Statement Regarding Rev. Tom Matt

May 25, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS – The Archdiocese of St. Louis has reason to believe that an individual named Tom Matt is representing himself as a priest of our archdiocese. Rev. Matt was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Omaha (Nebraska), but he has never had faculties as a priest here in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, and to our knowledge, does not currently have faculties in any other diocese, including his home diocese of Omaha.

We have received several complaints about Rev. Matt and a house in South St. Louis City where it is believed he may have been operating some sort of substance abuse outreach. We understand that the house has since been condemned by authorities.

The faithful and the general public are advised that Tom Matt does not have any authority to represent himself as a priest in the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

#CatholicSTL

2016 Daily Worldmissionnaires Annual Appreciation Dinner

2016 Daily Worldmissionnaires Annual DinnerThe Daily Worldmissionnaires Annual Appreciation Dinner was held in May 2016 at Orlando Gardens. Moderators and Group Leaders were given special recognition for their support of the DW program, as well as their recruiting efforts, prayers, and sacrifices for the worldwide missions of the Catholic Church.

Fr. Daniel Vogt was the evening's keynote speaker. Fr. Vogt was born in St. Charles, Missouri and attended St. Charles Borromeo School and Chaminade College Prep before studying accounting at St. Louis University, where he graduated. After graduation he worked as a CPA before entering the Claretian Missionaries in Chicago, where he studied theology at Catholic Theological Union before being sent to Guatemala in 1987. Fr. Vogt continues to serve in Guatemala and was incardinated into the Apostolic Vicariate of Izabal in northeastern Guatemala in 2006.

2016 Daily Worldmissionnaires Annual DinnerIn his nearly 30 years of missionary service, he has served as a pastor and parish vicar, as well as being responsible for numerous programs and projects over the years to improve the health and educational conditions in Guatemala, especially with rural indigenous communities. At present, Fr. Vogt is pastor of San José Parish in Morales, and is also responsible for the social ministries of the Apostolic Vicariate.

Following Fr. Vogt's keynote address, Msgr. Francis Blood (Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in St. Louis and Spiritual Moderator of the Daily Worldmissionnaires) presented the Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Award. This year's recipient was Mr. Paul C. Wehner, Jr. (posthumously).  Mr. Wehner's family accepted the award.

2016 Daily Worldmissionnaires Annual DinnerA plaque honoring all recipients of the Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Award over the years will also be displayed at the Pontifical Mission Societies Office in St. Louis. Each time the award is conferred, the recipient's name is engraved on the plaque.

Thank you to all of our Daily Worldmissionnaires for attending the Annual Appreciation Dinner, and for your daily prayers and sacrifices for the missions!

Click here to view a photo gallery of the 2015 Daily Worldmissionnaires Annual Appreciation Dinner!

Mass of Thanksgiving for Bishop Edward M. Rice to be Offered Next Tuesday

May 19, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

Bishop Rice to be installed bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau Wednesday, June 1

What: Mass of Thanksgiving for Bishop Edward M. Rice
Where: Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis (4431 Lindell)
When: Tuesday, May 24, 2016, 5:00 p.m.; Bishop Rice will be available to media prior to Mass at 4:15 p.m.
Who: Archbishop Robert Carlson, Bishop Edward Rice, St. Louis-area Catholics

ST. LOUIS – Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson and Catholics from around the St. Louis region will bid farewell to Most Reverend Edward M. Rice, Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis and Bishop-designate of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, and thank him for his years of service to the Archdiocese of St. Louis at a Mass of Thanksgiving on Tuesday, May 24 at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis beginning at 5:00 p.m. Bishop Rice will be available to the media prior to Mass at 4:15 p.m.

Pope Francis announced on April 26 that Bishop Rice, Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis, had been named Bishop of the Diocese of Springfield - Cape Girardeau. The position was vacated by Most Reverend James V. Johnston who was installed as Bishop of Kansas City – St. Joseph on November 4, 2015.

Bishop-designate Rice has served as a priest in the Archdiocese of St. Louis since his ordination in January 1987. He has served as associate pastor at Our Lady of the Presentation Parish, religion teacher at St. Mary’s High School while residing at St. Mary Magdalen Parish, Director at Cardinal Glennon College Seminary, pastor at St. John the Baptist and Director of Vocations. He was appointed the title Monsignor in July 2008 and Auxiliary Bishop in December 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI.

