Regardless of the size of a parish, the role of the parish priest and his leadership team is essentially the same: the salvation of souls. This is the sole reason for the Incarnation, Passion, Death, and Resurrection of our Lord. And we as leaders of the Church are on mission with the Lord for this very purpose.
This is why we do what we do in the life of the parish. This is why we provide what is at the heart of our human existence: an encounter with Jesus that will grow into a lifelong and lived relationship that will lead us into eternal life.
A key component of providing this encounter is supporting our parishioners by establishing a foundation for a relationship with God and His Church in their lives, a place where both children and adults can have this encounter. This is where every human heart discovers that God loves him, he is forgiven, he is healed, and finds his true home - with God!
The Church provides the opportunity for healing and freedom that will prepare the hearts of men and women for this encounter. This includes healing from exposure to pornography and the habitual use of it.
This is what you do when you celebrate Safe Haven Sunday. But it’s much more than just that! You provide tools to help heal and free the family, the home, and make it a safe haven—a place where the impediment of pornography can be healed and a full and free relationship with the Lord is possible.
What are the steps you need to take to bring Safe Haven Sunday to your parish?
- Get a date on the parish calendar. If your bishop has announced your diocese will be celebrating Safe Haven Sunday, take note of the date he’s asked the parishes to celebrate the awareness day. Go ahead! Mark the date on your parish calendar and head on over to check out the Free Parish Implementation Guide created to support you with this parish-wide implementation to make your parish families' homes a safe haven by providing training and encouragement for the appropriate use of technology.
- Use the resources in the free Parish Implementation Guide. Let us at Covenant Eyes help you with all of the moving pieces to your celebrations! Look over the steps of implementation in the guide and view the resources that can be provided throughout your preparations. These include bulletin blurbs, a bulletin insert, a 1-page summary of the book you will be providing, a letter from the parish priest to parishioners, general intercessions, and a Homily video to be used on Safe Haven Sunday.
- Order the books and parish kit. Before you get too far into your planning, contact your diocesan office to purchase the books and parish kit for your parish. The book will be different for each of the three years you will celebrate Safe Haven Sunday. These include Equipped: Smart Catholic Parenting in a Sexualized Culture, Confident: Helping Parents Navigate Online Exposure, and Connected Book: How Strong Family Relationships Lead to Internet-Safe Kids. The highlight of these books is to encourage signing up via text for the Covenant Eyes free Safe Digital Family Challenge which addresses digital topics from YouTube Restricted Mode, the importance of accountability, to teens and social media.
- Send a letter to each home. Take the opportunity to let your parish families know that you will be addressing the issue of pornography directly at Mass on Safe Haven Sunday. Communicate to them why this is a topic that needs to be addressed over and over again. If you need help with what to communicate, use or edit the letter we drafted for you found in the Parish Implementation Guide.
- Play the Homily video and hand out the books. On Safe Haven Sunday, we invite you to really celebrate the opportunity you and your parish have to make their homes safe havens while providing a foundation for freedom that will prepare the souls in your pews for encounters with Christ. Isn’t this what we want? If so, play that Homily video and handout these dynamic books created with parents and families in mind!
Whether you're a parish priest or faith formation director, the individuals and families in your parish will thank you for bringing Safe Haven Sunday to them. While the idea of tackling the implementation of an awareness day can be daunting, getting yourself prepared with the steps above and using the resources that have been created to support you can go a long way and even provide an opportunity for healing for the souls entrusted to your care.
Safe Haven Sunday
The Safe Haven Sunday Initiative is an annual campaign that uses original Catholic resources, a step-by-step implementation guide, a constantly updated website (CleanHeart.Online), and expert consultants to help diocesan and parish leaders promote a culture of digital integrity for all.
Join over 20 dioceses covering over 6,000,000 Catholics who have already implemented the Initiative.
Audience: Parish Communities and Parents
Language: English (and Spanish book, video challenge)
Resource Type: Annual awareness campaign
Cost: Free (noncompulsory book $3 / per copy)