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June 2024

Sacred Heart of Jesus by Pompeo Batoni, 1767, Church of the Gesù, Rome

"In the Sacred heart, every treasure of wisdom and knowledge is hidden. In that divine heart beats God's infinite love for everyone and for each of us as individuals."

Pope St. John Paul II, Homily for the Votive Mass of the Sacred Heart (1984)

Message From Our Interim Executive Director

Dear friends,

On the 27th of December 1673, Sr. Margaret Mary Alacoque received the first vision of Jesus revealing to her what would come to be known as the Sacred Heart. Over the next 18 months, Jesus outlined to her the breadth and depth of this devotion. Had it not been for her confessor, Fr. Claude de la Colombiere, SJ, urging her to write out these visions, this mystery would have remained in a small, out of the way place in France. 

But as is the way of God’s providence, He made all the right things happen. Fr. Colombiere’s writings were found, which included his notes telling of these visions. Soon, there was a book published and Sr. Margaret Mary confirmed that it was all true. 

However, God’s providence is not just in how the devotion to the Sacred Heart is spread; it is also key to the devotion itself. At this time, France was embroiled in the Jansenism controversy, a strong rigorist movement that over emphasized that we, as humans, were sinners. Even with God’s manifest grace, Jansenism doomed everyone to hell, because of our weaknesses. God’s justice was seen as supreme, His mercy forgotten. 

There was a deep need to remember that God has this unique and powerful love for each of His beloved sons and daughters. There was a deep need to be reminded that God is a provident and caring Father. The devotions of the Sacred Heart spoke to that need in such a powerful way that it quickly grew and became the feast we know it today. 

As it was needed then, it is needed now, too, because we all know that, today, June is dedicated to a much different cause than the Sacred Heart. We know that many in our world no longer find their identity as beloved sons or daughters of God; but each seeks to find his or her own way instead of the way of divine compassion offered by the Father in the Sacred Heart of His Son. 

So, we come back to the Sacred Heart, we come back to be reminded that God is both just and merciful. We come back to be reminded that our true identity is bestowed to us by a loving and providential Father; and we take true pride that God the Father has chosen each of us as His beloved son or daughter. What great confidence this can give and provide to us as we walk our pilgrim way towards Him Who Loves with the power of the pierced heart of our Savior! 

God bless,

Father Kyle Schnippel

Interim Executive Director

Courage Announces New Executive Director

In case you missed it, Fr. Kyle Schnippel announced on Holy Trinity Sunday the new Executive Director of Courage International. Fr. Brian Gannon, of the Diocese of Bridgeport, will take on his new role as Executive Director, while remaining pastor of his parish in Trumbull, Conn. For more details on this announcement read the full letter from Fr. Schnippel, linked below.

Read the Announcement Here



  • Registration is Open for Our 2024 Conference!
  • Featured Conference Speaker: Paul Darrow
  • Remembering Father Lloyd
  • We've Updated Our Donation Page!
  • Monthly Prayer Intentions for Courage and EnCourage
  • Stay Connected With Fellow Members Near and Far

General Resources

  • Celebrate the Feast of our Patrons, St. Charles Lwanga & Companions
  • Looking to the Sacred Heart of Jesus During June
  • Shedding Light on God's Truth


  • Broadening an "Impoverished" Understanding of Chastity 
  • Love is More Than a Feeling


  • "How to navigate being Catholic during Pride Month"
  • "I Feel Helpless": A Mother's Heart, Continued

For Spanish Speaking Members and Friends

  • June Newsletter in Spanish 

Pastoral Resources

  • Register to Attend the 2024 Clergy Study Day
  • Diocese of Idaho Sets Great Example in Advertising
  • Have Courage Give a Clergy Day in Your Diocese!

Gender Identity Discordance

  • Archbishop Coakley on the Unity of Body and Soul
  • Pastoral Reflection on Gender Identity by Catholic Bishops of England and Wales



Registration is Open for Our 2024 Conference!

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 directors, as well as pricing and registration options.

Register Today!

