by Joe Bollig
And in early February, he’ll bring that same message to the teens of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.
Evert will present his message through “Purified: A Life-changing Event for Families,” at two locations.
The first will be held from 3-7 p.m. on Feb. 3 at the Ottawa Memorial Auditorium, located at 301 S. Hickory St. The second will be held from noon-4 p.m. on Feb. 4 at 901 New York Ave., Holton.
These events are open to those age 13 and older, teens and adults. There is no charge, but donations are welcome.
One need not be Catholic to attend. If you are attending with a group of 10 persons or more, send an email to Angie Bittner, rural youth ministry outreach coordinator, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What does Evert hope attendees walk away with?
“If there is a young person who has made mistakes in the past, I want them to walk away with hope, realizing that it doesn’t matter what they’ve done or what has happened to them — that they can start over,” he said.
“If they haven’t made those mistakes, I would like to encourage them to remain strong in their convictions,” he continued. “For the parents, I would want [them to] realize that the best way for them to encourage their kids to practice chastity is to live it out in their own lives.”
“Purified” is sponsored as a joint effort of the youth evangelization office and the rural youth ministry outreach of the archdiocese.
Each event will consist of Evert’s talk “Love or Lust,” a chastity presentation for teens and adults; “Parenting for Purity,” for adults only; youth-only sessions that include a Q&A panel; and eucharistic adoration. There will be light refreshments, and there will be free books and CDs for each family.
“[Evert] makes you want to listen, because he speaks truth and speaks it compellingly,” said Bittner. “He shares a lot of information, nonjudgmentally, in a way that appeals to kids and adults.”
Evert is the author of several books, and some parishes use his materials to prepare youths for confirmation. These are rare opportunities for parents and teens, according to Sam Meier, director of the archdiocesan My House program.
“I’ve heard him speak to more than 1,000 teens at an ecumenical conference at the College Church of the Nazarene,” said Meier. “His presentation was incredibly dynamic, hilarious and hope-filled. He gave a nice blend of research on sexual purity along with jokes and personal stories from his life, marriage and work with teens.
“The teens were engaged and laughed repeatedly at his jokes,” he added. “You can tell he knows his information and is living it out in his own life.”
Evert will also speak at events not open to the public. He will speak at Hayden High School in Topeka on Feb. 5 and at all the archdiocesan Catholic high schools from Feb. 26-28.
He will offer a final presentation to parents at 7 p.m. on Feb. 27 at Ascension Parish in Overland Park.