I was deeply affected yesterday upon reading of the death, at age 92, of Fr. John Harvey, OSFS. He was a great priest, and a hero for Christ.
Fr. Harvey is best known as the founder and leader of Courage, the apostolate to those who are experiencing same-sex attraction. This important work of the Church has helped lead uncounted numbers to live holy chaste lives. He is also the author of some of the most influential and insightful books about same-sex attraction, especially his essential work, The Homosexual Person. A short obituary of Fr. Harvey can be found here.
To say that Fr. Harvey met with opposition and resistance to his work would be an understatement. But he persevered, confident that he was doing God’s will to help men and women be more fully human in their sexuality and their ability to love.
I had the privilege of meeting Fr. Harvey, and I remember him as a kindly, humble, gentle man, with a sharp mind and an engaging smile. I also recall thinking how honored I was to be in the presence of a man I consider to be a saint.
The important work of Courage will go on without Fr. Harvey. But I believe that we can have confidence that it will enjoy the intercessory prayers of this holy priest of Jesus Christ, as he celebrates the heavenly liturgy in the presence of the Lord he loved and served so well.