Providing a Catholic framework on the truth and meaning of sexuality, love, and family

Archive for November, 2011

Mission and Vision Statements

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

As many of you know, Family Honor has been around for more than 20 years. Many families are familiar with the wonderful work we do with families, but so many others still need to hear the good news of family-centered chastity education.

Thus, in mid-June a group of Family Honor staff members, presenters and board members gathered to look at our Mission and Vision Statements to ensure that they clearly and concisely explained “who” Family Honor is; “what” Family Honor does; “how” Family Honor does it; and “where” Family Honor want to be in the future. After a full day of PowerPoint presentations, writing ideas on poster boards, discussions and voting, we are proud to share with you our new Mission and Vision Statements.

Mission Statement:
Family Honor provides and promotes a family-centered Catholic approach to chastity education.

Vision Statement:
Family Honor will prepare and empower parents, the primary educators of their children, and church leaders to evangelize about the truth and meaning of God’s gift of sexuality.

Family Honor will establish chapters in every diocese in the United States and will become the trusted source for parents and families on the topics of sexuality and chastity, based on the authoritative teachings of the Catholic Church.

Family Honor will help change the culture through a variety of age-appropriate, on-site, parent-child programs; our dynamic and in-depth online college-level course; and relevant, timely and easily accessible resources.

Family Honor will equip parents with the tools they need to have ongoing conversations with their children about important moral and spiritual issues, thus aiding both parents and children in living a happy, healthy and holy life.

Family Honor Offers Continuing Education for South Carolina Presenters

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

–Vincent Weaver, Director of Programs and Training

On Saturday, July 30, about 40 Family Honor staff, board members, presenters and friends of the organization gathered in Columbia, SC for a day of continuing education and prayer. In conjunction with the Diocese of Charleston, SC, Family Honor board member and presenter, Kathy Schmugge, helped arrange for Fr. Thomas Loya, STB, MA to speak at the event.

Fr. Loya, is well-known in many Catholic circles. He is currently the pastor of Annunciation of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Parish in Homer Glen, IL and is also the host of “Light of the East Radio” heard on EWTN Radio affiliates, Ave Maria Radio, and The Guadalupe Radio Network. He is member of the Tabor Life Institute ( for the education and formation in the theology of the body. Fr. Loya was first exposed to Pope John Paul II’s monumental teaching on the human person when he attended his weekly audiences about The Theology of the Body. Fr. Loya brings the principles of The Theology of the Body deep into the lived experience of every aspect of human sexuality.

The day kicked-off with a wonderful Mass concelebrated by Father Thomas Loya as well as Father Bernard Oniwe, currently a student at the University of South Carolina and Father Matthew Gray from St. Joseph’s parish in Columbia. After Mass, Fr. Loya gave two inspiring talks that discussed the theology of the body along with what it really means to be “holy” and “Catholic”.

Fr. Loya also spoke about male-female complementarity where he highlighted the beautiful and divine design God instituted to draw man and woman together as a prototype of Christ’s love for His Church. He also talked about how the two are reflected in the liturgy and meaning of the Mass.

Between Fr. Loya’s talks, a potluck lunch was enjoyed by all. Because this day of Continuing Education took place in the middle of summer, those children who came with their parents were treated to a few hours at the nearby “Splash Pad”. Towards the end of the day, the staff of Family Honor surprised Executive Director, Brenda Cerkez, with a gift basket to express their appreciation for her dedication, leadership, and guidance as Family Honor continues to grow and spread the message of chastity across the United States.

Some New Additions to Our Program Line-up

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

–Mary Ann Fey, Director of Product Development

Leading & Loving:
Family Honor is excited to announce the piloting of “Leading & Loving,” a program that will empower parents of young children with hope, tools and a plan to raise their children with respect and reverence for the gift of their sexuality. This dynamic program will be introduced in South Carolina in January, 2012 and in St. Louis, Missouri in March, 2012.

The “Leading & Loving” program will build on the foundation of the Theology of the Body and provide parents of young children with a positive language to respond to their child’s natural curiosity and questions about sex. The program will help parents develop the clarity to address the ungodly sexual behaviors pervasive in our culture with truth and compassion. “Leading & Loving” will encourage parents to see their family as the first school of life and the context of the family as the most important place for forming their child in virtue.

In each session of the six-part program, parents will view a powerful DVD that engages their minds and hearts. The DVD for each session will reflect the particular theme that will be addressed in that session. Also, as part of each session, two professionally prepared Family Honor presenters then lead parents through activities to help them learn practical strategies to implement at home. “Leading & Loving” has the potential to strengthen young Catholic families and impact the next generation of teens and young adults with a profound appreciation for the truth and goodness of their sexuality.

