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Matt Fradd, left, speaks with Father Thomas Bauwens, pastor of St. Wenceslaus Parish in Omaha, Nov. 16 before a presentation at the church.

Speaker discusses importance of chastity

About 700 youths, parents and other adults crowded St. Mary Church in Norfolk Nov. 16 to hear a message of joy and encouragement regarding chastity and human sexuality.

The next day, more than 1,700 gathered for presentations at V.J. and Angela Skutt Catholic High School and St. Wenceslaus Church, both in Omaha, to share a similar experience.

Drawing all the attention was a program titled "The Love That Satisfies," presented by Matt Fradd, an internationally-known Catholic apologist, speaker and author. Fradd challenged young people to embrace the church’s teachings on human sexuality and foster a faith-based love that leads to true happiness.

"I loved it," said MacKenna Kalin, a junior at Norfolk Catholic Junior/Senior High School. "He really connected with every single one of us and he knew what high schoolers are going through – it’s like he was just talking to me."

It was informative and helpful for teens struggling with sexual temptation, said Elliot Eisenmenger, a sophomore at Norfolk Catholic.

"Personally, it reinforced that chastity really is an important thing and to keep that special gift for one person," he said. "That’s what really hit home for me."

Seventh-graders through high school seniors and their parents came to Norfolk, from as many as 14 parishes in the area, said Jen Moser, coordinator of youth ministry in the archdiocese’s Office of Evangelization and Catechesis, which sponsored the event.

Using humor and personal stories, Fradd taught that chastity is the foundation for true love.

"He related well to their own experience, and his light-hearted approach to what would normally be a heavy subject helped him speak to their hearts, not in a way that’s condemning, but loving," Moser said.

At Skutt Catholic, an all-school program meant more than 700 students heard Fradd’s presentation.

Also during the school day, more than 830 seventh- and eighth-graders from six Catholic elementary schools heard Fradd speak at St. Wenceslaus Parish. And an evening session drew more than 200 seventh- through 12th-graders, including students from Lincoln. Both programs were sponsored by the parish’s Knights of Columbus Council 10909, in collaboration with the archdiocese.

Before the evening program at St. Wenceslaus, Fradd, who also is executive director of The Porn Effect, a website designed to help people break free from addiction to pornography, spoke to parents about the challenges their children face and how to protect them from the dangers of pornography, Moser said.

"He talked about ways they can be proactive in educating their children, on not only God’s plan for sexuality, but also the distortions they might encounter in the culture," Moser said.

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