COLUMBIA — Family Honor, Inc., a Columbia-based chastity education organization, has released a new vision statement outlining plans for furthering its promotion in the Diocese of Charleston.
The statement refers to “Deus Caritas Est (God is Love),” the encyclical written in 2005 by Pope Benedict XVI, and its description of how sexuality has become a commodity in an increasingly secular world, as a basis for the increased need for chastity awareness among Catholics.
Brenda Cerkez, executive director of Family Honor, said the goal of the statement is to help nurture plans for promoting chastity among all segments of the Catholic population in the diocese, especially families.
“The Diocese of Charleston would like to assist families in particularly, along with parish and diocesan leadership, in discussing this wonderful gift of our sexuality, along with the virtue of chastity, in order to help prepare our young people to enter into their adult years with a maturity and perspective that will lead them to live lives of holiness and happiness,” the statement says.
Cerkez said Family Honor’s workers felt the need to develop a vision statement because of an increased demand for the organization’s services.
Family Honor, formed in 1990, offers a variety of educational programs promoting traditional Catholic values on human sexuality, and also trains people to be chastity presenters.
Cerkez said in recent years, Family Honor’s programs have been adopted by affiliates in Florida, Missouri, Georgia, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Presenters also offered Family Honor programs for the first time in Canada in fall 2007, and she said there has been a new interest in Family Honor from churches in Mexico.
“This is a chance not only for Family Honor, but for the Diocese of Charleston to emerge as a leader and a model for other dioceses and other similar groups, when it comes to chastity education,” Cerkez said.
The mission statement calls on men and women around the diocese to discern whether or not they are called to help educate young people about chastity, and stresses the fact that parents must be the primary educators of their own children when it comes to the church’s teachings on chastity and sexuality.
Family Honor’s programs are in use at several parishes and schools around the diocese, including St. Joseph Church and Cardinal Newman School in Columbia; Divine Redeemer in Hanahan; St. Mary in Greenvillle, St. Francis in Hilton Head and St. Peter in Beaufort.
For more information visit www.familyhonor.org or call (803) 929-0858.