Courage Ministry

“Today, the Church provides a badly needed context for the care of the human person when she refuses to consider the person as a “heterosexual” or a “homosexual” and insists that every person has a fundamental Identity: a creature of God, and by grace, his child and heir to eternal life.”

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger,
Letter to Bishops, 1986

“By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they (persons with same-sex attraction) can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.”

Catechism of the Catholic Church,
Paragraph 2359

“I am glad that we are talking about ‘homosexual people’ because before all else comes the individual person, in his wholeness and dignity.  And people should not be defined only by their sexual tendencies: let us not forget that God loves all his creatures and we are destined to receive his infinite love.”

Pope Francis,
“The Name of God is Mercy”


The Five Goals were created by the members themselves, when Courage was founded. The goals are read at the start of each meeting and each member is called to practice them in daily life. Here are the Goals in their entirety:

  1. To live chaste lives in accordance with the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality (Chastity);
  2. To dedicate our entire lives to Christ through service to others, spiritual reading, prayer, meditation, individual spiritual direction, frequent attendance at Mass, and the frequent reception of the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist (Prayer and Dedication);
  3. To foster a spirit of fellowship in which we may share with one another our thoughts and experiences, and so ensure that no one will have to face the problems of homosexuality alone (Fellowship);
  4. To be mindful of the truth that chaste friendships are not only possible but necessary in a chaste Christian life; and to encourage one another in forming and sustaining these friendships (Support);
  5. To live lives that may serve as good examples to others (Good Example/Role Model).

in the Rapid City Diocese

The path to sanctity for those who experience same sex attraction (SSA) can be challenging, particularly in today’s environment which views any expression of sexuality as licit.  Rejecting this culture and embracing chastity requires the virtue of courage and the support of a loving family.

The ministry of Courage can offer that family and that support for SSA persons, while the ministry of EnCourage provides support for families of persons who identify as LGBT.  Courage can provide a spiritual home where it’s members can find hope, love and fellowship as they become rooted in their identity as a child of God, rather than allowing themselves to be defined by the world’s view of sexuality and sexual orientation.

Your Rapid City Team

Courage Chaplain
Fr. Matt Fallgren

EnCourage Chaplain
Msgr. Michael Woster

Intake Coordinator
Samantha Chamley

Together, the team is poised to continue to minister to the men and women who experience SSA and their families by offering one-on-one support, as well as peer-to-peer support from regular group meetings.


In recognition of the irreplaceable role of the family in attaining an understanding of the experience of same-sex attractions and embracing a life of chastity, EnCourage was founded. As an apostolate of Courage, and flowing from its central purpose, EnCourage provides pastoral care to family members and friends of persons who identify as LGBT. Here are the Five Goals of EnCourage:

  1. To grow spiritually through spiritual reading, prayer, meditation, individual spiritual direction, frequent attendance at Mass, and the frequent reception of the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Eucharist;
  2. To gain a deeper understanding of the needs, difficulties, and challenges experienced by men and women who experience same-sex attractions;
  3. To establish and maintain a healthy and wholesome relationship with their loved ones who experience same-sex attractions;
  4. To assist other family members and friends to reach out with compassion and truth, and not to reject, their loved ones who experience same-sex attractions;
  5. To witness to their loved ones by their own lives that fulfillment is to be found in Jesus Christ through His Body, the Church.

Whether you experience same-sex attractions and are committed to following the Church’s teaching on chastity, or you have a family member or loved one who identifies as LGBT, you are not alone. Join our Courage and EnCourage family to find hope, healing and fellowship.  

For caring, confidential information, call us at 605-787-3837
or email or

For more information on the Courage and EnCourage Ministry see their international website at