15,000 teens attend ‘real love’ revolution

15,000 teens attend ‘real love’ revolution

by Daryl Zamora, CCO on September 7, 2012 - 8:08 pm

Close to 15,000 teens from as far as La Union and Laguna trooped to the World Trade Center in Pasay City for a chastity conference, September 1.

International Catholic speakers Leah Darrow and Chris Stefanick led this year’s Real Love Revolution, a follow-up to renowned speaker Jason Evert’s gig in 2011. Both events were organized by Catalyst of the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P).

Darrow, a finalist in the reality TV show America’s Next Top Model Cycle 3, recounted her conversion story — from a frivolous life in New York City’s modeling industry to her Damascus moment during a photoshoot to her dramatic return to the Catholic faith.

“You know the parable of the prodigal son?” — she asked the audience — “I’m his twin sister.”

‘Change is possible’

Darrow stressed the mercy of God, particularly in Confession, and the importance of chastity in attaining true happiness and love.
Darrow, now married, is a full-time apologist at Catholic Answers and is finishing her MA course in Pastoral Theology at Ave Maria University in Florida.

She ended her talk encouraging young people to remain firm amid strong pressure from media to live a licentious lifestyle.
“Never ever, ever, ever, ever let anybody tell you [that] you cannot change,” she said. “Change is possible.”

What love is

Meanwhile, singer-composer Chris Stefanick used his vocal and guitar chords to enter his audience’s hearts. With a guitar on hand, interspersing his talk with songs, he discussed various aspects of living a chaste life.

“To love someone is to do what’s good for him or her,” Stefanick, a young father of six, quoted St. Thomas Aquinas.

He said a person who truly loves will do everything — even sacrifice himself or herself — to give what is truly good for the person he or she loves.

Stefanick added that the love between spouses should be like that of Christ and his Church — one of complete self-giving that culminates on the Cross.

A co-author of Raising Pure Teens with Jason Evert, Stefanick is also the director of youth, young adult, and campus ministry for the Archdiocese of Denver in Colorado.

Revolution

A concelebrated Mass followed Darrow and Stefanick’s talks. Fr. Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the CBCP Episcopal Commission for Family and Life, said in his homily that the fight for life, especially amid the reproductive health (RH) bill debate, is won with each one living a chaste life.

The conference at the World Trade Center culminated the much sought-after speakers’ five-city tour in the Philippines from August 29 to September 1 — Iloilo City, Cebu City, Muntinlupa City, Quezon City, and Pasay City.

It was organized in cooperation with CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth and Couples for Christ – Global.

Photos by Cecilia Forbes, School of Communication

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