Don't Miss Out! Register by Wednesday, July 3
Courage and EnCourage Annual Conference

"Courageous Friendship: Inspiring Hope and Renewal"
July 18–21 in Mundelein, Illinois
Clergy Study Day on July 17
Dear friends,

Our annual Courage and EnCourage conference is only two weeks away. Don't miss the last day for registration which is tomorrow, Wednesday, July 3.

As reported by the Catholic News Agency, Cardinal Thomas Collins, who will be attending the conference has "called Courage 'a great sign of hope.'" Several other prelates will also be present, serving as an affirmation from the Church of the work of our apostolate.

"Father Philip Bochanski, Courage’s executive director, likened the event to a family reunion, where individuals may grow in a community that helps them in the pursuit of chastity. 'Every year, our Annual Conference often feels more like a family reunion than a conference. It's a special opportunity for our members to reconnect with old friends, and to form new friendships with those who understand their experience and their journey.' "

We hope to see you there!

God bless you,
The Courage Central Office
  • The King's Men's Mark Houck to Speak at Conference
  • Avera Maria Santo to Share Testimony

  • New Vatican Document Warns About Gender Theory
  • New Courage and EnCourage Chapters
  • Courage and Philippines Bishops Co-host Conference

  • Novena of Surrender
  • Custody of the Eyes

  • Wounded Healers Bring Hope to One Another
  • Helping Young People Understand Tough Teachings 

  • Courage-Latino Spanish July E-Newsletter in Spanish (Courage-Latino boletín electrónico de julio)

  • Come for Pre-Conference Clergy Study Day on July 17 and Stay for the Courage Conference
  • "Accompanying Those with Same-Sex Attractions"

  • Lots of opportunities for Courage, EnCourage, and those in ministry
Annual Courage & EnCourage Conference
The King's Men's Mark Houck Will Speak to Men
"The Truths Hidden Behind the Secrets Men Keep"
Mark Houck is the founder and president of The King’s Men which works to unite and build up men of God as "leaders, protectors, and providers," with a particular emphasis on chastity. Our members are encouraged to attend the Samson Healing Retreat for Men or the Judith Healing Retreat for Women hosted by these longtime friends of Courage. Mark's presentation will be on the hyper-sexualized culture and its impact on the development of young men and their growth into manhood .

Avera Maria Santo to Share Testimony
"Don't call me gay. Call me Catholic."
At the young age of 22, Avera Maria Santo writes and speaks around the country with passion and conviction about homosexuality and Catholicism. She will be joining us at the conference to share her story, giving a tangible and joyful witness to the goodness, truth, and beauty of the Church’s teachings. Watch Avera's conversation with Manny Gonzalez to get a sense of her contagious joy and clarity of thought.

Avera Santo Maria and Manny Gonzalez.
This video has Spanish subtitles.
Courage News
New Vatican Document Warns About Gender Theory
Upholds the beautiful reality that "Male and Female He Created Them"
On June 10 the Congregation for Catholic Education released a document entitled “Male and Female He Created Them": Towards a Path of Dialogue on the Question of Gender Theory in Education.

The Catholic News Agency reported that Courage executive director, Fr. Philip Bochanski, believes "the document deserves 'careful study and reflection.' On an initial reading, he said, 'it is already clear to me that it is both insightful and useful for our constant efforts to "speak the truth in love" (Eph 4:15) to the world about the Good News of God's plan for our lives.' "

New Courage and EnCourage Chapters
200 chapters of Courage & EnCourage
around the world
Courage and Philippines Bishops Co-host Conference
"Journeying Toward Christ with Persons Who Experience SSA"
Courage Philippines, together with the Commission on Family and Life of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, is hosting a national conference on the accompaniment of persons with same-sex attractions on August 1. This event kicks off the twenty-fifth anniversary year of Courage in the Philippines. It will serve as an opportunity for Courage chaplains and members to share the good news about Courage with the wider Church, as the entire afternoon is devoted to "The Courage Accompaniment Experience."

Courage Resources
Novena of Surrender to Jesus
"Jesus, I surrender myself to you; take care of everything!"
A growing number of Courage and EnCourage members have been finding consolation in the powerful Novena of Surrender from Italian Servant of God, Fr. Ruotolo Dolindo (1882-1970). We recently discovered a beautiful video version of it led by Fr. Charbel Grbavac, O.Praem., from St. Michael's Abbey. As Father explains in his introduction, the novena encourages a trustful surrender to Jesus through which "He will intervene and change our worry to peace."
Custody of the Eyes
"If you learn to control what you look at, how deep will the peace be."
As a part of their Rediscover Jesus program, Dynamic Catholic published a reflection entitled "Purity of Heart: God wants you to be the master of what you choose to look at." In the first video, Matthew Kelly explains, "Custody of the eyes isn't just about looking away or avoiding visual occasions of sin. It's about turning our eyes toward things of beauty which enrich the soul and lead us to a deeper relationship with Christ." Also included are a written reflection and a second video (scroll down to view) on the subject.

