, church, temple and/or parish.

    Here is "Minister with a Badge", Part I, by Channel 13 WTHR's Nightbeat story Andrea Morehead. for this week.  Part II of "Minister with a Badge" will air on Channel 13, WTHR's will show yet another side of this incredible. Check out this incredible story and watch next week for Part II of this story "Minister with a Badge" on Channel 13 WTHR's "Nightbeat" by Andrea Morehead.


    *photos and video courtesy of WTHR Channel 13.  All Rights are reserved to WTHR Channel 13. (c) 2015, WTHR Channel 13. _______________________

    Rev Bro Jeffery Wolfe, OSFC is currently a "Chaplain Candidate" with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) and is currently going through the vetting process which takes two (2) to five (5) weeks to complete for qualified individuals applying to be part of IMPD's Volunteer Chaplain Program.   Bro Jeff is currently in self-study training for Law Enforcement Chaplaincy and recently became a Board-Certifed Disaster Response Chaplain with the United States Emergency Services Chaplain Corps. (, a national Chaplain Response team avaiable for deployment after a natural, man-made or technical disaster.  Bro Jeff is also in the process of applying to the International Conference of Police Chaplains ( as a Liaison member and beginning their Credentialing Program to become a Certified Chaplain.

    In addition, Rev. Brother Jeff Wolfe, OFSC is of St John XXIII Catholic Church in Indianapolis, IN. It was founded April 4, 2011 in Indianapolis on the East-side in Irvington. Bro Jeff serves Indianapolis by offering a Progressive, Vatican II Independent Catholic parish which offers communion, hospital visitation, shut-in visitation, prayer groups, RCIA, weddings and funerals, and other traditional liturgies associated with Catholicism. You can reach Bro Jeff through the website for St John XXIII Catholic Church - UACC or through Skype (user ID:  rev_jwolfe).  Follow Bro Jeff on Twitter @RevJeffWolfe.

    Rev. Brother Jeffery Wolfe, OSFC is the Executive Director and a member of the Board of Directors for The Kristen Center, a faith-based not-for-profit community based organization dedicated to providing programs and services to those with HIV and those who care for them. Currently The Kristen Center offers targeted, customized HIV Support Groups for: Newly Diagnosed; Long Term Survivors; Family & Caregivers of those with HIV; and, Women with HIV. HIV Prevention programs are an essential core element of the services offered by The Kristen Center. You can learn more about The Kristen Center by going to or by checking out its Facebook Page at or visit their Twitter page at

    Tuesday, January 13, 2015

    Just today I was going through my Facebook News Feed on my iPhone and ran across some posting about a teen coming out to his parents.  It started me thinking of the organization "Forty to None", a not for profit focused on helping LGBT teens who have been either kicked out by their parents when they told them they were gay or left on their own because of the verbal abuse once the family found out that one of their family members is gay and they thought it was unacceptable.

    There are over 500,000 LGBTI teens who are homeless because they told their family were gay.  What a sad world in which we live where we have to hide the parts of ourselves (sometimes which is maybe we are gay).   Being gay is NOT a sin.  It never has been.   I could go on about this topic alone, but Mr. Matthew Vines, a sophomore undergraduate at Harvard does a very good job explaining why being gay is NOT a sin in his new book, "God and the Gay Christian".  Matthew says:

          Matthew Vines is an advocate for the acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people within Christian communities and in society at large. He lives in Wichita, Kansas. Matthew attended Harvard University from 2008 to 2010. He then took a leave of absence in order to research the Bible and homosexuality and work toward LGBT inclusion in the church.
    In March 2012, Matthew delivered a speech at a church in his hometown about the Bible and homosexuality, calling for acceptance of gay Christians and their marriage relationships. Since then, the video of the speech has been seen more than 500,000 times on YouTube, and it was featured in The New York Times and The Christian Post.

    In 2013, Matthew launched The Reformation Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to training LGBT Christians and their allies to reform church teaching on sexual orientation and gender identity. Matthew’s book, God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships, is in stores now.*
    It is always good thing to be yourself, and if you are in a family environment which would embrace your coming out, that is wonderful and you are VERY fortunate; however, to all those LGBT teen who have not yet come out - I thought a word of advice and caution might be helpful

    Ideally coming out should be no big deal and ideally we always pray we have patents whom live us unconditionally.  I did not come out to my dad until I was in college.  My mother has already pass102 But the reality is that this is not the case for every family whom have LGBT teens whom have yet to come out.

    According to, 500,000 LGBT teens are kicked out of their home by their parents because they came out to them and/or shared their HIV status with their family, or both.

