John Paul II Resource Center to mark 10th anniversary

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Damon Owens, executive director of the Theology of the Body Inistitute in Philadelphia, will help Phoenix's JPII Resource Center for Theology of the Body and Culture mark a decade of education. (courtesy photo)
Damon Owens, executive director of the Theology of the Body Institute in Philadelphia, will help Phoenix’s JPII Resource Center for Theology of the Body and Culture mark a decade of education. (courtesy photo)

At a time when the gift of human sexuality is often misunderstood, there’s a place in the Diocese of Phoenix that shines a bright light in the darkness.

The John Paul II Resource Center for Theology of the Body and Culture will mark its 10th anniversary Jan. 30 with an evening of inspiration at the Xavier College Preparatory Performing Arts Center.

Damon Owens, executive director of the Theology of the Body Institute in Philadelphia, will give the keynote. In the wake of Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted’s recent apostolic exhortation to men, “Into the Breach,” Owens will pick up the thread with his presentation, “The radical demands of love for men — and what women need to know about how men love.”

Katrina Zeno, coordinator of the John Paul II Resource Center, said the anniversary celebration would be an inspiring evening geared toward both men and women.

“Damon Owens is a dynamic and very polished speaker who reaches into the heart and the daily life of people’s experience,” Zeno said. “This is a man who has rich, personal experience both of first rejecting Church teaching and then coming to receive and live it in an abundant way.”

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JPII Resource Canter for Theology of the Body and Culture anniversary celebration

When: 7-9:30 p.m. Jan. 30

Where: Xavier College Preparatory, 4710 N 5th St.

Tickets: $10

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The event serves as the annual fundraiser for the center, which trains both laity and clergy on the fundamentals of Pope St. John Paul’s Theology of the Body. Fr. Charlie Goraieb, who helped found the center, lauded its work.

“In the past 10 years, the JPII Resource Center, under the direction of Katrina Zeno, has brought the life-changing teachings of Pope St. John Paul II to tens of hundreds of eager Catholics in our diocese. Having someone like Katrina dedicated to teaching the Theology of the Body in our diocese is a great blessing,” Fr. Goraieb said. “To know why we were made male and female, and that we were created to make a total gift of ourselves, is the divine perspective needed to counter the many distortions that our culture promotes regarding human sexual love.”

The legacy of Pope St. John Paul’s Theology of the Body lives on through the resource center and Zeno is hoping for a strong turnout at the Jan. 30 event.

“I really think it’s the responsibility of the John Paul II generation to financially support the resource center, to make sure that the generations that come after us are able to receive the treasures that St. John Paul II left us,” Zeno said.

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