Real Love & Real Life:
“Real Love & Real Life,” a program for parents with their 7th or 8th grader, is Family Honor’s most popular program.

Over the past 20 years “Real Love & Real Life” has been revised and improved to better engage parents and their young teens to connect and communicate about God’s gift of sexuality. To respond to the increasing challenges to raise virtuous young people in a culture mired in degrading sexuality, Family Honor will bring a new, revised “Real Love & Real Life” to families across the country in 2012.

The cornerstone of this program will continue to be Family Honor’s unique way of engaging parents and teens in understanding the core truths of the Theology of the Body. No other organization presents the story of human fertility to families in such a dignified and sacred way. The new and improved “Real Love & Real Life” will launch parents and their young teens down the road of ongoing communication about friendships, dating, chastity, life goals and their future vocation.

A hallmark of Family Honor programs is its excellent presenters. That will not change, but “Real Love & Real Life” teams of presenters will be implementing an even better program in 2012 to strengthen and empower families.

Share Your Talent

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Do you feel called to help spread the word about chastity?

Do you believe, as we do, that it’s important to encourage and equip parents in their role as the primary educators of their children in virtue and morality?

Do you want to help Family Honor promote the real meaning of God’s gift of sexuality? Do you think this work can help change our culture?

Will you pray to the Holy Spirit to guide you in prayerfully discerning if you are being called to do this work through Family Honor?

Consider enrolling in our fully online, college-level course. (NOTE: By enrolling in the course, there’s no obligation to become a presenter, but many discover a “call” to do so as they go through this great experience!)

Our next semester begins January 3, 2012. (Deadline for course registration is December 16.) Your life will be enriched by what you learn!

Presenters – the Heart of Family Honor Service

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

–Vincent Weaver, Director of Programs and Training

Since one of Family Honor’s goals is to be in every diocese in the United States, we are in the midst of educating and training future presenters as you read this newsletter. The first step in becoming a presenter is completing our online course, “The Truth and Meaning of Sexuality, Love & Family.”

  • This past year, Family Honor’s online course had 56 students.
  • These students come from Pennsylvania, Missouri, Oklahoma, Ohio, Michigan, South Carolina, Georgia and Texas.
  • They represent all walks of life from homemaker to diocesan lay minister; from law enforcement to respiratory therapist.
  • 14 of those students are currently going through Family Honor’s internship and mentoring phase.

These men and women will be wonderful assets to Family Honor’s teams!

New Locations Emerging

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

In the past year, we had the special opportunity to present our “Real Love & Real Life” program in the Diocese of Houston and both the “Real Love & Real Life” and “Changes & Challenges” programs at Our Lady of Sorrows in the Diocese of Birmingham, AL. It was a thrill to share Family Honor’s unique parent-child programs with these new dioceses. With your help, we hope to expand our programs in these areas in the coming years!

If you’re wondering what families experience in our programs, here is a quick snapshot of each:

Our “Changes & Challenges” program, geared to 6th graders and their parents, helps families understand the “changes and challenges” of puberty and provides resources and tips for raising happy, healthy and holy children.

For 8th graders and their parents, “Real Love & Real Life” discusses the real meaning of love, growing in virtue, fertility appreciation, developing one’s whole self (SPICE) and much more.

S = developing Spiritually;

P = developing Physically;

I = developing Intellectually;

C = developing Creatively;

E = growing Emotionally

Our Report Card

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Because we want to do our best in serving families with chastity education, we asked parent and teen program participants to grade our program and our presentation of it. Their grades indicate that we are on the right track:

  • 98% of adult and teen participants as well as online course students “agreed” that they were satisfied with the Family Honor programs.
  • 96% of adult and teen participants as well as online course students “agreed” that they would recommend a Family Honor program to others.
  • 97% of adult and teen participants as well as online course students “agreed” that the Family Honor program was going to be helpful to them in the future.
  • 85% of adult and teen participants as well as online course students “agreed” that they were interested in another Family Honor program or service.

Those are amazing statistics!

More Families Served in More Places Than Ever Before!

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

–Vincent Weaver, Director of Programs and Training

I am happy to report that we had a very successful year of service to families through our Family Honor programs!

Our 12 teams were hard at work, traveling to nine states to present Family Honor’s family-centered Catholic approach to chastity education, which brings parents and their children together to discuss the true meaning of love, chastity, fertility, friendship, true worth, sexuality and much more in an age-appropriate manner.

Our teams offered 35 programs in:
South Carolina
North Carolina
… and for the first time in Family Honor’s 23 year history, in Texas!