    So how to know if you are able to come out or not at home, here are some things to consider:

    1). Wy are you coming out?  Is it for you to be proud of whom you are ?  Is it because you want to push a LGBT agenda at home ?  Is it because your friends who are LGBT came out with no repercussions?
    2). What do you think your parents think about LGBT?  Does their faith day that it's wrong (even though you know it is not)?
    3). Have you consideredtoday where you would go?  Where you would live?  How you would support yourself?  It is easy to believe "but they're my parents... They won't kick me out!  Really?  Ask one of the 500,000 teens who thought the same thing and now are homeless.

    Here is a simple guideline that may help you gauge whether or not your family will receive you coming out in a supportive manner or not:

      A). Have your parents asked you questions out friends who may or may not be gay.  THIS IS NOT a foolproof guideline, but if your parents, on their own, been asking questions about LGBT persons, then chances are if they are asking questions on the topic, then they may be ready to hear from you coming out.  This is NOT a guarantee!!!  But it will give an indication if they are thinking about LGBT persons.

      B). If they are talking about LGBT persons on their own, aren't being derogatory, but genuinely curious. Then chances are they will receive your answer to their question with either supportive or positive responses.

     C). Test your coming out with your siblings.  Unless they are extremely religious , they will be supportive and might be willing to stand with you if you decide to come out to your family.

       D). If you are worried your family will not receive your coming out well, contact or a sympathetic clergy to find out if there are any locations in your ares a for homeless youth.  DON'T SKIP THIS STEP.  If coming out goes sideways,you will be emotional and you need to know without a doubt where you can go to have a place to stay and or receive help and support which can facilitate a processes to work with you and your parents work toward reconciliation .

    I know this seems like a lot, and can be a bit daughnting, but remember, 500,000 teens thought they would be OK to come out to their parents and family, and they weren't.  

    I can also guarantee each of them would say that kid they had taken the suggestions above and prepared for the worst..  My guess would be they would say it would have been better to do a little planning incase it went sideways, they would have s plan on what to do, rather than just blurting out a dinner one night,  "Oh, by the way mom and dad? I'm gay.

    As parents, even if they are supportive, will have blood rush from their head for fear you would get HIV/AIDS.

    At this point, tell them HIV is no longer a terminal illness, and using proper protection, it becomes very hard to be infected (nothing is ever 100% effective - even HIV Prevention measure.   For more information about HIV Prevention, go to the Indiana HIV Prevention Community Planning Group.

    To learn more about LGBT Homeless Youth and what you can do to help, visit or if you live in Indianapolis, contact The Kristen Center at 317-520-3036 or visit their website at, their FB page at, or their twitter account at


    Bro Jeff 

    Saturday, November 1, 2014

    Looking for A NEW WAY TO BE CATHOLIC? Learn how to SERVE ALL WITH LOVE...

    Are you Catholic?  Have you become lapsed in your faith because of "policies" with which you don't agree?   Have you been excommunicated or disenfranchised by your Catholic church?   Are you not allowed to take communion because your marriage is a mixed faith?  We welcome all to Christ's table to receive the Holy Eucharist.

    What if I told you that there were more Catholic churches other than Roman?   What if there are Catholic churches which embrace Vatican II and use the 2nd edition Missal as promulgated by Blessed Pope Paul VI and revised and promulgated by St Pope John Paul II?

    What if there were a Catholic church which did not believe in artificial barriers like sexual orientation, gender identity, mixed faith marriages to separate people from the Sacraments, or embraced all who feel the call to priesthood whether married, straight, gay, or a woman?  Are you a same-sex couple and looking for a Catholic church home which welcomes you and your partner?   Are you a same-sex couple looking for a Catholic wedding?

    St John XXIII Catholic Church is an independent Catholic parish, a parish under the jurisdiction of the United American Catholic Church (see and is right here in Indianapolis.  How you ask?  Remember there are more Catholic Churches other than Roman.   And are we really Catholic?  Absolutely.   The litmus test for any church claiming to be Catholic is to have Apostolic Succession and a Valid Eucharist.  Our jurisdiction, the United American Catholic Church has eleven lines of Apostolic Succession and all our clergy offer a valid Eucharist.  Deacons offer pre-consecrated hosts for Communion.

    If any of these things seem to apply to you?  If you still want to practice your faith without any
    manmade artificial barriers to the Sacraments.  If you embraced Vatican II as it was originally intended, then why not consider coming to St John XXIII Catholic Church and find out just what we are all about?

    Right now we are looking for a space in which to celebrate holy communion (sometimes incorrectly referred as a "Deacon's Mass").  We will be announcing soon regular Sunday services.  

