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PENAMPANG – A three-day seminar organised by the Catholic Family Apostolate Committee (KKK) of St Michael Parish here on the Theology of the Body (TOB) on 18 – 20 June 2018 attracted 260 participants.
The seminar, based on the first major teaching project of Pope John Paul II during his pontificate, was guided by Romo (Father) Bernadinus Realino Agung Priharhana of the Missionaries of the Holy Family, based in Jawa Province, Indonesia.
TOB is a biblical reflection on the meaning of human design as created by God, particularly as it concerns human sexuality, marital love and erotic desire. Simply put, it means that our bodies somehow reveal the mystery of divine love in the world through the mystery of sexual difference and the call of the two to become one flesh.
Through this seminar, the organisers hope to promote the importance of the family institution in emphasising the primary vocation of the human body as self-gift.
The late pope, through TOB, offers a fresh new vision for human sexuality rooted in the ancient Scriptures and Tradition of the Church. Focusing mainly on the Biblical teaching that we are made in the image of God, the Holy Father challenges us to accept the body as a true gift from God, a profound vision for understanding sexuality as a beautiful gift in God’s design, a gift that is meant to be a means for self-giving love.
Romo Bernadinus guided the participants with a three-part series of talks with Q&A sessions in between, which generated much interest in the audience.
Traditionally, he explained, the Church has recognised three such vocations: marriage, religious life, and the priesthood. Through the Q&A, the speaker helped the participants to understand the processes to determine the call to the celibate life as in a religious or priestly calling.
Seen through the prism of the theology of the body, the priesthood not only reminds us of Christ’s love for his Bride, but, in a way similar to vowed religious, also reminds us of the ultimate spousal meaning of the body. To put it simply, when priests or religious neglect the spousal understanding of their vocation and their virginal relationship to God in prayer, it becomes nearly impossible to remain faithful to their calling.
The organisers took the positive attendance of the crowd throughout the three days as an indication of the desire of the faithful to understand deeper the teachings of the Church. It motivated them to plan for more seminars in the future on related topics. – SOCCOM PENAMPANG