Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Issues - Courage and Homosexual Desires

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Essays - Courage and Homosexual Desires

Persons with homosexual desires have always been with us, however up to recent times, there has been little if any outreach in the way of support groups or information. Most were left to work out their path to chastity on their own. Many found they were unable to do this and folded to the pressures of the increasingly secular society opting to act on their desires in gay circles. Choosing this direction locked them into a way of life that does not bring benefit to one's existence.

His Eminence Terence Cooke of New York, became aware of this difficult situation and in November of 1978 decided to form a spiritual support system which would assist men and women with same-sex attractions in living chaste lives. Knowing of Fr. John Harvey's extensive ministry experience in this field, he invited him to come to his archdiocese. With the help of the Rev. Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R., (see photo) and others, Fr. Harvey began the Courage Apostolate with its first meeting meeting in September, 1980 at the Shrine of Mother Seton in South Ferry.

With the endorsement of the Holy See, Courage now with more than 95 Chapters worldwide, over 500 persons participating in its ListServs and hundreds of persons per day receiving assistance from the main office and website, has become a mainstream Catholic Apostolate helping thousands of men and women find peace through fellowship, prayer and commitment toward understanding and following church teaching. The Courage main office operates through the prayerful and financial support of the Archdiocese of New York as well as contributions and volunteer work from Courage members and others committed to advancing its efforts. Individual chapters throughout the world are self supporting and have the approval of their local Archdiocese.

In helping individuals gain a greater understanding and appreciation for the church's teachings, Courage extends the Church's invitation to experience the freedom of chaste living. In chaste living, one finds greater freedom, peace and grace to grow more deeply spiritually and maturely in Christ.

The September 11th terrorists' attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon has altered our perspective of the world in which we dwell. A nineteen year old Courage member told Fr. Harvey how she desires to reach out to everyone in these days of mourning. In doing so, she found her friends so open.

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