For Release :
Theology of the Body for Teens
Provides Compelling Vision for Catholic Teenagers
Local Seminar for Youth Leaders, Educators and Parents
Being Offered in Wyckoff and Bloomfield
The Archdiocese of Newark will host two sessions to train facilitators to conduct Theology of the Body for Teens, a workshop for young people that covers such topics as the bodily dimension of the human person, the nature of human sexuality, the human need for communion, and the nature of marriage. The sessions will take place from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 19 at St. Elizabeth Interparochial School, Wyckoff, and from 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. on Sunday, September 20, at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish Center, Bloomfield.
Damon Owens, a nationally acclaimed speaker who has been featured on ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News and EWTN, will conduct the sessions. In addition to his work as a trainer for Theology of the Body for Teens, Owens is the founder, with his wife, Melanie, of the New Jersey Natural Family Planning Association, and a trainer for the God’s Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage program.
The Theology of the Body for Teens uses a comprehensive approach that includes stories, real-life examples, activities, prayers, and references to the culture that teens understand. This program takes two of the most controversial topics, God and sex, and integrates them through John Paul II’s compelling vision for love and life.
The upcoming training will introduce parents, youth ministers, directors of religious education, teachers and others who work with teenagers to the pedagogy of the pope’s original teaching and how it can be introduced to young audiences. The training includes lunch and resource material, including the Theology of the Body for Teens curriculum.
The core of this specially designed program, based on the teachings of Pope John Paul II on the nature of human sexuality, is particularly important for young people. Today’s teenagers face extraordinary pressure by messages that challenge their faith and values. The life of the average teen can be difficult and confusing. Yet, providing teens with a compelling vision for their life, and a sense of purpose can give them the tools they need to face the challenges of our culture.
The Theology of the Body teachings of John Paul II have enjoyed an international groundswell of popularity in the last five to ten years. The body of work was introduced to the world during the first six years of John Paul’s pontificate. In what would become his first major teaching as pope, the Holy Father used more than130 Wednesday audiences, from 1979 to 1984, to introduce the faithful to new insights on the human person, sexuality, and God’s plan for humanity.
“I’ve met countless young people who, in their heart of hearts, do not want to follow the call of the culture and become sexually active, but they feel ill-equipped to respond to the challenge,” explains author Jason Evert, who with his wife, Crystalina, helped develop the teachings of John Paul II into this workshop for teens and who speaks to more than 100,000 teenagers each year at his seminars. “I believe the Theology of the Body was given to the Church for times such as this because it offers a unique, new ‘language’ that absolutely resonates with audiences, including teenagers.”
“The Theology of the Body is especially important for teens who are thinking every day about their bodies and souls as they search for meaning in their lives,” explains Brian Butler, a specialist in adolescent education who co-authored the Theology of the Body for Teens program with the Everts. “This theology helps them to understand the significance of their sexuality and the purpose of their lives by presenting the truth of God’s life-giving and liberating love.”
St. Elizabeth Interparochial School is located a 700 Wyckoff Avenue, Wyckoff, and St. Thomas the Apostle Parish Center is located at 60 Byrd Avenue, Bloomfield. Those interested in registering for one of the two training sessions can call Liliana Soto-Cabrera of the Archdiocesan Office for Evangelization 973 497-4353 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.