Jonathan DimmockJonathan Dimmock

HARTFORD – Noted international organist Jonathan Dimmock will present “Paris: Between the Wars,” an organ recital, at the Cathedral of St. Joseph at 7 p.m. Feb. 6.

8202773256 5d16c585fa mA statue of Blessed Junipero Serra at the Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala in San Diego, Calif. (Photo by Bob Mullen/The Catholic Photographer)

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM MANILA, Philippines (CNS) – Pope Francis said his September trip to the U.S. will take him to Philadelphia, New York and Washington – where he intends to canonize Blessed Junipero Serra – but probably no other stops.

20150127cnsbr8170 webDan Nelson shows how Shockbox helmet sensors are attached to the inside of the crown of a football helmet with a piece of Velcro Dec. 8. (CNS photo/Joanne Fox, Catholic Globe)

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (CNS) – Micah Herbst of Sioux City does not have a son on the football team at Bishop Heelan Catholic High School.

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Students represent the Archdiocese of Hartford at the March for Life today on the National Mall.

20150118cnsbr7984 webAn aerial view shows pilgrims gathering to hear a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis at Rizal Park in Manila, Philippines, Jan. 18. The view shows only a portion of the Mass site. (CNS photo/Philippine Air Force/Handout via Reuters)

MANILA, Philippines (CNS) -- Pope Francis told a crowd of an estimated 6 million gathered in a Manila park to protect the family "against insidious attacks and programs contrary to all that we hold true and sacred, all that is most beautiful and noble in our culture."

sledesky 053 webA man photographs Father Stephen Sledesky, pastor of St. Bridget Parish in Manchester, and friends during reception in priest's honor Jan. 11.

MANCHESTER – Hundreds gathered at St. Bridget Parish on Jan. 11 to honor Father Stephen Sledesky, who was recognized as this year’s Archdiocesan Distinguished Elementary School Pastor. The award is presented annually to a pastor who exemplifies leadership, dedication and commitment to Catholic school education.

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FARMINGTON – The campaign for the 2015 Archbishop’s Annual Appeal got off to a rousing start with a reception and dinner for past donors at Farmington Gardens Jan. 9. Archbishop Leonard P. Blair spoke on the theme of this year’s appeal, “Living the Joy of the Gospel.”

soccer web(Photo provided by Knights of Columbus/l'Osservatore Romano)

Wilfrid Macena and other members of a Haitian amputee soccer team present Pope Francis with a soccer jersey on Jan. 12, commemorating the fifth anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson stands to Mr. Macena’s left.

st fran spirit award winners 2015 webFrom left, Mark and Barbara Lentini, Daniel O'Connell and Christopher M. Dadlez

HARTFORD – Archbishop Emeritus Henry J. Mansell and the late David A. Lentini were recipients of the St. Francis Spirit Award during the annual luncheon meeting of St. Francis Care, parent company of St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, at the Connecticut Convention Center Jan. 7.

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Courage_Logo-ONLYBLOOMFIELD – Men and women living with same-sex attraction often feel neglected and despised – by their families, their heterosexual friends, even the Catholic Church.

Deacon Robert Pallotti, director of the Office of the Permanent Diaconate of the Archdiocese of Hartford, wants to do something about that.

Archbishop Henry J. Mansell has given Deacon Pallotti’s office the go-ahead to start a chapter of Courage, an apostolate of the Catholic Church that ministers to persons with same-sex attraction (SSA) – the group avoids using words like "homosexual," "gay" or "lesbian" as nouns, saying they appear to lump individuals into categories.

Courage was founded in 1980 by Oblate of St. Francis de Sales Father John F. Harvey, under the direction of New York’s Cardinal Terence Cooke. It is now headquartered in Norwalk and under the direction of Father Paul Check, a priest of the Diocese of Bridgeport. There are more than 100 Courage chapters in at least 35 states and many more overseas.

