Courage International hosts annual conference in Medway

MEDWAY -- The annual conference of Courage International, a group that is designed to provide support to Catholics with same-sex attractions, was held in Massachusetts on Aug. 7-10 in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Archdiocese of Boston.

The conference, which was held at the Spiritual Life Center of the Marian Community in Medway and attracted more than 200 men and women, included speakers such as Dale O’Leary, a columnist for The Pilot; workshops; testimonials; and Mass with Cardinal Seán O’Malley.

In 1980, Courage International, a Catholic support group, was established to reach out to homosexuals and provide them with an alternate lifestyle choice--one in communion with the teachings of the Church and where true happiness can be found.

The late Cardinal Terence Cooke of New York asked Father John Harvey, OSFS, Courage’s founder, to begin a ministry to Catholics with same-sex attractions who were trying to live a chaste lifestyle. He felt that little was being done to reach out to them, which in turn caused many homosexuals to accept the status quo that society provided.

In today’s society there is a strong emphasis on finding oneself and living to be happy. This message can be especially strong for people with same-sex attractions. They are encouraged to “be themselves” and pursue the lifestyle that they think will bring them fulfillment.

The Courage support group is aimed at helping those with same-sex attractions to realize that happiness and peace come from God and can be found through chastity, prayer, fellowship, support from others and being a good example to others. Today Courage chapters are located in more than 100 dioceses in the United States.

In the near future, Father Harvey, now 90 years old, will hand directorship of Courage to Father Paul Check, a priest from the Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn., who has been Bridgeport’s Courage chaplain since 2002. Father Check called Father Harvey “a man of generosity of heart and great love of Christ and the Church,” and said that he will use his new position to carry on the legacy of Father Harvey by educating fellow priests, seminarians and those working in marriage and family ministries about how to minister to those with same-sex attractions.

“There is so much confusion, misunderstanding, ignorance and fear on matter of same-sex attractions and my work begins with trying to bring together all that we know about the origins of same-sex attraction and the way to address it,” said Father Check. “Courage is not an advocacy group or involved in political causes. It is really about carrying on the work of the Gospel, which is conversion of heart, according to the truth from him who loves us most.”

Father Check began his journey of outreach and education by giving the keynote address at this year’s Courage conference. The topic of his address, “Show Us the Father,” examined the relationship between man, Jesus Christ and God, the Father.

“We all want to know who our Father is and original sin is the attempt to abolish fatherhood,” he explained. “The work of the Son is to restore what has been lost and to show us the Father and his love, mercy, truth and grace and to help us to live as his faithful.”

The topic was fitting, Father Check said, because for many people with same-sex attractions the question of fatherhood is a painful one. He said that there is no single profile of a person with same-sex attraction, but a common thread is a bad or non-existent relationship between father and son.

“We need to help everyone understand that God is our father in the full sense because he brings us into being and sustains us, giving us every good thing and directing our life in accordance with perfection, with joy and with peace,” said Father Check. “We can’t begin to understand or know our earthly fathers until we understand and know our Father in heaven and the way to do that is by knowing and loving the Son, because the Son is the perfect image of the Father in this life, and he can help ease that spiritual wound that often is very directly related to same-sex attraction, but is very true for all of us.”

Father John Sullivan, pastor of St. Mary of the Annunciation Parish in Melrose and the Courage chaplain for the Archdiocese of Boston, said that support for those with same-sex attractions is crucial. He attended the Courage conference and holds meetings with local members twice a month, where they can share their experiences and struggles. Father Sullivan said that it is important for priests and seminarians to be informed about how to welcome people with same-sex attractions into the Church.

“One of the biggest sufferings is the isolation and loneliness that people with same-sex attraction feel and for them to find a place for support and to be in communion with us is essential. It is important for these men and women to know that there are resources available and that there is a community who supports them,” he said. “People with same-sex attractions are important and they are a part of our Church. They are in every family, whether it be a brother, sister, daughter, or even a mother or father. Through Courage we can provide a ministry of hope and encouragement.”

For more information on the local chapter of Courage and Encourage, a support group for families of people with same-sex attractions, contact Father John Sullivan at St. Mary of the Annunciation Parish at 781-665-0152. Information is also available on the Courage Web site at www.couragerc.net.

