The Catholic Sun | Joseph Pillado

No seat was left empty as nearly 200 students came to hear international chastity speaker, Jason Evert at the Newman Center at Grand Canyon University (GCU) on Nov. 9. Evert discussed Catholic dating in college and shared the importance of chastity in the single life as well as continuing into marriage.

“A truth has been spoken tonight. A truth that we do not often hear, “said Sr, Clare Marie, a Servant of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary and the director of Evangelization at the GCU Newman Center. She spoke to the students as they spent time in Eucharistic Adoration, “each one of you has been chosen to be here tonight.”

“When the sisters and I arrived three years ago, we had 40 students coming to Sunday Mass. Now we have over 140 students attending each week,” said Fr. David Loeffler, pastor at GCU Newman Center.

Evert spoke to the students at GCU one-on-one for over an hour afterwards, giving personal advice and taking photos. He remarked on the impact he sees these talks making as he travels around the world, especially the time after the presentations. “We were at one school and I said ‘hey we’ll be here if you need to talk’ and the students lined up for hours after the high school assembly. For me to hear their confessions.” He joked, “I don’t absolve anybody but I can give them some penance.”

The Catholic Sun | Joseph Pillado

Evert’s insistence on staying close to the sacraments and devoting yourself to the Mass, the Eucharist, and holy scripture moved Brianna Chavez. “He did not focus on the negatives. College students need tangible things to put into action,” she added.

The clarity of Evert’s message on chastity impacted John Michael Gomez, a local photographer at GCU Newman Center. Gomez remarked on the importance of his community at the Newman Center. “Community involvement is important. Who you are with will impact your life. You need accountability. Reflect on your life. College is the best time to make a change.”