Deacon Pallotti said that he recognized a few years ago that there was a pastoral need in the Hartford Archdiocese for the Church to reach out to men and women living with SSA.

"We had begun to hear about different organizations, and Courage being the Roman Catholic one that the Vatican supports, it’s the one which we are able to utilize," he said. "Hopefully, this will meet at least some of the needs of the people we’re trying to minister to. And not only people with same-sex attraction, but friends and families."

Father Check joined the interview by speakerphone and said, "The goal of the Courage apostolate is to help men and women with same-sex attraction to live a chaste life, trusting that the Church teaches us what is true in terms of our humanity and then guides us into an intimacy with Jesus Christ. This is the charism of Courage."

The "Five Goals of Courage," briefly summarized, are to live chaste lives, to dedicate one’s life to Christ, to foster a spirit of fellowship, to acknowledge that chaste friendships are possible and necessary, and to live exemplary lives.

"The Church is careful to make a distinction," Father Check said. "[It] distinguishes the person from the inclination, from the action." Since everyone is created in the image and likeness of God, it is the inclination, not the person, that is disordered, he said. "It cannot be fulfilled in a way that is in keeping with our human nature. That’s not a moral judgment or a moral condemnation – this disorder – but rather, is a look at the appetite itself, the desire itself."

Homosexual acts are only one category of sexual acts that put us at cross purposes with ourselves and our human nature, he said. "Adultery, fornication, contraception, pornography, masturbation, in vitro fertilization, cloning, artificial insemination – all of these things are in some way contrary to that design or order of human intimacy and love," he said.

But, he said, "People with same-sex attraction have a particular struggle. We are going to do everything we can to understand it and to respect their human dignity and treat them as individuals. At the same time, we, in looking at human nature, know that [for them] to act out on that inclination or desire is to put them at cross purposes with themselves."

People who come to Courage for help are often surprised that the Church understands their struggles, he said. "We think that someone’s dignity is far more complex and rich than their sexual inclination," he said. "You’re a human being; you’re a person; you’re a child of God …."

Father Check was careful to explain that the causes of homosexuality are not fully understood. He said that the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 2357, states, "Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained." That is not to say that it can never be explained, however. "What we could say, I think reasonably, is that there are patterns that tend to repeat themselves into the profiles of men and women with same-sex attraction, and that kind of information could be useful to consider," he said.

As to whether a person’s sexual orientation is inborn or acquired, he said, "We can’t make any conclusion on that because it’s not a matter of divine revelation…."

Deacon Pallotti echoed Father Check’s compassionate tone. "Intellectually, we can say that we love ourselves," he said. "Emotionally, below the surface, are all kinds of little messages telling us otherwise. We pick those up from society or from our parents or from whatever."

The formation of a Courage chapter in the archdiocese is part of a four-pronged program of workshops dealing with human sexuality, bioethics and marriage preparation that Deacon Pallotti proposed to Archbishop Mansell several years ago.

Biweekly Courage meetings in a confidential location will be led by at least one of seven deacons who have undergone specific training to understand the emotional difficulties persons with SSA experience. "One of us will always be there, so they’ll always feel safe because they’ll get to know us," Deacon Pallotti said.

Catholics who are struggling with same-sex attraction and who desire to live according to Church teaching may contact their pastors or Deacon Pallotti at (860) 761-7446.

All calls are confidential, as are all meetings. More information on Courage is available online at couragerc.net or by calling Courage headquarters at (203) 803-1564.