World
Canadian cardinal: Women should help screen, train priest applicants

Poznan, Poland, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- Increasing the role of women in screening and training priests is among the steps that should be taken to prevent future ...

World
Vatican delegation will travel to China this month to finalize agreement, Chinese newspaper reports

Beijing, China, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- A newspaper tied to the Chinese Communist Party reported Tuesday that a delegation of Vatican officials will head to ...

World
Cardinal Marx says mistakes were made, calls for change in German church

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, head of the German bishops' conference, admitted that mistakes were made in the German church's handling of sex abuse of minors ...

Nation
Church crisis response: Healing Masses, listening sessions, fasting

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In response to the sexual abuse crisis in the church, Catholics are praying for victims, talking about their frustration and anger, ...

Nation
Pope names Minnesota priest as auxiliary bishop of Hartford

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pope Francis has appointed Father Juan M. Betancourt, a priest in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, as auxiliary bishop ...

World
Listening church: Pope gives new vision for Synod of Bishops

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Synod of Bishops increasingly should be a structure for listening to the Catholic faithful, demonstrating a local bishop's concern ...

Nation
Director of Courage releases letter on Penn. abuse report

Washington D.C., Sep 17, 2018 CNA.- Courage International, an apostolate to support people with same sex-attraction in leading chaste lives, has issued ...

Nation
Richmond bishop apologizes to victims; commits to opening, reviewing files

RICHMOND, Va. (CNS) -- In celebrating the Diocese of Richmond's first Mass of Atonement for victims of abuse Sept. 14, Bishop Barry C. Knestout apologized ...

Nation
Stanford University to remove saint's name from some properties

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- California's Stanford University will strip the name of 18th-century Franciscan friar, St. Junipero Serra, from some of its properties ...

Nation
Catholic Charities distributes disaster relief to areas hit by Florence

RALEIGH, N.C. (CNS) -- The Carolinas were hard hit with record rainfall and flooding rivers from tropical storm Florence since it made landfall Sept. ...

Nation
Archbishop Lori assures diocese he's with them in journey toward healing

WHEELING, W.Va. (CNS) -- In his celebration of Mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling Sept. 15, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore said ...

World
Bishop takes a (sky) dive to get pilgrims to Lourdes

HOVE, England (CNS) -- "The Moth has landed," tweeted the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton. The tweet Sept. 14 and a similar post on the diocesan Facebook ...

World
Words, promises are not enough to prevent abuse, archbishop says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Inviting presidents of the world's bishops' conference to the Vatican to discuss abuse prevention reflects an understanding that ...

World
Pope praises Capuchin order's charism of authenticity, simplicity

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Capuchins are called to be men of peace, reconciliation and prayer and to be close to all people, Pope Francis told members of the ...

Nation
Path to healing starts with seeking forgiveness, Cardinal Wuerl says

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A "Season of Healing" for sexual abuse survivors began in the Archdiocese of Washington with a Sept. 14 Mass at the Cathedral of St. ...

World
Archbishop McCarrick's unofficial role in Vatican-China relations

Vatican City, Sep 17, 2018 CNA.- Following reports that the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China could be about to sign an agreement ...

Nation
Archbishop Chaput: When we forget faith, we forget our humanity

Spokane, Wash., Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- When man tries to cling to reason and separate himself from faith, he forgets who he is and loses his source of hope, ...

World
Pope Francis warns priests against living a double life

Palermo, Italy, Sep 15, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- During a day trip to Sicily Saturday, Pope Francis told priests and religious to fight their vices and strive ...

World
What is the pontifical secret?

Vatican City, Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- Following the allegations made by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò about the case of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, ...

World
Vatican publishes list of synod participants, including papal nominees

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- To the list of members of the Synod of Bishops elected by national bishops' conferences, Pope Francis added cardinals from 14 countries, ...

Nation
Addicts and their loved ones talk about life with opioid addiction

ARLINGTON, Va. (CNS) -- It was a Saturday night, and Billy was eating pizza and watching a sporting event in the basement bedroom of his residence, a ...

Nation
Signers of letter hope Vatican meeting will bring needed steps on crisis

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Signers of an open letter from Catholic women to Pope Francis urging "truth" and "transparency" on the growing sex abuse crisis expressed ...

