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Catholic Chastity Formation for Families

hol y ma r r i a ge s ha ppy c hi l dr e n he a l t hy f a mi l i e s
Uni ver s al Tr ut hs about Chas t i t y For mat i on f or Peopl e of Al l Ages
With extensive references to the official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
Catholic Chastity
Formation for Families
An authoritative resource
for parents, engaged
couples, and newlyweds
on the subject of chastity
formation, personality
development, marriage,
and family life. This book
is recommended reading
for any adult who desires to
grow in virtue and holiness
and can be used by Catholic
educators to assist parents
in fulfilling their obligation
to teach their own children
about chastity in the safe
environment of the family
home.
Mar r i age of t he Vi r gi nFr esco by Gi ot t o, 1302- 1305
Please visit www.FamilyPrayerNight.org for additional information
In Gratitude To His Holiness
Pope John Paul II
Chastity formation is a life-long process
that begins even before birth, as a mother
communicates with her child in the womb, and
ends at death when the soul returns home to the
Father.
Formation in chastity is the formation of
personality: who we are, what we believe and
stand for, how we act and treat other people, and
most of all, how we love.
It touches upon the secrets of our very nature and
involves the most intimate depths of our body
and soul. Tis formation will determine whether
or not we become people of integrity, honor, and
justice.
In truth, only a chaste person is truly free to give
and receive pure love.
Nihil Obstat Imprimatur
____________________________________ ____________________________________
The nihil obstat and imprimatur are offcial declarations that a book or pamphlet is free
of doctrinal or moral error. No implication is contained therein that those who have granted the
nihil obstat and imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Copyright 2009 Communitas Dei Patris
All rights reserved.
Catholic Chastity Formation for Families may be copied or reproduced for non-commercial
use by parents for educating their children in chastity, and by clergy and other Catholic educators
for the purpose of developing complementary programs at the diocesan or parish levels to provide
parents with appropriate support and training so they, in turn, may be better able to educate their
own children in the safe environment of the family home.
Acknowledgments located in the front of the book must be included with copied or
reproduced versions of this book, or excerpted pages that may be redistributed. Quotes from
Church documents and other sources listed in the Acknowledgments belong to their respective
copyright owners.
All capitalization, punctuation, sentence structure, formatting, footnotes, etc., pertaining to
quotes from all Church documents and other secular sources must appear exactly as in the original
version in any reproductions or copies, or parts thereof.
Catholic Chastity Formation for Families or reproductions, full or partial, are to be free of
charge; this book is not to be sold. Selling the book or any part of the book is strictly forbidden. It
is a gift from parents to parents with the blessings of the Church.
Published by
Communitas Dei Patris
3726 Birchwood Road
Kettle River, Minnesota 55757
Pendi ng
Contents
Preface viii
About the Authors ix
Acknowledgments xi
Introduction
The Fathers Plan: Rebuild My Domestic Church
Papal Directive and our Commission xiii
Chastity Formation for the Family: An Urgent Need xiv
A New Springtime and a New Pentecost in Families xvii
Chapter One
Building on a Rock Foundation: The Cornerstone of Love
God the Fathers Love: Source and Summit of Life 1
Love for the Catholic Church 4
Love According to the Natural Law: Our Fathers Plan for Marriage 7
Love of Husband and Wife in the Sacrament of Matrimony 10
Love in the Family 15
Summary Points 18
Chapter Two
Building a House: Seven Pillars for Chastity Formation
The First Pillar: Obedient Faith 19
The Second Pillar: The Formation of Conscience 22
The Third Pillar: Sacrifcial Love 25
The Fourth Pillar: Apprenticeship in Self-Mastery 27
The Fifth Pillar: Acquiring Virtues 28
The Sixth Pillar: The Vocation to Holiness 29
The Seventh Pillar: The Goal of Eternal Life 32
Summary Points 34
Chapter Three
Making a House a Home: Welcoming and Protecting Life
Welcoming a Child as a Gift from God 35
The Rights and Dignity of Children 36
Protecting a Childs Innocence 37
Stability and Warmth in Marriage and Family Life 38
Summary Points 40
Chapter Four
The School of the Home: Gods Plan for Education in the Family
Parents on a Mission from God 41
Motherly and Fatherly Love in the Early Years of Life 42
Home Education in Modesty and Moral Virtue 43
Establishing Healthy Relationships 46
The Importance of Family Associations to Assist Parents 46
Summary Points 50
Chapter Five
Daily Family Prayer: The Spiritual Atmosphere of the Home
Family Prayer in the Home: The Domestic Church 51
Family Prayer in the Church 54
Elements of Daily Family Prayer 55
Overcoming Obstacles to Family Prayer 58
Daily Family Prayer: Creating an Atmosphere for Chastity Formation 60
Summary Points 64
Chapter Six
The Language of Love: Seven Catholic Principles to Guide Parents in Teaching
their Children about Sexuality
Principle One: Parents Must Provide Individual Formation in a
Personalized Dialogue 67
Principle Two: Parents Must Communicate the Moral Aspect of Gods
Plan for Sexuality 68
Principle Three: Spiritual Formation in Holiness Must Accompany
Biological/Moral Information 69
Principle Four: Parents Should Provide Age-Appropriate Information
after Prayer and Discussion 70
Principle Five: The Principle of Doctrine 71
Principle Six: The Principle of Decency and Respect 71
Principle Seven: The Principle of Love 71
Summary Points 72
Chapter Seven
A Family Circle of Love: The Life Cycle of Chastity Formation
Chastity: The Heart of Personality Development and Healthy Love Relationships 73
Friendships 74
Courtship 76
Engagement 79
Entering into a Vocation 81
Marriage in the First Five Years 83
The Years of Innocence 86
Puberty 89
Adolescence 93
Young Adulthood 97
The Role of Grandparents 99
Summary Points 100
Chapter Eight
Parental Vigilance: Chastity Formation Outside the Home
The Current Situation 103
The Parent-Educator Relationship: Rules for Right Order 104
Subsidiarity and Subordination: Two Essential Catholic Principles 106
Required Qualifcations for Anyone Assisting Parents 107
Exceptional Cases Where Parents May Need Assistance 107
Other Types of Assistance for Parents 108
Methods and Ideologies to Avoid 109
Parental Vigilance: Grave Concerns about Sexual Education Outside the Home 110
Summary Points 112
Chapter Nine
The Elephant in the Room: The Infuence of Mass Media
The Attack on Chastity in the Media 115
Recommendations By Catholic Parents 119
Summary Points 121
Chapter Ten
Protecting the Innocent: Preventing Sexual Abuse
Statistics and Risk Factors on Sexual Abuse 123
Other Important Issues to Consider 125
Child Care and Babysitters 126
Prevention Beginning at the Age of Innocence (Age Five) 127
Your Childs Friends 129
Other Potential Risk Factors 130
Child Safety Instructions 133
The Role of Church, State, and Other Institutions 135
Summary Points 136
Key to Book Navigation and Understanding 137
Research and Source Documents 138
Preface
For over 40 years now, the truth and beauty of Gods plan for sexuality, marriage, and the
family has been proclaimed to the Church and to the world from Rome, not just in the documents of
the Second Vatican Council but also in an extraordinarily large and luminous body of papal teaching.
However, this same time period has also witnessed a combination of unprecedented public dissent,
organized resistance, and perhaps, worst of all, a growing indifference to our Fathers plan for human
life and chaste love, not just from the outside, but also from within segments of the Catholic Church.
A renewed universal effort is urgently needed within the family of the Catholic Church to
faithfully transmit and communicate the truth and beauty of Church teaching on human sexuality
to parents and families at the diocesan and parish level. This is especially urgent today, as several
generations of Catholic children have now grown to adulthood during, what many bishops have
identifed as, a period of bad catechesis where Church teachings on chastity have been openly rejected.
Young parents and families have a great need for authentic teaching, guidance, and the healing
graces of the sacramental life of the Church at the parish level. The good news is that many young
and faithful bishops, priests, religious, educators, and families are stepping up to lead the way in living
and communicating the offcial teachings of the Catholic Church on sexuality, marriage, and family
life as proclaimed with great beauty and clarity by Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. A new
springtime of authentic Catholic family life is truly beginning to bud forth.
But the actual numbers of Catholic youth, parents, families, educators, and priests who actually
know, live, and teach the fullness of the Catholic truth is still relatively small. This is why a great,
universal, and systematic educational effort is urgently needed to help educate parents, frst and
foremost, to know and live Gods plan so they can teach their children Gods plan for chaste love.
Such a parish family-centered effort supported by every bishop in every diocese will truly be the very
heart of a successful New Evangelization and mission of the Church worldwide.
This book is an effort by parents to help other parents and young people called to the vocation
of marriage build up their marriage and family home on the rock foundation of Gods plan for love,
which is clearly set forth in the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. As parents, we have both
experienced a lack of solid catechesis and formation in our own families and parishes, as well as failed
ourselves to live out and teach Gods plan for chaste love. With Gods grace, our hope is to inspire
parents and help them be converted to the truths of Catholic teaching on the procreation and education
of children, and, flled with the Holy Spirit, they can in turn communicate the beautiful vision of our
Fathers plan for love to their own children and to other parents.
In our mission as parents, we can never forget Pope John Paul IIs words that every single
family is on the front line of the universal battle between all the forces of good and evil. Aware of
this supernatural dimension of our family life, we cannot hope to succeed without the graces of God
which come to us in daily family prayer together with full and active participation in the sacramental
life of the Catholic Church. So let us begin this mission of love within our families and parishes with
a prayer: Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, help us to become a holy family!
About the Authors
Communitas Dei Patris
Communitas Dei Patris (Cm-n--ts D- P-trs, Latin for Families of God the Father)
is a Private Association of the Faithful in the Roman Catholic Church. Our association of families
began informally in 1991 and, in 2002, formalized a Covenant Plan of Life for its members. With
the Blessed Virgin Mary as our Mother, Communitas Dei Patris exists to foster full and active
participation in the liturgical prayer and sacramental life of the Church as the means to bring new
graces, healing, restoration, and hope to marriages and families.
We are deeply grateful to Pope John Paul II, often called the pope of the family, for
all that he brought to the Church during the years of his extraordinary pontifcate, especially his
teaching in the area of human sexuality, marriage, and family life; his promotion of the Rosary,
family prayer, and true devotion to Mary through St. Louis de Montfort; and his desire for every
parish family to have Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration.
We believe that the universal healing and restoration of marriages and families is at the
center of the new springtime and New Evangelization of the World, as Pope John Paul said in
his Letter to Families: The history of mankind, the history of salvation passes by way of the
family. The family is placed at the center of the great struggle between good and evil, between
life and death, between love and all that is opposed to love. To the family is entrusted the task of
striving, frst and foremost, to unleash the forces of good, the source of which is found in Christ,
the Redeemer of Man (#23).
We are ordinary Catholics, in full communion with our Holy Father and the Magisterium,
supporting one another in living out our vocations according to Sacred Scripture and Sacred
Tradition as we pilgrimage home to the Father. We are a worldwide family of families open to
members who freely desire to enter into covenant with other families to live in complete fdelity
to the offcial teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, in order to be witnesses of the truth in the
midst of our families, parishes, and a world that has largely forsaken God.
Communitas Dei Patris mission to the world for the healing and restoration of marriages
and families is carried out as follows:
interceding in prayer and fasting for the universal healing and restoration of marriages
and families; for an end to divorce, contraception, abortion, and all the sins against the
sanctity of life from conception to natural death;
encouraging daily family prayer and the family rosary in the home;
encouraging the establishment of weekly Family Prayer Night Devotions and Perpetual
Eucharistic Adoration in each parish community throughout the world;
encouraging chastity formation in the home led by parents according to the offcial
teachings of the Catholic Church in Catholic Chastity Formation for Families;
encouraging married couples to embrace chastity according to their state in life and,
when appropriate, natural family planning;
praying and fasting for the establishment of a feast day on the Church calendar honoring
God the Father.
Communitas Dei Patris members are missionaries of the New Evangelization as they
introduce Family Prayer Night Devotions, Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, and Catholic Chastity
Formation for Families to families, friends, parishes, and dioceses. By a joyful participation in
the daily prayer life of the parish family and having received and adored Jesus in the Sacrament of
Love, members can more effectively draw the hearts of others, the lukewarm, the faint of heart, the
unchurched in their villages, towns, cities, and nations, leading them to the real presence of Christ
in our midst. And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved (Acts
2:47). For more information on Communitas Dei Patris, please visit www.FamilyPrayerNight.org
and select the About menu option.
Family Prayer Night Devotions
Family Prayer Night Devotions began in 1990 at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Green
Bay, Wisconsin. The Global Apostolate of Family Prayer Night Devotions formed in 1998 as a
Private Association of the Faithful. It is a grass roots movement for encouraging, fostering, and
supporting daily prayer within the home through weekly Family Prayer Night Devotions in the
parish.
The heart of the devotion is simply praying the Rosary as a family in the Real Presence
of Jesus during Eucharistic Adoration. The devotion aims to introduce families to a deeper
participation in the liturgical worship of the Eucharist to increase reverence and love for Jesus
Christ. The weekly devotion may also include the Sacrifce of the Mass, Evening Prayer of the
Liturgy of the Hours, a Benediction Service, and the Sacrament of Penance. As prayer by the
family, for the family, and with the family, it is meant to have a familial atmosphere of warmth,
love, and openness to participation by children and family members in reading Sacred Scripture,
singing of hymns and inspired songs, offering prayers for individual family needs, and interceding
for the needs of others.
A Family Prayer Night Devotion, along with family prayer in the home, is an essential
source of supernatural grace which creates an atmosphere in the parish and home, so guidelines of
Catholic Chastity Formation for Families can be carried out. For more information and support
for Catholic Chastity Formation for Families and Family Prayer Night Devotions, please visit our
web site at www.FamilyPrayerNight.org.
Acknowledgments
All Offcial Church Documents (see Research and Source Documents on page 138), copyright
Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Used with permission.
English translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church for the United States of America
copyright 1994, United States Catholic Conference, Inc.Libreria Editrice Vaticana. English
translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: Modifcations from the Editio Typica
copyright 1997, United States Catholic Conference, Inc.Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Used
with permission.
Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, copyright 2005, Libreria Editrice
Vaticana. Used with permission.
Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible with Revised New Testament,
copyright 1986, 1970, Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C., and are used by
permission of the copyright owner. All rights reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be
reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.
The English translation of Gaudium et spes, no. 48 from The Liturgy of the Hours, copyright
1974, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. (ICEL). All rights reserved. Used
with permission.
The Catholic Medical Association Task Force Report on the Sexual Abuse of Children and Its
Prevention, To Protect and To Prevent. Copyright 2006, Catholic Medical Association. Used
with permission.
The Elephant in the Living Room: Make TV work for your kids. Author: Dimitri A. Christakis,
M.D. Used with permission.
Parents Television Council, Special Report, March 2006, Wolves in Sheeps Clothing, A Content
Analysis of Childrens Television; also Facts and TV Statistics. Used with permission.
Statistics Surrounding Child Sexual Abuse. Copyright 2001-2005, Darkness to Light. All rights
reserved. Used with permission.
Introduction xiii
1
Pontifcal Council for the Family, The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality, Guidelines for Education
within the Family, (TMHS) (December 8, 1995), 2.
2
Ibid., TMHS, 147.
3
Ibid., 6.
Introduction
The Fathers Plan:
Rebuild My Domestic Church
Papal Directive and our Commission
1 In 1981, Pope John Paul II instituted the Pontifcal Council for the Family with
the full authority and commission to promote and apply Church teaching in the areas of
sexuality, marriage, and family life in order to help parents fulfll their God-given mission
in the procreation and education of their children. In 1995, Alfonso Cardinal Lpez
Trujillo, President of the Council, published the most authoritative Vatican document for
parents on teaching children about chastity entitled The Truth and Meaning of Human
Sexuality, Guidelines for Education within the Family (TMHS). The title itself clearly
asserts a fundamental Catholic truth, that education in sexuality is to take place within
the family. Based on this essential truth, the document establishes defnitive pastoral
guidelines that all bishops, priests, educators, and parents are to observe. Perhaps
anticipating attempts to question its authority or ignore its teaching, the introduction
says: In offering this truth, we are aware that every one who is of the truth (John
18:37) hears the word of the One who is the Truth in Person.
1

2 The Church acknowledged that parents are often overwhelmed, lacking in
confdence, and feeling unprepared to provide appropriate information on sexuality to
their children at the various stages of development. To remedy this situation, Cardinal
Trujillo commissioned parents who are competent and convinced of the truth of Catholic
teaching on sexuality to produce material to help other parents teach their children within
the safe environment of the family home.
2
Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
aims to support parents in their mission in the midst of a society which is sick
3
because
of the breakdown of marriage, family life, and traditional moral values; distortions of the
truth about sexuality by the mass media and sex education programs in public and private
schools; and disregard for the competency and usurpation of the authority of parents as
the primary educators of their children.
S2
S147
S6
xiv Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
3 This book is a collaborative effort by parents based upon practical experience,
sound wisdom, Sacred Scripture, and offcial Catholic teachings on sexuality, chastity,
marriage, family life, education, and the God-given rights of parents and children. This
comprehensive guide was produced in the same missionary spirit of the Church which
holds that it is her duty to give parents back confdence in their own capabilities and help
them carry out their task.
4
Chastity Formation for the Family: An Urgent Need
4 The frst paragraph of The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality explains why
chastity formation in families is such an urgent and universal need:
In the past, even when the family did not provide specifc sexual education,
the general culture was permeated by respect for fundamental values and
hence served to protect and maintain them. In the greater part of society,
both in developed and developing countries, the decline of traditional
models has left children deprived of consistent and positive guidance,
while parents fnd themselves unprepared to provide adequate answers.
This new context is made worse by what we observe: an eclipse of the
truth about man which, among other things, exerts pressure to reduce
sex to something commonplace. In this area, society and the mass
media most of the time provide depersonalized, recreational and often
pessimistic information. Moreover, this information does not take into
account the different stages of formation and development of children and
young people, and it is infuenced by a distorted individualistic concept
of freedom, in an ambience lacking the basic values of life, human love
and the family.
5
5 This situation is the result of a deliberate and universal attack on the family that
can be attributed to the evil one himself. The family has been targeted for destruction,
and, aware of this fact or not, every family fnds itself on the front line of the universal
battle between good and evil. In his 1994 Letter to Families, Pope John Paul II repeated
what he said at the beginning of his pontifcate: The history of mankind, the history
of salvation, passes by way of the family...the family is placed at the centre of the great
struggle between good and evil, between life and death, between love and all that is
opposed to love. To the family is entrusted the task of striving, frst and foremost, to
unleash the forces of good, the source of which is found in Christ the Redeemer of man.
6
S47
S1
4
Ibid., 47.
5
Ibid., 1.
6
John Paul II, Letter to Families, Gratissimam sane (February 2, 1994), 23.
Introduction xv
6 In this great struggle between good and evil, the heart and soul of the family is
being weakened by a moral decline that is escalating worldwide, is permeating societies
and cultures, and seems unrestrained in imposing a culture of immorality and death
upon humanity. The year 1917 marked a signifcant escalation of the war against the
family when St. Maximilian Kolbe witnessed in Rome a public declaration of the highly
organized global battle plan of freemasonry which, he wrote, intended to: Destroy all
teaching about God, especially the Catholic teaching... by promoting ...neglect of
Divine things and the breakdown of morality since Catholicism can be overcome not
by logical arguments but by corrupted morals. And so they overwhelm the souls of men
with the kind of literature and arts that will most easily destroy a sense of chaste morals,
and foster sordid lifestyles in all phases of human life....
7
It is clear now why Our Lady
of Fatima appeared that same year with her battle plan to save the family and warned of
the loss of souls to the devil because of sins of impurity, telling the children that more
souls go to hell because of sins of the fesh than for any other reason.
7 It is clear that chastity is at the very heart of the battle for souls in our times, since
sexuality is not something purely biological, rather it concerns the intimate nucleus of the
person.
8
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: Chastity means the successful
integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily
and spiritual being.
9
In attacking chastity, the enemy aims its deadliest arrows into
the most intimate part of the soul knowing that, if it can split the very nucleus of the
person, this can initiate a chain reaction leading to a disintegration of the personality
at the deepest possible level. The wounds are especially grievous when the innocence
of a child or young person is violated. Attacks against chastity are designed to crush
the spirit, weaken the will, break down the personality, and cause a dependence of the
body and soul to sinful and self-destructive behaviors. This leads to a breakdown in
relationships with God, in friendships, within marriages and families, and fows out to
the entire society. Helping parents to provide true Catholic chastity formation within the
family home is clearly the most urgent priority of the Church in our time.
8 Making chastity formation a priority has been made diffcult because the very
teachings of the Catholic Church on sexuality have been attacked not just outside but from
within the Church. This battle became apparent in the mid-1960s with the introduction
of sex education in schools, along with the open rejection and marginalization of Pope
Paul VIs Encyclical Humanae Vitae
10
by some infuential pastors, theologians, and laity
S3
7
Miles Immaculatae, (July-Sept., 1939, No. 3 (7), 66-72, trans. Fr. Bernard M. Geiger, OFM Conv.
8
TMHS, 3.
9
CCC, 2337.

10
Pope Paul VI, Encyclial Humanae Vitae, On the Regulation of Birth, published July 25, 1968.
xvi Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
within the Church who thought artifcial birth control should be permitted. Rejection of
Church teaching allowed the sanctuary of the family home and the hearts and minds of a
generation of children to be violated by a food of impurity in the form of false teachings
and deviant behaviors. The open revolt against the truth of Gods plan for sexuality,
marriage, and the family has shaken the very foundations of the faith, weakened Catholic
institutions, and caused a deterioration of the moral values of society. The evidence of
this is clear in the proliferation and justifcation of artifcial birth control, sterilization,
abortion, adultery, divorce, fornication, sex education in classrooms, surrogate
motherhood, designer babies, in-vitro fertilization, embryonic stem cell research, cloning,
and other violations against Gods plan for the transmission of human life.
9 Chastity and the sanctity of marriage and family life is being further undermined by
the radical feminist movement, the sexual revolution, co-habitation, and the homosexual
agenda including so called gay marriages and adoptions. In addition, the family is
under attack by the dictatorship of relativism, secularism, communism, materialism,
hedonism,
11
and many other false philosophical systems causing a breakdown of laws,
morality, and governmental protections respecting the dignity of children, marriage, and
family life. The food of impurity and pornography promoted through the mass media
and the internet has entered into hearts and minds through the eyes, the gateway of the
soul, resulting in an epidemic of immodest attire and deviant behavior which could lead
to the domination of souls through sexual, drug, alcohol, and other addictions.
10 Sadly, the devastating consequences to the institution of marriage and family
life, to the Church, and society are many. In one generation, families and nations once
Christian have fallen away from the Faith in a generalized apostasy, and vocations to
the priesthood and religious life are declining in these areas. Families are disintegrating
because of spousal confict, marital infdelity, divorce, and fathers and mothers abandoning
their marriage and family or neglecting or giving up their teaching responsibilities. The
primary victims are the children who are exposed to harmful teachings and ways of
living. They suffer violations of their innocence, sexual abuse; and violence and learn to
disrespect authority and elders while gangs, peer groups, governments, and schools step
in to usurp and replace the family.
11 The institutions of marriage and family life, as we know them, are being
progressively weakened every day by this onslaught of moral decay which is at the very
heart of the great struggle between good and evil, between life and death, between love
11
Relativism: Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger from a homily delivered on April 18, 2005. Does not recognize
anything as defnitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of ones own ego and desires.
Secularism: The rejection of religion and religious considerations.
Materialism: The desire for wealth and material possessions.
Hedonism: The pursuit of pleasure.
Introduction xvii
and all that is opposed to love. Much of this great struggle can be attributed to mans
rejection of God the Fathers plan for chastity in sexuality, sanctity in marriage, holiness
in family life, and right order in creation. Catholic Chastity Formation for Families is
urgently needed for every family, not just to survive in a culture of death, but moreover
to grow in the fullness of Gods love in a culture of life, purity, and love.
A New Springtime and a New Pentecost in Families
12 Despite the universal breakdown in morality, Jesus Christ has already achieved
once and for all the fnal victory over evil, sin, and death through the holy sacrifce of
His life upon the altar of the cross. But this victory of good over evil, love over all
that is opposed to love, and life over death must take place individually and daily in
the heart and soul of every person and family. The means to obtain this victory are
the graces and fruits of Christs sacrifce given freely to all through the liturgical and
sacramental life of the Catholic Church, together with prayer, penance, and fasting.
13 We are convinced that true Catholic chastity formation, together with daily
family prayer in the home and parish, are the keys to winning the great struggle for
love and to ushering in the new springtime within the universal Church. Through
family prayer and by living a chaste life, the bonds of love between husbands, wives,
parents, and children will be strengthened and fortifed; through an integrated lifetime
approach to purity, families will rediscover the beauty of life, love, happiness, and
peaceful communion with one another and with God.
14 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families is a practical blueprint for all husbands
and wives, as spouses and parents, to recapture the heart and soul of their marriage,
children, and family in order to bring healing and restoration into the domestic
church, one family at a time. Building or rebuilding a home and family, according to
Gods plan for life and love, is a lifetime mission from the earliest years of life through
old age. This book takes a family-centered, lifetime approach to chastity formation
which begins with the family and home being frmly established on the rock foundation
of Catholic truth. It continues in the work of building up the home and forming the
family in chaste and holy love, as the parents cooperate with God in the procreation
and education of their children. To fulfll their mission, every parent needs the divine
assistance offered by the Catholic Church. The battle for purity lasts a lifetime and
every member of the family needs to be vigilant in their commitment to daily formation
in chastity. Every parent, and all those who assist them, such as grandparents, pastors,
educators, doctors, and other members of the parish family, can beneft from a continual
education and application of the principles in this book. They can feel confdent that
they are frmly rooted in the authoritative teaching of Jesus Christ found in the Roman
Catholic Church.
xviii Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
15 This book particularly emphasizes the vocation of fatherhood. Fathers are
especially being called to follow the example of St. Joseph in fulflling their duties as
head of the family, leading by example and working at building up their home, family,
and community as a culture of life, love, and holiness. This is done by teaching and
guiding family members to embrace chastity, family prayer, and sacrifcial love. Like
Joshua, who led the families of Israel from the desert into the promised land, fathers are
being called to stand up in the midst of the battle and move forward with the conviction
of a warrior saying, As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord!
12
16 Pope John Paul II foresaw a new springtime on the horizon which would begin
with a new Pentecost within families and bring to fruition the authentic renewal of the
Church envisioned by the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council. On October 4, 1961,
Blessed Pope John XXIII made an historic pilgrimage to Assisi and Loreto in order to
entrust the Council to St. Francis and the Holy Family. Then, on Christmas Day 1961,
he offcially convoked the Council with his vision and prayer for a new Pentecost in
Christian families.
13
The Holy Spirits desire for renewal in the Church will be fulflled
through a spiritual renewal within the family. Just as Christ asked St. Francis to Rebuild
My Church, for it is falling into ruins, so too at this hour of history Jesus calling each
of us by name to Rebuild My Domestic Church, the family, for it is falling into ruins.
In communion with our Holy Father, and together with the Holy Family of Nazareth, let
us all pray and work together as one family to bring about a new Pentecost, with healing,
renewal, and restoration within all families. May we receive an outpouring of the Holy
Spirit of Love and witness a new springtime of holy and chaste love within every family
and nation on earth!
12
Joshua 24:15.
13
Cf. Pope John XXIII, Apostolic Constitution, Humanae Salutis (December 25, 1961), 23. Full Prayer:
May there be repeated thus in Christian families the spectacle of the Apostles gathered together in Jerusalem after
the Ascension of Christ to heaven, when the newborn Church was completely united in communion of thought and
prayer with Peter and around Peter, the Shepherd of the lambs and the sheep. And may the Divine Spirit deign to
answer in most comforting manner the prayer that rises daily to him from every corner of the earth: Renew your
wonders in our time, as though for a new Pentecost, and grant that the Holy Church, preserving unanimous and
continuous prayer, together with Mary the Mother of Jesus, and also under the guidance of St. Peter, may increase
the reign of the Divine Savior, the reign of truth and justice, the reign of love and peace. Amen.
Building on a Rock Foundation: The Cornerstone of Love 1
Chapter One
Building on a Rock Foundation:
The Cornerstone of Love
God the Fathers Love: Source and Summit of Life
17 God is love. In Jesus Christ we also know that God is our Father, so Gods love is
at heart always a deeply personal and fatherly love. Every person was created as a child
of the heavenly Father, and so each one of us will only fnd the fullness of love, joy, and
peace in the heart of the Father: Man would not exist were he not created by Gods love
and constantly preserved by it; and he cannot live fully according to truth unless he freely
acknowledges that love and devotes himself to His Creator.
14
It is not enough just to
acknowledge God as our Father; it is also necessary to be devoted to and adore Him with
all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. To love others according to His plan, we must frst
live and love fully according to the truth.
18 God the Fathers love is the source and the summit, the beginning and the end, of
all life and all of our relationships of love. As children, we are not able to love fully if we
do not obey His laws for love. Christ confrmed that the Old Testament could be summed
up in two commandments of love: The frst is this: Hear O Israel! The Lord our God
is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul,
with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your
neighbor as yourself.
15
19 Then, at the Last Supper, as He prepared to sacrifce His body upon the altar of
the cross in an act of total self-giving love, Jesus instituted the Eucharist and the new
commandment of love: As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.
16
In
the Eucharist, the Fathers new commandment of love is something we, as His children,
can clearly see demonstrated and receive in our hearts and souls, so we truly can love
others as Jesus loved us. During the Sacrifce of the Mass, while looking at the crucifx
and hearing the words of consecration, This is my body, which will be given up for
14
Second Vatican Council, Pastoral constitution Gaudium et Spes (GS), 19.
15
Mk 12:29-31.
16
Jn 13:34.
2 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
you,
17
we can understand the depth of the love we should have for others. Like Jesus,
we are to love by making a complete gift, a pure sacrifce, and a total consecration of
ourself to God and to our spouse.
20 God the Fathers love, made visible in the Eucharistic Christ, is at heart a spousal
love which reaches perfection in a sacrifcial and total gift of self for the sake of the
beloved. This divine love has been called agape love. Pope Benedict XVI recently
defned agape love as descending, oblative love,
18
that is, a spiritual and sacrifcial love
that is poured out from above as a gift entirely for the good of the beloved.
21 From the beginning, God intended this spiritual divine love to be poured out and
embodied in the love of spouses, in the fesh and body of a man and a woman. Through
the sin of Adam and Eve, men and women lost the capacity to share in the fullness of
divine agape love in their bodies. This capacity was restored when the Father created
the sinless, immaculate body of the Blessed Virgin Mary in order to receive the fullness
of divine love when the Word became fesh in her womb. Through Jesus and Mary, men
and women can once again share in the fullness of divine love. The Word truly became
fesh not just one time and only in the Virgin Mary at the Incarnation, but instead divine
agape love comes down to us every day for us to receive in the Holy Eucharist.
22 God created man and woman and their spousal or marital union of love in the
image of His divine love.
19
We are just beginning to understand the beauty and mystery of
this truth about the holiness of spousal love with the help of Pope John Paul IIs luminous
teachings on the theology of the body. He showed that Gods love is refected and
revealed in the very bodies of men and women in what he called the nuptial meaning
of the body. The nuptial meaning of the body means that every man and woman is
designed to fnd the fullness of Gods fruitful, agape love by making a total gift and
pure sacrifce of oneself, body, heart, and soul, to a beloved. Every person then is called
by God to spousal love, either by making a virginal gift of oneself to God alone in
consecrated virginity, or to ones spouse in holy matrimony. Understanding the theology
of the body is so important that Pope John Paul II said that everyone, especially those
called to marriage, endeavor frst of all, to make this theology of the body...the content
of their life and behavior.
20
23 But what about eros love which involves the body, the senses, sexual desire,
physical attraction, and the marital act of love? Can eros be a part of the Fathers plan
17
Lk 22:19.
18
Pope Benedict XVI, Encyclical Deus Caritas est (December 25,2005), 7.
19
Cf. Gen 1:27.
20
Pope John Paul II, Marriage in the Integral Vision of Man, for General Audience (April 2, 1980).
Building on a Rock Foundation: The Cornerstone of Love 3
for chaste and holy love? Pope Benedict XVI refected that eros love seeks not so much
to give, but to receive and to take to oneself, so he recently defned it as ascending,
possessive, or covetous love, and after pointing out that Scripture often images Gods
love as possessive, jealous, and passionate, he explained how eros love interacts with
agape love in Gods plan for love:
The more the two, in their different aspects, fnd a proper unity in the
one reality of love, the more the true nature of love in general is realized.
Even if eros is at frst mainly covetous and ascending, a fascination for
the great promise of happiness, in drawing near to the other, it is less and
less concerned with itself, increasingly seeks the happiness of the other,
is concerned more and more with the beloved, bestows itself and wants
to be there for the other. The element of agape thus enters into this
love, for otherwise eros is impoverished and even loses its own nature.
On the other hand, man cannot live by oblative, descending love alone.
He cannot always give, he must also receive. Anyone who wishes to give
love must also receive love as a gift. Certainly, as the Lord tells us, one
can become a source from which rivers of living water fow (Cf. Jn 7:37-
38). Yet to become such a source, one must constantly drink anew from
the original source, which is Jesus Christ, from whose pierced heart fows
the love of God (Cf. Jn 19:34).
21

24 Pope Benedict XVI summarizes in one paragraph the mystery of Gods love, the
source and summit of which is found in the heart of Christ. To love one another as Christ
has loved us in marriage and family life, we must frst draw near to His heart to take and
receive the gift of love which fows from the body He has given up for us, especially
in the Sacramentum Caritatis,
22
the Sacrament of Love. In the Eucharist, God desires
to attract and embrace everyone with the fullness of His Fatherly love, so that, as one
family, each person can share in a full communion of life and love with Him and with
His beloved spouse, the Church. We must frst adore and love Him with all of our heart,
mind, soul, and strength in order to truly love our neighbor, our spouse, and our family
as He has loved us, since we cannot give what we have not frst received. And to fully
receive and transmit His love, we must be chaste, since only a person who knows how
to be chaste will know how to love in marriage or in virginity.
23

S68
21
Deus is Caritas, 7.
22
This is the title of Pope Benedict XVIs Apostolic Exhortation on the Eucharist as the Source and Summit
of the Churchs Life and Mission (February 22, 2007).
23
TMHS, 68.
4 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
Love for the Catholic Church
Catholic truth is the necessary foundation for the formation of right
conscience which leads to right thinking and right action. On this rock
foundation of Catholic truth, Gods blueprint for chastity in love can be
integrated into the hearts, minds, and souls of married couples, their
children, and all the members of the family of God.
Fatherly Love and Authority in the Family of the Catholic Church
25 As a loving Father, God calls each of His children by name to come home to
share in the blessings of a full communion of life and love with Him and His family.
This family consists of all mankind who, in different degrees, are related to the eternal
communion of love that exists in the union of His Son and His one and only beloved
Spouse, the Catholic Church.
24
Since the Catholic Church shares fully in Christs love and
authority, she alone proclaims the fullness of truth in regard to Gods plan for marriage
and family life. Full communion with the Catholic Church is one of the rock foundations
upon which a family home will be solidly built up in love. The Fathers full authority
and love was given to Jesus Christ, who, in turn, gave full authority and love to Peter and
his successors to extend the Fathers rule over all the nations until the end of time: All
power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore,

and make disciples
of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy
Spirit,
25
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
26
And behold, I am
with you always, until the end of the age.
27
24
Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) 2d ed. (Washington, DC: United States Catholic Conference,
Inc., 1997), 830, 836,839.
25
[19] Therefore: since universal power belongs to the risen Jesus (Matthew 28:18), he gives the eleven a
mission that is universal. They are to make disciples of all nations. While all nations is understood by some scholars
as referring only to all Gentiles, it is probable that it included the Jews as well. Baptizing them: baptism is the
means of entrance into the community of the risen one, the Church. In the name of the Father... holy Spirit: this is
perhaps the clearest expression in the New Testament of trinitarian belief. It may have been the baptismal formula of
Matthews church, but primarily it designates the effect of baptism, the union of the one baptized with the Father, Son,
and Holy Spirit.
26
[20] All that I have commanded you: the moral teaching found in this gospel, preeminently that of the
Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). The commandments of Jesus are the standard of Christian conduct, not the
Mosaic law as such, even though some of the Mosaic commandments have now been invested with the authority
of Jesus. Behold, I am with you always: the promise of Jesus real though invisible presence echoes the name
Emmanuel given to him in the infancy narrative; see the note on Matthew 1:23.
27
End of the age: see the notes on Matthew 13:39 and Matthew 24:3; Mt 28:18-20.
Building on a Rock Foundation: The Cornerstone of Love 5
26 When Jesus Christ appointed Peter to represent Himself as head of the Church,
He gave him fatherly authority to teach, govern, and sanctify her in His name: And so
I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church,
28
and the gates of
the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of
heaven.
29
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose
on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
30
27 Holding the keys to the Fathers house, Peter is entrusted with the authority to
preserve, guard, and defend the virginal purity of the Church, teach her children, govern
Gods family, and lead them to holiness in love and prayer. Thus, he is rightly and
affectionately called papa or Pope and holy father. This fatherly authority over the
family of God was shared with the Apostles who transmitted all they received from
Christ and learned from the Holy Spirit to their successors, the bishops, and through
them to all generations until the end of the world.
31
Therefore, authentic interpretation
of the Sacred Deposit of the faith, contained in Sacred Scripture and Tradition, has been
entrusted to the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome, and to the bishops in communion
with him.
32

28
[18] You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church: the Aramaic word kepa -- meaning rock and
transliterated into Greek as Kephas -- is the name by which Peter is called in the Pauline letters (1 Cor 1:12; 3:22;
9:5; 15:4; Gal 1:18; 2:9, 11, 14) except in Gal 2:7-8 (Peter). It is translated as Petros (Peter) in John 1:42. The
presumed original Aramaic of Jesus statement would have been, in English, You are the Rock (Kepa) and upon this
rock (kepa) I will build my church. The Greek text probably means the same, for the difference in gender between
the masculine noun petros, the disciples new name, and the feminine noun petra (rock) may be due simply to the
unsuitability of using a feminine noun as the proper name of a male. Although the two words were generally used
with slightly different nuances, they were also used interchangeably with the same meaning, rock. Church: this word
(Greek ekklesia) occurs in the gospels only here and in Matthew 18:17 (twice). There are several possibilities for an
Aramaic original. Jesus church means the community that he will gather and that, like a building, will have Peter as
its solid foundation. That function of Peter consists in his being witness to Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of the living
God. The gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it: the netherworld (Greek Hades, the abode of the dead)
is conceived of as a walled city whose gates will not close in upon the church of Jesus, i.e., it will not be overcome by
the power of death.
29
[19] The keys to the kingdom of heaven: the image of the keys is probably drawn from Isaiah 22:15-25
where Eliakim, who succeeds Shebnah as master of the palace, is given the key of the house of David, which he
authoritatively opens and shuts (Isaiah 22:22). Whatever you bind...loosed in heaven: there are many instances
in rabbinic literature of the binding-loosing imagery. Of the several meanings given there to the metaphor, two are of
special importance here: the giving of authoritative teaching and the lifting or imposing of the ban of excommunica-
tion. It is disputed whether the image of the keys and that of binding and loosing are different metaphors meaning
the same thing. In any case, the promise of the keys is given to Peter alone. In Matthew 18:18 all the disciples are
given the power of binding and loosing, but the context of that verse suggests that there the power of excommunica-
tion alone is intended. That the keys are those to the kingdom of heaven and that Peters exercise of authority in the
church on earth will be confrmed in heaven show an intimate connection between, but not an identifcation of, the
church and the kingdom of heaven.
30
Mt 16:18-19.
31
Compendium, Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCCC), United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
(March 2006), 12.
32
Ibid.,16.
6 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
28 Aware of the grave danger of division in the family, Christs priestly prayer at
the Institution of the Eucharist in the Gospel of John extends four full chapters,
33
wherein
He implores the Father to preserve the unity of the Church in charity. He then offers
His body up in sacrifce on the cross to establish His presence in the Holy Eucharist
as the source and guarantee of a communion of love within His family. This teaching
was so fully established in the early Church, that, about the year 106, St. Ignatius of
Antioch went to his martyrdom defending the truth of the Catholic faith against those
who refuse to admit that the Eucharist is the fesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, reminding
them that Where there is Christ Jesus, there is the Catholic Church.
34
He testifes to the
importance of this family unity established by the Father in the Catholic Church writing:
We should regard the bishop as the Lord himself,
35
and Defer to the bishop and to one
another as Jesus Christ did to the Father in the days of his fesh, and as the apostles did to
Christ, to the Father, and to the Spirit. In that way we shall achieve complete unity.
36

Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church: Forever One in Spousal Love
29 The family of the Catholic Church not only shares in the fullness of the fatherly
love and authority of God in its patriarchal and hierarchical structure, but she also, as a
living body and a bride, shares in the fullness of spousal love in a perfect marital union
with her head and Bridegroom, Jesus Christ. It was God the Father who established the
union of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church as a perfect and chaste marriage union
which no man can rend asunder. Therefore, Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church will
forever share one love, one heart, one mind, one soul, one body, and speak with one
voice; and it is the Fathers will that, through her, Jesus extend His reign over all things.
37
30 This indissoluble marriage made in heaven was established to be fruitful and
to bring children into the family of God the Father and is the model for understanding
Gods plan for chastity in love within all marriages and families. Each domestic church,
or family, is called to be one in heart and mind in Christ and is designed to be built up on
the rock foundation of the Catholic faith. The domestic church is presided over by a holy
marriage, governed by a holy father, and sanctifed by prayer and love so that, when it
too is besieged by the attacks of the world, the fesh, and the devil, the gates of hell will
not prevail against it.
33
Cf. Jn 14-17.
34
St Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Smyrnaens, 8.
35
St Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Ephesians, 6.
36
St. Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Magnesians, 13.
37
Cf. CCC, 792.
Building on a Rock Foundation: The Cornerstone of Love 7
31 Love for and obedience to the Catholic Churchs teachings on sexuality, marriage,
and family life is an essential cornerstone of God the Fathers plan for life and love.
Orthodoxy (right belief), chastity (sexual purity), and charity (love) are so intimately
connected,
38
and the Catholic truth about sexuality so essential to the renewal of Gods
plan for love, that Pope John Paul II said, it must be absolutely clear that all the members
of the Church are totally committed to the fullness of Catholic truth on matters of sexual
morality, a truth as essential to the renewal of the priesthood and the episcopate as it is to
the renewal of marriage and family life.
39
Love According to the Natural Law: Our Fathers Plan for
Marriage
Then God said: Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
...God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him;
male and female he created them. God blessed them, saying: Be fertile
and multiply; fll the earth and subdue it. ...God looked at everything he
had made, and he found it very good.
40
God Designed Life so that it Doesnt Work without Him
32 Everything our Heavenly Father created is ordered by divine science to accomplish
its intended purpose through obedience to His design for love. As DNA can be studied
as the genetic blueprint of life, so Gods master blueprint for love can be discovered
immanent within creation and is also written and engraved in the soul of each and every
man.
41
This blueprint is the natural law present in every human heart and is established
by reason.
42
It matures and increases with the progress of moral conscience,
43
and
provides a solid foundation on which man can build the structure of moral rules to guide
his choices. It also provides the indispensable moral foundation for building the human
community.
44
This law has as its frst and general principle, to do good and to avoid
evil,
45
and every person is capable of understanding and obeying it.
46
38
Cf. CCC, 2518.
39
Address of John Paul II to the Cardinals of the United States (April 23, 2002), 3.
40
Gen 1:26-31.
41
CCC, 1954; Leo XIII, Libertas praestantissimum, 597.
42
Cf. Ibid., 1956.
43
Address Of His Holiness Benedict XVI to the Participants in The International Congress On Natural Moral
Law (February 2007), 12.
44
CCC, 1959.
45
See footnote 43.
46
Summa Theologica, First Part of the Second Part, Question 94, Article 4, Paragraph 2.
8 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
33 Gods Fatherly love creates, sustains, and governs all life; and His natural law
provides structure and order within His creation. It is a fatherly design for right order
and is frst and foremost patriarchal, a word which comes from the Greek patria meaning
father and arch meaning rule, beginning, or origin. From the frst sin of Adam and
Eve,
47
fallen human nature tends to reject the Fathers authority, patriarchal order, and
the laws that govern life. Rejection of God the Fathers plan is still the root cause of
disorder within the human person, between men and women, in the family, and in nature.
34 Fatherly love and authority come from the very heart of God and accepting His
paternal plan is necessary for peace, unity, love, and right order within marriage, family
life, and society. Every man and woman is a child of the Father and has the natural
law written in their hearts. Although this truth may be obscured, at heart, all people
inherently possess the natural law and have it written in their hearts, for instance, that one
man and one woman form a marriage union for the purpose of being fruitful and forming
a family. Rejecting the natural law and, especially the nature and purpose of the marital
act, always leads to disorder.
Natural Law and Order in Marriage
35 Gods Fatherly love creates, sustains, and governs all life; and His divine and
natural laws establish a patriarchal structure that preserves right order within His creation.
The frst cornerstone for right order in relationships is to accept and follow Gods paternal
plan for right order and chastity in married love. He calls every husband and wife to an
intimate and exclusive communion of love with one another and with Him that is always
open to the gift of new life in obedience to His natural law and order in creation. His
fatherly and creative love is designed to fow through parents in transmitting life and in
forming their children as a family. Pope John Paul II said this family community was
willed by God in the beginning, with the creation of man and woman, for the good of
humanity. Christ refers to this beginning when the Pharisees attempted to distort its
structure (Mt. 19:3-12). Man is not empowered to change the Creators original design.
48
36 Gods plan for married love is that the two become one for life; therefore, the
exclusive, mutual love of the spouses must be indissoluble and naturally ordered to the
procreation and education of children within the family. Marriage in the natural law
is a creation and manifestation of the fatherly love of God, and while the two become
one body in mutual subjection to one another,
49
the man was created to be the head of
47
Gen 3:1-7.
48
Message of John Paul II to the Pontifcal Council for the Family on the 20th Anniversary of the Post-
synodal Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio (FC), 2.
49
Eph 5:21.
Building on a Rock Foundation: The Cornerstone of Love 9
the woman while she was created to be the heart of their one body. This order within
marriage means the Father designed man in His own image with the fatherly capacity to
give life, the duty to provide for and protect it, and the authority to rule or govern it as the
head of a marriage and family. Woman was created in the image of God out of and for
the man
50
as a helpmate and with a motherly capacity to receive and nourish life as the
heart of a marriage and family. In short, God provides particular graces for husbands and
fathers in fulflling their duties and responsibilities just as He provides wives and mothers
with particular graces that are unavailable to husbands and fathers. Thus, when spouses
joyfully accept the Fathers paternal plan for right order, these spiritual graces unite and
become one in the marital covenant in a complementary manner refected physically in
the unity God ordained as the two become one fesh.
37 Of this right order in marriage, Pope Pius XI said, For if the man is the head, the
woman is the heart, and as he occupies the chief place in ruling, so she may and ought
to claim for herself the chief place in love. Again, this subjection of wife to husband in
its degree and manner may vary according to the different conditions of persons, place,
and time. In fact, if the husband neglects his duty, it falls to the wife to take his place in
directing the family. But the structure of the family and its fundamental law, established
and confrmed by God, must always and everywhere be maintained intact.
51
38 Our frst parents, Adam and Eve, wounded the original model of marriage when
they ate the forbidden fruit.
52
Their choice to disobey Gods fatherly plan for life damaged
their relationship with Him, brought death where there was life, caused division in their
marriage, violence in their family, and the loss of their home. They could do nothing to
repair the disorder and damage caused by their disobedience. Only God could redeem,
and restore, all that had been lost and damaged by original sin, including marriage.
39 God the Fathers plan was to restore the purity of His original design, so, in the
fullness of time, He sent his Son as the Redeemer and Savior of mankind, fallen into sin,
thus calling all into his Church and, through the work of the Holy Spirit, making them
adopted children and heirs of his eternal happiness.
53
From the beginning, the Father
intended to redeem marriage, and now it is through Jesus Christ that human sexuality,
marriage, and family life are redeemed and restored to right order by means of the
sacramental graces fowing through and from the Catholic Church.
50
Cf. Gen 2:20-22.
51
Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Casti Connubii, On Christian Marriage, (December 31, 1930), 27-28.
52
Cf. Gen 3:6-7.
53
CCCC, 1.
10 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
Love of Husband and Wife in the Sacrament of
Matrimony
The sacrament of Matrimony establishes a perpetual and exclusive bond
between the spouses. God himself seals the consent of the spouses.
Therefore, a marriage which is ratifed and consummated between
baptized persons can never be dissolved. Furthermore, this sacrament
bestows upon the spouses the grace necessary to attain holiness in their
married life and to accept responsibly the gift of children and provide for
their education.
54
Married Love Redeemed
40 The restoration of right order in marriage begins with baptism,the basis of the
whole Christian life, the pathway to living in the Spirit and the door which gives access
to the other sacraments. Through baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of
God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers
in her mission.
55
Once baptized, all Christians who unite in a valid marriage receive the
supernatural graces of the sacrament of Matrimony.
41 In Holy Matrimony, marriage is elevated to a supernatural level, so that Christians
must look to heaven to receive the grace to understand and live the great mystery of their
married love which is called to be a refection of the mutual love between Christ, the
Bridegroom, and His Bride, the Church. Marriage remains an intimate, indissoluble,
exclusive, and fruitful union according to natural law, but it is also given the fullness
of supernatural grace to honor and purify it so it can manifest the beauty of its heavenly
design.
56
The Fathers plan for right order in marriage is that grace build upon nature by
elevating and perfecting it in Gods love.
57
42 Remembering how Christ loved us, right order in marriage means a man should
rule as a servant ready to sacrifce his life in carrying out his duty, unlike the rulers of the
world, who lord it over others by wanting to make their authority over them felt.
58

St. Peter tells husbands to live with your wives in understanding, showing honor to the
weaker female sex, since we are joint heirs of the gift of life, so that your prayers may
54
Ibid., 346.
55
CCC, 1213.
56
Cf. Ibid., 1641-42.
57
Cf. Ibid., 1960.
58
Cf. Mt 25-28.
Building on a Rock Foundation: The Cornerstone of Love 11
not be hindered.
59
A wife, St. Paul says, should respect her husband,
60
and St. Peter
tells wives to be subordinate to your husbands, so that, even if some disobey the word,
they may be won over without a word by their wives conduct when they observe your
reverent and chaste behavior....
61
43 A husband and wife can obey the Fathers plan for right order in marriage even
in the midst of great poverty, anxiety, suffering, and homelessness as the encouraging
example of St. Joseph and the Virgin Mary reveal. As the time of Jesus birth arrived,
Josephs heart must have suffered greatly when, as provider and protector, he was forced
to beg door to door to fnd a suitable place for his displaced wife and family but was
rejected by all. Trusting in the providential love of the Father, he did not give in to
discouragement but transformed a stable for animals into a clean, safe, and secure shelter.
Marys feelings of vulnerability and fears as a wife and expectant mother could have
tempted her to be uncharitable or disrespectful toward her husband, or even to take control
and usurp his fatherly authority over the family. Within this holy marriage, Joseph and
Mary each chose humble obedience and, with trust, followed perfectly the Fathers plan
for right order in their relationship in charity and mutual love.
Mutual Subjection Out of Love for Christ
44 The spousal union between Christ and the Catholic Church is the blueprint
for chastity in the marriage relationship. Chaste spousal love is modeled on Christs
total self-giving love for the Church, a great mystery of love requiring faithfulness and
obedience to the point of dying totally to self:
62
Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.
63
Wives
should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord. For the husband
is head of his wife just as Christ is head of the church, he himself the
59
1 Peter 3:7; [7] Husbands who do not respect their wives will have as little success in prayer as those
who, according to Paul, have no love: their prayers will be a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal (1 Cor 13:1).
Consideration for others is shown as a prerequisite for effective prayer also in Matthew 5:23-24; 1 Cor 11:20-22;
James 4:3. After all, whatever the social position of women in the world and in the family, they are equal recipients of
the gift of Gods salvation. Paul is very clear on this point, too (see 1 Cor 11:11-12; Gal 3:28).
60
Eph 5:33.
61
1 Peter 3:1-2.
62
[Eph. 5:21-6:9] Cf. the notes on Col 3:18-4:1 and 1 Peter 2:18-3:7 for a similar listing of household
duties where the inferior is admonished frst (wives, Eph 5:22; children, Eph 6:1; slaves, Eph 6:5); then the superior
(husbands, Eph 5:25; fathers, Eph 6:4; masters, Eph 6:9). Paul varies this pattern by an emphasis on mutuality
(see Eph 5:20); use of Old Testament material about father and mother in Eph 6:2; the judgment to come for slave-
owners (you have a Master in heaven, Eph 6:9); and, above all, the initial principle of subordination to one another
under Christ, thus effectively undermining exclusive claims to domination by one party. Into the section on wives and
husbands an elaborate teaching on Christ and the church has been woven (Eph 5:22-33).
63
[21-33] The apostle exhorts married Christians to a strong mutual love. Holding with Genesis 2:24 that
marriage is a divine institution (Eph 5:31), Paul sees Christian marriage as taking on a new meaning symbolic of the
12 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
savior of the body. As the church is subordinate to Christ, so wives
should be subordinate to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love
your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for
her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that
he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle
or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
64
45 Commenting on this passage of St. Paul, Pope John Paul II said:
The author knows that this way of speaking, so profoundly rooted in
the customs and religious tradition of the time, is to be understood and
carried out in a new way: as a mutual subjection out of reverence for
Christ (cf. Eph 5:21). This is especially true because the husband is
called the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church; he is
so in order to give himself up for her (Eph 5:25), and giving himself
up for her means giving up even his own life. However, whereas in the
relationship between Christ and the Church the subjection is only on the
part of the Church, in the relationship between husband and wife the
subjection is not one-sided but mutual.
65
The Marital Bond
46 The following paragraphs were written by a man who, throughout his 40 years
of marriage, refected deeply on the mystery of married love found at Ephesians 5:21-
33. Husband and wife truly become one in mutual subjection when each fulflls Gods
design, the man as head, and the woman as heart, of just one body. He wrote:
The Marital Bond
Give way to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5)
True love means living within anothers will, even at the cost of sacrifce.
Love is proven by sacrifce. Sacrifce means dying to self. Though human
nature opposes it, self denial brings life to us. This is why the Cross is the
symbol of the Catholic faith because it frees us from the bondage of self
so that we can become one with another. The marital bond is thus
intimate relationship of love between Christ and the church. The wife should serve her husband in the same spirit as
that of the churchs service to Christ (Eph 5:22, 24), and the husband should care for his wife with the devotion of
Christ to the church (Eph 5:25-30). Paul gives to the Genesis passage its highest meaning in the light of the union of
Christ and the church, of which Christlike loyalty and devotion in Christian marriage are a clear refection (Eph 5:31-
33).
64
Eph 5:21-27. Authors note: A must read on chastity and marriage is Pope Pius XI Encyclical Casti
Connubii, on Christian Marriage (December 31, 1930).
65
Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Letter, Mulieris Dignitatem (August 15, 1988), 24.
Building on a Rock Foundation: The Cornerstone of Love 13
created by a man and woman who embrace this mystery of death and
resurrection. But they each must do so in unique and different ways.
A man gives himself to a woman and makes it possible for her to give
herself to him by proving he has the self-control needed to care for her.
By demonstrating his ability to manage his feelings, sexuality, eating,
drinking, language, spending, appearance and possessions, he proves
he has the power to put her needs ahead of his own. These displays of
strength give her cause to trust him so that she too can die to self by
giving her will to him in all things but sin. Their love is, therefore, born
of and proven by self-sacrifce. But it is the man who must frst give the
woman reason to believe that he is worthy of her gift and that she will be
safe and secure with him. He may not be a knight in shining armor who
wins her by risking his life, but displays of his power to control himself for
her sake have the same effect. Killing the dragon (of selfshness) is still
required to win her hand and heart along with proof that he possesses a
strong work ethic supported by deep faith in God and thus himself.
The woman gives herself to the man she wants by gradually uniting her
will to his in all things but sin. She encourages their union by paying
attention to him, respecting him, building him up, following his lead and
doing her best to please him. In so doing, she captures his heart and his
head causing him to think of and feel close to no other woman but her.
Seeing that she wants to be with him and has eyes for no one but him
gives him confdence in her and himself. When he fnds her constantly
on his mind, when he realizes that he feels complete and is at his best
with no one but her, when he yearns to be with her and wants to make
her happy by knowing and doing her will in all things but sin, the bond is
formed. He falls in love. It may look like a man takes a wife, but its the
woman who takes the man by capturing his heart. By the attractiveness
of her goodness and beauty, and the gift of her will, she causes him to be
taken by her. Proof lies in the fact that, from then on, he wants to live the
rest of his life with and for no one but her.
When a man and a woman unite their hearts and wills, they become
soul mates forming a bond that can only be broken by an immoral act.
This bond is evidenced by the deep sense of communion they feel even
when apart because their greatest need, to be united with another and no
longer alone, has been fulflled. Because of this bond, they understand
each other in a way not possible with anyone else, and, thus, because
they are united heart to heart, they have no interest in anyone elses
attention or affection. From this bond comes a deep sense of trust in
themselves and each other that so enlivens and encourages them that
their limitations and fears disappear. For by losing themselves in each
other, they become transformed into a man and woman that only God
can imagine, and the Cross of self-sacrifce can create.
14 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
The Sacramental Union between Man and Woman
47 Gods plan for love -- if followed with trust, obedience, and chastity -- is truly
beautiful beyond imagination, heaven on earth, and lifts up heart, mind, soul, and body
with joy. Chastity in marriage involves integrating two complementary bodies and souls
into one, and so accomplishes a union of hearts, minds, emotions, and spirits on the
physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual planes in the deepest intimate core of
the person.
48 In daily life, Pope John Paul II noted that the mutual love of spouses of which
the Gospel speaks is to be modeled after Christs own sacrifcial, self-giving love for the
Church and that God wills that the spousal union of bodies be an even deeper expression
of their communion of minds and hearts. He reminds spouses that they are to be calm
and patient with one another to the extent of cultivating within themselves the antidote
to the others faults and weaknesses, and that neither of the partners can demand to be
loved in the same way as he or she loves. Thus, each partner must sacrifce his or her
own desires to bring about a strong bond of unity and mutual love for one another.
66
Fidelity of Spouses to One Another and to Catholic Truth
49 Chastity in marriage means fully experiencing the physical and spiritual union
of spouses God intended and always being open to the fruits of this love in the gift of
children and family. As the Encyclical Humanae Vitae affrms:
Married love has four characteristics: it is human love (physical and
spiritual), it is total, faithful and fruitful love... The family draws its proper
character as a community, its traits of communion, from that fundamental
communion of the spouses which is prolonged in their children. Will you
accept children lovingly from God, and bring them up according to the law
of Christ and his Church?, the celebrant asks during the Rite of Marriage.
The answer given by the spouses refects the most profound truth of
the love which unites them. With the same formula, spouses commit
themselves and promise to be faithful forever.
67
50 Like Christs love, married love can never be yes one minute and no the next,
but requires the inviolable fdelity of the spouses. This is the consequence of the gift of
themselves which they make to each other. Love seeks to be defnitive; it cannot be an
arrangement until further notice.
68
S29
66
Cf. Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Journey to Africa, Mass for Families,Homily (May 3, 1980), 4.
67
TMHS, 29.
68
CCC, 1646.
Building on a Rock Foundation: The Cornerstone of Love 15
51 To live chastely in marriage to the degree Christ demands requires a continuous
illumination of the Holy Spirit. At the centre of the spirituality of marriage...lies
chastity, not only as a moral virtue (formed by love), but likewise as a virtue connected
with the gifts of the Holy Spiritabove all the gift of respect for what comes from God...
So therefore, the interior order of married life, which enables the manifestations of
affection to develop according to their right proportion and meaning, is a fruit not only
of the virtue which the couple practise, but also of the gifts of the Holy Spirit with which
they cooperate.
69
52 Chastity between a husband and wife involves honoring their marriage vows to
be true to each other until death, avoiding at all times even looking lustfully at another
person or image, accepting children lovingly from God by always being open to the
gift of new life in sexual relations, and entrusting ones emotional center, heart, mind,
spirit, and entire self into the custody of the beloved. In conforming to Gods design for
married love, husband and wife can be transformed into a man and woman that only God
can imagine and create.
Love in the Family
In the domestic church, the family, the father is the priest of the home
whose primary purpose is to spiritually and temporally guide his family,
as a good shepherd cares for his sheep, by offering his entire life as
a sacrifce of love. A father is not only responsible for providing and
protecting but also for teaching, governing, and sanctifying his family,
leading them in a daily sacrifce of prayer and into a deeper and more
active participation in the sacramental, devotional, and liturgical prayer
life of the Church. Following Christ, husbands and fathers are called
to unceasing prayer and total self-sacrifce in order to attain the goal of
holiness and eternal life for their family.
A Domestic Church and Sanctuary of Purity and Holiness
53 Marriage, sexuality, and the family are designed by God for a holy purpose. The
Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states:
A man and a woman united in marriage form a family together with their
children. God instituted the family and endowed it with its fundamental
constitution...ordered to the good of the spouses and to the procreation
and education of children...In Christ the family becomes the domestic
church because it is a community of faith, of hope, and of charity.
70

69
TMHS, 21.
70
CCCC, 456.
S21
16 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
54 Husband and wife are no longer two but one, and they form a communion of
persons with one another and with God. Sexual love within marriage is an icon of the
interior life of God because it expresses a communion of persons.
71
When the two are
joined as one, they can become three in one family, like the Trinity, and the family
becomes a sign and image of the communion of the Father and the Son in the Holy
Spirit.
72
55 This domestic church is called to be a sanctuary of life, purity, and holiness.
Family prayer establishes a foundation for the home as a sanctuary where love, chastity,
and other virtues necessary for life can grow and develop with the supernatural help of
God.
73
In fact, daily family prayer is so essential to the vitality of the family that, if it
were absent within the home, the family would lack its very character as a domestic
Church.
74
Chaste Love is Taught Primarily by the Example of Parents
56 Within the holy sanctuary of the domestic church, parents are able to pass on
to their children the lived truth of the faith by teaching them how to love God and
neighbor, and how to live chastely by renouncing selfsh desires, making sacrifces, and
waiting.
75
57 The degree of chastity and true love in family relationships is dependent upon
the parents example of living chastity in marriage. Married people are called to live
conjugal chastity...Parents are well aware that living conjugal chastity themselves is the
most valid premise for educating their children in chaste love and in holiness of life.
76
58 In fulflling the duties of educating their children, parents are to strive to achieve
these three primary objectives: (a) to maintain in the family a positive atmosphere of
love, virtue and respect for the gifts of God, in particular the gift of life; (b) to help
children to understand the value of sexuality and chastity in stages, sustaining their
growth through enlightening word, example and prayer; (c) to help them understand and
S5
S20
71
Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II, George Weigel (New York Cliff Street Books, 1999),
339.
72
CCC, 2205.
73
This missionto be the frst and vital cell of societythe family has received from God. It will fulfll this
mission if it appears as the domestic sanctuary of the Church by reason of the mutual affection of its members and
the prayers that they offer to God in common, if the whole family makes itself a part of the liturgical worship of the
Church, and if it provides active hospitality and promotes justice and other good works for the service of all the
brethren in need. Vatican Council II, Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, 11.
74
Pope Paul VI, Marialis Cultus (Feb. 2, 1974), 52.
75
Cf. TMHS, 5.
76
Ibid., 20.
Building on a Rock Foundation: The Cornerstone of Love 17
discover their own vocation to marriage or to consecrated virginity for the sake of the
Kingdom of Heaven in harmony with and respecting their attitudes and inclinations and
the gifts of the Spirit.
77
59 When the home is a sanctuary of Gods presence presided over by a holy marriage
and right order in relationships, chaste love can permeate the atmosphere of the home
and be integrated deeply into the hearts and souls of the children. Much formation and
education in chastity will be passed on indirectly in an atmosphere of prayer and reverence
for God. As a result, children will more easily grow in natural and supernatural virtues
and be strengthened with the power of God to be able to fulfll their vocation to love.
The Holy Family of Nazareth: Model of Family Love
60 The perfect example of Gods design for chastity in the family is the Holy Family
of Nazareth. The Holy Family is not just a model to study and emulate, but they are
living persons that can be invited into the family home to help the father, mother, and
children live Gods plan for holy love. Jesus said: Behold, I stand at the door and
knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, (then) I will enter his house.
78

As Jesus, Mary, and Joseph enter and remain within the family home, all that offends
against chastity is driven out and purifed from family life. Through the maternal love of
the Virgin Mary, all thoughts that are good, true, noble, honorable, just, pure, beautiful,
lovely, and gracious
79
will reign in the heart of the family.
61 Fathers and mothers can turn to Joseph and Mary, in Scripture and in prayer, for
assistance in defending and protecting the chastity of their children from forces seeking
to violate the sanctity of the family home. Joseph and Mary are acutely aware of the
modern diabolic forces that, like Herod of old, are organized and ready to search out and
destroy innocent children. The modern media is one such force that can enter the home,
and destroy the souls of children, through television, radio, cell phones, and computers.
Vigilance is critical, and parents should also consider any attack on the virtue and
chastity of their children as an offense against the life of faith itself that threatens and
impoverishes their own communion of life and grace (cf. Ephesians 6:12).
80

62 Obedience to Gods plan for sexuality establishes a blessed and rich inheritance
for future generations by imprinting Gods design for love in the children. Children who
are formed in an atmosphere of beauty, purity, and holiness and witness the sacrifcial
love of Christ for his bride lived out by their father and mother will be prepared for true
S22
S21
77
Ibid., 22.
78
Rev 3:20; [20] Christ invites all to the messianic banquet in heaven; Cf. Isaiah 25:6; Luke 14:15; 22:30.
79
Cf. Phil. 4:8.
80
TMHS, 21.
18 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
love. Children will thus come to marriage with that realistic wisdom about which Saint
Paul speaks when he teaches that husband and wife must continually give way to one
another in love, cherishing one another with mutual patience and affection (Cf.
1 Corinthians 7: 3-6; Ephesians 5: 21-23).
81
Summary Points
63 God the Fathers love, revealed in the sacrifce of Jesus Christ upon the altar of the
cross and made present in the Eucharist, is the source of life and all of our relationships
of love.
64 To truly love our neighbor, spouse, and family as Christ has loved us, we must
frst adore and love God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength, since we cannot
give what we have not frst received.
65 Jesus Christ gave St. Peter and his successors, as Pope, the full authority of God
the Father to teach, govern, and sanctify His family in every nation on earth until the end
of time.
66 The spousal union of Jesus Christ with his bride, the Catholic Church, means the
two have become one and share one mind, one heart, one spirit, one body, one voice, and
one love. It is the source and model for mutual self-giving love in marriage.
67 The ability to love others in Christ (charity) is proportionate to a concern for
chastity (sexual purity) and orthodoxy (adherence to and love for the teachings of the
Catholic Church). Purity of heart, body, and mind are necessary for true love.
68 God created the marital union of man and woman to refect His very image and
likeness as the highest manifestation of divine love in the natural order. Married love,
according to the natural law, is human (physical and spiritual), total (a sacrifcial gift of
self until death), faithful (exclusive love), and fruitful (always open to new life).
69 From the fall of Adam and Eve, original sin has obscured Gods plan for
married love. Christ redeemed and restored its original purity in the Sacrament of Holy
Matrimony, giving married couples supernatural grace so their love can manifest the
beauty of its heavenly design.
70 Primarily through the example of a chaste and holy marriage open to life and
family prayer, parents establish their family home as a sanctuary of life where Gods holy
love can be transmitted in the procreation and education of their children in love.
S31
81
Ibid., 31.
Building a House: Seven Pillars for Chastity Formation 19
82
Proverbs 9:1; [1-6,13-18] Wisdom and folly are represented as matrons, each inviting people to her
banquet. Wisdom offers the food and drink of divine doctrine and virtue which give life (Proverbs 9:1-6). Unstable and
senseless folly furnishes the stolen bread and water of deceit and vice which bring death to her guests.
83
Cf. CCC, 1696, GS 16.
Chapter Two
Building a House:
Seven Pillars for Chastity Formation
Wisdom has built her house, she has set up her seven columns
82
71 To grow as a holy family built upon the rock foundation of Catholic truth, parents
must form the personality of their children and build up their home with strength and
integrity using some essential pillars of truth found in Scripture and in the teaching of the
Catholic Church. In the Old Testament, particularly in Wisdom, Proverbs, and Sirach,
fathers and mothers are given instruction for raising chaste and virtuous children, while
foolish parents are admonised for tolerating vice and immorality which ends up tearing
down their own home and family. In the New Testament and Church teachings, our
Lord reiterates the three ways for a man to go which will either build up or destroy his
soul, marriage, and family: the way of blessedness or wickedness, the way of wisdom or
foolishness, the way of life or death.
83

72 Seven integral elements or pillars for chastity formation, derived from Scripture
and Church teaching, provide a framework for building up the family home according
to Gods plan. A chastity program for families should integrate these seven pillars in
order to ensure strong character, stability, and virtuous personality development in their
children while providing them with a defending wall of protection against evil. The
seven principles or pillars include: obedient faith, formation in conscience, sacrifcial
love, apprenticeship of self-mastery, acquiring virtues, the vocation to holiness, and the
goal of eternal life.
The First Pillar: Obedient Faith
73 In the beginning, obedient love in relationships reigned within the family of God
the Father. The Fathers voice, in an ongoing communication of love, was heard and
obeyed in the pure hearts and consciences of his children, Adam and Eve. Envious of
20 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
84
Gen 3:17.
85
CCC, 144.
86
Cf. Lk 1:38.
87
Cf. CCC, 532; Lk 22:42.
this love, the devil set out to seduce Eve into disobedience to destroy the Fathers design
for pure love in marriage and family life.
Obedience is the Precondition to Chaste Living
74 Obedience comes from the Latin root word meaning to hear or listen to. The
devil successfully tempted Eve into disobedience because she chose to listen to his voice
instead of her Fathers. When God punished Adam, He said the reason was, Because
you listened to your wife and ate from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat...
84

Having sinned by eating the forbidden fruit, Eve persuaded Adam to obey her rather than
obey the voice of his Father, and Adam freely chose to disobey God. The bad fruits of
disobedience brought disorder and division into all family relationships, between the
Father and His children, husband and wife, parents and children.
75 To restore the integrity of the family, husband and wife must choose to obey
the voice of the Father rather than the voice of one another, or any other suggestive
voice tempting them to sin against His plan for chaste love in marriage. The frst step
to obeying the Fathers voice is to acknowledge that His paternal plan is made manifest
in natural law and in the authoritative teachings of the Catholic Church on sexuality,
chastity, marriage, family life, and the rights of parents and children.
The Holy Family Model of Obedience
76 The Blessed Virgin Mary is the most perfect embodiment
85
of obedient faith
to Gods plan for life. When she said yes to the Father to conceive and bear His Son
Jesus,
86
she reversed Eves disobedience, and in following Jesus to the cross, she helped
to restore life where there had been only death and disorder.
77 In the Holy Family, Joseph was obedient to the Fathers Will, Mary was obedient
to her husband Joseph, and Jesus, who was truly superior to both, humbly submitted
himself to the authority of his parents. Thus, Jesus fulflls the fourth commandment
perfectly by modeling on earth his divine love and obedience to his Father in heaven, a
love and obedience which is later reaffrmed in the Garden of Gethsemane when he said,
Not my will but yours be done.
87
Building a House: Seven Pillars for Chastity Formation 21
88
Cf. Mt 2:13-14.
78 In the story of the fight into Egypt,
88
the Holy Family provides the perfect model
of obedience to Gods paternal plan for right order in marriage and family. The Father
revealed His Will only to Joseph in light of his authority as head of the family. In
humility, Joseph obeyed the Father and so protected the lives of Jesus and Mary. Mary
may have objected to the thought of immediately setting out with a newborn infant for a
foreign country across the desert in the dark of a cold night, but in obedient faith and trust
in God, and because Joseph was worthy of trust, she chose to accept his decision as the
will of God.
Chastity Heals and Restores Marriages and Families
79 Chastity formation within the family is founded upon obedience to the Fathers
plan for marriage and family life. In His plan, a husband and father has a temporal and
spiritual duty to guide his wife and family by offering his entire life as a sacrifce of
unselfsh love in order to lead them to holiness and eternal life with God in heaven. A
wife and mother has the duty, as her husbands helpmate, to respect and support him in
fulflling his duties, and to bring love and life into the family through her femininity and
motherhood. Children have a duty to honor and obey their parents just as Jesus honored
and obeyed Joseph and Mary.
80 The healing, restoration, and strengthening of marriages and families are
dependent upon each person respecting and obeying God the Fathers design for life and
love in relationships between husband and wife, parents and children, and each family
member with God the Father and the Catholic Church. While all are called to listen to
the voice of the Father in their conscience, in marriage and family life, God has chosen
to speak through husbands and fathers, so that, in obedience to their voice, wives and
children will truly hear the voice of the Father because of the agreement with right order,
reason, conscience, and all things, except sin.
81 Obedience to the Fathers paternal plan for right order in marriage and family life
is therefore the frst pillar for living truly chaste and holy lives. Living this obedience
enables each of the remaining pillars to fully develop according to right order, reason,
and grace.
22 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
89
CCC, 1776.
The Second Pillar: The Formation of Conscience
The Inner Sanctuary
82 Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and within that temple is an inner
sanctuary, a holy place where God dwells and where we can hear His voice:
Deep within his conscience, man discovers a law which he has not
laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him
to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, sounds in his heart at
the right moment...For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God...
His conscience is mans most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is
alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths.
89
The conscience is the place of decision to follow, or not, Gods plan of life which He
communicates to us directly in our hearts, in His natural laws, and in the voice of Christ
and His Church.
83 This secret inner sanctuary is like the room within the house where our Lord
tells us to go in order to speak as a child to our heavenly Father, heart to heart, to listen
to His voice and wisdom. In this sacred place, within the conscience, the Father desires
to maintain an intimate and ongoing personal conversation about love with each of His
children to help them grow in love of Him and others.
84 The family home is also designed to be a holy place where father and mother,
in the image of God, carry on a continuous personal conversation about love with each
of their children, helping them to form a good conscience, to gain wisdom, to listen to
the voice of the Lord, and to love. Chastity formation is at heart an ongoing personal
dialogue of love between parents, children, and God aimed at helping the mind, heart,
body, and soul act in pure love.
An Informed Conscience
85 Our Father knows, and the experience of every father and mother reveals, that
this ongoing dialogue and formation of conscience is a battle and a lifelong task. Along
with a conscience, every child is born with an attitude that says, You cant tell me what
to do! Original sin makes it hard for us to follow the rules. Our Father also knows this,
and Scripture reveals His continuing and progressive plan to assist us in knowing and
living the rules of love which are already inscribed in our hearts.
Building a House: Seven Pillars for Chastity Formation 23
90
[4-5] This passage contains the basic principle of the whole Mosaic Law, the keynote of the Book of
Deuteronomy: since the Lord alone is God, we must love him with an undivided heart. Christ cited these words as
the greatest and the frst commandment, embracing in itself the whole law of God (Matthew 22:37, 38 and parallels).
91
[8] Bind them . . . as a sign: these injunctions were probably meant merely in a fgurative sense;
Cf. Exodus 13:9, 16. However, the later Jews understood them literally, and tied on their wrists and foreheads
phylacteries, boxes containing strips of parchment on which these words were inscribed; Cf. Matthew 23:5.
92
Dt 6:4-9.
93
CCC, 391; Cf. Gen 3:1-5; Wis 2:24.
94
TMHS, 1. The media and schools often use good people with good intentions to ...provide
depersonalized, recreational and often pessimistic information. Moreover, this information does not take into account
the different stages of formation and development of children and young people, and it is infuenced by a distorted
individualistic concept of freedom, in an ambience lacking the basic values of life, human love and the family. Then
the school, making itself available to carry out programmes of sex education, has often done this by taking the place
of the family and, most of the time, with the aim of only providing information. Sometimes this really leads to the
deformation of consciences.
86 God the Fathers chastity formation program is founded upon the formation of an
informed conscience through prayer, the Ten Commandments, the Bible, the Sacraments,
and Christs teachings found in the Gospels and in the Catholic Church. The Lord gave
Moses the goal and the method for the formation of an informed conscience:
90
Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone! Therefore,
you shall love the LORD, your God, with all your heart, and with all your
soul, and with all your strength. Take to heart these words which I enjoin
on you today. Drill them into your children. Speak of them at home and
abroad, whether you are busy or at rest.
91
Bind them at your wrist as a
sign and let them be as a pendant on your forehead. Write them on the
doorposts of your houses and on your gates.
92
The Voice of Evil
87 The devil also has a goal and an aggressive method to try and make his voice
heard in the sanctuary of the conscience. As with Eve, he also tempts all of the Fathers
children in order to make his voice heard and followed: Behind the disobedient choice
of our frst parents lurks a seductive voice, opposed to God, which makes them fall into
death.
93
The method and goal of his formation program is to separate mankind from the
Father, the husband from wife, and the parents from their children in order to destroy the
family of God.
88 The diabolical program is aimed frst and foremost at the deformation of
conscience,
94
particularly in the area of sexuality because this can corrupt and destroy
an integrated personality at its deepest level. His method and goals can be detected in
programs aimed at children and youth, who, when separated from their parents and family
home, are encouraged by adults, often strangers, to engage in discussions of sexuality
and even perversions under the guise of education, health, or safety. This deceptive
voice of evil also reaches into the consciences of young people through music, television,
S1
24 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
95
Ibid., 44.
96
CCCC, Cf. 372; 374. Christians have a great help for the formation of conscience in the Church and her
Magisterium. As the Council affrms: In forming their consciences the Christian faithful must give careful attention
to the sacred and certain teaching of the Church. For the Catholic Church is by the will of Christ the teacher of
truth. Her charge is to announce and teach authentically that truth which is Christ, and at the same time with her
authority to declare and confrm the principles of the moral order which derive from human nature itself (Declaration
on Religious Freedom Dignitatis Humanae, 14.). It follows that the authority of the Church, when she pronounces
on moral questions, in no way undermines the freedom of conscience of Christians. This is so not only because
freedom of conscience is never freedom from the truth but always and only freedom in the truth, but also because
the Magisterium does not bring to the Christian conscience truths which are extraneous to it; rather it brings to light
the truths which it ought already to possess, developing them from the starting point of the primordial act of faith. The
Church puts herself always and only at the service of conscience, helping it to avoid being tossed to and fro by every
wind of doctrine proposed by human deceit (cf. Eph 4:14), and helping it not to swerve from the truth about the good
of man, but rather, especially in more diffcult questions, to attain the truth with certainty and to abide in it. Veritatis
Splendor, 64.
entertainment, the internet, chat rooms, and on the streets. God the Father and the devil
both understand the power of an informed conscience; however, parents are primarily
responsible for vigilance, day and night, as to the kind of information that is entering into
the hearts and minds of their children.
The Voice of Good
89 Our Fathers plan for marriage and family life means parents must educate and
form the consciences of their children by means of an ongoing conversation of love and
daily instruction, so each child can overcome any weaknesses and the infuence of evil.
The Father has entrusted parents with the duty and every grace necessary to form the
consciences of the children He has comitted to their care. Vigilance in this area is such a
high priority that, If in fact parents do not give adequate formation in chastity, they are
failing in their precise duty. Likewise, they would also be guilty were they to tolerate
immoral or inadequate formation being given to their children outside the home.
95
90 God infused into every heart a moral conscience, but a child must learn how to use
it and obey the Fathers voice by listening to and obeying his father and mother. Parents
are responsible and accountable to God for making sure His law of love is engraved in
the hearts of their children through education, training, and personal example. The more
parents manifest the authoritative and loving voice of God, the easier it will be for a child
to develop an upright moral conscience, so he can truly hear and follow the Fathers
voice.
91 A pure conscience enables a child to choose to do good and avoid evil at the
appropriate moment and is supported by the gifts of the Holy Spirit and helped by
the advice of wise people.
96
Receiving the Sacraments often, especially the Sacrament
of Penance, is essential in the formation of a correct moral conscience, to purify and
strengthen it and to fght against and overcome evil tendencies.
S44
Building a House: Seven Pillars for Chastity Formation 25
97
Cf. CCC, 1783.
98
Ibid., 1784.
A Lifelong Task
92 In the eyes of the Father, all of us are in need of a continual and ongoing formation
of conscience because, due to original sin, we are infuenced by negativity, tempted to
prefer our own judgment and will, and prone to reject authoritative teaching.
97
93 Formation of sexuality in children and youth must be approached with reverence,
as it touches upon the most private and sacred areas of the human heart. Because it
enters into this most sensitive personal area, formation of conscience in sexuality will
always involve an intensity of the deepest emotions and passions and therefore requires a
parents affection and individual attention to a young person over a long period of time:
The education of the conscience is a lifelong task. From the earliest
years, it awakens the child to the knowledge and practice of the interior
law recognized by conscience. Prudent education teaches virtue; it
prevents or cures fear, selfshness and pride, resentment arising from
guilt, and feelings of complacency, born of human weakness and faults.
98
94 Formation of conscience in regard to chastity serves to provide a positive
integration of sexuality in the personality of the child, so he or she can have the strength
of character and freedom to fulfll the vocation to true love while avoiding distorted
concepts of love, which seek to justify sins against chastity.
The Third Pillar: Sacrifcial Love
95 God created man and woman in His own image and this image, is refected
perfectly in Christs total self-giving, sacrifcial love for the Church. In each persons
conscience, the Fathers voice urges us to love sacrifcially after the example of Christ,
who, through His scourging at the pillar and along the way of the cross, showed us that
inordinate self-love must die if we are to truly live our Fathers plan for love in purity.
26 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
99
St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, ...the beginning of every sin would seem to be that which causes all sins.
Now this is inordinate self-love, which, according to Augustine, builds up the city of Babylon. Therefore self-love
and not pride is the beginning of sin. He then clarifes by saying, In desiring to excel, man loves himself, for to love
oneself is the same as to desire some good for oneself. Consequently, it amounts to the same whether we reckon
pride or self-love as the beginning of every evil. Summa Theologica, Question 84, Article 2, Obj.3.
100
Cf. CCC, 398.
101
TMHS, 5.
102
He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. LK 2:51.
Inordinate Self-Love : Overcoming Selfshness
96 St. Thomas Aquinas took up St. Augustines analysis of pride as the root of all
sin and concluded that inordinate self-love can also be considered the beginning of
every evil.
99
The defnition of inordinate is excessive, unrestrained feelings or behavior;
disorderly. Inordinate self-love involves a disordered choice, rooted in pride, to prefer
ones own will over Gods will.
100
In short, it is selfshness.
97 To see frst-hand the effects of inordinate self-love, simply watch a two-year-old
boy react to another child who picks up one of his toys. Usually there is a ruckus, pulling,
shoving, crying, and the fnal exclamation, Its mine!!! Then mom or dad intervenes
to restore order by teaching the young children about sharing. The formation process
of either teaching, disciplining, or punishing the child eventually helps him to choose
sacrifcial love over inordinate self-love.
98 The ability to love chastely depends upon self-mastery and dying to selfsh love
in all areas of life, beginning in the earliest years, since Chastity cannot exist as a virtue
without the capacity to renounce self, to make sacrifces and to wait.
101
When parents
immediately cater to an undisciplined childs selfsh demands, they spoil and cripple his
ability to love others. Sadly, such a child becomes an irresponsible adult accountable
for nothing, yet feels entitled to use everyone and everything to fulfll his own selfsh
needs. Inordinate self-love truly is the beginning of every evil, but sacrifcial love is the
beginning of everything good.
Imitation of Jesus: The Model for Sacrifcial Love
99 Jesus Christs total self-giving, sacrifcial love for the Church is the model of
sacrifcial love that a husband and wife are called to imitate. And in Jesus obedience to
Joseph and Mary, children fnd a model of sacrifcial love for their parents.
102
In family
formation in love, sacrifcial love is the essential component, if one is to learn to live
chastely. Jesus, the Master of sacrifcial love, invites parents and children to choose His
S5
Building a House: Seven Pillars for Chastity Formation 27
103
[24-28] A readiness to follow Jesus, even to giving up ones life for him, is the condition for true
discipleship; this will be repaid by him at the fnal judgment.
104
[24] Deny himself: to deny someone is to disown him (see Matthew 10:33; 26:34-35) and to deny oneself
is to disown oneself as the center of ones existence.
105
Mt 16:24.
106
Cf. CCC, 2342.
107
Cf. TMHS, 41-43.
108
Cf. CCC, 2223.
way:
103
Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
104
take up his cross, and
follow me.
105

