Noticias de la Diócesis de Allentown

The Church’s Best-Kept Secret

Courage is perhaps the Catholic Church’s best-kept secret.

Founded in 1980 by Cardinal Terrence Cooke and Father Benedict Groeschel, Courage is an international support group that assists “men and women with same-sex attractions in living chaste lives in fellowship and truth” (Wikipedia).

Deacon Christopher May and I are privileged to be directors of our local diocesan chapter.

Courage members strive to the best of their ability to achieve five goals:

1. To live chaste lives in accordance with Roman Catholic teaching on homosexuality.

2. To dedicate their entire lives to Christ through service to others, spiritual reading, prayer, meditation, individual spiritual direction, frequent attendance at Mass, and the frequent reception of the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist.

3. To foster a spirit of fellowship in which they may share with one another their thoughts and experiences, and so ensure that no one will have to face homosexuality alone.

4. To be mindful that chaste friendships are not only possible but necessary in a chaste Christian life and to encourage one another in forming and sustaining these friendships.

5. To live lives that may serve as good examples to others.

Our local Courage chapter meets twice monthly. One of its core members asserts: “What brought me to Courage was a sincere desire to live out my life as a Catholic Christian. There is no judgment or finger wagging. We support each other in our struggle. The group does not use conversion therapy. No one is expected to be “cured.” This is our Cross that we carry. And with anything that weighs us down, Courage is there to help.”

Here is what some of our other Courage members have to say.

Another member states: “I’ve come to the conclusion that I have been called to a life of chastity, which I’m happy to accept in order to obtain my salvation. I have suffered tremendous depression in my life as a result of my attraction, but I now consider it to be an honor bestowed upon me. When I am in despair, I do my best to remember Christ crucified and silent on the cross. I offer up my struggles to Him and maintain faith in the fact that one day, He will wipe away every tear. This life is but a moment — the next, eternal.”

Consider this surprising testimony from a third member, a convert to Catholicism and a long-time Courage member: “When God finally showed me Sacramental Confession, I knew I’d found pure gold. I glommed onto the basics: come whenever you’re in trouble, say everything you did, accept the penance and the absolution, and then – always – get up and try again.

“Now I’ve experienced over 30 years of freedom from pornography and from the addiction to masturbation. I have a beloved wife with whom I share a peaceful sexual and domestic life. And we have a son. This is the sort of story that novelists won’t write. Who would believe it? But as Jesus said, nothing is impossible with God (see Matthew 19:26).

“The Courage apostolate leads me on: to loving, chaste friendships, to marital fidelity, to fatherhood. Every morning I call on the saints who pray for us – the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph first of all.

A fourth member declares simply: “I am thankful to be living my life within the sacraments and teachings of the Church. I am free.”

If you would like to learn more about the Church’s best-kept secret, and even get information as to how to join a local Courage chapter, check out

By Father Bernard Ezaki, assistant pastor of Notre Dame of Bethlehem and chaplain of Bethlehem Catholic High School. More articles by Father Ezaki are on his website