Courage & EnCourage Ministry

Are you or a loved one experiencing

same-sex attraction,
gender discordance,
or in some way identifying as LBGTQ+

and looking for answers?

You are not alone.

You can find support through Courage and EnCourage, ministries that are faithful to the teaching and pastoral guidelines of the Roman Catholic Church regarding homosexuality and gender discordance.

You can also access information resources and further support through the Courage International Website at, or by contacting the Courage International Offices directly at [email protected] or (203) 803-1564.

Deacon Al Stoverink

Deacon Al Stoverink

Courage & EnCourage Diocesan Chaplain

[email protected]
Call/Text (573) 987-0551

Church Teaching on Same-Sex Attraction

“The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

Homosexual persons are called to chastityBy the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.”

– Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2357-2358.

What is...


Courage is a ministry dedicated to the spiritual needs of persons with same-sex attraction, gender discordance, and/or in some way identify as LGBTQ+. Courage offers pastoral support and fellowship opportunities to both men and women who choose to live a chaste life. Confidentiality is deeply respected.


EnCourage is a ministry dedicated to the spiritual needs of parents, siblings, children, and other relatives and friends of persons who experience same-sex attractions, gender discordance, and/or in some way identify as LGBTQ+. Confidentiality is deeply respected.

Five Goals of Courage

  • To live chaste lives in accordance with the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality. (Chastity)
  • 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. (Prayer and Dedication)
  • 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. (Fellowship)
  • 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. (Support)
  • To live lives that may serve as good examples to others. (Good Example/Role Model)

Five Goals of EnCourage

  • Help members themselves to grow spiritually through developing a vital relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ as authentically taught in our Roman Catholic Tradition.
  • Enable members to gain a deeper understanding of the needs, problems, and issues experienced by men and women with same-sex attractions.
  • Help members establish and maintain a healthy and wholesome relationship with the loved one who experiences same-sex attractions.
  • Assist other parents and families not to reject but to reach out with compassion and truth to their loved one with same-sex feelings and behaviors.
  • Witness to our loved one by our own lives that a happy, wholesome life is to be found in union with Jesus Christ and with His body, the Church.


Truth & Love Blog

For decades, the Catholic Church has been extending its outreach to men and women who experience same-sex attraction, helping them to live chaste lives and to embrace their identity as sons and daughters of God. Years of experience have revealed the need for comprehensive formation for those directly involved in this ministry; in addition, there are those seeking to deepen their understanding of this complex issue which is a lived reality for so many people.

Truth & Love provides a weekly blog from a Catholic perspective. You will find a wide array of resources, ranging from theological perspectives on human sexuality and chastity, to health and wellbeing, to providing authentic pastoral care for SSA (same-sex attracted) individuals.

Whether you are a priest, religious, a healthcare worker, a layperson, and whether you or a loved one experiences same-sex attractions, we believe you will find here a wealth of information to guide you.