 

 

Events Calendar

February 2015
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
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09:00 AM
St. Mary School, Newington, Michigan City, United States
Saint Mary School in Newington will host several open houses next week for families interested in the [...]
Date :  February 03, 2015
4
5
07:00 PM
Our Lady of Pompeii Church, East Haven, East Haven, United States
There will be a Mass for people living with breast cancer at 7 p.m. Feb. 5, the feast of St. Agatha, [...]
Date :  February 05, 2015
6
07:00 PM
Cathedral of St. Joseph, Hartford, Hartford, United States
HARTFORD – Noted international organist Jonathan Dimmock will present “Paris: Between the Wars,” an organ recital, at the Cathedral of St. Joseph at 7 p.m. Feb. 6. The program, which is [...]
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07:30 PM
Lauralton Hall, Milford CT, Milford, United States
Lauralton Hall will stage “If a Man Answers,” by Richard Morris, at 7:30 Feb. 6, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7 and [...]
08:00 PM
Sacred Heart Church, Wethersfield
Father William Agyemang will celebrate a healing Mass at 6 p.m. Feb. 6 at Sacred Heart Church in [...]
12:00 AM
Litchfield, Conn.
LITCHFIELD – A Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat weekend is being planned in Litchfield Feb. 6-8. The [...]
Date :  February 06, 2015
7
No Image
07:30 PM
Lauralton Hall, Milford Ct, Milford, United States
Lauralton Hall will stage “If a Man Answers,” by Richard Morris, at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7 and 2:30 Feb. 8 [...]
12:00 AM
Litchfield, Conn.
LITCHFIELD – A Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat weekend is being planned in Litchfield Feb. 6-8. The [...]
Date :  February 07, 2015
8
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02:30 PM
Lauralton Hall, Milford, CT, Milford, United States
Lauralton Hall will stage “If a Man Answers,” by Richard Morris, at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 8 at the school’s [...]
12:00 AM
Litchfield, Conn.
LITCHFIELD – A Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat weekend is being planned in Litchfield Feb. 6-8. The [...]
Date :  February 08, 2015
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07:00 PM
My Father's House, Moodus
MOODUS – A healing retreat, “Communion with God,” will be offered from 7 p.m. Feb. 13 to 4:30 p.m. Feb. 14 at My Father’s House at 39 N. Moodus Road. It will include the Eucharist, as well as [...]
Date :  February 13, 2015
14
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01:00 PM
La Bella Vista Ponte Club, Waterbury CT, Waterbury, United States
WATERBURY – Sacred Heart High School will hold a tribute in honor of retiring baseball coach Mark Saukas [...]
Date :  February 15, 2015
16
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18
19
12:00 AM
Immaculata Retreat House, Willimantic, Southington, United States
SOUTHINGTON – The Church of St. Dominic will sponsor a men's retreat led by ACTS (Adoration, Theology, [...]
Date :  February 19, 2015
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09:00 AM
Lourdes in Litchfield Shrine, Litchfield, United States
A Lenten Day of Recollection titled "Praying Our Broken World: Lessons From Our Lady of Sorrows" will be [...]
09:00 AM
Lourdes in Litchfield Shrine, Litchfield, United States
A Lenten Day of Recollection titled "Praying Our Broken World: Lessons From Our Lady of Sorrows" will be [...]
10:00 AM
Archdiocesan Center at St. Thomas Seminary, Bloomfield, United States
The Archbishop O’Brien Library and archdiocesan Office of Black Catholic Ministries are teaming up to sponsor a two-part presentation titled “The Emergence of Black Catholic Women and Men in the [...]
Date :  February 21, 2015
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06:30 PM
Caritas Christi Center, Hamden, United States
A film study of "Belle" will be presented from 6:30-9 p.m. Feb. 25 at the Caritas Christi Center in [...]
Date :  February 25, 2015
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01:30 PM
Caritas Christi Center, Hamden, United States
Caritas Christi Center's ongoing centering prayer program will continue from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Feb. 28 at the center. Sister Carolyn Severino, ASCJ, [...]
04:00 PM
Our Lady of the Angels Convent, Enfield, Enfield, United States
The Felician Adult Day Center will have its annual Snowflake Raffle from noon to 4 p.m. Feb. 28 at Our Lady of the Angels Convent, 1315 Enfield St., Enfield. Baskets will be available for viewing from [...]
Date :  February 28, 2015

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