    In the meantime, if you want to learn more about St John XXIII Catholic Church, the history of Independent Catholicism in the US and its relation to the "Old Catholic Church" traditions, then visit our FAQ page on our parish website at

    Tuesday, July 8, 2014

    An Update for 2014: "How can a gay man be a priest?"

    [first posted under "My Notes" on Facebook for profile "brojefferywolfe" on May 30, 2011]

    It has been a while since I have posted an article.   But with bans on Same-Sex marriages being thrown out as unconstitutional in states all across the country (Indiana being the latest that legalizes Same-Sex Marriage - pending release of a Stay Order), I thought it appropriate to revisit a note I received from a good friend of mine in high school with whom I graduatated.

    Here was her note to me and my response (both currently posted on my Profile Page on Facebook (brojefferywolfe)
    Recently I received a question from a friend that had noticed my posts on Facebook and deduced that I was gay. The question was essentially "How can a gay man be a priest?". 

    This person asked a very valid question of me that required me to carefully think through  answering the question with dignity and respect.  I share this person's question with you here along with my response. It is a question that often comes up whenever the topic of "gay" and "christian" meet.  I do not intend to know all the ways to answer this question. I can only say that my response came from years of myself wrestling with the same question.  If you have read my blog up to this point, then you already know this is not a new question, even for me:


    I ask this w/ utmost respect for you and without malice.........I consider us friends.....But doesn't it say in
    the Bible that homosexuality is an Abomination and detestable sin?

    In First Corinthians 6:9 it states it is "unrighteous and will not inherit God's Kingdom.  Now I am not a real religious person, grew up Southern Baptist....and don't pretend to know the Bible from cover to cover and would not know enough about it to argue w/ anyone... I just don't understand how an openly gay person can become a priest in the church. Can you please explain that to me. As I said I do not mean any harm in this email...I just have a heavy burden on my heart about this and just want some clarification.  [Anonymous to protect privacy]

    That is a great question. For centuries individuals have wrestled with this question. If you look at the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, what was the sin? Today's preacher's would have you believe it is homosexuality. However, if you read the text carefully, one discovers that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was not homosexuality, but in-hospitality [and forced sex - i.e. male rape]...

    Much can also be said if you look at the Bible from a Sociological point of view (purely academic). Much of the old world in Christ's time and even up through the middle ages was primarily a patriarchal society. Man was dominate and women submissive. However, I doubt today that many of you would agree today that women are subservient to men. As a society we have grown up, so to speak.  Christ himself never spoke about homosexuality directly. In fact, there are two simple rules I try to follow every day. The first is the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". The second is the Great Commandment: "Love your neighbor as yourself" [see Luke 10:27].  If God does not make mistakes, and everything that God creates is sacred, then I am not a mistake and I am sacred. It has once been said "God don't make no junk". As a follower of Christ it is not for me to judge whose lifestyle is more holy - Straight or Gay. My responsibility as a follower of Christ is to follow the Golden Rule and the Great Commandment.  Judgment is reserved for God - my responsibility is to treat all with dignity and respect [ironically, I had written this long before Pope Francis was elected and shared a similar statement on a long plane ride back to theVatican after one of his trips - good for Pope Francis].   I know this may not provide an appropriate response to the question for some, but if we truly are followers of Christ, it makes no difference whether a person is gay or straight. It only matters if they love God with all their heart, soul, mind and body.
    Often Christ uses the lowly and seemingly unjust to be a beacon and light to the world. Christ teaches that those who are rejected by society often become the great defenders of the faith.  Mary Magdalene has often been described as a prostitute and whore. Yet, it was not Peter or Paul, nor James nor John who announced to the other disciples that Christ had Risen. It was Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph and a third Mary. [Mary Magdalene was therefore the first evangelist.] When the Pharisees first brought Mary Magdalene to Christ, they asked Christ what should be done with her because according to the Jewish Law, since she slept with a man who was not her husband, she should be stoned to death. They asked Christ what he says about this situation. Christ paused, and then wisely said, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" (John 8:7).
    [A tactic which Jesus used frequently when asked questions - he would ask a question back, usually to the Pharisees as it was usually they who were asking Jesus questions to try and trip him up.] You see, just because a person is straight, it does not mean they are more holy or without sin. In fact, let me ask with whom would God be more pleased?  A straight man who sleeps with many women who are not his wife, but goes to confession every Sunday? Or a gay man who is celibate or in a monogamous relationship and dedicates his life to serving others as Christ served others? Who does God see as more Christ like? You see, it is easy to create "second class" citizens, because it makes those of us who are not in the "second class" by society's standards "better". But you and I both know the dangers of creating a class of people that are considered lower or beneath others. Hitler did that and look at the holocaust that followed.

