“Courage and Encourage are ministries which provide hope and support to all who are seeking to live a holy and virtuous life in union with the Church and in accord with God’s plan.  Both of these ministries have been a blessing in the Diocese of St. Petersburg.”    Gregory L. Parkes, Bishop of St. Petersburg 

Chastity and Same-Sex Attraction equals Courage International

Did you know that our Catholic Church has a apostolate specifically for men and women experiencing same-sex attraction who desire support in living a chaste life? This apostolate began in 1980 in New York City. We also have a second apostolate for family members that was begun by a mom and dad whose son identified as a gay man and they did not know how to walk this experience with him. Are you aware that this support is available for you in our own diocese? Bishop Parkes has fully endorsed this apostolate that offers Truth and Love.

Do you want to know more? will give you the information you need to be brave in your faith and in living God’s plan for sexuality.

At you can view “Invited to Courageous Love“.  This is a five part short series offering insight and guidance of the Church’s teachings and professional insight of the medical and social sciences.  Please also consider watching a one hour documentary “The Desires of the Everlasting Hills  This short video offers a view into the world of divine peace received by three adults who experience same-sex attraction and live fully in their Catholic faith.

May God bless you and give you the strength to be brave and live joyfully!

For more information about local Courage and Encourage meetings contact:

Courage email:, Courage phone number: (727) 223-1666
Encourage email:, Encourage phone number (813) 591-3766

Courage Goals:

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

EnCourage Goals:

  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.