March 2018

Truth & Love Accompanies Readers During Lent 

Dear Friends of Courage and EnCourage, 

We are now two weeks into Lent, but there is still time to fine tune our Lenten observances to better receive all that God wants to give us during this season of deeper conversion. The Truth & Love website and weekly blog are recent Courage initiatives that seek to offer guidance and provide tools for those who minister to our brothers and sisters who experience same-sex attractions. While directed to pastoral ministers, if you or a loved one experiences same-sex attractions, you will also find the site and blog beneficial.  

As Ash Wednesday remarkably coincided with Valentine's Day, Courage director, Fr. Philip Bochanski, wrote on the inseparability of love and sacrifice, with particular application for those who experience same-sex attractions, in his blog post, "Valentine's Day, Ash Wednesday, and the mystery of Love."   
Same sex attracted people are called to sacrifice the possibility of a relationship based on eros in order to purify their hearts and intentions, thus making authentic friendships possible. ...  This notion of sacrificing something desired for the sake of something greater is at the very heart of the Christian life. ... None of our Lenten penances are done for their own sake; they all are meant to lead us to a deeper relationship with God, the source of every true consolation and the provider of all of our needs. [Read more.]

Last week Anna Carter offered five practical approaches for not only surviving but flourishing in our spiritual deserts, focusing on the beauty and unique opportunities for growth in her post, "The desert has the biggest sky."  She encourages us that while "the experience of same-sex attraction can often land you in this desert place, ... navigating our spiritual deserts is not an impossibility, but an opportunity."

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God bless you, 
The Courage Central Office 

Contents of this Newsletter

newsiteCourage Has an All New Website! 

Also available in Spanish! (Use language menu at top right of home page.)

Rest in Peace, Fr. Robert Becker 

Fr. Robert Becker
Please pray for the repose of the soul of Fr. Robert Becker, founding chaplain of the Courage chapter in Austin, Texas, who died on January 25, 2018. Born on November 9, 1946, he had given his life to the Church as a Catholic priest for thirty-eight years. 

An Austin Courage member describes  Fr. Becker's good ministry: "He was a gentle person and would go the extra mile to help. He was one who spoke truth to power on occasion. He was a spiritual father to me and I will miss his wise counsel."

Current Courage chaplain, Fr. Craig DeYoung adds, "Fr. Becker was passionate about loving others and meeting them where they were at in life. Courage held a special place in his heart, and he worked with many men and women over his 20+ years as the Courage chaplain in the Diocese of Austin. We will miss him greatly, and I feel as though we now have a local patron saint of Courage in our diocese!"

Celebrate 70 Years of Priesthood with Courage Chaplain, Fr. James Lloyd, C.S.P.

Though I can hardly believe it, I shall, God willing, be 97 years old in a few weeks. But even more unbelievable I shall be a priest SEVENTY YEARS on May the First, the Feast of Joseph the Worker.  With unapologetic and understandable narcissism, I want to celebrate this milestone before I take off for the Celestial Flight home. So, on Monday night, the 30th of April, in the magnificent Church of St. Paul the Apostle where I was ordained, I plan to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with many brother priests.  And I would like you to be there with me.

New Chapters

Courage and EnCourage chapters 
 around the world
Courage Chapter:   
Focus on Fr. John F. Harvey, O.S.F.S.  
Celebrating the 100th Birthday Jubilee of our Founding Director
This month's featured resource from Fr. Harvey

From  the publisher, Ascension Press: 

As the founder and director of the Courage and Encourage support groups, Fr. John Harvey is aware of the sensitive nature of homosexuality. With his extensive experience ministering to those with same-sex attraction, Fr. Harvey presents the Church's teaching in an objective and pastorally-sensitive manner. Priests, religious, and laity alike will benefit from the many questions considered here.

Fr. Harvey's column from the September 2002 Courage newsletter 

Fr. John F. Harvey, O.S.F.S.
In the Courage Handbook, it is recommended that members seek out a spiritual director. ... Since Courage is stressing the development of spiritual life, it should try to understand the nature of spiritual direction and the qualities of a spiritual director. ...The spiritual director ... is concerned with helping the directee to move to a higher plane of spirituality, beyond the keeping of the Ten Commandments. ... The directee seeks to draw closer to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. ...

Wanted: Your Memories of Fr. Harvey 

To commemorate Fr. John Harvey's 100th birthday, we are compiling a collection of stories/anecdotes about Father, written by those who knew him. The booklet will be a tribute in honor of the founding director of our apostolate.

Accordingly, we invite those of you who are interested to please submit entries of 500 words or less to . Submissions may be slightly edited upon receipt. You may use your full name, a pseudonym, or just your first name to go with your entry.  The deadline has been extended. Please send in your submission as soon as possible.

by Fr. Philip Bochanski on the Truth & Love Blog 

Fr. Bochanski writes about the necessity of our finding our identity, first and foremost, in our relationship with God:

"O Lord, who are You? O Lord, who am I?"  This simple, profound prayer seems tailor-made for young people at the beginning of the twenty-first century. We're caught up like never before in a quest to define ourselves, to understand what makes us who we are, what's going to make someone notice and care about us. The fact that this prayer was uttered at the beginning of the thirteenth century, by the young Saint Francis of Assisi, reminds us that this human longing is a universal experience. ...