    I applaud my friend for asking the question. It is not an easy question ask nor is it an easy question to answer. In fact, I today, still wrestle with the same question - but I have faith that there are no coincidences in life and that I'm here to serve a purpose.  If you haven't read my blog on my calling (, take a moment and read it in total [starting from the earliest entry which is at the bottom - the default setting on Blogger]. Then you will maybe see how God can call a gay man to be a priest.  Keep wrestling with these questions. Usually I find that in the quiet of the night, God will speak to me and give me peace about these questions.  "Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice thetlog that is in your own eye?" (see Matt 7:3). 
    Sometimes all we can do is pray. Keep wrestling with God and these questions. Don't just accept what a church or preacher teaches. Dig into Scripture and learn for yourself.

    May God bring you Peace in your search..

    bro jeff 

    I applaud my friend for having the courage to ask this question.  Sometimes we want simple answers to simple questions.  However, my experience has been, and my faith has taught me, and my journey has led me to believe, that there are no simple answers and there are certainly no simple questions.  I find that if I start worrying about others and the validity of their faith, I usually am not spending enough time exploring my own faith.  

    Keep asking questions and keep looking for answers. I leave you all with verse from the Bible (Matt 7:7) and some comparative readings from different versions of the Bible, but verse itself is my prayer for each us...

    New International Version (©1984)
    "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

    New Living Translation (©2007)
    "Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.

    English Standard Version (©2001)
    “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

    New American Standard Bible (©1995)
    "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

    The above parallel translations come from the following:

    Peace until next time...
    Bro Jeff

    It seemed appropriate to revisit this question and my meager attempt at a response.  I say this because a few years back a freshman undergraduate at Harvard University took two years off from school after completing his freshman year to research the very same topic.He too had heard fellow students state that the Bible says homosexuality is a sin. So the young man decided to do something about this.  He would research the topic himself in the Hebrew and Christian Scriputres.  After almost two years of research, Matthew Vines held a lecture in his hometown of Witchita, Kansas at a church and gave a lecture.  The lecture was titled "The Gay Debate:  The Bible and Homosexuality".   It was about a one hour lecture in length.   The material cxam from his almost two years of exegetical work on this topic diving into the heart of every verse from the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bibile which referenced homosexuality.  Matthew had a friend video his lecture so that he could post it on After the lecture, he posted the recording on YouTube.

    The response to his video lecture on YouTube was phenomenal. It went viral almost immediately. Today it has been viewed by close to 750,000 internet users.    From this response on YouTube, Matthew felt called to continue this work but wanted to make it more widely available and at the same help educate others so they can help train and educate their churches.  Gathering a core group of friends, acquantances and leaders in contemporary Christian theology and pastors, he founded a Not for Profit organization called "The Reformation Project".   The mission of the Reformation Project in an nutshell is to eradicate homophobia from Christian (Protestant and Catholic) churches.  Quite a daunting task by any standard.

    From his exegetical work to develop the lecture, to forming and founding the Not for Profit, Matthew felt this information should be written so that could read about his research rather than watching the lecture on Youube (especially reaching those either did not have a computer or were not computer savvy.  So with the help of his core group of friends and acquaintances, Matthew wrote a book based on his lecture and expounded upon the topic of his one hour lecture. 

    He also had the idea that if he could train people from across the country on his research, they could then in turn train their local churches on the topic, allowing the message Matthew brought in his lecture to more people than he could do on his own.  In early 2013, The Reformation Project NFP solicted funds so that he could train 50 individuals (ideally one from every state in the US).  He wanted to be able to cover all expenses for the trainees (hotel, airfare, meals, etc.). The Reformation Project  successfully raised almost double the funds they calculcated they would need to do just that.   Then came sending out an annoucnement for applications to be submitted.  He literally was buried in applications (almost 10 times more than the 50 spos he would have for his inaugural training.  This year the training will be held near Washington D.C.  The next training is scheduled for this November (6th - 8th).  The Reformation Project has also posted future training sessions for 2015 (one in March in Kansas City and another in June in Atlanta, Ga).  This is how much people want to attend.  Matthew I am sure is literally overwhelmed at the requests for more training.

