• 1
  • 2
  • 3

TEENS AND CHASTITY: Catholic Program

Length45 min.
Age GroupJS - Jr-Sr High School
PublisherCenter for Learning
TopicsHuman Sexuality
Communication
Relationships
Values

In an honest presentation to teens, Molly Kelly explains that chastity solves many of today's problems, such as teen pregnancy, sexually-transmitted diseases including AIDS, abortion, and the harmful side effects of contraception. Molly reflects on how th

Featured Events

Catholic News Headlines

  • IMAGE: CNS/Paul HaringBy Junno Arocho EstevesKRAKOW, Poland (CNS) -- Poland's memory and identity are the two catalysts that will lead the country forward and turn hopeless situations -- such as those facing migrants -- into opportunities for future generations, Pope Francis said. Cloudy skies and a light drizzle did little to dampen the spirits of pilgrims cheering loudly as the pope's plane landed in Krakow July 27. The arrival ceremony at Krakow's John Paul II International Airport was marked by the presence of hundreds of Polish men and women, dressed in traditional clothes and dancing. Stepping down from his plane and before he departed for Wawel Castle, Pope Francis was greeted by Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow, Polish President Andrzej Duda and first lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda. Addressing civil authorities and members of the country's diplomatic corps, the pope noted that "memory is the hallmark of the Polish people;" a notable characteristic of his predecessor, St. John Paul II. He said being aware of identity was "indispensable for establishing a national community on the foundation of its human, social, political, economic and religious heritage," but that people must remain open to renewal and to change. He added that while good memory can remind society of God and his saving work, bad memory keeps the mind and heart "obsessively fixed on evil, especially the wrongs committed by others," he said. Pope Francis called on the people of Poland to hold on to their positive memories so they can look to the future with hope in respecting human dignity, economical and environmental concerns and "the complex phenomenon of migration." The issue of migration, he added, "calls for great wisdom and compassion, in order to overcome fear and to achieve the greater good." "Also needed is a spirit of readiness to welcome those fleeing from wars and hunger, and solidarity with those deprived of their fundamental rights, including the right to profess one's faith in freedom and safety," he said. Pope Francis, who has brought attention to the plight of migrants in the past, met with 15 young refugees prior to his departure to Krakow. The Vatican press office said the young refugees are currently in Italy without documents that will allow them to travel out of the country. "The youths, accompanied by the papal almoner, wished the pope a good journey and a happy participation at WYD, to which they cannot participate but are united spiritually," the Vatican said. Inviting Polish people to "look with hope to the future," the pope said the memory of their thousand-year history would create a climate of respect that fosters a better life for future generations. "The young should not simply have to deal with problems, but rather be able to enjoy the beauty of creation, the benefits we can provide and the hope we can offer," he said. Social policies, he added, must also support families who are "the primary and fundamental cell of society" as well as "helping responsibly to welcome life" so that children may be seen as a gift and not a burden. "Life must always be welcome and protected. These two things go together, welcome and protection, from conception to natural death. All of us are called to respect life and care for it." - - - Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.- - -Copyright © 2016 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

