Fr. Harvey 100th Birthday Jubilee Year Finale 
Tributes from our members, past and present

Portrait by Gary H.
Dear Courage and EnCourage friends, 

Our jubilee year commemorating the 100th birthday of Courage's beloved founding director, Fr. John F. Harvey, O.S.F.S, comes to a close this month.

In this final installment, we're happy to announce our new Fr. Harvey legacy page. The page features a reflection from Tina N., a Courage member who knew him well, having served as his personal assistant. This will also be where we will offer a collection of photos, as well as testimonies about Fr. Harvey from those who knew him. In addition, we have unearthed some quotes captured at the time of Father's death from those who were blessed by his ministry. 

God bless you with joyful hope during these final days of Advent, 
The Courage Central Office, 

Legacy page archives members' memories 

From Tina, N., who was privileged to serve as Fr. Harvey's personal assistant: 

....The efficacy of our sacraments is a result, not of the holiness of priests but of Christ Himself who is their Author. Yet, what a blessing it is when the priest who invites us to partake of the sacraments is an authentic example of Christian charity, humility, courage, and joy! Fr. John Harvey OSFS was such a priest: a loving and holy spiritual father who cared deeply and genuinely about all those around him, especially those to whom he'd been called to minister as a priest, teacher, and counsellor.

How fitting then that Fr. Harvey was requested to start and direct Courage, an apostolate whose members often hunger for a true spiritual father to care about the hidden wounds in their hearts. One recalls the words of Jesus, asking "What man is there among you, of whom if his son shall ask for bread, would give him a stone? Or if he shall ask for fish, would give him a serpent?" ... Fr. Harvey had the courage to present the full teachings of the Church through this apostolate, and he did this with the utmost pastoral care and attention for individual souls. In so doing, he imitated our Heavenly Father who only wants the best for His children. 
[ continue reading]

See collection of tributes to Fr. Harvey from current members 
2010 tributes captured for posterity 

At the time of his death, some lovely tributes were posted below Father's online obituary. These jewels were captured for posterity by Sr. Anne Flanagan of the Daughters of St. Paul in her blog. 

"He has embodied the ministry that he has founded, his person characterized by that same word -- COURAGE."

"He is one of the few priests who dared to love the person struggling with same-sex attractions with the unconditional love of Father God."

"You reflected Christ to me as I was trying to navigate my way through some very rough waters. You listened and told me the truth in love in accordance with Scripture. You were a light in my dark corner of the world and pointed me toward Christ."

"Thank you so much for showing me how to manage my SSA. Because of you ... I now have many, many dear friends who are like family ... My life is so much happier!"

"I sensed I was in the presence of a saint." 


Contents of this Newsletter 

Courage News 

Fr. Bochanski Speaks to College Students about SSA
What is God asking of me? What's my future going to be? 

Fr. Philip Bochanski, the Executive Director of Courage, spent an evening with students at Christ the King Parish, which serves Louisiana State University. He outlined the teachings of the Church with a particular emphasis on the vocational questions of young people who experience same-sex attractions: "What is my life going to be like? What's my future going to be? Is there a happy life, a normal life, that God has in mind for me, and how do I find it?  "


New Chapters

Courage takes off in Scotland!


Courage Chapters:

About 170 Courage chapters around the world

More Items Added to Courage Online Store
Desire of the Everlasting Hills DVDs now available 

View trailer for Desire of the Everlasting Hills
Stop by the new Courage online store to pick up some  Desire of the Everlasting Hills DVDs with accompanying study guides. This moving documentary captures the stories of three of our members as they find their peace and freedom in the Lord through His Church. Although the film is readily accessible online, there is something about actually handing a person the gift of a DVD which is more personal than just texting him or her a link. Consider purchasing several copies to give to family, friends, clergy members, teachers, etc. The price is right as you only pay cost, plus shipping and handling. The DVDs have subtitles in several languages, plus you can view  study guides in seven languages online. 