During his episcopacy for the past five years, Bishop-designate Rice has served as vicar over five of the diocesan deaneries and overseen many of the ministries of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, including Vocations, Consecrated Life, Intercultural and Interreligious Affairs, Priest Personnel, Youth Protection and the St. Charles Lwanga Center.

Bishop-designate Rice will be installed as the seventh Bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 1, in St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, Springfield, Missouri. The event will be broadcast live on EWTN and also live-streamed through the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau Facebook page.

An additional Mass of Thanksgiving will be held at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, June 2, in St. Mary of the Annunciation Cathedral, Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

#CatholicSTL

Catholic Charities Honored with Community Leadership Award

May 12, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

FOCUS St. Louis Presents “What’s Right with The Region” Awards Thursday

ST. LOUIS – Catholic Charities of St. Louis will be among 20 organizations and individuals honored by FOCUS St. Louis, “the region’s premier leadership organization,” on Thursday night. Catholic Charities will be recognized as “Flood Disaster Response Collaboration” along with seven other lead organizations including the Society of St. Vincent de Paul for their collective efforts in response to the December 2015 flooding.

According to FOCUS St. Louis, “The honorees were nominated by the public and selected by a panel of community judges for their impact and service to the community.” The awards reception begins at 5:00 p.m. Thursday, May 12, at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

“Each year Catholic Charities assists approximately 150,000 people right here in the St. Louis region,” said President Theresa Ruzicka. “In the unique case of the flood in late 2015, the depth of our programs and services and the unique skills of professionals within our federation were able to help victims with long-term recovery.”

Each organization took the lead on a certain aspect of flood relief, with Catholic Charities and St. Francis Community Services focusing on case management through housing relocation. These collaborating agencies set up seven Multi-Agency Resource Centers (MARCs) as one-stop shop locations around the region designed to bring together service providers in a single location and provide on-site assistance to disaster survivors.

“It was inspiring to witness service providers working with a family and then walking with them over to another service provider to see what additional assistance was available,” Ruzicka added. “This award shows that partnership is an important part of disaster recovery and that the St. Louis is a region of people who care and work to help each other. It is a testament to how we came together in time of need!”

In addition to Catholic Charities, Dr. Jason Purnell, member of the Peace & Justice Commission of the Archdiocese of St. Louis and Washington University professor, will receive the prestigious FOCUS St. Louis Leadership Award for his work on the For the Sake of All project. Dr. Purnell has presented his work on the project to parishes and agencies throughout the Archdiocese.

#CatholicSTL

Fr. Scheid Players Announce Audition Dates for "Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"

The Catholic Youth Apostolate and the Fr. William Scheid Players are happy to announce audition dates for this summer's production of "Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." For almost four decades, the Fr. Scheid Players have been presenting Broadway plays, reviews, and musicals featuring Archdiocesan clergy and laity to raise funds to benefit the youth programs of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Audition dates for this summer's show are:

  • Thursday, May 12th
  • Sunday, May 15th
  • Wednesday, May 18th
  • Sunday, May 22nd

All auditions will take place at the Cardinal Rigali Center, 20 Archbishop May Drive, St. Louis, MO 63119. They will begin at 7 pm each night. All age groups are needed for this production. Please invite your friends, family, classmates, co-workers, etc. Everyone is welcome!!

If you will be auditioning, please come prepared to sing something. It doesn't need to be a song from this show; whatever song you choose is fine. If you have sheet music for the song, please bring it with you. There is little dialogue in this show, but you may also be asked to read a part, dance, or show the director one of your other talents. Plan to dress comfortably so you can move around.

The show will take place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, July 22-24 at Chaminade College Preparatory School.

If you have any questions about auditions, please email Dan at dkarcher@sbcglobal.net or Debbie at debbymo@aol.com or check the Fr. Scheid Facebook page for more details.

Meeting Our Neighbors: Mosque Visit

Archbishop Carlson Welcomes Former St. Louis Bishop Back Home

May 4, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

Archbishop Joseph Naumann to Keynote Seventh Annual Legatus Gospel of Life Prayer Breakfast

Who: Archbishop Robert J. Carlson and Most Reverend Joseph Naumann, Archbishop of Kansas City in Kansas
What: Seventh Annual Archbishop’s Gospel of Life Prayer Breakfast, Hosted by Legatus
Where: The Ritz-Carlton St. Louis, 100 Carondelet Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63105
When: Friday, May 6, 2016, 6 a.m. – 9 a.m.

