Silver Ring Thing offers lessons in sexual purity

Friday, February 18, 2005 - Updated: 12:01 am
John Franko, Staff Writer
Young people constantly face questions about sex, and it s often a difficult struggle to make abstinence a part of their lives.

Diocesan officials hope that the Silver Ring Thing sexual abstinence program will help protect them from the negative effects of today s culture.

More than 800 eighth-graders are expected to attend a Silver Ring Thing program on Sunday, March 6, from 6-9 p.m. at Seton-LaSalle High School in Mount Lebanon.

It will serve as a culmination of the diocesan Catholic Vision of Love program.

They re (youth) smarter than we give them credit for, said Judy Kirk, director of the diocesan Department for Religious Education. They can control their emotions, but we re not telling them that. They can make good decisions if given the opportunity.

The Silver Ring Thing features presentations, skits, high-energy music, testimony from young people and a faith-based abstinence message.

It is designed to attract the attention of the 21st century teenager.

Those who complete the program will receive a silver ring to be worn as a sign of their abstinence pledge.

Kirk pointed out that the event has been modified as a Catholic version that will highlight the importance of the sacraments in the lives of young people.

It ties in with our own faith and what the church has always taught about sexuality, she said.

A brief parent seminar will be held in conjunction with the gathering. Parents are strongly encouraged to attend the session.

The Silver Ring Thing is an international organization located in Moon Township.

It was founded by Denny Pattyn and the Youth FORUM Southwest leadership team in 1995. Pattyn took the vision of the program with him when he was named executive director of the John Guest Team in 2000.

The program has expanded throughout the United States and to the United Kingdom and South Africa.

The $20 cost for youths will include the ring and a Bible. The cost is $5 for adults. More information is available by calling Kirk at 412-456-3112, or at: www.silverringthing.com.

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