Re: Youth Director is an Unwed Mother


#1

I need some advice, please. It’s recently become apparent that our youth minister is expecting a baby. She is not married. She has not acknowledged this to either the youth group or parents, but it can no longer be denied. There have been no plans announced for her to either take a leave of absence, or relinquish her leadership position.

Naturally, the kids (high school and middle school) are disturbed about the situation. I’ve had several talks with my 15 yo daughter about the leader’s bravery in bearing the child, the correctness of that decision, and the consequences of not living a chaste life.

But am I wrong to expect that we should have a better model of Catholic teaching in our youth leadership role? I plan to address my questions to our priests and DRE, but want some feedback from you first. What would you do?:hmmm:


#2

I’d do just what you are doing - talk to the Priest. Unmarried pregnant woman should not be youth leaders - THAT is totally unacceptable.

Are you sure she’s pregnant though? Maybe she’s just gained weight?


#3

Unmarried pregnant woman should not be youth leaders - THAT is totally unacceptable.

It is unacceptbale if she is living with a man and became pregnant. Let us hope that the meeting with the priest will not reveal that she was date raped or worse.


#4

Very true. However, if it is very obvious that she is pregant and she was date raped or worse, if she wants to continue leading the youth, the subject must be adressed because all those kids will believe that she had sex outside of marriage - not that she was raped.


#5

You are on-target. Someone who is not upholding Catholic teaching and values should not be in a leadership position, especially over impressionable young people!

Go see your priest and/or DRE.

At a minimum she should be transferred to an administrative position that is not in contact with the kids until she can find another job or has the baby. I hope they would not let her go during her pregnancy-- that could leave her financially desparate.


#6

Pregnant or not, it’s not acceptable if she’s living with a man. That shows an attitude simply willing to disregard her church’s teachings. There are all sorts of things that could have happened, though (including just plain one time “It seemed like a good idea at the time” sin - everyone’s had one of those involving one of the seven deadly or another), so I think you should hold off on saying anything until the young woman explains what happened.

And I think that even if it was something that came out of sin, that doesn’t necessarily mean “bad example” and she should lose her job. She could explain to these kids “Yes, I did something wrong, but you see the consequences of it now”, because being pregnant and alone is a tough thing. It depends on her attitude about it rather than the actualy act as much.


#7

What I would NOT do is jump to conclusions. Perhaps she was raped and chose not to abort. Perhaps she had a slip up in judgment and chose not to abort. Don’t spread gossip or be rumor-mongerer.

Support her in that she has chosen LIFE.

The students are watching EVERYTHING, and if they feel she is railroaded and “punished” for getting pregnant, down the road some scared pregnant teen may remember that and decide to end her “problem”.


#8

think maybe more charity should be practiced here. Even if she had say a ‘one off’ and was sorry about that, that would be between her, the priest and God. And who’s to say that she isn’t good at being a youth leader. We all fall from grace my friends. And if she intends to raise her child as a single mother I applaud her for that, she may end up marrying the man and they become an upstanding Christian family, and considering that some people in her situation some would opt for abortion. Her cross is hers to bare. God bless her for her strength and endurance. HAving a child is easy comparatively to raising one.

Just my two cents,

emp.


#9

She should not be railroaded and get “punished” for getting pregnant, but she SHOULD have the good sense to know that she is not a good example for the teenagers and she should step down. People have no sense of shame anymore. God forgives us - so true - but there are consequences to our sin and if she chose to engage in sex and that choice becomes so obvious because of her pregancy - sorry - need to step down from leading youth. This is a no-brainer.


#10

Let’s face it, the most likely thing is that she was not raped. Therefore, she is unqualified to be a youth leader. It doesn’t mean that we should stone her to death, but she should be removed from her post as a youth leader. Let’s not let our desire to be charitable blind us to our responsiblity to our youth. She shouldn’t be viewed as a heroine just because she didn’t get an abortion. Fornication, ending up in an out of wedlock birth isn’t what I want my daughter to emulate.


#11

Thank you voice of reason! I was begining to want to :banghead:


#12

Why, you’re very welcome, carole marie :slight_smile:


#13

You know, I had my daughter out of wedlock. And though I was leading a very sinful life prior to her conception… I began to change my life around the moment that I found out I was pregnant. I had a solid christian upbringing, and strayed from the straight and narrow for only a few months.

