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July 2024

Annunciation by Fra Angelico, c 1438-14, Museum of San Marco

"Consider now the sublime moment when the Archangel Gabriel announces to the Virgin Mary the plans of the Most High. Our Mother listens, and asks a question to understand better what the Lord is asking of her. Then she gives her firm reply: Fiat! Be it done unto me according to thy word! This is the fruit of the best freedom of all, the freedom of deciding in favor of God."

St. Josemaria Escriva, from his homily, "Freedom, A Gift from God" (1956)

Message From Our Executive Director

The passion for freedom goes to the very core of the human person. Our nation celebrates the 4th of July this month and the inalienable rights stated forcefully in the Declaration of Independence: life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. “Rights” of course are really gifts/privileges from God that no man can abrogate. Way beyond exquisite hot dogs and hamburgers indulged that day, we need to celebrate the most profound gifts from God: being made in His image and likeness, which facilitates the capacity and passionate desire for freedom, but an authentic freedom rooted in God.

The great writings of St. John Paul II attest that freedom is never the capacity to do whatever we want or feel. Instead, freedom is meant to reign in the powerful passions of our fallen human nature in order, with God’s grace, to facilitate the extraordinary potential of the human person as ontologically made in the image of God. The lie of the evil one is that true freedom rests in following the whims of feelings and momentarily incited senses. If we do that, the logical end ultimately renders my “feelings” the infallible guide to happiness. All good parents raising kids know from human experience alone that a “feelings only” formation is a disastrous trajectory for their children. Feelings indeed are important (!) but only maximize their potential when harmonized with Jesus Christ. True freedom is found in the obedience to God that Christ exemplified infinitely from the Cross, that my choice of obedience sets me free from the tyranny of stormy, wayward passions into the beautiful landscape of souls tilled by human virtue and watered by grace, whose fruit produces holiness, serenity of soul, and the authentic joy of being God’s instrument in the world. This in turn facilitates within us the deepest joy of all the great saints: that evangelizing for Christ and His Bride, Holy Mother Church, manifests the most profound joy. Authentic joy is never divorced from God; God’s joy is what created us and redeems us; thus, our deepest joy is fundamentally inseparable from how we master ourselves and help souls return to Him.

As we approach Courage’s annual conference, this year at Mundelein in Chicago from July 24-28th, I urge everyone to consider joining us! Our staff has been extraordinarily hard at work putting together a profound few days of the Church’s great wisdom to educate and inspire us to greater holiness, as well as console us on His never-ending infinite love and mercy. Join us!

In Christ,

Father Brian Gannon

Executive Director


Last Chance to Register for Our Annual Conference!

Our annual conference is happening THIS MONTH, from July 25-28! The focus of the conference this year is Divine Filiation. Talks will include themes such as our identity as beloved sons and daughters of Christ, our familial bond, and how the sacraments give us the grace to live these out.

Visit the conference website for a more detailed list of our featured speakers, including priests and religious, lay persons close to the apostolate, and former executive director, as well as pricing and registration options.

Register Today!

Things to Look Forward to at the Conference

Two new faces are eager to greet you at our annual conference this year: new executive director, Father Brian Gannon, and new pastoral staff member, Sister Gilmary Kay, RSM. Learn more about them both here!

We will have a bookstore pop-up from the St. Paul Institute to sell books and other items. Be sure to stop by! Take a look at some of their goods here!

A note to those already registered: be on the lookout for an email in your inbox about a week before the conference with important arrival and check-in information. We can't wait to see you!

National Catholic Register Features Father Gannon

Following the announcement of our new executive director, the National Catholic Register published an interview with Father Brian Gannon. Written by Peter Laffin, the piece looks at the history of both Courage and Father Gannon's ministry, and includes an interview with Father Gannon himself. Peter writes:

G.K. Chesterton once famously said that “a dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.” Despite all the challenges they face in their adventure of sanctification, both Father Gannon and Courage, guided by the moral teachings of the Catholic Church, are unmistakably alive.

Read the full article

Monthly Prayer Intentions for Courage and EnCourage

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We have introduced a new opportunity for our members to be united in prayer this year. We invite you to pray each month for a specific intention related to our apostolate. We encourage you to consider praying for these intentions at your local Courage and EnCourage chapter meetings.