The Fourth Pillar: Apprenticeship in Self-Mastery
100 Chastity formation involves extensive training or, what the Church calls, an
apprenticeship in self-mastery. This vocational training is truly a lifelong task but
requires a more intense effort during childhood and adolescence when the personality is
being formed.
106
101 In a traditional apprenticeship, a youthful learner is entrusted to an adult master
so the young person can receive formal instruction in a trade with the goal of becoming
an independent master. As with any trade, instruction is passed on over a period of many
years by words but even more so by the silent observation and imitation of the example
of the master.
102 Chastity formation is an apprenticeship in the correct use of ones sexuality, and
God the Father has called parents to be the master teachers of their children within the
workshop or school of the home. The Church insists that there is no substitute for
parents training their own children on how to integrate sexuality within their personality,
so that they can master love in marriage or virginity.
107
Leading and Teaching by Example
103 By learning about Catholic moral teachings on marriage, sexuality, and family
life, and in practicing conjugal chastity, parents are better able and qualifed to train
their children in chastity and love. Nazareth is the model home school and workshop,
where Jesus, as an apprentice to Joseph and Mary, acquired mastery in pure love with
the help of his parents example, teaching, prayer, and daily work. Since the home is
well suited for education in the virtues, parents must frst create an environment within
the home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fdelity and disinterested service are
the rule and teach their children to subordinate their human inclinations to the spiritual
dimensions of life.
108

S41-
S43
28 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
109
TMHS, 16.
110
CCCC, 378.
111
CCC, 2341.
112
Cf. Ibid., 1809.
One Cannot Give What One Does Not Possess
104 Parents must teach their children to master their passions, desires, and selfshness
which is crucial to learning how to live chaste and holy lives. The Church explains why
an apprenticeship in self-discipline and self-mastery is so essential to love:
Insofar as it entails sincere self-giving, it is obvious that growth in love is
helped by that discipline of the feelings, passions and emotions which
leads us to self-mastery. One cannot give what one does not possess. If
the person is not master of self -- through the virtues and, in a concrete
way, through chastity -- he or she lacks that self-possession which makes
self-giving possible. Chastity is the spiritual power which frees love
from selfshness and aggression. To the degree that a person weakens
chastity, his or her love becomes more and more selfsh, that is, satisfying
a desire for pleasure and no longer self-giving.
109
The Fifth Pillar: Acquiring Virtues
105 The virtues essential for living a holy and chaste life are acquired over time
through education, effort, sacrifce, prayer, and frequent reception of the sacraments.
On the supernatural level, the three theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity are
gifts infused by the Father into the souls of His children so they can act as His sons and
daughters. On the natural level, the four cardinal or human virtues of prudence, justice,
fortitude, and temperance are acquired through effort. They are habitual and stable
perfections of intellect and will that govern our actions, order our passions, and guide our
conduct according to reason and faith.
110
In daily acts of virtue, the heart is widened in
its capacity to receive divine love and produces the fruits of peace, joy, and love in our
relationships with others.
The Virtue of Chastity
106 The virtue of chastity comes under the cardinal virtue of temperance, which seeks
to permeate the passions and appetites of the senses with reason.
111
In the formation of a
child to live a chaste life, his character must develop through the practice of temperance
by asserting reason over the passions and appetites, by moderating the attraction of
pleasures, by using created goods with balance, and by keeping desires within the limits
of what is honorable.
112

S16
Building a House: Seven Pillars for Chastity Formation 29
113
Cf. Gal 5:22.
114
CCC, 2345; Cf. 1 Jn 3:3.
115
Cf. Ibid., 2337.
116
Ibid., 2346.
117
Ibid., 2339; Cf. Sir 1:22.
118
CCCC, 490. Asceticism is the practice of ascesis or penance, mortifcation, and self-denial to achieve
self-mastery and foster perfection by embracing the way of the cross. Cf. CCC, Glossary.
119
TMHS, 68.
107 While chastity is a moral or human virtue acquired through effort, it is also a gift
from God, a grace, a fruit of spiritual effort.
113
The Holy Spirit enables one whom the
water of Baptism has regenerated to imitate the purity of Christ.
114
Chastity and holiness
are holistic and lead to a healthy expression of sexuality in ones mind, body, and spirit,
bringing integration and wholeness to the inner unity of body and spirit.
115

Acquiring the Virtue of Chastity Leads to the Ability to Love
108 Chastity formation is about healthy personality development through acquiring
virtues and integrity in ones behavior and character, so that one can love in truth and
freedom. Charity is the form of all the virtues. Under its infuence, chastity appears as a
school of the gift of the person. Self-mastery is ordered to the gift of self. Chastity leads
him, who practices it, to become a witness to his neighbor of Gods fdelity and loving
kindness.
116
109 Couples want to be happy in marriage and their children to be blessed with
happiness in love. Contrary to popular opinion, this doesnt just happen through chance
or luck. Happiness in love is the result of formation in chastity and acquiring virtues.
Everyone has a choice, the wide or the narrow road, and the alternative is clear: either
man governs his passions and fnds peace, or he lets himself be dominated by them and
becomes unhappy.
117
In order to be faithful in love and resist temptations, constant
effort is required by using the means God has provided: the grace of God, the help of
the sacraments, prayer, self-knowledge, the practice of an asceticism adapted to various
situations, the exercise of the moral virtues, especially the virtue of temperance which
seeks to have the passions guided by reason.
118
The Sixth Pillar: The Vocation to Holiness
110 Chastity formation is ordered so that parents and children can fulfll their vocation
to love and holiness. Only a person who knows how to be chaste will know how to love
in marriage and virginity.
119
Obedience and right order in relationships, the formation
of conscience, sacrifcial love, the apprenticeship in self-mastery, and the acquiring of
virtues are all meant to lead to holiness, which is perfect and pure love in action.
S68
30 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
120
Cf. Vatican Council II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium (LG), 39.
121
Mt. 5:48; (2) Cfr. Origenes, Comm. Rom. 7, 7: PG 14, 1122 B. Ps.- Macarius, De Oratione, 11: PG 34,
861 AB. S. Thomas, Summa Theol. II-II, q. 184, a. 3.
122
Cf. Mc. 12, 30.
123
LG, 40; Cf. Jn. 13:34; 15:12.
124
Cf. TMHS, 8.
125
Ibid., 26.
126
Ibid., 22.
A Universal Call
111 God the Father speaks within the heart of each person calling them to holiness.
Vatican II said that, since the Church is the body and bride of Christ, every member of
her must be pure and holy.
120
Married couples, in particular, must refect this supernatural
union of love, along with priests, religious, and single men and women who love in
virginal purity.
112 Everyone is called to love as Christ loves, so husbands, wives, parents, children,
priests, and religious might live as true sons and daughters of one family of God the
Father. Jesus preached holiness of life to each and everyone of His disciples of every
condition...
121
Indeed He sent the Holy Spirit upon all men that He might move them
inwardly to love God with their whole heart and their whole soul, with all their mind and
all their strength
122
and that they might love each other as Christ loves them.
123
113 The call to holiness is a call to love, friendship, and communion with God and
with all of our brothers and sisters; the call to holiness is universal and is therefore the
fundamental and innate vocation of every human being.
124
We are called to love within
the family and as a family of our heavenly Father.
The Familys Role in Fostering Vocations
114 As a domestic church, the family carries out a decisive role in cultivating and
developing all vocations.
125
Chastity formation in the family is necessary for both
parents and children so that all family members can better understand and discover
their own vocation to marriage or to consecrated virginity for the sake of the Kingdom
of Heaven.
126
115 Healthy marriages and families formed in the truth of human sexuality will bear
fruit in vocations to the priesthood and religious life:
S8
S26
S22
Building a House: Seven Pillars for Chastity Formation 31
127
Ibid., 34.
128
Ibid., 30.
129
Ibid., 27.
130
FC, 37.
131
TMHS, 35.
When marriage is not esteemed, neither can consecrated virginity or
celibacy exist; when human sexuality is not regarded as a great value
given by the Creator, the renunciation of it for the sake of the kingdom
of heaven loses its meaning. A lack of vocations follows from the
breakdown of the family, yet where parents are generous in welcoming
life, children will be more likely to be generous when it comes to the
question of offering themselves to God.
127
The Vocation to Marriage
116 Sexuality is not only very good, but holy, and Christian marriage is a sacrament
whereby sexuality is integrated into a path to holiness.
128
Chastity formation for true
love is always the best preparation for the vocation to marriage. In the family, children
and young people can learn to live human sexuality within the solid context of Christian
life. They can gradually discover that a stable Christian marriage cannot be regarded
as a matter of convenience or mere sexual attraction. By the fact that it is a vocation,
marriage must involve a carefully considered choice, a mutual commitment before God
and the constant seeking of his help in prayer.
129
The Vocation to Virginity or Celibacy for the Kingdom
117 No greater gift is possible than to give totally and without reserve ones self, body
and soul, to another in pure love, so the Church tells parents they must devote special
attention and care to education in virginity or celibacy as the supreme form of that self-
giving that constitutes the very meaning of human sexuality.
130
118 Parents should rejoice and be generous in supporting children who show signs
of a higher vocation of virginity or celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom and adapt
formation for chaste love to the needs of those children, encouraging them on their own
path up to the time of entering the seminary or house of formation, or until this specifc
call to self-giving with an undivided heart matures. They must respect and appreciate the
freedom of each of their children, encouraging their personal vocation and without trying
to impose a pre-determined vocation on them.
131
S34
S30
S27
S35
32 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
132
John Paul II, Address to participants in a Family Ministry Convention sponsored by the Italian Episcopal
Conference (April 28, 1990), 3 and 4; LOsservatore Romano, English Edition (May 7, 1990), 34.
133
Cf. CCC, 2232.
134
Cf. Lk 14:26; Mk 10:28-31.
135
CCC, 1618; Cf. Rev 14:4; 1 Cor 7:32; Mt 25:6.
136
Ibid., 1619; Mt 19:12.
137
Ibid., 2347.
138
Cf. 1 Tim 4:3-9; 2 Tim 2:22.
139
Cf. 1 Thess 4:7; Col 3:5; Eph 4:19.
140
Cf. CCC, 2518; Cf. Titus 1:15; 1 Tim 1:3-4; 2 Tim 2:23-26.
119 Christian revelation presents the two vocations to love: marriage and virginity,
both of which involve a total and joyful gift of self. Through chastity formation, parents
help children realize their life is a gift of God, a gift which can express itself in matrimony,
in consecrated virginity, in self-dedication to ones neighbor towards an ideal, or in the
choice of priestly ministry.
132

Holiness: The Souls Spousal Union with Christ
120 The Catechism reminds us that the marriage bond and family ties are important
but in the end not absolute.
133
The one marriage that lasts forever is the souls union
with God. Jesus Christ is the bridegroom of our souls, and this bond with him takes
precedence over all other bonds, familial or social.
134
From the very beginning of the
Church there have been men and women who have renounced the great good of marriage
to follow the Lamb wherever he goes, to be intent on the things of the Lord, to seek to
please him, and to go out to meet the Bridegroom who is coming.
135
Virgins for the sake
of the kingdom are a living sign of the supremacy of the bond with Christ and of the
ardent expectation of his return, a sign which also recalls that marriage is a reality of this
present age which is passing away.
136
The Seventh Pillar: The Goal of Eternal Life
121 Chastity formation in this life really has only one goal: to taste the promise of
heaven on earth now and to be prepared to enjoy eternal life where, in the beatifc vision,
we will see God face to face. Chastity increases faith, hope, and charity in this life and
is a promise of immortality in the next.
137
122 Purity of heart is the precondition of the vision of God, and the pure of heart are
those who are holy through being charitable,
138
chaste,
139
and orthodox in the faith.
140

Eternal life depends on maintaining purity in heart, mind, body, and soul.
Building a House: Seven Pillars for Chastity Formation 33
123 With the innocence of children, we pray daily for our Fathers heavenly kingdom
to come; and in purity as the bride of Christ, we plead with love that Jesus consummate
the marriage union of heaven and earth: The Spirit and the bride
141
say, Come. Let
the hearer say, Come...
142
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
143

124 St. Johns vision of the wedding feast of the Lamb in Revelation is an
encouragement to choose the blessed way of chastity and a warning to reject the wicked
way of impurity since this choice has eternal consequences:
Then the angel said to me, Write this: Blessed
144
are those who have
been called to the wedding feast of the Lamb. ...
145
Then I saw a new
heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had
passed away, and the sea was no more. I also saw the holy city, a
new Jerusalem,
146
coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a
bride adorned for her husband. ...The one who sat on the throne
147
said,
Behold, I make all things new ...
148
I (am) the Alpha and the Omega,
the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give a gift from the spring
of life-giving water. The victor
149
will inherit these gifts, and I shall be
his God, and he will be my son. But as for cowards,
150
the unfaithful,
the depraved, murderers, the unchaste, sorcerers, idol-worshipers, and
deceivers of every sort, their lot is in the burning pool of fre and sulfur,
which is the second death.
151

125 Because of the power of sin and the possibility of eternal separation from God
for the unchaste, it is absolutely necessary to provide married couples and children with
a solid chastity formation program built on the foundation of Gods plan for human
sexuality. The wise will build their homes on the rock foundation of Gods plan for love.
141
[17] Bride: the church; see the note on Rev 21:2.
142
[20] Come, Lord Jesus: a liturgical refrain, similar to the Aramaic expression Marana tha--Our Lord,
come!--in 1 Cor 16:22; cf. the note there. It was a prayer for the coming of Christ in glory at the parousia; see the
note on Rev 1:3.
143
Rev. 22:17, 20.
144
[9] Blessed: see the note on Rev 1:3.
145
[21:1-22:5] A description of Gods eternal kingdom in heaven under the symbols of a new heaven and a
new earth; cf Isaiah 65:17-25; 66:22; Matthew 19:28.
146
[2] New Jerusalem . . . bride: symbol of the church (Gal 4:26); see the note on Rev 19:7.
147
[5] The one . . . on the throne: God himself; cf. Rev 4:1-11.
148
[6] They are accomplished: Gods reign has already begun; see the note on Rev 20:1-6. Alpha . . .
Omega: see the note on Rev 1:8. Life-giving water: see the note on Rev 7:17.
149
[7] The victor: over the forces of evil; see the conclusions of the seven letters (Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5,
12, 21). He will be my son: the victorious Christian enjoys divine affliation by adoption (Gal 4:4-7; Romans 8:14-17);
see the note on Rev 2:26-28.
150
[8] Cowards: their conviction is so weak that they deny Christ in time of trial and become traitors. Second
death: see the note on Rev 2:11.
151
Rev 19:9; 21:1-2, 5-8.
34 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
The wise will set in place the seven pillars needed not only to provide a defense from the
relentless attacks of the world, the fesh, and the devil, but also to provide a safe, interior
sanctuary of life within the family where pure life-giving streams can fow from the heart
of love and bear fruit in peace, joy, health, and new life.
Summary Points
126 Obedient faith and trust in God the Fathers plan for marriage and family life, as
taught by the Catholic Church, is the frst of seven pillars of a solid family home.
127 Formation of conscience, in imitation of the Father means parents form the
consciences of their children by a daily, heart-to-heart, personal, and individualized
dialogue of love, prayer, and instruction.
128 Sacrifcial love, in imitation of Christs example of self-giving love on the cross,
practiced by parents and children alike, helps the family to overcome inordinate self-
love.
129 An apprenticeship in self-mastery means parents are the master teachers and
children the apprentices, as they learn self-mastery of love in the school of the home.
130 Acquiring virtues means parents help children to act with pure love as true sons
and daughters of the Father through education, effort, sacrifce, prayer, and frequent
reception of the sacraments.
131 The vocation to holiness is a call for parents to holiness in marital love, to serve as
a fertile seedbed in which vocations to marriage and virginity are cultivated and grown.
132 Eternal life is ultimate goal of chastity formation within the family since only the
pure of heart will be able to enter the heavenly wedding feast of the Lamb.
Making a House a Home: Welcoming and Protecting Life 35
Chapter Three
Making a House a Home:
Welcoming and Protecting Life
133 Once the foundation, walls, and entire structure of a family house is frmly
established on the pillars of Catholic truth and wisdom, it is time to make the house a
home. For a house to be a home, it is necessary that it be welcoming, hospitable, open
to life, stable, safe, and warm with affection and love. Both father and mother must have
the most profound reverence for the sanctity of life and its transmission in the sanctuary
of the womb, as they cooperate with God in love and in the creation of human life.
Welcoming a Child as a Gift from God
134 Our Father revealed His plan for the love of husband and wife at the beginning
of creation, that it be pure, holy, and fertile in the very image and likeness of God. He
was intimately involved in the conception of life as Eve, after relations with Adam, said,
I have produced a man with the help of the LORD.
152
The moment of conception was
raised to an entirely new level when God became a child, a tiny embryo, in the womb of
the Virgin Mary. Refecting on this mystery, the Church affrms Gods intimate concern
for life from the moment of conception and that every child be conceived in pure love,
carried to birth, and received as a gift from heaven.
135 The sanctity of each childs life is so highly regarded that Our Lord lifted up a
child and said: Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom
of heaven.
153
And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.
154

And after speaking of Gods plan for marriage and warning about divorce, Jesus looked
with compassion at the children around him and said: Let the children come to me; do
not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these...Then he embraced
them and blessed them, placing his hands on them.
155
Jesus teaches us that children are
indeed a blessing from God the Father, and that each child is to be embraced with love
and blessed by their father and mother just as He was by Joseph and Mary.
152
Gen 4:1.
153
[5] Cf. Matthew 10:40.
154
Mt 18:5.
155
Mk 10:14, 16.
36 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
156
Letter to Families, 11.
157
Cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction Dignitas Personae, On Certain Biological
Questions (Sept 8, 2008); 7,8.
158
Mt 18:6.
159
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction on Respect for Human Life in its Origin and On the
Dignity of Procreation (Feb. 22, 1987); A 2, B 8.
136 Pope John Paul II wrote: The process from conception and growth in the
mothers womb to birth makes it possible to create a space within which the new creature
can be revealed as a gift: indeed this is what it is from the very beginning. Could this
frail and helpless being, totally dependent upon its parents and completely entrusted to
them, be seen in any other way? The newborn child gives itself to its parents by the very
fact of its coming into existence. Its existence is already a gift, the frst gift of the Creator
to the creature.
156
The Rights and Dignity of Children
137 Every child is a gift from heaven, and the frst task of a father and mother is to
create a space to receive this gift worthily. Creating a space to receive a child as a gift
of God means not only a concern for chastity within their marriage, but also creating a
holy, pure, and healthy home as a sanctuary of life, where the Spirit of Love can dwell.
To this end, all that is impure, profane, unhealthy, sinful and evil is cast out.
138 Mothers can look to the Virgin Mary to learn how to prepare a suitable place to
receive a child as a gift of God. With Gods grace, Mary preserved her body as a pure,
holy vessel and a temple of God, and, within that temple, her womb was the holiest of
places, a tabernacle and a sanctuary, where the gift of God was welcome. Fathers can
look to St. Joseph who revered and protected his spouse as a holy temple of God and
sought to provide a home and sanctuary worthy of the sacred dignity of both mother and
child.
139 The Church teaches that human life is sacred from the moment of conception
because each child is created in the image of God and is therefore holy.
157
As a gift
of heaven, each child is endowed with fundamental God-given rights which must be
respected. Christ admonished everyone to respect the dignity of each child: Whoever
causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have
a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
158
140 Pope Benedict XVI, before he became pope, wrote that every child has the right
to be conceived, carried in the womb, brought into the world and brought up within
marriage, and to be the fruit of the specifc act of the conjugal love of his parents.
159

Making a House a Home: Welcoming and Protecting Life 37
160
GS, 50.
161
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction on Respect for Human Life in its Origin and On the
Dignity of Procreation (Feb. 22, 1987); B 8.
162
Cf. Benedict XVI, Address at the World Meeting of Families, Valencia, Spain (July 8, 2006).
In other words, every child has a right to be conceived through the sexual love of a man
and woman within a marriage that is valid in the eyes of God and the Catholic Church.
141 Contraception violates a childs basic right to life as God may desire to bless
marital love with the conception of a child, but the parents take action to prevent it.
Likewise, conceiving a child outside of marriage, or in a factory or laboratory dish by
the technological power of man, as in in-vitro fertilization, is also a grave violation of
the right of the child. In short, a child has a right to have a father and mother who live
chastity in marriage.
142 Before he became Pope, Cardinal Ratzinger also pointed out that there can be no
legitimate claim that any person has a right to a child: A true and proper right to a
child would be contrary to the childs dignity and nature. The child is not an object to
which one has a right, nor can he be considered as an object of ownership: rather, a
child is a gift, the supreme gift
160
and the most gratuitous gift of marriage, and is a
living testimony of the mutual giving of his parents.
161
143 In vigorously defending and promoting Catholic teaching on family life as the
model for all families of the world, Pope Benedict XVI recently said that every child has
a right to come to know God the Father through the Catholic faith within a family home
modeled after the Holy Family of Nazareth.
162
Since every aspect of daily life in the Holy
Family was devoted to growth in holiness, parents must also orient daily family life to
promote the spiritual health, safety, and education of their children. A childs right to
grow in holiness and chastity is respected in establishing a home atmosphere where pure
love, family prayer, and formation in holiness are the daily rule.
Protecting a Childs Innocence
144 Parents are responsible for protecting the innocence of their children in regard
to what they see, hear, and experience, especially in the media and schools, which are
heavily invested in extremely harmful programs aimed at infuencing and forming what
children think about sexuality beginning in the preschool years. Parents must be on
guard against the many voices trying to get their childrens attention in order to form
their thinking about sex, especially when they entrust their childrens education to other
people or institutions. Discussions about sexuality are often initiated under the guise of
nice sounding subjects like education, health, family life, or safety. This vigilance is
also important within the home, as many violations of a childs innocence occur in what
38 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
163
TMHS, 83.
164
Ibid., 84.
165
Ibid., 85.
166
Educational Guidance in Human Love, Congregation for Catholic Education (Nov. 1, 1983), 107.
children are allowed to see on television, in the movies, and on the internet and in what
they hear in music on CDs and on the radio.
145 The reason the Church instructs parents to protect their pre-pubescent children
from planned and determined attempts to impose sexual information on children is
that premature information outside of the context of a parents love and guidance in
morality tends to shatter their emotional and educational development and to disturb the
natural serenity of this period of life. It also violates the spiritual, moral and emotional
development of growing persons who have a right to their innocence.
163
146 Even when parents follow the guidelines of the Church for controlling and
eliminating harmful infuences, children are still vulnerable to premature information
about sex from peers who have been led astray or received premature sex education.
To protect their children and correct immoral and erroneous information they may have
heard or learned, parents will have to begin to give carefully limited sexual information
to their children, according to the gravity of the situation and the state of their individual
development.
164
147 Parents are irreplaceable in providing training to protect their children from
sexual abuse by frst teaching them a form of modesty and reserve with regards to
strangers, but without going into details and particulars that might upset or frighten
them.
165
Recent statistics show a higher risk of sexual abuse when the integrity of the
natural family is compromised by cohabitation and divorce. Statistics also reveal that
abuse can occur within the family circle or with other trusted people and that it is not just
perpetrated by strangers. More information can be found on sexual abuse prevention in
Chapter Ten.
Stability and Warmth in Marriage and Family Life
148 The mission of parents is not just to procreate but to also educate their children in
love and provide a family atmosphere for healthy personality development. Parents are
frst in line in accountability for fulflling and defending the right of each of their children
to receive a complete education in holiness as a child of God through an educative
process, protected by love and trust, proper to the family environment.
166

S83
S84
S85
Making a House a Home: Welcoming and Protecting Life 39
149 Parents, and anyone interested in the dignity of children and a peaceful future for
them, must be concerned, frst and foremost, with the stability and sanctity of marriage
and family life. Without question, divorce is the most destructive plague in the breakdown
of the family. The Catechism teaches: Divorce is immoral also because it introduces
disorder into the family and into society. This disorder brings grave harm to the deserted
spouse, to children traumatized by the separation of their parents and often torn between
them, and because of its contagious effect which makes it truly a plague on society.
167
150 Pope John Paul II pointed out that the most serious obstacle to peace and security
in the world is when children are deprived of the warmth of a family and neglected by
parents who divorce or who are taken up with other interests. When the center of a
childs soul is empty from a lack of affection and the warmth of a family, his or her sexual
and personal development often takes a tragic turn. Responsible fathers and mothers
and strong families are the only hope for our children in building a peaceful society for
themselves and future generations.
168
151 The beginning of responsible fatherhood and motherhood, and the making of
a house into a loving home environment, is the affectionate and generous spirit of a
husband and wife who are always open to the conception of life as a blessing and a gift
from God. In the presence of holy and chaste self-giving love, children are well-formed
and cared for in body and spirit, and they absorb and learn the truth about love naturally
and in accord with Gods plan. Parents are called to serve God in the transmission of
life, physical and spiritual, not only in procreation but in the education of their children
in love:
167
CCC, 2385.
168
Cf. John Paul II, Message for the XXVII World Day of Peace (Dec 8, 1993), 4.
169
Cf. Educational Guidance in Human Love, 3.
170
CCC, 1653; Cf. FC, 28.
The fruitfulness of conjugal love extends to the fruits of the moral, spiritual,
and supernatural life that parents hand on to their children by education.
Parents are the principal and frst educators of their children.
169
In this
sense the fundamental task of marriage and family is to be at the service
of life.
170
40 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
Summary Points
152 In marital love, husband and wife are deeply united in the mystery of Gods love
and in the creation of human life. Each child is a gift of God to be received with love.
153 Human life is sacred and therefore every child has a right to be conceived through
an act of marital love within the womb, to be carried to birth, and to be brought up in a
stable marriage and family home.
154 Within and outside the family home, parents must be vigilant in protecting the
innocence of their children to prevent physical, spiritual, and emotional violations of
chastity which can seriously harm a childs personality for life.
155 Parents are irreplaceable in the education and formation of their children in love
and have a duty to control information presented to them by the media, schools, and other
family members.
156 Everyone concerned about the dignity and health of children must be concerned,
frst and foremost, with the stability and sanctity of marriage and family life.
157 A peaceful society is the result of children being raised within a responsible,
stable, warm, and loving marriage and family, open to life and built upon Gods plan for
love.
The School of the Home: Gods Plan for Education in the Family 41
S48
S41
171
Cf. FC, 36.
172
TMHS, 48.
173
Ibid., 41.
Chapter Four
The School of the Home:
Gods Plan for Education in the Family
Parents on a Mission from God
158 God gave parents the mission of procreating and educating their children in love.
Parental love comes directly from the heart of God the Father, and therefore the Church
teaches that parental love must be the source, inspiration, norm, guide, and model for all
educational activity both within and outside the family.
171
This also means that, in the
absence of parental love, educational activity loses its original meaning, purpose, and, as
it were, its very soul.
159 The Church is very clear in its message that fathers and mothers educating their
children in the family home is the normal and preeminent method of Catholic education,
since it is a vocation and mission given to them by God: The family environment is
thus the normal and usual place for forming children and young people to consolidate
and exercise the virtues of charity, temperance, fortitude and chastity. As the domestic
church, the family is the school of the richest humanity.
172
160 Unfortunately, modern methods of education and even procreation are being car-
ried out in the absence of parental love, and this situation has been accepted as normal by
many people. Gods plan and truth must once again be proclaimed as the norm, simply
stated, that the family home and parental love are just as indispensable in procreation
as they are in the education of children. The Church teaches that a father and mothers
mission in education is intimately connected to their chaste love in the transmission of
human life, and that they have an inalienable right and duty to teach their children. This
responsibility cannot be entirely delegated to or usurped by others, except in the case of
physical or psychological impossibility.
173

161 God has commissioned and equipped parents with unique and special graces they
alone possess, so they can have great confdence in their ability to educate their children
42 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
in love. They are rich in an educative potential which no one else possesses. In a unique
way they know their own children; they know them in their unrepeatable identity and by
experience they possess the secrets and the resources of true love.
174
Motherly and Fatherly Love in the Early Years of Life
162 A common misconception about chastity formation is that it should begin
at puberty when young boys and girls begin to mature physically, emotionally, and
psychologically. However, the Church is in agreement with modern science that the
most infuential years of chastity formation begin in infancy and early childhood, and
perhaps also during the prenatal stage, because childrens deep emotional patterns are
established in these phases.
175

163 Deep emotional patterns are ingrained within a child during these early years as
they absorb the affection given to them and deeply internalize the emotional climate that
prevails between the mother and father and within the home. Since a childs identity
is determined in large part by how he is loved, it is particularly important to have both
parents physically providing reassuring affection to one another and to the child.
176

164 Of course, no marriage or home is perfect, and most children will experience, in
varying degrees, some lack of affection because of the physical absence of a parent or
a lack of serenity in the home for various reasons. Depending on the severity, this can
cause emotional and affective disturbances in children which can seriously upset their
adolescence and sometimes mark them for life.
177
165 The best way to prevent privations and imbalances of affection between a husband
and wife and a parent and child is for a loving husband to support the presence of a
mother in the heart of the home. This also provides an example of love for children to
follow:
A mother who values her maternal vocation and her place in the home
greatly helps develop the qualities of femininity and motherhood in her
daughters, and sets a clear, strong and noble example of womanhood
for her sons. A father, whose behaviour is inspired by masculine dignity
without machismo, will be an attractive model for his sons, and inspire
respect, admiration and security in his daughters.
178
S7
S50
S50
S51
S59
174
Ibid., 7.
175
Ibid., 50.
176
Ibid., 50
.
177
TMHS, 51. Defnition of affective: expressions of affection, love, feelings and emotions.
178
Ibid., 59.
The School of the Home: Gods Plan for Education in the Family 43
S51
S52
179
Ibid., 51.
180
Ibid., 52.
166 An atmosphere of affection, security, and trust will open the hearts of parents to
one another and to their children and foster loving communication or dialogue within
the family. This dialogue is the very heart of chastity formation. Dialogue means that
parents respect their children as a gift of God, be present and available to them, and place
themselves at the childs level so, eye to eye, they can speak and listen to one another
in love. Career-oriented parents, in particular, must realize that their children are more
important than work, entertainment, and social position. By being available and ready
to listen, they will help their children channel their anxieties and aspirations correctly,
reason and refect with greater wisdom.
179
167 The parents presence and example of affection, serenity, and loving dialogue
will help children be better disposed to live the moral truths they see practiced in their
parents life. Knowing they are loved, and seeing their parents love for one another,
children will have a serenity and confdence that overcomes all fear. Love strengthens
and refnes the intellect, the will, and the emotions, making it easier to reject everything
that could degrade or devalue the gift of human sexuality.
180
Home Education in Modesty and Moral Virtue
168 St. Maria Goretti is a modern example of a child well-formed in chastity by her
parents. Maria was exceptionally well-trained in virtue at home by her mother. Although
Marias mother had no formal education, her maternal way of teaching was flled with
love and the grace of God. Maria learned and practiced all the virtues essential for
preserving and protecting the holiness of her body as a temple of the Holy Spirit, even
to the point of dying rather than sinning. At twelve, a young man tried to rape her, but
she resisted saying, No, no, its a sin! Enraged, the young man stabbed her repeatedly.
On her death bed, Maria forgave her attacker hoping he might one day get to heaven.
Years later, he did repent, her mother forgave him, and together they attended Marias
canonization as a saint and virgin martyr.
169 Marias mother may not have been able to read Church documents, but, by grace,
she carried out Church teaching in an exemplary manner and is an excellent role model
for parents in training a child in modesty within the home.
170 St. Maria Gorettis attacker was a young man exposed to pornography at an early
age in the early 1900s. When he repented of his actions and refected on his early life, he
44 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
S49
S55
S58
S60
181
Ibid., 49.
182
Ibid., 55.
183
Ibid., 58.
184
Cf. Ibid., 60.
clearly saw that exposure to pornography was a primary cause of his moral deterioration,
which led to the attempted rape and murder of an innocent girl. Most young people today
are inundated with much worse material on a daily basis, often within the family home.
With moral deterioration everywhere, the Church urges parents not to just avoid evil, but
to go on the offensive and be proactive by providing a positive education in virtue, self-
control, and sacrifce:
Aware of this and of the real diffculties that exist for young people in
many countries today, especially when social and moral deterioration is
present, parents are urged to dare to ask for more and to propose more.
They cannot be satisfed with avoiding the worst that their children do
not take drugs or commit crimes. They will have to be committed to
educating them in the true values of the person, renewed by the virtues of
faith, hope and love: the values of freedom, responsibility, fatherhood and
motherhood, service, professional work, solidarity, honesty, art, sport, the
joy of knowing they are children of God, hence brothers and sisters of all
human beings, etc.
181
171 Chastity is rooted in self-control, which is gained by the exercise of such virtues
as modesty, temperance, and respect for self and neighbor.
182
Practicing self-control,
while at the same time redirecting energy to acts of virtue and self-giving love, helps a
child to live in an orderly way, to make personal sacrifces in a spirit of love for God,
self-respect, and generosity towards others, without stifing feelings and tendencies, but
channeling them into a virtuous life.
183
172 A spirit of self-sacrifce for others must be lived out within the home to overcome
the culture of self-indulgence and the spirit of the world which promotes materialism,
consumerism, individualism, hedonism, and selfshness. The Church asserts that parents
need to educate their children with a correct attitude of freedom with regard to material
goods by adopting a simple and austere life-style and by teaching that a person is more
precious for what he is than for what he has through acts of service to the poor and those
in most need.
184
The School of the Home: Gods Plan for Education in the Family 45
S56
S56
S57
185
Ibid., 56.
186
Ibid., 56.
187
Ibid., 57.
173 Chastity and modesty take root in a home dedicated to reverence for the sacred
dignity of the human body:
The practice of decency and modesty in speech, action and dress is very
important for creating an atmosphere suitable for the growth of chastity,
but this must be well motivated by respect for ones own body and the
dignity of others. Parents, as we have said, should be watchful so that
certain immoral fashions and attitudes do not violate the integrity of the
home, especially through misuse of the mass media... because ...there
are many shows and publications abounding in all sorts of violence with
a kind of bombardment of messages that undermine moral principles.
185
174 Impurity in many forms invades the family home, and the Church admonishes
parents not to abandon their watchfulness and responsibility to protect and educate their
children: Evasion of this duty is made easy by the presence of television and of printed
materials in the home. These occupy the time for children and young people. ...Another
circumstance that facilitates this is the fact that both parents are busy with their work,
in and outside the home. There is the duty...to protect the young from the aggressions
they are subjected to by the media. May no one shirk from this duty by using the excuse
that he or she is not involved. Parents as recipients must actively ensure the moderate,
critical, watchful and prudent use of the media.
186
175 Chastity is formed well in a home with a deep respect for personal privacy,
particularly in regard to the body and sexual development. From the time of infancy,
privacy of the body should be respected within the home, teaching that our most intimate
selves must be veiled and treasured as sacred. In this way, a young person will learn
that his or her body is a sacred gift of God, a temple of the Holy Spirit, to be preserved
in virginity until it is unveiled only and exclusively to ones spouse in marriage. The
Church says: Respect for privacy must be considered in close connection with decency
and modesty, which spontaneously defend a person who refuses to be considered and
treated like an object of pleasure instead of being respected and loved for himself or
herself. If children or young people see that their legitimate privacy is respected, then
they will know that they are expected to show the same attitude towards others.
187
46 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
S53
S54
S113
Establishing Healthy Relationships
176 Chastity formation in the family will not be successful by only using negative
reprimands and the threat of negative punishments. The Church states that parents must
be proactive in helping their children, with a lot of positive encouragement, to love others
in purity as brothers and sisters of our one Father: Children, adolescents and young
people should be taught how to enter into healthy relationships with God, with their
parents, their brothers and sisters, with their companions of the same or the opposite sex,
and with adults.
188
177 Healthy relationships require careful cultivation and an ability to manage ones
emotions and feelings. Children will develop healthy friendships when parents invest,
as the Church asks, in an education of ones spirit, ones sensitivity, and ones feelings.
The attitude toward other persons depends largely on the way spontaneous feelings
toward them are handled, the way some feelings are cultivated and others are controlled.
Chastity as a virtue is never reduced to merely being able to perform acts conformed to a
norm of external behaviour. Chastity requires activating and developing the dynamisms
of nature and grace.
189
With the grace of God, parents and children together can build
up one another in love and radiate this love in building up pure and holy relationships
outside the home.
The Importance of Family Associations to Assist Parents
178 In their mission to educate their children within the home, parents are encouraged
and free to unite together to form or join Catholic associations
190
with parents of like
mind to support one another in living the Catholic faith and to foster chastity in marriage
and family life. Sharing personal experiences, forming friendships, developing chastity
formation aids, and helping to educate other parents to fulfll their rights and duties in
forming their children in purity and holiness are an important part of building up a culture
of life and civilization of love.
179 Forming or joining Catholic associations of parents is a viable means to both
defend the family against damaging forms of sex education and to promote true Catholic
chastity formation assistance to other parents to give them confdence and support in
educating their children: Frequently parents are not lacking in awareness and effort,
but they are quite alone, defenceless and often made to feel they are wrong. They need
understanding, but also support and help by groups, associations and institutions....
191

