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Storm Lake St. Mary’s initiates two chastity groups

By KATIE LEFEBVRE, Globe staff reporter
(Email Katie)

STORM LAKE – Young women and young men of St. Mary’s Parish were inducted into groups focused on chastity during the Our Lady of Guadalupe Mass on Dec. 11.

Father Jeremy Wind, parochial vicar at St. Mary’s, initiated the two new groups along with Knights of Columbus.

Even before Father Wind was at St. Mary’s, there was a need for a youth ministry program.

“This is my attempt to provide something for them while we are waiting,” he said. “I hear them say, ‘Please help so our daughters don’t get pregnant and our sons don’t get someone pregnant.’ So I said if that is what they are worried about, let’s go right for the root. There are other things that happen before they get pregnant.”

He said the reason he announced these groups on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is because this is the biggest Mass, more than 800 were in attendance.

“The youth were thrilled with it,” said Father Wind.

Young women

Young women were received into the women’s chastity group with St. Elizabeth of Hungary and St. Maria Goretti named as the patron saints.

About 10 to 15 young women accepted a rose upon entering the society and promised to pray the rosary before Mass for the chastity and fidelity of young men. They promised to be chaste and devoted to Christ until they married or found a religious vocation.

“They promised to demand they be respected as women and that guys and boyfriends treat them with respect, not trying to get anything more than a quick kiss, hug or hold their hand,” said Father Wind. “They promised to pray for their future husbands, future religious communities or their current boyfriends.”

Liliana Hernandez, a sophomore at St. Mary’s in Storm Lake, said she wants to set a good example for other girls that “they can do what I can do. No one is perfect. Everyone can have an opportunity to start over and become closer to God.”

She thought it was “cool” that Father Wind thought of “everything himself” for the induction ceremony.

“He has a lot of plans,” said Hernandez. “He made this up because he wants all the young people to get involved.”

She thinks this group for young women is important so that “girls know how to respect themselves. They don’t need to give away anything to have a guy stay with them. They are worth it and don’t need to go through that.”

Warriors of the Lord

The name of the men’s group is the Warriors of the Lord. The ritual of entrance for the young men was a masculine ceremony. Father Wind had the young men who are under 18 promise to pray one hour in adoration every week for girls who are being taken advantage of. They promised to remain chaste for the sake of their future bride.

“They promised to do nothing more than a quick kiss, a quick hug or holding hands with girlfriends,” said Father Wind.

There are about 20 Spanish-speaking men who have expressed interest in the Knights of Columbus. These men promised to be active, faithful Catholics. They promised to pray for the women in their lives, wives and daughters, and to treat them with love and respect.

“They promised not to let pornography, contraception, sterilization, vasectomies, etc. into their homes,” said Father Wind.

All of the men made the promises of rejecting Satan, all of his works and all of his empty promises. They said a shortened version of the creed.

“They knelt down before the altar. I had a Knights of Columbus sword. I pointed it to the cross and I asked them if they were willing to follow Jesus Christ, even if it meant, if necessary, they had to shed their blood,” said Father Wind. “They said, ‘I do.’ Then I gave them a nice swift crack with the sword across their back.”
Ruben Aldaba, a freshman parishioner at St. Mary’s, said that the sword didn’t hurt as much as he thought it would. He thought this was a neat way to be inducted into this group.

He decided to join the Warriors of the Lord because he thought it would be fun and he wanted to do something for God. He said this group is important because there are some guys who “hate” each other and being in the group will allow for them to try to get along and become friends.

Church on Sunday

At the Mass, Father Wind informed the congregation that he asked the Spanish speaking stores to allow their workers to go to church on Sundays. The stores are open on Sundays and have their employees work. Four of the five stores agreed.

“I announced the stores that were agreeing and how the new deal was going to work,” said the priest. “Work isn’t first of all, but God and family is first on Sundays.”

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