The upcoming monthly intentions are as follows:

  • July: To deepen the gift of friendship 
  • August: For our EnCourage members

See complete list of monthly intentions

New Chapters and Ways to Stay Connected



Courage & EnCourage 

around the world

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latest opportunities, news, resources, and inspiration.

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General Resources

Courage and EnCourage Chapters in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

In April, the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston highlighted their Courage and EnCourage chapters on the podcast "Around the Archdiocese." The episode features Father Luke Millette, who discusses the mission of the apostolate, what it means to minister to our community, and the Church's teachings on same-sex attraction.

Watch or listen to the full episode

The Drew Mariani Show Discusses Same-Sex Attraction and Courage

On June 24, Drew Mariani devoted an hour of his show on Relevant Radio to discussing same-sex attraction. He first replayed an interview with Kim Zember from September 2020, where she discusses her story and shares her knowledge and experience of same-sex attraction and Catholic teaching. Then, Drew interviewed Father Brian Gannon about the Courage apostolate and his new role as Executive Director.

Listen to the show


Rooting Our Identity In Christ, Not Our Wounds

In this first episode from a two-part installment of "The Desert Streaming" podcast, hosts interview Father Paul Scalia of the Diocese of Arlington, Courage board member and chaplain. Father Scalia discusses the history of Courage and his own encounters after serving within the apostolate for many years. He also speaks at length about finding our identity in Christ rather than our wounds, and what it means to minister to those who are still finding their way to this truth.

Watch or listen to the full episode

Visit our YouTube channel for lots of helpful content like this video

Subscribe, like, and share to spread the word.


"My Child Has Same Sex Attraction. What do I do?"

Father Stephen Pullis, EnCourage chaplain in the Archdiocese of Detroit, discusses what to do when your child tells you that they are experiencing same-sex attraction in this short, informative video.

Watch the video

Catholic Anthropology (And Why It's Important)

The Human Life Institute interviewed the Courage Associate Director, Father Colin Blatchford, about defending God's plan for marriage in a loving way. In this episode (part one of two), they delve deep into Catholic anthropology, and why it's important to have a deep understanding of these teachings in order to lovingly accompany those with same-sex attraction.

Watch or listen to the full episode

Visit The Upper Room blog to read more from

Courage and EnCourage members and chaplains, including parts four and five of the series "A Mother's Heart," which was linked in previous newsletters.

For Spanish Speaking Members and Friends

Courage Men from Brazil Participate in Annual Silent Retreat

From May 30 to June 2, during the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi), 43 male members of the Courage apostolate from various dioceses in Brazil participated in their annual silent retreat. Some chaplains were also present at the retreat, and were available for spiritual direction for the attendees. Fr. Cristian Troncoso of the Institute of the Incarnate Word guided members through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. At the end of the retreat, the participants were filled with serene joy, born of reconciliation with the Lord and His divine grace.

This article is translated from our Spanish newsletter, which is linked below!

July Newsletter in Spanish 

Read the July newsletter in Spanish

Subscribe to the Spanish language newsletter

Courage Internacional website in Spanish

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Couragerc.org/español | Contáctanos

Para suscribirse al boletín en español | Archivo

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Pastoral Resources

Final Opportunity to Register for the 2024 Clergy Study Day - Don't Forget, it's Free!

Consider also staying for the Courage & EnCourage Conference on July 25-28

Our Annual Clergy Study Day is coming up this month, on July 24! This day is free for commuters; see the registration page for overnight and full conference rates.

Register Here

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.



Conference videos


Bloom: Courses for Women N Betrayal Trauma

Recommended by our Associate Director, Father Colin Blatchford, during a chaplain meeting, Bloom has free courses for women who have experienced betrayal trauma.

Check out their website to familiarize yourself with their resources and see if you can employ them within your ministry.

Bloom: Feel seen and validated, find clarity, and begin your journey of betrayal trauma recovery.



Clergy Study Day

July 24, 2024

University of St. Mary of the Lake Conference Center in Mundelein, Illinois

See schedule on the conference page

Courage & EnCourage Annual Conference

July 25–28, 2024

University of St. Mary of the Lake Conference Center in Mundelein, Illinois

See schedule on the conference page

Ruah Woods Gender Conference

August 5-8, 2024


Get more information and register here

Watch our Events Calendar regularly for updates.

NOTE TO CHAPLAINS: You are encouraged and more than welcome to participate in all Courage & EnCourage events. Please feel free to reach out to the event organizer to see how you can be involved.

Photo credits:

Disclaimer: 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.

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