The goal of FUSE is to reach as many students as possible with the message of chastity. Below is a list of projects that can be launched, but each club is welcome to invent their own initiatives.
(The focus of the projects must always conform to Church teaching on human sexuality. However, if you go to a public school, you can still promote purity without promoting religion. Since many of the students to whom you’ll be ministering are non-Catholic, Chastity Project has created secular versions of Pure Love, Pure Womanhood, Pure Manhood, and Romance without Regret.)
Work with the leaders of local youth groups, middle schools, or your high school in order for members of your club to present the message of chastity to them. It is especially effective when senior and juniors speak to freshmen and sophomores, or when any high school student speaks to a junior high audience. Speakers may wish to practice their talks in front of the club. The advisor may be able to assist you in obtaining permission from the teachers or youth ministers to speak to their teens. Click here for tips of giving a chastity talk, and here for tips on becoming a chastity speaker. If your club is able, you could assign 3-4 members to each parish to visit once a month to stay in contact with the teens.
Pass out information on the pill and breast cancer on campus during October, (breast cancer awareness month). If you connect the message of chastity with issues everyone agrees on (i.e. breast cancer, sex trafficking, etc…), they’ll be more receptive.
Bless the Girls:
The men in the club should raise money to buy a white rose for every girl on campus. The men then write “You’re worth waiting for” on a ribbon tied to the rose, with a link to chastityproject.com or to your club’s own website. In order to get these roses to the young women, you club will need to obtain permission to stay late after school, or to come before anyone else, and tape each rose to each girl’s locker. Or, you may be able to pass them out in a courtyard, hallway, or common area.
What a Girl Wants:
The women in the club should draft a letter “From your future wife,” and pass it out to the men on campus, with a link to chastityproject.com or to your club’s own website. The letter should encourage the young men to grow in virtue, character, and purity.
Safe Sex is a Myth:
Use some of your funds to promote awareness of the STD problem, the side effects of birth control, and the shortsightedness of the outdated “safe” sex message. Place flyers in halls, bulletin boards, bathrooms, classrooms, etc. Have your advisor approve the materials before posting them anywhere. The goal in this is not merely to denigrate the safe-sex message, but to lead individuals to the truth of chastity.
Although your club focuses on spreading the message of chastity to your local community, you also have the opportunity to support international missionaries. If your group wishes to sponsor a foreign mission in need of chastity resources, click here.
If your club is in a high school, purify the dances. First, encourage the principal to promote modest dresses. Some schools display posters of permitted and forbidden dresses in the hallways weeks before each dance. To help the young women find modest outfits, recommend sites such as beautifullymodest.com. If necessary, charitably remind the principal that modesty needs to be promoted throughout the school year. If students grow accustomed to immodesty on a daily basis, it becomes more of a challenge to change their behavior during special events such as dances. Secondly, get involved with the group that is hosting the dance. Help them choose music that doesn’t encourage grinding. Some schools offer theme dances, such as disco, swing, or 80’s. Also, make sure the dance room is lit adequately. Finally, encourage your principal to remind the students that “bumping and grinding” will not be tolerated. If immodest dancing takes place, some schools stop the music to inform the students know that the music will resume when the behavior ceases. If such dancing is only happening with a few couples, make sure the chaperones or faculty members are instructed beforehand to break up such activity.
Promote purity on posters around campus. Write creative slogans that promote chastity without being judgmental. For example,
- “I’m not playing hard to get . . . I am hard to get.”
- “I’m worth waiting for.”
- “Marry me first.”
- Prom dress . . . $250, Hair and nails . . . $90, Limo… 150$. Saving yourself for marriage . . . priceless. There are some things money can’t buy.”
Invite the media if you are doing a significant project, because local television news stations and newspapers are eager for new stories to cover. This will serve to raise local awareness of the trend towards abstinence. Like any other project, ones that may attract media attention for the school should first receive approval from your school administration. Also, write letters, articles, or editorials to the local and school newspaper to raise public awareness of STDs, abstinence, or any other suitable topic. If anyone in the club has experience designing a web site, you can launch one and advertise it. Have members contribute content to the site. Provide links to good chastity websites. Instead of blaming the media for corrupting the youth, use the media to spread the chastity message.