188
Ibid., 53.
189
Ibid., 54.
190
Cf. Code of Canon Law, 298, 299.
191
TMHS, 113.
The School of the Home: Gods Plan for Education in the Family 47
Therefore, it is recommended that parents associate with other parents, not only in
order to protect, maintain or fll out their own role as primary educators of their children,
especially in the area of education for love, but also to fght against damaging forms of
sex education and to ensure that their children will be educated according to Christian
principles and in a way that is consonant with their personal development.
192
180 Within the Church community, the path of one family cultivating chastity
formation will naturally intersect and join together with the path of other families who
are on the same road to our heavenly Father. Family associations are an important part of
Gods plan for education since just as Chastity represents an eminently personal task; it
also involves a cultural effort.
193
Catholic associations of families, which assist parents
in carrying out their mission in Gods plan for education within the family, are at the
forefront of building up a new culture of life and serve to illuminate the path to holiness
that God is calling all families to walk.
181 The Catholic Church is the family of God, and its evangelical witness is dependent
in large part on the vitality of its individual households or families who strive to live the
faith in the midst of an often alien and hostile world.
194
The Church is clear that family
associations are the most effective way to promote, support, protect, and defend authentic
Catholic teaching on marriage and family life; and these associations should be active in
every parish:
The parish should be a family of families, helping in every way possible
to nourish the spiritual life of parents and children through prayer, the word
of God, the sacraments, and the witness of holiness and charity. Bishops
and priests should be eager to help and encourage families in every way,
and should give their support to groups and associations which promote
family life. While it is important that the local Church respond to the
needs of people in problem situations, pastoral planning should also give
adequate attention to the needs of ordinary families seeking to live up to
their vocation. These families are the backbone of society and the hope
of the Church: the principal promoters of Christian family life are couples
and families themselves, who have a special responsibility to be servants
of other couples and families.
195
182 In 1981, Pope John Paul II called bishops, priests, and parents to establish and
promote family associations at the parish level as the most effective way to provide
S114
192
Ibid., 114.
193
CCC, 2344.
194
Cf. Ibid., 1655.
195
Address of John Paul II to the Bishops of the Church in the States of Minnesota, North Dakota and South
Dakota (USA) on their Ad Limina visit (June 6, 1998), 5.
48 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
pastoral care directly to families and children: Animated by a true apostolic spirit, this
assistance from family to family will constitute one of the simplest, most effective and
most accessible means for transmitting from one to another those Christian values which
are both the starting point and goal of all pastoral care.
196
183 The Pontifcal Council for the Family said: Families joined together in the
parishes, institutions and different forms of association, help create a social atmosphere
in which responsible love will be healthy.
197
Family associations, which are faithful to
Catholic teaching on sexuality, help parents provide chastity formation within the home,
help couples prepare for marriage, and help families establish social relationships rooted
in honorable courtship and marriage.
184 Parents and families in associations powerfully assist one another in successfully
defending and carrying out their mission, rights, and duties in the area of chastity
formation:
In fulflling a ministry of love to their own children, parents should enjoy
the support and cooperation of the other members of the Church. The
rights of parents must be recognized, protected and maintained, not
only to ensure solid formation of children and young people, but also
to guarantee the right order of cooperation and collaboration between
parents and those who can help them in their task. Likewise, in parishes
or apostolates, clergy and religious should support and encourage
parents in striving to form their own child.
198
185 Gods plan for education in human sexuality is that it take place within the family.
Education in sexuality involves the delicate and intimate core of a childs personality;
therefore, parents cannot be replaced in their mission of carefully cultivating a right
understanding and expression of sexuality in their children. To accomplish this goal,
parents will fnd it necessary to band together, not only to create a wider culture of life
and chaste love, but also to take up arms against associations and organizations which
work against them and their children:
S148
196
FC, 69.
197
Pontifcal Council for the Family, Preparation for the Sacrament of Marriage (May 13, 1996), 31.
198
TMHS, 148.
The School of the Home: Gods Plan for Education in the Family 49
In the face of what hedonistic groups propose, especially in affuent
societies, it is very important to present young people with the ideals of
human and Christian solidarity and concrete ways of being committed in
Church associations, movements and voluntary Catholic and missionary
activities.
199

It is recommended that parents associate with other parents, not only in
order to protect, maintain or fll out their own role as the primary educators
of their children, especially in the area of education for love, but also to
fght against damaging forms of sex education and to ensure that their
children will be educated according to Christian principles and in a way
that is consonant with their personal development.
200
186 Family associations, especially associations of family prayer, will support parents
in living and defending the Catholic faith within the family and enable these families to
be a beacon of light and hope in the midst of a culture of impurity and death. Associations
at the parish level will help parents, and those called to marriage, to fulfll their mission
of responsible procreation and education within the home, according to the teachings of
the Church.
187 The blessings and benefts of participating in family associations are many.
Families united together in the true faith create a wholesome environment, positive
socialization, and offer better role models for their children. Children and young people
will be provided with a better peer infuence, so that chaste friendships, honorable
courtship, and holy marriages can develop.
188 Family associations help parents to be more vigilant, communicate with one
another, and take concerted action regarding the use of mass media in their homes, schools,
and communities as well as fnd strength in numbers to take action in defense of purity.
Parents can organize to protect and defend their rights and duties as primary educators
within educational institutions and fght against destructive forms of sex education.
189 Most importantly, family associations help parents fulfll their mission of love,
to lead their spouse and family to holiness and eternal life with God. Especially at the
parish level, family associations help all family members deepen their participation in the
sacramental, liturgical, and devotional prayer life of the Church enabling them to grow in
grace and in the supernatural virtues of faith, hope, and charity.
S106
S45
199
Ibid., 106.
200
Ibid., 45.
50 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
Summary Points
190 Gods plan for education is the school of the home, and He established
parental love as the source, inspiration, norm, guide, and model for all educational
activity within and outside the family.
191 The parents God-given mission of education is intimately connected to their
chaste love in the transmission of human life, and so the responsibility to educate their
children in love cannot be entirely delegated to or usurped by others, except in the case
of physical or psychological impossibility.
192 The most infuential years of chastity formation begin in infancy and early
childhood, and even during the prenatal stage, since deep emotional patterns are
established in the personality of the child during these years.
193 A father and mothers affectionate love and presence in the home creates an
atmosphere of security and trust that opens hearts to healthy dialogue within the family.
The parents loving words and example is the heart of chastity formation.
194 Home education in modesty, moral virtue, and self-control underlies chastity.
195 Respect for personal privacy and reverence for the sacredness of the body
teaches children that the most intimate self must be veiled, treasured as a holy gift to be
given only to God or to ones spouse in marriage.
196 Catholic family associations offer parents the assistance of other parents,
families, and friends to develop healthy, chaste relationships and a culture of life.
197 Family associations of prayer and catechesis at the parish level are the most
effective way to provide pastoral care and direct assistance to parents to help them in
their mission as the primary educators of their children.
Daily Family Prayer: The Spiritual Atmosphere of the Home 51
Chapter Five
Daily Family Prayer:
The Spiritual Atmosphere of the Home
Family Prayer in the Home: The Domestic Church
Hence, with parents leading the way by example and family prayer, their
children indeed all within the family circle will fnd it easier to make
progress in natural virtues, in salvation and in holiness. Husband and
wife, raised to the dignity and the responsibility of parenthood, will be
zealous in fulflling their task as educators, especially in the sphere of
religious education, a task that is primarily their own.
198
198 The above quote from Vatican II is from a document type called a pastoral
constitution and therefore defnes an absolute truth as to what constitutes a healthy
and complete family according to Gods design for life. Like a tree that consists of
three essential elements, roots, trunk, and branches, there are three interrelated elements
necessary for a family to become what it is. If one, two, or all three constitutive elements
are missing or underdeveloped, the family will suffer from a lack of what is essential for
life and will wither or even die.
199 The three elements that constitute a family in the above quote include: (1) the
parents living a chaste, exclusive, indissoluble, and holy marriage in which their love
is always open to life in obedience to the Catholic truth; (2) parents leading the way in
establishing daily family prayer which creates a pure and holy home atmosphere; and (3)
parents zealously fulflling their vocation as the primary educators of their children so
they can fulfll their vocation to love in chastity. The elements of a holy marriage and
parents as primary educators have been covered previously. This section will focus on
establishing daily family prayer in order to create a pure atmosphere in which chastity
formation can be carried out:
198
Vatican Council II, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes, n.48; translation from The Liturgy of the Hours,
Volume 4, (New York, NY: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1976), 1563.
52 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
In this atmosphere of prayer and awareness of the presence and father-
hood of God, the truths of faith and morals should be taught, understood
and deeply studied with reverence, and the Word of God should be read
and lived with love. In this way Christs truth will build up a family com-
munity based on the example and guidance of parents who penetrate
the innermost depths of their childrens hearts and leave an impression
that the future events in their lives will not be able to efface.
199

200 God created the family to be a domestic church, a church of the home, and like
a church, without prayer, the family would cease to be what it is. Vatican II said: This
mission -- to be the frst and vital cell of society -- the family has received from God. It
will fulfll this mission if it appears as the domestic sanctuary of the Church by reason
of the mutual affection of its members and the prayer that they offer to God in common,
if the whole family makes itself a part of the liturgical worship of the Church, and if it
provides active hospitality and promotes justice and other good works for the service of
all the brethren in need.
200
However, if the element of common prayer were missing,
the family would lack its very character as a domestic church.
201

201 A family begins with marriage, and marriage begins on bended knee in prayer, at
the altar, in the presence of God who is Love. Family prayer fows from and returns back
to its source and summit, which is the married couples prayer together in the presence of
Jesus, especially in the Eucharist. Only through prayer will the married couple understand
Gods truth concerning the great mystery of their sexuality and mutual love, and only
through prayer will they obtain the grace to be faithful forever in the procreation and
education of their children. A couples prayer unites their hearts to the heart of Jesus, and
from this union will fow a pure stream of love and affection between spouses, parents
and children, brothers and sisters. So, with parents leading the way by example and
family prayer, their children -- indeed all within the family circle -- will fnd it easier to
make progress in natural virtues, in salvation and in holiness.
202

202 The Catechism explains that the family is a domestic church, and the Church is
essentially one large family of smaller families of God the Father, whole households
being converted
203
and transformed into little churches:
S63
199
TMHS, 63.
200
Second Vatican Council, Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity (Nov. 18, 1965), 11.
201
Pope Paul VI, Apostolic Exhortation, Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary (Feb. 2, 1974), 52.
202
GS, 48.
203
Cf. Acts 16:31; Acts 11:14.
Daily Family Prayer: The Spiritual Atmosphere of the Home 53
204
Cf. Ibid., 18:8.
205
LG 11; cf. FC 21.
206
Ibid., 11.
207
Ibid., 10.
208
GS 52 1.
209
CCC, 1655-1657.
Christ chose to be born and grow up in the bosom of the holy family of
Joseph and Mary. The Church is nothing other than the family of God.
From the beginning, the core of the Church was often constituted by
those who had become believers together with all [their] household.
204

...These families who became believers were islands of Christian life in
an unbelieving world.
In our own time, in a world often alien and even hostile to faith, believing
families are of primary importance as centers of living, radiant faith. For
this reason the Second Vatican Council, using an ancient expression,
calls the family the Ecclesia domestica.
205
It is in the bosom of the family
that parents are by word and example...the frst heralds of the faith with
regard to their children. They should encourage them in the vocation
which is proper to each child, fostering with special care any religious
vocation.
206
It is here that the father of the family, the mother, children, and all members
of the family exercise the priesthood of the baptized in a privileged way
by the reception of the sacraments, prayer and thanksgiving, the witness
of a holy life, and self-denial and active charity.
207
Thus the home is the
frst school of Christian life and a school for human enrichment.
208
Here
one learns endurance and the joy of work, fraternal love, generous --
even repeated -- forgiveness, and above all divine worship in prayer and
the offering of ones life.
209
203 In a local church, the bishop and priest are called, as a father, to teach, govern,
and sanctify the family of God. So also, in a domestic church, the father is the priest of
the home whose primary purpose is to spiritually guide his family, as a good shepherd
cares for his sheep, by offering his entire life as a sacrifce of love. A father is responsible
for teaching, governing, and sanctifying his family, leading them in a daily sacrifce of
prayer, and into a deeper and more active participation in the sacramental, devotional,
and liturgical prayer life of the Church. Following Christ, bishops, priests, husbands, and
fathers are called to unceasing prayer and total self-sacrifce in order to attain the goal of
holiness for their family.
54 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
Family Prayer in the Church
204 All prayer in the Church is essentially family prayer. The Catholic Church is the
spouse of Jesus and a mother whose children form one family of God the Father. Mary is
the model of the Church as a mother. The mother encourages her children to pray to and
talk with our Father, not only in our rooms individually, but together as a family within
His house. When the followers of Jesus asked how they should pray, He taught them to
pray together as a family and begin with the words, Our Father... As one family and
children of one mother, the Church, we are related by spiritual ties that bind us together
closer than blood relations. Jesus said, whoever does the will of God is my brother and
sister and mother.
210

205 Family prayer leads us to acts of familial and affectionate love towards one
another with great reverence and purity, as befts the relations of parents and children
and brothers and sisters. In his First Letter to Timothy,
211
St. Paul wrote that we must
respect an older man and appeal to him as a father. Treat younger men as brothers, older
women as mothers, and younger women as sisters with complete purity
212
and greet
one another with a holy kiss,
213
or a holy embrace, which manifests the chaste affection
proper to a family.
206 Daily family prayer creates deep bonds of pure love and affection on the spiritual,
psychological, emotional, and physical level. But the opposite is also true. If a family
does not pray daily from the heart and does not embrace one another with pure and
affectionate love, its members are deprived of the deep spiritual and emotional bonds of
chaste love. Starved for affection, family members can become insecure, emotionally
needy, and vulnerable to attachments that are physically addictive, abusive, sinful, and
erode respect for self and others.
207 The Holy Family is the ultimate model for family prayer. In addition, the daily
family prayer of the early Church is given as an ideal model that each domestic church
210
Mk 3:35.
211
[1-16] After a few words of general advice based on common sense (1 Tim 5:1-2), the letter takes up, in
its several aspects, the subject of widows. The frst responsibility for their care belongs to the family circle, not to the
Christian community as such (1 Tim 5:3-4, 16). The widow left without the aid of relatives may beneft the community
by her prayer, and the community should consider her material sustenance its responsibility (1 Tim 5:5-8). Widows
who wish to work directly for the Christian community should not be accepted unless they are well beyond the
probability of marriage, i.e., 60 years of age, married only once, and with a reputation for good works (1 Tim 5:9-10).
Younger widows are apt to be troublesome and should be encouraged to remarry (1 Tim 5:11-15).
212
1 Tm. 5:1-2.
213
Rom. 16:16.
Daily Family Prayer: The Spiritual Atmosphere of the Home 55
family can follow. Always in communion with Mary and St. Peter, the Book of Acts
says of the Catholic family of God that every day: They devoted themselves to the
teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the
prayers, and they had all things in common,
214
and devoted themselves to meeting
together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes. They ate their meals
with exultation and sincerity of heart.
215
208 This model can apply to the daily life of the domestic church as well. With
mother Mary present in the heart of each home, the familys devotion to the teaching
of the apostles means daily obedience to the offcial teachings of the Pope and Bishops
united with him. The communal life is the familys unconditional sharing of spiritual
and material goods; the breaking of the bread is the familys daily participation in the
Sacrifce of the Mass; the prayers are the familys daily participation in liturgical and
devotional prayer throughout the hours of the day; meeting in the Temple area is the
familys daily study of the Scripture and the Catechism; and eating their meals with
exultation and sincerity of heart is the familys daily meal together.
Elements of Daily Family Prayer
209 Daily family prayer in the home is designed to foster a deeper participation in
the daily liturgical, devotional, and sacramental prayer life of the Church in order to
open our hearts to our heavenly Father: An important purpose of the prayer of the
domestic church is to serve as the natural introduction for the children to the liturgical
prayer of the whole Church, both in the sense of preparing for it and of extending it into
personal, family and social life.
216
And in family prayer the basic notions of the faith
are communicated and hearts are opened to the Fatherhood of God.
217
Liturgical Prayer
210 The most effcacious and highest form of daily family prayer is participation in
the liturgical worship of the Eucharist, which begins with the Sacrifce of the Mass and
214
[42-47] The frst of three summary passages (along with Acts 4:32-37; 5:12-16) that outline, somewhat
idyllically, the chief characteristics of the Jerusalem community: adherence to the teachings of the Twelve and the
centering of its religious life in the eucharistic liturgy (Acts 2:42); a system of distribution of goods that led wealthier
Christians to sell their possessions when the needs of the communitys poor required it (Acts 2:44 and the note in
Acts 4:32-37); and continued attendance at the temple, since in this initial stage there was little or no thought of any
dividing line between Christianity and Judaism (Acts 2:46).
215
Cf. Acts 2:42-46.
216
Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation, On the Family (Nov. 22, 1981), 61.
217
Pontifcal Council for the Family, Symposium of the College of Cardinals, Intervention by Cardinal Alfonso
Lopez Trujillo, The Family in the Pontifcate of John Paul II (October 18, 2003), 1.
56 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
continues throughout the day in the Liturgy of the Hours (Divine Offce)
218
and Eucharistic
Adoration. If a family is not able to participate in daily Mass, they could visit and adore
Our Lord in the Eucharist, make an act of spiritual communion, or recite the Morning
and/or Evening Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours. Participation in the liturgy allows
families to share in the infnite fruits of the Sacrifce of Christ and, at the same time, helps
parents and children practice making sacrifces in order to share the fruits.
211 After daily Mass, the early Catholic Church family shared a meal together with
exultation and sincerity of heart and this meal was considered a sacred event which
extended the fruits of the Mass into the familys social life. Families today need to
envision their daily dinner together as a sacred event. Like the daily Mass in a church,
the family dinner is the key to the physical, spiritual, and emotional health of family
members because it creates a deep communion of hearts. Opening and closing with
prayer, the family dinner binds everyone together in love and joy uniting the family at an
increasingly deeper level physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Recent secular studies
on chastity among young people reveal one common factor that predicted the ability to
remain chaste or not, and that was whether or not they ate a daily family meal together.
219

Devotional Prayer
212 Daily family prayer also includes the devotional prayer life of the Church, and
some practices are expressly recommended such as: reading and meditation of the Word
of God, preparation for the reception of the Sacraments, devotion and consecration to the
Sacred Heart of Jesus, the various forms of veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary, grace
before and after meals and observance of popular devotions.
220
213 The time-honored tradition of praying the family Rosary after dinner is especially
recommended as there is no doubt that, after the celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours,
the high point which family prayer can reach, the Rosary should be considered as one of
the best and most effcacious prayers in common that the Christian family is invited to
recite.
221
The hour after dinner is often prime time for television in many families, and
many families are devoted to their favorite programs. But if a family is serious about
becoming chaste and holy, then this prime time should be devoted to contemplation of
the mysteries of the Rosary rather than absorbing irreverent and unholy images from the
television:
218
CCCC, 243. The Liturgy of the Hours, which is the public and common prayer of the Church, is the prayer
of Christ with his body, the Church. Through the Liturgy of the Hours, the mystery of Christ, which we celebrate in the
Eucharist, sanctifes and transforms the whole of each day. It is composed mainly of psalms, other biblical texts, and
readings from the Fathers and spiritual masters.
219
The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University Study, The
Importance of Family Dinners II; Time Magazine, The Magic of the Family Meal (June 4, 2006).
220
On the Family, 61.
221
Pope Paul VI, Apostolic Exhortation, Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary (Feb. 2, 1974), 54.
Daily Family Prayer: The Spiritual Atmosphere of the Home 57
Many of the problems facing contemporary families, especially in
economically developed societies, result from their increasing diffculty
in communicating. Families seldom manage to come together, and the
rare occasions when they do are often taken up with watching television.
To return to the recitation of the family Rosary means flling daily life with
very different images, images of the mystery of salvation: the image of
the Redeemer, the image of his most Blessed Mother. The family that
recites the Rosary together reproduces something of the atmosphere of
the household of Nazareth: its members place Jesus at the centre, they
share his joys and sorrows, they place their needs and their plans in his
hands, they draw from him the hope and the strength to go on.
222
214 Another element of family devotional prayer involves transforming the home into
a sacred place conducive to prayer. A home altar with a crucifx, Bible, vigil candles,
statues, or blessed images is a great help. Playing music and singing together; blessing and
praying for one another; using holy water; consecration to the hearts of Jesus and Mary;
wearing a scapular; praying with the saints and for the souls in purgatory; refections
and sharing of personal memories of the spouses, grandparents, ancestors, and children;
and praying for future spouses and children, yet to be born, all create a holy atmosphere.
Devotions like the Angelus, the Way of the Cross, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and
others, which refect the various hours of the day, holy days, and seasons of the Church
year, all bring the real presence of God into the hearts of all within the family home.
The Sacramental Life and Prayer
215 Marriage is a sacrament, not just on the wedding day, but is a prayerful offering
of every moment of every day in the life of the couple and their family. And parents
are the irreplaceable primary educators, on a daily basis, with regard to preparing their
children for the reception of all the sacraments: Baptism, Reconciliation, Eucharist,
Confrmation, Marriage, Holy Orders, and the Anointing of the Sick.
216 Family preparation for, and frequent participation in, the Sacraments of
Reconciliation and the Eucharist are the two most important elements of daily family
prayer. There is no family that does not know how selfshness, discord, tension and
confict violently attack and at times mortally wound its own communion: Hence there
arises the many and varied forms of division in family life. But, at the same time, every
family is called by the God of peace to have the joyous and renewing experience of
reconciliation, that is communion re-established.
223

222
Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae (October 16, 2002), 41.
223
On the Family, 21.
58 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
217 Pope John Paul II also said that the family is in fact a community of generations
and that everyone should be present during prayer: the living and those who have died,
and also those yet to come into the world. In this communion of saints, families should
pray for the good of each person and the family as a whole and thus strengthen and fortify
their common good.
224
218 Christ spent only three years of his earthly mission in active public service, but
30 years within the family home at Nazareth, teaching us by example that every hidden
event of sacramental marriage and daily family life can be sanctifed and an occasion for
formation and prayer:
This life of faith and Family prayer has for its very own object family life
itself, which in all its varying circumstances is seen as a call from God
and lived as a flial response to his call. Joys and sorrows, hopes and
disappointments, births and birthday celebrations, wedding anniversaries
of the parents, departures, separations and home-comings, important
and far-reaching decisions, the death of those who are dear, etc. all of
these mark Gods loving intervention in the familys history. They should
be seen as suitable moments for thanksgiving, for petition, for trusting
abandonment of the family into the hands of their common Father in
heaven.
225
Overcoming Obstacles to Family Prayer
219 Often, it is precisely over parents requiring daily participation in family prayer
and the family dinner that conficts arise. As Pope Paul VI observed, We are well aware
that the changed conditions of life today do not make family gatherings easy, and that
even when such a gathering is possible many circumstances make it diffcult to turn it
in to an occasion of prayer. There is no doubt of the diffculty. But it is characteristic
of the Christian in his manner of life not to give in to circumstances but to overcome
them, not to succumb but to make an effort. Families which want to live in full measure
the vocation and spirituality proper to the Christian family must therefore devote all
their energies to overcoming the pressures that hinder family gatherings and prayer in
common.
226
224
Cf. John Paul II, Letter to Families (Feb. 2, 1994), 10.
225
TMHS, 62.
226
Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, 54.
S62
Daily Family Prayer: The Spiritual Atmosphere of the Home 59
The Deep Need to Communicate
220 Creating a holy atmosphere of prayer that permeates the daily events of family
life will make the home a sanctuary and a safe and loving environment in which the
personal dialogue of love between parent and child can be carried out after the pattern of
a heart-to-heart conversation between our Father and His children. Children yearn for
the love, affection, blessing, attention, and communication from their father and mother,
and many conficts can be traced to this need not being flled. Family prayer flls the need
for both natural and supernatural love and communication.
221 Family prayer in the home is united to family prayer in the parish because it
brings about a union of hearts around the home altar and table as an extension of the
union of hearts in the Eucharist around the parish altar and table of the Lord. To unite
our hearts in the Eucharist is to communicate, and this communication establishes
the deepest physical, emotional, and spiritual bond that we can experience. Therefore,
around the family table and home altar, in sharing a meal and prayer, family members
communicate and unite their hearts and souls as one in the deepest bonds of love and
affection. Families that pray and eat together stay together, if they truly communicate
with one another from the heart and build up bonds of trust, affection, joy, and laughter
that unite the family emotionally, spiritually, and physically with one another and with
God the Father.
222 Many times, opposition to daily family prayer is presented in the form of another
pastime or more proftable activity that parents and children could be doing, like sports,
spending time with friends, work, and charitable activities or service. Martha had a
sister named Mary (who) sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.
227
Martha,
burdened with much serving, came to him and said, Lord, do you not care that my sister
has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me. The Lord said to her in
reply, Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.

There is need of
only one thing.
228
Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.
229

Prayerful communication with and adoration of Jesus is truly the one and only thing that
every family member needs on a daily basis, and all other things are secondary.
227
[39] Sat beside the Lord at his feet: it is remarkable for frst-century Palestinian Judaism that a woman
would assume the posture of a disciple at the masters feet (see also Luke 8:35; Acts 22:3), and it reveals a
characteristic attitude of Jesus toward women in this gospel (see Luke 8:2-3).
228
[42] There is need of only one thing: some ancient versions read, there is need of few things; another
important, although probably inferior, reading found in some manuscripts is, there is need of few things, or of one.
229
Lk 10:38-42.
60 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
The Need to Make Sacrifces
223 Today, it seems as if our world has lost its moral compass. Immorality permeates
our world culture undermining the virtue of chastity. Yet, even with constant vigilance,
exposure to various forms of immorality throughout the day is impossible to avoid
because it is so pervasive and accessible, always threatening to violate the innocence of
children and destroy families.
224 The only sure way to protect families from this evil, is frst and foremost, to
pursue a life of holiness every day by truly living our Catholic faith, participating in
the sacramental life of the Church, and praying together as a family. In fact, daily
family prayer, along with authentic chastity formation, is so important that together
they constitute the antidote for the free-fall destruction of the family and are the two
primary building blocks for the universal healing and restoration of families and the new
springtime in the Catholic Church.
225 Daily family prayer in the home does require sacrifce. Some things will have to
be given up, not just the bad, but even what are considered good things, and it will require
time and effort. The decision to pray together every day as family does require an initial
sacrifce that may appear insurmountable at frst, but, with perseverance, the sacrifce will
bear fruit in great joy upon seeing your family grow in virtue, holiness, and love.
Dispelling the Argument, I Just Dont Have Time
226 Some people will argue that there is not enough time or that there are too many
activities going on to pray together daily as family. Not true. A simple example can clear
up this misunderstanding or way of reasoning. Think about a day that was so demanding
you could not have done one more thing. Now, revisit that day, only this time picture
your husband, wife, mother, father, or child being hit by a car. Would you clear your
schedule to help them? Certainly. So it really is not about having enough time, or having
too many activities; it is about priorities. If something is important to you, you will make
time to do it if someone is important to you, you will make time to be with them.
Daily Family Prayer: Creating an Atmosphere for
Chastity Formation
227 Hopefully, you were brought up in a family that prayed together every day. If so,
you likely continued this tradition with your special friend during courtship, engagement,
and the early years of marriage. Your children would automatically see this daily prayer
routine as normal, and, hopefully when they were ready to leave home, they would carry
on this tradition with their children.
Daily Family Prayer: The Spiritual Atmosphere of the Home 61
Start Today Not Tomorrow!
228 If that is not the case, the next best time to start daily family prayer is right now!
It makes no difference whether you are young or old, single or married. Make daily
family prayer the norm within your home, with your special friend during courtship and
engagement, and pray together as a couple and family throughout your married life.
229 Parents who place a high value on daily family prayer will train their children to
respect family prayer as a sacred time by being on time and properly disposed to pray.
Eventually, children will come to know why it is so important to pray together every
day; together, parents and children will learn to protect family prayer time from outside
pressures by making it their highest mutual priority. Decisions about participating in
outside sports and extracurricular activities will then be easier to make because everyone
will fnd ways to protect family prayer time from outside distractions and infuences.
Making Time for Prayer
230 A good frst step is to turn the television OFF and devote a half-hour or hour to
prayer. Most television programs, including commercials, promote immorality and sinful
living, which directly undermines parental efforts to foster purity and holiness in their
children. Permitting this immorality to violate the home will destroy family values, erode
the opportunities for quality family time, increase the breakdown in communications
between parents and children, and completely undermine the entire process of chastity
formation. If there are quality programs that you feel would be of value to the children,
but they interfere with family prayer, simply record the show for viewing at another time.
231 The next step is to prioritize and organize all other activities around prayer time.
A parent has the duty to train their children to live chastely and consequently has to make
the fnal decision to either honor Gods plan for life by developing chastity and holiness,
or permit other activities, as positive as many of them are, to rule and affect the life of the
family. Even necessary activities, like homework or chores, can be rescheduled so as not
to interfere with daily prayer.
232 Getting the whole family involved in the planning process and in leading prayer
means children and young people will take ownership of and interest in prayer time,
and they will grow in virtue by choosing to sacrifce other good things for the sake of
the family and for God. Expect every member of the family to be there on time and
be prepared to pray. In the simple daily exercise of commitment to family prayer, all
seven pillars essential to chastity formation are developed: obedient faith, the formation
of conscience, sacrifcial love, an apprenticeship in self-mastery, acquiring virtues, the
vocation to holiness, and the goal of eternal life.
62 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
Creating a Space for Prayer
233 Creating a center of prayer within the home can be quite easy. Simply choose
an area that refects an attitude of prayerfulness: a room in the house or a small table in a
room where blessed objects called sacramentals
230
can be displayed such as a crucifx,
statues, holy pictures, or candles. Once adorned, the area takes on a special signifcance
as being a place of honor in the home that will become synonymous with prayer and
holiness and can be a place where family members go to pray during times of diffculty.
Choosing the Prayers
234 You decide what daily family prayers to use and what the allotted time will be.
The Church recommended possibilities are almost limitless. Praying the family Rosary is
highly recommended and is the easiest and one of the most powerful prayers for families
to pray. Each mystery provides a visual image and teaching opportunity on matters of
the Faith and living the Gospel. Pope John Paul II said of the Rosary, The Holy Rosary,
by age-old tradition, has shown itself particularly effective as a prayer which brings the
family together. Individual family members, in turning their eyes towards Jesus, also
regain the ability to look one another in the eye, to communicate, to show solidarity, to
forgive one another and to see their covenant of love renewed in the Spirit of God.
231
235 Other options for daily family prayer in the home could include the many other
forms mentioned previously: praying either the Morning or Evening Prayer of the Liturgy
of the Hours, reading the Bible, praying for one another, singing favorite hymns, learning
about the lives of the saints, teaching children the Catechism, or just taking time to talk
about faith matters that are important to you and your children and arise in daily life.
With the Rosary as an anchor, you can vary other forms of prayer each day and according
to the Church calendar, in order to help keep it more interesting over the long run.
Praying Together With Other Families
236 Families need daily prayer together in the home and also need to pray together
with other families. Family prayer supports chastity formation, and praying together
with other families at home and at the parish provides mutual support in building up a
chaste culture of life. Because the family is at the center of a universal and supernatural
230
Blessed by a priest, items become sacramentals which are sacred signs (CCC, 1667) that provide grace
and sanctify different circumstances of life (CCC, 1677) such as doing good and avoiding evil; remitting venial sins;
and providing spiritual and physical protection. Some examples of sacramentals are holy water, oil, salt, medals,
candles, holy pictures, crucifxes, religious statues, the Rosary, and veneration of relics of saints. (Cf. CCC, 1674).
231
Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 41.
Daily Family Prayer: The Spiritual Atmosphere of the Home 63
battle between good and evil, life and death, love and all that is opposed to love, there is
an urgent need to join together in prayer to protect and defend Gods plan for holiness in
marriage and family life.
237 Pope John Paul II said that, because of the enormous disparity between the pow-
erful resources available to the forces promoting the culture of death and the means at
the disposal of those working for a culture of life and love,
232
prayer must become a
dominant element in the Church, prayer by the family, prayer for the family, and prayer
with the family.
233
238 An easy way to support families praying together would be to form a weekly
Family Prayer Night Devotion.
234
You can begin by inviting friends, family, and parish
members to form a core group of volunteers to help organize and start Family Prayer Night
at your parish. The simple beauty of praying the Rosary as a family during Eucharistic
Adoration also makes it very easy to start.
239 The form of Family Prayer Night can be modifed to include cultural customs,
local family traditions and forms of Eucharistic worship, Marian devotion, and family
prayer that are approved by the Church. The aim is to be united as one universal family
in our devotion and heartfelt love for Jesus in the Eucharist and Mary in the Rosary, while
manifesting this love in many beautiful and unique ways, which express the particular
cultural traditions of families, races, and nations. At the parish level, Family Prayer
Night then desires to foster and support daily prayer in the heart of every family home.
Rebuilding the Domestic Church
240 The future of the world depends upon the family, and the family depends upon
parents being supported by the larger Church family so each family can fulfll its mission
and vocation as the vital cell of society. Having witnessed the sufferings of so many
families, we believe that Jesus is calling to us from the cross as he did to St. Francis, but,
in our time, the mission and the mandate is to Rebuild My domestic church, for it is
falling into ruins. This mission begins with family prayer.
241 Pope John Paul II devoted his life and pontifcate to proclaiming Gods plan for
marriage and the family founded upon family prayer and chastity. He recognized the
forces aligned against the family and confdently pointed out the way to victory in the
232
Evangelium Vitae, 100.
233
Letter to Families, 4.
234
For more information on this devotion see www.FamilyPrayerNight.org
64 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
battle for the family and a culture of life. Formation in chastity and daily family prayer
are the means to transform the spiritual atmosphere of every home and to bring about the
victory of life over the culture of death:
Unfortunately various programmes backed by very powerful resources
nowadays seem to aim at the breakdown of the family. At times it
appears that concerted efforts are being made to present as normal and
attractive, and even to glamorize, situations which are in fact irregular.
Indeed, they contradict the truth and love which should inspire and
guide relationships between men and women, thus causing tensions and
divisions in families, with grave consequences particularly for children.
The moral conscience becomes darkened; what is true, good and beautiful
is deformed; and freedom is replaced by what is actually enslavement.
It is apparent then...how indispensable is the witness of all families who
live their vocation day by day; how urgent it is for families to pray and
for that prayer to increase and to spread throughout the world.... What
Christ tells us, in this particular moment of history, constitutes a forceful
call to a great prayer with families and for families. The Virgin Mother
invites us to unite ourselves through this prayer to the sentiments of her
Son, who loves each and every family.
235
Summary Points
242 An indispensable element of a parents mission is to lead daily family prayer and
create a healthy, spiritual atmosphere within the home.
243 Every family home is a domestic church, and all members carry out the priesthood
of the baptized in a daily offering of spiritual sacrifces, charitable acts, family prayer,
and active participation in the liturgical worship and sacramental life of the Church.
244 Daily family prayer creates deep bonds of pure love and affection on the
spiritual, psychological, emotional, and physical level, strengthening chaste, holy love
relationships.
245 The Holy Family and the early Church are models of daily family prayer.
246 The highest form of daily family prayer is participation in the liturgical worship
of the Eucharist in the Sacrifce of the Mass, the Liturgy of the Hours, and Adoration of
the Blessed Sacrament. Family prayer leads to and fows from the Eucharist.
235
Letter to Families, 5.
Daily Family Prayer: The Spiritual Atmosphere of the Home 65
247 Of the great variety of Church-approved devotional prayers, the most highly
recommended and effcacious devotional prayer is the daily family Rosary.
248 To live in full measure the vocation and spirituality of the family, all energy must
be devoted to overcoming the societal pressures that hinder family gatherings and prayer.
249 Family members must make sacrifces for the common good of daily family
prayer which establishes a deeper communion of love within the family and with God.
250 Families praying together with other families during the Sacrifce of the Mass
and by praying the Rosary together during Eucharistic Adoration at the parish level will
restore, build up, and renew in holy love every member of the Catholic Church family
worldwide.
66 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
The Language of Love: Seven Catholic Principles to Guide Parents 67
S65
236
Cf. TMHS, 65.
Chapter Six
The Language of Love:
Seven Catholic Principles to Guide Parents
in Teaching their Children about Sexuality
251 Each child is a gift of God created in His image and entrusted to a father and
mother who cooperate with Gods parental love by gradually forming and educating
each child so as to develop his or her unique personality and vocation in life. If parents
build up their marriage and home on the foundation and pillars of Catholic teaching, the
sacramental life and daily family prayer, then Gods design for chaste love will have
already been deeply internalized as a child matures. However, parents still have a duty
to provide positive information to each individual child, at the appropriate times, about
Gods plan for sexuality, virginity, and marriage. This loving dialogue over the years
will help each child develop a pure, loving, and healthy personality.
252 The spiritual, biological, emotional, and moral aspects of chastity formation are
so integrated that they can never be separated from one another when a father and mother
present this delicate teaching. In The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality: Guidelines
for Education Within the Family, the Church has provided seven general principles that
must be observed when information about sexuality is presented to children and young
people.
Principle One: Parents Must Provide Individual
Formation in a Personalized Dialogue
253 Teaching children about the mysteries of human life and sexuality is best
communicated by a parent gradually as the child matures. Since parents know and
understand the uniqueness of their children, they will also know when each child is
physically, emotionally, and spiritually ready to begin receiving this information.
236
68 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
254 Parents can approach these delicate discussions with calm assurance and
confdence, particularly if they have cultivated an open, honest, caring, and loving
relationship with the child. In a loving way, mothers can speak with their daughters
and fathers with their sons about the intimate changes taking place in their developing
bodies, while integrating those discussions with the moral principles of chastity and
holiness in the context of marriage or consecrated virginity. Parents speaking about their
own biological and emotional experiences can genuinely help their child integrate this
new information into the ongoing development of their personality in a balanced and
wholesome manner.
237
Principle Two: Parents Must Communicate the Moral
Aspect of Gods Plan for Sexuality
255 God, who is Love, desires that each of His children be chaste in order to experience
and share true love with others. This positive aspect of chastity must be communicated
over and above mere reproofs for unchastity designed to create fear of punishment, disease,
and negative social consequences for the reputation of the young person and family. The
goal is to help the young person be highly motivated and receptive to choosing the moral
good of chastity out of love of God and neighbor rather than solely being motivated to
avoid the moral evil of unchastity out of fear.
238
256 Instinctive genital activity may begin even during the early years of childhood.
While this is normal to some extent, parents should correct any developing habits that
could become sinful later in life by teaching virtue, modesty, and purity according to the
childs ability to comprehend. Correction should always be done in the light of reason
and faith and in a spirit of loving concern, gentleness, and patience while protecting the
dignity of the childs sense of self-worth. Self-mastery of the instinctive passions will be
an ongoing battle at every age more easily won if a child experiences parental love and
compassion rather than severe punishment which might crush their heart.
239
257 Chastity aims to integrate and order the natural bodily passions, so they are subject
to and united to reason and the will. Gods plan for sexuality is to integrate, in a healthy
way, the body and spirit, so that the passion to love is exercised with perfect charity and
purity.
S66-
S67
S68-
S69
S68-
S69
237
Cf. Ibid., 66-67.
238
Cf. Ibid., 68-69.
239
Cf. Ibid., 68-69.
The Language of Love: Seven Catholic Principles to Guide Parents 69
S70
S71
S72
S72
240
Cf. Ibid., 70.
241
Ibid., 71.
242
Cf. Ibid., 72.
243
Cf. Ibid., 72.
Principle Three: Spiritual Formation in Holiness Must
Accompany Biological/Moral Information
258 A childs spiritual life must be cultivated so the bodily changes he or she
experiences can be understood in the light of Gods plan for sexuality. The body is
instrumental to Gods plan for fruitfulness in love whether that vocation to holiness is
lived out in spiritual or physical fatherhood and motherhood. The child and young person
can learn respect for the dignity of the body which God created to be a pure temple of the
Holy Spirit, a vessel for manifesting the love of God and neighbor.
240
259 By discussions with children and young people and by example, parents can teach
and make use of the means necessary to overcome diffculties and grow in love: These
means are discipline of the senses and the mind, watchfulness and prudence in avoiding
occasions of sin, the observance of modesty, moderation in recreation, wholesome
pursuits, assiduous prayer and frequent reception of the Sacraments of Penance and the
Eucharist. Young people especially should foster devotion to the Immaculate Mother of
God.
241
260 Parents can present positive images and models for the child in the use of their
vital energies, developing friendships, patterns of solidarity and service, for example,
learning the lives of the saints. With these examples in mind, children will be able
to critically evaluate the environments, models, and images they encounter; positively
channel their energy; and learn to detach from mass media and potential occasions of
sin.
242
261 Among other things, the food of pornography and impurity, in particular, has
seriously impacted many children leading to deviant behaviors, tendencies, and attitudes.
When parents observe problems of sexual deviance, they should direct their teaching,
correction, and help towards identifcation of the causes rather than directly repressing
the behavior. Trustworthy specialists, doctors, educational experts, and psychologists
can provide information and assistance with these problems.
243
70 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
S73
S74
S75
244
Ibid., 73.
245
Cf. Ibid., 74.
246
Ibid., 75.
262 By word and example, parents help to convince the child that chastity is possible,
brings joy, and is pleasing in Gods eyes. In The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality,
a classic teaching of St. John Chrysostom on chastity and marriage it is noted:
Christ gave laws for everyone.... I do not prohibit you from marrying,
nor am I against your enjoying yourself. I only want you to do this with
temperance, without indecency, guilt and sin. I do not make a law that
you should fee to the mountains and deserts, rather that you should be
good, modest and chaste, as you live in the midst of the cities.
244
263 Gods help in Jesus Christ is never lacking and always present, even until the end
of the world. But both parents and children must make the commitment to respond to and
receive His grace made available, especially in the sacraments. Gods grace and mercy
in the sacraments provide the necessary supernatural help which makes a person capable
of living chastity well. Frequent reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation with a
regular confessor is most helpful, as is spiritual guidance or direction, and the reading of
recommended books of formation in virtue and holiness.
245
Principle Four: Parents Should Provide Age-Appropriate
Information after Prayer and Discussion
264 Clear and delicately provided information at the right moment is the key to
chastity formation:
Parents are well aware that their children must be treated in a personalized
way, according to the personal conditions of their physiological and
psychological development, and taking into due consideration the cultural
environment of life and the adolescents daily experience. In order to
evaluate properly what they should say to each child, it is very important
that parents frst of all seek light from the Lord in prayer and that they
discuss this together so that their words will be neither too explicit nor
too vague. Giving too many details to children is counterproductive. But
delaying the frst information for too long is imprudent, because every
human person has natural curiosity in this regard and, sooner or later,
everyone begins to ask themselves questions, especially in cultures
where too much can be seen, even in public.
246
The Language of Love: Seven Catholic Principles to Guide Parents 71
S76
S122-
S123
S126
S127
247
Cf. TMHS, 76.
248
Cf. Ibid., 122, 123.
249
Cf. Ibid., 126.
250
Cf. Ibid., 127.
265 Information presented should be adapted to the childs stage of development,
whether they are in the age of innocence, puberty, adolescence, or young adulthood.
Direct information about genital sexuality is appropriate in puberty and beyond. In a
small child and in the age of innocence, children are curious about pregnancy and the
birth of a brother or sister. Simple facts about pregnancy can be presented in light of
wonder, awe, and joy at the creative work of God who designed new life to be cared for
in the mothers body, near her heart.
247
Principle Five: The Principle of Doctrine
266 The method and content of the parents dialogue about sexuality must conform
to the doctrinal and moral teaching of the Church, include information about the lasting
effects of original sin, and avoid trivializing the subject. The conscience of each child
must be formed clearly and correctly. Beyond just teaching children to avoid sin, parents
should help them to grow in virtues, in their spiritual life, and to develop the capacity
for self-giving in ones vocation in life.
248
Principle Six: The Principle of Decency and Respect
267 Parents should take special care not to offend a childs right to chastity, modesty,
and sense of privacy. Information should always be positive, prudent, clear and delicate.
The principle of decency and respect in chastity formation means that information about
human sexuality should always be presented in the context of ones vocation to love in
the state of virginity or marriage. Respect for the dignity of Gods design for human
sexuality means no material of an erotic nature should be presented to children or young
people of any age.
249
Other methods that abuse sex education like dramatizations, role
playing, or drawings, depictions, and oral or written exams about genital or erotic matters
must be avoided.
250
Principle Seven: The Principle of Love
268 The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality: Guidelines for Education Within
the Family concludes with one fundamental principle for chastity formation: Much of
the formation in the home is indirect, incarnated in a loving and tender atmosphere, for
72 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
it arises from the presence and example of parents whose love is pure and generous. If
parents are given confdence in this task of education for love, they will be inspired to
overcome the challenges and problems of our times by their ministry of love.
251

