June 2022
St. Charles Lwanga by Krystyn Brown at The Saints Project (used with permission)
The Memorial of St. Charles Lwanga and Companions, Martyrs, is celebrated on June 3.
Message from Our Director
Dear Friends,

It's a pleasure to greet you at the beginning of the month of June — such an important month for our Courage and EnCourage family. For many years, this month has been set apart as a special time for us to recall the deep meaning of our identity, the source of our solidarity, and the reason that we strive to make progress every day. We can take great pride in the reality which binds us together, and we ought to be ready to share it with everyone. We've even changed our logo for this month to let people know what we're celebrating.

I'm thinking, of course, about the fact that June is the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In that most precious gift to His brothers and sisters, the Lord calls on us to "behold the Heart which has so loved human beings that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming Itself, in order to testify to Its love." In the Sacred Heart we encounter the sacred humanity of the Word made Flesh, and realize more fully that "Christ, the final Adam, by the revelation of the mystery of the Father and His love, fully reveals Man to Man himself and makes his supreme calling clear" (Gaudium et spes, 22). We know who we are as human beings through His sacred humanity, and we learn how to love as human beings, as men and women, as friends, as spouses, as parents and children, from His Sacred Heart.

This month is full of feasts that confirm our identity and our vocation even further. On Pentecost Sunday (June 5) we ask for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit and His seven-fold gift, including the very necessary gift of fortitude — that is, courage! A week later we celebrate the Most Holy Trinity (June 12), for at His Ascension the Lord took our human nature — our body, mind, heart, and soul — and placed it in the midst of the eternal communion of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The feast of Corpus Christi (June 19) calls us to center our striving for our Five Goals in the Most Holy Eucharist, "the source and the summit of the Christian life" (Lumen gentium, 11). And throughout the month the example of the saints guides and inspires us, as we strive for the purity of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (June 25) and Saint Aloysius Gonzaga (June 21); to speak the truth in defense of marriage, the family and sexual purity like Saint John the Baptist (June 24); and to give all we have to defend the visible unity of the Church and the integrity of its teaching, like Saints Peter and Paul (June 29) and Saint Irenaeus of Lyons (June 28).

We begin this amazing, grace-filled month with the feast of the patron saints of the Courage apostolate, Saint Charles Lwanga and his twenty-one companions, the Martyrs of Uganda. The martyrs were recent converts to Catholicism, most of whom served in the household of King Mwanga II as pages, servants, soldiers, or government officials. The fierce persecution which lasted from May 25 to June 3, 1886, was sparked by the jealous fury of the king, who frequently sought to seduce the young Catholic pages into intimate sexual acts, which they and their catechists always resisted. Eleven of the twenty-two martyrs were burned alive on June 3; others were stabbed, beaten, or killed in other horrifying ways. Some were as young as fifteen or sixteen years old.

June 3 is also the anniversary of our founding director, Father John Harvey's, ordination to the priesthood in 1944. His remark as he was approaching retirement from active ministry — "I want to be remembered as being faithful to a mission." — beautifully echoes the last words of one of the Ugandan martyrs as the fire was lighted in Namugongo — "Tell the Fathers we were faithful to the end!" As we live this month in a world and a Church that seems so confused about sexual identity, sexual morality and the beauty of chastity, Saint Charles and all of our beloved patrons will be our powerful intercessors and faithful guides. Be sure that I will remember all of you at the holy Mass on June 3, and throughout the month. And please continue to pray for me and for our entire Courage and EnCourage family!
Father Philip G. Bochanski
Executive Director
  • Courage & EnCourage Conference Registration Open!
  • Chapter Help Wanted With Conference Online Meetings
  • Featured Conference Speaker: Vicky Burbach
  • Survey: Your Favorite Spiritual Reading and Retreats
  • New Chapters

General Resources
  • St. Charles Lwanga & Companions: Patrons of Courage
  • "Pride and the 'Pirate Nun' "
  • "Ode to the Immaculata"

  • "Share the Good News"
  • Peace, Joy, Love, Hope, and Freedom!

  • A Mother's Love: An EnCourage Mom Tells Her Story

Courage Internacional — For our Spanish-Speaking Members and Friends
  • June Newsletter in Spanish
  • Courage & EnCourage Conference in Spanish

Pastoral Resources
  • Accompanying People Who Experience Same-Sex Attraction
  • Come to the Pre-Conference Clergy Study Day 

Gender Identity Discordance
  • Unraveling Gender: The Battle Over Sexual Difference
  • Fr. Bochanski on Gender Identity Confusion


Courage & EnCourage Conference Registration Open!
"Lord Teach us to Pray"
July 28 –31, 2022

University of St. Mary of the Lake
Mundelein, Illinois

In-person or online participation

Register today!
Speaker bios, schedule, registration
on conference page.

