Lisa and I just returned from Philadelphia and the Theology of the Body Congress where we presented a seminar on Capturing Your Child’s Heart Through the Theology of the Body. In addition, I participated in a panel discussion on Natural Family Planning and the Theology of the Body and our son, Jacob, led a round-table discussion on Theology of the Body at College: Promoting TOB on Campus. The Congress was a tremendous success and our contributions were terrifically well-received. We’re so grateful to have spent last week with so many other people who have committed their lives and ministries to promoting Pope St John Paul the Great’s vision for life and love and how God desires to use our relationships to bring Christ to the world.
After two full days of teaching, practical application, and inspiration on the Theology of the Body, the 2014 International Theology of the Body Congress officially closed on Friday, July 11. The Congress was sponsored by the Theology of the Body Institute, whose mission is to promote Pope Saint John Paul II’s important teaching on the divine meaning of the human body.
Over 700 people from 12 countries and 40 states attended the Congress. They represented 50 dioceses in the United States and 60 individual ministries and apostolates. The total also included more than 120 priests, religious and seminarians. “That diversity tells me that this is more than a conference, it’s more than even a beautiful symposium of delving into the teachings,” said Damon Owens, Executive Director of the Theology of the Body Institute. “This Congress is really accomplishing what it was created for, and that is to convene representatives who are invested in Theology of the body in their own unique way, coming together and learning how together how we can move the teaching forward as well as integrate better into the culture today.”
Owens delivered the final keynote encouraging those who attended the Congress to take the “communio,” or communion, they experienced with one another to “missio,” the mission of being sent out as an ambassador for the teachings of the Theology of the Body. The Theology of the Body Institute is celebrating ten years of promoting Theology of the Body as a direct answer to the pervasive misunderstanding and misuse of human sexuality in modern culture. As the Institute’s Board Chair, David Savage looks to the future. “We’re blessed and humbled that the mission continues to resonate in people’s hearts,” commented Savage. “We’re hoping that in the next ten years it will be recognized as an even bigger gift from St. John Paul II to the Church.”