Special to The Message
Courage is a ministry for Catholics who experience same-sex attractions and who are committed to helping one another to live chaste lives marked by prayer, fellowship and mutual support. Members are guided by caring priest chaplains who offer reconciliation and direction for the spiritual life.
Bishop Joseph M. Siegel has asked Rev. Ryan Hilderbrand, pastor of St. Mary Parish in Huntingburg, to serve as Courage Chaplain for the diocese. This new apostolate is attached to the Office of Family & Life; Eric Girten is the director.
Courage members pursue the “Five Goals of Courage,” which were developed by the first Courage group (in New York City in 1980) and still guide all of Courage meetings and work:
● 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)
The Office of Family & Life has initiated email and phone contacts for Courage, and the ministry has a section on the diocesan webpage. For more information, go to http://www.evdio.org/courage.html, call 812-518-5815 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.