The spirituality and pastoral approach of Courage International’s founding director, Fr. John Harvey, OSFS, will be the focus of the 30th annual Courage & EnCourage conference, which will center on the theme: “Faithful to a mission.”
The theme was derived from the words of the late Fr. Harvey, who said about his work with the apostolate: “I want to be remembered as being faithful to a mission.” This year’s conference coincides with the 100th birthday of Fr. Harvey, who was born April 14, 1918.
“As we commemorate the centennial anniversary of the birth of our founder, Fr. Harvey, I am especially pleased that the Conference will be held in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, his birthplace,” said Father Philip Bochanski, Courage International’s executive director.
The 2018 conference will run from July 12-15 at Villanova University, in Philadelphia, PA.
“The program will focus on themes that were important to Father Harvey’s spirituality and pastoral approach, and we plan to include a number of speakers who worked closely with Father Harvey during the 28 years that he led the Courage apostolate.”
“This year’s event, which will mark our thirtieth annual conference, will be a time of great jubilee for the apostolate.”
Fr. Harvey served from 1980-2008 as director of Courage International, a Roman Catholic apostolate for men and women who experience same-sex attractions and the loved ones of persons who identify as LGBT. The Philadelphia native died December 27, 2010.
Speakers will include Johnnette Benkovic, founder and president of Living His Life Abundantly International, Inc., and host of the EWTN series Women of Grace; Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap., archbishop of Philadelphia; and Fr. Gerald Murray, a priest of the New York archdiocese and frequent commentator on EWTN, Fox News, and MSNBC.
Bishops who have confirmed their participation in the conference include Bishop Peter Byrne, auxiliary for the archdiocese of New York; Bishop Michael Fitzgerald, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Philadelphia; Bishop David Konderla of the diocese of Tulsa; Bishop Thomas Olmsted of the diocese of Phoenix; and Bishop Mark J. Seitz of the diocese of El Paso.
Other speakers will include members of Courage and EnCourage (the group for friends and family of persons who identify as LGBT), who will share their personal testimonies.
The event will preceded by a “Clergy day” on July 11 which will consist of seminars designed to offer formation to priests, deacons, and seminarians in minister