NEW CANAAN—“We are a community of faith and a family here at St. Aloysius and it is with care and concern for our young people that we reach out to you today,” said Fr. Robert Kinnally, diocesan Chancellor and pastor of St. Aloysius Parish.
Fr. Kinnally and Youth and Family Minister Chris Otis are urging parents to be aware of the release of “13 Reasons Why,” a young adult novel that has been turned into a very popular Netflix series, and is now being binge watched by many teenagers.
“Our purpose in communicating is to make you aware of this program, which your child(ren) may or may not be watching and to provide you with resources to guide you in having a conversation with your teen about the content,” he said in a message to parents.
The series includes mature content on several levels including language, sexuality, rape and suicide, in addition to an encounter with a guidance counselor that offers ineffective response to the main character’s thoughts of suicide.
Youth Minister Chris Otis said she highly encourages parents to access the following link that was shared by the Catholic News Agency. It provides an overview, along with interpretation by mental health and Catholic professionals.
In addition, the parish is urging parents to share with a blog message designed for teens. The message is directed at teens from Catholic Life Teen writer, Leah Murphy, who as a young adult was very drawn to watching the series to see what happened next. She shares, “This show, despite its mysterious, captivating nature, is not harmless and there are some serious considerations you should make before watching, or as you reflect on what you’ve already seen.”
Parents are also encouraged to watch the short video at the link below with their children. It provides a message about the series and offers some very teen friendly advice about the value of life and what to do if a teen or one of their peers may be struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts.
“Our young people live in a very challenging world, one that does not always align with our Catholic identity and the moral values that we share. The entertainment choices offered and marketed to our young people are endless, available on all of their devices and many have content that may be challenging for them to properly interpret and process,” said Otis.
She said a family conversation is a great opportunity to offer guidance, to stress the values, and remind everyone of God’s love for all His children. For more information contact Chris Otis at Youth@starcc.com