by Mary Daly, Family Honor Presenter
I knew Cindy casually because our children went to St. Andrew Catholic School together, and we attended the same church. She was always someone I admired because she gave so much of her time in service to our school and parish.
One Sunday, I think in 2007, I noticed an announcement she put in the bulletin at Our Lady Star of the Sea. “Do you feel called to talk to teens about chastity?” That was the gist of it. Strangely, I did. I called her a few days later, and that was the beginning of a beautiful friendship!
We connected immediately as we discussed the need to form our children in faith and to share the understanding God’s gift of s*xuality with others. It was very clear to us that if no one was teaching our youth the truth, they would all be in trouble later. We talked about our desire for godly spouses for our children. We talked about the disappearing youth in our churches. We talked and talked and talked.
Cindy was instrumental in getting my husband, John, and me involved in taking the Family Honor course, [training to become Chastity Presenters] and taking the course was an opportunity to grow an even deeper friendship with her.
She was always available to discuss whatever I was learning at the time. We shared our frustrations about the culture, and she shared her dream with me about Family Honor. She wanted a Family Honor team of Chastity Presenters in our area [Myrtle Beach] to deliver parent-child chastity programs! We almost had full team at one point, then members moved away, and some who took the course did not want to pursue the necessary steps to be Family Honor Presenters, but she never gave up.
We used to visit schools and DREs together to talk about Family Honor programs. St. Andrew Catholic School and St. Michael Parish committed to be parish host sites, and we had many successful chastity programs with families. Cindy was the force behind all of that. We had some of our best and funniest moments together training and taping for our Presenter roles. There was never a dull moment! She had such a great sense of humor, and we needed that! We were a mess at first, but together we managed to make it work.
The day Cindy received her cancer diagnosis was such a hard and terrifying day. I think she ended up comforting me with her quiet resignation and trust. Family Honor was still one of her top priorities! She was even inspired to bring her cancer into her Theology of the Body presentation. I remember her thinking that she could say that her illness did not make her less of a person.
We would discuss Family Honor at the cancer center during her chemo treatments. She was still scheduling programs even though she could not predict how she would feel. Of course, she eventually became very week and could not continue. I remember one of the last days I spent with her. She asked me to get a pad and pencil, so I could write down some ideas she had for Family Honor and for her youth program at the church …
I have often felt like I failed her by not picking up her Family Honor dreams and moving them forward. I just could not think about it after she passed. I did not want to do it without her. Also, my children were getting older and pulling me in different directions. Oh, how I wish she was here to watch our kids grow up together! She was a gift to me, completely irreplaceable just like Family Honor teaches. She is the most beautiful person I have ever known. She possessed an interior beauty that radiated Christ’s love.
I want to set up this scholarship in memory of Cindy, in the hopes of helping to make her dream a reality. I do not want Family Honor to fade away in our area. I have been hearing mothers of younger students inquiring about Family Honor, and I want to help make it possible for them to take the course and build a team.
I want her legacy to be alive for her children. Anything she could ever have hoped to tell them can be found in Family Honor: how much she loved them, what she hoped for them, the kind of young adult she wanted them to be, the importance of their vocations, the greatness of God and His Church, the power of the sacraments, the depth of her faith and trust in a loving God who was calling her home.
Cindy McCloskey died January 19, 2015, at home, surrounded by her loving family.
Read about the Cindy McCloskey Memorial Scholarship