Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Chastity education program fills health class information gaps

by Bonita Lawhead, Inland Register staff

(From the Dec. 4, 2003 edition of the Inland Register)

Chris and Liz Smith, co-leaders of the youth group at Sacred Heart Parish, Tekoa, wanted their students to know the spiritual dimension of sexuality.

The couple researched materials and then held a two-session class on the subject for their 11 students, who ranged in age from 14-18.

The two sessions were given separately to girls and boys. Parents attended the second session, which was also separated by gender.

An popular component was the pizza and pop supper that preceded both sessions.

Videos presented during the sessions focused on the value of chastity. Teens received information about abstinence, but couched within a context of morality and spirituality, a component not often found in public school human life education classes.

In the first session, the boys and girls each watched the same 65-minute Vision Video titled Teen Relationships and Sexual Pressure. Hosts were Jason Evert and Ellen Marie.

In the second session, each group had its own video, called Hard Questions; Straight Answers, with Evert hosting the boys’ segment and Marie, the girls. Both sessions were followed by a question and answer time.

The program “was about the sacredness of sex,” said Liz Smith. Public school programs can only present the physical aspects of sexuality. The presentation was “not restrictive and did not present the idea that sex is bad,” she said. “It is in God’s plan and has significance in the human experience. But humans do have self-control. Their masculinity and femininity are gifts” and that was brought out in the video presentation, she said.

The videos are available through Ignatius Press, 1-800-651-1531, or can be obtained directly from Vision Video, P.O. Box 540, Worcester, Penn. 19490.

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