Featured Conference Speaker: Paul Darrow

To speak on "Spiritual Fatherhood"

Paul Darrow, a Courage member and dear friend, experienced a profound conversion to Catholicism and embraced the call to chastity after decades of living the alternative lifestyle. Now a dedicated advocate for traditional Church teachings on homosexuality, Paul shares his powerful testimony through films, media appearances, and speaking engagements, demonstrating the transformative power of faith and God's grace. Paul will be joining us again at our conference this year, presenting on Saturday afternoon.

In this short video, Paul tells the story of encountering God in a moment of extreme vulnerability, which lead to a total change in the trajectory of his life.

Remembering Father Lloyd

It is with fondness and admiration that we remember Rev. James B. Lloyd, C.S.P. after his passing into eternal life on April 26. In our last newsletter, we celebrated his 103rd birthday and looked back on his incredible ministry.

Father Lloyd had recorded a message to be played upon his passing, which was shown at his funeral Mass. He spoke about his time with Courage, and the "miracles of grace" that he witnessed.

May the angels lead you into paradise,

may the martyrs come to welcome you,

and take you to the holy city,

the new and eternal Jerusalem.

We've Updated Our Donation Page!

Check out our updated donation page online and the new platform we’re using! Looking for an alternative to PayPal? By switching to GiveButter, you can now give directly to us using a credit or debit card and can cover the transaction fee so all of your donation goes directly to Courage.  

View the New Page Here

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:

  • June: For our Courage and EnCourage chaplains 
  • July: To deepen the gift of friendship

See complete list of monthly intentions

Stay Connected With Fellow Members Near and Far


Courage & EnCourage 

around the world

General Resources

Celebrate the Feast of Our Patrons, St. Charles Lwanga & Companions

June 3 marks the feast day of our patrons, St. Charles Lwanga and Companions. Recently, one of our Courage staff members, Theresa, made this beautiful stained glass art for the chapel at the Courage office. Here's what Theresa had to say about it:

Most know that I am an EnCourage mom, so this apostolate is very near and dear to my heart. As a classically trained artist I love bringing beauty to the things I do here at the apostolate. One of my hobbies is making stained glass. A couple of years ago Fr. Bochanski and I talked about what saints we would like to have made into stained glass pieces for the office chapel if we ever had someone donate the cost of making them one piece at a time. (There are 6 sections of windows doubled up making a total of 12 windows in all. ) 

I decided to make St. Charles Lwanga, and two of his companions, for the office. It was a labor of love that took me many hours to complete but I was happy to donate it to Courage. Now, whether we are praying inside the chapel or working here in the offices, we have our patron saints watching over us: inspiring us to bring God's message of truth and love to our Courage and EnCourage family members and the wider Catholic community. 

Read about the lives of St. Charles Lwanga and Companions and find the Courage novena prayer here

Looking to the Sacred Heart of Jesus During June

While others acknowledge June as "Pride month," the Catholic Church has long dedicated it to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, focusing on His boundless love and mercy. This devotion emphasizes the heart of Christ as a symbol of His divine compassion and the redemptive power of His sacrifice. Celebrated on the Friday following the second Sunday after Pentecost, the Feast of the Sacred Heart encourages the faithful to deepen their relationship with Christ through prayer, reflection, and acts of love, embodying the themes of hope and spiritual renewal.

Follow along on our social media this month as we celebrate the Month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus!

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Follow us on social media for the

latest opportunities, news, resources, and inspiration.

Then spread the good news 

by liking, reposting, and sharing. 

Shedding Light on God's Truth

Ascension Presents continues to provide great resources and encouragement in this video presented by Father Mark-Mary from the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. Speaking to the importance of compassion, truth, and maintaining fidelity to Church teachings, Father Mark-Mary provides 3 pieces of practical advice on expressing love and respect without compromising one's faith.

Watch "Love, Truth, and Pride Month"


Broadening an "Impoverished" Understanding of Chastity

In this insightful interview, Bishop Erik Varden of Norway discusses his new book, which explores the profound connection between chastity and wholeness in the Christian life. He delves into the challenges and rewards of living a chaste life, emphasizing that true freedom and joy come from aligning one's life with Christ's teachings. Bishop Varden provides thoughtful perspectives on how chastity, a virtue misunderstood by many, can lead to personal and spiritual integrity.

