What is chastity?

By  Natalie Gaudagnoli and Vanessa Bertoni, The Catholic Register
  • April 25, 2007
Editor’s Note: Our student interns asked employees of the archdiocese of Toronto’s Catholic Pastoral Centre how they define chastity and how  they teach it to their children. 
“To respect yourself, respecting others, respecting boundaries. To show them by example, give them a framework in which to give them guidance.”

Kristen Crawford, 36, is a communications assistant with a three-year-old son.

“Chastity is the knowledge that your body is a sacred part of you, which deserves respect for yourself and others. It’s an understanding that there is a sexual part of us and a spiritual part of us.

“I told my daughters that they should concentrate on the fact that their bodies have value and shouldn’t be exploited. There are lots of challenges for young people to follow certain trends. To my girls especially, I tell them to think about the message they want to give others.”

Angela Orellana Schwalm, 54, is a secretary with a son, 24, and two daughters, 14 and 16.

“Chastity is living an integrated life where all parts of your life are in balance. I taught my children through example and occasionally, depending on their age, conversation.”

Bill Targett, 59, leader of lay ministry formation, with 18, 20 and 27-year-old-sons. 

“Chastity is respecting the sacred nature of physical matrimonial love. I still have a few years before teaching it to my children and will explore my options.”

Bill Steinburg, 38, is the communications manager, with a 10-year-old son and a seven-year-old daughter.

“Chastity is keeping your virginity until marriage. I cannot teach my son by example as I am a single parent. I try to keep him around traditional families and I have a lot of support from extended family.”

Nicole Lim, 46, is an accountant with an eight-year-old son. 

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