Persons with homosexual desires have always been with us; however, until recent times, there has been little, if any, formal outreach from the Church in the way of support groups or information for such persons. Most were left to work out their path on their own. As a result, they found themselves listening to and accepting the secular society’s perspective and opting to act on their same-sex desires.
His Eminence, the late Terence Cardinal Cooke of New York, was aware of, and troubled by this situation. He knew that the individual dealing with same-sex attractions truly needed to experience the freedom of interior chastity and in that freedom find the steps necessary to living a fully Christian life in communion with God and others. He was concerned that many would not find this path and would be constantly trying to get their needs met in ways that ultimately do not satisfy the desires of the heart.
In response to this concern, he decided to form a spiritual support system which would assist men and women with same-sex attractions in living chaste lives in fellowship, truth and love. Knowing of Fr. John Harvey’s extensive ministry experience in this field, he invited him to come to his Archdiocese. With the help of the Rev. Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R., and others, Fr. Harvey began the Courage Apostolate with its first meeting in September, 1980 at the Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in South Ferry (Manhattan).
Read more on Courage International website.