GMU Knights of Columbus share 'roses for dignity'

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George Mason University Knights of Columbus in Fairfax (a part of Catholic Campus Ministry) passed out hundreds of roses to women on campus Feb. 13 in an effort to jump-start a conversation about human dignity.

"The students were looking for a way to honor their fellow students in a creative way this Valentine's Day and drew inspiration from (Arlington Bishop Paul S.) Loverde's pastoral letter "Bought With a Price," said Youth Apostle Father Peter W. Nassetta, chaplain. "Lust and pornography are big issues on a college campus, and it's important to challenge our students to see how it affects our ability to love."

Each rose has a note attached with a card that says: "All women have an innate beauty and dignity that men should always recognize. But lust and pornography obscure and destroy people's ability to see one another as unique and beautiful expressions of God's creation."

The back of the cards include handwritten notes from Knights that say things like: "Receive the unconditional love you were made to receive" and "You deserve nothing less than authentic love."

Franciscan Sister of the Eucharist Reneé Marek, executive assistant to Bishop Loverde, was given a rose during a George Mason Catholic Campus Ministry Thursday Night Supper Feb. 12. The supper included a short talk by Grand Knight Connor Xavios, a senior at George Mason.

"St. John Paul II implored us that our duty as men is to preserve the dignity of all women," Xavios said. Speaking to the women present, he added: "This is a reminder that you have a dignity that no one can take away, that you are beautiful, and you are always enough."

The Knights plan to hand out similar cards on Mardi Gras that will include Mass times and information on the Stations of the Cross.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015