  • IMAGE: CNS photo/Pascal Rossignol/ReutersBy Cindy WoodenVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The murder of a priest in northern France, taken hostage with a handful of other faithful during a weekday morning Mass July 26, is another act of "absurd violence" added to too many stories of senseless violence and death, said the Vatican spokesman. Pope Francis was informed about the hostage situation at the church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray near Rouen and the murder of 85-year-old Father Jacques Hamel, said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman. "With pain and horror" for the "absurd violence," Pope Francis expressed his condemnation of "every form of hatred" and offered his prayers for all those involved. "We are particularly stricken because this horrible violence occurred in a church -- a sacred place in which the love of God is proclaimed -- with the barbaric killing of a priest," Father Lombardi said. Police said two men, armed with knives, entered the church during Mass. They reportedly slit the throat of Father Hamel. They said another person present at the Mass was in serious condition at the hospital. An Interior Ministry spokesman said the attackers were killed by police, ending the hostage situation. A nun who witnessed the attack described the scene to French radio station RMC. "In the church, everyone screamed 'Stop, you don't know what you're doing.' They didn't stop. They forced him to his knees; he tried to defend himself, and it was then that the drama began," said the nun, who identified herself as Sister Danielle. "They recorded themselves (on video). They did a little -- like a sermon -- around the altar in Arabic. It was a horror." The sister managed to escape the church and flag down a car for help, RMC reported. She told the station about her respect for her colleague. "It's necessary to remember that this was an extraordinary priest," Sister Danielle told RMC. "That's all I want to say. He's great, Father Jacques." The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack via its news site, though the group's involvement has not been confirmed by French police. French President Francois Hollande suggested the group was behind the attack. Hollande called Pope Francis to express "the grief of the French people after the odious assassination of Father Jacques Hamel by two terrorists," said a statement from the president's office. Archbishop Dominique Lebrun of Rouen, who was in Krakow, Poland, with World Youth Day pilgrims when the attacked occurred, said he would return to his archdiocese. "The Catholic Church can take up no weapons other than those of prayer and brotherhood among people of goodwill," the archbishop said in a statement from Krakow. He said that while he would leave Poland, hundreds of young people from his diocese would remain. "I ask them not to give in to violence," but instead "become apostles of the civilization of love." Msgr. Olivier Ribadeau Dumas, secretary-general of the French bishops' conference, also was in Krakow for World Youth Day. He told media: "We know now they were both terrorists." "We believe that evil and violence will not have the upper hand, and all the French bishops share this opinion," he said. Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, sent a message of condolence to Archbishop Lebrun. The cardinal said Pope Francis was "particularly upset that this act of violence took place in a church during Mass, the liturgical act that implores God's peace for the world." In the latest event of violence, the cardinal said, the pope prayed God would "inspire in all thoughts of reconciliation and brotherhood." Chaldean Archbishop Bashar Warda of Irbil, Iraq, was another church leader in Krakow for World Youth Day. He told Catholic News Service the attack in France reminded him of the 2010 massacred in Baghdad's Church of Our Lady of Deliverance "when they held the people inside the church" during Sunday evening Mass "and killed two priests and then started killing the rest." A total of 48 people were killed and more than 100 were injured. "This is the sort of world we are living in," Archbishop Warda said. "We pray for the priest and everyone who was shocked and horrified." At the same time, "we pray for all of ISIS so they could really wake up and know the God of mercy," he said. "We know that it is going to be harder and harder because the more you push them, they come up with more terrifying stories and events." "It's shocking, it's sad, really sad" to know they could "enter a church, a place of prayer" and commit such violence, the archbishop said. "Imagine you enter a mosque and start killing people -- but that's ISIS. That's the way they act. Unfortunately this is the way they've been trained." Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, expressed gratitude for "the unforgettable witness of the faithful" in the church attack. "Jesus calls us to be sisters and brothers, to strive to care for one another, and always to reject the evil that seeks to divide us," the archbishop wrote in a July 26 statement. - - - Contributing to this story were Colleen Dulle in Washington and Robert Duncan in Krakow. - - -Copyright © 2016 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

  • IMAGE: CNS/Paul HaringBy Junno Arocho EstevesABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT TO KRAKOW, POLAND (CNS) -- The world, not religion, is waging a war in pieces, Pope Francis said. While it "is not at as organic" as past world wars, "it is organized and it is war," the pope told journalists July 27 on his flight to Krakow. "Someone may think that I am speaking about a war of religions. No, all religions want peace. Others want war," the pope said. He spoke one day after the murder of a priest during Mass in a Catholic church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, France. Two men, armed with knives, entered the church during Mass. The attackers murdered 84-year-old Father Jacques Hamel, slitting his throat. "This holy priest who died precisely at the moment he was offering prayers for the whole church," he said. While lamenting the priest's death, the pope added that was one of countless innocents butchered by a war fought in pieces. "How many Christians, how many children, how many innocents?" he said. "We are not afraid of saying this truth: The world is at war because it has lost peace." The pope also thanked people for their the countless condolences following the murder. He said this included French President Francois Hollande, who "wished to connect with me by telephone, like a brother." Pope Francis expressed his desire that young people attending World Youth Day in Krakow offer a message of hope in a chaotic world. "Youths always give us hope. Let us hope the youths may tell us something that will give us more hope in this moment," he said. - - -Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.- - -Copyright © 2016 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

