Wednesday, December 29, 2010

In Memoriam, Fr. John Harvey

A TOB hero died this week.

Fr. John Harvey, OSFS was the founder of Courage, a spiritual support group for people with same sex attraction (SSA). He was faithful to the Gospel command to "love one another" and to the teachings of the Church about human love in an age when many people firmly believe the two to be incompatible.

Among the comments added to his online obituary (I'm copying some here because usually online obits don't enjoy eternal life) are these, which really are a message in themselves:

"...He has embodied the ministry that he has founded, his person characterized by that same word - COURAGE.

"He is one of the few priests who dared to love the person struggling with same-sex attractions with the unconditional love of Father God.  His ministry has raised hope for the homosexual person saying "nothing is impossible with God'.  We shall forever remember him as the champion of love...."

"Rest in Christ's peace Father Harvey.  Thank you for your inspiration and courage.  You truly were a living example of Christ and His love.  We shall miss you but celebrate your journey."

"Father Harvey was a holy man and a great priest.  He truly made the love of Christ visible.  I will be forever grateful for the kindness he showed me.  May he rest in peace."
"Dear Fr. Harvey,   thank you so much for showing me how to manage my SSA.  Because of you and your apostalate I now have many, many dear friends who are like family to me.  My life is so much happier!  Pleace continue to pray for me with Holy Mary and Good St. Joseph!"

"Thank you Jesus for the gift that Father H was to me and to all of us. he was a loving Father figure for those who needed healing in that way and a Christ like priest to all he met. thanks also to the Oblates for loaning him to Courage for so long. we are grateful for your support also."

"Father Harvey,   Thank you for your tireless service and for your willingness to serve Our Lord.  I remember when I first met you and how gentle you were.   You reflected Christ to me as I was trying to navigate my way through some very rough waters,  You listened and told me the truth in love in accordance with Scripture.  You were a light in my dark corner of the world and pointed me toward Christ. ..."

 "I cannot remember ever seen Fr. Harvey NOT smile. He displayed Christian joy no matter how troublesome the matter he and I or those we were with might have been talking about. That was a sign, I think, of his deep communion with God--a communion which now, I suspect, has been perfected for him."

"It was my honor to be at the same table for lunch at the San Diego Courage Conference some years ago.  I sensed I was in the presence of a saint.  His cheerful example to me and others instilled hope in the hearts of us whose family members were either struggling with or had given into SSA.  God bless his soul for answering the call to establish the Courage/Encourage apostolate, which helped me to get through many years of suffering that seemed impossible to me at the time.'

"Thank you Father for all your love, support and your truly christian teachings. I never met you in person but I knew your great labor, 'cause I have SSA and your love came to me through Courage Latino Mexico. I'm so sad and at same time so happy because you already are with God. No doubt about it."


Saturday, December 18, 2010

More on Women, Sex and the Church

From the pen of George Weigel:
I am a suspect witness in the case of Erika Bachiochi, who as Erika Schubert was my student in Cracow in the late 1990s. Armed with a law degree, a theology degree, a husband and five small children, Erika has become one of the intellectual leaders of the new Catholic feminism in the United States. Her edited volume, “Women, Sex, and the Church: A Case for Catholic Teaching” (Pauline Books and Media), includes 10 stimulating essays on just about every hot-button issue at the intersection of women’s lives and the Catholic moral imagination. But as Boston College’s Father Paul McNellis puts it, Erika’s book is not-for-women-only: “It should be required reading for every son, brother, fiancĂ©, husband, father, seminarian and priest,” because the women who think out loud here “know something about life, and in listening to them you come away wanting to be a better man.”

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

New resource for couples

Just learned about the work of Tim and Traci Boh, pioneering a fertility charting program with algorithms that modify according to the individual woman's cycle, from onset of menses through menopause. Their program also offers a way to create a pdf chart to give to your doctor. Find out more at You can also follow Traci on Twitter.

Notes from Saturday

Sr Helena faced repeated technical problems in Saturday's web stream. (We really do need to get a new ethernet cable for the conference room!) But she managed to take notes when she wasn't re-establishing the lost connection. You can find the notes on her blog:

Friday, December 10, 2010

December 11 TOB class

It's already the 2nd week of Advent--and tomorrow is the 2nd Saturday of December: time for our ongoing study of Karol Wojtyla's "Love and Responsibility."
Join us and Fr. Thomas Loya at the Chicago bookstore or online at 10:30 a.m. CST (that's 4:30 p.m. GMT).