Summary Points
269 The spiritual, biological, emotional, and moral aspects of sexuality are so
integrated that they should never be separated from one another when a father and mother
teach their children about sexuality.
270 In teaching about sexuality, each child should receive individual formation in a
personalized dialogue at the appropriate time by his or her own parents.
271 Parents should always communicate the positive moral good of Gods plan for
sexuality, along with any admonitions about the moral evil of the sins against chastity.
272 Biological and moral teaching must always be accompanied by spiritual formation
in holiness including prayer, the sacraments, devotions, and the examples of the saints.
273 Age-appropriate information on sexuality should be given to each child only after
the parents careful planning, prayer, and discussion together.
274 The method and content of a parents teaching must conform to the doctrinal and
moral teaching of the Church on human sexuality.
275 Parents should take care to respect each childs privacy, modesty, and innocence.
and never present them with or permit them to see material of an erotic nature.
276 The tender, faithful love and chaste example of the parents is an indirect but most
effective method of teaching each of their children about healthy sexuality and love.
S149
251
Ibid., 149.
A Family Circle of Love: The Life Cycle of Chastity Formation 73
Chapter Seven
A Family Circle of Love:
The Life Cycle of Chastity Formation
Chastity: The Heart of Personality Development and
Healthy Love Relationships
277 Chastity formation penetrates the very essence of a persons body and soul and
transcends their entire life, from conception until death, always oriented toward the goal
of eternal life. It is a lifelong process, concerns the intimate nucleus of the person,
252

and is an integral part of the development of the personality.
253
Sexuality is by nature
an intimate, hidden, and veiled mystery so it must be approached with great respect and
reverence at all stages of life, but especially when the personality is being formed. In
education, the integrity of this intimate core of the personality is so delicately balanced
that the biological, moral, spiritual, emotional, and psychological aspects of sexuality
should not be separated from one another, or from the context of marriage and the family.
Otherwise, it is possible that the personality of a child could be irreparably broken down
at the very deepest level.
278 Chastity formation within the family circle is a lifelong process, but guiding
a young person to choose a lifetime vocation of love occurs primarily in eight basic
stages. While not in chronological order, these stages include: courtship; engagement;
entering in to a vocation; marriage in the frst fve years; the years of innocence; puberty;
adolescence; and young adulthood. Friendships and the role of grandparents will also
be considered as two essential subjects which transcend all the stages of formation. The
252
Ibid., 3.
253
Congregation for Catholic Education, Educational Guidance in Human Love (November 1, 1983), 4.
Friendships
Courtship
Engagement
Entering into a Vocation
Marriage in the First Five Years
The Years of Innocence
Puberty
Adolescence
Young Adulthood
The Role of Grandparents
S3
74 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
Church particularly emphasizes the parents irreplaceable role in four stages of formation
and personality development: the years of innocence; puberty; adolescence; and young
adulthood.
254
In this chapter, we will present what the Church says about each of these
areas of life as well as offer parental wisdom on how this teaching can be integrated into
chastity formation.
279 So much excellent and practical material could be added to this chapter that it
would fll up many books because the wisdom of grandparents and parents, based on
experience, is limitless, and because each childs personality and every family culture is
unique. We will offer a wider collection of Church teaching and parental wisdom in a
Companion Workbook, as well as build up an online forum for parents to assist parents
at www.FamilyPrayerNight.org.
Friendships
Church Teaching
280 Pope John Paul II spoke of friendship with Christ as the heart of all our
relationships: Christ offers you his friendship. He gave his life so that those who wish to
answer his call can indeed become his friends. His is a friendship which is deep, genuine,
loyal and total, as all true friendship must be. This is how young people ought to relate
to one other, for youth without friendship is impoverished and diminished. Friendship is
nourished by sacrifce for the sake of serving ones friends and truly loving them. And
without such sacrifce there can be no real friendship, no truly healthy youth, no future
for ones country, no genuine religion.
255
The Wisdom of Parents
281 The period of forming friendships from the age of innocence until young adulthood
is a time to meet new people and to develop a values-based discernment process about
whether or not you want to associate with one person or another. Youth is a time to have
fun and enjoy life, to discover and share life experiences, and to form quality and lasting
friendships.
282 Children will often become like the people they associate with so it is important
to help them choose their friends wisely. All of the good work that a parent does over
the years to prepare a child to live a chaste and holy life can be destroyed overnight by
S77-
S111
See
Work-
book
681-
687
for
more
infor-
mation
254
Cf. TMHS, 77-111.
255
John Paul II, Message to the Young People of Cuba (January 23, 1998), 1.
A Family Circle of Love: The Life Cycle of Chastity Formation 75
one harmful friend. Parents must never underestimate the infuence of an unequally
yoked friendship or the power of peer pressure. Vigilance is required to assist each child
in making good choices throughout the years of innocence, puberty, adolescence, and
young adulthood.
283 The younger the child, the more a parent should be involved in deciding who their
childrens friends will be and under what circumstances. Children should be given more
freedom to choose their own friends as they mature. However, as long as a child is living
in your home and under your authority, you have the right to approve or disapprove of
the people with whom they associate. By cultivating loving and trusting relationships
with your children as they mature, the process of helping them form quality friendships
should be an exciting and enriching experience for everyone.
284 All of the seven pillars of chastity formation should be integrated when teaching
your children to cultivate good and holy friendships. A young person needs to develop
an obedient faith, not just in the Church, but in his parents. In addition, he must have his
conscience formed properly, learn sacrifcial love, self-mastery, acquire virtue, fulfll the
vocation to holiness, and always have in the forefront of every choice the goal of eternal
life.
285 Discernment of a spirit of obedience, right order, and respect for authority is a
critical factor for parents when reviewing their childrens friends and the families and
schools where they will form friendships. A solid commitment to practicing the full
Catholic truth should be the highest priority, as obedience to the Pope indicates obedience
to God; respect for law, order and fatherly authority; faithfulness to moral teachings; and
purity in faith. Therefore, parents are encouraged to enroll their children in true Catholic
schools or home school programs and associations, not only for educational value, but
for developing friendships and holy marriages as well.
286 Friends, for better or worse, are the most infuential voice in the formation of
a childs conscience after his or her parents and God. Through peer pressure and the
desire to be socially acceptable, your child can easily be infuenced by friends to change
his or her behavior, morals, attitudes, and even religion. Because the conscience of a
young person is still in a vulnerable stage of development, parents must guide them to
primarily pursue friendships in families or schools that are truly Catholic, or at least
Catholic friendly, all the way through college age.
287 With all good intentions, many parents often permit their children to befriend,
associate or attend school with non-Catholic, weak Catholic, troubled, or irreligious
young people hoping the child will have such heroic virtue that his or her positive
infuence will evangelize and convert others. Most often, however, especially when
outnumbered, most children and adults will tend to go along with the crowd rather than
76 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
stand up for what is right and good. Parents must be ever vigilant in monitoring these
situations carefully and daily assist their children in learning how to interact properly, so
they do not suffer any loss of their own faith or morals. Parents must help their children
to discern friendships and associations that could corrupt their moral values and damage
their spiritual life. Often, parents do not recognize their lack of vigilance in this area until
it is too late, and they see good kids start to adopt the behaviors, attitudes, and morals of
their peers, particularly on sexual issues. Therefore, it is very important for parents to be
actively involved in helping their children choose good friends and decide what schools
and social events are best for them even into young adulthood.
288 Friendship is nourished by that sacrifcial love which Christ demonstrated when
He called us His friends and proved it by laying down His life for us. There is no greater
love than for a friend to say no to his or her selfsh desires for the good of his friends and
family. This Christian sacrifcial attitude is essential for friendship and chastity, so that
young men and women understand that saying no to sin is in fact saying a resounding yes
to true love. True friends will not encourage or lead their friends to sin.
289 The discipline of self-mastery and self-control requires vigorous practice, not
unlike the arduous training needed for perfection in sports or in the fne arts. Good friends
should be in a holy competition to outdo one another in virtue and acts of self-sacrifce
and love and should encourage one another toward the goal of holiness. Everyone has
known friends who do not suffciently control or possess themselves their emotions,
tongues, physical bodies and sadly are not truly capable of giving genuine love. Parents
can help guide their children toward friends and families that practice spiritual discipline,
self-restraint, a team attitude or good sportsmanship, and self-giving love.
Courtship
Church Teaching
290 In a positive and prudent way, parents will carry out what the Fathers of the
Second Vatican Council requested: It is important to give suitable and timely instruction
to young people, above all in the heart of their own families, about the dignity of married
love, its role and its exercise; in this way they will be able to engage in honourable
courtship and enter upon a marriage of their own.
256
S94
256
TMHS 94. The imbedded quote is from Gaudium et Spes, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the
Modern World (December 7, 1965), 49.
A Family Circle of Love: The Life Cycle of Chastity Formation 77
291 The Church knows that the social structures supporting honorable courtship have
broken down in many areas: Therefore, the ways and means must be invented for the
on-going formation of adolescents in the period preceding engagement which follows
the stages of Christian initiation. Exchanging information about the most appropriate
experiences in this regard is extremely useful. Families joined together in the parishes,
institutions and different forms of association, help create a social atmosphere in which
responsible love will be healthy.
257
The Wisdom of Parents
292 Courtship is a period of time when a man is courting a woman or seeking her
affections with the specifc hope or declared intention of marriage. When special affection
and mutual attraction develops beyond the stage of friendship, the rules of chastity are
especially important to observe to maintain an honorable courtship. A young man and
woman, or any man and woman at any age for that matter, should only allow exclusive and
chaste physical gestures and emotional affection to be shown if engagement, marriage,
and fatherhood and motherhood are clearly intended in the immediate future.
293 Honorable courtship is very different from what is commonly called dating,
going steady, hooking up, or casual relations where sexual feelings, emotions, and
physical acts of affection are expressed with no thought, intention, or readiness for
marriage. Many parents think it is normal to allow and even encourage their children to
date or act on exclusive sexual attractions in puberty, adolescence, and young adulthood.
They accept the idea that kissing, holding hands, embracing, or dancing closely together
outside of marriage is just harmless fun, a rite of passage or a good learning experience.
294 Church teaching, Scripture, and now numerous scientifc studies point out the
foolishness and extreme danger of these kind of dating relationships. Basic common
sense also would conclude that, if a young man and woman begin to express sexual
affections and spend time alone together, this will quickly lead to further sexual relations.
Premarital sexual affections and relations are sinful; and sin brings disintegration, disease,
depression, and death into ones spirit and body. If unconfessed, the state of mortal sin
could lead to eternal separation from God.
295 Maintaining chastity in an honorable courtship must replace that concept of dating
which permits exclusive sexual affections and relations among unmarried people who
mutually use one another in order to experience pleasurable feelings or to satisfy selfsh
needs. This kind of dating mimics, but actually destroys, true love while honorable
courtship builds up true love.
See
Work-
book
688-
697
for
more
infor-
mation
257
Pontifcal Council for the Family, Preparation for the Sacrament of Marriage (May, 13, 1996), 31.
78 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
296 A practical code of conduct during courtship has been almost completely lost in
many societies, and is unfamiliar to others, so the Church acknowledged that the ways and
means of chastity formation in the period of courtship practically have to be reinvented
or reestablished by parents. Parents and families must lead the way in this area. Some
things to consider include forming Catholic family associations to exchange information,
establishing social rites for courtship based on Christian initiation, providing a social and
communal atmosphere of like-minded families to establish or rebuild the culture based
upon chastity and holiness, and reinforcing a moral code of conduct for interpersonal
relationships during courtship.
297 During courtship, as a particular friendship is developed with the clear goal and
possibility of engagement, young adults will need the guidance of parents to integrate the
seven pillars of chastity formation to help them clearly determine if their vocation in life
is marriage or virginity for the sake of the Kingdom. The formation of conscience can be
greatly facilitated by the growing body of Christian literature promoting courtship and by
seeking the spiritual assistance of parents, friends, adults, and priests committed to Gods
plan for courtship and avoiding those people who compromise on the rules for chastity in
premarital relations.
298 As body and spirit learn subjection and obedience to God and legitimate
authorities in all areas of life, chaste affections and love will be able to develop in right
order according to Gods plan. Obedience to the authority of parents and the Church by
young people manifests itself in the participation in church activities and in their respect
for and involvement of parents and family in the courtship process. It is important
for a young man and woman to have dinner with and visit each others family with an
openness to parental insights and the wisdom of the Church and pastors in regard to their
compatibility and readiness for the vocation of marriage. During courtship a young man
or woman should discern clear signs within their hearts, and from friends and family, that
indicate whether they have a vocation to marriage or not.
299 Practical acts of sacrifcial love and self-denial in imitation of Christs sacrifcial
love will help young men and women attain self-mastery and self-control. This
discipline is required to rightly order the body and spirits desires for pleasure and selfsh
inclinations and develop the virtue of temperance. In this stage of courtship, a young
man or woman tries to prove to the other their worthiness as a potential spouse, if they
can be trusted, control their appetites, be temperate, modest, and generous; in short, they
demonstrate whether they have all the virtues which enable them to love sacrifcially and
in an unselfsh manner. Courtship is a time of testing to see whether one is self-absorbed
or full of self-love, or, on the other hand, if he or she is capable of being concerned and
attentive to the needs and feelings of others.
A Family Circle of Love: The Life Cycle of Chastity Formation 79
Engagement
Church Teaching
300 Pope Benedict XVI spoke to the engaged: If you are engaged to be married, God
has a project of love for your future as a couple and as a family. Therefore, it is essential
that you discover it with the help of the Church, free from the common prejudice that
says that Christianity with its commandments and prohibitions places obstacles to the
joy of love and impedes you from fully enjoying the happiness that a man and woman
seek in their reciprocal love. The love of a man and woman is at the origin of the human
family and the couple formed by a man and a woman has its foundation in Gods original
plan.
258
Learning to love each other as a couple is a wonderful journey, yet it requires
a demanding apprenticeship. The period of engagement, very necessary in order to
form a couple, is a time of expectation and preparation that needs to be lived in purity
of gesture and words. It allows you to mature in love, in concern and in attention for
each other; it helps you to practise self-control and to develop your respect for each
other. These are the characteristics of true love that does not place emphasis on seeking
its own satisfaction or its own welfare. In your prayer together, ask the Lord to watch
over and increase your love and to purify it of all selfshness. Do not hesitate to respond
generously to the Lords call, for Christian matrimony is truly and wholly a vocation in
the Church.
259
301 The Pontifcal Council for the Family in Preparation for the Sacrament of
Marriage stated: Therefore, this period should not only be for theoretical study but also
for formation during which the engaged, with the help of grace and by avoiding all forms
of sin, will prepare to give themselves as a couple to Christ who sustains, purifes and
ennobles the engagement and married life. In this way, premarital chastity takes on its
full meaning and rules out any cohabitation, premarital relations, and other practices...in
the process of making love grow.
260
The Wisdom of Parents
302 Engagement is a time for couples to prepare for a sacramental marriage and
lifetime together, yet it also continues to be a time of ongoing discernment and taking
careful inventory to be sure that marriage is their vocation in life and that their fanc is
the right person for them. This period will also allow a person to mature in authentic self-
giving love and concern for the other. It is a time of practicing purity in mind, speech,
258
Cf. Gen 2:18-25.
259
Message Of The Holy Father Benedict XVI To The Youth Of The World On The Occasion Of The 22nd
World Youth Day, 2007.
260
Pontifcal Council for the Family, Preparation for the Sacrament of Marriage, 37.
80 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
dress; a time of continuing to develop a healthy and loving interdependent relationship
with each other. There are several good personality inventory and compatibility tools
available through Catholic retreat and pre-marriage preparation programs to encourage
dialogue on every aspect of married life.
The period of engagement would be a good time for engaged couples to:
review their personal spiritual journey and prayer life;
begin a common prayer life with their prospective spouse;
agree on the fnancial ground rules for their marriage and family;
establish their career goals as much as possible;
mutually agree on their expectations for the wedding, including cost,
ceremony, honeymoon and so forth;
participate in Church-sponsored or required marriage preparation programs.
303 Once they have said yes to one another, to God and to the vocation of marriage, it
is time to begin planning their future and mutual lifetime goals as a couple. Couples will
need to establish a true north for their life pilgrimage together, a point of reference that
will remain unchanged and give a sense of direction in the midst of the trials and waves
of adversity which are certain to come. As navigators of old used to do, they should
look up to heaven for direction. First and foremost, couples need to agree to live their
Catholic faith without compromise, aspire to become holy together, and make it their
goal to lead one another and their family to eternal life in heaven.
304 Engaged couples can learn about Church-approved Natural Family Planning
(NFP) methods, not only to increase the chances of conceiving in marriage through the
study of fertility cycles, but also if a very serious need should arise, to limit the possibility
of conception while remaining open to life and without sinning against chastity.
305 Engagement intensifes the desire for that intimate union of souls and bodies
reserved for marriage, and so the cultivation of chastity also must intensify with the clear
goal of entering into the holy sacrament of marriage in the highest state of grace and
purity. All seven pillars of chastity formation are integral to the period of engagement.
Right thinking or orthodoxy in faith will sustain a well-formed conscience, so that
chastity or sexual purity can be practiced and charity or true love can grow. Church
teachings are not intended to be prohibitions to joy and happiness but the very well-
spring of a couples temporal and eternal happiness in love, and obedience to them, along
with frequent confession, will maintain a pure conscience.
306 The process of two imperfect persons becoming one demands a daily practice of
sacrifcial love for the sake of the other. Learning to be attentive, patient, and concerned
for the other above ones own needs, opinions, feelings, and will takes practice over
See
Work-
book
698-
708
for
more
infor-
mation
A Family Circle of Love: The Life Cycle of Chastity Formation 81
time. It also demands an apprenticeship or period of growth in self-control, in acquiring
virtues through self-discipline, and in learning mutual subjection out of reverence for
Christ. Young men can practice authority and leadership as loving and affectionate
servants of their future spouse, just as Christ has loved his spouse and bride, the Church,
being willing to die completely to selfshness for her as Christ did. Young women, in
particular, can practice respect for and obedience to their future husbands in all things
but sin, so that a peaceful serenity and right order can be established in the marriage and
family home as God intended. Abstinence, fasting, temperance in food and drink, prayer,
frequent confession, adoration, and reception of the Eucharist provide the supernatural
power required for self-mastery, the practice of virtues, and perfect obedience to the will
of God and ones spouse as God designed.
307 As each one practices dying to self-will and self-love, the discovery of a serious
impediment, signs of immaturity, or a need for profound conversion or deep healing
could prevent moving forward to marriage at this particular time, or perhaps not with
this particular person; it possibly may be revealed that marriage is not a calling at all, but
virginity for the sake of Kingdom is. In such a case, a couple should pray and ask if they
are truly called by God to enter into marriage with one another and if they are able to help
the other to become more holy, charitable, and to attain eternal life.
Entering into a Vocation
Church Teaching
308 Christian revelation presents the two vocations to love: marriage and virginity.
In some societies today, not only marriage and the family, but also vocations to the
priesthood and the religious life, are often in a state of crisis. The two situations are
inseparable: When marriage is not esteemed, neither can consecrated virginity or celibacy
exist; when human sexuality is not regarded as a great value given by the Creator, the
renunciation of it for the sake of the kingdom of heaven loses its meaning.
261
309 The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state
has been established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws. . . .
God himself is the author of marriage. The vocation to marriage is written in the very
nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator.
262
God designed
the body of men and women for nuptial or spousal love; that is, God inscribed in each
person the vocation to be a total gift to another in love, and, for most men and women,
this vocation to self-giving is fulflled in marriage.
S34
261
TMHS, 34. The embedded quote is from Familiaris Consortio, 16.
262
CCC, 1603.
82 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
310 Chastity is a virtue that develops a persons authentic maturity and makes him
or her capable of respecting and fostering the nuptial meaning of the body. Indeed
Christian parents, discerning the signs of Gods call, will devote special attention and
care to education in virginity or celibacy as the supreme form of that self-giving that
constitutes the very meaning of human sexuality.
263
The Wisdom of Parents
311 Sexuality is often understood as self-giving on a physical level, as in the marital
act of love, so it is worth repeating that it is actually virginity or celibacy for the sake of the
Kingdom that most fully satisfes and expresses bodily sexuality. The nuptial meaning
of the male and female body (designed for spousal love) is most completely manifested
when that body is totally sacrifced for the other as a gift out of pure love. When the
other is God rather than one of His mere creatures, beautiful as they are, this nuptial or
spousal union with God is then obviously of a much higher order. Everyone is called to
the vocation of total self-giving love for the sake of a beloved, so the discernment lies in
determining which kind of love one is being called to by God.
312 Most young men and women are called to the vocation of marriage. Those called
to virginity or celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom will follow similar stages in the
development of love -- of friendship, courtship, engagement and vows -- in order to
become a bride of Christ (women) or to become wedded like Christ (men) to His
Spouse, the Church, in total, virginal self-giving love.
313 Friendship with Christ can lead a young man or woman to show particular
affection or attraction toward a specifc religious community or diocese. Friendship can
lead to a period similar to courtship where exclusive time is spent in inquiry or getting to
know the community or diocese of interest. Then, when a young man or woman decides
to say yes to the proposal of virginity for Christ, and a community or diocese says yes
to them, a more intense period of engagement called formation takes place prior to
making the fnal nuptial vow of consecration or ordination which, like marriage, is
forever.
263
FC, 37.
A Family Circle of Love: The Life Cycle of Chastity Formation 83
Marriage in the First Five Years
Church Teaching
314 During the frst fve years of marriage, an emotional atmosphere is established
within the family home that will profoundly affect the development of infants and young
children. The Church stresses the importance of a couples balance, mutual understanding,
serenity, prayer, and the importance of their affectionate physical presence to one another
and to their children, as they build up love, trust, and confdence.
264
315 The Church further emphasizes the need of young married couples and young
families to become fully integrated members of a parish family: Especially in the frst
fve years of married life, it would be desirable to follow up the young couples through
post-marriage courses, to be carried out in parishes or deaneries.
265
On the subject of
parish involvement, Pope John Paul II said:
This holds true especially for young families, which, fnding themselves
in a context of new values and responsibilities, are more vulnerable,
especially in the frst years of marriage, to possible diffculties, such as
those created by adaptation to life together or by the birth of children.
Young married couples should learn to accept willingly, and make good
use of, the discreet, tactful and generous help offered by other couples
that already have more experience of married and family life. Thus, within
the ecclesial community the great family made up of Christian families
there will take place a mutual exchange of presence and help among all
the families, each one putting at the service of others its own experience
of life, as well as the gifts of faith and grace. Animated by a true apostolic
spirit, this assistance from family to family will constitute one of the
simplest, most effective and most accessible means for transmitting from
one to another those Christian values which are both the starting point
and goal of all pastoral care.
266
The Wisdom of Parents
316 The frst fve years of marriage can be an intensely joyful and intensely painful
time as a man and woman forge a union of two wills, bodies, minds, hearts, and souls
into one. Christ desires this intimate marital union but clearly revealed that the one way
to obtain it was by way of the cross. It is through the suffering, death, and resurrection
S50
264
Cf. TMHS, 50.
265
Pontifcal Council for the Family, Preparation for the Sacrament of Marriage, Conclusion (May 13,1996).
266
FC, 69.
84 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
of Christ that true love is consummated by the total sacrifce of self for the beloved. This
way of love is revealed in the Mass, where the pain of sacrifce always precedes, but
ultimately leads to, the joy of communion, the fusion of two hearts and souls into one.
317 The ideal joy of total self-giving love shines at frst in mutual politeness, patience,
respect, and love, each generously bending and adapting to their new life together. But
after long work hours, little sleep from infants crying throughout the night, the house get-
ting messy, meals harder to prepare, physical needs going unmet, fnancial trouble, and
in-laws interfering too much, husbands and wives can hit a breaking point. The feeling
or thought may start to arise that they can bend no further, but instead they must start
demanding that my will be done, that my opinions be clearly expressed and understood,
and that my needs deserve to be flled frst, if there is ever to be peace and happiness.
318 The intensity of the frst years of marriage is why the Church emphasizes that the
parish family and extended family be ready with positive and wise Catholic assistance
to help the young couple learn how to create and maintain a serene atmosphere of love
in the family home. Promoting family prayer and the support of family associations,
frequent confession, parent-centered catechesis, training and sacramental preparation,
and marriage assistance are essential in helping a young couple get started on the right
path during these critical frst fve years. Creating a loving and affectionate home
environment through family prayer, mutual forgiveness, and the support of other families
will establish the emotional climate that infants and children need to feel secure. The frst
fve years of marriage and of a childs life establish deep patterns that will last a lifetime.
319 Attitudes toward modesty and privacy are developed in these early years, and on
this subject the Catholic Medical Association wrote: Child psychiatrists have long been
teaching the need for modesty in family interactions. It is important for parents to avoid
nudity and to refrain from dressing and undressing in front of their children, to refrain
from taking baths or showers with their children. Parents can model privacy and modesty,
and instruct children in the importance of both, while dressing, bathing and using the
toilet: I want to be private while I am dressing; Your sister wants to be private while
she uses the toilet. These practices of modesty should begin in the frst months of an
infants life and progress as the toddler is capable of using the toilet, and later of bathing,
himself. Obviously all overt marital sexual interactions must be conducted in both spatial
and auditory privacy. The practice of modesty and privacy sets the tone for respecting the
dignity of the human body, respecting proper bodily boundaries, regulating appropriate
interactions with others and aids in the development of self-mastery. If children and
young people see that their legitimate privacy is respected, they will know that they
are expected to show the same attitude towards others. The practice of decency and
modesty in speech, action and dress motivated by respect for ones own body and the
dignity of others is very important for creating an atmosphere suitable to the growth of
chastity. Formation in modesty and privacy are invaluable in developing the childs
See
Work-
book
709-
714
for
more
infor-
mation
A Family Circle of Love: The Life Cycle of Chastity Formation 85
power to discern what is normal versus abnormal behavioral interactions between him
and older children and adults.
267
320 Continuing education in the Catholic faith will help parents maintain and
strengthen a well-formed conscience. This period of life demands great acts of sacrifcial
love by husbands for wives, fathers for children, wives for husbands, and mothers for
children. Daily life will be full of opportunities to sacrifce selfsh desires or even basic
needs for the sake of ones spouse and family. Self-mastery and the exercise of virtue
involve tempering ones emotions and physical needs, correcting ones faults, fasting,
and periodic abstinence. Right order and peace are the fruits of a man who takes
responsibility and is accountable to God for leading his wife and family by protecting,
providing and praying for and with them and a woman who helps him by showing respect
and obedience to her husband in all things but sin. In this complementary way, as one
head and heart united physically, spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally, they will
generate that love which will last forever and be absorbed into the secret depths of their
childrens hearts. On the other hand, disorder, disrespect, lack of self-control, physical,
emotional, and verbal abuse will destroy love and can crush the heart and soul of a child.
321 During the frst fve years of a childs life, the primary objectives of chastity
formation involve the formation of conscience; learning self-mastery or self-control of
the body, emotions, temper, and speech; and learning obedience and right order. Children
establish emotional patterns, learn behaviors, and develop attitudes toward authority in
these years that will remain for life. Parents must be authoritative, consistent, and loving
in discipline and correction, so the child will want to obey the voice of his father and
mother in order to please them and experience the reward of being good.
322 Since this is the same method God the Father uses to correct His children, parents
will want to develop a well-formed conscience in their child, so the child is predisposed
to respond to the voice of the Father within his heart as he matures. Parents are the frst
image of God to their children, so it is important that they are not inconsistent, vague,
neglectful, abusive, lacking authority, winking at faults, smiling at misbehavior, letting
the child rule the house, allowing them to disrupt mealtimes, giving in to temper tantrums,
permitting rudeness, etc. In addition, if they do not help the child understand that there
are consequences for bad behavior and a need to make reparation, they will have failed
to teach their children that God is a loving but just father who attentive to each and every
sin. Scripture says that God the Father disciplines and reproves His children because
He loves them, whereas a lack of discipline within the family reveals an absence of true
fatherly love and concern.
268
267
Catholic Medical Association, Task Force Report on the Sexual Abuse of Children and Its Prevention, To
Protect and To Prevent (2006), 31-32.
268
Cf. Heb 12:5-11.
86 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
The Years of Innocence
Church Teaching
323 The years of innocence are from approximately age fve until the onset of puberty,
which on average is about age 12, but can vary by a few years with each individual child.
The years of innocence are a period of tranquility and serenity. A child must be protected
from and never disturbed by direct information about sex that is unnecessary, upsetting,
or causes fear. Chastity formation is accomplished indirectly through the loving presence
of parents who, by example, teach a child how to receive and express affection and
love.
269
324 In this time period, the child enters the age of reason (about age seven) and has the
ability to be morally responsible and to distinguish right from wrong. Parents formation
and catechesis should be directed toward preparing for and then receiving frequently the
sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist. Children at this age accept the need for purity
and modesty in dress and behavior. Being pure, good, and dressing up with respect, in
order to receive Jesus in the Sacraments, is a very important learning stage in chastity.
270

The pure love of an innocent child for Jesus is so powerful it often draws parents to a
deeper love of God and conversion of heart.
Learning What it Means to Be a Man or a Woman
325 Real and natural differences between men and women and their complementary
roles in family life cannot be ignored or minimized since boys naturally want to grow
up to be just like dad and girls just like mom. In teaching what it means to be a man or
a woman, parents should also take care not to discourage expressions of tenderness and
sensitivity in boys, nor exclude girls from vigorous physical activities.
271
About Girls
326 By nature, girls generally have a maternal interest in babies, motherhood, and
homemaking and a receptivity to being helpful or nurturing in relationships. By looking
to the model of femininity and motherhood in the Virgin Mary, mothers and daughters
together can grow in feminine grace and holiness.
272
About Boys
327 Boys look to their father as models of what it means to be a man, and the Church
encourages fathers and sons together to look to the ideal of masculinity in Jesus and in
S78
S79
S80
S81
269
Cf. TMHS, 78.
270
Cf. Ibid., 79.
271
Cf. Ibid., 80.
272
Cf. Ibid., 81.
A Family Circle of Love: The Life Cycle of Chastity Formation 87
St. Joseph. These examples will help to discourage boys from being overly aggressive
or concerned about physical prowess as proof of masculine virility. Masculinity is a gift
and call from God to take on roles of responsibility, sacrifce, protection, and service,
particularly concerning women as mothers and sisters. This tranquil period is the easiest
time for fathers and sons to establish a closer relationship.
273
Discipline
328 At this age of reason, children desire to be morally responsible and want to know
clearly what is right and wrong. Parents should present objective standards and the moral
framework of the Church and expect children to be accountable to it by authoritative
parenting and through the use of the Sacrament of Penance. The practice of examining
ones conscience, verbally admitting faults, asking for and receiving forgiveness, and
then accepting the consequences and making reparation should be employed, not just in
the Sacrament of Penance, but throughout the day as offenses are committed.
329 Discipline and personal accountability will provide a solid foundation for chaste
living. On the other hand, An undisciplined or spoilt child is inclined toward a certain
immaturity and moral weakness in future years because chastity is diffcult to maintain
if a person develops selfsh or disordered habits and cannot behave with proper concern
and respect for others.
274
Caution about Premature Sexual Information Presented to Children
330 A planned and determined imposition of premature sexual information on
children in the age of innocence is being carried out worldwide under many guises, such
as promoting sexual health and safety, tolerating sexual diversity, and educating and
socializing children to accept all expressions of sexuality and family life, especially so-
called gay marriages and unconventional parenting styles.
331 All of these are grave violations of the right of a child to his or her innocence and
contribute to a sexualization of children who are not yet able to understand, integrate,
or control sexual imagery or information. These violations shatter a childs emotional
stability and spiritual and moral development and thus also undermine the loving
relationships developing within the family. Parents must act to prevent the violation of
their childs innocence in these circumstances.
275
S82
S86
S83
273
Cf. Ibid., 82.
274
Cf. Ibid., 86.
275
Cf. Ibid., 83.
88 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
332 If a child is exposed to the mass media, even for a few minutes, he will almost
certainly have his innocence violated by some form of premature sexual information or
imagery. Even if parents have safely prevented their child from direct exposure, other
children and young people have been exposed and will likely try to talk about or act upon
the information in the presence of your child. If this occurs, parents will need to correct
immoral and erroneous information and bad language.
276
Sexual Abuse
333 Parents are on the front line of protecting their children from sexual abuse and
violence by frst teaching them modesty and reserve with regard to strangers, along with
relatives, neighbors, and friends. Good general training should be such that details which
might upset or frighten them are avoided.
277
Chapter Ten provides more information
about the prevention of sexual abuse.
The Wisdom of Parents
334 Parents need to continue to both develop their own parenting skills and remain
the primary educators of their children as they have done during the frst fve years.
The principles learned throughout that period do not end during the years of innocence
but rather continue to grow in importance. In particular, cultivating a deeply personal
and intimate relationship with each child during the years of innocence will provide a
foundation for building mutual love and respect. Also, this special connection will assist
the child with preparation for puberty and adolescence when he will need your loving
support, parental guidance, and sound wisdom. If chastity formation, according to the
Church, has not been frmly established in the frst years of life, it may be too late or at
least very diffcult to begin when the child reaches puberty.
335 Parents must continue to cultivate their own spiritual life and model chastity and
sacrifcial love to their children who start imitating their father and mother and desire to
emulate. Chastity formation for children, as they enter the age of reason, continues in
the formation of conscience by accepting accountability for right and wrong decisions, as
well as the practice of offering and receiving forgiveness for sins committed throughout
the day, especially formally in the Sacrament of Confession. Overall, most children
want to be obedient at this age, exhibit interest in clear rules of right and wrong, follow
instructions, and like to see things in right order and in their proper place .
336 The frst signs of a vocation begin to show up in this time frame, and children
at this age are easily drawn toward heavenly things, so the vision and goal of eternal
S84
S85
See
Work-
book
715-
716
for
more
infor-
mation
276
Cf. Ibid., 84.
277
Cf. Ibid., 85.
A Family Circle of Love: The Life Cycle of Chastity Formation 89
life, holiness, and a loving prayerful relationship with Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the angels,
and saints should be cultivated. Children at this age can also be very generous and
innocent in helping others, so practicing charity towards the less fortunate should be
encouraged, as well as praying for others, especially the souls in purgatory who have
no one to help them. Blesseded Jacinta and Francisco of Fatima, who died at ages 10
and 11, are excellent role models for children of this age, as they prayed the rosary and
practiced many small acts of sacrifcial love in obedience to Jesus and Mary in reparation
for sins and out of concern for the poor souls in purgatory and those in danger of going
to hell.
337 Children at this age generally participate in the Sacrament of Penance and
Eucharist for the frst time. As parents prepare their children for these events, they can
emphasize the central importance of being chaste or pure in mind, heart, body. and soul,
thus, avoiding sin, so that they can remain in a state of grace, close to the heart of Jesus
and ready to go to heaven.
Puberty
Church Teaching
338 A child matures beyond the age of innocence as the physical, psychological and
spiritual changes of puberty open up the horizon of a whole new world of discovery.
The parents attentive guidance, clear information, and reassuring love will provide the
child with the means to navigate through this stage of life. Pope John Paul II offered this
insight into puberty:
This is a time of self-discovery and of ones own inner world, the time
of generous plans, the time when the feeling of love awakens, with the
biological impulses of sexuality, the time of the desire to be together, the
time of particularly intense joy connected with the exhilarating discovery
of life. But often it is also the age of deeper questioning, of anguished or
even frustrating searching, of a certain mistrust of others and dangerous
introspection, and the age sometimes of the frst experiences of setbacks
and of disappointments.
278

