Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Catholic Teen Honored for Commitment to Chastity Program Despite Obstacles

METUCHEN, N.J. (CNS) -- At a young age, Theresa Hanntz has already battled opposition to her pro-life activities, yet she remains undaunted.

Hanntz was honored by the Diocese of Metuchen with a Pro-Vita Award for fighting for her beliefs when the Girl Scouts initially rejected a chastity program she organized at her high school as a project to earn her the Scouts' Gold Award. A compromise was eventually reached and she received the Scouting honor.

She and three others were given Pro-Vita Awards during a presentation at St. Francis of Assisi Cathedral Jan. 21.

Last year, as a senior Girl Scout at Immaculata High School in Somerville and president of the Pro-Life Club, Hanntz wanted to earn her Gold Award by organizing a five-week True Love Waits program at her school.The program, aimed at freshmen and sophomores, educates students on issues such as chastity, abortion and understanding God's plan for sexuality. The Girl Scouts organization, however, did not feel that such a program was appropriate and denied Hanntz the Gold Award.

But Hanntz, now a freshman at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, remained committed to the project.

"I just became so involved in that issue and it became such a passionate topic for me," Hanntz told The Catholic Spirit, newspaper of the Metuchen Diocese. "I really wanted to spread the word."

She appealed the Girl Scouts' decision, arguing that the program was voluntary and required parental consent, but the Girl Scouts still felt the topic itself was too controversial.

Eventually, a compromise was reached when Hanntz agreed to rename the project "Implementing a Long-Term Program." She restructured her proposal to focus on organizing a program rather than promoting pro-life issues and finally received the Gold Award.

The True Love Waits program was a success at Immaculata, with 30 students participating. Hanntz said that she received strong feedback from her classmates who took part. Everyone who participated then signed a purity pledge saying they would wait for marriage before engaging in intercourse. [More]

My Comments

What a heart-warming story! This young woman is truly a model for all of her peers as well as all of us in the pro-life movement to emulate. How many of us, as adults, would stand up to this kind of opposition in the secular world and not cave-in to peer pressure?

1 comment:

Bill said...

I am happy for this young girl who had the courage to stand up for what is right and get others to follow.