Holy Hour to fight porn drawing hundreds of men
By Nissa LaPoint
PHOTO BY DENNIS DAVENPORT
Father Brian Larkin presented a challenge to his Northglenn parish’s men: stand up against the clutch of pornography.
At Masses before Lent, he told parishioners that pornography is a cultural pandemic that must be addressed.
“We never talk about it, we never condemn it and there’s nothing being done,” he told the Denver Catholic Register. “This is about our children, our spouses and our culture. If Christian men don’t fight this, who will?”
A growing number of men are responding to the Immaculate Heart of Mary pastor’s call by attending a Holy Hour on Saturdays during Lent to pray for an end to the pervasive industry and heal the culture. Parishioners and men from as far as Granby have gathered for adoration, started as part of the Northglenn parish’s new initiative “Be Transformed” (Rom 12:2). The initiative was launched to better engage men in their faith.
The response has been positive.
Word spread and some Holy Hours have drawn hundreds of men to pray.
“It’s extraordinarily powerful to see 400 men gathered on their knees in a church before the Blessed Sacrament,” said Dennis Davenport, a parishioner and grand knight of the Knights of Columbus’ Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Council.
Father Larkin said the goal is to gather 1,000 men—whether they’ve been impacted by pornography or not—for the Holy Hour.
During adoration, a band plays praise and worship music and Father Larkin says a few words. Some quiet reflection and prayer is encouraged before more music is played.
The Holy Hour is meant to reverse the cultural acceptance of pornography and condemnation of those addicted to it.
It’s a time to follow Christ, who loved the sinner but hated the sin, the priest said.
“Jesus does that,” Father Larkin said. “He always condemns sins but loves people. I feel like on pornography, we’re exactly the opposite.”
Some reports estimate pornography is a $13 billion industry in the United States and $97 billion worldwide. The majority of men have been exposed to it and many at a young age. The resulting shame and efforts to combat the addiction privately is not effective, Father Larkin said.
“My point is that we’re not going to win the battle that way,” he said.
Men also need to fight it publically. “It’s a public problem we’re fighting in a private way. That’s not good,” Father Larkin said.
“It might help those three guys in a self-help group, but what about the rest of our culture that’s going to hell in a handbasket? It’s something men have largely been responsible for starting and it’s something for men to fight.”
At the end of Lent, all parishioners will be asked to write a letter to a company or organization involved in immodesty or sexually explicit matter.
Davenport said he hopes the fight against pornography will continue at the parish beyond Lent. He took his 14-year-old son to the Holy Hour to help prepare him for the immodest culture he faces.
“It’s important to me to set an example for my son,” he said. “As a father, I think it’s important to lead children to do the right thing and to be morally upstanding. The only way we’re going to change it is if we first change ourselves and then change the world.”
Nissa LaPoint: 303-715-3138; email@example.com; www.twitter.com/DCRegisterNissa