339 Without fear, cowardice or anxiety, parents must provide education concerning
the genital aspects of sexuality in the context of chastity, procreation, marriage and the
family so the childs personality can mature emotionally and spiritually in a healthy
S87
278
Ibid., 87 quoting from John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Catechesi Tradendae (October 16, 1979), 38;
AAS 71 (1979), pg. 1309.
90 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
way.
279
The loving relationship and daily confdential dialogue between father and son
and mother and daughter are the very heart of sexual education at this stage for which
there is no substitute. If the parents fail in this stage, the childs natural curiosity will
discover answers mostly in all the wrong places. Rather than an integration of sexuality in
the personality, this stage might be the beginning of a growing disintegration of character
and emotional instability.
Giving Suitable Information
340 In the heart of the family, suitable information about sexual activity, anatomy,
and hygiene is to be presented in a timely and positive moral and spiritual light.
280

Sexual activity and the marital act are reserved for marriage alone in accord with Gods
commandments and design for the family; Gods commandments are designed to lead to
a happy and blessed life on earth.
Formation of Conscience
341 A good formation of conscience during puberty means teaching each child that
God has a special plan of love and vocation for him or her, that observing the moral law
brings freedom, and that original sin has greatly weakened our ability to obey; however,
the grace of Christ and His constant presence with us gives us all the power and strength
we need to do good and avoid evil.
281
Answering Questions through Loving Dialogue
342 Young people during puberty are in a wonderful time of discovery, and they have
many questions and are naturally curious about sexuality. Parents need to be attentive to
these questions and spend time answering them with well-reasoned arguments in favor
of chastity. They must also analyze with them the weaknesses of theories that inspire
permissive and pleasure-seeking behavior. Scripture teaches that sexuality is a holy gift
of God for sharing in His creative power and is not shameful or dirty, nor is it be used or
abused for pleasure or just for fun or recreation.
282
343 Young people at this age are extremely vulnerable and easily infuenced by
emotional, physical, and visual stimuli. Advertising, television, music, and the fashion
industry often exploit this vulnerability in a negative way; and parents must help their
children to resist these and other social and peer pressures. When parents and children
together practice good habits of modest speech and dress, it is more likely that young
people can obtain that strength of character that comes from overcoming evil infuences.
283
S88
S94
S95
S96
S97
279
Cf. Ibid., 88.
280
Cf. Ibid., 94.
281
Cf. Ibid., 95.
282
Cf. Ibid., 96.
283
Cf. Ibid., 97.
A Family Circle of Love: The Life Cycle of Chastity Formation 91
Specifc Information for Boys
344 Boys, in particular, need a fathers help in understanding the positive and noble
purpose of the physical and physiological development of the genital organs before they
receive distorted information from someone else. Being curious about girls, boys should
also be given detailed and suffcient information about feminine bodily and psychological
characteristics, so they can learn proper respect for women as a gift of God. Information
is to be presented serenely in the positive framework of Gods plan for marriage, family,
fatherhood, and motherhood.
284
345 Boys are particularly vulnerable to erotic fantasies and temptations to engage in
sexual experiences. Boys require attention and correction so that they can be helped to
see the nobility of the gift of their sexuality as a means and creative power to transmit
the divine image from person to person in the likeness of God the Father. Boys need to
know the truth about sexuality in the right light and from reliable sources.
285
Specifc Information for Girls
346 As mothers follow the physiological development of their daughters, they can
help them accept their femininity as a beautiful gift of God. The cycles of fertility and
purifcation are to be viewed in light of Gods design for life instead of something such
as a curse. That God has a natural plan for fertility will help overcome the contraceptive
mentality. Detailed explanations about sexual union are not necessary unless specifcally
requested.
286
347 Girls can be encouraged to show consideration for the visual orientation of boys
and to help them remain chaste and pure by maintaining their modesty in speech, action,
and dress. Girls need to know the deep value and meaning of virginity in the eyes of
God through the lives of the virgin martyrs whose noble feminine strength moved them
to choose death rather than sin against chastity. These examples are especially desired in
a world dominated by pleasure-seeking.
287
S91
S93
S90
S92
284
Cf. Ibid., 91.
285
Cf. Ibid., 93.
286
Cf. Ibid., 90.
287
Cf. Ibid., 92.
92 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
The Wisdom of Parents
348 Maintaining a constant daily dialogue with each individual child is extremely
important during puberty as they open up to the world around them and begin to take
in a bombardment of conficting messages regarding sexuality. Eliminating even the
slightest stimuli that can arouse sexual thoughts is important, so that the occasions of
sin and the devastation it can cause are minimized. The media, advertising, safe sex
education proponents, older peers and sexual deviants are all intensely interested in
reaching children at this age and manipulating their vulnerability in sexual matters for
their own purposes. If children are exposed to secular education, they could require
many hours of individualized daily debriefngs or deprogramming to deal with all they
may have seen or hear during and after school. On the positive side, parents can also
infuence their children; they must continually form and educate each child individually
in Gods plan for sexuality and help them sort through right from wrong, truth from lies,
and facts from feelings.
349 At puberty, a childs conscience is not yet fully formed, and they are quite
vulnerable to being swayed by peer opinions, feelings, emotions, and sensory perceptions
which they are still learning how to subject to reason and the will. Full of self-discovery,
children in this age group need to practice sacrifcial love and denial of self-centered
thoughts. They must develop desires and feelings to learn concern for and practice charity
toward others, both in the family and outside the home. Self-mastery will be diffcult
but can and must be accomplished over time, and parents constant encouragement and
rewarding of virtuous behavior will help tremendously. Follwing the example of Jesus
at 12-years-old, the child should be affrmed in their newfound independence, vocation,
and discovery of who they are; but, at the same time, he must also remain in right order
and obediently submissive to parents in order to mature in grace and wisdom.
350 Parents can remind their child that following ones heart and freedom means
listening to and obeying the voice of the Father in the sanctuary of the conscience and not
following a vague subjective feeling, emotion, or personal opinion. Pride, immaturity,
intense emotions, and the weakness of original sin again can easily delude a young person
into thinking or feeling they are right and know everything.
351 Personal accountability for ones actions and the possibility of meriting eternal
life or death, based upon choices now, particularly in chastity, must be at the top of the
daily priorities in life. Frequent confession will serve to heal, correct, and maintain a
child in a state of grace during this often tumultuous time. Stories of the many young
martyrs and saints of chastity, whose heroic virtue led them to even die a horrible death
rather than commit a sin against purity, will inspire and strengthen the hearts of children
during this period. A special consecration to Jesus, Mary, or St. Joseph for the purpose
of chastity will obtain supernatural help and keep a childs vision on heavenly things.
See
Work-
book
717-
723
for
more
infor-
mation
A Family Circle of Love: The Life Cycle of Chastity Formation 93
Adolescence
Church Teaching
352 Justs as puberty was a period of self-discovery, adolescence is the period of
self-projection and discovery of Gods personal vocation for each person to marriage or
virginity for the sake of the Kingdom, as well as the kind of work or service to society
that can be accomplished based upon ones natural gifts.
288
353 Parents are critically important at this stage, which is the culmination of their
mission of education for love. Adolescents need assistance and support in prayer and
dialogue to discern and more clearly hear the voice of the Father calling them to a
particular vocation in life. The length of this stage of life varies according to each childs
unique personality, maturity, and rate of development and tends to be longer today than
in the past.
289

Vocation
354 Every person has a vocation to holiness, as Our Lord called everyone to be holy
by following Him. Young people need to know that their free will gives them the ability
to accept or reject the path of holiness, and that they will either reap the good fruits or
suffer the consequences of choices they make now for the rest of their lives. Adolescents
require guidance from their parents, as well as the support of properly formed priests,
religious,and marriage and family associations to understand the various paths of holiness
open to them within the Catholic Church.
290
355 Catechesis and formation within and outside the family must promote the value
of virginity and celibacy, along with the vocation of marriage, as essential to the life of
the Church and society, both of which depend upon the holiness of family life that is built
up within the home.
291
Parents Example
356 Parents must understand, live, and teach the uncompromised truth of sexual
morality which is the indissolubility of marriage and the relationship between love and
procreation, as well as the immorality of premarital relations, abortion, contraception and
masturbation.
292
S98
S98
S99-
S100
S101
S102
288
Cf. Ibid., 98.
289
Cf. Ibid., 98.
290
Cf. Ibid., 99, 100.
291
Cf. Ibid., 101.
292
Cf. Ibid., 102.
94 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
357 As sexual problems or challenges become evident, a parents example and prudent
advice about prayer, frequent confession, and worthy reception of the Eucharist will help
their children experience the beauty and strength of chastity. Parents love for the truths
of the Catholic faith will give them an ability to explain why the unitive and procreative
dimensions of sexuality must never be separated and why premarital sex and artifcial
contraception are considered to be evil.
293
The Problem of Masturbation
358 Masturbation is a sin and serious disorder that cannot be justifed. However,
the immaturity of this stage of life can diminish the deliberateness of the act. Inner
personality conficts and the selfsh vision of sexuality promoted by many cultures should
be addressed and overcome.
294
The Problem of Homosexuality
359 Homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered and are serious sins that cause deadly
effects in the body and soul. Tendencies toward homosexuality, like any other tendency
toward sinning against chastity, such as lust, premarital sex, and adultery, should be
addressed immediately at this stage of life. Love and respect for the dignity of the person
suffering from tendencies toward homosexuality mean parents should seek help from
truly Catholic experts and obtain therapy, if necessary. This condition is a trial and cross
to those affected, but, like anyone else, persons who have homosexual tendencies are
called to holiness through chastity.
295
The Cultures of Life and Death
360 A healthy culture of the body accepts sex and the human body as something
attractive, pleasant, and a gift from God who desired man and woman to experience
the true romantic love that lasts forever. Adolescents often have problems accepting
themselves and their bodies and need this positive view of reality, rather than the negative
view which looks at the body crudely as unclean, evil, or animalistic and to be used, as
such, for selfsh pleasure.
296
361 Participation in the culture of life through Church associations, movements,
communities, and volunteer or missionary activities will provide young people with a
lived experience of an attractive culture of life beyond the family home
297
and also help
them avoid an excessive closing in on themselves.
298
S102
S103
S104-
S105
S106
S106
S108
293
Cf. Ibid., 102.
294
Cf. Ibid., 103.
295
Cf. Ibid., 104, 105.
296
Cf. Ibid., 106.
297
Cf. Ibid., 106.
298
Cf. Ibid., 108.
A Family Circle of Love: The Life Cycle of Chastity Formation 95
Friendships
362 Although adolescents enjoy more autonomy in their friendships and time spent
outside the home, parents can and still must intervene to protect them from destructive
personal friendships and romantic attachments that threaten the practice of perfection in
virginal chastity.
299
The Wisdom of Parents
363 Adolescents breathe in the cultural atmosphere around them, and so parents
can help them discern the clear differences between the culture of life that the Catholic
Church cultivates and the culture of death the world promotes, at the heart of which is
differing views on sexuality. Disordered use of sex will progressively destroy the goal
of fnding true love which most young people desire. Love is not related to the feelings
of self-gratifcation but rather pertains to the decision of self-sacrifce and self-discipline
for the good of the beloved.
364 Adolescents intensely perceive any division between their parents words
and example. When it comes to chastity, if a father or mother, by word or example,
communicates the message, Do as I say and not as I do, they will likely end up
destroying their own marriage and family and their childrens future as well. Adolescents
are strongly attracted to the truth and role models that clearly live the truth and can easily
detect hypocrisy.
365 Young people, during these years, begin to take more responsibility for the
direction their lives will take, make plans for the future, and get involved in projects and
activities to advance their goals. There is a common misconception about freedom that
adolescent children are entitled to begin making personal choices about what rules they
choose to follow concerning life, family, society, and God. Many parents, sometimes out
of ignorance, appear to give implied consent to early and oftentimes inappropriate displays
of affection by their adolescent children towards the opposite sex. This can happen when
parents allow them to form exclusive relationships or to begin recreational dating as a kind
of rite of passage towards adulthood. However, permitting an adolescent such freedom
can expose them to early experimentation and sexual passions that can easily escalate
to occasions of sin; this freedom can also expose them to immodest literature and dress
and other expressions of the improper use of sexuality outside of marriage. Rather than
training their adolescent children for freedom, parents can inadvertently expose them to
choices that lead to enslavement to immorality, disobedience, and the justifcation of sin.
S107
See
Work-
book
724-
731
for
more
infor-
mation
299
Cf. Ibid., 107.
96 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
366 The wonderful and natural zest for freedom and self-expression in the adolescent
fnds its healthy fulfllment in the daily practice of virginal chastity in mind, heart, body,
and soul. The question for parents is, who will you allow to form the standards of your
adolescents behavior in sexuality? Will it be the government, school, peers, popular
culture, the idols of the entertainment industry in music, literature, television, and
movies, or will it be Jesus Christ and His Holy Catholic Church? To say that this decision
will be a daily battle for parents and children is an understatement.
367 The bottom line is fairly simple. To dress or act in a way that, intentionally
or unintentionally, arouses sexual feelings outside of holy marriage is an occasion of
and can be an actual mortal sin. This truth has never changed. In the 1200s, St. Louis,
King of France, home-schooled his 11 children and taught them that they should permit
themselves to be tormented by every kind of martyrdom before allowing themselves to
commit a mortal sin.
300
368 The primary objectives during adolescence are to reinforce the seven pillars of
chastity formation that have been cultivated deeply in the childs soul. Obedience and
right order are learned in relationships to parents and the Church and public authorities
that represent them. The formation of conscience continues with the adolescents
growing awareness of his or her own personal responsibility and accountability in using
Gods gift of free will, which gives them the freedom to choose or not Gods plan for
sexuality. Frequent confession -- weekly, monthly, or immediately, if the need arises
-- will strengthen the will and conscience in choosing good over evil. Strict avoidance
of images and voices that encourage sexual sin -- in music, magazines, movies, on the
internet, in schools, and from peers -- will help prevent a deformed conscience.
369 True love means sacrifce, and adolescents can channel their life-giving sexual
energy by sacrifcing selfsh physical pleasures and getting involved in charitable service
projects. Often a young person may have already met his or her future spouse, so they
must mutually agree to sacrifce sexual expressions by perfect chastity until they have
attained the age, maturity, education, and work required to enter into a holy marriage.
Self-mastery and the acquisition of virtue come through obeying God and honoring and
respecting father and mother, as well as through physical, emotional, and spiritual self-
discipline learned in the process of attaining an education, a skill, or mastery of a sport.
370 The vocation to holiness and eternal life with God are profoundly tied to
the successful practice of chastity at this age. Heavenly life on earth can be closely
approached only in a chaste marriage or virginity for the sake of the Kingdom, while
sexual sins can lead to a life of misery on earth and the possibility of eternal separation
300
Cf. From a spiritual testament to his son by Saint Louis found in The Liturgy of the Hours, Volume 4,
1347.
A Family Circle of Love: The Life Cycle of Chastity Formation 97
from God. As parents prepare their children for the Sacrament of Confrmation, they
can teach them what it means to be a soldier of Christ in the battle between life and
death, purity and impurity, true love and all that opposes it. Family prayer and frequent
reception and adoration of the Eucharist, the foretaste of heaven on earth, will provide
the graces needed for successful chastity formation during adolescence. Martyrdom
should be considered a normal and daily desire in the sense of cultivating an adolescents
willingness to suffer torture and death rather than commit a mortal sin.
371 As adolescents make plans for the future, they can be infuenced in the decision-
making process by their parents who can help them to choose a truly Catholic college
that is uncompromising on Church teaching on sexuality and guide them to schools or
campus ministries that profess publicly their faithfulness to the Pope. Despite the great
number of colleges which profess to be Catholic, only a handful publicly proclaim and
promote authentic Catholic teaching on sexuality on their campuses.
Young Adulthood
Church Teaching
372 After the age of legal emancipation, parents can continue to form, encourage, and
guide their children in chastity, particularly until the moment they enter into the vocation
of marriage or consecrated virginity. Young adults still need the advice, assistance, and
eventual blessing of their choice of vocation.
373 As they enter the working world or higher education, they will continue to
encounter very different views on sexuality, marriage, and the family; and parents should
keep up a good dialogue so that they maintain and fourish in the Catholic faith.
301
374 In the period of courtship and engagement, parental advice becomes particularly
relevant in assisting young adults to defne their expectations in choosing an honorable
and promising fanc and in helping them prepare for the sacrament of marriage. Parents
can pray for and with their young adults that they make good choices. Also, parents
should avoid adopting the widespread cultural mentality that girls require special
assistance regarding virtue and the value of virginity, while the same is not expected of
boys.
302
S109
S100
S111
301
Cf. TMHS, 109, 100.
302
Cf. Ibid., 111.
98 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
The Wisdom of Parents
375 The foundations of a successful education in love should be essentially complete
by the time the young adult is ready to leave home in order to discover and fulfll Gods
personal calling in life. Even as strict obedience to father and mother is no longer
demanded, as in earlier years, gratitude towards and honoring ones parents by receiving
their advice, counsel, and blessing in choosing a vocation in life is. The wisdom and
support of other faithful Catholics -- priests, religious, teachers, married couples, family,
and friends -- will help keep a young person on the right track towards adulthood. The
Church still maintains that sacramental preparation for marriage is the primary duty of
parents and the family, but it also involves and concerns the larger family of the Church,
which has a mission to evangelize and communicate Catholic teaching on marriage and
family life to engaged couples and to discern readiness and eligibility for the reception of
the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.
376 If young adults have not already received a complete and detailed education in
the Church teachings on life issues, such as the good of chastity, married couples using
natural family planning instead of artifcial contraception, the evil of premarital sex,
homosexual acts, abortion, etc., they should be directed to and given information from
Catholic offces, apostolates, associations, and publications which specialize in making
these life issues known.
377 This period towards adulthood in fact intersects with and begins again the life
cycle of chastity formation which starts with the formation of particular friendships that
can develop into courtship, engagement, marriage, and establishing a family. The cycle
then continues on to forming children through the stages of personality development in
the frst fve years of life, in the age of innocence, and then puberty and adolescence.
378 The continued formation of conscience of a young adult is critical to their moral
integrity because they will encounter new forces opposing chastity as they enter the
workforce or leave home to go to college. Without a strong moral compass, young
adults can still be easily persuaded by philosophies and ideologies that subtly but, more
importantly undermine Church teaching and the faith. Encouraging them to associate
with faithful Catholics in parishes, associations, communities, educational institutions,
and in friendships will continue to provide support for good decision-making.
379 Military recruiters and vocations directors know that this age group has the
capacity to respond to the challenges of total sacrifcial love, to laying down ones life
for ones friends, for a beloved, for God, and for country. The inspirational example of
Christ, who sacrifced Himself for His friends, remains forever the single most powerful
ideal to which young adults can aspire. Therefore, daily participation in the Sacrifce
of the Mass will form young adults in a spirit of sacrifce and true love in an eminently
See
Work-
book
732-
749
for
more
infor-
mation
A Family Circle of Love: The Life Cycle of Chastity Formation 99
superior way, above all other means of formation. Frequent confession and adoration of
the Blessed Sacrament should also be practiced.
380 Self-mastery in these frst years outside the home will involve self-control of
ones sense appetites, not just in the physical desires of sexuality but also in food, drink,
entertainment, music, literature, and all that enters the mind, heart, and body. The
supernatural virtues of faith, hope, and charity will infuence a positive development
of the human virtues of temperance, fortitude, prudence, and justice. Prayer, fasting,
abstinence, and works of mercy develop the ability to love chastely. Obedience and being
in right order with God, the Church, and other people will help young adults grow in
holiness and hear more clearly the call of God, not only for their life on earth, but also
that call from the Father to prepare for eternal life in heaven.
The Role of Grandparents
Church Teaching
381 Pope Benedict XVI stated at the Fifth World Meeting of Families: I would now
like to say a word to grandparents, who are so important for every family. They can be
-- and so often are -- the guarantors of the affection and tenderness which every human
being needs to give and receive. They offer little ones the perspective of time; they are
memory and richness of families. In no way should they ever be excluded from the
family circle. They are a treasure which the younger generation should not be denied,
especially when they bear witness to their faith at the approach of death.
303

382 Pope John Paul II said in his Letter to the Elderly: In how many families are
grandchildren taught the rudiments of the faith by their grandparents! There are many
other areas where the elderly can make a benefcial contribution. The Spirit acts as
and where he wills, and quite frequently he employs human means which seem of little
account in the eyes of the world. How many people fnd understanding and comfort from
elderly people who may be lonely or ill and yet are able to instill courage by their loving
advice, their silent prayers, or their witness of suffering borne with patient acceptance!
304
303
Pope Benedict XVI, Vigil of Prayer, Fifth World Meeting of Families, Valencia, Spain (July 8, 2006).
304
Pope John Paul II, Letter to the Elderly (October 1, 1999), 13.
100 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
The Wisdom of Parents
383 Grandparents have an availability and approachability that allows them to provide
unconditional affection and tenderness to their grandchildren. They are a treasure of love
and memories and help children develop a sense of family history, faith, and identity.
Grandparents and grandchildren need and fnd comfort in each other and lift each other
up through the moments of joy or suffering and loneliness of life. They can also be the
link and source for the continuity of the Catholic faith, particularly when they practice
daily prayer and devotions dedicated to the good of their children and grandchildren.
Faithful, practicing, and praying Catholic grandparents are a rich treasure and inheritance
worth far more than gold.
384 Grandparents bear witness to the truth of the indissolubility of marriage, to a
mature and affectionate love that overcomes every trial and diffculty, and to the blessings
and rewards God bestows upon those who are faithful. Their generous love and support
are essential to helping young families succeed in an often demanding world. And since
grandparents are imperfect and often disadvantaged in many ways, both parents and
young children can learn the value of respect, honor, and care for ones elders and family.
385 Our Heavenly Father has richly blessed each of his children from conception until
natural death and, together with parents, He is intimately involved in the formation of life
and love within the family circle. The family is the divinely ordained sanctuary of life
and love where education and formation in chastity is to be carried out in that spirit of
parental love which springs forth from the heart of the Father.
Summary Points
386 Chastity formation is a lifetime process concerned with the healthy development
of the most private, veiled, and intimate nucleus of a persons body and soul; therefore,
it must be carried out with great reverence within the family circle of love throughout
all the stages of life, and always in accord with the teachings of the Catholic Church on
human sexuality.
387 Parents should carefully cultivate and oversee true friendships for themselves
and their children to ensure that they are rooted in the example of Christs chaste and
sacrifcial love and friendship for us.
388 To reestablish and organize a positive social culture in which friendships can
develop into an honorable courtship, parents will need to join together with other families
in associations, schools, and parishes to promote courtship over recreational dating.
See
Work-
book
750-
752
for
more
infor-
mation
A Family Circle of Love: The Life Cycle of Chastity Formation 101
389 During engagement, a couple needs the prayers and assistance of their parents
and formation by the Church to fully comprehend Gods plan for sacrifcial love in the
vocation of marriage and family life.
390 Parents are indispensable in the formation of each unique child to help them
discern, choose, and enter into the vocation of marriage or the vocation of virginity or
celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom.
391 In the frst fve years of marriage, parents and the local parish family can provide
essential pastoral care, formation, and support to couples to help them establish a healthy
emotional and spiritual atmosphere within the family home.
392 Children in the years of innocence, approximately age fve to twelve, are in a
period of tranquility and serenity which must be protected and never disturbed by media
or direct information about sex that is unnecessary, upsetting, or causes fear. A father
and mothers expression of affection and love is the primary method of formation.
393 During puberty, when physical, emotional, and spiritual changes take place, it
is the parents duty alone to engage in a personal, individualized dialogue with their
child regarding the genital aspects of sexuality within the context of chastity, procreation,
marriage, and family life.
394 Adolescence is the culmination of the parents mission of education in love within
the home, and young people have a deep need for the assistance, support, prayer, and
ongoing daily dialogue with their parents, as they discern their vocation in life.
395 Towards young adulthood, parents can continue to form, encourage, dialogue
with, bless, and pray for their children to help them remain pure and faithful to the
Catholic Church, as they engage in the world and are tempted to sin against chastity.
396 Grandparents are guarantors of the affection and tenderness which every person
needs to give and receive, offering children the perspective of time, memory, and a rich
treasure of love fowing through a holy marriage and family.
397 Gods plan for chastity formation is that each family become a sanctuary of life
and love where parents carry out their mission in the spirit of that fatherly and motherly
love which springs forth from the heart of God, and all family members love one another
in purity as mothers, brothers and sisters in Christ.
102 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
Parental Vigilance: Chastity Formation Outside the Home 103
Chapter Eight
Parental Vigilance:
Chastity Formation Outside the Home
Other educators can assist in this task, but they can only take the place of
parents for serious reasons of physical or moral incapacity. On this point,
the Magisterium of the Church has expressed itself clearly, in relation to
the whole educative process of children: The role of parents in education
is of such importance that it is almost impossible to fnd an adequate
substitute.
305
The Current Situation
398 The primary goal of Catholic Chastity Formation for Families is to educate
parents in regard to their God-given rights, duties, and responsibilities in the mission of
educating their own children in love according to Catholic teaching. A secondary goal
is to assist parents in the discernment and use of outside assistance to supplement their
own educational efforts, so they can determine if it is in accord with or violates Vatican
guidelines, especially in the delicate area of human sexuality.
399 While parents have a God-given duty to carry out their mission of education in
sexuality according to Church teaching, The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality,
Guidelines for Education Within the Family acknowledges that the decline of traditional
models has left children deprived of consistent and positive guidance, while parents fnd
themselves unprepared to provide adequate answers.
306
Making the parents mission
even more diffcult is that children are being systematically exposed to classroom
programs that provide inappropriate information about sexuality by educators who
want to usurp the parents role because they are either (a) ignorant of Church teaching
concerning the rights of parents and children, especially in matters pertaining to human
sexuality, (b) misinformed about how to apply Church teaching in the classroom, (c)
rejecting of Church teaching altogether, or (d) supportive of agendas that intentionally
misrepresent or oppose Catholic morality. The parents mission is further undermined
by powerful worldwide movements and philosophies that actively support efforts to
destroy traditional religious values in regard to chastity, marriage, and family life and are
promoted by wealthy individuals, institutions, foundations, governments, and schools.
S23
S1
305
TMHS 23. Chapter entitled Education for Chastity.
306
Ibid., 1.
104 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
307
Ibid., 148.
308
Cf. TMHS, 47.
400 Respect for the privacy, intimacy, and sacredness of sexuality means chastity
formation should be approached delicately by parents on an individual basis within the
sanctuary of the family home. Violating the sacredness and integrity of Gods design
for sexuality, as classroom sexual education and inappropriately designed and delivered
chastity formation programs do, has set off a chain reaction -- similar to splitting the
nucleus of an atom -- within the personality of our children and within the sanctuary
of the family home. Parents are the primary educators of their children and have the
inalienable right and duty to educate them in conformity with their moral and religious
convictions. However, in some cases, parents may legitimately desire or need outside
assistance, and the Church provides defnite guidelines for parents to follow in their
relationship with educators outside the home.
The Parent-Educator Relationship: Rules for Right Order
In fulflling a ministry of love to their own children, parents should enjoy
the support and cooperation of the other members of the Church. The
rights of parents must be recognized, protected, and maintained, not
only to ensure solid formation of children and young people, but also
to guarantee the right order of cooperation and collaboration between
parents and those who can help them in their task. Likewise, in parishes
and apostolates, clergy and religious should support and encourage
parents in striving to form their own children. In turn, parents should
remember that the family is not the only or exclusive formative community.
Thus, they should cultivate a cordial and active relationship with other
persons who can help them, while never forgetting their own inalienable
rights.
307

401 The role of the Church and State is frst and foremost to assist parents directly by
providing them with an authentic education in Gods plan for sexuality and by giving them
support and confdence in their ability to fulfll their vocation as the primary educators
of their children.
308
In reality, just the opposite often occurs, institutions often assume
parents are not capable and attempt to replace the parents role by directly providing
sexual information to children. Nevertheless, parents must remember that they have
the primary right to oversee the education their children receive when they allow other
people or institutions to assist them, especially in the area of human sexuality.
402 The Church has established guidelines for right order in the relationship between
parents and educators who provide supplementary assistance to parents in the education
of their children. The following list establishes what could be viewed as a Ten
S148
S47
Parental Vigilance: Chastity Formation Outside the Home 105
309
Cf.Ibid., 113.
310
Ibid., 115.
311
Ibid., 116.
312
Ibid., 120.
313
Ibid., 117.
314
Ibid., 118.
315
Ibid., 119.
Commandments for right order that parents can use as a guide and checklist to not only
fulfll their obligations but also insure that their own rights and the rights and innocence
of their children are protected:
1. Outside assistance must be subject to parents acceptance.
2. Outside assistance must support the parents education of their children and
must not be seen as, or in fact, be a substitute for their work.
3. Supplementary sexual education must be carried out under the attentive
guidance of parents in educational centres chosen and controlled by
them.
309

4. Parents must be fully informed of the precise content and methodology with
which such supplementary education is imparted.
5. No one can bind children or young people to secrecy about the content and/
or method of instruction provided outside the family.
310
6. Parents who permit their children to participate in educational assistance
outside the home have a right to be present during classes.
311
7. Parents have the right to remove their children from any form of sexual
instruction imparted outside the home,
312
that does not correspond with
their own principles.
8. Parents who choose not to permit their children to attend classes that impart
any form of sexual instruction outside the home have the duty to give them
an adequate formation, appropriate to each childs or young persons stage of
development.
313
9. No educator -- not even parents -- can interfere with the rights of a child or
young person to live his or her own sexuality in conformity with Christian
principles and hence the virtue of chastity.
314

10. Children and young people have a right to receive chastity formation according
to each childs (a) stage of development, (b) capacity to integrate moral
truth with sexual information, and (c) stage of innocence and tranquility.
315
S113
S115
S116
S120
S117
S118
S119
106 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
316
Ibid., 145.
317
Pope Pius XI, Quadragesimo Anno (May 15, 1931), 79.
318
Pope John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, Nov. 22, 1981, n. 45.
Subsidiarity and Subordination: Two Essential Catholic
Principles
403 Catholic guidelines for chastity formation and sexual education outside the home
insist that everyone must respect parents inalienable rights:
There are various ways of helping and supporting parents in fulflling
their fundamental right and duty to educate their children for love. Such
assistance never means taking from parents or diminishing their formative
right and duty, because they remain original and primary, irreplaceable
and inalienable. Therefore, the role which others can carry out in helping
parents is always (a) subsidiary, because the formative role of the family
is always preferable, and (b) subordinate, that is, subject to the parents
attentive guidance and control. Everyone must observe the right order of
cooperation and collaboration between parents and those who can help
them in their task. It is clear that the assistance of others must be given
frst and foremost to parents rather than to their children.
316
404 Subsidiarity is a most weighty principle, which cannot be set aside or changed,
remains fxed and unshaken in social philosophy: Just as it is gravely wrong to take from
individuals what they can accomplish by their own initiative and industry and give it to
the community, so also it is an injustice and at the same time a grave evil and disturbance
of right order to assign to a greater and higher association what lesser and subordinate
organizations can do.
317
405 What this means is the supportive structures of Church and State cannot and
must not take away from families the functions that they can just as well perform on
their own or in free associations; instead it must positively favor and encourage as far as
possible responsible initiative by families....
318
406 Parents have full authority and responsibility to guide every aspect of the education
of their children, and all others who share in the parents mission are subordinate to their
authority and control. If parents choose to have others assist them in chastity formation,
they have a right to expect that educators clearly present the full Catholic truth about
the meaning of human sexuality, marriage, and family life and promote the practice of
all the moral virtues, according to Gods laws, as revealed in the natural law, the Ten
S145
Parental Vigilance: Chastity Formation Outside the Home 107
319
Cf. TMHS, 64.
320
Cf. Ibid., 146.
321
Ibid., 39.
Commandments, and Christs teaching in the Gospel and in the Church. The Church
has always been frmly opposed to any information or presentations on sexuality that are
dissociated from Catholic moral principles
319
and that violate the principles of subsidiarity
and subordination by usurping the parents role.
Required Qualifcations for Anyone Assisting Parents
407 Gods plan for both the procreation and education of children is that it be carried
out by parents for the purpose of growth in love and holiness. In some cases, parents may
feel they are unqualifed or unprepared to educate and form their own children in chastity.
Situations like this occur primarily because parents do not know their rights, duties, and
responsibilities as primary educators; underestimate their gifts, or do not develop their
God-given abilities. In exceptional cases, parents may actually be morally or physically
incapable of carrying out their duties.
408 In the area of chastity formation, the Church clearly teaches that there is no
substitute for parents as educators within the family. However, there may be times when
outside assistance is needed in specifc cases. When parents do choose to allow others to
assist them in the education of their children, the Church says it is the parents obligation
to be sure that those who assist possess the following qualifcations:
1. Be prepared and disposed to teach the full Catholic truth;
2. Be mature, moral, and faithful to their vocation;
3. Know and respect the rights of parents as primary educators;
4. Know and practice the moral teachings of the Church on sexuality and chastity;
5. Assist the children in the spirit of the father and mother.
320

Exceptional Cases Where Parents May Need Assistance
409 Having frst met the Vaticans qualifcations just mentioned, trustworthy people
may be allowed to speak directly to children on an individualized basis in the area of
sexual education and chastity formation in these exceptional cases:
1. Persons who assume a permanent parental role in cases involving orphans and
abandoned children may undertake the education of children in chastity.
321

S64
S146
S39
108 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
322
Ibid., 23.
323
Ibid., 67.
324
Ibid., 91.
325
Ibid., 125, 72.
326
Ibid., 104.
327
Ibid., 74.
328
Ibid., 99.
329
Ibid., 130.
330
Ibid., 131.
331
Ibid., 132.
332
Ibid., 133.
2. Other educators can act as substitutes for the parents in serious cases of moral
or physical incapacity on the part of parents.
322
3. Single parents with children of the opposite sex may enlist the help of another
person of the same sex as the child to communicate the most intimate details
of human sexuality in chastity formation.
323
4. Parents and children can meet with an expert such as a doctor, nurse, priest, or
educator to help explain bodily changes during puberty.
324
5. Specifc and actual instances of sexual perversions should not be dealt with
except through individual counseling, as the parents response to genuine
problems.
325
6. Parents may seek help from expert qualifed persons for children exhibiting
homosexual tendencies or behaviors during childhood or adolescence.
326
Other Types of Assistance for Parents
410 Additional support available to parents includes:
1. Spiritual guidance during the Sacrament of Reconciliation by a regular
confessor can aid in progressively enlightening the stages of growth and as
moral support.
327
2. Parents can assist their children in discerning a vocation with the support of a
priest or other properly formed persons (in parishes, associations or in the new
fruitful ecclesial movements, etc.).
328
3. Parents can meet with other qualifed and trustworthy parents and others to
draw on their experience and competence.
329
4. Parents can attend meetings together with their children guided by expert,
trustworthy educators.
330
5. Parents can entrust a child to a trustworthy person for particular issues.
331
6. Parents can supplement their home formation program with limited moral
catechesis on sexual ethics, during puberty and adolescence, taught by qualifed
and trustworthy persons.
332
S23
S67
S91
S125
S72
S104
S74
S99
S130
S131
S132
S133
Parental Vigilance: Chastity Formation Outside the Home 109
7. Parents can receive Church assistance, formation, and catechesis to help
support and encourage them in forming their own children,
333
but it must
conform to the principles set out in this guide (The Truth and Meaning of
Human Sexuality), concerning doctrine, timing and the content and method of
such education.
334

8. Any other assistance from either the Church or State must always be carried
out in accordance with a proper application of the principle of subsidiarity.
335
Methods and Ideologies to Avoid
411 Parents must be vigilant and aware of the dangerous ideologies that motivate, as
well as the harmful methods that are used by public and private educators which violate
the innocence of children, undermine parental rights and duties, and attack the family.
Most of these dangerous methods appear harmless, and that is precisely why parents
must learn to discern the threats to their children and family, since most will come from
good people with good intentions. The following are fve of the most common methods
of immoral education that must be rejected by parents, and most are designed for a
classroom method of delivery:
1. Secular sex education that promotes contraception, abortion, and sterilization.
2. Professional or offcially recognized organizations of educators and counselors
in sex education that promote unproven theories, diminish chastity, and ignore
Church teaching.
3. Safety or health education where information on sexuality, particularly on
protection from disease or perversions, is presented to children in school.
4. Values clarifcation instruction where children are encouraged to develop a
personal moral code without reference to absolute truth or authority outside
themselves. Children are empowered to make decisions based solely on
what they think or feel is right. Value systems are created by the individual
and not by God or parents, and since all are considered equal, no one can
impose any value system on any other person.
5. Inclusion in curriculum where sexual information is presented under the guise
of another subject in education, like health, hygiene, personal development,
family life, childrens literature, social or cultural studies, and catechesis or
religious education.
336
333
Cf. Ibid., 134, 148.
334
Ibid., 147.
335
Ibid., 23.
336
Ibid., 135-142.
S134
S148
S147
S23
S135-
S142
110 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
Parental Vigilance: Grave Concerns about Sexual
Education Outside the Home
412 Parents should be aware that everyone involved in offering supplementary
sexual education to their children outside the home has a responsibility to promote full
disclosure to parents about the content and methodology being used. Yet, parents must
not simply be satisfed with the word of another, or that large numbers approve, but they
must investigate course materials themselves to see if both content and methodology are
acceptable to them and conform to the teachings of the Church. A lack of vigilance and
thoroughness in this crucial area may expose children to great harm and injury if they
are permitted to participate in programs that violate their innocence, undermine parental
authority, attack the family, and oppose Church teaching.
413 Parents who have done their homework and are aware of inappropriate content
or methodologies are obliged to withdraw their children from these programs or classes;
however, they are also responsible for providing their children with appropriate education
and training at home. In this respect, they also have a duty to inform educators, principals,
pastors, and all involved of the harmful effects of the program or class and to shed light
on how they violate Church teaching.
337
Likewise, parents should alert family, friends,
and those parents who have children at risk of the harmful effects of dangerous sexual
education programs.
What Information is Being Taught?
414 Parents should not give consent for their children to participate in any form of
sexual instruction imparted outside the home
338
before making a full review and preview
of all classroom flms, books, other materials and information that will be presented
to their children. Laws mandating the inclusion of the homosexual lifestyle within all
educational materials beginning in preschool is the most comprehensive effort to date to
impose sexual education on children.
The Dangers of the Classroom Model
415 Even when parents have been given full disclosure and have conducted their own
personal investigation of educational materials, they must be aware of the great dangers
of allowing their children to participate in mixed classroom presentations about human
sexuality. First of all, mixed classroom discussions of sexual matters directly contradict
S120
337
Cf. CCC, 907; Cf. Code of Canon Law, Can. 212 3.
338
TMHS, 120.
Parental Vigilance: Chastity Formation Outside the Home 111
the Church norm for sexual education, that it be a private and personal dialogue between
parent and child.
416 Second, each child in a mixed classroom setting will have different ideas or
knowledge about human sexuality. Some may know anatomically correct defnitions
for body parts, while others may only know vulgar defnitions and still others nothing
at all. Having your child participate in classes with other boys and girls means that
your child will probably be exposed to information about human sexuality that you do
not want them to know yet. Third, after class is over, children will have learned that
talking about sex in public is okay, so they may discuss with their friends what they
just learned, or perhaps act it out, with unforeseen consequences. The mixed classroom
setting is a very dangerous and explosive environment for engaging in these discussions.
Again, the Church teaches that chastity formation and the sharing of other information
about sexuality should take place between mothers and daughters or fathers and sons in
personalized dialogue based upon love and trust,
339
and that the moral dimension
must always be part of the explanation.
340

