Courage & EnCourage Conference Highlights
"Courage is a special instrument of God for these times."
(Bishop John Keenan's homily at conference)
Dear Courage and EnCourage friends, 
About 300 people from ten different countries gathered at the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Illinois, for our thirty-first annual "family reunion" at the  Courage and EnCourage Conference last month. The day before, we held a clergy study day with about thirty priests and deacons, plus two bishops attending.

We were affirmed by the strong ecclesial support of four prelates who celebrated Mass, preached fortifying homilies, and then remained throughout much of the conference to bless us with their presence. In addition, we enjoyed a terrific lineup of speakers (see conference brochure) and members who encouraged and inspired us through their presentations. For many, the most significant part of the event was simply the opportunity for fellowship, through which we are able to experience the love and care of our Lord through one another.
Front of conference prayer card:
Click to view the prayer
in English and Spanish.
In emails to Courage, two first-time attendees shared their enthusiasm. One Courage member wrote of the conference, "I ended up receiving…way more encouragement and hope and resources for myself than I realised was possible". An EnCourage mom said, "Just wanted to let you know what a beautiful experience it was for me. The presence of the Holy Spirit was so powerful. I loved everything about it!" (quotes here shared with permission)

God bless you, 
The Courage Central Office
  • Captured Moments at the Conference
  • "I Have Called You Friends" (Fr. Bochanski's conference talk)

  • Fr. Bochanski on Hope with Catholic Man Show
  • Courage Member Interviewed in National Catholic News
  • Divine Mercy University Tuition Discount

  • "A Foolish Dreamer Awakens in the Church at Last"
  • "10 Meditations to Help You Attain Purity of Heart"

  • "St. Monica Struggled to Surrender Her Son to God"
  • "When Tolerance Isn't Tolerance"

  • Courage-Latino Spanish August E-Newsletter in Spanish (Courage-Latino boletín electrónico de agosto)

  • In-Person Courage & EnCourage Chaplain Training
  • Missed the Courage Clergy Study Day? Watch videos online!

  • Lots of opportunities for Courage, EnCourage, and those in ministry
Annual Courage & EnCourage Conference
Moments from the Conference
Highlighting Jesus' words of consolation in the Gospel, "Come to me all who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest":

"You're on the right path. It's a great thing that you're here." [Paraphrased]

Bishop Peter Byrne, auxiliary bishop of New York
"Whatever the mysterious purposes of his providence, every crisis is an opportunity for us to become men and women of prayer, become deeper in prayer."

Fr. Paul Scalia, "Praying in Times of Crisis"
"We don't have time for superficiality... There is someone greater here than anyone else… present to us in the word and the sacraments, leading us to heaven. Focus on our Lord Jesus."

Cardinal Thomas Collins, archbishop of Toronto
The devil's goal isn't to get you to lust; his goal is to get you to lose your salvation.…The devil wants to tell us that we're weird, and that we'll never be happy unless we go against God's will.…When we're in the midst of struggling against temptation, we should always resist the temptation to stop praying."

Fr Raphael Salzillo, O.P.," Spiritual Combat and the Grace of Purity"
"We all bear wounds.…The question that comes to mind is: What are we to do with these wounds? Do we go into ourselves? Isolate ourselves, have pity for ourselves? That doesn't seem to get us anywhere. The answer is to give our wounds to Jesus Christ. He's the Healer, and he knows our wounds better than ourselves"

Bishop John LeVoir, Diocese of New Ulm, Minnesota
"I'm convinced that Courage is a special instrument of God for these times."

Bishop John Keenan, Diocese of Paisley, Scotland
I Have Called You Friends" (John 15:15).
Closing keynote address from Courage director, Fr. Philip Bochanski 
"He knows you. He sees you. He speaks to you face to face."
Purchase Conference Video and Audio
Many talks from this year's conference and past conferences are available for purchase and/or online viewing. These resources are terrific for Courage and EnCourage members, but also are a great way to introduce others to our apostolate. Consider giving some CDs or DVDs or emailing links to clergy members, family, or friends. 
VIDEO: Purchase DVDs or View Online

View past conference video online:
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016, 2018
AUDIO: Purchase CDs from the Daughters of St. Paul

Courage News
Fr. Bochanski on Hope with The Catholic Man Show
"Never, ever, ever…have you ever been left alone by God."
We thoroughly enjoyed having The Catholic Man Show hosts, Adam Minihan and David Niles as speakers at our conference. While there, they taped an episode with Courage Executive Director, Fr. Philip Bochanski. The conversation touched on Courage and the conference and then moved onto "what hope is but also show[ing] how we can exercise this theological virtue, through being daring, changing our ways, serving the Lord, struggling, suffering, and praying. We examine[d] how hope directs us to our ultimate goal of life with God and gives us the strength and perseverance to attain it."

Courage Member Interviewed in National Catholic News
"God is so, so good, and God loves [you]"!
Conference speaker and Courage member, Avera Maria Santo, was interviewed by the National Catholic Register. She "discusses how she became involved with Courage and how people can 'open the floodgates' to have a real conversation on same-sex attraction with friends and family that is rooted in a profound awareness of God’s goodness and love."

Divine Mercy University Tuition Discount
Divine Mercy University offers a  20% tuition reduction to those associated with Courage and EnCourage in hopes that "the Holy Spirit is drawing more people to serve the mental health needs of people with same-sex attraction." Divine Mercy University "is committed to mental health rooted in the Catholic understanding of the human person, the family, and society."

Programs offered at Divine Mercy University:

Contact Divine Mercy University admissions today at 703-416-1441 or  enroll.divinemercy.edu. Be sure to tell them Courage sent you! 

