Column: True love waits

by Father Pat Murphy

The title of the column for this month is much more than just a trite romantic phrase.

Rather, it represents a movement that was started in 1994 by Father Alex Peloso, a Scalabrinian priest working with the Hispanic community in Chicago.

Father Alex was in his late 70s when he had the inspiration to found a Catholic movement that would confront the chastity challenge that was wreaking havoc in the lives of so many Hispanic teens. This moment of inspiration led him to form a team of leaders that worked on putting together a program that would effectively teach Hispanic teens the value of the virtue of chastity and, in fact, that true love waits.

I am delighted to share this bit of history with our readers because on the weekend of Feb. 12 -14, the True Love movement, which is based out of Chicago, will be coming to the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. On that weekend, about 50-55 young people will be attending the initial retreat offered by the movement.

This retreat will be given by a team of 10 who will come here to do the True Love Waits retreat weekend. Because the candidates for the first retreat in the Kansas City area are all members of small evangelization communities, this guarantees us an easy way to offer the necessary follow-up to the retreat.

What we hope to accomplish can be summed up by the objectives of the True Love Waits initiative:

1. To help participants have a deeper respect for their sexuality while coming to a better understanding of the virtue of chastity.

2. To raise consciousness in the participants about the commitment of chastity implied in the sacrament of baptism.

3. To teach the virtue of chastity in a dynamic and fun-filled way in the context of the Christian community.

4. To provide all of the participants with information about Catholic teachings regarding contraception, as well as the positive benefits obtained from a life of chastity.

5. To support and teach parents about how they may dialogue with their children about these themes that are so important to their lives.

Now, of course, we do not pretend that one weekend retreat can solve all the issues concerning the challenges of chastity. But, on the other hand, we cannot afford to sit back and do nothing.

Therefore, we have decided to begin this initiative and, as the saying goes, the longest journey begins with the first step. Please pray for us as we begin this journey.

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