Maynooth, Ireland (2009)



The Second International Symposium on Pope John Paul II’s Theology of The Body “Man and Woman He Created Them” St. Patrick’s College Maynooth, Ireland 11th -14th June, 2009

The Symposium presented the Theology of the Body as a unified whole, with each speaker covering a set of audiences, and approaching this broad topic from the following perspectives: spiritual, theological, philosophical, anthropological, ethical, political, scientific, and psychological.

The Second International Theology of the Body Symposium was held on the weekend of the Feast of Corpus Christi, in anticipation of the thirtieth anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Ireland. 2009 also marked thirty years since the first Papal Audience on the Theology of The Body.


“Whoever seeks to gain his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it.” Luke 17:33.


This Symposium on the Theology of the Body aimed at exploring ever deeper the goodness, truth and beauty of the Divine plan for human love. Our goal was that this event be an opportunity for a deepening of personal faith and self-understanding that would inspire greater participation in the New Evangelisation. Further, the Symposium facilitated the bringing together of people from many countries and cultures to discuss the Theology of the Body, and the encounter fostered and developed prosperous networks to assist participants with their own evangelisation initiatives. For this undertaking we asked for the intercession of Saints Joseph and Patrick, and we offered the Symposium as a prayer of thanksgiving for the life of Pope John Paul II. In all things we entrust ourselves to Our Lady the Immaculate Conception, “Totus Tuus”.

During the Conference Holy Mass was celebrated each day, and there was Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament throughout the weekend. On the Saturday evening there was be a theatrical performance of The Jeweller’s Shop, a play written by Karol Wojtyła.


Thursday, June 11th

17:00 Opening Holy Mass celebrated by Bishop Boyce of Raphoe

18:15 Dinner, followed by reception with introductory remarks.

Friday, June 12th

08:00 Holy Mass

09:00 Breakfast

10:00 Talk One: A Response to Questions of Our Age Dr. William Newton: Questions of scientific knowledge and power over nature are examined in relation to the Church’s proclamation of the dignity of the human person, and the nature of true human progress.

11:15 Tea/Coffee Break

11:45 Talk Two: Christ Appeals to the Beginning Sr. Timothy Prokes FSE: An in-depth look at God’s original plan for human love according to the original intention of the Creator.

12:45 Lunch

14:30 Talk Three: Christ Appeals to the Human Heart Dr. William Newton: A detailed analysis of the human person in the present age – covering human history after the fall and before the resurrection – as corrupted by the fall yet restored by Christ.

15:30 Tea/Coffee Break

16:00 Talk Four: Christ Appeals to the Resurrection Dr. Mary Healy: A reflection on the future resurrection of the body and the definitive fulfillment of human life in the beatific vision.

17:15 Talk Five: The Theology of the Body and Art Mr. Dony Mac Manus: An exploration of the proper “ethos of the body” in works of Art: The aesthetic experience and creating a climate favorable to purity.

18:30 Dinner

20:00 Communal Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament

21:00 Art Exhibition

Saturday, June 13th

08:00 Holy Mass

09:00 Breakfast

10:00 Talk Six: The Politico-Cultural Situation Mrs. Kathy Sinnott MEP (Keynote Speaker): The current political and cultural situation in Europe in relation to the issues of  life, the human body and sex (masculinity and femininity).

11:15 Tea/Coffee Break

11:45 Talk Seven: The Ethical Problem Dr. Peter J. Colosi: The question of contraception answered by understanding the reality of the language of the body.  This talk began with a close analysis of TOB Audiences 118 – 125, in which John Paul II outlines his pedagogical approach to his defense of Paul VI’s Humanae vitae.

12:45 Lunch

14:30 Talk Eight: Responsible Parenthood Dr. Phil Boyle: A more practical talk covering responsible parenthood and the ethical regulation of fertility from a medical perspective rooted in the Creighton Model of fertility awareness and NaPro Technology.

15:30 Tea/Coffee Break

16:00 Talk Nine: Conjugal Spirituality Dr. Mary Shivanandan: An outline of conjugal spirituality with a particular focus on the gift of reverence.

17:15 Optional Networking Meeting for all attendees.

18:30 Dinner

19:30 Question and Answer Session with the Speakers

21:00 Theatrical Performance: The Jeweller’s Shop

Sunday, June 14th, ‘The Feast of Corpus Christi’

07:00 Holy Mass (for participants leaving early)

08:00 Breakfast

09:00 Talk Ten: The Dimension of Covenant and Grace Rev. Alan O’Sullivan OP: A discussion of the “great mystery” of spousal love. The sacrament of marriage is looked at in its dimension of covenant and grace.  

10:15 Tea/Coffee Break

10:45 Closing Talk: The Dimension of Sign Sr. Timothy Prokes FSE: Understanding the sacramental sign of marriage as constituted on the basis of the language of the body. This talk explored the richness of the language of the body according to the Song
of Songs
and Tobit, which constitute, in a certain way, the “crowning” of Theology of the Body.

12:15 Closing Holy Mass Followed by Corpus Christi Procession

14:30 Dinner and Goodbye

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