Our third Theology of the Body Congress took place September 23 – 25th in Southern California, featuring three days of workshops, panel discussions and keynotes applying the teaching of Theology of the Body to the problems that plague modern families. Here are some of the best things about the Congress weekend!
1. Nearly 1000 Attendees
We were excited by a surge of registrations in the last two weeks leading up to the Congress, in addition to the swarm of walk-up and day registrants, which pushed our numbers close to the big 1000 – our largest event EVER held!
2. Honoring Our Founders
We used the Congress as a unique opportunity to honor two of the Theology of the Body Institute’s founding members – Matthew Pinto of Ascension Press, and Christopher West of the Cor Project. They received recognition for the countless hours of time and energy spent since 2004 in developing and delivering presentations and programs that train and educate women and men to understand, live, and promote Theology of the Body.
3. Being Joined by Archbishop Cordileone
In a late and unexpected stroke of grace, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of the Archdiocese of San Francisco joined us as our Friday evening keynote speaker. The Archbishop is widely known for defending the Church’s position on traditional marriage, even while shepherding one of the most politically liberal regions in the nation. His keynote presentation was titled- “Mercy, Truth and Genesis 1:26: God’s Plan for Human Flourishing”.
4. Compelling Keynote Speakers
Our keynote speakers covered a diverse range of TOB themed topics, from compassion, to moral relativism, to the role Theology of the Body plays in the ministry of Pope Francis.
5. A Vibrant Spanish Track
We were excited to offer a more robust Spanish language track for the 2016 Congress – which kicked off with a free “Intro to Theology of the Body” session in Spanish the Thursday before the Congress. Our six Spanish track speakers offered content that covered theology, family, infertility, marriage & more.
6. Music from the Heart
Musicians Andrea Gleason and Mike Mangione brought heart to liturgy and other parts of the weekend through their performances spread throughout the Congress.
7. Five Unique & Unrepeatable Award Recipients
As in the past, the Institute honored 5 recipients with a “Theology of the Body Award” – in recognition of those doing excellent work to promote the teachings of Pope Saint John Paul II. The recipients of this year’s awards were Sr. Helena Burns, Jason & Crystalina Evert, Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield (not pictured), The John Paul II Resource Center, and Amor Seguro.
8. Catholic Vendors from Every Corner of the USA
More than 80 Catholic ministries, schools, and businesses from across the nation spent the weekend networking and exhibiting with us.
9. Closing Mass with Bishop David O’Connell
“For all of you who work to heal broken Families, thank you so much. We have no hope without you.” – Bishop David O’Connell, closing mass homily
10. Sharing the Good News of Theology of the Body!
Hearing over thirty talented speakers gathered in one building, all passionate about the Theology of the Body and bringing their own unique perspective on the teaching – is an experience not easily duplicated. We were so humbled and excited to share the message of Theology of the Body (in some instances for the first time!) with hundreds of people from the West Coast, and from around the globe- families, priests, religious, teachers, and those involved in ministry of every kind.