Theology of the Body Institute honors five with Awards for Distinguished Achievement 

On Thursday night in Philadelphia, the Theology of the Body Institute recognized a group of five organizations and individuals for pioneering work in the advancement of the teachings of Venerable Pope John Paul II on human sexuality.

by Christine Schicker Friday, July 30, 2010

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Christine Schicker, 404-610-8871 or CSchicker@MaximusMG.com

First-ever awards recognize Theology of the Body pioneers

PHILADELPHIA, July 30 – On Thursday night in Philadelphia, the Theology of the Body Institute recognized a group of five organizations and individuals for pioneering work in the advancement of the teachings of Venerable Pope John Paul II on human sexuality. During the awards banquet at the first National Theology of the Body Congress, the Institute presented the 2010 Theology of the Body Institute Awards for Distinguished Achievement to educators Valentine and Ann Coelho, of Goa, India; Fr. Richard M. Hogan, pastor of the Church of St. Raphael, in Crystal, Minn; the Daughters of St. Paul, of Boston, Mass.; the Theology of the Body International Alliance, of San Antonio, Texas; and Ruah Woods, an education center in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Image Caption: Theology of the Body Institute Award of Distinguished Service Winners include, from left, Leslie Kuhlman, Rush Woods Education Center; Sister Mary Mark Wickenhiser, Pauline Books and Media; Ann and Valentine Coelho, Goa India; Anastasia Northrop, Theology of the Body International Alliance; and Fr. Richard M. Hogan, Church of St. Raphael, Crystal, Minn.

“As we prepared for this first National Theology of the Body Congress, the planning committee and the Theology of the Body Institute Board felt it was important to recognize organizations and men and women who have been pioneers in the advancement of the teaching of the Theology of the Body,” said Institute Chairman of the Board David Savage.

“The decisions were not easy for this first year,” Savage added. “But each of the recipients have been true trailblazers - in ways unique to their individual and organizational missions - in promoting and helping others understand the Theology of the Body. We are thrilled to recognize them for their miraculous work in advancing the Theology of the Body throughout the world.”

The winners of the 2010 Theology of the Body Institute Awards for Distinguished Achievement include:

The Daughters of St. Paul, Boston, Mass. – From 1981 through 1986, the sisters published four collections of John Paul II’s weekly Wednesday teachings, as originally reported in L’Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper. For almost a decade, this collection was the definitive reference for Theology of the Body teachings. In 1997, Pauline Media and Books – the order’s publishing arm – combined the books into one volume: “The Theology of the Body – Human Love in the Divine Plan.” That landmark edition marks the first use of “Theology of the Body” for John Paul II’s teachings. Today, the Pauline catalog includes more than a dozen volumes relating to the Theology of the Body. The Daughters were recognized for this truly visionary contribution to the Church.

Fr. Richard M. Hogan, Crystal, Minn. – Fr. Hogan was a second-year seminarian when Venerable Pope John Paul II began his series of 129 weekly talks, which collectively are the Theology of the Body. He became one of the first authors to publish work on the teachings. His first piece appeared as early as December, 1981 in the inaugural issue of Fidelity Magazine. Father then went on to co-author “Covenant of Love: Pope John Paul II on Sexuality, Marriage, and Family in the Modern World,” with former classmate, now-bishop of New Ulm, Minn., Bishop John M. LeVoir. Many believe this book was the first to popularize the Theology of the Body teaching for a general audience. Over the past 29 years, he has continued to write, teach and speak on the Theology of the Body. His latest book is “Theology of the Body: What It Means, Why It Matters.”

Theology of the Body International Alliance (TOBIA), San Antonia, Texas – Texas native Anastasia Northrop and other leaders around the country formed TOBIA in 2003 as a vehicle to provide TOB resources to everyone interested in the teaching. TOBIA currently has more than 500 members in 40 states and 25 countries. Members are involved in both studying the works of John Paul II and implementing his thought and theology into various areas of life including ministry with engaged couples, young adults, teens, pro-life work, street evangelization and more TOBIA was recognized for its pioneering and ongoing work in networking and supporting ministries around the world through its providing of TOB resources, and for their early and continued leadership in sponsoring national forums and conferences to spread the Theology of the Body throughout the United States.

Ruah Woods, Cincinnati, Ohio – Ruah Woods is an education center focusing on the Theology of the Body that opened in 2009. It is an independent lay initiative, but has received strong support from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. In less than two years, Ruah Woods has trained approximately 400 students to teach the Theology of the Body in their dioceses and parishes. A new initiative at the center is gearing up to offer Theology of the Body for Teens training to teachers – and mentorship to students – in Catholic high schools throughout the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Ruah Woods was recognized for its leadership in providing comprehensive and consistent delivery of Theology of the Body training programs in a diocesan community.

Valentine and Ann Coelho, Goa, India – After listening to a tape about the Theology of the Body 10 years ago, the Coelhos began learning all they could about the teaching, and sharing that knowledge throughout their native India. They have presented seminars to Indian priests, nuns, seminarians, doctors, youth and college groups, and couples at Engaged Encounter and Marriage Encounter weekends. Married for 25 years with five children, the Coelhos were recognized for their tireless efforts to spread the Theology of the Body throughout India.

For more information on the 2010 Theology of the Body Institute Awards for Distinguished Achievement, the first National Theology of the Body Congress or the Theology of the Body Institute, please contact Christine Schicker with The Maximus Group at 404-610-8871.

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