ST. LOUIS – Archbishop Robert J. Carlson and the St. Louis chapter of Legatus will welcome His Excellency, the Most Reverend Joseph F. Naumann, Archbishop of Kansas City in Kansas, as he returns to his hometown of St. Louis on Friday, May 6, for the Seventh Annual Archbishop’s Gospel of Life Prayer Breakfast.

Archbishop Naumann is a former pastor, vicar general, and auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Between 1985 and 1995 he was the director of the Archdiocesan Pro-Life Committee (now the Respect Life Apostolate of the Archdiocese). In 2005, he became the fourth Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. He is currently a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

“Archbishop Naumann is a leader in promoting the dignity and sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death,” Archbishop Carlson said. “I am blessed to call him a friend and ally in this fight.”

Archbishop Naumann will address more than 650 attendees, including St. Louis-area Catholics and business men and women with a hopeful message on the importance of protecting the dignity of human life. He said his talk, entitled “Reasons for Hope,” will focus on why “even while battling the forces of the Culture of Death, Christians can never yield to discouragement, but must always be witnesses of hope.”

Legatus is an international organization of practicing Catholic laymen and laywomen, comprised of CEOs, presidents, managing partners and business owners, with their spouses, from the business community and professional enterprises. The group’s mission is to study, live and spread the Catholic faith in the business, professional and personal lives of its members.

#CatholicSTL

2016 Catholic Adventure Week: Faith, Fun, and High Adventure for Catholic Boy Scouts and Venture Crew Members

Catholic Adventure Week will be held the week of July 10-16, 2016 at Swift Explorer Base of the S bar F Scout Ranch, which is near Farmington, Missouri. The weeklong high adventure retreat is sponsored by the Greater St. Louis Area Council of the BSA, the Office of Youth Ministry, and the Catholic Committee on Scouting, BSA. The theme for the 2016 Catholic Adventure Week is “The Year of Mercy.”

Catholic Venturers and Boy Scouts from around the region are invited to participate in an inspirational week of high adventure/Kodiak training, faith, and fun.  The goal in providing this week for our Catholic Scouts is to give them the experience of living their faith, growing in their faith, and loving their faith within the Scouting movement and especially out in the wonders of God’s creation. While at CAW, Scouts will be exposed to the entire High Adventure program offered at Swift.  Intertwined with the outstanding program offered by the Swift staff and merit badge program time, there will be opportunities for prayer, religious instruction, and reflection. 

For more details, visit the CAW webpage or contact Tom Kroenung at tkroenung@stlbsa.org.

"Gift a Mattress - Deliver Sweet Dreams" for children in Uganda

Pan y Amor needs your help! One of our Pan y Amor programs, Broader Vision School (BVS) in Uganda, has a Fund a Need that is currently "live" but only for 30 days. BVS is a school for children who have been orphaned or abandoned and can't afford public schooling. The Fund a Need is for mattresses for a recently built dormitory. Please download the free Missio app on your phone and search for "Gift a Mattress - Deliver Sweet Dreams." Thank you - all donations help!

"Gift a Mattress - Deliver Sweet Dreams"

Auxiliary Bishop Edward M. Rice Named Bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau

April 26, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

Bishop Rice will be the seventh bishop of this neighboring diocese

ST. LOUIS – Pope Francis announced at noon today in Rome (5:00 a.m. St. Louis time) that Most Reverend Edward M. Rice, Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis, has been named Bishop of the Diocese of Springfield - Cape Girardeau. This position was vacated by Most Reverend James V. Johnston who was installed as Bishop of Kansas City – St. Joseph on November 4, 2015.

Bishop-designate Rice has served as a priest in the Archdiocese of St. Louis since his ordination in January 1987 by Archbishop John L. May. During this time, he has served as associate pastor at Our Lady of the Presentation Parish (1987-1991), religion teacher at St. Mary’s High School while residing at St. Mary Magdalen Parish (1991-1995), Director at Cardinal Glennon College Seminary (1995-2000), pastor at St. John the Baptist (2000-2008) and Director of Vocations (2008-2010). He was appointed the title Monsignor in July 2008 and Auxiliary Bishop in December 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI.