EnCourage Resources
Wounded Healers Bring Hope to One Another
Find encouragement in the EnCourage Yahoo Group
Shared with permission, this moving exchange between two mothers in the EnCourage Yahoo Group, offers a glimpse of the empathy and faith-filled encouragement found there. Our members support one another in carrying similar, heavy crosses. Names and details have been changed or omitted to preserve confidentiality.

"Ann" shares her sorrow:
"I have been hearing from [my daughter] less and less. … I felt something was wrong and so missed hearing her voice. I went into Facebook and ... a [young lady with a male name was] announcing … that she is transitioning. I didn't get it at first … [then] realized it was my daughter. I am devastated. … I may never hear that voice ... again. … I feel I have let down God. … I devoted my life to raising children with one purpose — to get them to heaven. And I have totally failed."

"Elizabeth" offers understanding and encouragement: 
"I’m so sorry. This heartbreak is like no other. … Our daughter … also experiences gender dysphoria. … I do remember how surreal it was to speak to her on the phone. … Her voice had changed … I was in terrible grief. … You are NOT a failure! … Every one of us ... can tell you that we’ve gone back to the time our kids were born and thought about all the ways we might have contributed to this malady ..."

"Elizabeth" goes on to offer much insightful wisdom that is the fruit of her own experience that "we’re never closer to Christ than when we’re on the Cross with Him."

Helping Young People Understand Tough Teachings
Bringing the liberating light of Christ into the darkness
Courage member and author, David Prosen, recently wrote an article for Our Sunday Visitor Newsweekly: "The teachings of the Church on homosexuality are beautiful, freeing and filled with the message of truth, authentic love and hope. At the same time, it’s hard to read and learn these teachings in the dark or while in a very dimly lit room. Today’s modern culture is dark. ... We need the illuminating light of Christ, which can pierce the darkness. ... How do we bring the liberating and empowering words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to our children who daily must leave the safety of our home brightly lit by the light of Christ?"

Courage-Latino July E-Newsletter in Spanish
Courage-Latino boletín electrónico de julio
Pastoral Resources
Come to the pre-conference Clergy Study Day ... 
Wednesday, July 17
University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Illinois
  • Clergy day information (schedule, talk descriptions)
  • For priests, deacons, and seminarians
  • No charge for study day!

... and then stay for the Courage Conference July 18-21 in the same location

July 3 is the last day for registration
"Accompanying Those with Same-Sex Attractions"
Meeting the real needs: truth, authentic love, and hope
A recent guest on the Kyle Heimann Show, David Prosen, shared some of his personal testimony and then went on to make recommendations from his new book, "Accompanying Those with Same-Sex Attractions," on how we as a Church can effectively reach out to persons with same-sex attractions. David will be speaking on this subject at the July Clergy Study Day as well as with parents at the Courage & EnCourage Conference.

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 the newsletter or on our events calendar.
Midwest Living Waters Leadership Training Seminar
July 6-12, 2019, in Kansas City, Kansas 
With Andrew Comiskey and Desert Stream Ministries
Equips attendees for effective ministry to the sexually and relationally broken.
Clergy Study Day (Register by July 3!)
July 17, 2019, in Mundelein, Illinois 
In conjunction with Courage/EnCourage Conference.
Courage/EnCourage Conference (Register by July 3!)
July 18-21, 2019, in Mundelein, Illinois 
"Courageous Love: Journeying Toward Christ with Persons Who Experience Same-Sex Attractions” 
August 1, 2019, in Guadalupe, Makati, Philippines   
Cohosted by Courage Philippines and the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life of the Catholic Bishops of the Philippines. 
Conference flyer (includes schedule and registration information)
Spiritual Day Retreat (English and Spanish)
August 3, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas  
"Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you...."
San Antonio Courage and EnCourage.
More information: (210) 996-1371 or rmscouragesa@gmail.com.
Ruah Woods Teacher Training: Gender and Sexual Identity
August 8–9, 2019, in Cincinnati, Ohio 
Fr. Philip Bochanski presenting via Zoom. 
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
Judith Healing Retreat for Women
October 24–27, 2019, in Piffard, New York 
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.
Samson Healing Retreat
November 7–10, 2019, in Hammonton, New Jersey 
Hosted by The Kings Men 
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. 

Phot o credits