“…He gave a command to our fathers to make it known to their children that the next generation might know it…”  Psalm 78:5-6

“I don’t understand why the Church doesn’t do more to spread the word about the Courage apostolate!” “I don’t know why Courage doesn’t speak up more about the LGBTQ agenda?” I’ve heard these statements and others like them over the 9 years I’ve been part of the apostolate. In the beginning, I agreed with those saying these things and was frustrated by the seeming inaction. In hindsight, I see what I consider the error in the thought process behind these ideas. I also see a misunderstanding of the apostolate itself and the work of the priests in it.

There is no one better to help people understand why Courage is needed and the good it does in our lives than us. Each year at the Courage Conference and at clergy study days, there is usually a Courage member testimony as part of the program. Before the testimony is offered, the speaker’s introduction usually includes “our members are our best ambassadors.” When this line is stated at the Conference, nodding heads are seen, and whispered yes’s are heard. I take this as an indication that the members in attendance agree with the statement. But how many of us live it? How many of us let our pastors, fellow parishioners, friends, and family members know that we have chosen to follow the Church’s teachings? Not many, I’d guess, judging from how few people have heard of Courage. 

I believe it is my job, along with the priests, to share the good news of the Courage apostolate, but priests can only do so much. Many inside and outside the Church will not listen to priests in general, especially when it comes to issues related to sexuality. So who is left to share what needs to be communicated to raise awareness? Us! We are “who is left.” We who benefit most and have the light in us that our brothers and sisters living in the darkness of the LGBTQ identity need. 

The same answer applies to the second statement at the beginning of this post. The Courage apostolate commenting on the state of the world concerning the LGBTQ movement is helpful, but nowhere near as wide-reaching as the impact each of us has in our homes, workplaces, and parishes. Suppose you don’t feel you have the knowledge necessary to speak about these issues. In that case, I suggest re-evaluating how you spend your free time. I’m sure there are unnecessary distractions you could eliminate to give yourself more time to spend studying the faith. If you think you don’t have the skills to speak, remember Moses and St. Paul. Neither was gifted in their speech. The Holy Spirit worked through them, and He will do the same for you. 

“Be the change you want to see” is an entirely appropriate quote for this circumstance. The freedom, peace, and joy that comes through living the truth of Christ’s Church proclaimed by the Courage apostolate is not a light we can continue to hide under a basket. So I encourage you as God has inspired me; make Courage known to the present and next generation. Share the good news; be not afraid; I am with you. Thanks be to God. 

If you need help with the words, please email me at brotherwithoutorder@gmail.com.  

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Garrett Johnson is a 49 year old blogger and stylist living in MD. He joined the Arlington chapter of Courage in 2012 and has since helped establish the Washington DC and Baltimore MD chapters. He has spoken at the Courage Conference, on EWTN and at other Courage events. You can follow Garrett on Youtube, Facebook, and his website brotherwithoutorder.com.

The opinions and experiences expressed in each blog entry in “The Upper Room” belong solely to the original authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of Courage International, Inc. Some entries have been edited for length and clarity.