  • IMAGE: CNS photo/Bob RollerBy Dennis SadowskiKRAKOW, Poland (CNS) -- Jesus did not stop talking about mercy even though he was nearly thrown from a cliff after his first public talk in a Nazareth synagogue, and the rest of his life can serve as an example for people of faith to follow, Boston Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley told an energized World Youth Day audience.Emphasizing the World Youth Day theme focused on mercy and the Year of Mercy declared by Pope Francis, Cardinal O'Malley called on the young people in Tauron Arena July 27 to bring God's mercy to life as Jesus did.The Jubilee Year is a chance to reboot or start over again, said Cardinal O'Malley, who serves on the pope's Council of Cardinals. "We need to find a new route to take us where we need to go."The cardinal said he considers his first homily -- to a group of inmates after he was assigned as a prison chaplain -- a failure as well. He said he decided to focus on the freeing power of God after reading in a book that a homily should embrace the experience of the listeners. That night, six inmates escaped, he said."I was crestfallen that my sermon would be the last," he said.But a fellow priest consoled him, and a young Father O'Malley persevered by remembering the needs of the people to whom he ministers. Cardinal O'Malley called on the young people to do likewise.Explaining that Jesus is "the full meaning of jubilee," Cardinal O'Malley explained that Pope Francis' declaration of a Jubilee Year invites the faithful "to share this wonderful sign of grace" and mercy.He invited the audience to embrace mercy every day and participate in a community of faith to escape isolation and sadness.To illustrate the idea of mercy, he told the story of a group of people who were on a beach and one man noticed that a tidal wave was approaching. So he ran up a nearby hill to his home and set it afire. Many left the beach to help extinguish the flames and they were saved. The people who stayed behind drowned."Sometimes we think we are doing God a favor when we do a work of mercy. But actually we are climbing that mountain of love, where we find mercy and salvation for ourselves. Only as a result of climbing the mountain we show mercy to others. Only by making a gift of ourselves will we find fulfillment, happiness and salvation," Cardinal O'Malley said.The morning catechetical program included presentations by Sister Bethany Madonna, a member of the Sisters of Life, and Jason and Crystalina Evert, a married couple who are leaders in Chastity Project -- www.thechastityproject.com -- to guide young people in their lives.Sister Bethany offered words of encouragement to the thousands of young adults in the audience, saying they were purposely chosen by God to be in Krakow for World Youth Day so they could be an inspiration to others.God never forgets anyone, and that realization can help overcome life's burdens and anxieties, Sister Bethany said."In baptism you became one in Jesus. You belong. You're accepted. You're loved. You're not alone. God made you as his own beloved daughter or his beloved son. This was not random," she said."God creates with a plan and a purpose. That you exist means God as a plan for your life," she added.Sister Bethany encouraged the young adults to consider their vocation, whether it is in marriage or religious life. She said society needs holy and committed husbands and wives as much as it needs people who become a priest, brother or sister.The Everts discussed the importance of living a chaste life and getting to know their future spouse through faith and love. They explained how they strayed from moral teaching -- Crystalina through parties and Jason through pornography -- until discovering God's plan for their lives.Jason Everts offered four tips for the young audience: Enjoy being single, step back and work on personal shortcomings, face fears and keep any relationships with the opposite sex pure.Mixing Scripture with practical tips on dating and relationships, the couple stressed that one of the best ways to show love for another person is to not shape the other person to their desires."Marriage is not about finding the perfect person," Jason Everts said. "Successful marriages are about perfecting yourself so you can be the person (your spouse) deserves for you to be."- - -Follow Sadowski on Twitter: @DennisSadowski- - -Copyright © 2016 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

