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April 2023

Christ Appearing to the Apostles after the Resurrection by Szymon Czechowicz (1758)

Message from Our Director

Dear Friends,

I have been looking forward to writing this note to you. The last few weeks have been a unique experience for me, and I am so grateful to be accompanied and supported by our Courage and EnCourage family.

Please accept my sincere thanks for the messages, cards, prayers and Masses that you shared with my family and me when my father, George, passed away on March 8. It is hard to explain how very much I felt comforted and supported by your closeness and evident concern.

I am grateful, too, for your kind messages of support in response to the announcement that my archbishop is calling me home to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. As you can imagine, I have mixed feelings about this new assignment as vicar general. I'm grateful for Archbishop Pérez's confidence in me, and intrigued by the new role I will be undertaking. But I will miss the Courage and EnCourage apostolate very much. You have changed my life in profound ways.

One of the greatest blessings of being with my father in the last few weeks of his life was the opportunity we had to talk about serious things. I was able to share my heart with him: how proud I am of the example he set for my siblings and me; how grateful I am for the many ways in which he provided for and protected our family; how deeply I would miss him. 

I told him one evening, "The best part of my priesthood, especially with Courage, is that I get to be a spiritual father to so many people. And you taught me an awful lot about how to be a father." After a long pause, he responded, "You know, the longer you live, the more you come to realize how much you learn about being a parent from your children."

Believe me, I know from experience how true my father's insight is. As members, chaplains and friends of Courage and EnCourage, you have had an incalculable impact on my priesthood and my life as a spiritual father. I am the priest and the man I am today because I have been blessed to share these years with you. For that I will always be deeply grateful.

"Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Lk 12:32). God our loving Father knows how important our mission is, and how much greater our apostolate is than any one person. He will continue to provide the leaders and fathers you need and deserve, and will strengthen our Courage and EnCourage family with his presence and his love.

I look forward to these next few weeks of serving you before I return home, and I hope I will see many of you at the Annual Courage and EnCourage Conference at the end of July. (Information appears elsewhere in this newsletter.) In the meantime, let's continue to pray for each other, and for the apostolate that we love so much.


Father Philip G. Bochanski

Executive Director

Our executive director transition webpage with multiple resources

Message from Fr. Bochanski about his new appointment

Announcement from Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Letter from Fr. Kyle Schnippel, soon-to-be interim director



  • Spring Appeal and Conference Announcement
  • Annual Courage & EnCourage Conference, July 27–30
  • Featured Conference Speaker: Fr. Paul Scalia
  • Announcing the Father John Harvey Guild
  • Happy 102nd Birthday and 75th Anniversary, Fr. Lloyd!
  • Nordic Bishops Affirm Church Teaching on Sexuality
  • New Chapters

General Resources

  • "Christ's Radical Invitation"
  • Spread the Word in Parish Bulletins


  • Testimonies: The Highlight of Every Conference!
  • "Recovery and the Lord of the Rings"
  • "Little Miracle"


  • What is Real Love?
  • "Keep Knocking on the Door" for Fallen Away Loved Ones

Courage Internacional — For Spanish-Speaking Members and Friends

  • April Newsletter in Spanish

Pastoral Resources

  • USCCB Note on Limits to Manipulation of the Human Body
  • Ruah Woods Institute is a Valuable Resource 



Spring Appeal and Conference Announcement

Father Bochanski writes in this year's spring appeal:

It has been a privilege for me to serve in the Courage Office since 2015, an experience that has transformed my priesthood and my life in profound ways. But, of course, Courage and EnCourage did not begin in 2015. For more than 42 years, the members, chaplains, directors and bishops of our apostolate have faithfully carried out our mission, confident that our Risen Lord is in charge of everything, giving us strength and direction as together we pursue our Goals. For all the trust and affection we have for one another in our Courage and EnCourage family, our foundation and our confidence are only in Our Lord Jesus Christ, who “is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb 13:8)."

Read Fr. Bochanski's full letter

Learn about what's next for Courage

Donations gratefully accepted

Annual Courage & EnCourage Conference — July 27–30

Registration begins in early May

The 2023 Annual Courage & EnCourage Conference will take place at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. Registration will open in early May, but you can visit the website now to see the schedule, speakers, and talk topics. The theme this year is "Courageous Love Made Perfect: The Eucharist in Action."

Visit the conference webpage to see schedule and speakers

Conference brochure

Clergy Study Day on Wednesday, July 26

Featured Conference Speaker: Fr. Paul Scalia

"The Eucharist — Our Nourishment to Nourish Others"

A frequent and popular speaker at our conferences, Father Paul Scalia will be back with us again this year. Father has served our as chaplain for the Courage chapter in the Diocese of Arlington for many years and is a member of our board of directors. This year he will be speaking on the topic of "The Eucharist — Our Nourishment to Nourish Others: How Eucharistic Devotion Commits Us to the Poor in Our Midst."

