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The My House Initiative is aimed at helping Catholics in northeast Kansas:
- protect their children and families from pornography
- develop a deeper understanding of the beauty and sacredness of God’s gift of human sexuality
- experience freedom from the effects of pornography
Brief History of the My House Initiative:
2004 - Archbishop Naumann met Dr. Jerry Kirk (Kimberly Hahn’s father) and the My House Task Force was started
- After meeting with Dr. Jerry Kirk (Kimberly Hahn's father), Archbishop Naumann formed an archdiocesan taskforce to create practical resources and a parish-based program to protect Catholic families from pornography.
- This courageous taskforce was coordinated by Susan Carroll (former Safe Environment Coordinator and Head of HR) and included Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, Bill Scholl (Social Justice Office), Father Brian Schieber (Vocations Director - currently Vicar for Clergy), Deacon Dana Nearmyer (Youth Office), Jacki Corrigan (former Director of Family Life Office), Michael Podrebarac (Liturgy Office), Kimberly Rode (Youth Office - currently director of the Maryvale Mid-America Center), Dr. Kathy O’Hara (Superintendent of Catholic Schools), Mark Henke (former Executive Director of Catholic Charities), Dr. Mike Jurkovich (former staff at Catholic Charities), and Larry Livingston (former Adult Faith Consultant).
2005 - 2006 - development of the courageous My House Video, comprehensive 80 page manual for parishes, and bold print resources
- Through much prayer, collaboration, and dedicated work, the archdiocesan task force wrote the 80-page My House Manual for parishes, and contracted with Todd Habiger to professionally design courageous print resources for our parishes.
- Chuck Neff of Salt River Productions professionally filmed the inspiring My House Video, which contained an emotional testimony from a very brave man named Frank about pornography. The video also contained inspiring interviews about protecting families from pornography and concepts from Theology of the Body from Fr. Brian Schieber and Jacki Corrigan, along with an encouraging closing statement from Archbishop Naumann.
- Several priests and archdiocesan staff collaborated with Christian leaders from multiple denominations to form the Men of Valor Conference, an ecumenical sexual integrity conference. Keynote speakers included Fr. Brian Schieber, Troy Hinkel, Dr. Jerry Kirk and Dr. Mark Laaser.
2006 - 2007 - launch of the My House Video during Mass, print resources, Internet Safety presentations, Archbishop Naumann sent the program to all US Bishops, men’s accountability groups, and Theology of the Body groups
- The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas launched the comprehensive As for Me and My House Initiative also known as the "My House Program" in the parishes of NE Kansas. Over 90% of our parishes implemented the program and showed the My House video during Mass.
- Inspiring pamphlets, prayer cards, posters and confessional cards were designed.
- A comprehensive website was launched.
- Numerous internet safety presentations took place for parents in parishes and schools.
- There were multiple group leader trainings for Theology of the Body study groups, which were implemented in numerous parishes.
- A counselor training on pornography and sexual addiction took place for Catholic Charities counselors. Catholic Charities reported that nearly 50% of married couples who came for counseling were struggling with pornography.
- The Leaven wrote several inspiring articles about pornography and sexual integrity.
- Steve Bollman’s That Man is You! men’s program was launched in several of our parishes, and has now grown to many parishes in NE Kansas.
- Archbishop Naumann sent the 80-page My House Manual and My House Video to all US Bishops. Bishops and/or staff from 61 dioceses have sent encouraging letters and/or contacted our archdiocese for further information about the My House Program. Multiple dioceses participated in licensing agreements to use the My House logo and resources their diocese.
- Dan Spencer, Frank Boos, Jim Kafka, and Bruce Gish started accountability groups for Catholic men, and confronted pornography at the Men Under Construction Conference and Catholic men’s ministry groups.
- Multiple priests and staff continued collaborating with other local Christian leaders for the Men of Valor conference, which 586 men attended in 2007. Christopher West and Dr. Ted Roberts presented at the 2007 conference.
- Sam Meier was hired by the archdiocese in June of 2007 to help with the My House program.
2008 - 2011 - training for priests and counselors, billboards on 1-70 and I-35 , Catholic 12-Step groups, Theology of the Body groups, EWTN’s Life on the Rock, and large annual sexual purity conference
- The archdiocesan task force transitioned to a steering committee to provide on-going support and development for the My House program.
