2017 Annual Courage/EnCourage Conference

July 27 ● 2017 ● July 30

Clergy Day – Wednesday, July 26th

University of St. Mary of the Lake Seminary & Conference Center

Mundelein, IL


Conference SPEAKERS:


Fr. Philip Bochanski — Executive Director of Courage International, Inc.

“Jesus, Mary and Joseph … and Us”:  Every moment of Jesus’ earthly life, including the hidden years of Nazareth, reveal important truths about Him and about our lives as disciples.  In this talk we will consider the lives of Our Lord, Our Lady and Saint Joseph as models for us, as individuals and as families.  By following their example, we may come to know our identity and our vocation more deeply, and to live them with greater love.

Andrew & Annette Comiskey — Founders of Desert Stream/Living Waters Ministries

“Hope for a Whole-Enough Marriage”:  Though never perfect, marriage perfects its fractured members when both are submitted to Jesus and the other’s good. We will share how God has liberated our humanity through 36 years of working out our lives together and helping other who share our unchaste roots get free too.  

Matt Fradd — Founder of The Porn Effect

“God, The Universe, And Everything”: Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going? Everyone wants answers to these questions. Some people have found their answers in God; others are still on the path of discovery. And some have grown discouraged—and stopped looking. In this intellectually stimulating yet entertaining presentation Matt shares his own story of being shaken out of the agnostic apathy he suffered as a young adult. Challenged to find reasons to believe that life has meaning—no matter how messy or senseless or full of pain it may get—his long search finally led him to belief in the God of Christianity, and in his Church.   

Dr. Michael Horne  — Director of Clinical Services for Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington.  

“Understanding & Encountering Our Loved Ones”:  This talk will focus on how the family members and friends of those experiencing same sex attraction (SSA) can better understand the needs and challenges faced by men and women with SSA.  Additionally, this will address the topic of how to cope with personal reactions and maintain a Christ centered relationship grounded in love and truth with family members who have SSA.  

Kathryn Jean Lopez  — Senior fellow at the National Review Institute where she directs the Center for Religion, Culture, and Civil Society, and editor-at-large of National Review.

“Defending the Faith without Raising Your Voice”: Principles for loving courage in confusing times: Basically love does in fact win; if we are all in for love God will sort it out. We spend a lot of time worrying, trying to convince and change people. Tell the truth with love. Pray. Sacrifice. These things are sometimes untried or can be the first to go. Be love abundantly and we will radiate and people will see more clearly His love.   

Dr. Timothy Lock PhD — Licensed psychologist in full-time private practice, and Courage International board member

“Soulfulness: A Catholic Understanding of Mindfulness”: Within the past ten years, the Mental Health field has become obsessed with the topic of mindful meditation.  Catholics are rightfully skeptical wondering if this practice is detrimental to their spiritual and moral growth.  Can Catholics practice “mindfulness” or will this lead them down the path of mediocrity and lukewarmness?   

Daniel Mattson — Courage member and author of Why I Don’t Call Myself Gay: How I Reclaimed My Sexual Reality and Found Peace, by Ignatius Press  

“Lessons Learned on the Journey of a Prodigal Son”:  Dan Mattson, Courage member, will share some of the lessons he’s learned on his journey in pursuing the Church’s teaching on chastity. He views himself as one beggar showing other beggars where the Bread of Life can be found. He shares some of his struggles, shortcomings, as well as the lessons he’s learned that have helped him in following the Church’s teaching, emphasizing more than anything else that conversion means claiming again and again the truth that all of us are beloved sons and daughters of God.

Fr. Paul Scalia — Episcopal Vicar for Clergy in the Diocese of Arlington, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Courage International

“Thus Says the Lord! The Catholic Call to Prophecy”:  Fr. Scalia will be speaking about being a prophetic witness of the Gospel in society today.   

Fr. Don Timone — Archdiocese of New York priest and close colleague of Courage founder, Fr. John Harvey

“Spiritual Insights Into the Virtue of Chastity”: Chastity is a gift of God’s grace enabling us to continue the development of our masculinity and/or femininity in a healthy wholesome manner – we intend to highlight the key factors into the Holy Spirit’s efforts to guide our development.

Deacon Patrick Lappert, M.D. (Clergy Track only) —  Permanent Deacon in the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama, and chaplain for Courage in the Diocese of Birmingham.

“Transgender Surgery and Christian Anthropology”: Dr. Lappert will present a discussion of the “transgender” phenomenon, its historic roots, the scientific evidence for the existence of such a condition, and the moral and ethical problems of the use of medicine and surgery in the treatment of this condition.

Mass celebrants


Bishop Frank Caggiano — Bishop of the diocese of Bridgeport, where Courage International headquarters is located, and a member of Courage’s Episcopal Board.



Bishop John LeVoir —  Bishop of New Ulm, MN, Courage International board member, and former Courage chaplain for the Archdiocese of St. Paul – Minneapolis.



Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio — Bishop of Brooklyn, and chairman of the board of the Center for Migration Studies, and the Migration Policy Institute board.

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki — Bishop of the diocese of Springfield, IL, and President Emeritus and Of Counsel of the Chicago Legal Clinic.

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