  • IMAGE: CNS photo/Bob RollerBy Jonathan LuxmooreKRAKOW, Poland (CNS) -- St. John Paul II's former secretary urged young Catholics to share their faith, experiences and hopes and spread a "message of divine mercy" worldwide during World Youth Day. "We come from every nation under heaven, like those who came in great numbers to Jerusalem on Pentecost Day, but there are incomparably more of us now than 2,000 years ago, because we are accompanied by centuries of preaching the Gospel," Krakow Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz said during the July 26 opening Mass. "We bring experience of various cultures, traditions and languages. But what we also bring are testimonies of faith and holiness of our brothers and sisters, followers of the risen Lord, of past generations as well as the current generation," he said. The cardinal preached to an estimated 200,000 pilgrims from 187 countries in Krakow's Blonia Park, a day before the scheduled arrival of Pope Francis. He said a special clock had been fitted to the front of the city's cathedral, "counting the days, hours, minutes and seconds," since 2013, when the city was announced as the venue for World Youth Day this year. He added that Krakow was the city from where St. John Paul "set off to preach the Gospel," as well as where St. Faustina Kowalska helped spread devotion to Divine Mercy worldwide in the 20th century. "You have come from all continents and nations, from the East and West, North and South of our globe," said Cardinal Dziwisz, who was personal secretary to St. John Paul for 39 years. "You bring with you many experiences. You bring many desires. You speak numerous languages. But starting today, we are going to communicate with each other in the language of the Gospel -- a language of love, brotherhood, solidarity and peace." Up to 2 million young people were expected to attend World Youth Day July 26-31. Nearly 50 cardinals, 800 bishops and 20,000 priests from around the world also were to attend. The opening Mass was partially disrupted by heavy rain, which forced the temporary closure of Krakow's airport. The Mass site featured giant portraits of Sts. John Paul and Faustina by the main altar. A Catholic teacher from the pope's native Argentina, Clara Retta, told Catholic News Service she counted on Pope Francis to encourage young people to "go out to people and do things for others" and to bring a "message of joy and simplicity." She added that she believed the 7,000 Argentines attending World Youth Day had been warmly welcomed in Poland and were "very excited and proud" to be seeing the pope. Carolina Alraheb, a Catholic from the war-torn city of Homs, Syria, said she hoped her countrymen would come to see themselves as "part of one family" by somehow maintaining a "deep relationship with God." "I hope the pope will also ask our people to deepen their own relations with themselves and find meaning in life again," said the 25-year-old physics student, who was among two dozen Syrian Catholics at World Youth Day with two Jesuit priests from Aleppo. "Home is full of orphans and widows, and many people have asked where God is. But I realized he's still here, suffering with us and staying with the young Syrians, who'll one day rebuild their country as a house of God," she said. In his homily, Cardinal Dziwisz said young people had come to Krakow from peaceful countries, "where families are communities of love and life and where young people can pursue their dreams," but also "from countries whose people are suffering due to wars and other kinds of conflicts, where children are starving to death and where Christians are brutally persecuted." He added that young Catholics would bring to World Youth Day their experiences of "living the Gospel in a difficult world, as well as their "fears and disappointments, hopes and yearning, and desire to live in a more human, more fraternal and solidary world." "Among us are young pilgrims from parts of the world that are ruled by violence and blind terrorism, and where authorities usurp power over man and nations, following insane ideologies," the cardinal told young pilgrims, who waved flags and banners during the Mass. "May the flame of love engulf our world and rid it of egoism, violence and injustice, so that a civilization of good, reconciliation, love and peace will be strengthened on our earth." Pope Francis was to arrive in Krakow July 27 on his first visit to Poland. He was scheduled to travel to the former Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau during his stay, as well as leading an open-air Mass at the country's Jasna Gora national sanctuary. He planned to pray before the relics of St. Faustina at Krakow's Divine Mercy center. A Polish World Youth Day ambassador, Jan Mela, who founded a youth support group after losing an arm in a road accident, said he hoped Pope Francis would help young people to "find sense in life" and overcome a widespread sense of "dissatisfaction and fatalism." Meanwhile, a Catholic from neighboring Ukraine, Elisabeth Dotsenko, said she and other members of the 5,000-strong Ukrainian Catholic delegation had got along well with Russian pilgrims in Krakow, despite the war currently raging in their country. She said she believed "human connections" could help overcome most political conflicts. Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich of Luxembourg told CNS he believed the pope was able to "speak in the language of the Gospel, but not in complex theological language," and would discourage notions that Christians were "up against a bad secular world" by showing young people that God's love was "for everyone equally." Boston Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley told CNS he was impressed by the huge numbers who had come to "the city of John Paul II," as well as the enthusiasm of young Americans attending the festival, adding that he was sure the pope would offer "many resonating messages." "Participating at World Youth Day makes an enormous difference in a person's life -- over a third of our own U.S. seminarians helped discover their vocations while at World Youth Day," the cardinal said. "In our more and more secularized society, it's very reaffirming for the faith of young people to be surrounded by hundreds of thousands of others like this. It can have an important long-lasting effect on their relations with the church and Holy Father, as well as on their experience of the church's catholicity." - - -Copyright © 2016 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.