During his episcopacy for the past five years, Bishop-designate Rice has served as vicar over five of the diocesan deaneries and overseen many of the ministries of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, including Vocations, Consecrated Life, Intercultural and Interreligious Affairs, Priest Personnel, Youth Protection and St. Charles Lwanga Center.

 “I am extremely grateful to Bishop Rice for his many years of service to the Archdiocese of St. Louis and congratulate him on this new appointment from Pope Francis,” said Archbishop Robert Carlson. “The Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau is blessed beyond measure to receive a man of his quality and dedication. Bishop Rice is a pastor first, one who carries the joy of the resurrected Christ into his daily ministry. I have appreciated these years of collaboration with Bishop Rice and speak on behalf of his brother priests and the faithful of the archdiocese in saying he will be deeply missed. May God grant him many years of fruitful service leading the faithful in the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau.”

Tentatively scheduled, Bishop-designate Rice will be installed in Springfield, MO on Wednesday, June 1. Details will follow as they become available.

A farewell celebration to include a Mass of Thanksgiving and Reception at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis is scheduled for Tuesday, May 24, 2016, at 5:00 p.m. All are welcome.

#CatholicSTL

 


The Mass of Thanksgiving was originally scheduled for Monday, May 23 at the time of this announcement. The new date is Tuesday, May 24.

Passover 2016

2016 Annual Creative Writing Contest Winners Announced

2016 Finalists

On April 20, 2016, 125 finalists in the Annual Respect Life Creative Writing Contest gathered at the Cardinal Rigali Center to be recognized for their outstanding entries. 

These finalists, representing over 80 different Catholic elementary schools, parish schools of religion, and home schools, were selected from over 1100 entries. Finalists received a certificate of commendation, T-shirt, and book and were recognized by Bishop Edward Rice. Open to 8th graders in the Archdiocese, the contest asked students to respond to the prompt: Explain why living the virtue of chastity protects us from abortion and blesses us with true holiness, health, and happiness.

From these finalists, six students were recognized as honorable mention winners and five students were selected as scholarship winners. Honorable mention winners received a $250 award; the scholarship winners received a $1000 scholarship to be applied to their Catholic high school of choice. All honorable mention and scholarship winners also each received three tickets to the Annual Respect Life Convention in October, hosted by the Respect Life Apostolate.  

Honorable mention winners this year are:

  • Brianna Dierks from St. Patrick-Wentzville Grade School and Parish (Liberty High School)
  • Taylor Elmore, a homeschooler from St. Bridget of Kildare Parish & PSR (St. Francis Borgia High School)
  • Sara E. Franke from Queen of All Saints Grade School and Parish (Nerinx Hall)
  • Patrick Meehan, a homeschooler from St. Dominic Savio Parish (Bishop Du Bourg High School)
  • Peter Francis Montgomery from St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Homeschool and St. Clement of Rome Parish (St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Homeschool)
  • Harrison Petty from St. Clement of Rome Grade School and Parish (Saint Louis University High School)

Scholarship winners this year are:

  • Bishop Edward J. O'Donnell Scholarship: Maria Klassen from St. Joseph-Cottleville Grade School and Parish (St. Dominic High School)
  • Mary Forrestal Hennessey Scholarship: Daniel Vaporean, a homeschooler from St. Joseph-Manchester Parish (Homeschool)
  • Mr. & Mrs. George Kletzker Scholarships:
    • Madeline Derleth from St. Joseph-Cottleville Grade School and Parish (Barat Academy)
    • Elle Reardon from St. Clement of Rome Grade School and Parish (Villa Duchesne)
  • Knights of Columbus Missouri State Council Scholarship: Eric Meyer from St. Charles Borromeo Grade School and Parish (Chaminade College Prep)

To read the winning essays, click on each student's name.

Congratulations to all of our finalists, honorable mention winners,
and scholarship winners!!

 

Winners

Above our scholarship and honorable mention winners pose for a photograph with Bishop Edward M. Rice, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Michael Auchley, Missouri Knights of Columbus Respect Life Director, and Brian Cochran, nephew of the late Bishop Edward O'Donnell after whom one of the scholarships is named. Winners pictured from left to right are Madeline Derleth, Maria Klassen, Daniel Vaporean, Taylor Elmore, Harrison Petty, Peter Francis Montgomery, Elle Reardon, Sara Franke, Brianna Dierks, Patrick Meehan, and Eric Meyer.

