Modesty: One of the Twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit

Every Catholic Christian is called to beatitude, that is, “blessedness” or “holiness.” In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ teaches, “Blessed are the pure of heart” (Mt 5:8). Each person is called to personal purity as a condition for blessedness with God. This call to purity is rooted in an understanding of each human person’s dignity as being created in the image and likeness of God. That is to say, that each person’s dignity flows from the very fact that they are willed by God for their own sake and called to share in “God’s own life” (CCC 356). From this understanding, purity requires that we respect and protect each human person as being created in God’s image and likeness. Modesty is the way in which we “protect the ‘intimate center of the person’. It means refusing to unveil what should remain hidden” (CCC 2521). In order to protect “the intimate center of the person,” we agree to certain guidelines which respect the dignity of each human person. These guidelines may be used during any of our parish functions, particularly during our Summer at Saint James programs, and are provided for the sake of continuity in promoting modesty. Therefore, as Catholic parents and Catholic youth, we agree to abide by the following guidelines:

Young women/girls will refrain from wearing:

  • strapless or spaghetti strapped tops and shirts that are low-cut (crop tops) – t-shirts work best for camp anyways and meet the "sleeves & knees" policy.
  • short shorts or short skirts. Bermuda shorts are perfect for our "sleeves & knees" policy.
  • bikinis and any other clothing which exposes the stomach area—one-piece suits only, please. Cover-ups or rash guards MUST be worn over the one-piece swimsuit with appropriate-length Bermuda shorts as bottoms.
  • tight shirts, tight shorts, or pants that reveal the buttocks or chest area (e.g., yoga pants, leggings without knee-length top or dress covering)

Young men/boys will refrain from wearing:

  • Speedo-type swimwear
  • undergarments above or below their shorts or pants (undergarments should be covered completely)
  • tight shirts, tight shorts, or short shorts (loose-fitting shirts and shorts that come to the knee fulfill the "sleeves & knees" policy)
  • women’s clothing (cross-dressing)

Both men and women will agree:

  • that no clothing which contains images, or language, which are crude, sexual, promotes alcohol or drug use, or is in any other way morally objectionable will be allowed.


We have compiled a list of comfortable bottoms options that meet the "knees" policy. We hope that our parents find the list helpful as it includes several clothing companies and vendors as well as clothing options such as shorts, skirts, capris, and pants. Our purpose is safety and comfort in the outdoors, where our youth can be active, modest, and have fun.  

Modest Clothing Options