On Valentine’s Day or prom, set up a table on campus with heart-shaped candy taped to envelopes. The envelopes are free for anyone who wants them. Inside the envelopes, include a letter to my future spouse, or any similar material that promotes purity. Make it so people don’t realize what they are grabbing. You can take the creative route by putting up a sign that says, “For that special someone”, “Valentine’s Day: Be safe,” “Don’t wait to love her/him,” or whatever else.
Promote chastity videos and books for teachers to consider showing the students. Our online store has Catholic as well as public school versions of chastity DVDs. Perhaps you can share a video with the speech or debate teacher to get the students involved in a discussion on the subject. If there’s a health teacher that deals with sexuality issues bring to his or her attention such resources as The Medical Institute for Sexual Health or One More Soul. Also, encourage them to implement a chastity curriculum, like Theology of the Body for Teens, or at least show a video such as Love or Lust? or The Pure Life. Who knows? They might use some of these resources for years to come.
Work with your principal or religion teacher to arrange for a mandatory, all-school assembly. If your school isn’t open to it, ask your youth minister if your parish can sponsor a presentation, and then invite the students from your school and other local churches to attend. Or, ask your campus minister to have a chastity speaker address the students during their retreats.
Lunchtime Holy Hours:
The three objectives of FUSE are: apostolic work, formation, and support. All of these are achieved at once if you can work with a priest to set up Eucharistic Adoration at lunchtime on your campus. Here’s why:
1. Missionary work: Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is not only the source of all grace we need to be pure, he is the destination to which all of our missionary work is directed. That’s why Pope John Paul II said that we should “consider the Eucharist as the heart and soul of the missionary activity.” By making adoration available to your classmates, you are doing the greatest missionary work on earth. In fact, your apostolic work will succeed to the extent that you make your club intensely Eucharistic. Christ is the vine and you are the branches. Without him, you can do nothing. Therefore, spending time before the Blessed Sacrament in reparation for all our sins and in intercession for your campus is more important than anything else.
2. Formation: By spending time in silence before the Blessed Sacrament, you are allowing Christ to form you. He must increase and we must decrease (John 3:30). In the words of Pope John Paul II, “We must understand that in order ‘to do,’ we must first learn ‘to be,’ that is to say, in the sweet company of Jesus in adoration.”
3. Support: Especially in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, you have the support of all of heaven, including the angels and saints. Any revolution for chastity in the world will only come through a revolution of Eucharistic devotion, especially among the youth. So, the more we can center all of our ministries around the Blessed Sacrament, the more they will flourish. Where else could we lead people to sustain their purity?
Consider what daily adoration did for Mother Teresa’s work:
“It was not until 1973, when we began our daily Holy Hour that our community started to grow and blossom… In our congregation, we used to have adoration once a week for one hour, and then in 1973, we decided to have adoration one hour every day. We have much work to do. Our homes for the sick and dying destitute are full everywhere. And from the time we started having adoration every day, our love for Jesus became more intimate, our love for each other more understanding, our love for the poor more compassionate, and we have double the number of vocations. God has blessed us with many wonderful vocations. The time we spend in having our daily audience with God is the most precious part of the whole day.”
In order to set up adoration for your campus, you need to speak with a priest or deacon. One high school chaplain arranged for daily lunchtime adoration in this way: “I have a troupe of 30 assistant chaplains from the senior class, and they are paired up and each pair takes a week at a time to lead prayer in the school. They open and close the chapel and lead morning prayer. At lunch they are the sentinels for adoration. We expose the Blessed Sacrament at the beginning of lunch with the normal exposition hymn O Salutaris and some incense. Then there is silence for a few minutes before some quiet sacred music is played in the background. Adoration continues for about 20 minutes or so, and then there is the Tantum Ergo, incense, the divine praises, benediction, and reposition. When a priest is not available, no benediction takes place. An extraordinary minister of the Eucharist is always one of the two adorers. It’s a beautiful thing and has made a huge difference in our school.”