An Invitation and a Response
In the Beginning
In the year 1989, a small group of Catholic young adults in Ireland responded to Mary's invitation to prayer. Every week, the young adults would come together and lay a myriad of intentions at the Blessed Mother's feet. Little did they know that Mary was preparing their hearts for something quite wonderful.
Through the years, ‘purity amongst the youth’ was a common prayer intention of the group and seemed to be an area in great need of prayer and attention. As time went on, this prayer intention in particular was catching the attention of the group's spiritual director, Fr. Aidan Carrol. One day, while traveling in Rome for World Youth Day 2000, members of the community began feeling stirrings in their heart and a great desire to form a new community dedicated solely to praying for purity and reaching out to the youth and young adults of Ireland. This new mission would include speaking about Saint John Paul II's Theology of the Body (TOB) -- a message founded in truth about human life and sexuality as gifts given to us by God. These profound gifts described by the late Pope seemed to hold more meaning and purpose far more beautiful than the world seemed to be understanding. These young adults decided it was time for the world to hear this Good News. So, Pure in Heart Ireland was born!
Pure in Heart Ireland
After much prayer within this new community, two members of the group decided to take a year off from their studies to give talks in schools around the country, taking to heart Jesus' invitation to leave everything and follow Him. Soon others wanted in on this endeavor and followed suit. Since that time, Pure in Heart’s mission team has spoken to over 120,000 young people throughout Ireland. The mission team works tirelessly to propose the Church’s teaching on sexuality and respect for all life in an attractive way to their peers and to the youth, and they continue to make prayer a priority above all.
Pure in Heart America
Pure in Heart's first international prayer community, Pure in Heart America, was born in Boston in 2008, later expanding to nearby cities Lowell (2012) and Worcester (2013). Additional groups have since formed in England, Wales, France, Haiti, Kenya, St. Maartin, and Liberia.
"You will know them by their fruits" (Matthew 7:16). By the grace of God, many members in PIH have gone on to enter the priesthood, religious life (Dominicans, Sisters of Life, Franciscans, Benedictines) and marriage.
In a world where society attempts to destroy love and life in its fullness and entirety, we battle on with all of Heaven's help to build a culture of life and a culture of authentic love. In doing so, we believe the world will restore much of the beauty and goodness that has been lost.
"Maybe we are facing a new and different kind of epoch in the Church’s history, where Christianity will again be characterized more by the mustard seed, where it will exist in small, seemingly insignificant groups that nonetheless live an intensive struggle against evil and bring the good into the world—that let God in."
— Cardinal Ratzinger in Salt of the Earth