- Members on the steering committee included: Fr. Gary Pennings (Vicar General), Monsignor Michael Mullen (Co-Director of Seminarians), Sam Meier, Dr. Kathy O’Hara (Superintendent of Catholic schools), Bill Scholl (Social Justice Office), Jacki Corrigan (former Family Life Office director), Beth Meier (former Family Life Office staff), Kimberly Rode (director of the Maryvale Mid-America Center), Terri Nicholson (Catholic Charities), Theresa Smith (Staff Member from St. Patrick’s Parish), and Jennifer Siebes (former staff of the The Leaven).
- Regular presentations on internet safety and Theology of the Body took place at numerous Catholic schools and parishes in NE Kansas.
- Fr. John Riley brought in Dr. Peter Kleponis for a 2-day presentation to our priests about pornography addiction and sexual integrity. Phillip Cosby and Sam Meier helped with some of the presentations as well.
- A 1-page internet safety flyer was sent to all of our parishes and Catholic schools.
- Thanks to generous donors, a billboard about respecting women and fighting pornography was professionally designed by Devin Shadt of Saint Louis Creative. A billboard campaign took place on I-35, I-70 and 635 (click here for pictures)
- Sam and Beth Meier were asked to provide numerous national presentations and interviews about the My House Initiative including an interview on EWTN’s Life on the Rock. Presentations took place at numerous dioceses and conferences to help protect families and marriages from pornography.
- Catholic 12-step groups were established and we currently have weekly meetings in Kansas City, Overland Park, Olathe and Topeka. This group format has been adapted in mutliple cities in the US.
- Additional counselor trainings and recovery resources were provided for men and couples.
- Our archdiocese continued sponsoring the Men of Valor conference, which added a teen and women's conference. These ecumenical sexual purity conferences grew in attendance to over 2,000 people each year. Speakers included Dr. Scott Hahn, Dr. Janet Smith, Jason Evert, Christopher West, Curtis Martin, Matt Fradd, Dr. Mark Laaser, Dr. Richard Land, Jon Kitna, and Bob Reccord. The feedback forms from these conferences are amazing, and we are grateful to the many priests and ministry leaders that have helped spread the word about these important conferences.
2012 - 2014 - Archbishop Naumann, new website, new print resources, internet safety talks during Mass, school presentations, new My House video & 11/14/14 Training Event
- Archbishop Naumann courageously stood up in front of all the US Bishops on 11/12/13 in Baltimore to comment about the development of a USCCB Formal Statement on Pornography. Here is a link to the video - Bishop Malone’s presentation on pornography starts at the 40 minute mark, and Archbishop Nuamann’s comments are at the 51 minute mark. Archbishop Naumann is a national leader in the fight against pornography, and he is one of three Catholic bishops who serve on the board of the Religious Alliance against Pornography (RAAP). We are so blessed to have Archbishop Naumann’s courage and leadership, and he deeply cares about protecting our families and marriages!
- The My House Initiative worked closely with Henning Communications to redesign our website and print resources.
- Terry Sexton gave courageous presentations about internet safety during Mass at St. Patrick in Kansas City, KS and Sacred Heart Parish in Shawnee. Terry’s presentation included practical tools for protecting families, and all parents in the parish received a copy of "7 Steps to Protect Your Family from Pornography." This presentation has also taken place in parishes in Topeka, Seneca, Holton, Mayetta, and Paola. Please contact Sam Meier if you would like to schedule a presentation for your parish.
- The Men of Valor, Women of Virtue and Youth for Truth conferences continued to be life-changing sexual integrity events in 2012 - 2014. Here is a 3-minute video from an award-winning videographer that gives you a look and feel from the conferences. Several people generously contributed to rent billboards for the 2013 conferences on I-35 and 435, and here are the pictures.
- Our Archdiocese conducted a national training event called Defending Families in a Digital World on 11/14/14. Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, Patrick Trueman, Dr. Peter Kleponis, Bruce and Jeannie Hannemann, and Dr. Todd Bowman were the main speakers. The event was professionally filmed and live-streamed throughout the US. Here are the videos, and we pray that they will help to protect many families.
- A new My House video has been completed, which has inspiring footage to protect children and families from pornography. Archbishop Naumann has asked for a new video to be shown in our parishes, and please keep this project in your prayers!