Fr. Paul Scalia spoke on

"Praying in Times of Crisis"

at our 2019 conference.

(View all videos from past conferences. )

Announcing the Father John Harvey Guild

On April 14, 2023, we celebrated the 105th anniversary of the birth of Courage’s founding director Father John F. Harvey, OSFS. On that date, it was also officially announced that the Father John Harvey Guild had been established, with the following mission:

"[T]o share the life, spirituality, and ministry of Father John Francis Harvey, Oblate of St. Francis de Sales, with the world and with the Church, and to pray for the opening of Father’s cause for canonization." 


We invite Courage and EnCourage members and Chaplains to join the Father John Harvey Guild and support this important effort. Membership is free! Guild members are only asked to pray one Hail Mary daily for the opening of the examination of Father Harvey’s cause. They will be sent free prayer cards and a quarterly eNewsletter with updates on the efforts of the Guild. 

Join the Guild (free) 

Order prayer cards (free, available in English & Spanish) 

Make a donation (optional, not required) 

Read more here: The Father John Harvey Guild 

For lots more on Fr. Harvey, visit FrJohnHarvey.com

Happy 102nd Birthday and 75th Anniversary, Fr. Lloyd!

Fr. James Lloyd, CSP, is Courage's oldest and longest-serving chaplain (Manhattan chapter). On April 3, he celebrated his 102nd birthday, and on May 1, he will commemorate the 75th anniversary of his ordination. We thank God for the many years through which we have been blessed by his priestly ministry!

On the occasion of this milestone in his ministry, Father Lloyd has published his latest collection of essays, Lasting Reflections of a Dinosaur Priest.

For lots more from Fr. Lloyd, visit FrJamesLloyd.com

Nordic Bishops Affirm Church Teaching on Sexuality

The Bishops Conference of the Nordic Countries has issued a Pastoral Letter on Human Sexuality which was read aloud on the Fifth Sunday of Lent at Masses in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland. The letter was framed by a reclaimed understanding of God's first covenantal sign to mankind — the rainbow. Here are some highlights:

Our mission and task as bishops is to point towards the peaceful, life-giving path of Christ’s commandments, narrow at the outset but growing broader as we advance. We would let you down if we offered less; we were not ordained to preach little notions of our own. …

In the Church’s hospitable fellowship, there is room for all. The Church, says an ancient text, is "the mercy of God descending on mankind." This mercy excludes no one. But it sets a high ideal.

Read the Nordic Bishops' "Pastoral Letter on Human Sexuality"

Read CNA story about pastoral letter

New Chapters


Charlotte, North Carolina

Spokane, Washington


Seattle, Washington


Find a Courage chapter near you

Find an EnCourage chapter near you

Online chat group support 

Courage on Call phone support

Courage & EnCourage around the world

Facebook  Instagram  Twitter  YouTube

Follow us on social media for the

latest opportunities, news, resources, and inspiration.

Then spread the good news

by liking, retweeting, and sharing.

General Resources

"Christ's Radical Invitation"

Our executive director was recently featured in an interview on the Spirit Mornings show on Omaha's Spirit Catholic Radio as well as in a story in the archdiocese's The Catholic Voice:

Father Philip Bochanski extends a bold invitation – “a very radical invitation” – first offered more than 2,000 years ago by Christ Himself.

That invitation is for everyone, but Father Bochanski, executive director of Courage International Inc., offers it in particular for those who experience same-sex attraction and those who love and support them.

Christ and the Rich Young Ruler

by Heinrich Hoffman

Listen to Fr. Bochanski's “Radical Invitation to All” on Spirit Catholic Radio 

Read Fr. Bochanski's "Christ's Radical Invitation" in The Catholic Voice

Spread the Word in Parish Bulletins

Promote your local Courage and EnCourage chapters

Have you ever wondered about how to word a bulletin announcement about your local Courage and EnCourage chapters? Here's an example sent in by one of our members that you can feel free to use to spread the good news so that people can find the support they need:

Whether you experience same-sex attractions and are committed to following the Catholic Church’s teaching on chastity (Courage) or you have a family member or loved one who identifies as LGBTQ+ (EnCourage), you are not alone. Join our global Courage and EnCourage family and discover a Vatican-approved apostolate that provides confidential support. To learn more, visit Courage International at Couragerc.org. Inquire about our local Courage chapter at [phone number] or [email address] and our local EnCourage chapter at [phone number] or [email address] . 

Visit our YouTube channel for lots of helpful content, especially in the Living with Courage and EnCourage: A Family of Hope playlists

Subscribe, like, and share to spread the word.


Testimonies: The Highlight of Every Conference!