    With his first book now published, it is called "God and the Gay Christian:  The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Marriage".  Matthew's book was just published on April 22, 2014 and released on May 2, 2014.  It is already a #1 Best Seller in Amazon's "Gender and Sexualtiy in Religious Studies".  He is already been receiving requests for guest appearances and speaking engagements across the country.  You can find out about upcoming Conferences and Speaking Engagements at

    Years ago I was a Youth Pastor serving at Lawrence United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana (1986-87) and then at Custer Road United Methodist Church in Plano, Texas .At the time I served at Custer Road UMC (1987-88), it was one of the fastest growing United Methodist Churches in the country.   During this time I had the privilege of meeting in person Dr. Tony Campolo, PhD. , a Sociologist and Progressive Evangelical who has the unique ability of using his Sociological training as a "lens" through which he can view and read the Bible.  By doing this, Tony Campolo has been able to bring to light topics and insights in the Bible which had yet been discovered.   A brilliant Sociologist and extremely successful Christian youth leader and speaker, I have an affinity for Dr. Campolo since I too am a Sociologist (with my undergraduate degree from Indiana University in Sociology with  a minor in Medical Sociology).

    Dr. Campolo says of Matthew's book:                                 
    Dr. Tony Campolo, Ph.D.
    "For anyone who wants to know why some Evangelicals find that the Bible does not condemn same-gender marriage, Matthew Vines’ book answers the question. Christians who oppose gay marriage should consider what he has to say."
                      Dr Tony Campolo, Ph.D.
    Dr. Campolo is an Alumnus and Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Eastern Univeristy in St. David's, Pennsylvania.  

    Matthew Vines
    Matthew's book is insightful, bringing a breath of fresh air on the topic of gender and the Christian Bible.  Growing up in the United Methodist Church, I had a youth leader to whom I looked up and admired.  Her name was Rev. Maggie McNaught.   During a discussion one night after Sunday night youth group meeting, the topic of Gay Christians came up.   One thing that has always stuck with me which Maggie said to me that night when I ask her about being a Christian and being Gay - she said, "Jeff, God don't make no junk".  That message has stuck with me all these years and I use it even today.

    I was in high school back in the late 70's when she shared that phrase with me.  If you were to "google" that phrase today, it could could be attributed to many sources.   But for me, at the time, it didn't matter if Maggie came up with the phrase on her own, or if she borrowed it from one of a dozen sources, the message was clear to me - if God doesn't make junk, and God made me, and I am gay, then I am not junk.   And if I am gay and a Christian and I am not junk, then God created me to be exactly, no more and no less, the person I am today. God loves me just as I am because he created me to be just as I am. A topic which goes right along with gender and the Bible is the misconception that being Gay is a choice.  It is not.  It is no more a choice for me than being straight is for my parents.  It is just who they are. But, I digress.

    Matthew's book brings that little phrase "God don't make no junk" to the millenial generation with a fresh and firey approach, tackling some of the most quoted "homosexual condemning" verses in the Bible.  And it could not come at a better time.

    According to Forty to None, a Not for Profit working with homeless youth, states that there are over 500,000 homeless youth each year.   Up to 40% of those 500,000 homeless youth are LGBT.   These LGBT youth are kicked out of their homes by their parents because they either "came out" to their parents and/or told their parents they were "HIV+", or the leave voluntarily because the emotional abuse is too much to bare being told that being gay is a sin, day after day.   Today many have turned HIV into a moral issue (i.e. if you have HIV, you must be an immoral person doing immoral things).  This is nothing more than Bible thumping church propaganda.  HIV is nothing more than a disease.  We must treat those who have HIV the same as we treat those with cancer.

    Jesus never once said it was wrong for two people of the same-sex to fall in love, get married and have family.  Matthew hopes that through his book, his organization "The Reformation Project" and the millenial generation and younger, will help eradicate homophobia from Christians (Protestants and Catholics) one day.
    To my friend and the many, many Christians who also have been taught that homosexuality is a sin, I hope that through watching Matthew's video, reading about and even getting involved in The Reformation Project and finally reading Matthew's book, "God and the Gay Christian:  A Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Marriage" that my friend and many like her will begin to open their hearts and realize that Jesus was all about relationships.   He didn't found a religion.  He taught us how to live and love life and how to treat and love the people with whom we interact and with whom we come in contact .  There are no commandments from Jesus against homosexuality.

    So what do we need to do in order to get to heaven.  Isn't that what being a Christian is all about?   Finding
    Jesus explaining how
    to get to heaven
    our path to heaven and Jesus teach us to be kind and loving along the way.   When Jesus was asked, "Good Teacher.  What must I do to get to heaven?  Jesus replied with two simple acts.  Really the only commandments in all the New Testament which Jesus insisted upon.  He told the man who asked the question:

    Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and soul, and mind, and body (The Great Commandment) and to "Love our Neighbor as ourselves" (The Golden Rule).
                                                              Luke 10:27

    Jesus said there are only two things are required for one to get to heaven:  Follow the Great Commandment and the Golden Rule (Luke 10:27).  That is at the heart of the message of Jesus.  Be aware of everyone around you - rich, poor, black, white, straight, gay - and build relationships with these people you meet as you walk through life.  Be good to those relationships (even same-sex relationships) and you will find your way to heaven.

