My name is Vera. I was the first female member of the Courage Apostolate, joining Courage in 1982. I also served the Courage Apostolate as Assistant to Fr. John Harvey, OSFS, from 1983 t0 1988 while completing a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Counselling. I've had the privilege of sharing my testimony at the annual Courage conference, at Days of Recollection, and at prayer meetings. I also appeared in the first Courage documentary entitled Portraits of Courage and was quoted in early articles about the Church and homosexuality published by The New York Times and The Morning Call, among others.
About this site
In 1992, with the blessing of Fr. Harvey and Cardinal O'Connor, I began holding a monthly prayer meeting for Courage members, which focused on prayers of reparation - we called it the Courage Reparation Group. Our first meeting was held in Staten Island on November 21, 1992, the Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
For those who don't know, acts of reparation are a traditional form of Catholic prayer in which we offer up our prayers and devotions with the aim of repairing the spiritual and temporal damage caused by sin - our own sins as well as the sins of others. I encourage you to learn more about reparation here, here, and here.
I defined the purpose of the Courage Reparation Group as follows: that those who struggle with same-sex desires would strive to surrender their desires to the Lord and join themselves to His crucifixion and death; they would nurture an espousal relationship with the Lord through a spirit of contemplation and self denial; they would seek to make reparation for sins against human sexuality in today's society and seek to experience His consolation in their particular suffering.
For over 30 years I've remained faithful to what I've sometimes described as "a call within a call". The Courage Reparation Group has changed locale several times and met in three different states, but has continued to be held monthly for a holy hour, a rosary, and personal sharing. One of my contributions to this effort has been the provision of talks about prayer and holiness which I began recording in 2014. These talks are now being shared on this site and may be listened to here.
I invite all my fellow Courage members and indeed all my fellow Catholics to go deeper into God's presence through acts and prayers of reparation, In doing so, we bring consolation to His Sacred Heart and also experience the peace, healing, and joy that can only be found through sharing in Christ's redemptive suffering.