The Teacher Risk
417 While most teachers may be well-intentioned, their individual teaching styles,
methods of delivery, and lack of knowledge and/or conformity to Church teaching on
sexuality could put your child at risk. Many teachers moral codes and actions openly
contradict Church teaching, especially concerning sex outside of marriage and the use
of contraceptives and abortifacients. Even if a parent has researched all the classroom
materials and decided to allow his or her child to participate, the teacher may introduce
ideas, concepts, or information that are outside the scope of the materials reviewed, or
begin answering students real life questions in areas that should not be discussed. Is
this a risk worth taking? Does any parent really want another man or woman who they
may not even know forming their childs attitude or talking directly to their child about
sexual matters?
Parental Monitoring
418 The decision to allow or not to allow a child to receive classroom-imparted
supplementary education about sex is a parents duty and responsibility. By reviewing all
the classroom materials, weighing all the risks, and understanding and applying Church
teaching, a parent should be in a better position to determine whether the information
will violate the faith or chastity of their child. If not, then, with an informed conscience,
S66-
S67
S68
339
Ibid., 66-67.
340
Ibid., 68.
112 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
a parent can permit their child to participate in these classes. However, it would be wise
to talk with the child every day to fnd out in detail what he or she has learned, to correct
any information that is contrary to Church teaching, and to monitor for signs of any harm
or damage the classes may be causing.
419 Both the Church and this book provide guidance to help parents be vigilant
and to give them confdence in taking the appropriate action necessary to defend their
own childs chastity and that of all children against those who would harm them either
intentionally or out of ignorance. Parents are encouraged to be fully informed and
to trust their gut feelings about negative infuences which might be, or already are,
producing negative effects in the personality of their children or harming relationships
in their family. Parents should consider any attack on the virtue and chastity of their
children as an offence against the life of faith itself that threatens and impoverishes their
own communion of life and grace.
341
Summary Points
420 Modern culture, media, government, and educational institutions often under-
mine or attack the teachings of the Catholic Church on chastity; therefore, parents must
be vigilant in monitoring information about sexuality presented to their children.
421 As a general rule, Church and State educators must not take the place of parents and
present sexual information directly to children, but can support parents with assistance,
only if parents choose and fully control that assistance.
422 The principles of subsidiarity and subordination in chastity formation mean that
God has ordained parents with the mission of forming their children in love, and all those
who would assist them must never take over their role and must be subordinate to their
control.
423 The qualifcations for anyone who would assist parents in chastity formation are
that they know, teach, and live the teachings of the Church on marriage and family life.
424 Only in specifc exceptional cases may a trustworthy person replace a parent and
discuss sexuality with a child, and this must only be through private dialogue.
425 Spiritual guidance and limited moral catechesis on sexuality for adolescents can
assist parents when they conform to the principles of subsidiarity and subordination.
S21
341
Ibid., 21.
113 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
426 Parents must avoid dangerous ideologies and methods of sexual education often
hidden under the guise of other subjects and protect their children from them.
427 Any form of sexual education outside the home involves so many grave violations
and hidden dangers to children and parents that it should be avoided as a serious threat to
the health and very existence of the family.
114 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
The Elephant in the Room: The Infuence of Mass Media 115
S1
Chapter Nine
The Elephant in the Room:
The Infuence of Mass Media
Children deserve to grow up with a healthy understanding of sexuality
and its proper place in human relationships. They should be spared the
degrading manifestations and the crude manipulation of sexuality so
prevalent today. They have a right to be educated in authentic moral
values rooted in the dignity of the human person. This brings us back to
our consideration of the centrality of the family and the need to promote
the Gospel of life. What does it mean to speak of child protection when
pornography and violence can be viewed in so many homes through
media widely available today? We need to reassess urgently the values
underpinning society, so that a sound moral formation can be offered to
young people and adults alike. All have a part to play in this task not
only parents, religious leaders, teachers and catechists, but the media
and entertainment industries as well.
342

The Attack on Chastity in the Media
428 Overwhelming evidence suggests that the mass media is promoting a worldwide
breakdown of chastity and moral values by exerting pressure to reduce sex to something
commonplace through hundreds of millions of hours of depersonalized, recreational
and often pessimistic information...lacking the basic values of life, human love and
the family.
343
Family homes are receiving a steady stream of this material which is
deforming the consciences of children and adults alike. A global effort to promote a sexual
morality opposed to chastity is gradually debasing human sexuality and undermining
the integrity and moral values of the family. Children of all ages are exposed to ideas,
images, and information that is harming them physically, emotionally, psychologically,
and spiritually. The damage that can now be done to your children in less than the
twinkling of an eye will remain with them for life, even though the harmful effects may
not surface until years later.
342
Pope Benedict XVI, Address at the The National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC
(April 16, 2008).
343
TMHS, 1.
116 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
431
346
Television does infuence behavior in children. Exposure to violent
programming begets an inclination to violent behavior.
347
Too much
time in front of the TV compounds the likelihood of childhood obesity.
348

The presence of TVs in childrens bedrooms has been linked to poorer
academic performance.
349
Exposure to sexual themes increases the
likelihood that children will experiment with and become sexually active
at an earlier age.
350
344
Catholic Medical Association Task Force Report, To Protect and To Prevent, 2006, 40. Used with
Permission.
345
Parents Television Council, Wolves in Sheeps Clothing: A Content Analysis of Childrens Television,
March 2, 2006,3. [Source of following four footnotes.] Used with permission.
346
[1] Elif zmert et al., Behavioral Correlates of Television Viewing in Primary School Children Evaluated
by the Child Behavior Checklist, Arch Pediatric Adolescent Medicine, Vol. 156; American Medical Association, 2002.
347
[2] Fact Sheet, Television-How It Affects Children, American Academy of Pediatrics, 2002, available
from http://www.aap.org; Internet; June 25, 2005.
348
[3] Jonathan Pitts, TV in Kids Room Hurts Academics, Baltimore Sun, July 5, 2005, available from
http://www.BaltimoreSun.com; Internet; August 8, 2005.
349
[4] Michael Rich, Sex Screen: The Dilemma of Media Exposure and Sexual Behavior, Pediatrics,
Vol.116, No.1, American Academy of Pediatrics, 2005.
350
Ibid., 2.
429 A recent professional study of the Catholic Medical Association Task Force on
the Sexual Abuse of Children and Its Prevention states:
For the childs moral character to be consistent and stabilized, parents
must have strict rules regarding exposure to media TV, movies, video
games, and internet. Children exposed to common media machines will
have a hard time developing a respect for human life, for their own dignity,
and for the dignity of others. The popular media teach greed, gambling,
the advantage of power-over-others, and a perverse sexuality based on
self-gratifcation. They teach that violence has no negative consequence,
and action motivated by self-enhancement is superior to action based
upon moral character. The more exposure the child has to illustrations
of primitive discharge of aggression, the less likely the child will learn
to modify his aggression in healthy ways and the more likely the child
will be to use relationships for self-gratifcation. The failure of parents
to limit access to the media and to facilitate the childs development
of self-refection with modulation of emotion and aggression will result
in a greater incidence of depression, suicidal ideation, unrestrained
sexual activity, and in the escalating incidence of childhood violence at
increasingly younger ages.
344
430 Thousands of studies have been conducted over the years to determine how
television programming affects childrens health, attitudes, and behaviors. The
conclusions of these studies can also apply to other media. In other words, inappropriate
information obtained through movies, music, magazines, and the internet would have
the same devastating results, as if it were obtained from television. Below are some
representative fndings from those studies:
The Elephant in the Room: The Infuence of Mass Media 117
432 Studies have shown exposure to TV violence to be positively associated
with aggressive behavior in some children, and exposure to sexual content
increases the likelihood that children will become sexually active earlier
in life. The extended argument implies that exposure to coarse language
and disrespectful attitudes will also negatively affect children. Parents
often take it for granted that childrens programs are, by defnition, child-
friendly. This clearly is not always the case. Unfortunately this faulty
assumption has led many parents to let their guard down and allow
their children to spend hours watching television unsupervised. Young
children are especially impressionable, and they learn social norms and
behaviors as readily from television as from their peers or parents. The
Wolves in Sheeps Clothing report documents that childrens television
is no safe haven for children, and parents must be extremely vigilant as to
what their children are watching.
351
433 Children learn from media. Research has shown that exposure to media
violence can lead to fear and anxiety, desensitization to the suffering of
others, and increases in aggressive attitudes, thoughts, and behaviors.
A more recent, smaller body of evidence indicates that similar increases
in other health-risk behaviors, including unsafe sexual activity and
the use of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs, are found among young
people exposed to media portrayals of these behaviors as normative and
attractive.
434 TV makes kids violent...In 1994, researchers reviewed hundreds of
studies involving thousands of children and concluded that there was
clear evidence that watching violence on TV makes children more
aggressive. Similarly, preteens and teenagers exposed to sexual content
on television are much more likely to engage in the kinds of activities they
see on the screen.
435 Educational videos dont make infants smarter...According to a 2005
report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, no program targeting children
younger than two has demonstrated any educational beneft. Evidence
from studies my colleagues and I have done found that children who
watch TV before age three score worse on tests of letter and number
recognition upon entering school than those who do not. And for each
hour of television a child watches on average per day before age three,
the chances that child will have attention problems at age seven increase
by 10 percent. A 2005 University of Pennsylvania study found that even
watching Sesame Street before age three delayed a childs ability to
develop language skills.
351
Michael Rich, MD, MPH Director, Center on Media and Child Health On the Release of Wolves in
Sheeps Clothing: A Content Analysis of Childrens Television. Report by the Parents Television Council. Used with
permission.
118 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
436 Sitting around watching television instead of playing outside -- makes
kids overweight...television-watching itself -- unlike other sedentary
activities such as reading, block-building, or working on art projects --
encourages overeating. Snacking in front of the tube is a widespread
habit. About 70 percent of the ads children see on television are for food
products, and virtually none of them are for healthy choices.
437 TV does not help kids get to sleep. In fact, in a 2005 study of more than
2,000 children, my colleagues and I found that the more television children
watch, the more likely they have irregular sleep and nap patterns.
438 Kids watch too much television. Actually, the bigger problem is what they
watch and how they watch it....When parents watch with their children,
the value of the best television programs is enhanced and the harm of
negative programming can be curtailed.
352
439 A study of 1,792 adolescents, ages 12-17, showed that watching sex
on TV infuences teens to have sex. Youths who watched more sexual
content were more likely to initiate intercourse and progress to more
advanced noncoital sexual activities in the year following the beginning of
the study...Basically, kids with higher exposure to sex on TV were almost
twice as likely than kids with lower exposure to initiate sexual intercourse.
- Study Conducted by RAND and published in the September 2004 issue
of Pediatrics.
440 Factors positively associated with initiation of intercourse among virgins
are watching sex on TV, having older friends, getting low grades,
engaging in deviant behavior. Positive factors for virgins to abstain are
parental monitoring, parent education, living with both parents, having
parents who would disapprove of adolescent sex, being religious, and
having good mental health.
441 Children often behave differently after they have been watching violent
programs on television. Children who watched violent shows were more
likely to strike out at playmates, argue, disobey authority, and were less
willing to wait for things than children who watched nonviolent programs.
- American Psychological Association, Family and Relationships -Get the
Facts: Children and Television Violence
353
352
Source: Dimitri A. Christakis is a pediatrician and researcher at Childrens Hospital in Seattle and
coauthor of The Elephant in the Living Room: Make Television Work for Your Kids. Used with permission.
353
Parents Television Council, Facts and TV Statistics. Used with permission.
The Elephant in the Room: The Infuence of Mass Media 119
354
Gal 6:7-10.
Recommendations By Catholic Parents
442 The evidence is overwhelming: Television will harm your child. Parents should
exercise great vigilance over the information their children are exposed to through all the
various forms of mass media, including television, movies, video games, music, radio,
magazines, internet, and so forth. Based upon our research in writing this book and
as Catholic parents, we have formulated a number of recommendations to protect your
children from the devastating effects of the mass media. Your family is under attack by an
agenda in the media to destroy purity, honesty, integrity, truth, and honor by deliberately
violating every principle of Church teaching on chastity, holiness, and authentic love. It
is also an attack against God and His plan for love in marriage and family life.
443 Parents must be vigilant: Make no mistake: God is not mocked; for a person
will reap only what he sows, because the one who sows for his fesh will reap corruption
from the fesh, but the one who sows for the spirit will reap eternal life from the spirit.
Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do
not give up.
354
444 Parents must take action and lead by example. If you want your children to be
prudent in their use of the mass media, you must also be prudent. As Catholic parents, we
must daily reaffrm our choice to live our Faith in word and action by, frst and foremost,
protecting the innocence of our children. The following eight recommendations are
made with these thoughts in mind to help you create your own list of rules:
1. Firmly restrict the amount of television viewing time in your home to an
absolute minimum.
2. Supervise your children while they are watching television. Talk about what
they are watching, correct misinformation, note false advertising, etc.
3. Do not allow television for children under three years old.
4. Do not allow television sets in childrens bedrooms.
5. Limit television, movies, and video games to the following:
a. Christian programming from trustworthy sources like the Eternal
Word Television Network (EWTN).
b. Educational programming that presents Gods truth about creation
and/or honors Church teachings.
120 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
c. Entertainment and other programming that does not undermine the
purity and innocence of your child, the family, nor the Faith.
6. Limit the time your children spend listening to the radio or CDs and in
addition:
a. Provide guidance in choosing music that is healthy.
b. Listen to the lyrics and message and forbid any which undermine
purity, holiness, and the Catholic Faith.
c. Do not permit headsets or earplugs unless monitored.
7. Limit the amount of time your children spend on the internet, and to avoid
problems:
a. Always supervise your children while they are on-line.
b. Make a list of trusted sites that are age-appropriate viewing for your
child.
c. Restrict searches and surfng to guard against unwanted exposure to
dangerous images or information.
d. Closely supervise all chat room activity in which your child has been
permitted to participate and know the identities of those with whom
they speak.
8. Redirect any time that might be spent watching television to worthwhile and
constructive activities such as:
a. Daily family prayer in the home.
b. Athletic activities that do not interfere with family meals, time
together and daily family prayer.
c. Encouraging children to develop their musical talents.
d. Playing with friends or alone.
e. Developing interesting hobbies.
f. Reading good books.
g. Doing school homework.
h. Doing volunteer work.
i. Visiting with family and friends.
j. Doing charitable works of mercy.
k. Engaging in family fun activities.
l. Joining family discussions to develop healthy relationships within the
family.
m. Studying the Bible and other aspects of the Catholic Faith.
n. Having children help with daily chores, other household duties, or a
family business.
The Elephant in the Room: The Infuence of Mass Media 121
o. Fathers can cultivate mutual interests with their sons like hunting,
fishing, fixing things, rebuilding a car engine, and so forth.
p. Mothers can cultivate mutual interests with their daughters like
sewing, cooking, baking, gardening, and so forth.
445 So many of the ordinary daily routines that made families strong in the past
have fallen by the wayside because of the infuence of the mass media within the home.
Because the media surround us everywhere we go, parents often do not recognize its very
harmful infuence, even though it has become the proverbial elephant in the room, the one
obvious, huge problem that no one wants to recognize or address. Like an unaddressed
alcohol or drug addiction problem within the family home, the media can often dominate,
control and gradually destroy the spirit of family unity and love. Sexual imagery and
relationships once considered shocking and obscene are now being viewed by the whole
family together in their living room. With all the obvious evidence, parents would be
foolish to deny or procrastinate in addressing the scandalous food of impurity violating
their childrens innocence within the home, since it can literally poison and destroy their
souls. Since parents will be held to a strict accounting before the Lord as to how they
either carried out, neglected, or produced scandal in their duty to educate and form their
children in chastity, it is most urgent to take responsible and immediate action to control
the use of media within the family home.