 


Maria Klassen from St. Joseph Grade School in Cottleville (St. Dominic H.S.) - Bishop Edward J. O'Donnell Scholarship Winner

The atrocity of harming a child
Is brought to its very height
In this supreme outrage of natural law
And trespass of human rights.

To kill a small child who’s not even born
But was always a part of God’s plan
Shows a coldness of heart and a lack of respect
For every woman and man.

I think that it’s time that we recognize
Each individual’s worth
And treat other people the way they deserve
Even before their birth.

Abortion and chastity are so much alike
In more ways than we realize
For to hurt a small child or a woman or man
Is surely akin in God’s eyes.

Each child of God has a dignity
That we must learn to protect
To lead one away from the kingdom of Heaven
Is not something we should accept.

We must learn to put others before our own lives
And safeguard innocence at all costs
If we don’t save this treasure before it’s too late
It’s not long before all will be lost.

You deserve true love, and so does your child
And so does everyone
And to be satisfied with less than enough
Is to give in, and say that you’re done.

We should search for true love, and wait for the one
Who is truly and perfectly right.
One who will help us to follow God’s laws
And keep the right path in our sight.

Fight for love, and fight for life,
And fight for all that is true
For you may be sure, although you can’t see it
God is fighting for you.


Daniel Vaporean, a homeschooler from St. Joseph in Manchester Parish (Home School) - Mary Forrestal Hennessey Scholarship Winner

Good versus Evil

Each day of our lives we bravely fight on a battlefield where evil clashes with good. Piously, St. Paul who preached to the Ephesians, advised to wear the spiritual “armor of God” for protection in battle. Utilizing the spiritual armor, which consists of the shield of faith, the breastplate of righteousness, and the helmet of salvation will help us to live chaste lives. By living chastely, while preventing the evil of abortion, we will be blessed with true holiness and our lives filled with health and happiness.

The shield of faith protects chastity by helping us to live as God planned, which is through obedience to the Ten Commandments and the teachings of the Catholic Church. Since God’s plan for marriage is the uniting, both physically and mentally, of one man and one woman, it is important that they commit to each other freely, fruitfully, faithfully, and forever. Living according to this plan, sexuality would only be shared by married couples who truly love each other. This would prevent the possibility of an unwanted pregnancy, which may lead to an abortion. The breastplate of righteousness assists in prudence and practicing self-control. Willfully avoiding movies, music, and pornography, which encourage unchaste behaviors, keeps our souls holy as we exercise good judgment. Dressing modestly avoids attention being drawn to our sexual bodies and allows friendships to develop which are not based on lust. In keeping our bodies chaste with the helmet of salvation, we will have healthy bodies and avoid the risk of getting sexual diseases which may cause suffering and death. Valiantly remembering to wear our spiritual armor, we will be protected by God and His teachings to live a life of chastity.

God desires the best for us. When we love as He wants us to love, we experience true joy and happiness. We will be content because we know we are following God’s unsurpassable plan. Abortion will be no more. Living our lives in this way will help us increase in virtue and holiness. By faithfully wearing our spiritual armor and living chastely, evil will be defeated and good will win!


Madeline Derleth from St. Joseph in Cottleville Grade School (Barat Academy) - Mr. & Mrs. George Kletzker Scholarship Winner

A Smile on God’s Face

There are many virtues that make us unique,
But chastity really requires us to think.
Created in God’s image we shall always cherish,
But forgetting chastity will cause us to perish.
Pure and holy our bodies must remain,
For if we forget, then a life of pain.
Our bodies were created in God’s image of great beauty.
Protecting it and keeping it safe is our duty.
True love waits for that special one,
Whether that be a spouse, staying single, or life as a nun.

Our society seems as if it has forgotten this virtue,
Saying it is alright to do things that hurt you.
Having sex on a first date,
It’s ok, you don’t have to wait.
Doesn’t anyone see the lies they say?
Innocent lives and the prices they’ll pay?
So many abortions because of this sin,
Giving up chastity so Satan will win.
Statistics don’t lie, they speak the truth,
So many abortions from those unchaste youth.
Eighty-three percent of abortions that take place,
Are on women who have not married in God’s holy space.
Forgetting chastity doesn’t only hurt you,
Innocent babies are suffering too.
Abortion is forever, you can’t go back,
So remember your worth to keep you on track.