I do not make excuses for myself or this woman, nor do I condone EITHER of our circumstances. But one thing to consider is her intentions now. Is she going to give the baby up for adoption? Is she solid in her Chrisian values now?

No person running ANY youth group is completely without sin.

Is she ready to make an example of herself as a teaching tool to NOT get yourself in a situation where this can happen? Can she make an example of herself and let the kids learn a great lesson about making things right again AFTER a huge mistake or sin?

We live in a different world and no doubt many of these youth have a friend or peer that has either had an abortion or has a habit of ‘hooking up’ or is pregnant and not contrite.

We can try to sanitize Christianity and only allow the seemingly perfect to be great teachers, but then where would we be without Fr. Corapi et. al. who have led less than pristine lives before adding so much to our Faith formation?

It would take a VERY RARE lady to be able to provide the kind of humble and contrite leadership that I am supportive of. A good conversation with her, the priest and the DRE might offer some opportunities for great teaching material. It will become very plain immediately if she is the type of person that can pull it off.

Ultimately I agree with everyone here who says that it probably isn’t a good idea to have her as a youth director. It takes a very humble and honest and Christian person to be able to own up to their mistakes completely and then present themselves as an example against that type of lifestyle. Not many people are in a position to be able to do that, let alone a young person.

But they are out there, and I think it might be beneficial to take a few minutes and see if she might be one of them.


#14

If this young woman intends to reform her life, let her go about doing it, and give her some time to do so out of the spotlight of being a youth leader. What is she going to do, bring her baby to the youth group meetings to be ooed and awed over? Do you seriously want a youth leader’s out of wedlock new baby to be the center of attention at a Catholic youth group function?


#15

Would anyone have the same concern if a single, never been married, brand new parent was just hired as a youth leader at the parish (male or female)? Why?


#16

Absolutely! I would wonder why the Church didn’t hire a more exemplery role model for that position. It would be the same as hiring a bookeeper who was poor at Math. Why would anyone do that? It doesn’t make sense.

A youth leader should, above all things, be a positive role model, and unwed parenthood is a definate disqualifier. It’s the same thing as the FBI. They won’t hire anyone who even smoked pot once in their youth. It permanently disqualifies them.


#17

If the same person married in the Church, would they still be “permanently disqualified”? How about someone who married outside of the Church without dispensation (since that isn’t as visible of a sin)? Or a man who is a single father (that isn’t as visible of a sin if he doesn’t mention or bring his child to work, and obviously he’s not going to be the one visibly pregnant)? The list can go on and on… Why discriminate against one sinner and not another?

By the way, I am someone who stepped down from a teaching position because I was pregnant out of wedlock and felt that it was wrong of me to be teaching as an unwed pregnant woman (I did leave after the school year was over because I wasn’t showing until about a few weeks after I left - I’m a thick girl to begin with). However, as a single mother, I feel I would be able to teach and encourage others to live according to the laws of God because I have turned my life around and would STRONGLY discourage anyone from going through the hell I’ve been through. I have never condoned my sins and I never will (just ask my goddaughter/little sister, she’ll tell anyone how vocal I’ve been about how wrong I was and how bad my sin was, even though my dd was a beautiful outcome of such an ugly sin).


#18

Being a teacher is entirely different than being a youth director. A youth director’s specific job and mission is to be a spiritual leader, mentor, and role model for young Catholics. A teacher is called to teach a specific subject matter, such as English or Mathematics.


#19

Marijuana use does NOT permanently disqualify one from employment with the FBI. Only if that use has been in the last 3 years or if it has been extensively used over a substantial period of time.


#20

Oh really? I had heard otherwise. Perhaps I was misimformed, or perhaps they changed their rule?

Anyways, I stand by my opinion that the job description of a youth director is entirely to lead by example. In my mind that entails living an exemplary Catholic life, not getting pregnant and having a child out of wedlock. Not having an abortion isn’t the hallmark of an exemplery life in my mind. It’s the proper response to a difficult situation that the young lady got herself into by engaging in mortal sin.

As far as young men, if they have an out of wedlock child, they also should be disqualified. And, to say having these standards encourages abortion is not very persuasive in my mind. I would not send my child to a youth group led by a leader who had made such poor choices, and I would make a stink about it. The squeeky wheel gets the grease, I’ve found.


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