- Candace Neff Director
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Evert Shares Chastity Message with over 1000
It began with a simple question. How much would it take to bring Jason Evert here? This question, planted as a seed in the winter of 2009, grew roots within host schools and parishes, broke ground through a unified planning committee, and fully blossomed last week in the fields of Petoskey and Traverse City. Jason Evert, a nationally known chastity speaker from California, delivered three thought-provoking presentations to teens and parents in his brief 24-hour visit to Northern Michigan. Jason first presentation took place on May 16 at the Petoskey Middle School Auditorium. The Pure Life Event was hosted by St. Francis Xavier (Petoskey) and Holy Childhood (Harbor Springs) High School Youth Ministry and opened with music from the Petoskey High School Steel Drum Band, followed by a powerful drama performed by the hosts youth group, and concluded with Jasons inspiring, relevant and real Romance without Regret presentation. The crowd, estimated to be 450 people with the majority being teenagers, gave Jason a standing ovation for his talk imbued with real-life stories, humor, statistics, encouragement to live a chaste life, and the healing truth of Christs love for each of us. This standing ovation was reflective, as Jason noted the following morning during a presentation for parents titled Raising Chaste Teens at Immaculate Conception Church in Traverse City, that young people are hungry for a different message than what our secular culture offers regarding love and relationships. Jason noted ten points for parents in raising their children and teens with a media and culture so often inundated with messages which conflict with Christian teachings on the truth and beauty of human sexuality. He reminded parents that love is incarnational and parents need to praise and physically affirm their children and teens. Since parents are the most influential people in a teens life, Jason encouraged parents not to waste any suffering in their lives, but to embrace redemptive suffering. He cited St. Monica and her long years of prayer for her wayward son St. Augustine, who eventually became a Doctor of the Church. Other tips for parents Jason shared included:
- Pray constantly
- Set high standards
- Stress abstinence until marriage
- Be the parent first; not the friend -- not the buddy
- Delay the onset of dating
- Network with other parents
- Keep communication lines open
- Get over insecurities about talking about sex
- Chastity is a virtue -- more easily caught than taught