Read the full interview

Love is More Than a Feeling

We recently highlighted the new initiative of the USCCB, Love Means More. Today, we are taking a look at their exploration of the phrase "love is love" to gain a deeper understanding of why love is more than just a feeling. Outlining the keys to what makes a union meaningful, this article takes care not to question the sincerity of anyone struggling to understand the call to chastity.

Read about the goal of love


"How to navigate being Catholic during Pride Month"

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Navigating "Pride Month" as a Catholic can present unique challenges. An article from Detroit Catholic, authored by Father Stephen Pullis, director of graduate pastoral formation at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, offers valuable guidance on maintaining your faith and values during this time. Father Pullis emphasizes a balance of compassion and upholding Church teachings, advising Catholics to use this month to purify and deepen their spiritual journey. He writes, "It’s an opportunity to witness to the truth with love and to purify your heart more completely."

Read "How to navigate being Catholic during Pride Month"

"I Feel Helpless": A Mother's Heart, Continued

The four-part series titled A Mother's Heart has continued to be released on the Courage blog. Written by an anonymous mother, the second and third installments continue to tell her story of the unique pains of a woman watching her child pull away. If you missed part one, you can read it here.

...she seemed to slip away from me so quickly and quietly that I feel caught unawares. She has gone away from me in such a profound way. She is dead in a deep sense. And I don’t have a body to bury.

Read part two and part three

Visit The Upper Room blog to read more from

Courage and EnCourage members and chaplains

as they share their stories of God's work in their lives. 

For Spanish Speaking Members and Friends

June Newsletter in Spanish 

Read the June 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

Register to Attend the 2024 Clergy Study Day

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

It's time to register for our Annual Clergy Day! This day is free for commuters; see the registration page for overnight and full conference rates.

Register Here

Diocese of Idaho Sets Great Example in Advertising

Are you looking to advertise your local chapter? Check out this article, and its accompanying video interview, published in the Idaho Catholic Register upon the launch of Courage and EnCourage in the Diocese of Idaho.

Read and watch Diocese launches Courage, EnCourage ministries

Have Courage Give a Clergy Day in Your Diocese!

Did you know that Courage can come to you? Take a look at this article, which highlights education provided by our Associate Director, Father Blatchford, in the Diocese of Little Rock, Arkansas. Father addressed clergy, youth ministers, and diocesan employees about navigating same-sex attraction and gender dysphoria within the Church.

If you are interested in organizing something similar, reach out to the Courage office by emailing bonnies@couragerc.org

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


Gender Identity Discordance*

Archbishop Coakley on the Unity of Body and Soul

In this installment of Franciscan University Presents, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City discusses his pastoral letter titled "On the Unity of the Body and Soul: Accompanying Those Experiencing Gender Dysphoria." As stated in the video description, he, along with host Father Dave Pivonka, TOR and panelists Dr. Regis Martin and Dr. Scott Hahn, "discuss the intersection of science, Church teachings, and personal relationships."

Watch Archbishop Coakley on FUS Presents

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

especially in the Gender Identity Discordance playlist.

Subscribe, like, and share to spread the word.

Pastoral Reflection on Gender Identity by Catholic Bishops of England and Wales

A Pastoral Reflection on gender, titled Intricately Woven by the Lord, has been issued by the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales.

In the document, the Bishops emphasize Catholic teaching regarding sexual differentiation, the inherent dignity of all human persons, and the importance of accompaniment alongside those struggling with these truths.

Read an article about the document here

Read the document in its entirety here

Read an executive summary of the document here

Courage and EnCourage and Gender Identity Discordance

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 more resources, on the Truth & Love site, go to Resources > Health & Well-Being > Gender Identity Discordance.


* For an explanation of the expression, "gender identity discordance," and coverage of the subject, see the Handbook for Courage and EnCourage Chaplains starting on page 81. 



Clergy Study Day

July 24, 2024

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

Watch for details in events section of website.

Courage & EnCourage Annual Conference

July 25–28, 2024

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

Watch for details in events section of website.

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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Donations gratefully accepted

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