Summary Points
446 Parents routinely permit violence, pornography, and all the other sins against
chastity to stream into the family home through the media which is actively deforming
the consciences of their children.
447 The physical, spiritual and emotional health, and personality development of a
child can be seriously harmed by exposure to television, movies, music, and the internet.
448 Watching sexual activity on television, at the movies, or on the internet encourages
young people to commit sins against chastity and endangers their souls.
449 Parents must defend their children and the family home from the attacks against
chastity directed at them by the mass media, since they will be accountable before God.
450 After eliminating or strictly reducing the media stream entering the home, parents
can then be proactive in helping their children establish healthy relationships through
family prayer, charitable works, and recreation.
122 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
451 Like an unaddressed drug or alcohol addiction within the family, the infuence
of the mass media has resulted in many parents being in denial or blindly ignoring its
infuence, so that they do not see this huge problem, even though it is obvious to others
as the proverbial elephant in the room.
Building on a Rock Foundation: The Cornerstone of Love 123
Chapter Ten
Protecting the Innocent:
Preventing Sexual Abuse
Grave sins against chastity differ according to their object: adultery, masturbation,
fornication, pornography, prostitution, rape, and homosexual acts. These sins
are expressions of the vice of lust. These kinds of acts committed against the
physical and moral integrity of minors become even more grave.
355
Insofar as it is bound to promote respect for the dignity of the person, civil
authority should seek to create an environment conducive to the practice of
chastity. It should also enact suitable legislation to prevent the spread of the
grave offenses against chastity mentioned above, especially in order to protect
minors and those who are the weakest members of society.
356
Statistics and Risk Factors on Sexual Abuse
452 If parents have already begun to incorporate Church teaching and the information
and ideas presented in this book, they will already be well on the way to providing a safe
and secure family environment for their children. Building a family home on this solid
foundation will provide a strong wall of defense to protect and to prevent their children
from suffering sexual abuse. However, parents have still more information to consider
in preventing sexual abuse and exploitation.
453 Parents can never be vigilant enough, and since it is virtually and physically
impossible for parents to shield their children from every potential risk, there are a
number of practical steps that can be taken to substantially minimize those risks. First
and foremost, parents are strongly encouraged to develop a strategy of prevention at
the very beginning of, or even before, their married life together, since they will have
the primary mission and lifetime responsibility to protect and ensure the safety of their
children.
454 Knowledge of some basic statistics on child sexual abuse can be a valuable tool in
understanding what areas to consider when establishing an effective prevention strategy
for your family, such as:
355
Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (June 28, 2005), 492.
356
Ibid., 494.
124 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
1 in 4 girls are sexually abused before the age of 18.
1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before the age of 18.
1 in 5 children are solicited sexually while on the internet.
Nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults (which includes all
reported assaults on adults) are against children ages 17 and
under.
30%-40% of victims are abused by a family member.
50% of victims are abused by a known and trusted person
outside of the family.
About 40% of children are abused by older or bigger children
who they know.
Only 10% of children are abused by strangers.
The median age for reported abuse is nine years old.
455 With these shocking statistics revealing the high percentage of sexual abuse
occurring very early in life within the family circle, it is wise and prudent for parents to
begin early to also identify other potential risk factors associated with sexual abuse, so
that every family member or friend of the family is not looked upon as a potential abuser.
Parents must be very vigilant about discerning the words, actions, and moral character
of every person with whom their children are in daily or frequent contact, sensitive to
signals that could indicate trouble.
456 Based on the statistics, a parental protection plan and other preventive programs
should focus frst on the highest risk areas within the circle of family and friends, since
20% of children are sexually abused before the age of eight.
50% of all victims of forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an
object, and forcible fondling are children under the age of 12.
357
70% percent of all sexual abuse victims are girls.
358
30%-40% of girls and 13% of boys are sexually abused.
359
The highest peak incidence of sexual abuse occurs between
the ages of 7 and 13, with a smaller peak occurring later in
adolescence.
360
357
Darkness to Light, Statistics Surrounding Child Sexual Abuse. Darkness to Light is a nonproft 501c3
organization whose mission is to (1) shift the responsibility for preventing child sexual abuse from children to adults,
(2) reduce child sexual abuse...through education and public awareness aimed at adults, and (3) provide adults with
information to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. Statistics are used with permission.
358
Catholic Medical Association Task Force Report, To Protect and to Prevent, 47.
359
Ibid., [109] R.M. Bolen, M. Scannapieco, Prevalence of Child Sexual Abuse: A Corrective Metanalysis,
Social Service Review 73(3) (1999): 281-313.
360
Ibid., [110] R.M. Bolen, Child Sexual Abuse: Its Scope and Our Failure, at 136.
Building on a Rock Foundation: The Cornerstone of Love 125
most abuse occurs not with strangers but with people the child knows or trusts. The
following are some of the factors that may put your child at increased risk:
The absence of a father or mother in the home.
A child being isolated from parents.
Living in a blended family.
The cohabitation of a parent.
Disunity within a marriage or family.
Dysfunctional relationships at home.
A lack of respect for chastity in the home.
Awakening a childs sense of curiosity by having access to things like sexu-
ally-oriented artwork, sculptures, pornography, or fnding birth control pills,
condoms, or other sexual paraphernalia in the home.
An absence of chaste affection and love between spouses and between parents
and children.
Lack of regular family sit-down meals at home.
A lack of parental supervision of their childrens activities.
Any type of immorality on the part of a parent, friend, or guardian.
Not respecting a family members need for privacy.
Any inappropriate displays of attention or affection towards a child.
Your own list could continue here....
Other Important Issues to Consider
457 Watchful discernment and vigilance means never forgetting some basic parental
duties and also paying attention to some red fags that may signal trouble:
1. Parents need to be aware of what is happening with their children every day.
2. Parents need to know exactly who their children are with when they are not
at home and ensure they will only be with them with the parents permission.
3. Parents must be attentive to red fags about a person with whom your child
has regular contact that could signal trouble, such as the following:
Use bad language?
Take drugs, get drunk, or gamble?
Engage in improper touching?
Openly reject Catholic teaching?
Use pornography?
Initiate inappropriate conversations?
Promote or participate in unacceptable types of entertainment?
Read objectionable magazines, books, etc.?
Listen to offensive music?
126 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
Watch distasteful television shows, movies, videos, etc.?
Ask your child to keep secrets?
Set up situations to separate you from your children so they can be
alone with them?
Give unwanted or inappropriate hugs, kisses, and other signs of affec-
tion?
Your own list could continue here....
Child Care and Babysitters
458 Your childs safety is your primary responsibility when considering child care.
The potential for child abuse increases whenever your child is in the custody of another
person outside of the immediate family. A careful examination of a person, family, or
institutions moral character, inclinations, and reputation should be done before entrusting
your child to their care. In this area, parents can never be content with just assuming
or trusting that all is well without a thorough verifcation of trustworthiness. Creating a
simple checklist will help in the discernment process.
459 For day care or child care in or outside the home, consider the following:
1. If possible choose a very close and trusted family member frst.
2. Do not assume your child is safe simply because a person or institution
claims they are Christian.
3. Child day care sponsored by a church or by another Christian organization,
where there is a demonstrated commitment to traditional Christian principles,
may be a better choice than secular day-care providers.
4. Supervised day-care providers might be better than in-home day care, which
is usually not supervised by anyone outside that home.
5. Day-care providers with installed and working security systems and cameras
are preferred because there is more vigilance and accountability.
6. It is essential to do your homework with outside day-care providers by ask-
ing people you know for references, doing background checks, seeking the
advice of local law enforcement offcers, and taking time to observe teachers,
support staff, and children.
7. Make a personal inspection of any day-care provider or home that you might
use by meeting the owners, teachers, assistants, food and maintenance staff,
or other family members without being afraid to ask a lot of questions.
8. After placing your child in another persons care, periodically drop in unex-
pectedly to make sure they are fulflling their obligations and duties as they
said they would.
9. Ask questions of, observe, and listen carefully to your child as he or she
shares thoughts and feelings about their experience in day care.
Building on a Rock Foundation: The Cornerstone of Love 127
460 Questions for parents to refect upon in their discernment of who to select for
babysitters and day-care providers:
Do you know this person or these people well?
Are they trustworthy? Why do you think so?
Are they respectful and courteous? Give examples.
Will they honor and obey your rules? How can you be sure?
Are they responsible? How do you know? Give examples.
Have you had meaningful discussions with them to understand who they are
and what they believe?
Do they have a good reputation? Do other people speak well of them?
Have they been in trouble in the past? If so, should this be of concern?
If you do not know them yet, are they able to provide references? Insist on
at least three credible references. Did you contact these people to get their
feedback? Are the references people you know and trust? A good tip when
contacting references is to ask them if they know anyone else you might con-
tact as a reference; then follow up on the lead.
Are their moral values consistent with yours?
Will they respect your instructions about what your child is allowed to do or
not do?
For a day-care provider: Do they allow children to watch television shows
during the day? Which programs? If they do, do you approve of the shows?
If you do not approve of the shows, will they honor your request that your
children not participate?
If the babysitter is an older child or young adult, do you know, or have you
met, with their parents personally?
After having done your homework, do you feel that your child will be safe
with them?
Do you have any other concerns that might cause you to say no to hiring
this person or day-care provider?
Your own list could continue here....
Prevention Beginning at the Age of Innocence (Age Five)
461 The years of innocence can be exciting years for your children, because they begin
to experience autonomy for the frst time in school or in other associations. They are
meeting new people and making new friends, and beginning to explore a new world that
is unfamiliar to them. Without diminishing their enthusiasm, parents must realize also
that they lack wisdom and judgment and are therefore vulnerable to being manipulated,
128 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
S85
lied to, and taken advantage of by authority fgures, older children, trusted adults, and
strangers who appear good but have bad intentions.
462 You are responsible for the safety of your children at all times and particularly
while they are in the custody of another person. The Church says that parents can
minimize potential dangers by teaching them a form of modesty and reserve with regard
to strangers, as well as by giving suitable sexual information, but without going into
details and particulars that might upset or frighten them.
361
This teaching also applies
to those family members, friends, and teachers who are permitted to assist parents at this
age. For example, this teaching, put in the parents own words, might be as follows:
Do not let anyone touch your private parts or whatever your bathing suit
covers.
Do not touch anyone elses private parts or whatever their bathing suit covers.
If someone tries to touch your private parts, they are committing a sin and
they are a bad person.
Scream or shout NO very loud and quickly move away from the person.
If any of these things happen to you, its not your fault.
Do not keep secrets; tell mom or dad right away.
If someone threatens to hurt you or someone you love, tell mom or dad right
away.
Please note that statistics unfortunately reveal that even a mother or a father can be
the abuser. If your spouse displays signs of inappropriate behavior with the child, this
should be confronted and brought to light immediately.
463 During the educational process of providing chastity formation to your children,
frequently and gently remind them that their bodies are created by God to be temples of
His Holy Spirit and that nobody has a right to touch their private parts, except in certain
situations like medical procedures conducted by a qualifed doctor to whom you have
given your permission. If repeated often, these simple messages will remain deeply
rooted in children and be helpful to them all the way through puberty, adolescence, young
adulthood, courtship, and engagement.
464 Especially during the age of innocence and continuing through puberty and
adolescence, parents must be attentive to and wary of school curriculums that impart
information about sexuality in the classroom, especially under the guise of subjects
like education, health, family life, or safety. For instance, safety training is the latest
method being used to justify classroom presentations of sexual information directed at
children. This occurs not only in safe-sex training classes but also in safe school
policies that mandate teaching children about homosexual lifestyles from the earliest
361
Cf. TMHS, 85.
Building on a Rock Foundation: The Cornerstone of Love 129
years, so they will not discriminate against other children with homosexual parents. Any
safety program that introduces sexual information to innocent children and youth in
violation of the principle of subsidiarity, the guidelines set forth by the Church, or against
parents objections will always harm children and should never be tolerated by parents.
Your Childs Friends
465 Good friendships can be a wonderful blessing to a child, but unhealthy friendships
can cause irreparable harm that could affect a child for life. Discerning parents should
ask a lot of questions about their childs friends, about their friends parents, and about
other family members, as well as take time to get to know them personally.
466 Questions to ask about your childs friend:
Does he or she demonstrate good moral values?
Is he or she courteous and respectful towards you?
Are there any signs that your childs friend is exposed to immorality from
what they say in general conversation about the Internet, television shows,
CDs, radio, music, etc?
Based upon your interactions with this child, do you feel that they would be
a good influence on your child?
Does the child avoid coming to your home? Why?
Do his or her parents have a sexual prevention program in place?
You can continue to add questions here....
467 Questions to ask about the parents and family of your childs friend:
Are they people of faith?
Have you personally met with, or do you know, this childs mother and
father?
Do you approve of their moral values, and are they consistent with your
own?
Can you cooperate with one another about what your children will be
allowed to do or not do?
Will they respect your rules about what your child is allowed to see or hear
on the internet, television, CDs, radio, music, etc., when your child is at their
home?
Are you reasonably certain that your child will be safe and not exposed to
any type of immorality while visiting their home?
Do these people have older children, and can they be trusted?
Are there any signs of alcohol or drug abuse, family violence, or other illegal
activities to which your child might be exposed?
Will your child be supervised by a trusted parent while visiting their home?
130 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
Do you have any other concerns that would cause you to say no to this
friendship?
You can continue to add your own questions here...
468 Additional things you can do as a parent relative to your childs friends include:
Exercise your parental authority, when required, by being frm but fair.
Know where your children are at all times.
Know who your children are with at all times.
Monitor who your children associate with and pay attention to what your
children are revealing to you in their speech, attitudes, and actions. Be alert
to any red fags; make sure that your concerns are valid and, if they are,
take immediate and appropriate action.
Trust your instincts and gut feelings.
Remind your children that, if they have any worries, anxieties, or bad
feelings about any of their friends, they should come to you, so that you can
talk about them together.
Make sure that all outside activities away from home are appropriate for your
child.
Observe if your childs friend follows the rules of your home when he is
visiting.
Observe if your childs friend respects you, your authority, and your property.
See if the boundaries you have set for your child are respected by his or her
friends.
Listen to whats being said by other people about your child and his or her
friends.
Keep an open and ongoing dialogue with the parents of your childs friend.
Know when your child is playing with a friend that you approve of, and, if
other children are present, know and investigate their background.
Do not permit, or rarely allow, sleep-overs at a friends home, especially if it
is a group of children together. The danger of being exposed to unwanted or
dangerous images, words, sounds, or other information is far too great a risk
against the purity and innocence of your child to warrant giving your permis-
sion. Instead, suggest other things that your child and friend can do together.
You can continue to list additional things here....
Other Potential Risk Factors
469 Additional risk factors a parent should consider include:
A child who is insecure or has low self-esteem could be an easy victim to the
advances of people they know and trust, and abusers know this.
A child should not have friends who are older than themselves (excluding
immediate family members, of course), nor should they be allowed to
Chapter Ten: Sexual Abuse Prevention 131
be alone with older children, an adult, or a stranger without a parents
permission.
Any person who does not exhibit appropriate rules of behavior around other
people should not be permitted to associate with your child.
Children who spend excessive amounts of unsupervised time both at and
away from home are at a high risk for abuse.
Children who are exposed to physical or emotional abuse in or outside the
home.
Children who are exposure to any type of systematic desensitization related
to the sexuality and dignity of the person through mass media and other
sources.
Children receiving or being taught to use contraception from anyone, espe-
cially schools, teaches them that sexual activity is normal and expected.
Children are at high risk when parents do not know what is being taught out-
side the home by schools, professionals, doctors and nurses, social workers,
counselors, and law enforcement through these events:
Sex education outside the home.
Mixed classroom discussions about sexuality.
A child receiving false teaching about sexuality and/or morality.
Governmental breakdown of protection, laws, and enforcement concerning
children.
Governments lowering the legal age of consent pertaining to children.
Parents demonstrating a tolerance of or permitting immodest fashions in their
children at this age.
Other risk factors can be listed here....
Creating a Safe Environment for Your Child
Ideally children should live in close proximity to an extended
family (grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, and
cousins with trans-generational and intra-generational secure
attachments) and within a community centered on the beliefs and
traditions of a church or synagogue. These connections shield
children from negative cultural infuences and promote a deep
sense of security and interior integration.
362
470 Creating a safe environment for your child can be quite a rewarding experience
when the foundation is built upon love, purity, holiness, mutual respect, obedience, right
order, peace, and serenity. A loving, chaste, and holy relationship between husband and
wife will inevitably extend to a parents relationship of appropriate affection and love
362
Catholic Medical Association Task Force Report, To Protect and to Prevent, Page 55.
132 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
for their children. All that is impure, flthy, and unholy will be cast from the home as
the family assumes the way of perfection modeled frst by the Holy Family of Nazareth,
the preeminent model of family life. Daily participation in the sacramental life of the
Church, frequent reception and adoration of the Eucharist, and use of the Sacrament
of Reconciliation, along with daily family prayer in the home and regularly scheduled
family meals, celebrations, and vacations, will strengthen and fortify family bonds of
love, trust, peace, and security, knowing we are protected and cared for by our heavenly
Father.
471 When a father and mother dedicate their home and commit their family to living
in purity and holiness, according to the teachings of the Church, and when they act to
protect their children from violations of their chastity, they will experience suffering as
well, often from those closest to them. Family and friends who reject, or do not believe,
or live fully, the teachings of the Church on sexuality will often fade from your life, some
quietly and others not so quietly. Jesus told his true disciples this division would happen
as soon as they made a frm decision to follow Him: From now on a household of fve
will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against
his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against
her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against
her mother-in-law.
363
Division within the family will separate those who choose to
follow Christ and His plan for chaste and holy love from those who do not, and those who
choose the narrow road will inevitably suffer much from those who choose to remain on
the wide road.
472 Does that mean that you will be without family or friends? Not hardly. Jesus
told his little fock to fear not. New friends will enter your life, friends who are on the
same pilgrimage to the House of the Father. And, as He promised, these new friends will
truly become your brothers, sisters, and mothers,
364
and together this new family would
experience supernatural love, peace, and unity as holy children of one heavenly Father.
473 So what does this Scripture, you ask, have to do with the prevention of sexual
abuse and the mission of chastity formation within the family? Everything. Statistically
speaking, almost 90% of sexual abuse is perpetrated by family or friends who are known
and usually trusted by the child. When couples prepare for marriage or young parents
make a serious commitment to plan and actively build up their friendships, home, and
family in chaste love, prayer, and holiness, other family members and friends who do not
363
Lk 12:52-53.
364
CCf. Mt 12:50.
Building on a Rock Foundation: The Cornerstone of Love 133
believe, as they believe, often distance themselves from the family in order to avoid the
light. The very light of purity from Jesus, Mary, and Joseph will so radiate from your
home and family, that those inclined to live in sin, darkness, evil, and sexual abuse will
not come near; and, therefore most of the risk factors for sexual abuse will have been
minimized or eliminated.
474 Prevention of sexual abuse also will occur when these like-minded families join
together to support one another. This is why the Church encourages parents to form
associations with other Catholic parents who are on the same pilgrimage to the House
of the Father, in order to provide a social and communal atmosphere of like-minded
families, establish or rebuild the culture based upon chastity and holiness, and reinforce
a moral code of conduct for interpersonal relationships.
475 In order to minimize the possibility of your child being sexually exploited or abused
by teachers, coaches, clergy, strangers, and other authority fgures, the same suggestions
for parental vigilance, outlined earlier in this section, can be used. In addition, parents
are encouraged to meet with family, friends, teachers, coaches, clergy, and others to share
the child sexual abuse prevention measures that each has implemented in their own home
and family. At meetings, parents can cite the basic statistics and risk factors for sexual
abuse, identify strategies that work to prevent abuse, obtain a commitment to follow
a rule of conduct, and let everyone know that they will follow up with accountability
procedures. When parents organize individual or group meetings with authority fgures,
they can serve notice in a gentle but frm way that they will be vigilant and not tolerate
inappropriate conduct towards their children.
Child Safety Instructions
476 Again, it is parents who are primarily responsible for the safety and protection
of their children. Implementing these suggestions progressively as your family matures,
along with your own ideas, is the best insurance you have for keeping your children safe
from the scourge of sexual abuse. These behind-the-scenes efforts will also protect
your children from unnecessary worry or anxiety and give them the freedom to enjoy and
fully experience this time in their lives with their innocence protected.
477 Just as you have provided age-appropriate information to your children about the
various aspects of human sexuality, you can also engage in age-appropriate discussions
about why, for example, you have met with the parents of your childs friends. This will
help to strengthen the bonds of love and trust between parent and child, and also reinforce
a parents message about the necessity of living a chaste and holy life.
134 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
478 Some basic child safety instructions parents can give children to also help them
be protected from sexual abuse include:
Never go anywhere with a stranger unless they have been granted permission
to do so by a parent.
Never spend time alone with anyone without the permission of a parent.
The buddy system should be used when children are not under the direct su-
pervision of their parents: when they are with other children, adults, teachers,
coaches, or when walking to or from school, the store, etc.
Parents should instruct their children not to accept gifts, candy, or rides from
strangers.
Children should not be permitted to engage in on-line chat rooms, instant
messaging, internet, etc., without direct parental supervision.
Children should be taught the following rules for safety:
Never let anyone touch their private parts or whatever their bathing
suit covers.
Never touch anyone elses private parts or whatever their bathing suit
covers.
If someone tries to touch them in private areas, the person is
committing a sin and is a bad person.
Scream or shout NO very loud and quickly move away from the per-
son.
If any of these things do happen, it is not their fault and they will not
be in trouble.
Do not keep secrets.
If someone threatens them or someone they love, tell mom or dad right
away.
Mom and dad love them no matter what happens.
Your own ideas can continue here....
479 If there is solid evidence of sexual or other child abuse noted, consult a list of
emergency telephone numbers and confidential persons that you have collected, for
purposes of reporting abuse and from whom you can obtain counsel and assistance;
for example, 911, law enforcement agencies, hospital or clinics, shelters, clergy, crisis
counsellors. Then follow this course of action:
Immediately remove your child from further exposure to the abuser.
Try to have a confdential talk with your child to discern what has happened.
Assure the child it is not his or her fault and reporting it is the right thing to
do.
Notify the police or civil authorities at once.
Building on a Rock Foundation: The Cornerstone of Love 135
Take your child to the family doctor or another trusted health care
professional for evaluation and documentation of abuse.
Obtain a restraining order to prevent further contact with the abuser.
Patiently support your child in the long process of healing.
The Role of Church, State, and Other Institutions
480 Church, State, and other institutions need to provide safe environments for children
that are free from worry or fear. In the area of sexual abuse prevention, institutions
should strive to provide safe spaces for children to play and work where they do not have
to fear sexual predators. As a frst step, this can be done by simply screening employees,
doing background checks, and taking immediate action against anyone who endangers a
childs right to innocence.
481 But a new priority must be established as well. Institutions must support parents
in their God-given mission as the primary and irreplaceable educators of their children
in all areas, but in sexuality frst and foremost. Perhaps the worst form of systematic
sexual abuse is the institutionalized classroom sex education and sexual abuse prevention
programs in which children, separated from their parents, discuss sexual issues in a group
setting. This is completely contrary to the Churchs teaching that sexual information
should respect personal privacy and be communicated to children in a personal individual
manner by their parents in the safe environment of the family home.
482 Further, public policies, procedures, accountability, laws, and enforcement that
acknowledge the deep and lasting emotional, physical, psychological, and spiritual
effects of sexual abuse must be promoted. Too often, neither the Church, the State nor
other institutions have recognized the deep harm to the inner unity and integrity of the
personality caused by sexual abuse and that the punishment of abusers is minimal and
ineffectual. This is often caused by a general lack of understanding of the teaching of the
Church on chastity and human sexuality.
483 Wherever there are violations and sins against chastity, corruption of the
innocence of children and youth, and proliferation of the sexual sins against Gods
plan for marriage, there is also the presence of evil, suffering, deep darkness, and the
destruction of all that God created to be good and holy. When this occurs, the common
good of the family and society completely breaks down. Therefore, it is of the highest
priority that the Church, State, and other institutions defend, protect, and promote Gods
plan for sexuality, specifcally, marriage and the family, found in the natural law, the Ten
Commandments, Scripture, and the Teachings of the Church.
136 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
484 The future of the world literally depends upon parents faithfully carrying out
their mission from God in procreating and educating their children in chastity and love.
This mission can be facilitated with the support of Church, State, and other institutions
in providing safe environments for children, as well as respecting the important role
parents have, as primary educators of their children, in communicating delicate and
age-appropriate sexual information to their sons and daughters.
Summary Points
485 Grave sins against chastity such as adultery, masturbation, fornication,
pornography, prostitution, rape, and homosexual acts are even more grave and
scandalous in the eyes of God when committed against minors and innocent children,
and legislation should refect this truth.
486 Parents have the primary mission and responsibility to protect and defend their
children from sexual abuse and should develop a strategy of prevention before or at the
very beginning of their married life together.
487 Statistics reveal that the highest percentage of sexual abuse occurs in the years
of innocence (7-12) and that the abuser is, 90% of the time, a person known and trusted
by the family.
488 Knowledge of and a vigilant awareness of the known issues and risk factors
contributing to sexual abuse, along with a diligent investigation of all those persons to
whom you entrust your child, will help prevent occasions of abuse.
489 A safe environment for a child begins with a loving, chaste, holy, and serene
relationship between husband and wife within the family home and is solidifed by
associating with families also committed to chaste and holy love.
490 An urgent, universal need is for the Church, State, and other institutions to
directly support husband and wife in their God-given mission in the procreation and
education of their children in love within the sanctuary of the family, while opposing
every grave sin against chastity and the sanctity of marriage and family life.
Index 137
Key to Book Navigation
and Understanding
Why this Book is Needed
6 Cardinal Trujillo said it best, In the past, even when the family did not
provide specific sexual education, the general culture was permeated by respect for
fundamental values and hence served to protect and maintain them. In the greater part
of society, both in developed and developing countries, the decline of traditional
models has left children deprived of consistent and positive guidance, while parents
find themselves unprepared to provide adequate answers. This new context is made
worse by what we observe: an eclipse of the truth about man which, among other
things, exerts pressure to reduce sex to something commonplace. In this area, society
and the mass media most of the time provide depersonalized, recreational and often
pessimistic information. Moreover, this information does not take into account the
different stages of formation and development of children and young people, and it is
influenced by a distorted individualistic concept of freedom, in an ambience lacking
the basic values of life, human love and the family... Sometimes this really leads to the
deformation of consciences. The heart of the problem is rejecting the truth that man
was created by and for God and believing that man originated from, remains by
nature, and will behave as an animal, following every sexual instinct as the natural
and normal thing to do.
7 Communitas Dei Patris
6
members and friends are convinced that truly
Catholic chastity formation is at the very heart of the universal return of families to
the house of God the Father and the new springtime in the Church. Through an
integrated lifetime approach to purity, families can rediscover the beauty of life, love,
happiness and peaceful communion with one another and with God. The pure in
heart are promised that they will see God face to face and be like him. Purity of heart
is the precondition of the vision of God. Even now it enables us to see according to
God, to accept others as neighbors; it lets us perceive the human body ours and our
neighbors as a temple of the Holy Spirit, a manifestation of divine beauty.
7
Please note that every paragraph throughout the book is consecutively number in bold
numerals. This is for cross-reference purposes. Numbers that appear on the right side of a page
direct the reader to the corresponding bold number(s) at the beginning of each paragraph.
6
Communitas Dei Patris is Latin for Families of God the Father or Communities of God the Father, an apostolate
dedicated to living out and proclaiming Gods the Fathers plan for marriage and family life.
7
Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), October 11, 1992, 2519.
6
Key Point to Remember
Key to Book Navigation and Understanding
This space can also
be used for notes
138 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
Research and Source Documents
Sacred Scripture and Catechism
Catechism of the Catholic Church, October 11, 1992.
Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, June 28, 2005.
New American Bible, 1991, 1986, 1970, Confraternity of Christian Doctrine.
Documents of the Second Vatican Council
Apostolicam Actuositatem, Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, November 18, 1965.
Gravissimum Educationis, Declaration on Christian Education, October 8, 1965.
Gau dium et Spes, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World,
December 7, 1965.
Lumen Gentium, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, November 21, 1964.
Sacrosanctum Concilium, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, December 4, 1963.
Papal Teaching
Pop e Benedict XVI, Address at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in
Washington DC, April 16, 2008.
Pop e Benedict XVI, Address to the Participants in The International Congress On Natural
Moral Law, February 12, 2007.
Pope Benedict XVI, Apostolic Exhortation, The Sacrament of Love, February 22, 2007.
Pope Benedict XVI, Encyclical, God is Love, December 25, 2005.
Pop e Benedict XVI, Message to the Youth of the World On the Occasion of the 22nd
World Youth Day, 2007.
Pope Benedict XVI, World Meeting of Families, Valencia, Spain, July 8, 2006.
Pop e John XXIII, Apostolic Constitution, Humanae Salutis, Convocating the Second
Vatican Council, December 25, 1961, 23.
Pope John Paul II, Address to Family Ministry Convention, April 28, 1990.
Pope John Paul II, Address at the General Audience, June 13, 1979.
Pop e John Paul II, Address to the Bishops of the Church in the States of Minnesota,
North Dakota and South Dakota (USA) on their Ad Limina visit, June 6, 1998.
Pope John Paul II, Address to the Cardinals of the United States, April 23, 2002.
Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation, On Catechesis in our Time, October 16, 1979.
Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation, On the Family, November 22, 1981.
Pop e John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation, The Vocation and Mission of the Lay Faithful
in the Church and in the World, December 30, 1988.
Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Letter, On the Dignity of Women, August 15, 1988.
Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, October 16, 2002.
Pope John Paul II, Encyclical, The Gospel of Life, March 25, 1995.
Index 139
Pope John Paul II, Encyclical, Redeemer of Man, March 4, 1979.
Pope John Paul II, Encyclical, The Splendor of Truth, August 6, 1993.
Pop e John Paul II, Holy Thursday Letter to Priests, Behold your Mother, Mary in the
Life of the Priest, March 25, 1988.
Pop e John Paul II, Holy Thursday Letter to Priests, Priesthood and the Pastoral Care of
the Family, March 13, 1994.
Pope John Paul II, Homily, May 30, 1980.
Pop e John Paul II, Letter, On the Mystery and Worship of the Eucharist, February 24,
1980.
Pope John Paul II, Letter to the Elderly, October 1, 1999, 13.
Pop e John Paul II, Message to the Pontifcal Council for the Family on the 20th Anniver-
sary of the Post-synodal Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, November 2001.
Pope John Paul II, Message to the Young People of Cuba, January 23, 1998.
Pope John Paul II, Letter to Families, February 2, 1994.
Pope John Paul II, World Peace Day, December 8, 1993.
Pope Paul VI, Address at Nazareth, January 5, 1964.
Pop e Paul VI, Apostolic Exhortation, On Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary,
February 2, 1974.
Pope Paul VI, Encyclical, Mystery of Faith, September 3, 1965.
Pope Paul VI, Encyclical, Of Human Life, July 25, 1968.
Pope Pius XI, Encyclical, Casti Connubii, On Christian Marriage, December 31, 1930.
Pop e Pius XI, Encyclical, Quadragesimo Anno, On Reconstruction of the Social Order,
May 15, 1931.
Pop e Pius XII, Encyclical, On the Mystical Body of Christ and Our Union in It with
Christ, June 29, 1943.
Pope Pius XII, Encyclical, The Sacred Liturgy, November 20, 1947.
Congregations of the Roman Curia
Con gregation for Catholic Education, Educational Guidance in Human Love,
November 1, 1983.
Con gregation for Divine Worship, General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours,
April 11, 1971.
Con gregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning
Sex ual Ethics, Persona Humana, December 29, 1975.
Con gregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration on Procured Abortion,
November 18, 1974.
Con gregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction on Respect for Human Life in its
Origin and On the Dignity of Procreation, February 22, 1987.
140 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
Con gregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction Dignitas Personae, On Certain
Biological Questions, September 8, 2008.
Con gregation of Rites, Instruction on the Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery,
May 25, 1967.
Pontifcal Council for the Family
The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality, December 8, 1995.
Preparation for the Sacrament of Marriage, May 13, 1996.
Miscellaneous
Ca tholic Medical Association Task Force Report on the Sexual Abuse of Children and Its
Prevention, To Protect and To Prevent, 2006.
Charter for the Rights of the Family, October 22, 1983.
Code of Canon Law, January 25, 1983.
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Homily, April 18, 2005.
Miles Immaculatae, July-September 1939.
St. Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Ephesians.
St. Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Magnesians.
St. Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Smyrnaens.
Summa Theologica, Question 84, Article 2, Objection 3.
The Roman Ritual: Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass,
June 5, 1983.
Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II, 1999.
Index 141
A
Aborton ix, xvi, 93, 98, 109
Abuser 124, 128, 134, 135, 136
Abusive 54, 85
Accountability 38, 87, 88, 92, 96, 126, 133, 135
Adam 2, 8, 9, 18, 19, 20, 35
Addictons xvi
Adolescence 27, 42, 71, 73, 74, 75, 77, 88, 92, 93, 98,
101, 108, 124, 128
Adolescent 70, 95, 96, 97, 118
Adolescents 46, 77, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 112, 118
Adore 1, 3, 18, 56
Adultery xvi, 94, 123, 136
Afecton 13, 15, 16, 18, 25, 35, 39, 42, 43, 52, 54, 59,
64, 77, 82, 86, 95, 99, 101, 42, 125, 126
Afectonate 39, 50, 54, 81, 83, 84, 100
Agape love 2, 3
Alcohol 117
Altar xvii, 1, 18, 52, 57, 59
Apostasy xvi
Apprentceship 19, 27, 28, 29, 34, 61, 79, 81
Appropriate iv, x, xiii, 24, 67, 71, 72, 77, 84, 105, 110,
112, 120, 130, 131, 133
Assistance xvii, 17, 46, 48, 50, 69, 78, 83, 84, 93, 97,
100, 101, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 109, 112, 134
Associatons 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 75, 76, 78, 84, 93, 94,
98, 100, 106, 108, 127, 133
Atmosphere x, 16, 17, 37, 38, 43, 45, 48, 50, 51, 52, 57,
59, 64, 71, 77, 78, 83, 84, 95, 101, 133
Authority xiii, xvi, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 18, 20, 21, 24, 75,
78, 81, 85, 106, 109, 110, 118, 123, 127, 128, 130, 133
Autonomy 95, 127
B
Background checks 126, 135
Baptsm 10, 29, 57
Batle viii, xiv, xv, xvii, xviii, 22, 63, 64, 68, 96, 97
Beauty viii, xvii, 2, 10, 13, 17, 18, 63, 94
Beginning viii, xiv, 1, 2, 8, 9, 19, 26, 32, 33, 35, 36, 37,
39, 53, 90, 110, 118, 123, 127, 136
Behaviour 42, 46
Beloved 2, 3, 4, 15, 82, 84, 95, 98
Biological 89
Birth xvi, 11, 35, 36, 40, 71, 83, 125
Birth control xvi, 125
Bishops xiii, 47, 53, 55, 138
Breakdown xiii, xv, xvi, xvii, 31, 39, 61, 64, 115, 131
Bride 6, 17, 18, 30, 33, 81, 82
C
Catechesis viii, 50, 84, 86, 108, 109, 112
Catechism of the Catholic Church xi, xv, 15, 123, 138
Catholic Medical Associaton xi, 84, 85, 116, 124, 131,
140
CDs 38, 120, 129
Celibacy 31, 81, 82, 93, 101
Chaplet of Divine Mercy 57
Charity 6, 7, 11, 15, 18, 28, 32, 41, 47, 49, 53, 68, 80,
89, 92, 99
Chaste viii, xv, xvii, xviii, 3, 6, 11, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21,
28, 29, 31, 32, 39, 41, 48, 49, 50, 51, 54, 56, 62, 64, 67,
68, 70, 72, 74, 77, 78, 87, 89, 91, 96, 100, 125, 131, 132,
133, 136
Chaste love viii, xviii, 16, 17, 20, 31, 41, 48, 50, 54, 67,
132
Chastty formaton i, ix, xiv, xv, xvii, 19, 23, 32, 33, 34,
42, 43, 46, 47, 48, 50, 51, 60, 61, 62, 67, 70, 71, 74, 75,
78, 80, 85, 88, 96, 97, 98, 101, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108,
111, 112, 128, 132
Childhood 116
Christ ix, x, xiv, xvii, xviii, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12,
14, 15, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 32, 33, 34, 36,
52, 53, 56, 58, 64, 70, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 12, 84, 90,
96, 97, 98, 100, 12, 12, 12
Classroom 103, 104, 109, 110, 111, 128, 131, 135
Cohabitaton 38, 79, 125
College 75, 97, 98
Commandment 1, 20, 23
Commitment 31, 61, 70, 75, 126, 132, 133
Communicate viii, 49, 59, 62, 72, 98, 108
Communicaton 19, 43, 59
Communion ix, xvii, xviii, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 13, 14, 16, 17, 30,
55, 56, 57, 58, 65, 84, 112
Communion of persons 16
Communism xvi
Communitas Dei Patris iv, ix, x
Community 52, 54, 83, 131
Complementary iv, 9, 14, 85, 86
Concepton ix, 35, 36, 37, 39, 73, 80, 100
Index
142 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
Confession 80, 81, 84, 92, 94, 96, 99
Confdence xiii, xiv, 13, 41, 43, 46, 68, 72, 83, 104, 112
Confdental 90, 134
Conjugal chastty 16, 27
Conjugal love 36, 39
Conscience 4, 7, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 29, 34, 61, 62,
64, 71, 75, 78, 80, 85, 87, 88, 90, 92, 96, 98, 111
Consecrated virginity 2, 17, 30, 31, 32, 68, 81, 97
Consecraton 1, 2, 56, 57, 82, 92
Consequences xvi, 33, 64, 68, 85, 87, 111
Consumerism 44
Contracepton ix, 37, 93, 94, 98, 109, 131
Control xvi, 11, 13, 40, 44, 50, 76, 78, 79, 81, 85, 87, 99,
106, 112, 121, 125
Correcton 69, 85, 91
Courtship 48, 49, 60, 61, 73, 76, 77, 78, 82, 97, 98, 100,
128
Covenant ix, 9, 62
Cross xvii, 1, 6, 12, 13, 18, 20, 25, 27, 29, 34, 57, 63,
83, 94
Culture of death xvii, 63, 64, 95
Culture of life xvii, xviii, 46, 47, 48, 50, 62, 63, 64, 94, 95
D
Datng 77, 95, 100
Death ix, xiv, xv, xvi, xvii, 5, 9, 13, 15, 18, 19, 20, 23, 33,
43, 49, 58, 63, 64, 73, 77, 83, 91, 92, 95, 97, 99, 100
Depersonalized xiv, 23, 115
Design 7, 8, 9, 10, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 51, 67, 71, 90, 104
Development i, xiii, xiv, 19, 23, 29, 38, 39, 45, 47, 49,
68, 70, 71, 73, 74, 75, 82, 83, 84, 87, 91, 93, 98, 99, 100,
105, 109, 116, 121
Development of children xiv, 23
Devil xv, 6, 20, 23, 24, 34
Devoton ix, x, 12, 55, 56, 63, 69
Devotonal 15, 49, 53, 55, 56, 57, 65
Dialogue 22, 34, 43, 50, 59, 67, 71, 72, 80, 90, 91, 93,
97, 101, 111, 112, 130
Dignity xvi, 36, 37, 39, 40, 42, 45, 51, 68, 69, 71, 76, 84,
94, 115, 116, 123, 131
Dinner 56, 58
Diocese 82
Discernment 74, 79, 82, 103, 125, 126, 127
Discipline 28, 69, 76, 81, 85, 87, 95, 96
Disclosure 110
Discovery 89
Disintegraton xv, 77, 90
Disobedience 20
Dissent viii
Divine love 2, 18, 20, 28
Division 6, 9, 20, 57, 132
Divorce ix, xvi, 35, 38, 39
Domestc church xvii, 6, 15, 16, 30, 41, 52, 53, 54, 55,
63, 64
Drugs 44, 117, 125
Dying to self 12, 81
E
Eclipse xiv
Educators i, iv, viii, xiii, xvii, 39, 47, 49, 50, 51, 57, 88,
103, 104, 105, 107, 108, 109, 110, 112, 135
Embryo 35
Emotonal 14, 15, 38, 40, 42, 50, 54, 56, 59, 64, 67, 68,
72, 73, 77, 83, 84, 85, 87, 90, 96, 101, 121, 131, 135
Emotonally 42, 54, 56, 59, 67, 85, 89, 115
Emotons 14, 25, 28, 43, 46, 42, 76, 77, 85, 92
Engagement 60, 61, 73, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 82, 97, 98,
100, 128
Enslavement 64, 95
Eros love 2, 3
Erotc 71, 72, 91
Eternal life 15, 19, 21, 32, 49, 61, 73, 75, 80, 81, 88, 92,
96, 99, 119
Eucharist x, 1, 2, 3, 6, 18, 52, 55, 56, 57, 59, 63, 64, 65,
69, 81, 86, 89, 94, 97, 132, 139, 140
Evangelium Vitae 63
Eve 2, 8, 9, 18, 19, 20, 23, 35
Evil viii, ix, xiv, xv, xvi, xvii, 7, 19, 22, 23, 24, 26, 33, 36,
44, 60, 62, 63, 68, 72, 90, 94, 96, 98, 106, 133, 135
EWTN 119
Example xviii, 11, 16, 17, 18, 24, 25, 27, 34, 42, 43, 50,
51, 52, 53, 58, 60, 69, 70, 72, 86, 92, 94, 95, 98, 100,
119, 133, 134
Exclusive 8, 10, 11, 12, 18, 51, 77, 82, 95, 104
Extended family 131
F
Faith xvi, 5, 6, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 28,
32, 34, 37, 44, 47, 49, 52, 53, 55, 58, 61, 62, 68, 75, 76,
80, 84, 85, 94, 98, 99, 100, 111, 112, 129
Faithful forever 14, 52
Familiaris Consorto 81, 82, 106
Families of God the Father ix
Family home i, iv, viii, xiii, xv, xvi, 4, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23,
Index 143
34, 37, 40, 41, 44, 45, 57, 58, 63, 64, 81, 83, 84, 94, 101,
104, 121, 123, 135, 136
Family life 58, 83
Family prayer viii, ix, x, xvii, xviii, 16, 18, 37, 49, 51, 52,
54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 67, 84, 120,
121, 132
Family Prayer Night ix, x, 63
Family rosary ix, 56
Fastng ix, x, xvii, 81, 85, 99
Father, God the 58, 79
Fatherhood xviii, 39, 44, 52, 69, 77, 91
Fatherly love 1, 6, 85
Fatma xv, 89
Feelings 11, 13, 25, 26, 28, 44, 46, 77, 78, 80, 92, 95, 96,
112, 42, 126, 130
Feminine 5, 86, 91
Fidelity ix, 14, 27, 29
Flesh xv, 2, 6, 9, 34, 119
Forgiveness 53
Formaton i, viii, ix, xiv, xv, xvii, xviii, 4, 17, 19, 21, 22, 23,
24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 37, 40, 42, 43,
46, 47, 48, 50, 51, 58, 60, 61, 62, 67, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74,
75, 77, 78, 79, 80, 82, 85, 86, 88, 90, 93, 96, 97, 98, 99,
100, 101, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 115,
128, 132
Fornicaton xvi, 123, 136
Forttude 28, 41, 99
Foundaton viii, xvii, 4, 5, 6, 7, 16, 19, 33, 35, 67, 79, 87,
88, 123, 131
Freedom xiv, 23, 24, 25, 29, 31, 44, 64, 75, 90, 92, 95,
96, 133
Freemasonry xv
Friends x, 50, 59, 63, 74, 75, 76, 78, 88, 98, 110, 111,
118, 120, 124, 127, 128, 129, 130, 132, 133
Friendship 30, 69, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 82, 100, 130
Friendships xv, 46, 49, 73, 74, 75, 76, 94, 95, 100, 129,
132
Fruit 9, 15, 20, 29, 30, 34, 36, 60, 85
Fruitul 2, 6, 8, 10, 14, 18, 108
G
Generaton xvi, 99
Genital 68, 71, 89, 91, 101
Gif iv, 2, 3, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 29, 31, 32, 33,
35, 36, 37, 39, 40, 43, 45, 50, 67, 81, 82, 87, 90, 91, 94,
96
Gods plan viii, xvi, xvii, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20,
22, 33, 35, 39, 40, 41, 47, 48, 50, 61, 63, 67, 68, 69, 72,
78, 91, 92, 96, 100, 101, 104, 107, 135
God the Father ix, x, xvii, 1, 2, 6, 7, 18, 19, 21, 23, 24, 27,
30, 34, 35, 37, 41, 52, 54, 59, 85
Good and evil viii, ix, xiv, xv, xvi, 63
Government 96, 112
Grace viii, x, 10, 17, 18, 21, 24, 29, 36, 43, 46, 49, 52, 56,
62, 70, 79, 80, 83, 86, 89, 90, 92, 112
Grandparents xvii, 57, 73, 74, 99, 100, 101, 131
Guidance viii, xiv, xviii, 38, 52, 70, 78, 88, 89, 93, 103,
105, 106, 108, 112, 120
Guidelines xiii, 38, 103, 104, 106, 129
H
Healing viii, ix, xvii, xviii, 21, 60, 81, 135
Heaven xviii, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 14, 17, 20, 21, 31, 32, 33,
35, 36, 43, 58, 80, 81, 89, 97, 99
Hedonism xvi, 44
Hell xv, 6, 89
Helpmate 9, 21
Holiness i, xvii, xviii, 2, 5, 10, 15, 16, 17, 19, 21, 29, 30,
31, 34, 37, 38, 43, 46, 47, 49, 51, 52, 53, 60, 61, 62, 63,
68, 69, 70, 72, 75, 76, 78, 86, 89, 93, 94, 96, 99, 107, 119,
120, 131, 132, 133
Holy family viii, 19, 53
Holy Family xviii, 17, 20, 21, 37, 54, 64, 132
Holy Spirit viii, xviii, 5, 9, 15, 16, 22, 24, 29, 30, 43, 45,
69, 128
Homosexual xvi, 94, 98, 108, 110, 123, 128, 129
Homosexuality 94
Honesty 44
Honorable 17, 28, 48, 49, 77, 97, 100
Hooking up 77
Hope viii, ix, 15, 28, 32, 39, 44, 47, 49, 57, 77, 99
Humanae Vitae xv, 14
Human life viii, xv, xvi, 35, 36, 40, 41, 50, 67, 116
Human love xiv, 14, 23, 115
Human nature 8, 12, 24
Human sexuality viii, ix, 9, 30, 31, 33, 43, 48, 71, 72, 81,
82, 100, 103, 104, 106, 108, 110, 111, 115, 133, 135
Husband 8, 9, 11, 12, 15, 18, 20, 21, 23, 26, 33, 35, 39,
40, 42, 81, 60, 80, 85, 131, 12
I
Image and likeness 18, 35
Immodest xvi, 95, 131
Immoral 13, 24, 38, 39, 45, 88, 109
144 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
Immorality xv, 19, 60, 61, 93, 125, 129
Impurity xv, xvi, 33, 45, 49, 69, 97, 121
Inalienable 41, 104, 106
Inclusion 109, 110
Indissoluble 6, 8, 10, 51
Individualistc xiv, 23
Inheritance 17, 100
Innocence xv, xvi, 33, 37, 38, 40, 60, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75,
86, 87, 88, 89, 98, 101, 105, 109, 110, 119, 120, 121,
127, 128, 130, 133, 135, 136
Insttutons xvi, 37, 46, 48, 49, 77, 98, 103, 104, 112,
135, 136
Integraton xv, 25, 29, 90, 131
Intercourse 118
Internet xvi, 24, 38, 96, 116, 119, 120, 121, 124, 129,
134
Intmate xv, 5, 8, 10, 12, 14, 22, 35, 45, 48, 50, 68, 73,
80, 81, 83, 88, 100, 108
In vitro-fertlizaton xvi
Irreplaceable 38, 40, 57, 74, 106, 135
J
Jesus viii, x, xvii, xviii, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 11, 17, 18, 20, 21,
26, 27, 30, 32, 33, 35, 52, 54, 56, 57, 59, 62, 63, 70, 86,
89, 92, 96, 132, 133
Joseph viii, xviii, 11, 17, 20, 21, 26, 27, 35, 36, 53, 87,
89, 92, 133, 140
K
Kissing 77
L
Lifestyles xv, 128
Lifetme goals 80
Liturgical prayer ix, 15, 53, 55
Liturgy of the Hours x, xi, 51, 56, 62, 64, 65, 96, 139
M
Magazines 96, 116, 119, 125
Magisterium ix, 24, 103
Marital act 2, 8, 82, 90
Marital bond 12
Marital union 2, 6, 18, 83
Marriage i, viii, ix, xiii, xiv, xvi, xvii, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,
11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 27, 29, 30, 31,
32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 39, 40, 42, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50,
51, 52, 58, 60, 63, 64, 67, 68, 70, 71, 73, 76, 77, 78, 79,
80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 95, 96, 97, 98, 100,
101, 103, 106, 111, 112, 119, 125, 132, 135, 136
Mary viii, ix, xviii, 2, 11, 17, 20, 21, 26, 27, 35, 36, 52, 53,
54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 63, 86, 89, 92, 133, 139
Masculine 5, 42, 87
Masculinity 86, 87
Mass x, 1, 14, 55, 56, 64, 65, 84, 98, 115, 140
Masturbaton 94
Materialism xvi, 44
Matrimony 2, 10, 18, 32, 79, 98
Media xiii, xiv, xvi, 23, 37, 40, 45, 49, 69, 88, 92, 101,
112, 115, 116, 117, 119, 121, 131
Mission viii, ix, xiii, xvii, 4, 10, 16, 38, 41, 46, 47, 48, 49,
50, 52, 58, 63, 64, 93, 98, 101, 103, 106, 112, 123, 124,
132, 135, 136
Modest 70, 78, 90
Modesty 38, 43, 44, 45, 50, 68, 69, 71, 72, 84, 86, 88,
91, 128
Moral iv, xiii, xv, xvi, 4, 7, 15, 24, 27, 29, 38, 39, 43, 44,
45, 50, 60, 64, 67, 68, 71, 72, 73, 75, 76, 78, 87, 90, 98,
103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 115, 116,
123, 124, 126, 127, 129, 133
Moral values xiii, xvi, 76, 115, 127, 129
Motherhood xvi, 21, 39, 42, 44, 69, 77, 86, 91
Movies 38, 96, 116, 119, 121, 126
Music 23, 38, 57, 90, 96, 99, 116, 119, 120, 121, 125,
129
Mutual love 8, 10, 11, 12, 14, 52, 88
Mutual subjecton 8, 81, 12
Mystery 2, 3, 10, 11, 13, 35, 40, 52, 56, 57, 62, 73
N
Natural family planning x, 98
Natural Family Planning 80
Natural law 7, 8, 10, 18, 20, 106, 135
Nazareth 57
New evangelizaton viii, ix, x
New Pentecost xviii
New springtme viii, ix, xvii, xviii, 60
Nucleus xv, 73, 100, 104
Nuptal meaning 2, 82
Nuptal meaning of the body 2
O
Obedience 7, 8, 11, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 51, 55, 61, 75, 78,
80, 81, 85, 89, 98, 131
Index 145
Obligaton i, 107
Ofcial teachings i, viii, ix, 55
Opposite sex 46, 95, 108
Order ix, xiii, xvii, xviii, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, 17, 18, 19,
21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 28, 29, 37, 47, 48, 49, 51, 53, 55, 56,
62, 68, 70, 73, 75, 77, 78, 80, 81, 82, 85, 86, 88, 92, 97,
98, 99, 104, 105, 106, 131, 133, 12, 135
Orthodoxy 18, 80
Our Lady xv
P
Parent-Educator 104
Parish family viii, ix, x, xvii, 83, 84, 101
Pastoral guidelines xiii
Paternal 8, 9, 20, 21
Patriarchal 6, 8
Penance x, 24, 69, 86, 87, 89
Permission xi, 117, 118, 124, 125, 128, 130, 131, 134
Perpetual Eucharistc Adoraton ix, x
Personality i, xv, 19, 23, 25, 27, 29, 38, 40, 48, 50, 67, 68,
73, 74, 80, 89, 90, 93, 94, 98, 104, 112, 121, 135
Perversions 23, 108, 109
Peter xviii, 4, 5, 10, 11, 18, 55
Physical 2, 14, 18, 39, 40, 41, 42, 50, 54, 56, 59, 62, 64,
69, 76, 77, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 89, 90, 91, 96, 99, 101,
103, 108, 121, 123, 131, 135
Physically 9, 42, 54, 56, 59, 67, 85, 107, 115, 123
Pilgrimage ix, xviii, 80, 132, 133
Pillars 19, 21, 34, 35, 61, 67, 75, 78, 80, 96
Pleasure 28, 45, 78, 90, 91, 94
Pontfcal Council for the Family xiii, 8, 48, 55, 77, 79,
83, 139, 140
Pontfcate ix, xiv, 63
Pope Benedict XVI viii, 2, 3, 36, 37, 79, 99, 138
Pope John Paul II ii, viii, ix, xiii, xiv, xviii, 2, 7, 8, 12, 14,
16, 36, 39, 47, 55, 57, 58, 62, 63, 64, 74, 83, 89, 99, 106,
138, 139, 140
Pope John XXIII xviii, 138
Pornography xvi, 43, 44, 69, 115, 121, 123, 125, 136
Poverty 11
Prayer viii, ix, x, xvii, xviii, 5, 6, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18, 23, 27,
28, 29, 31, 33, 34, 37, 47, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56,
57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 67, 69, 70, 72, 79, 80,
81, 83, 84, 93, 94, 97, 100, 101, 120, 121, 132
Preeminent 41, 132
Premarital 78, 79, 93, 94
Premature 38, 87, 88
Preventon 38, 88, 123, 124, 129, 132, 133, 135, 136
Priests viii, xiii, 30, 47, 53, 78, 93, 98
Primary educators xiii, 47, 49, 50, 51, 57, 88, 104, 107
Privacy 45, 50, 71, 72, 84, 104, 125, 135
Private parts 128, 134
Procreate 38
Procreaton viii, xiii, xvii, 8, 15, 18, 39, 41, 49, 52, 89, 93,
101, 107, 136
Procreaton and educaton viii, xiii, xvii, 8, 15, 18, 49,
52, 107, 136
Procreatve 94
Protect xiv, 9, 38, 45, 47, 49, 60, 61, 63, 95, 113, 119,
123, 132, 133, 135, 136
Provider 11, 126, 127
Psychological 14, 41, 50, 54, 64, 70, 73, 89, 91, 135
Psychologically 42, 115
Puberty 42, 71, 73, 74, 75, 77, 85, 86, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92,
93, 98, 108, 128
Purity xvii, 5, 7, 9, 16, 17, 18, 25, 29, 30, 32, 33, 46, 49,
54, 61, 68, 75, 79, 80, 86, 92, 97, 101, 119, 120, 130,
131, 132, 133
R
Radio 38, 119, 120, 129
Ratzinger , 37, xvi
Recommendatons 119
Reconciliaton 57, 70, 108, 132
Recreatonal xiv
Relatonships xv, 1, 8, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 28, 29, 46,
48, 50, 64, 74, 75, 77, 78, 86, 87, 95, 96, 112, 115, 116,
120, 121, 125, 133
Relatvism xvi
Religious 51, 53, 55, 62, 118
Religious community 82
Religious educaton 51
Renewal xviii, 7
Respect xiv, 11, 15, 16, 21, 27, 31, 36, 42, 44, 45, 54, 61,
69, 71, 72, 73, 75, 78, 79, 81, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 91, 94,
100, 106, 107, 110, 116, 123, 125, 127, 129, 131, 135
Responsibilites 83
Responsibility 41, 44, 45, 47, 50, 51, 54, 85, 87, 95, 96,
106, 110, 111, 123, 124, 126, 136
Responsible 15, 24, 37, 39, 40, 48, 49, 53, 77, 86, 87,
106, 110, 121, 127, 128, 133
Restoraton ix, xvii, xviii, 10, 21, 60
Resurrecton 13, 83
Reverence x, 11, 12, 17, 25, 35, 45, 50, 52, 54, 80, 81, 12
146 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families
Rights iv, xi, xiv, 20, 36, 46, 48, 49, 103, 104, 105, 106,
107, 109
Risk 38, 110, 111, 117, 123, 124, 125, 130, 131, 133,
136
Rock foundaton viii, xvii, 4, 6, 19, 33
Rosary ix, x, 56, 57, 62, 63, 65, 89
Rules 116
S
Sacramental viii, ix, xvii, 9, 15, 49, 53, 55, 58, 60, 64, 67,
79, 84, 98, 132
Sacramental life viii, ix, xvii, 60, 64, 67, 132
Sacramentals 62
Sacred 22, 24, 25, 36, 40, 45, 56, 57, 61, 62
Sacred Scripture ix, x, xiv, 5, 138
Sacred Traditon ix
Sacrifce xvii, 1, 2, 6, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 21, 28, 34,
44, 53, 60, 61, 74, 76, 84, 85, 87, 95, 96, 98
Sacrifcial love xviii, 2, 17, 19, 25, 26, 29, 61, 75, 76, 78,
80, 85, 88, 89, 92, 98, 100
Safe environment i, iv, xiii, 131, 135, 136
Safe Environment 131
Safety 23, 37, 87, 109, 123, 126, 128, 129, 133, 134
Sanctty ix, xvi, xvii, 17, 35, 39, 40, 136
Sanctty of life ix, 35
Sanctuary xvi, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 34, 35, 36, 52, 59, 92,
100, 101, 104, 136
School 53, 117
Second Vatcan Council viii, xviii, 52, 53, 76, 138
Secularism xvi
Self-absorbed 78
Self-centered 92
Self-denial 29, 53, 78
Self-expression 96
Self-giving 1, 11, 14, 18, 25, 26, 28, 31, 34, 39, 44, 71,
76, 79, 81, 82, 84
Self-giving love 1, 11, 14, 18, 34, 39, 44, 76, 79, 82, 84
Self-gratfcaton 95, 116
Self-indulgence 44
Selfshness 13, 25, 26, 28, 44, 57, 79, 81
Self-love 25, 26, 34, 78, 81
Self-mastery 19, 26, 27, 28, 29, 34, 61, 68, 75, 76, 78,
81, 84, 85, 92, 96, 99
Self-restraint 76
Self-will 81
Sensitvity 46, 86
Serenity 38, 42, 43, 81, 83, 86, 101, 131
Servant 10
Sex educaton xiii, xv, xvi, 23, 38, 46, 47, 49, 71, 92, 109,
135
Sexual abuse xvi, 38, 88, 123, 124, 132, 133, 134, 135,
136
Sexual Abuse xi, 84, 85, 116, 123, 124, 140
Sexual educaton xiv, 90, 104, 105, 106, 107, 110, 111,
113
Sexuality 89, 116
Sin xvii, 2, 8, 9, 10, 13, 18, 20, 21, 22, 25, 26, 33, 36, 43,
69, 70, 71, 76, 77, 79, 81, 85, 89, 90, 91, 92, 94, 95, 96,
97, 101, 128, 133, 134, 136
Sins 62
Solidarity 44
Spiritual xv, xviii, 2, 9, 14, 18, 21, 27, 28, 29, 37, 38, 39,
40, 47, 54, 55, 56, 59, 62, 64, 67, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 76,
79, 80, 87, 88, 89, 90, 96, 101, 121, 135
Spirituality 15, 58, 65
Spiritually 15, 53, 56, 59, 67, 85, 89, 115
Spousal love 2, 6, 11, 81, 82
Spouse 2, 3, 18, 36, 39, 45, 49, 50, 54, 78, 80, 81, 85,
96, 128
Stability 19, 39, 40, 87
Stages of formaton xiv, 23, 73, 74
Statstcs 38, 123, 124, 128, 133
Sterilizaton xvi, 109
St. Francis xviii, 63
St. Louis de Montort ix
St. Maria Goret 43
St. Maximilian Kolbe xv
Strangers 23, 38, 88, 124, 125, 127, 128, 133, 134
Studies 56, 77, 109, 116, 117
Subordinate 11, 27, 106, 12
Subsidiarity 106, 107, 109, 112, 129
Subsidiary 106
Sufering 11, 83, 94, 99, 100, 117, 123, 132, 135
Suitable 11, 45, 58, 76, 84, 90, 123, 128
T
Television 23, 38, 45, 56, 57, 61, 90, 96, 116, 117, 118,
119, 120, 121, 126, 127, 129
Temperance 28, 29, 41, 44, 70, 78, 81, 99
Theology of the body 2
Therapy 94
Towards adulthood 95, 98
Traditonal xiii, xiv, 27, 103, 126
Traditons 131
Index 147
Transmission xvi, 35, 39, 41, 50
Trinity 16
Trujillo, Cardinal xiii, 55
Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality xiii, xiv, 67, 70,
71, 103, 109, 140
TV xi, 116, 117, 118
Two become one 8, 9
U
Undermine 45, 61, 87, 98, 109, 110, 112, 120
Unitve 94
Unity xv, 3, 6, 8, 9, 14, 29, 121, 132, 135
Unrepeatable identty 42
V
Values xiii, xiv, xvi, 23, 42, 44, 48, 61, 74, 76, 83, 103,
115, 127, 129
Values clarifcaton 109
Vatcan viii, xiii, xviii, 16, 30, 51, 52, 53, 76, 103, 107,
138
Veneraton 56, 62
Vigilance 17, 24, 37, 60, 75, 76, 103, 110, 119, 125, 126,
133
Vigilant xvii, 40, 49, 76, 109, 112, 117, 119, 123, 124,
133, 136
Violence xvi, 9, 45, 88, 115, 116, 117, 121, 129
Violent 116, 117, 118
Virgin 52, 58, 64
Virginity 2, 3, 17, 27, 29, 30, 31, 32, 34, 45, 67, 68, 71,
78, 81, 82, 91, 93, 96, 97, 101
Virtue i, 15, 16, 17, 19, 25, 26, 28, 29, 43, 44, 46, 50, 60,
61, 68, 70, 75, 76, 78, 82, 85, 92, 96, 97, 105, 112
Vocaton viii, xviii, 17, 19, 25, 29, 30, 31, 34, 41, 42, 47,
51, 53, 58, 61, 62, 63, 64, 67, 69, 71, 73, 75, 78, 79, 80,
81, 82, 88, 90, 92, 93, 96, 97, 98, 100, 101, 104, 107,
108, 138
Vocaton of marriage viii, 80, 82, 93, 97, 100, 101
Vocaton to love 17, 29, 51, 71
Vows 15, 82
Vulnerable 38, 54, 75, 83, 90, 91, 92, 127
W
War against the family xv
Wife 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 26, 35, 39,
40, 42, 51, 60, 85, 131, 12
Womb 2, 35, 36, 40
Work xi, xvii, xviii, 9, 13, 27, 43, 44, 45, 48, 53, 54, 59,
71, 74, 84, 93, 96, 105, 120, 133
Worship x, 16, 52, 55, 63, 64, 65
Years of Innocence 85, 86
Young adulthood 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 128
Young Adulthood 73
148 Catholic Chastity Formation for Families