LoveEd Program Empowers Parents to Teach Their Children About Chastity



I’m a firm believer in parents being the primary educators of the their children. After all, it is we parents who will be held accountable for how we nourished and educated our children. That’s not to say that we cannot delegate aspects of the responsibility or accept assistance.
The beauty of LoveEd: Raising Kids That Are  Strong, Smart and Pure by Coleen Kelly Mast is that it does not seek to minimize the parents’ role in educating their children about chastity but instead empowers them to excel at it. It does so by offering materials and a format that encourage the frank, meaningful dialogue necessary to teach our children fundamental, critical lessons about the truth and meaning of human sexuality in a manner that is engaging and appealing.

Courtesy of St. Benedict Press. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Creator Dr. Coleen Kelly Mast created the program at the request of her then-bishop, now Archbishop J. Peter Sartain. The program was to follow the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ guidelines “by empowering the parent-child relationship rather than having that education being done separately or only with ‘parent knowledge or permission.’”
“With the help of some friends and in consultation with some diocesan leaders,” Dr. Mast said, “I put my decades of experience in chastity education to work, and created a video/discussion program that opened the door to a better parent-child communication on both the science and theology of human sexuality.”

Courtesy of St. Benedict Press. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

The materials, which are detailed and attractive, have received a Nihil Obstat, so there are no worries about the program’s orthodoxy. Sensitive subjects are addressed based on age and gender so that the information is both age appropriate and tailored to specific concerns of both boys and girls ages 9-11 and 11-14.
If those ages seem young, consider that one in 10 visitors to pornography websites is less than 10 years old. According to Dr. Mast, “Other programs available are for older students, and often need lessons on ‘damage control’ already, or focus only on morality and the list of sins against chastity or dangers of premarital sex.”

Courtesy of St. Benedict Press. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Rather than presenting sexuality as a list of “thou shall nots,” chastity is offered as a positive, life-affirming choice that is physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy. “We address the whole person, body and soul,” said Dr. Mast, “and include the emotional, spiritual, social, and psychological changes that take place during adolescence and how to respond by developing new and continued habits of goodness.”
LoveEd consists of a three-part program designed for parish, classroom, or home settings. Parent training is offered first, using video and material resources. “We realize that most parents today did not learn a positive version of the Church teachings on love and sexuality, and only a few have learned the Theology of the Body,” said Dr. Mast. “Many parents have struggled with or rejected the teachings. Thus, the parent workbook introduction starts with this understanding and an explanation of God’s mercy to King David and others. The parent book and videos then continue with the beauty of God’s plan, and unpack age-by-age how to communicate these truths to your children from preschool age to young teens.”

Courtesy of St. Benedict Press. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

The second part is a parent/child event with short video presentations and guided, private conversations. The take-home reading materials complete the program.
If you’d like to bring the program to your parish, but you’re intimidated by the commitment or your ability, have no fear. The Facilitator Guide eliminates all of the guesswork. An event plan for each level and gender provides a sample timeline with a detailed list of necessary materials, prayers, and goals. It could not be simpler.
Actual event time is minimal. The parent training event is two hours, as are each of the parent/child segments. During the parent/child program, the attendees watch a five-minute video then have 10 minutes of private parent/child discussion. The video/discussion sequence is repeated five times. Reticent parents need not fear. Discussion time is guided by simple follow-up questions provided in the companion book. (Optionally, the videos can be streamed at home.) The book also includes chapters and discussion questions for home use.

Courtesy of St. Benedict Press. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

While I understand the value of pre-recorded video in presentations, I admit I am not a big fan of its use. Canned video, while keeping the program on message and on time, can be boring. Watching a talking head in a classroom isn’t my favorite activity. The LoveEd videos are so much more than a canned talking head! According to Dr. Mast, the high quality video stories in each seminar were  created by FUSE Communications, a corporate messaging firm in Chicago, led by John Severence, who also happens to be a home-schooling father of ten children. “This is not just lecturing, talking at the audience, or even testimonials; they are stories that make you think!”
Feedback so far indicates that parents are appreciative of the confidence they’ve gained in the teachings, the church, and their ability to teach their own children. Pastors are pleased with both the fidelity to Church teachings and that the material is presented in the context of virtue education. Catholic school principals appreciate the program’s turn-key approach, which does not require extensive administration. Even knowledgeable, faithful Catholics, Dr. Mast said, claim LoveEd has “seriously improved the content and quality of their approach to these conversations with their children.”
For more information on LoveEd, which can be used in the home, school, or parish setting, visit

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Copyright 2017 Carolyn Astfalk


About Author

Carolyn Astfalk is a wife, mother of four young children, and a writer. Her contemporary inspirational romances Stay With Me, Ornamental Graces, and Rightfully Ours are available at She blogs at My Scribbler’s Heart. Visit

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