By Lou Baldwin
Special to The CS&T

Why did God give us our sexual desires? How can teens remain pure in our oversexed culture? Can Christ offer healing to me if I’ve messed up?

These are just a few of the questions that will be addressed at Theology of the Body for Teens, a program to be presented in six evening sessions at three locations in Bucks, Chester and Philadelphia counties during July and August. The summer sessions are for high school students who want to gain a deeper understanding of their sexuality in light of God’s plan for life and love.

That’s certainly the goal of Katie Hennessy, a high school senior from St. Joseph Parish, Downingtown.

“I want to be prepared for a ‘real world’ full of weakness and doubt with a [dependence] on God’s wisdom of the human body,” she said.

The program is jointly sponsored by the archdiocesan Office for Youth and Young Adults (OYYA), Ascension Press and Generation Life.

“Teens are confronted with so many competing messages regarding the human experience and sexuality,” said John Tague, director of OYYA. “Theology of the Body for Teens takes the treasured teachings of Pope John Paul II about the human person and sexuality and creatively conveys the teachings which help the young gain a proper understanding of themselves, their sexuality, others and even God.

“The Theology of the Body for teens experience helps the young to make better decisions for themselves with regard to their sexuality and ultimately helps them make wiser and more appropriate choices for themselves regarding the whole of their lives,” Tague said.

“We are really excited to do this program,” said Christine Friedrich, high school outreach coordinator for Generation Life. “So many teens have heard the rule of what the Church teaches about the human body. This is the ‘why.’ It is the why of what our hearts are made for. It is of true love.”

The sessions, which will run from 7-8:30 p.m., will be conducted at St. Bede the Venerable Parish, Holland, on Tuesdays, July 7-Aug. 11; at St. Peter and Paul Parish, West Chester, on Wednesdays, July 8-Aug. 12; and at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish, Philadelphia, on Thursdays, July 9-Aug. 13.

The cost for the series is $45 and it includes a student’s workbook and a parents’ guide.

For more information see or or call (610) 918-1177.

Lou Baldwin is a member of St. Leo Parish and a freelance writer.