2012 Courage/EnCourage Conference Presentations
Most Rev. James D. Conley,
Most Reverend James D. Conley gives the opening keynote address at the 2012 Courage Conference held in Emmitsburg, MD. The talk is titled: “Friendship, Modern Isolation and the New Evangelization in the Thought of Bl. John Henry Newman“. And he bases it on Newman’s motto “Cor ad cor loquitur” or ”Heart speaks to heart” which Bishop Conley has taken as his own episcopal motto since Newman so profoundly influenced him. Newman says, it is friendship that was neglected in his isolated, individualistic society whereas Jesus wants us to become friends with him and with each other.
Melinda Selmys gives gives an account of her life in which she lived the lesbian life style and then came to God and became wife and mother of six children. She goes on to give her assessment of the origins and ramifications of her same sex attraction, discussing whether it is intrinsic to a person’s nature as many would have us believe today, or whether it is simply a temptation for some people which can be resisted like any other temptation as part of one’s overall effort to conform their will to the will of God. She includes many references to philosophy, theology, psychology, and to her own personal experience to form an intelligent, Christian, broadminded view of a very complex issue.
Fr. Jeffrey Keefe, O.F.M. Conv., director of Courage in Syracuse, NY, gives his talk at the 2012 International Courage Conference on the “The Varieties of Guilt” which we face on our pilgrimage to God and the appropriate pastoral approach to cope with them in a world where temptation and sin are increasing. In the process he explains the nature of shame and how shame and guilt are our built in monitors of our behavior. Yet, no matter how bad we mess up, we should look to God to help straighten out the mess and so find peace.
Fr. Jeffrey Keefe
Dr. Timothy Flanigan
Dr. Timothy Flanigan draws heavily on his vast experience as Director of Infectious Diseases at The Miriam and Rhode Island Hospitals as well as at Brown University Medical School. He also draws on his knowledge of theology and Church social teaching that he has gained from his studies to become a deacon for the Diocese of Providence. Listen to this hope filled, informative presentation of a most compassionate response to the AIDS epidemic and the dignified treatment of those who suffer from it.
Andrew Comiskey is Executive Director and Founder of Desert Stream Ministries “Naked Surrender – Coming Home to our True Sexuality” is based on his book of that title. He covers his long journey from a homosexual lifestyle to becoming a Christian. He outlines the long healing process involved in shedding the brokenness of sin and coming to the wholeness of Christ, and eventually of helping others to do the same in his ministry. He intersperses references to his recent conversion to the Catholic faith and how this has integrated with his overall journey.
Fr. James Livingston
Fr. James Livingston serves as the Courage Chaplain for the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis. He explains that hope is a supernatural appetite for God’s goodness that works primarily through the memory and employs many virtues of the intellect and will and thus shows the connection between faith and reason. It is memory of the good things God has done for us that will help us to maintain hope in the difficult times. He draws deeply from theology, scripture, and the spiritual traditions of the Church, including Benedictine and Carmelite traditions.
Fr. Joseph Klee
Fr. Joseph Klee of the diocese of Columbus outlines Blessed Mother Teresa's simple but radical remedy to the materialism of the modern world based on poverty, chastity, and obedience. Fr. Klee points out how her solution which seems to be so restrictive, in fact, leads to true freedom in that it gives the strength to simplify life, reject vice, and embrace virtue. He explains how this is so effective for resisting same-sex attractions and related temptations.
Audio Only – Karl gives his inspirational testimony of his experience, relating how getting involved in a life of sin, including drugs, alcohol, and pornography lead him away from the Church and into a homosexual lifestyle with all its loneliness and despair. He then shares how he came back from this darkness into the light of faith as he started to attend Courage meetings, which gave him the much needed support of spirituality and friendship.
Adult themes discussed.
Rilene gives her testimony with candor and humor as she relates how she got involved in a life of sin during her youth which led her away from the Church that she once loved. She then got involved in a long term relationship with another woman. This was ultimately unsatisfying for her, starting a deep search that led her into the loving arms of God in the sacramental life of the Church.