Spanish simultaneous translation

Clergy Study Day on July 27
The focus of this year's conference will be on developing our interior life, especially as prescribed through the shared goal of Courage and EnCourage members: "To dedicate our entire lives to Christ through service to others, spiritual reading, prayer, meditation, individual spiritual direction, frequent attendance at Mass, and the frequent reception of the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist."
Chapter Help Wanted With Conference Online Meetings
Can you host a virtual Courage or EnCourage meeting during conference?
Due to staff limitations, we will not be hosting Zoom breakout sessions for online participants during the small group sessions of the conference. However, since the Friday Courage and EnCourage meetings are a big part of supporting one another at the conference, we invite you to consider helping to provide that opportunity for our virtual attendees. If your chapter is accustomed to having online meetings or could easily do so, would you be able to host and moderate a virtual Courage or EnCourage meeting on Friday, July 24, from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m. Central time? Please send us an email by June 15 and we will coordinate with you and those who request to participate.
Featured Conference Speaker: Vicky Burbach
How to Read Your Way to Heaven
One of our plenary speakers at the conference will be Vicky Burbach, the author of How to Read Your Way to Heaven: A Spiritual Reading Program for the Worst of Sinners, the Greatest of Saints, and Everyone in Between. She will be offering recommendations on how we can approach the spiritual reading component of the goals of Courage and EnCourage.
Survey: Your Favorite Spiritual Reading and Retreats
Since our 2022 Annual Courage and EnCourage conference will be focusing on the spiritual life, we are surveying our readers to find out what has been most helpful to you in this area. We'd really appreciate you spending a couple of minutes telling us about your favorite resources for prayer and spiritual reading as well as your favorite retreats. We plan to share the results after the conference so that we can benefit from each other's experiences.
“Don’t neglect your spiritual reading. Reading has made many saints.”
St. Josemaría Escrivá (The Way)
New Chapters
Courage & EnCourage around the world
General Resources
St. Charles Lwanga & Companions: Patrons of Courage
Listen to the compelling narrative of the heroic martyrdom of Saint Charles Lwanga and his companions, patron saints of Courage, as recounted by our executive director, Father Philip Bochanski. This video is a part of the new "Pride Month: A Cathoilc Response" playlist on our YouTube channel.
Visit our YouTube channel
Then subscribe, "like," and share to spread the word.
"Pride and the 'Pirate Nun' "
CNA Newsroom with our director and Courage members
The Catholic News Agency produced a terrific podcast in which they spoke with Father Philip Bochanski and two Courage members. Father addresses the phenomenon of "Pride Month." Paul Darrow and Manny Gonzalez tell their stories of living with same-sex attractions and coming to embrace the Church's wisdom on living chastely.

"Ode to the Immaculata"
A meditative poem by one of our members
A Courage member sent us a beautiful poem that he was inspired to write about the consolation and strength to be found in one's relationship with our Blessed Mother. He wanted to share it with the Courage family:
Behold our Mother, Virgin most powerful, Queen of heaven and earth, She who shows the Way; Kindness itself.
Beautiful as the rose, terrible as the dawn, Mother of eternal glory, a Temple for divinity.

My soul fears nought as She draws near, my arms outstretched, for the tenderest of mothers is here.

Behold our Mother, alike none other, cause of our joy; seat of wisdom; strength of the weak; wellspring of immense pity. …

"Share the Good News"
By Garrett Johnson, a member of Courage
… There is no one better to help people understand why Courage is needed and the good it does in our lives than us. Each year at the Courage Conference and at clergy study days, there is usually a Courage member testimony as part of the program. Before the testimony is offered, the speaker’s introduction usually includes “our members are our best ambassadors.” When this line is stated at the Conference, nodding heads are seen, and whispered “yeses" are heard. I take this as an indication that the members in attendance agree with the statement. But how many of us live it? How many of us let our pastors, fellow parishioners, friends, and family members know that we have chosen to follow the Church’s teachings? …

From The Upper Room blog, 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 to the blog by clicking
"Update profile" at the bottom of this email.

If you would like to contribute to the blog,
please send us an email.
Peace, Joy, Love, Hope, and Freedom!
Courage member, Hudson Byblow, had an encouraging conversation with Fr. Mark Mary, MFVA, on EWTN's television show, Life on the Rock. Hudson spoke of his experience of living with same-sex attractions and finding his true identity in Christ and the Church. He talks about the value of a strong, faith-based circle of friends and living close to the sacraments. In an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ in His Church, Hudson has found "peace, joy, love, hope, and freedom."
A Mother's Love: An EnCourage Mom Tells Her Story
Mary, an EnCourage mother, was a guest on the USCCB's Made for Love podcast, hosted by Sara Perla. She speaks of the initial shock of her son's announcement that he was "gay" and how her relationship with God was transformed by a new and deeper need for Him. They discuss how she is living out the tension between upholding the truths of her faith and loving her son and his partner.