Local
Community 'overwhelmed and shell-shocked' after gas explosions, says pastor

LAWRENCE -- Volunteers at St. Patrick Church's Cor Unum Meal Center were serving dinner when multiple natural gas explosions and fires broke out in homes ...

World
Down to earth: Vatican brings together world's meteorite curators

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNS) -- Rocks, mineral debris and even dust from space are kept in special collections, museums and laboratories all over the ...

World
Algerian martyrs to be beatified in Algeria Dec. 8

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The beatification of 19 martyrs of Algeria, including the seven Trappist monks of Tibhirine, will be celebrated Dec. 8 in Oran, ...

Nation
'Anything but a picnic' - Cardinal Dolan on the Church's summer of scandal

New York City, N.Y., Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- Cardinal Timothy Dolan has spoken about how the extended sexual abuse scandals facing the Church have taken a ...

Local
Restoring and reimagining: Transformation at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross

BOSTON -- Considered by many to be the heart of the Archdiocese of Boston, the Cathedral of the Holy Cross is the largest Catholic church in New England, ...

Local
Archdiocese says Cardinal O'Malley will personally review all abuse letters

BRAINTREE (CAN) -- The Archdiocese of Boston has announced changes to the way it will process and respond to letters addressed to Cardinal Séan P. ...

Local
CM receives $2.5M grant from Yawkey Foundations

West Roxbury -- Catholic Memorial, a college-preparatory school for boys in grades 7 to 12, announced Sept. 5 that they have received a $2.5 million grant ...

Local
Father Christian Ohazulume removed from ministry

BRAINTREE -- The Archdiocese announced on Sept. 11 that it had removed a priest from ministry after receiving an allegation that he sexually abused a ...

Local
From Cardinal Seán's blog

This week I am in transit to Rome in anticipation of the next meeting of the C9 Council of Cardinals. So, I have asked Vivian Soper to share some reflections ...

Nation
Kavanaugh's birth control comments spur controversy -- What did he say?

Washington D.C. (CNA) -- Opponents of Judge Brett Kavanaugh have suggested that a reference to birth control pills as "abortion-inducing drugs" during ...

Nation
Missouri to enforce abortion regulations in wake of appeals court ruling

Jefferson City, Mo. (CNA) -- Missouri's health department announced Monday that it will immediately being enforcing state laws regulating abortion clinics ...

Nation
Book tells about behind-the-scenes search for St. Peter's bones

HOUSTON (CNS) -- Two Houston men shared a journey through centuries of history and a decades-long archaeological dig under the Vatican to unveil a story ...

World
Update way priests are chosen, accompanied, pope tells new bishops

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The best way to help the Catholic Church, Pope Francis told new bishops, is not by pointing fingers and creating scapegoats, but ...

World
Vatican confirms ongoing Sistine Chapel Choir finance inquiry

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican confirmed an ongoing investigation into financial irregularities involving the directors of the Sistine Chapel Choir. ...

World
After meeting pope, cardinal says he's hopeful about addressing crisis

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston struck a determinedly hopeful tone after his long-awaited meeting with Pope Francis ...

Nation
DA clears Indiana bishop of misconduct, says claim has harmed prelate

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (CNS) -- The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend welcomed findings by a Pennsylvania district attorney that cleared Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades ...

World
Cardinal DiNardo calls meeting with pope lengthy, fruitful

Vatican City, Sep 13, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Cardinal Daniel DiNardo has called a Sept. 13 meeting between Pope Francis and leaders from the Church in United ...

Nation
What do Church abuse policies mean by 'vulnerable adult?'

Denver, Colo., Sep 12, 2018 CNA.- A Vatican summit this February will gather the presidents of bishops’ conferences from around the world. While ...

World
'Elitist, clericalist' church allows abuse to thrive, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Sexual and physical abuse by priests and religious and the scandal of its cover-up by church authorities thrive in countries where ...

World
Cardinal Wuerl to ask pope to accept his resignation

Washington D.C., Sep 12, 2018 CNA.- An archdiocesan spokesman has confirmed that Cardinal Donald Wuerl will soon ask Pope Francis to accept his resignation ...

Nation
Pope accepts resignation of West Virginia bishop as inquiry into abuse claims launched

Vatican City, Sep 13, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Pope Francis Thursday accepted the resignation of Bishop Michael J. Bransfield from the pastoral government ...