November 2017

Introducing the New Truth & Love Site
Dedicated to those who accompany persons with same-sex attractions

Dear friends of Courage and EnCourage, 

It is our pleasure to officially announce the launch of a new website for priests, pastoral ministers, and anyone seeking to deepen their understanding of the experience of same-sex attractions, in light of the Church's teaching about God's plan for human sexuality: Truth & Love (   

For decades, the Catholic Church has been extending its outreach to men and women who experience same-sex attractions, helping them to live chaste lives and to embrace their identity as sons and daughters of God. Years of experience have revealed the need for comprehensive formation for those directly involved in this ministry; in addition, there are those seeking to deepen their understanding of this complex issue which is a lived reality for so many people. Truth & Love is a response to these needs, providing resources in the following areas:  

Whether you are a priest, religious, healthcare worker, or layperson, and whether you or a loved one experiences same-sex attractions, we believe you will find here a wealth of information to guide you. Please spread the word! 


God bless you, 

The Courage Central Office 

Contents of This Newsletter: 
Additional Truth & Love Resources

Below you will find three important resources which, like the Truth & Love site, offer sound, practical guidance on the topics of homosexuality and sexual identity. They are directed primarily to clergy, religious, and lay faithful who work in ecclesial ministry; and medical and mental health professionals, but will also be helpful to others who wish to learn. Subjects covered are Christian anthropology, the social sciences, pastoral care, and recommendations for communicating the Church's teaching, as well as testimonies from persons who experience same-sex attractions and have been supported by the Church on their journey toward chastity and sanctity. 

Order book
  Edited by Fr. Paul Check and Dr. Janet Smith

This volume includes essays from the experts and witnesses who gave presentions at our first conference in Michigan in 2015. 

Read online
executive Executive Summary of Rome 
"Living the Truth in Love" Conference

This collection of essays was written by the presenters at our international conference in Rome in October 2015 in preparation for the Extraordinary Synod on the Family.

St. Thomas Seminary 

October 22-24, 2018 
Bloomfield, Connecticut
St. Thomas Seminary Conference Center

Watch for details in 2018. 

Courage News
Greetings and Thanks from Fr. Check

Fr. Check, after Mass with his seminarians, wearing the chasuble we gave him 
Fr. Paul N. Check, the Executive Director of Courage from 2008 to 2016, sends a message for his Courage and EnCourage friends with "p rayerful greetings in the Lord to you from St. John Fisher Seminary."  He writes, " it was a blessing to see many of you at the conference at Mundelein in July," and, " I want to express my deep gratitude once again to those who contributed to the beautiful 'Our Lady of Courage' vestment." He goes on to assure us that we  remain in his daily prayers at Mass. 
We Want to Hear Your Story

As we work to spread the message of hope which Courage and EnCourage provides for men and women who experience same-sex attractions, we invite our members to submit their personal testimonies to be posted on a new version of the Courage website (coming soon) or shared on our social media. 

Here are a few guidelines to help you compose your story:
  • Maximum 1,000 words
  • May use a pseudonym or your real name
  • A nice photo of yourself may be included, but is not required 
Some testimonies may not be published in their entirety, but may be summarized using direct quotes.  We will not make any substantial changes to your personal story without your consent.  

Send your testimony or questions to Ann Schneible at

Public Speaking About Courage: What Do I Say? 
Issue # 3 of "Promoting Your Courage Chapter in Your Diocese" series

In this issue Karl M. and other experienced Courage speakers offer pointers on what kinds of things should/should not be included when speaking about Courage in a parish other other setting.  

Courage is Growing!  
Nearly 30 new Courage and EnCourage Chapters in 2017! 

Thanks to the increasing support of diocesan bishops, the "yes" of clergy chaplains, and the initiative of our members, we are pleased to be able to share with you a long list of new chapters of Courage and EnCourage that have been established in the past year.   

Courage and EnCourage chapters around the world

Chapters marked with an asterisk (*) are not yet listed on our website, but are coming soon.  

Albany, NY - Courage & EnCourage* 
Baltimore, MD - Courage
Davenport, IA - Courage & EnCourage
Knoxville, TN - Courage*
La Crosse, WI - EnCourage
Los Angeles, CA - EnCourage
Nashville, TN - Courage
New York, NY - Second Courage meeting (Eastside Manhattan)*
Portland, OR - Courage & EnCourage
Raleigh, NC - Courage
Rapid City, SD - Courage & EnCourage
San Antonio, TX - EnCourage
Scranton, PA - Courage
St. Petersburg, FL - EnCourage
Tulsa, OK - EnCourage

Franca - Courage*
Brasilia - Courage & EnCourage

Vancouver, BC (Dec 2016) - Courage & EnCourage

Matamoros - Courage
Monterrey - EnCourage*

PANAMA - Courage* 

SINGAPORE - Courage & EnCourage

Courage at Guatamela Bishops Meeting  

Fr. Bochanski in Spanish on Video for Guatemala Bishops
Courage International was represented at the Annual Meeting of Bishops in Guatemala last month. The event featured the viewing of a Spanish-language video in which executive director, Fr. Philip Bochanski, explains the Courage and EnCourage apostolates. Also included was a testimony from Alfredo, a Courage Latino member from Mexico. Nineteen bishops attended, as well as Guatemala's Apostolic Nuncio, Msgr. Nicolas Thevenin. The same presentation was given the following day to six Vicars of the Archdiocese.

