Courage, Encourage helps men and women living in accord with the Catholic Church’s pastoral teaching on homosexuality

Courage and Encourage, two ministries of the Diocese of Wichita, are spiritual support groups committed to helping Catholic men, women, and their families live in accordance with the Catholic Church’s pastoral teaching on homosexuality.
When individuals or family members confront personal issues with same-sex attraction, family dynamics frequently are tested. Often these people turn to professionals for help, such as counselors, physicians, trusted teachers, or priests. Professionals have the option to refer such individuals to Courage or Encourage for further support and help.
Members frequently mention feeling alienated from friends and family. Under other circumstances, they would reach out, but can’t, fearing loss of love, rejection or judgment with their disclosure of homosexuality. “Our first meeting there was such incredible relief to share our fears, frustrations, pain, broken dreams, and guilty feelings,” one member said. Another member added, “It has been a safe and compassionate place for me to share my feelings regarding my son who has same-sex attraction. It has helped me move beyond feelings of loneliness and frustration to hope and trust.”
Both Courage and Encourage stress and enhance spiritual growth by nurturing a closer relationship with Jesus Christ through prayer, scriptures, group prayer petitions, frequent devotions, and receiving the sacraments. Focusing on the lives of Saint Joseph, Saint Monica, Saint Paul, Saint Augustine, and other saints, helps group members understand that they do not walk alone in the struggle with sin and temptation.
Courage members gain understanding of Catholic Church teaching regarding homosexuality and how to live in accordance with that teaching. Encourage members gain understanding, strength, and a new focus on the virtues of their friend or family member, as well as a personal commitment to unconditional love as personified in Jesus Christ.
Encourage gives those with same-sex attraction dignity because they are first and foremost children of God. This path of understanding is also a personal journey of information-gathering. National Encourage and Courage groups provide informative newsletters with insights and articles from renowned researchers, psychologists, and Catholic leaders. A yearly national conference provides new information, as well as encouraging testimonies that become available for distribution on CDs or DVDs.
Both groups also have outreach goals of positive witnessing to others, living lives of good examples by not rejecting, but by reaching out in service to others, and through unconditional love and outward signs of strong Catholic values which are necessary for healing. Wichita is very fortunate to have local chapters of each of these groups, as many communities don’t.

Want more info?
To learn more about Courage or Encourage, call the spiritual director, Father John Brungardt at (316) 269-3900. Privacy is safeguarded with all inquiries.
Courage was founded in 1980 by Cardinal Terrence Cooke in the Archdiocese of New York. Courage ministers to men and women who experience same-sex attraction. Encourage supports families and friends of same-sex attracted individuals.
The Wichita chapters were formed in January of 2006. Both groups respect the anonymity of their members, recognizing that same-sex attraction is a deeply personal struggle for individuals, their friends and their families. A safe, confidential environment is provided for those seeking growth, understanding, support, and coping skills.