More than eight hundred families were served through our “Changes & Challenges” program or our “Real Love & Real Life” program during the 2010 – 2011 year. We communicated the message of chastity to 1,115 parents and 803 teens! Thank you to all of you who attended these programs and a very special thanks to all of our presenters! Without you, we could not serve all of these families and our Church!

We’ll continue to work hard to present the message of chastity and God’s gift of sexuality, because we are dedicated to help parents and teens ‘connect’ on some of the most important topics in life. The comments we received from these programs indicate Family Honor has made a difference for families. Parents said things like:

  • I liked the Catholic values this program presented and the detailed physiology discussion;
  • I loved the discussion of SPICE. It was wonderful to see the physical, spiritual and emotional come together.
  • It was wonderful to hear the emphasis on being chaste and that chastity is for everyone, including men. This information was so critical and so beneficial.
  • This program is extremely well run. The professionalism and organization of this is outstanding…presenters, materials, handouts. I can recognize a well-run event and this is great.
  • The program is a great vehicle to communicate important information and our Catholic values to our child.
  • I loved learning how I can communicate with my son and daughter about my Catholic beliefs on sexuality.
  • I felt the information was very age-appropriate without being too vague. It was very helpful in getting the ball rolling for me to communicate such a delicate subject.
  • This was a great group overall. The presenters seemed genuinely concerned in preparing teens to understand chastity. The program helped us parents understand we are here to teach teens to grow up to be great adults.
  • It opened a door for me that haven’t been opened before between my daughter and me. I definitely feel more comfortable and confident discussing chastity with her.
  • Awesome! Personal stories and experiences were very welcomed. I truly learned from you guys. Thank you so much for your time and dedication.

Even the teens who attended our programs were impacted with the message of chastity.

  • I liked the ability I was given to communicate in a new way with my mother.
  • It helped my parents start to understand me more.
  • This program was very well organized and the presenters were prepared to teach us.
  • The program offered an approachable atmosphere and I really enjoyed the small group discussions.
  • I found other kids like me here today; it was fun and I learned a lot.
  • That I was able to learn all these important things I need to know as I get older.
  • I enjoyed learning about sexuality and what chastity really means.
  • I learned about what it means to be chaste and how to respect myself and others.
  • I really liked the extremely awesome presenters who were able to show and teach young teens about chastity in a fun way.
  • I enjoyed the program more than I thought I would!

Our Report Card

New Locations Emerging

New Family Honor Website

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

If you haven’t been to our web site in a while, I think you will like the fresh new look. In October, Family Honor unveiled our newly designed and freshly organized website at Here’s a quick ‘tour’ of the site:

Programs and Training: It’s easy to find information about all of our programs and readers will also find detailed information about our college-level online course “The Truth and Meaning of Sexuality, Love & Family” on the site. (Our next semester begins on January 3, 2012!)

In our News/Be Informed section, viewers can read articles on topics of chastity, sex education, parenting and family as well as find out what’s making news at Family Honor.

The Parent and Teen Tips is a very important section of the web site. Here, parents will find articles pertaining to pertinent topics that their children might be dealing or struggling with. In the Teen Tips section, there are corresponding articles that teens can relate to.

Video Testimonies: This new addition to our web site features parents, teens, presenters and others who share the impact that Family Honor had on their life. It’s inspiring!

“Friends of Family Honor” is another part of the website that we are exceptionally excited about. Here we provide resources and tools for parents and children to come together and connect on life’s important issues, with a special focus on chastity and God’s gift of sexuality. There are multiple articles on a variety of topics such as marriage, family, parenting, sexuality, chastity, health, media, and more! Each topic is introduced with an explanation from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

As one of the goals in our Vision Statement states, “Family Honor will equip parents with the tools they need to have ongoing conversations with their children about important moral and spiritual issues, thus aiding both parents and children in living a happy, healthy and holy life.” The “Friends of Family Honor” section strives to do just that!

Family Honor is also taking advantage of social media outlets. Check out our new Facebook page and be sure to check back often for updates and interesting articles!

Family Honor on National Catholic Television

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Perhaps the biggest boost Family Honor received from a media perspective was through EWTN Global Catholic Television Network, the largest religious media network in the world. Brenda Cerkez was the guest on EWTN Live with Fr. Mitch Pacwa on September 21. Fr. Pacwa and Brenda discussed the great need for Family Honor’s parent-child programs, the need for parents to be the primary educators of their children, communication between parent and child, and God’s gift of sexuality. It was an amazing interview and included call-in questions from viewers around the country. Because of Brenda’s appearance on EWTN Live, the Family Honor offices received many inquiry calls and hits to Family Honor’s website increased 1,500%. We had 168,187 total hits to our website for the month of September alone! Congratulations, Brenda, and a special thanks to our friends at EWTN!