From Our Members 

Courage Member Offers Testimony in Multiple Venues
Finds fulfillment and freedom when he realizes his identity is in Christ

Courage member, Hudson Byblow, was recently featured in a CD and MP3 for the Augustine Institute's Lighthouse Talks, entitled  "In Pursuit of My Identity: Homosexuality, Transgenderism, and My Life". In the talk, Hudson "discusses his own experience of same-sex attraction and transgender inclinations. He invites others to experience the fulfillment and freedom he discovered when he came to the profound realization that his most fundamental identity is found in Christ" ( product description).  Get a preview by reading his interview about the CD with Lisa Mladinich, Catholic television host and author. 

In addition, Hudson was the subject of a winsome, professionally-produced short film and a story by Grandin Media for the Archdiocese of Edmonton, in the province of Alberta, Canada. The article title says it all: "Journey through same-sex attractions leads to joyful embrace of God's call to holiness." 

On Depression, Same-Sex Attraction, and Advent

Courage member, Daniel Mattson, author of Why I Don't Call Myself Gay, wrote a powerful reflection on his blog for all those struggling with loneliness this Advent season:

Photo credit below

In the cold of winter, as the days grow shorter, and the clouds fill the sky with dreary monochrome, loneliness can freeze over the soul. Advent, we've always been told, is a season of waiting -- but waiting for what, exactly? The life of the single person often feels like a perpetual Advent, a life filled with waiting, watching, and hoping that somehow, someway, someday, 'life' will finally begin.


Corrected Link: Important Book for Teaching Children
Made This Way: Prepare Kids to Face Today's Tough Moral Issues 

In our last newsletter we featured the new book from Catholic Answers, Made This Way, which helps parents and all who work with children find the right words to talk with both young children and teens about several challenging subjects, including homosexuality, same-sex "marriage," and transgenderism. (See full table of contents on Amazon's "Look Inside") 

We inadvertently gave you the wrong link last month. Here's the correct link for buying 20 books for just $5 each. Consider purchasing a whole case to give away and/or sell to the members of your EnCourage group, family members, fellow parishioners, parish staff, teachers, priests, and more! 

"Coming Out" at Christmas
A pastoral response to parents 

On the Truth & Love blog, Fr. Philip Bochanski offers helpful insights for those involved in pastoral ministry, but parents, too, will find assistance: 

Amid the many joys of the Christmas season, we also come face to face with many challenges. It's an incredibly busy time, for a start, which often leaves little time or energy for the kind of spiritual preparation that such an important feast deserves. There's so much to get done, and then so many people to see -- just as the last gift is wrapped and the last dish prepared, here comes everyone, including sons and daughters returning home for the holiday celebration. So much news, so much to catch up on. And then, in some homes -- more and more these days, it seems -- an unexpected announcement: "Mom, Dad ... I want you to know that I'm gay."

Priests, deacons and pastoral ministers should be prepared, especially at this time of year, to encounter parents who have just received this news from their children, and are looking to the Church for answers and support. How can we help them? How should we respond?[...]

Vist the Truth & Love blog
for more posts like this one.


Courage Latino
A Blessed Courage-Latino Conference 

From right to left: Fr. Garcia, Fr. Wainwright, Cardinal Aguiar, Fr. Bochanski 
About 100 Courage and EnCourage members participated in the November Courage-Latino conference. It was a blessing to meet the new Archbishop of Mexico City, Cardinal Carlos Aguiar, who is in this photo along with Fr. Luis David Garcia (Courage and EnCourage chaplain in the Basilica of Guadalupe), Fr. Buenaventura Wainwright (Courage-Latino spiritual director), and Fr. Philip Bochanski. 

Tienda en Línea de Courage Tiene Recursos en Español

La tienda en línea de Courage ya está abierta. Puede encontrar la serie de cinco DVDs, Invited to Courageous Love ("Invitado a un Amor Valiente") así como la versíon en DVD de  Desire of the Everlasting Hills ("Deseo de los Collados Eternos", historias conmovedoras de tres miembros de Courage,) que tiene subtítulos en español. Invited to Courageous Love también tiene una guía de estudio en español en lí­nea. Y la serie Desire of the Everlasting Hills, tambíen cuenta con una  guía de estudio en lí­nea

«Salir del clóset» en Navidad
Una respuesta pastoral para los padres 

Este artículo, escrito por el P. Philip Bochanski, el Director Ejecutivo de Courage, fue traducido del su versión orginal in inglés del blog Truth & Love

