New chapter of EnCourage forming in Diocese of Madison Print
Around the Diocese
Thursday, Nov. 01, 2018 -- 12:00 AM

MADISON -- In order to provide more help and support for the friends and family members of those who experience same-sex attractions, the Diocese of Madison has recently established a local chapter of EnCourage, which is a ministry within the Courage Apostolate.

What are Courage and EnCourage?

Courage is a Catholic apostolate that provides pastoral support for those who experience same-sex attraction, through spiritual guidance, community prayer support, and Christian fellowship.

The five goals of Courage, created by the members themselves when Courage was founded, are:

(1) To live chaste lives in accordance with the Roman Catholic Church's teaching on homosexuality;

(2) To dedicate our 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 we may share with one another our thoughts and experiences, and so ensure that no one will have to face the problems of homosexuality alone;

(4) To be mindful of the truth 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.

EnCourage is for the parents, spouses, siblings, and friends of people who experience same-sex attractions (SSA) or who identify as LGBTQ.

"EnCourage members work together to understand the experiences of their loved ones, and to respond to them with compassion. They know that it is possible to express love for someone even if we can't support all of their choices or actions. They find spiritual guidance to grow in their relationship with Christ, and community support from other members that helps them remember that they are not alone on this journey."

The five goals of EnCourage are:

(1) To grow spiritually through spiritual reading, prayer, meditation, individual spiritual direction, frequent attendance at Mass, and the frequent reception of the sacraments of Penance and Holy Eucharist;

(2) To gain a deeper understanding of the needs, difficulties, and challenges experienced by men and women with SSA;

(3) To establish and maintain a healthy and wholesome relationship with their loved ones with SSA;

(4) To assist other family members and friends to reach out with compassion and truth, and not to reject, their loved ones with SSA;

(5) To witness to their loved ones by their own lives that fulfillment is to be found in Jesus Christ through his Body, the Church.

The first meeting of the new chapter of EnCourage forming in the Diocese of Madison is being planned for November 2018.

If you are interested in attending or would like more information, contact the Diocese of Madison EnCourage Coordinator at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by phone at 608-821-3019.

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