Father John Harvey, OSFS, our founding director, used to say, "Our best ambassadors are our members." Nowhere is that reality better exemplified than during the testimonies at our annual conference, which are the favorite part of the entire weekend for many attendees. Don't miss the 2023 conference so you can hear for yourself the stories of the transforming power of God in individuals' lives. Here are the two Courage testimonies from the 2022 conference:

Watch Neil's testimony

Watch Molly's testimony

Recovery and Lord of the Rings

Magdala Ministries serves women with sexual addiction and helps them find hope, healing, and freedom. They provide community and support, and have a blog where women can share their stories. A member of Courage shared the blog post Recovery and the Lord of Rings with us and we wanted to share it with you. The author describes the experience of finding freedom from an addiction and the inspiration one can find in the story of Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Read "Recovery and Lord of the Rings" 

"Little Miracle"

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On our blog, Bethany, a member of Courage, tells the story of God's transforming work in her life:

I am 24 years old now. I was born with congenital heart disease, which led to my three open heart surgeries – at 13 days old, 2 years old, and 13 years old. The trauma resulted in childhood seizures and an ‘executive dysfunction’ neuro-diverse label. My family church prayed for me because doctors said I would not live, and God simultaneously sent my anxious mother and her pastor a beautiful vision to inform them I would live. …

Continue reading "Little Miracle" 

Share your story, too!

The Upper Room blog is where Courage and EnCourage members and chaplains share their stories of God's work in their lives. Go to CourageRC.org > Resources (dropdown) > Blog. Subscribe by clicking "Update profile" at the bottom of this email.

Send us an email if you'd like to submit your story


What is Real Love?

This simple but moving short video from IMbeggar is filled with insights and affirmation for those of us who have loved ones who identify as LGBTQ+. It begins:

I love you. … Let me tell you what I mean by that. I don’t mean it in some kind of fake, warm and fuzzy sentimental way. I’m not saying it just to be nice or to look good or to get you to like me. What I mean is, at the very least, I only want what is good for you. At the very most I mean I’ll give myself, my life, in any way I can, for your good.

View "What is Love?" on FORMED (with parish or individual subscription)

View on IMBeggar (includes accompanying notes)

"Keep Knocking on the Door" for Fallen Away Children

The National Catholic Register published a piece from Maggie Green, the author of The Saint Monica Club. Her reflection is from the heart as she writes of her sorrow about her children's wanderings and the faith with which she entrusts them to the Lord. Some excerpts:

My favorite story in the whole Bible is Jesus’ instruction, “Ask and you shall receive.” …

I have children wandering, and I want them back. My heart aches each day, as I know they willingly seek to be elsewhere. …

You told us to knock. I am banging on the door.

Read "Keep Knocking on the Door"

For Spanish Speaking Members and Friends

April Newsletter in Spanish

April Courage & EnCourage newsletter in Spanish

Subscribe to the Spanish-language newsletter

Courage Internacional website in Spanish


Couragerc.org/español | Contáctanos

Para suscribirse al boletín en español | Archivo

Facebook  Instagram  Twitter  YouTube

Pastoral Resources

USCCB Note on Limits to Manipulation of Human Body

The United States Congress of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) released a note titled Doctrinal Note on Moral Limits to Technological Manipulation of the Human Body written by the Committee of Doctrine. In this note the bishops address when it is morally justifiable to make changes to the human body and urge us all to keep in mind the natural order and design created by God. Pulling from many ancient and modern texts the bishops outline the morality of surgeries pertaining to gender dysphoria versus surgeries intended to repair a defect in the body or to protect the whole of the body. This document may be especially helpful for those in the medical field and for all those serving in a pastoral way.

Read USCCB's doctrinal note

Ruah Woods Institute is a Valuable Resource

Integrates psychology and Catholic faith, plus TOB teaching resources

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Based in Cincinnati, Ruah Woods Institute is a group of Catholic scholars and educators who created curriculum and resources for teachers, catechists and parents. Their curriculum focuses on teaching Theology of the Body for grades K through 12, and they provide training for educators online and in person. They also provide psychological services in the Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio area which integrate psychological sciences and Catholic social teaching.

Check out the Ruah Woods Institute

Truth & Love, an initiative of Courage International, is a multifaceted Catholic resource for anyone seeking the tools to support men and women who experience same-sex attractions.



Conference videos



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Courage Men's Sports Camp XXIII

May 25-28, 2023

Southeastern Pennsylvania

Event page | More details and testimonies

Courage Clergy Study Day

July 26, 2023

Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas

Schedule | Registration info on annual conference page in early May.

Courage & EnCourage Annual Conference

July 27–30, 2023

Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas

Conference page (speakers, schedule) | Brochure Registration begins in early May.

EnCourage Retreat

September 29–October 1, 2023

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Save the date!

Watch our Events Calendar regularly for updates.

NOTE TO CHAPLAINS: You are encouraged and more than welcome to participate in all Courage & EnCourage events. Please feel free to reach out to the event organizer to see how you can be involved.

Photo credits:

Disclaimer: Courage does not necessarily fully endorse all of the ideas included in resources that are not produced by Courage, but we still like to share items that we and our members have found to have considerable helpful content.

Donations gratefully accepted

CourageRC.org | TruthandLove.com | 203.803.1564 | Contact us

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