The Culture Project Australia is encouraging discussion on human dignity and sexual integrity among young people, the Catholic Outlook reports.
Founding director of The Culture Project Australia, Frances Hopkins, decided to become involved in the project after being contacted by a girl who was pregnant, alone and afraid. “She just needed someone to say ‘You are such a brave and incredible woman’ and needed someone to believe in her,” Hopkins said.
“She said ‘I can’t kill my baby, can you help me?’” Hopkins told Catholic Outlook. Then only 18-years-old herself, Hopkins decided to support this girl in any way she could. “I know the little boy and he is four years old now and he almost didn’t make it.”
Now in its third year, the Australian spin-off of The Culture Project International reaches 5000 young people each year through schools, conferences, youth groups and their own monthly event, Restore Nights. The Culture Project Australia creates custom presentations as well as multiple standard talks and modules that are given from the perspective of humour, personal stories and natural law.
“They reach down to the core of what it is to be human, humanity’s desires for love, the way the culture twists those, making us doubt our self-worth,”Hopkins said.
The Culture Project members receive their training in the US in June each year. Speakers include Matt Fradd and Stephanie Grey. Hopkins has an education qualification, mental health and first aid training, and a Bachelor of Arts in the Liberal Arts. When young people present mental health concerns, the Culture Project refers them to relevant medical professionals.
Restore Nights are held monthly in Parramatta in Sydney. At the first Restore for the year, held last month, Bella Augimeri played guitar and sang for an hour before and after a talk on freedom by Fr Warren Edwards, parish priest of Our Lady of the Angels Parish, Rouse Hill. This was the first time a clergyman has addressed Restore. Fr Warren gave a brief overview of civilisations from the ancient city of Ur to the modern day. He focused on the legal and inter-personal aspects of freedom.
Katherine Turnbull, a new full-time missionary, has joined The Culture Project this year and is available to speak on human dignity and sexual integrity, particularly through the virtue of chastity. The previous missionary, Chris Da Silva, is now entering his vocation.
“I’m so pleased to be dedicating this year to an organisation that has authentic, boundary-crossing love for people at its heart, and that so fearlessly makes a real difference, one encounter at a time,” Turnbull said.
Bella Augimeri performed at last month’s Restore night. (Catholic Outlook)
The Culture Project reclaims love from distorted culture (Catholic Outlook)