by Joe Bollig
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The final component of the archdiocesan anti- pornography and chastity program, “As For Me and My House,” is finally in place with the addition of Sam Meier to the archdiocesan offices.
The “As For Me And My House” program, launched in the first three months of 2007, began with efforts to heighten awareness and offer resources, said Susan Carroll, “My House” task force coordinator. More, however, was needed.
“We feel that the healing and support component was the piece that would bring the fullness of the program to the forefront,” said Carroll. “We have brought that fullness of the program by adding Sam Meier. This was the piece that was missing, and that is why we are partnering with Catholic Charities in bringing Sam here.”
That healing and support will come in the form of men’s support groups, said Meier.
“My biggest focus right now is organizing and developing a model of accountability and prayer for the ‘My House’ men’s groups,” he said. “The ‘My House’ men’s groups provide prayer and accountability for those fighting the battle for purity.”
“Basically, the whole goal and focus of these groups is for men to grow in the virtue of chastity by prayer and ac- countable friendships, and thus break free from some of the past struggles they’ve had,” he continued. “The ultimate goal is freedom and chastity — all done in a confidential way.”
In his work, Meier will tap into the resources and knowledge of Catholic Charities Counseling Services.
“We provide support for the ‘As For Me and My House’ program,” said Mary Vorsten, director of counseling for Catholic Charities. “We recognize in our counseling program that [pornography and the struggle for chastity] have been emerging issues for the past several years, and there is a need for support groups to be established.”
“I’m providing consultation to [Meier] in his work of developing these groups,” she said, “and he is a resource for our counselors as a referral. I will work with him regarding clinical consultation and establishing groups, and our counselors will refer individuals to him.”
Meier dealt extensively with these issues in his former position in a counseling practice in Colorado Springs, Colo.
“I was able to do an internship while earning my counseling degree at a Christian counseling center that focused on sexual integrity,” said Meier. “People came there for accountability, healing and support. After that, I opened up a private practice that focused on helping people live lives of purity and chastity.”
Meier learned about the “My House” program in 2006, when he and some colleagues approached Bishop Michael J. Sheridan of the Diocese of Colorado Springs, to familiarize him with their work. Later, during a women’s conference in Colorado Springs, Meier had an opportunity to learn more about the Kansas program from Susan Carroll and Jacki Corrigan.
“That’s when I first saw the ‘My House’ video and learned about the program,” said Meier. “I was just amazed and impressed, and very encouraged by Archbishop Naumann’s courage to address the issue, and by the work he had done over the past three years with the task force.”
Meier has already established liaisons with some pastors, who refer individuals who are struggling with pornography and chastity issues to him. He is currently providing networking and facilitation to men’s groups in Topeka and the Kansas City area, and a teleconferencing group will have its first meeting in August. Additionally, he will conduct a light caseload consisting of five to six sessions a week for individuals.
For more information about “My House” men’s groups, call Meier at (913) 647-0378, or go to the Web site: firstname.lastname@example.org, and scroll down to the “My House” logo.