Would you take the no-profanity pledge?

Let’s face it, cursing pervades much of our lives — on our streets, in our school halls and on social media.

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For example, a recent story in Deadspin, an online sports site, analyzed the use of profanity on Twitter during the Super Bowl and reported that one very bad word in particular was used in more than 226,000 tweets during the Feb. 3 game. Then there’s Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco’s use of profanity after the Super Bowl, which drew the ire of the Parents Television Council. 

That’s why a New Jersey Catholic high school’s effort to curb profanity on campus is timely — and admirable. Queen of Peace High School in North Arlington has asked students to take a no-profanity pledge: “I do solemnly swear not to use profanities of any kind within the walls and properties of Queen of Peace High School. I swear not to swear, so help me God.”  

The school caught flak in the media for offering the pledge only to female students, but it has since opened it up to male students.  

One woman praised the school’s effort, but with a caveat.  

“It’s a great idea,” Anna Macrina told The Record newspaper for a Feb. 5 story. “But first you have to get the parents to do it.” 

Anyone still looking for a Lenten sacrifice?

Making confession a Lenten practice

Reconciliation and getting right with God are always an important part of Lent. This year, in particular, the U.S. bishops are encouraging Catholics to rediscover the Sacrament of Penance.  

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Last month, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops released its statement “God’s Gift of Forgiveness: The Pastoral Exhortation on the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation,’ which stated, in part, “We bishops and priests are eager to help you if you experience difficulty, hesitation or uncertainty about approaching the Lord in this sacrament. If you have not received this healing sacrament in a long time, we are ready to welcome you. We, whom Christ has ordained to minister this forgiveness in his name, are also approaching this sacrament, as both penitents and ministers, throughout our lives and at this special moment of grace during Lent. We want to offer ourselves to you as forgiven sinners seeking to serve in the Lord’s name.” 

The USCCB website also has link on its homepage devoted to encouraging confession during the penitential season, including tips for individuals who may not have received the sacrament for a while.  

For more information, visit www.usccb.org/lent.