Safe Haven Sunday was observed on February 20-21, 2021
Dear brothers and sisters,
As a consequence of COVID, we have seen massive spikes in porn use, kids are online more now than ever, and parents have not taken the precautionary steps to protect them from explicit sites, images, and videos. COVID has not only brought the world a contagious and debilitating virus; it has also brought isolation and loneliness for families worldwide. With this loneliness, despair, and anxiety, pornography use is on the rise. Therefore, even though it’s difficult to reach families due to shutdowns and closings, we must nevertheless make an effort.
Many of you already know of the Safe Haven Sunday initiative from the last two years which has allowed us to pass on to the faithful information that can be used to protect their homes and tips to have key conversations with young children. This third year of implementation for Safe Haven Sunday, we will once again observe it during the first Sunday of Lent, weekend Masses on Feb 20-21. This year we want to focus on the 7-day Safe Digital Challenge by TEXTING "SECURE" TO 66866 which will immediately help everyone, particularly parents learn how to set up tools like Google Safe Search, YouTube Safety mode, iOS restrictions, etc.
Finally, if you’d like to order booklets, the Office of Marriage and Family Life has copies of Safe Haven Sunday booklets in English and Spanish. Contact Jake Samour at (316) 685-5240 and he will be glad to assist you.
It is my hope that the resources provided to you on Safe Haven Sunday will both encourage and teach all individuals and families dealing with the effects of pornography that loving support is available. It’s worth battling pornography for wholeness and purity for your home and the future of everyone in our diocese.
Faithfully in Christ,
Most Reverend Carl A. Kemme
Bishop of Wichita, Kansas
“We must see our role in protecting children from pornography as our sacred duty, as well as an aspect of our work to create safe environments in accord with our ongoing implementation of The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. May we educate ourselves on reliable resources for pastoral support of the faithful and for the healing of pornography use and addiction and make them available to families, parishioners, and others in our care.” – Create in Me a Clean Heart
“You are beloved sons and daughters of the Father. Be not afraid to approach the altar of mercy and ask for forgiveness. Many good people struggle with this sin. You are not alone; there is always hope! […] Knowing the truth of who you are in God and receiving spiritual help are critical, but those who use pornography often need further assistance. Freedom from pornography is a daily choice and calls for ongoing formation. The Church encourages you to seek ongoing support such as counseling, spiritual direction, coaching, accountability groups, couple to couple groups, conferences, and retreats for men and women. These are all means to employ as you seek freedom. Software is available for monitoring on-line activity and blocking pornographic material; these may be a necessary means of avoiding the near occasion of sin.” – Create in Me a Clean Heart
“Parents and guardians, protect your home! Be vigilant about the technology you allow into your home and be sensitive to the prevalence of sexual content in even mainstream television and film and the ease by which it comes through the Internet and mobile devices. Educate yourselves about filtering software that can assist in protecting your home. Foster openness and trust with your children, so they know that they can come to you if they see a sexual image; by talking about it with them calmly, you can give them a healthy framework in which to interpret it.” – Create in Me a Clean Heart
“…[T]eachers, religious educators, youth ministers, and safe environment coordinators: parents have given you a responsibility to protect their children not only from physical dangers but also psychological, moral, and spiritual dangers. You can have a great influence on the children and youth entrusted to your care, and you can help equip parents with the resources they need to protect and teach their children. Children are vulnerable to all influences, good or bad. Create an environment suitable for learning chastity by modeling and teaching the chaste life. Be vigilant over technological access, and monitor it in age-appropriate ways. Young people should be taught that certain types of websites or programs are inappropriate and sinful. Be sure to explain the reasons why they are unacceptable.” – Create in Me a Clean Heart
Do you know of someone who is struggling with an addiction?