Beginning this school year, St. Joseph will be integrating the instruction of Theology of the Body (TOB) in grades K-12 using age-appropriate supplemental teaching materials provided by Ruah Woods Press. TOB is an uplifting, inspiring Christian education program inspired by a series of 129 Wednesday audience speeches delivered by Pope John Paul II over a five-year period. He designed them as an antidote to the world's over-sexualized culture and its perceived attack on marriage and family.
Jack Rigert, the Managing Director of the John Paul Renewal Center near Chicago, spoke to the St. Joseph Faculty on August 12th on behalf of Ruah Woods Press about the importance of this program. "Children are in awe of the wonder and beauty of creation," Rigert said. "TOB can help open their hearts and minds to the reality that all of creation points to and can tell us something about the Creator, of who God is. Children also experience an innate desire to love and be loved. As they get older they want to use their freedom to seek love, yet the culture often leads them to lies and counterfeits.”
Rigert went to explain what love truly is. It goes beyond mere feelings and beyond using another for pleasure. We come to know that God is love, and that He created us in love and for love…we receive the gift of life and love from God Himself. It's then about turning to others and becoming a sincere gift of self.
Father Tony Robbins also attended Mr. Rigert's presentation and has great expectations for personal discovery through Theology of the Body. "The hope is we'll come to a place where we can speak the same language about our human dignity," Father said. "We want everyone, regardless of age, to believe in our own dignity as children of God and to use that knowledge to make good decisions in our lives and demonstrate how we should treat one another."
At the conclusion of Mr. Rigert's talk, the consensus appeared to be that we all have a role in showing God's love in the world through our bodies and actions and that this message should to be communicated to our children at an early age. By doing so, perhaps the cultural change John Paul II sought may actually come to pass.