The Diocese of Des Moines

Diocese launches Courage, Encourage chapters — 

The Diocese of Des Moines is launching Courage and Encourage chapters

this month.

Courage is an apostolate, or ministry, dedicated to serving people who experience same-sex attraction. Encourage serves their family and friends. Both ministries began in New York City in the early 1980s and now have over 100 chapters worldwide. Both ministries have the endorsement of the Vatican. They have helped thousands of people walk in closer discipleship with the Lord.

            Bishop Richard Pates has appointed Father David Fleming as chaplain of this ministry, with Deacon Ed Garza and Father Tom Kunnel assisting. Father Zach Kautzky has been appointed Encourage chaplain for the Des Moines diocese. Both ministries will be assisted by the diocesan Marriage and Family Life Office.

            As this ministry begins in the diocese, Bishop Pates said, “I believe Courage and Encourage are essential ministries in our diocese, as they remind us that all people have a home in the Catholic Church, regardless of circumstance or background. The Church’s teaching can be challenging for us all, and it is our Christian duty to walk patiently and lovingly with every person in every circumstance.”

            To learn more about Courage or Encourage please visit For more information about this initiative call Adam Storey at 515-237-5056. To find out when and where meetings are held, call 515-207-2786.