Rev. Andrew Kinstetter
In our world today, sexuality is often reduced to the inclinations of a person without looking at the person as a whole, with all the dignity and respect that they deserve as beloved sons and daughters of God. The topic of same-sex attraction and pastoral care to those persons is of extreme importance to the Church, and she does not leave those persons without guidance and support in living a grace-filled, chaste life, full of love by following Jesus Christ.
Courage is an international apostolate of the Catholic Church, which ministers to persons with same-sex attractions. This apostolate provides pastoral care and guidance to those persons with same-sex attractions in the form of support groups with other members who experience a similar challenge.
Courage was founded in 1980 by Cardinal Terence Cooke, then Archbishop of New York, to help Catholics who experience same‐sex attractions live chaste lives in accordance with the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching. Father John Harvey, OSFS, served as the founding director of the apostolate. An additional ministry, EnCourage, is also available.
EnCourage is a support group for family members, spouses, and friends of men and women who experience same‐sex attractions. Both ministries are meant to help members be faithful Catholics with joy-filled lives amidst the particular cross they are asked to bear.
Courage’s 5 goals:
Chastity: To live chaste lives in accordance with the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality.
Prayer and Dedication: 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 the Holy Eucharist.
Fellowship: To foster a spirit of fellowship in which we may share with one another our thoughts and experiences and so ensure that none of us has to face the problems of homosexuality alone.
Support: To be mindful of the truth that chaste friendships are not only possible but necessary in chaste Christian life; and to encourage one another in forming and sustaining these friendships.
Exemplar Lives: To live lives that may serve as good examples and role models to others.
I have been blessed to have been appointed as the Courage Chaplain for the Diocese of Cheyenne. I will be leading these support groups and providing sacramental ministry and spiritual guidance to those who experience same-sex attractions and their family members. Confidentiality is of supreme importance with these groups due to the sensitivity of the topic. As with many support groups, dates, times and locations of meetings will not be made public. After signing up, members only will be given that information. To become one of the founding members of the new Courage/EnCourage group in the Diocese of Cheyenne, please call me at (307) 222-9459 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org