    So to my high school classmate with whom I graduated high school and to the thousands of other who have been taught incorrectly that being Gay is a sin, please keep an open mind.   Take time (with your mind open) to watch Matthew's video.   Visit The Reformation Project website.   Get Matthew's book and read it.  When it comes down to it, regardless of our sex (gender), we are just people trying to find our way thorugh life and learn along the way what life it about.  So, to answer the questions, "Can a gay man (or woman, gay or straight, married or celiebate) be a Priest?"   Both Matthew and I would say "YES" (emphatically)


    Bro Jeffery Wolfe,OSFC/n, is the Executive Director and a member of the Board of Directors for The Kristen Center, a faith-based not-for-profit community based organization dedicated to providing programs and services to those with HIV and those who care for them. Currently The Kristen Center offers targeted, customized HIV Support Groups for: Newly Diagnosed; Long Term Survivors; Family & Caregivers of those with HIV; and, Women with HIV. HIV Prevention programs are an essential core element of the services offered by The Kristen Center. You can learn more about The Kristen Center by going to or by checking out its Facebook Page at or visit their Twitter page at

    Bro Jeff is also author of his blog “Following My Calling” (  You can reach Bro Jeff on his Facebook page at, on his Twitter page at or through the “Contact Us” page on St John XXIII Pastoral & Outreach Center website ( or on Skype at “rev_jwolfe”.  You can also

    write Bro Jeff at, or at

    In addition, Bro Jeffery Wolfe,OSFC/n is the Director and Administrator of St John xxiii Pastoral & Outreach Center - UACC in Indianapolis, IN. It was founded April 4, 2011 in Indianapolis on the East-side in Irvington. Bro Jeff attends seminary as a third year student at Holy Spirit enrolled in the Master of Divinity Program. As the Director of the St. John xxiii Pastoral & Outreach Center - UACC in Indianapolis, Bro Jeff serves Indianapolis by offering a Progressive, Vatican II Independent Catholic parish which offers communion, hospital visitation, shut-in visitation, prayer groups, RCIA, weddings and funerals, and other traditional liturgies associated with Catholicism. St John XXIII Pastoral & Outreach Center - UACC is a parish under the jurisdiction of the United American Catholic Church.

    St. John xxiii Parish denies NO ONE for ANY reason from receiving the Holy Eucharist. ALL are welcome at our Mass regardless of status (divorced, single, married, gay, straight, bi-sexual, trans-gendered). As a UACC parish, we believe as Pope John XXIII did that Christ died for all, FOR ALL. 

    Consider joining us. Contact Bro Jeff at or go to the "Contact Us" page at You can also visit St John XXIII POC at their Facebook page at or on their twitter page at

    Each year, between 500,000 and 1.6 million youth in the U.S. are homeless or runaways [1].
    The statistics for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender homeless youth are even more shocking, as this group represents 20-40% of all homeless young people [2]. Considering that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth represent an estimated 3-5% of the total youth population, these numbers are disproportionately high. And while even a single homeless youth on the streets is one too many, the disparity of gay and transgender youth that are homeless is unfathomable.
    - See more at:
     Each year, between 500,000 and 1.6 million youth in the U.S. are homeless or runaways - See more at:

    Friday, November 22, 2013

    Did we forget about "The Great Commandment" and "The Golden Rule" as Catholic Christians?

    UPDATE November 1, 2014

    A Note to the Reader:

    Originally I had written this article as a draft almost a year ago on 11/22/2013 ( ironically on my birthday) in response to an article entitled "The Real Lives of Gay Men" published by "Crises Magazine", a Roman Catholic publication by laity for a conservative, traditionalist Roman Catholic audience.   I was so incensed by the article, I wrote the following response for my blog.   I let it set for almost a year (until this week), and after reading it again, felt the need to go ahead and publish this on my blog.   Originally I called the article response "The Great Commandment, The Golden Rule, and You".   However, after some thought when I decided to finally post this article, I changed the title to "Did we forget about "The Great Commandment" and "The Golden Rule" as Catholic Christians?  So here is my response to an article published in "Crises Magazine".  You can and should read that article first before reading my response.  My response will make more sense if you do.  The original article in "Crises Magazine" can be found at

    Rev Bro Jeffery Wolfe, OSFC
    Pastor / Deacon
    St John XXIII Catholic Church
     a parish of the United American Catholic Church

    Here is the original article which I wrote as a draft on Nov 22, 2013, but never published until today (11/01/14):

    I cannot remain silent after reading an article in this month's issue of "Crises Magazine", a Roman Catholic publication by laity for a Roman Catholic audience of a conservative, traditionalist viewpoint.   The article, written by Austin Ruse, president of C-FAM (Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute), a New York and Washington DC-based research institute focusing on international legal and social policy.