What is Spiritual Direction and How Do I Get Started?*

by Ludwig Johann Passini
The goals of both Courage and EnCourage include individual spiritual direction, but most modern Catholics are unfamiliar with this invaluable time-tested spiritual practice. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI reminded us: 

Everyone, in fact, especially those who have heeded the divine call to follow Christ closely, needs to be accompanied personally by a guide reliable in doctrine and expert in the things of God ( Address to Pontifical Theology Faculty Teresianum). 

The blog,, offers several helpful articles to assist us in the worthy endeavor of finding a spiritual director. Here are some resources to help you get you started:

*Member suggested item; please send us your ideas!

Courage Site Now in Spanish! 

Check out the new Spanish version of!   Use the dropdown language menu at the top right of the home page to toggle between Spanish (Español) and English.

Courage-Latino Team Introduces Courage in Guatemala

Staff of diocesan Office of Family Life, 
Alfredo (Courage member),   Bishop Palma, 
Fr. Bochanski,  Courage-Latino coordinator Rossana Goñi
In January the Courage team traveled to Guatemala to present the apostolate at a clergy study day. Four bishops and three hundred priests and seminarians heard talks by Fr. Bochanski and a testimony by Alfredo, a Courage member from Mexico. Escuintla's Bishop Victor H. Palma, who extended the invitation, said he was grateful to welcome the Courage team and hopes that this will mark the beginning of the apostolate in his country.

The Office for Life in the Archdiocese of Guatemala organized a presentation at San Judas Tadeo parish, where Fr. Bochanski spoke to laity about the work of Courage and how best to accompany and welcome people who experience same-sex attractions. A joint press conference with Courage and the Office for Life aired live on Radio Maria affiliates nationwide.

Fr. Bochanski asks all to pray for those present and for those they serve, as well as for the bishops and their efforts to begin the Courage apostolate in Guatemala.

EnCourage-Latino On-Line Chapter 

In April we will begin an EnCourage online chapter in Spanish, headed by Fr. Richard Samour, chaplain of Courage and EnCourage in the Archdiocese of San Antonio, Texas, to provide  outreach to parents and family members of men and women who experience same-sex attractions, but who don´t yet have chapters in their area. "In this way we will be able to guide and accompany them spiritually so they can keep their faith and show their love to their child," said Rossana Goñi-Cuba, Coordinator of Courage-Latino. 

Meetings will be organized using  Zoom. If you or someone you know would like to participate, please contact Rossana at

Capítulo de EnCourage En-Línea

A partir del mes de abril se llevarán a cabo reuniones en línea mensuales en español de EnCourage y tendrá como capellán al Padre Richard Samour, capellán de Courage y EnCourage en la Arquidiócesis de San Antonio, TX. La idea es que en esta reunión participen padres de familia y familiares de personas con atracción al mismo sexo donde aún no exist el apostolado de EnCourage en su país. "De esta forma podremos estar orientándolos y acompañándolos espiritualmente a vivir la compasión y misericordia para vivir su fe y mostrar su amor a su hijo o hija", dijo Rossana Goñi-Cuba, Coordinadora de Courage-Latino.

Las reuniones se realizarán a través del programa Zoom, si desea tener más información y participar y sabe de alguien que desee hacerlo, comuníquese con Rossana a


"Open to Life: How Jesus Through His Church Transforms Persons with Same-Sex Attraction"
March 9, 2018, in Lawrence, Kansas
With Andy Comiskey and Desert Streams Ministries  

Philadelphia Courage Day of Recollection
March 10, 2018, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
With Mr. Mark Houck, Founder of Kings Men
More information:

Courage on EWTN's Church Universal Show
March 18, 2018, at 5:00 p.m. 
March 20, 2018, at 5:00 a.m. 
March 21, 2018, at 6:30 p.m.
Church Universal schedule  (select your country)

EnCourage on EWTN's Church Universal Show
April 8, 2018, at 5:00 p.m.  
April 10, 2018, at 5:00 a.m.
April 11, 2018, at 6:30 p.m.
Church Universal schedule (select your country)

Courage Women's Retreat
April 12-15, 2018, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 
Email Tina at for more info.

"Strengthening Our Families & Understanding Loved Ones"
April 21, 2018, in Somers, New York (Archdiocese of New York) 
With Daniel Mattson

Fr. Jim Lloyd's 70th Anniversary of Ordination: Mass and  Celebration
April 30, 2018, in New York, New York

Courage Men's Sports Camp
May 24-27, 2018, in Pennsylvania  
More information on Sports Camp page.

Midwest Living Waters Leadership Training Seminar
July 7-13, 2018, in Kansas City, Kansas
With Andy Comiskey and Desert Streams Ministries  

Courage/EnCourage Annual Conference  
July 12-15, 2018, at Villanova, Pennsylvania (Archdiocese of Philadelphia)
Registration information coming in April. 
Past conference videos  (scroll down)

Courage/EnCourage Canada Shrines Pilgrimage
October 6-11, 2018 

Truth & Love Conference 
October 22-24, 2018, in Bloomfield, Connecticut (Archdiocese of Hartford)
For  clergy, religious, lay faithful who work in ecclesial ministry, medical and mental health professionals
Watch for details on  Truth & Love conference page.

East Coast Living Waters Leadership Training Seminar
November 3-9, 2018, on Enders Island in Mystic, Connecticut 
With Andy Comiskey and Desert Streams Ministries  

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. 

photoPhoto credit:  Ein ernstes Gespräch (A Serious Conversation) by Ludwig Johann Passini, 1903, source/photographer Dorotheum, Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0,  Wikimedia Commons.  

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