By Kyle Eller
The Northern Cross
Holy Spirit Church in Virginia is bringing in one of the country’s best-known apologists and speakers on chastity for a free two-day event in November.
Matt Fradd, founder of the website “The Porn Effect,” will be at the parish Nov. 15-16 for an event called “Love, Purity, and Freedom.” A local speaker, Kelly Klatt, will also be presenting a talk for women during the event.
Fradd, from Georgia, is an author and has been a guest on BBC, EWTN, ABC, and Catholic Answers Live, in addition to speaking to about 50,000 people a year. Klatt is a wife, mother, professional photographer, coach, and catechist who lives in Warba.
Father Brandon Moravitz, pastor at Holy Spirit, said it’s the parish’s fourth year doing a big event at the parish for the benefit of the whole region. Past national speakers have included Leah Darrow and Michael Gormly.
He said sometimes the focus has been on the sacraments or the spiritual life or the lives of the saints. But this year he’s “blown away” to have Fradd, someone he’s heard speak at Steubenville Youth Conferences and who is a familiar face to his parish’s young people because of his work in the video series “Formed.”
“I’ve always been pretty impressed by him,” Father Moravitz said. He said he was dreaming big, then “threw out the bait, and he bit.”
“I feel like the Lord just kind of opened a door,” he said.
The Wednesday night event will be conducted by Fradd and begins at 6 p.m. matching Wednesday faith formation times. It’s geared to teenage students and their parents and will be followed by confession (with a number of priests available) and Eucharistic Adoration.
Thursday, Fradd will also host a noon “lunch box” workshop geared for parents, grandparents, and teachers on the dangers of the Internet age.
Thursday night, beginning at 6 p.m., there will be breakout sessions for men and women, from teens to adults, with Fradd leading the men’s presentation and Klatt presenting to the women.
Father Moravitz said these events, which reach much of the Iron Range, have already been busy, and the parish is anticipating overflow. “In the last number of years, we’ve had standing room only in our church,” he said.
So the social hall is being prepared with video to accommodate more people. Father Moravitz said everyone’s welcome. “Please show up,” he said. “Our doors are wide open.”
He said the goal is to “educate minds and then launch into a sacramental experience of Jesus Christ.”
He said the events soften hearts and result in a tremendous outpouring of mercy. He said in past years eight to 10 priests have heard confessions for three or four hours and some people have begun RCIA.
He said that while the topic involves a “hard teaching,” it’s one a lot of people are confused about and that is affecting people at younger and younger ages with computers and devices.
“I think the church has a beautiful vision for who we are as men and women,” he said. He expects the event to give people tools so that technology can be used for good and not as a means of eroding the moral life.
The event is sponsored by the parish’s prolife group, Pro-life Friends of St. Gianna Molla. It also received funds from the Catholic Religious Education Endowment Fund, which provides for the financial support of educational opportunities for the enrichment of faith and the spreading of the Gospel by the laity, deacons, priests, and Catholic schools in the Diocese of Duluth. The event has also received funds from the Diocese of Duluth Human Life and Development Fund.