Photo credit below
Entre las muchas alegrías de la temporada navideña, también nos encontramos cara a cara con varios desafíos. Para comenzar, es un tiempo increíblemente ajetreado que, con frecuencia, nos deja sin tiempo ni energía para el tipo de preparación espiritual que semejante fiesta tan importante se merece. Hay tanto por preparar y tanta gente por ver -- todo mientras envolvemos el último regalo y cocinamos el último platillo --. De repente llegan las visitas, incluyendo a los hijos que vuelven a casa para las fiestas. Tantas noticias nuevas, tantas cosas sobre las que ponerse al día y, en algunos hogares, incluso -- parece que cada vez con más frecuencia en nuestros días -- un anuncio inesperado: «Mamá, papá...quiero que sepan que soy gay».


Pastoral Resources
For clergy, parish and diocesan staff, catechists, 
mental/medical health care professionals, and other pastoral ministers

Videos from October Truth & Love Conference Online
See our speakers "Proclaiming the Splendor of Truth with Love" 

Did you miss the Truth & Love Conference in Connecticut this past October? Even if you missed the opportunity for fellowship and networking, you can still take advantage of our terrific lineup of speakers. Among them were experts in the fields of pastoral ministry, theology, psychology and health care, as well as several witnesses speaking from their own life experience. Just go to our Vimeo channel to start watching. The first sixteen talks are from the most recent conference (plus you can also view talks from our 2016 conference in Phoenix).

Fr. Philip Bochanski: "No One Lives on a Bridge: 
 Reflections on Current Catholic Discourse"

New Promo Video for Truth & Love 

View this short video on Facebook for an overview of all that  Truth & Love has to offer to clergy, religious, ministerial leaders, educators, and medical and mental health professions, who wish to walk with people with same-sex attractions as they seek God and guidance in how to live. Don't hesitate to share the promo on social media so that others can take advantage of all that Truth & Love has to offer: a comprehensive catalog of resources, an exclusive blog, and  conferences

Then share it with others on social media and beyond! 


Framing a Catholic Response: Understanding Sexual Identity 
January 8-10, 2019, in Indianapolis, Indiana
For clergy, educators, catechists, ecclesial ministers, etc. in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Will feature Fr. Philip Bochanski, Dcn. Patrick Lappert, MD, Dr. Janet Smith, and Courage testimony. 
Flyer |  Schedule 

Gender Matters: Fighting for a New Generation
January 19, 2019, in Denver, Colorado
With Andy Comiskey and Desert Stream Ministries. 
Hosted by the Archdiocese of Denver. 
Discover together the compassion and clarity of Jesus towards persons facing gender and sexual identity issues.

Courage Men's Retreat
January 25-27, 2019, in Stamford, Connecticut
Information: Office@couragerc.org

West Coast Living Waters Leadership Training Seminar
February 2-8, 2019, in Calabasas, California 
With Andy Comiskey and Desert Stream Ministries
Equips attendees for effective ministry to the sexually and relationally broken

The Transgender Moment: 
Understanding and Responding to Contemporary Culture
April 5-6, 2019, in Steubenville, Ohio 
Franciscan University Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life
Will feature Anthony Esolen, Michelle Cretella, MD, Ryan T. Anderson, and Mary Hasson, as well as Courage's Dcn. Patrick Lappert, MD.

Courage/EnCourage Day of Reflection
April 6, 2019
Tampa Bay area, Florida (Diocese of St. Petersburg)
With Fr. Philip Bochanski and Bishop Gregory Parkes

Courage/EnCourage Spiritual Conference 
April 27, 2019, in Somers, New York 
Theme: "Divine Mercy and Families"
Speakers: Fr. Jonathon Morris and Fr. Gerald Murray, JCD

Courage Women's Spring Retreat
May 30 - June 2, 2019, near Allentown, Pennsylvania
Save the date. Details forthcoming. 

Courage/EnCourage Annual Conference
July 18-21, 2019, in Mundelein, Illinois 
Save the date. Details forthcoming. 

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. 

Photo credits: 

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