25th Anniversary of Courage Reparational* Groups
Courage members invited to unite struggles with Jesus on the Cross

Christ Crucified 
 by Diego Velasquez
In September of 1992 Vera S.,  the founder and coordinator of the Courage Reparational Group, met with Cardinal John O'Connor and Fr. John Harvey, Courage co-founder and longtime director, to discuss an inspiration for a special way that Courage members could pray and offer their unique sufferings. 

By His self-sacrifice on the Cross, Our Lord paid the price of our redemption and offered His own sacred Body and Blood as the perfect act of reparation or "peace offering" for our offenses against God. The Catholic Church teaches that those who believe in Christ can share in His work of reparation, for their own sins and for those of others, through prayer and works of charity. With this new group,  Courage members would be invited to consider if they might have a call to unite the pain and struggles related to their same-sex attractions with the Passion of Jesus, especially for the healing and conversion of those living the "gay" lifestyle.

The endeavor was endorsed by Cardinal O'Connor as a particular vocation within Courage, and thus twenty-five years ago, on November 21, 1992, the first Courage Reparational Group met. Ever since -- in person in various locations around the world as well as by phone and on the internet -- groups continue. By coming together in prayer, members  make intercession on behalf of the whole world and receive grace themselves for their daily strivings to be chaste and holy. Participants are encouraged to grow in their  relationship  with Jesus through a deepening interior life. 

Learn more about the history and spirituality of the group by reading this inspiring article by Vera   who  wishes to invite all Courage members to consider anew this call to a deeper union with Christ in the Courage Reparational Group. 

Vera can be reached at  or (347) 210-1127 and would be happy to  answer  any questions you may have.  

Listen to talks from the Courage Reparational Group  (Click "More resources" for additional talks.) New talks are added regularly. EnCourage members are welcome to listen, too! 

*Please note that the spiritual practice of  reparation  is not the same as the psychological technique known as  reparative therapy . For more information please see our FAQs on the Courage Reparational Group  and  Courage's position on therapy .

In the Media
Fr. Bochanski On Catholic Answers Live 

Click to view Fr. Bochanski   
 on Catholic Answers Live

Last month Courage director, Fr. Philip Bochanski, was a guest on Catholic Answers Live call-in radio show, where he responded to a wide variety of questions from listeners about same-sex attractions. The specific questions are listed on the audio page so you can easily listen to Father's replies to those which are of interest to you. 

Courage Featured on EWTN's
The Church Universal 
Fr. Joseph Mary Wolfe interviews
Courage members and staff 
EWTN is continuing to air two episodes about our apostolate on their  The Church Universal series. 

"The Courage Apostolate"
  • Tuesday, December 12 at 5:00 a.m.
  • Wednesday, December 13 at 11:00 p.m.
"The EnCourage Apostolate" 
  • Sunday, November 19 at 5:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, November 21 at 5:00 a.m.
  • Wednesday, November 22 at 11:00 p.m.
To confirm when the show is available in your location, check the EWTN weekly schedule  as well as The Church Universal episode schedule. (Be sure to click the link for your country at the top of the page.)  Even if you don't get EWTN via cable, you can still watch by clicking the arrow for "Streaming Television" at

Cardinal Sarah on Truth in Charity 

Cardinal Robert Sarah

Some of our readers were unable to access Cardinal Sarah's fine opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal to which we linked in our last newsletter. It is now available for all to read. Cardinal Sarah writes beautifully on how moved he has been by his encounters with people like the members of Courage who live the truth of the Gospel and "testify to the power of grace, the nobility and resilience of the human heart, and the truth of the church's teaching on homosexuality."


Latin American Conference of Courage Latino
November 17-19 in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico
Invitation (in Spanish)
Registration  (in Spanish)

Clergy Study Day  for Latin American Conference of Courage Latino
November 17 in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico
8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. before conference 
Information  (in Spanish)

"A Sacred Journey:  Healing a Mother's Heart Retreat" 
December 1-3 in Westminster, Colorado
With Janelle Hallman of Desert Hope Ministries 

Courage/EnCourage Day of Recollection
December 2 in New York City, New York

Christian Manhood Retreat
December 8-10 in Southern California

"Gender Matters: Fighting for a New Generation" 
January 20, 2018 in Queens, New York
With Andy Comiskey of Desert Streams Ministries  

Courage Men's Retreat 
January 26-28, 2018 in Stamford, Connecticut

First Midwest Courage Men's Retreat 
February 16-18, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana

Diocese of St. Petersburg Courage/EnCourage Day of Recollection 
February 24, 2018 in Tampa Bay Area, Florida

Courage/EnCourage Annual Conference  
July 12-15, 2018, at Villanova, Pennsylvania (Archdiocese of Philadelphia)

Courage/EnCourage Canada Shrines Pilgrimage
October 6-11, 2018 
Contact: Tina at  

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 in 2018.

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 credit:  Cardinal Robert Sarah   by François-Régis Salefran  licensed under CC by SA 4.0.
Other images used with permission.  
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