Archdiocese of Chicago

Catholic Chicago Blog

Monday, October 07, 2013

Teaching Youth to Embrace the Virtues of Chastity, Purity and Modesty

By Margie Manczko Breen

Every day, thousands of young people suffer the devastating physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual consequences from premarital sexual activity, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Since 2003, over 250,000 youth in the Archdiocese of Chicago have heard the empowering message of the virtues of chastity, modesty and purity, sparing them from the possibility of a lifetime of regret that comes with sex outside of the Sacrament of Marriage. This message has been provided by the Respect Life Office’s Chastity Education Initiative (CEI) – a program that helps young people embrace chastity and Respect for Life from conception until natural death.  We rely completely on the generosity of donors for the funding of this important outreach.

The Chastity Education Initiative began with a focus on teaching youth in junior high and high school the virtue of chastity, and then it quickly grew to cover the annual Pilgrimage to the March for Life in Washington, DC, youth rallies, 5th and 6th grade puberty presentations, Theology of the Body for Teens for high school and middle school students, parent and teacher trainings and the formation of pro-life clubs in Catholic high schools. Just in the last year, we brought a record 11 buses of youth and college students to the March for Life, and we helped to establish a pro-life club in two more high schools, bringing the total to 10 active pro-life clubs! Everything that the CEI provides is age appropriate and flexible to the needs of the school, always from the perspective of parents being the primary educators of their children.

Without the investment of generous donors, this program would not exist. You have an opportunity to help fund the CEI for another year of life-saving ministry by attending our annual benefit dinner “Educating Minds, Inspiring Hearts” on Saturday, October 12, at 6:30 p.m., at St. John Brebeuf’s Ministry Center. Cardinal George will be there to give some remarks, and the keynote speaker is Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J., who is best known for his appearances on EWTN. Tickets are $90 for adults and $60 for teens with a special price of $850 for a table of ten. For more information or to register, go to, or call 312-534-5355. Registration will remain open through Friday. Don’t miss out on a chance to have an enjoyable dinner among friends, listen to a great speaker and give to a wonderful cause!