Your health is important and must be treated with care,
But abortion will scar you and recovery is rare.
Your body and mind will never be the same,
Stay chaste and remember your health isn’t a game.
True happiness doesn’t come from what you get this minute,
Staying true to yourself and your values will win it.
Remember to think before you act,
Because once you do, you can never go back.
All life is precious and valuable too,
So stay chaste to be a happier you.

Remember that God loves you so much,
Remaining chaste will help keep you in touch.
Holiness is your goal to achieve,
Keeping your body pure is what you must believe.
Not only will you be filled with grace,
But you will put a smile on God’s face.


Elle Reardon from St. Clement of Rome Grade School (Villa Duchesne) - Mr. & Mrs. George Kletzker Scholarship Winner

As a teen, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by mixed messages related to moral issues. The idea that chastity protects us from abortion might initially sound unlikely. Choosing to have sex doesn’t necessarily mean someone supports abortion. Although in reality, the compromises made in deciding to live an unchaste life can lead to further compromises in believing abortion is acceptable. Chastity is crucial for prohibiting abortion because it prevents the circumstances where someone would seek an abortion. Chastity protects us from worrying about unplanned pregnancies and feeling pressured to resort to an abortion.

Chastity blesses us with true holiness, health, and happiness because it honors a commitment to yourself, your future spouse, and the Holy Spirit. It may seem like chastity is depriving us from happiness because of social media’s influence giving us an inside view of what others are doing minute by minute, hour by hour, and day by day. Jenny went to Paris! Joe got a hoverboard! The latest posts make it appear as though happiness is found in having new and exciting experiences. Your life can look boring in comparison, making you doubt your own choices, leaving you with fear of missing out. It may distort your perception of what is morally acceptable because “everyone else is doing it.” What isn’t’ seen in those online posts is how one teenager cried herself to sleep feeling ashamed for having sex or how another teen felt scared to learn he had a sexually transmitted disease. There was also the girl whose parents were mourning because she felt forced to have an abortion for fear of embarrassment. Chastity truly protects us from negative consequences.

Our relationships are strengthened by valuing the gift of chastity. True happiness is found in the joy of honoring God and in being mindful of moments in life that give genuine meaning to your beliefs. I believe abortion is morally wrong and that chastity is the first step in saving millions of unborn lives. I challenge you to step up and commit to honor the virtue of chastity as your personal vow to protect the unborn.


Eric Meyer from St. Charles Borromeo Grade School (Chaminade College Prep) - Knights of Columbus Missouri State Council Scholarship Winner

The Past, Present, and Future of Chastity

When I was younger, life seemed simple. My parents made all of my decisions. There were few differences between the boys and girls in my class. I never thought about chastity because I didn’t know what it was and it was not an important issue. I learned the difference between right and wrong, but the situations I faced never seemed life-changing. I realize now how easy things were back then and sometimes wish they were still that way.

Now times are different. My parents are beginning to trust me to make my own decisions. Some decisions are small, like what to eat for dinner. Other choices aren’t so simple. For example, whether to join in when other boys are behaving poorly so I can look like I am part of the “popular crowd.” As a teenager, I am starting to understand what the virtue of chastity means. Chastity refers to having pure thoughts and actions. The relationships I have with my female classmates are different now because we are changing physically and emotionally. I must remember to treat them respectfully and not make crude comments while texting or in person. Chastity is also not having sexual relations before marriage. When I am older and have a girlfriend, chastity will be more of an issue. But I know if I stay strong in my faith and live a chaste life, I will not have to worry about STDs, pregnancies, or abortions. This seems like an easy decision, doesn’t it?

In the future, I hope to get married. It would make me happy to tell my wife that I remained chaste and I would love for her to say the same thing to me. It would be nice to begin our life together knowing that our past decisions will lead to holiness, health, and happiness in our marriage. I think that being a role model for my children is also important. If throughout our lives we stay close to God and practice the virtue of chastity, there will be no need for abortions and we will have a life full of blessings.

 

 

 

 

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