Courage Resources
"A Foolish Dreamer Awakens in the Church at Last"
"It is the utter mercy of Jesus that I did not drown totally"
There is a compelling personal account in Catholic Stand of the faith odyssey of Courage member, Richard G. Evans. "I have had more than my share of struggles in my pursuit of Catholicism at her core. That core is chasing holiness. To quote the Baltimore Catechism,…Why did God make you? God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in heaven.” Simple and obvious, right? Yet it seems to have somewhat eluded me for over 60 years. Or to be more honest I did much of the eluding, at least in large part."

Peter reaches out to Jesus in 
by Ivan Aivazovsky
"10 Meditations to Help You Attain Purity of Heart"
 "Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find." (Matthew 7:7)
The white lily is used in sacred art as a symbol of chastity and purity, and thus is often found in depictions of St. Joseph.
Fr. Ed Broom, O.M.V, author of From Humdrum to Holy: A Step by Step Guide to Living as a Saint, offers insightful and practical tips for growing in chastity on Catholic Exchange. "Let us delve into this all-important topic of purity, of the virtue of chastity.…In a real sense we are soldiers of Jesus and Mary and must compose a concrete strategy or plan so as to win, to conquer, the virtue of purity, keenly aware of the words of Jesus Himself who declared: 'Nothing is impossible with God!' (Mt 29:26)"
EnCourage Resources
"St. Monica Struggled to Surrender Her Son to God"
 God works through the love and prayers of an imperfect mother
Sabrina Vu wrote an insightful reflection in Catholic Stand about St. Monica that is sure to be reassuring to many EnCourage parents. "The case for [St. Monica's] canonization came about through Augustine’s descriptions of her life. And yet he does not portray her as an idealized woman who never faltered. Rather, he describes her realistically, bringing to light both her strengths and her struggles.…God worked through her humble perseverance to prayer to not only convert her son but to more deeply convert her."

"When Tolerance Isn't Tolerance"
How to respond to those who say we are intolerant "homophobes"?
Catholic Answers apologist, Karlo Broussard, provides guidance for EnCourage members who are pressured to give approval to harmful life choices: "The 'intolerance charge' is a powerful weapon in the hands of LGBTQ supporters because most people consider tolerance to be the universal standard by which kindness and respect are measured. Consequently, anyone seen as lacking tolerance for others is perceived as being mean spirited and disrespectful, or the 'bad guy.' And no one wants to be the bad guy."

Listen to more from Karlo Broussard on how to deal with challenging real-life situations with truth and love:
Courage-Latino August E-Newsletter in Spanish
Courage-Latino boletín electrónico de agosto
Pastoral Resources
In-Person Courage & EnCourage Chaplain Training
We invite all current and prospective chaplains to come to the Courage Office in Trumbull, Connecticut for in-person training. Have the opportunity to attend several Courage and EnCourage meetings with Fr. Bochanski and other veteran chaplains. Meet the office staff to find out how we support and aid our chaplains and discuss best practices with Father. Enjoy prayer time and daily Mass in our office chapel. For more information, or to discuss dates and details, please contact Heather at heatherv@couragerc.org or 203-803-1564 ext. 7019.
Courage Office in Trumbull, CT,
captured by Google Maps
Missed the Courage Clergy Study Day?
That's OK—you can still watch videos online!
Click to view talk on
Christian anthropology by Fr. Bochanski

Courage Clergy Study Days cover important topics related to ministry to persons with same-sex attractions and their families:
  • Christian anthropology
  • Insights from psychology
  • Gender dysphoria
  • Pastoral care
  • Preaching

Upcoming Events
Let us know about your events!

Is your local Courage or EnCourage chapter hosting an event? Send us an email so we can consider it for inclusion in our newsletter or events calendar.
Courage & EnCourage Day of Recollection
August 24, 2019 in Southern California
Flyer | Register by August 16
Gender Matters Conference
September 7, 2019, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Discover the compassion and clarity of Jesus for persons facing sexual identity problems with Andrew Comiskey and Desert Stream Ministries.
Hosted by the Office for Life and Family of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
EnCuentro Internacional Courage & EnCourage (Spanish)
September 13-15, 2019 in Ciudad de México, México
Living Waters Pacific Southwest Regional Conference
October 12, 2019, in Palm Springs, California 
"Who Does He Say That I Am?"
With Andrew Comiskey and Desert Stream Ministries
Judith Healing Retreat for Women
October 24–27, 2019, in Piffard, New York 
Hosted by The Kings Men
East Coast Living Waters Leadership Training Seminar
October 28–November 3, 2019, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania
With Andrew Comiskey and Desert Stream Ministries
Equips attendees for effective ministry to the sexually and relationally broken.
Courage Women's Retreat
October 31–November 3, 2019 in New Jersey
Information and registration: couragewomensretreat@gmail.com
Samson Healing Retreat
November 7–10, 2019, in Hammonton, New Jersey 
Hosted by The Kings Men 
EnCourage Midwest Retreat
November 22–24, 2019, in Columbus, Ohio
Information and registration: HeatherV@couragerc.org
Courage "Christian Manhood" Retreat
December 6–8, 2019, in Southern California
Sacred Journey: Mother's Healing Retreat
December 6–8, 2019, in Westminster, Colorado 
With Janelle Hallman and Desert Hope Ministries
Courage Midwest Men's Retreat
January 10–12, 2020, in Indianapolis, Indiana
Information and registration:
Dcn. Steve Hodges at IndyCourage@yahoo.com
Courage Retreat
March 27–29, 2020, in Birmingham, Alabama
Details in future newsletters
Truth & Love Conference
April 27–29, 2020, in Washington, D.C.
For those involved in ministry to persons who experience same-sex attractions.
General conference information | Details in future newsletters
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. 

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