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June 17, 2009

God, Chastity and the Catholic Teen

WEST CHESTER, Pa. - Few would doubt that today's teenagers face extraordinary pressure to become sexually active. With permissive mores dominating the airwaves and high-school lunchroom conversations, young Catholics are surrounded by messages that challenge their faith and lead them to places that many do not want to go, according to popular chastity educator and author Jason Evert.

"I've met countless young people who, in their heart of hearts, do not want to follow the call of the culture and become sexually active, but they feel ill-equipped to respond to the challenge," explains Evert, who speaks to more than 100,000 teenagers each year, and is a co-author of the popular Theology of the Body for Teens program. "I believe Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body was given to us for times such as this because it offers a unique, new 'language' that absolutely resonates with people, especially our teens."

"The Theology of the Body is especially important for teens who are thinking every day about their bodies and souls as they search for meaning in their lives," explains Brian Butler, a specialist in adolescent education and a co-author of Theology of the Body for Teens with Jason and Crystallina Evert. "This program helps them to understand the significance of their sexuality and the purpose of their lives by presenting the truth of God's life-giving and liberating love."

Summer Sessions Offered to Area Teens

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia's Office for Youth and Young Adults, together with Generation Life, will be presenting the Theology of the Body for Teens program this summer in three Archdiocesan locations for teens and their youth ministers.

Theology of the Body for Teens: Discovering God's Plan for Love and Life is based on Pope John Paul II's seminal work that he called the Theology of the Body. With it John Paul II sought to answer some of the most fundamental questions of human existence, including: "What does it mean to be made human?" and "How can I be truly happy?"

"We are very excited about the opportunity to partner with Generation Life and Ascension Press in conducting the Theology of the Body for Teens sessions during the summer months," says John Tague, Director of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's Office for Youth and Young Adults.

"Our teens are confronted with so many competing messages today regarding the human experience and sexuality. Theology of the Body for Teens takes the treasured teachings of Pope John Paul II and creatively conveys the teachings to help the young gain a proper understanding of themselves, their sexuality, others, and even God", Tague explained.

A Catholic Vision of Life and Love

Theology of the Body for Teens uses a comprehensive approach that includes stories, real-life examples, activities, prayers, and references to the culture that captures the hearts and minds of teens. This program takes two of the most controversial topics, God and sex, and integrates them through John Paul II's vision for love and life.

Theology of the Body for Teens is published by Ascension Press and has been granted the Imprimatur by Cardinal Justin Rigali. It is being presented in three Archdiocesan locations over the course of six weeks this summer beginning in early July. The early bird discounted cost registration date is June 15. Registration includes a student workbook and a parent's guide and is free for youth ministers who attend with a registered teen.

To register, for more information, or to sponsor a teen, visit or or email Christine Friedrich at 610-918-1177 or

For more information about the Theology of the Body for Teens Program materials, visit


Donna Farrell
Director of Communications

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