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Courage and EnCourage Members Get Ready to Celebrate Saint Joseph During Conference
Courage International
June 22, 2021

TRUMBULL, Conn., June 22, 2021 /Standard Newswire/ -- Under the theme: "Saint Joseph: Model of Courageous Love," Courage and EnCourage members will celebrate the beauty and joy of living a chaste life during the Annual Courage and EnCourage Conference that will take place at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, from July 15 – 18, 2021.

"Our annual conference is an opportunity for our members and chaplains to pursue our Five Goals together. We have all spent so much time isolated because of the pandemic that we need fellowship now more than ever," said Father Philip Bochanski, Executive Director of Courage International.

Emmanuel (Manny) Gonzalez, a young Courage member who participated, for the first time, in the 2019 Annual Conference, shared: "I surely did not expect to receive the graces that I ended up receiving during that anointed weekend. Witnessing so many brothers and sisters in Christ come together from around the nation as a like-minded community to share in the joys of the Lord was truly a gift." Emmanuel also recommended attending the Courage conference to "any and all faithful Catholics who experience same-sex attractions and are seeking to encounter the hope and strength of Jesus through a weekend of fellowship and truth!"

Similarly, Gary H., a founding Courage member for more than 40 years, shared that "The Annual Courage Conference has not only been an event which strengthens [his] faith, but a wonderful family reunion where lifelong friendships are made."

The Annual Courage Conference is always an excellent opportunity to pray together and grow deeper in friendship through the celebration of the Holy Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, the sacrament of Reconciliation, and a variety of reflections that help Courage and EnCourage members, as well as chaplains, strengthen their faith and embrace the truth of the Gospel. This year's opening Mass will be celebrated by Most Reverend Joseph Naumann, Archbishop of Kansas City, and the closing Mass will be celebrated by Most Reverend Michael Byrnes, Archbishop of Agaña, Guam.

"The love that Jesus taught and lived is counter-cultural to the popular notions of love in our society"," said Archbishop Naumann. He added, "Romantic love is meant to motivate and inspire us to strive for the higher and purer form of authentic love – the love exemplified by Jesus on Calvary. The love that Jesus reveals to us and calls us to imitate is not easy. This love, however, can be lived in any circumstance or condition of life, for nothing is impossible with God." Archbishop Naumann also encouraged everyone "to attend the Annual Courage & EnCourage Conference and see, through the example of St. Joseph, a model of courageous love." "I know it is a lot to ask for the bishops to take several days from their very busy schedules to spend with us," Father Bochanski said. "Their presence is a very powerful sign of our unity in Christ Jesus, and a recognition that our mission is part of the apostolic work of the universal Church. Our members and chaplains look upon the bishops as faithful shepherds and true spiritual fathers, and their generous gift of themselves to us builds up the whole apostolate in faith, hope and love."

July's event will be Courage's first "hybrid" annual conference. In addition to the in-person gathering at Benedictine College, an online component in English and Spanish will allow the members from around the world to also join the conference. Registration is still open, and will close on July 1 , 2021. For more information about the conference, please visit:


Background on Courage International and EnCourage
Courage International, Inc. is an apostolate of the Catholic Church which offers support to persons experiencing SSA who have chosen to live a chaste life. It was founded by Fr. John Harvey, OSFS at the request of the late Cardinal Terence Cooke. The first Courage chapter meeting was held in New York City in 1980, and it was this initial group which developed the Five Goals of Courage: Chastity, Prayer and Dedication, Fellowship, Support, and Good Example. Fr. Harvey was succeeded as executive director by Fr. Paul Check, who held the position from 2008 to the end of 2016. Fr. Check was then succeeded by Fr. Philip Bochanski in January, 2017. Today, Courage has more than 150 chapters in eighteen countries. Courage and EnCourage received canonical status in the Roman Catholic Church as a diocesan clerical public association of the faithful on November 28, 2016.

EnCourage is an apostolate under the Courage umbrella which provides support for families and friends of persons who identify as LGBT, and aims to teach them how to reach out to their loved ones with compassion and understanding. The group was first formed in 1987 by families in search of guidance for supporting their loved ones who experience SSA. In 1992, this group adopted the name EnCourage. Currently, they have more than seventy-five chapters in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, Italy, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.

For additional information, please visit our website at

Stay up to date with Courage International by following us on social media:

Twitter: @RCCourage

Facebook: @CourageEnCourageRC

Instagram: @courageinternationalrc

SOURCE Courage International

CONTACT: Fr. Philip Bochanski, 203-803-1564 ext. 7013

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