1918 • April 14 • 2018

Today we invite you to join us in
celebrating the 100 th birthday
of our beloved founding director,
Fr. John F. Harvey, OSFS !
Fr. John F. Harvey, OSFS
Drawn by T.K., an EnCourage member
In the years following the establishment of the Courage apostolate in 1980 (and later, EnCourage for families/friends), Fr. Harvey became a true spiritual father to countless men and women who experience same-sex attractions and their loved ones. 

A faithful Oblate of St. Francis de Sales, Fr. Harvey imitated the character and spirituality of his order’s founder in his gentleness, integrity, and love for the laity. St. Francis de Sales came to be known as a Gentleman Saint and a Doctor of Charity, and we believe the same can be said of Fr. Harvey who modeled both integrity and compassion in his service to the Church and in his treatment of others.

Father always kept Courage and EnCourage at the center of his heart, seeing it as an essential ministry of the Church through which the Holy Spirit was especially meeting the spiritual needs of persons who experience SSA and their family and friends. He guarded the principles of Courage carefully, viewing chapter meetings as safe and sacred places in which Courage members could freely and confidentially share from the heart, united in their commitment to the goals of chastity, prayer, fellowship, support, and good example.

"He is a priest after My own Heart; his efforts are pleasing to Me. ...
Through him I spread comfort to suffering and careworn souls. ...
And through this work of mercy
more souls will come close to Me than otherwise would have,
even if he had kept giving absolution day and night for the rest of his life, because by so doing, he would have labored only for as long as he lived; whereas, thanks to this work of mercy,
he will be laboring till the end of the world."

St. Faustina Kowalska
(recounting the Lord's words to her about her confessor)
"The Courage mission unfolds the truth that is chastity
and nurtures people who,
in this truth, have the renewed freedom
to meet and embrace Jesus’ way in its fullness." 

Fr. John F. Harvey, OSFS