    The article starts out with call for Catholic Christians to have the same compassion for "gay" persons as they have for men who are raped in prisons.

    Mr. Ruse then focuses the remainder of his article on a man known as "Lee" the subject of a 2006 essay by another Crises Magazine contributor, Robert Reilly, who in the essay on the man name "Lee" claims that Lee describes himself as "a refugee from the homosexual insane asylum."  Before you continue with my Op-Ed, I would encourage the reader to first read Mr. Ruse article on Crises Magazine website.  The article can be found at

    I will assume the reader has taken the time to read Mr. Ruse' article noted above.   If you have, then the following will make sense.  If you have not, don't read my op-ed any further until you read Mr. Ruse article at

    As I mentioned at the beginning of my op-ed, I cannot remain silent after reading Mr. Ruse' article.  As a sociologist (undergraduate work in Sociology from Indiana University), I look at the references and the whole of what the author is communicating. It is nothing more than a "moral pronouncement" on what the author describes as "the gay lifestyle".

    Let's separate fact from fiction. Being gay is not a "lifestyle". It is not something that someone "chooses" to be. Why in hell would some choose to be part of a group that is mocked, ridiculed, laughed, told they were 'going to hell', fornicators, and even derogatory slurs such as "faggot". Why in the world would anyone choose to live a life with that level of persecution? Being gay is NOT a "lifestyle". It is WHO God created each to be. They cannot change or "choose" their sexual orientation any more than a straight man could "choose to be gay". I will assume the majority of readers are straight. Let me ask you a question. What if you were told that "you have to change your sexual orientation to gay" in order to be accepted in your church, in your place of work and in society? Would you do it? Could you do it? If you are like most straight men, the very thought of having sex with another man is repulsive and makes you physically ill just thinking of the idea. Being gay is the very same as being straight be only in reverse. To gay men and women, having sex with the opposite sex produces that same repulsive feelings that straight people do when told they would have to become gay.

    Moving on to another aspect of the author's article. Did it ever occur to any straight person that the reason gay men seek out "anonymous" and in this day an age "dangerous" sexual encounters is because of the very abuse they would experience by the straight world, who judges them (or pre-judges; in other words are prejudice against LGBT). Most LGBT people and couples I know do not show public displays of affection like straights for fear of being shamed. Yet we see a young straight couple making out with heavy petting, and almost applaud and encourage this behavior. The reason LGBT for years have stayed "in the closet" is because of the very prejudice they experience at the mouths of so called "Christians". Really? Did Jesus ever "mock" anyone he encountered? Remember the woman at the well?

    If you really want to understand the context about the Bible and the gay controversy, you should visit The Reformation Project ( Started by a Harvard undergraduate, who took two years off his studies to research all references in the Hebrew Scriptures about homosexuality. Through a thorough exegesis which has been applauded by many seminary professors, he debunks every reference to "homosexuality being a sin" within the Hebrew Scriptures. And by the way, even from a common sense standpoint, if are going to follow "The Law" as laid out in the Pentateuch, you must follow ALL the laws. You don't get to pick and choose. This is why Christ came.... To free us from this type of "legalism" and bring the Holy Spirit into our lives so that we would know how to treat one another. There are really only two commandments which Jesus gave to us Christians when he walked the earth according to the Scriptures; 1) Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and body; and 2) Love your neighbor as yourself. Must of us know these commandments as "The Great Commandment" and "The Golden Rule". So if your neighbor is a gay couple, you are to treat them with the same love and kindness that you do your own family.

    The young people of today will not allow society to continue to abuse verbally, degrade, call names and treat with disdain LGBT people today. Why? Because many of their friends are LGBT. They grew up realizing that being gay is just one facet of MANY that people have. How often have you heard a group say "look at those straights! I can't believe their doing that in public!". Never right? Then why do we feel the need to single out a person if we find out they are "gay or lesbian", even though in every other respect they are just like our straight friends. It was not too long ago the case "Love Vs. State of Virginia (1967) reversed state law prohibiting interracial marriage. Why were laws in existence banning "whites" and "blacks" from marrying (today we know the proper references are Caucasian and African Americans). Because people of the time "pre-judged" or were prejudice against African Americans because it was thought that they were less intelligent, less moral, more like animals. Thank goodness the courts in 1967 concluded that "ALL" men are created equal - not just Caucasians. And therefore concluded that all men and women have a "right to marry" regardless of color.
    Today the LGBT movement calling for same-sex marriage is following the same path. We think that we as "Christians" have a right to determine who can marry and who cannot marry. We have the audacity to conclude that marriage is a "Christian" institution, when in fact the concept of marriage existed thousands of years before Christianity hit the world. Being Gay or Lesbian or Transgendered is NOT a choice. it is who we are. It is what God create us to be. It was once told to me "God don't make junk". Why would a loving God create a desire within LGBT people only to ban those same people from acting on their true feelings. Have we allowed our Christian ego to become so large that we know the mind of God?

