EnCourage is a Catholic ministry dedicated to the spiritual needs of parents, siblings, children and other relatives and friends of persons who have same sex attractions.

EnCourage grew out of the Courage group which is a Catholic support group of same sex attracted persons who, with priestly guidance, minister to one another in their struggle to live chaste and holy lives within the orientation.

Standing by the true teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, EnCourage members support one another and their loved ones through discussion, prayer and fellowship.

EnCourage first emerged in Melbourne in 2003 after a visit to the Archdiocese by Fr John Harvey author of the book "The Homosexual Person".

Archbishop Hart had previously appointed Fr Denis Ward OFM Cap. chaplain to Courage and endorsed his request to start a much needed EnCourage Group for families of SSA persons.

From an initial small group, EnCourage Melbourne has grown to a well attended bi-monthly meeting with priestly guidence. one on each side of the city.

What distinguishes the work of EnCourage is its concern to offer faithful witness to Catholic teaching on sexual morality while meeting the needs of its members with charity and compassion. To this end, the group professes an orthodox position on the immorality of homosexual acts even as it respects the human dignity of persons who have homosexual feelings.

Moreover, EnCourage differs from other Christian ministries of similar purpose in that it does not embrace the necessity of a homosexual loved one's changing sexual orientation. While recognizing families' interest in or commitment to the enabling of their loved one's "re-orientation," EnCourage works primarily to cultivate a supportive, accepting environment in which the more immediate goals of fostering personal chastity and sexual abstinence can be valued within the context of a broadly Christian appreciation of human experience.

Through this approach, the group seeks also to avoid the raising of false hopes for families whose desire to "make things right" in their loved one's life, might cause them to overlook their loved one's present capabilities, preparedness, or intentions in this regard.