For our Spanish Speaking Members and Friends
June Newsletter in Spanish
Courage & EnCourage Conference in Spanish
Our annual Courage and EnCourage conference from July 28 to 31 will be available in person and online in Spanish through simultaneous translation. There will also be some talks in Spanish. Please forward this information to any Spanish-speaking people you know who may be interested in participating.
Pastoral Resources
Accompanying People Who Experience Same-Sex Attraction
At the 2019 Steubenville "Defending the Faith" conference, Father Sean Kilcawley delivered an insightful and compassionate presentation on how to minister to people who live with same-sex attractions, most especially those first tentative encounters when the person is likely to be dealing with a lot of shame and uncertainty about how God and the Church view them. He also discusses the best ways to present the teachings of the Church in this area. Father Kilcawley is the Director of the Office of Family Life for the Diocese of Lincoln and will be speaking at our annual conference in July.

Come to the Pre-Conference Clergy Study Day …
Wednesday, July 27, 2022
University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Illinois
This day of presentations for priests, deacons, and seminarians includes talks on the following foundational topics as they relate to same-sex attractions and gender identity discordance (gender dysphoria):

  • Catholic anthropology
  • Pastoral care
  • Witness from Courage member
  • Transgender Surgery and Christian Anthropology

There is no charge for the study day! We want to make it easy for you to come.
… and Stay for the Courage & EnCourage Conference 
July 28-31, 2022
"Lord Teach Us to Pray"

There is a charge for clergy attendance at the general conference.
Registration for conference and clergy study day now open!
The conference page includes clergy day information,
speaker bios, schedules, and registration information.

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.
Gender Identity Discordance
Unraveling Gender: The Battle Over Sexual Difference
Important new book with a deeply Catholic perspective
Dr. John Grabowski, a well-respected professor of moral theology and ethics at the Catholic University of America and a friend of Courage, has written an important book that addresses one of the greatest moral errors of our time. From the publisher's book description:

Where did all this gender confusion start? … [W]hat exactly does the Church teach on human sexuality? In this book, learn from a master on these sensitive topics. … [Y]ou will be able to confidently and faithfully defend the Church’s teachings on the gift of human sexuality. [Gender ideology] is best refuted by the enduring beauty and clarity of the Church’s teachings about the body and the gift of sexuality.
Fr. Bochanski on Gender Identity Confusion
Courage executive director, Father Philip Bochanski, was a guest on The Focus on Veritas radio show. After a brief review of the history of Courage, he and host, Peter Sonski, dive into a conversation of how to think with the Church's mind about gender identity discordance and how to relate to people who live with this experience with love and truth.

While the primary mission of Courage and EnCourage remains supporting people living with the experience of same-sex attractions and those who love them, we thought it could be helpful to our readers to occasionally set aside some space in our newsletter to address this topic.

* For an explanation of the expression, "gender identity discordance," and coverage of the subject, see the new Handbook for Courage and EnCourage Chaplains starting on page 81.
We hope to move forward with the in-person events listed on our calendar, while being mindful of the health and wellbeing of our members. Please be aware that, as the situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, we may be required to postpone, cancel, or move these events online. If you have any questions or concerns, you may review our statement, or contact us here. Watch our events calendar for updates.
2022 Events
The Ruth Institute Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution
"Fighting for Your Family: Arming You for Success" 
June 24–25, 2022, in Lake Charles Louisiana 
Brings together experts, witnesses, and survivors to share how to defend the family and build a civilization of love. Not a Courage event, but hosted by our friends at The Ruth Institute.  
Truth of Love Conference
"The Virtues of Fatherhood and Motherhood: Unveiling the Difference"
July 8-10, 2022, in Steubenville, Ohio, and online
Will look at sexual difference by examining the virtues proper to fatherhood and motherhood, which in turn express the fullness of manhood and womanhood. Not a Courage event, but co-hosted by the Veritas Amoris Project and the University of Steubenville.  
Courage Clergy Study Day
July 27, 2022, in Mundelein, Illinois
2022 conference page (register here for clergy day) | Clergy day schedule
Courage and EnCourage Annual Conference: "Lord, Teach Us to Pray"
July 28–31, 2022, in Mundelein, Illinois, and online
Conference page (schedule, speaker bios, registration) | Brochure | Spanish
Into the Wild Men's Weekend
September 15-18, 2022, in Lake Mormon, Arizona
Not a Courage event, but hosted by our friends at The King's Men.
EnCourage Midwest Retreat
October 28-30, 2022, in northeast Ohio
Save the date!
CourageRC.org | TruthandLove.com | 203.803.1564 | Contact us
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