    So with all the passion I can call upon, I vehemently disagree with the author and his conclusions. Gay people are just people. The are like you and me. The love, they laugh, they cry, the work, they have bills, they have children, they have parents and grandparents, they have hopes and they have dreams. They are our neighbors, our mailmen and women, our grocers, our physicians, our counselors and yes even our pastors and friends in church. So if we are to "love our neighbor as ourselves", let me ask - does the author encourage us to love LGBT people as equals? Or does he wrongly ask us to love LGBT persons as victims like those who are raped in prison? Really? Why is it so impossible to believe that two people, regardless of their sex, can fall in love? do you think "cupid" discriminates? Then why should we?

    Rev Brother Jeffery Wolfe
    St John XXIII Pastoral & Outreach Center

    p.s.  Since posting my reply on the Crises Management website, I have received a couple of posts already.  I am truly saddened by the responses and the unbending view readers of "Crises Magazine" have.  I want to share a couple responses.. Names have been removed to protect the person replying.

    First Reply:
    "Being gay may not be a choice. If it is not, then it is a cross to bear, not an excuse for mortal sin. Showing love in the context you describe would mean turning a blind eye to sin, which is not what Christ would have us do.

    Is anyone else concerned that a priest has ended this diatribe with a reference to a pagan god?

    Second Reply:
    "Why in the world would anyone choose to live a life with that level of persecution? Being gay is NOT a "lifestyle". It is WHO God created each to be. "
    Fine. Let's follow your logic further. Pedophiles are even more ridiculed than homosexuals. They obviously didn't choose their inclinations either based on your reasoning. Does that mean God made them that way too?

    I am truly saddened by the responses to my op-ed on Mr. Ruse' article.  I am even more saddened by the magazine "Crises Magazine"  It continues to perpetuate the myths and stereotypes of all types of individuals.   Its it almost like the Pharisee who prayed, "Thank you God for not making me like those heathens".   It makes me very concerned just what type of teaching our Roman brothers and sisters are learning.  One thing is for sure.  The two who replied to my op-ed certainly have their "hate" down pat.

    Bro Jeffery Wolfe
    St John XXIII Catholic Church
    Indianapolis, Indiana

    About the Author:
    Rev Bro Jeffery Wolfe, OSFC is the Executive Director and a member of the Board of Directors for The Kristen Center, a faith-based not-for-profit community based organization dedicated to providing programs and services to those with HIV and those who care for them. Currently The Kristen Center offers targeted, customized HIV Support Groups for: Newly Diagnosed; Long Term Survivors; Family & Caregivers of those with HIV; and, Women with HIV. HIV Prevention programs are an essential core element of the services offered by The Kristen Center. You can learn more about The Kristen Center by going to or by checking out its Facebook Page at or visit their Twitter page at

    Bro Jeff is also author of his blog “Following My Calling”.
    You can reach Bro Jeff on his Facebook
    page at, on his Twitter page at or through the “Contact Us” page on St John XXIII Catholic Church website or on Skype at “rev_jwolfe”.  You can also
    write Bro Jeff at

    In addition, Bro Jeffery Wolfe, OSFC is the Pastor and Deacon of St John XXIII Catholic Church located in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was
    founded April 4, 2011 in Indianapolis on the East-side in Irvington. Bro Jeff attends seminary as a third year student at Holy Spirit enrolled in the Master of Divinity Program. As Pastor of the St. John Catholic Church in Indianapolis, Bro Jeff serves Indianapolis by offering a Progressive, Vatican II Independent Catholic parish which offers communion, hospital visitation, shut-in visitation, prayer groups, RCIA, weddings and funerals, and other traditional liturgies associated with Catholicism.
    St John Catholic Church denies NO ONE for ANY reason from receiving the Holy Eucharist. ALL are welcome at our Mass regardless of status (divorced, single, married, gay, straight, bi-sexual, trans-gendered). As a parish of the United American Catholic Church (UACC), we believe as Pope John XXIII did that Christ died for all, FOR ALL.