A crowd of more than 100 people gathered to hear Bill Donaghy, a national presenter on Theology of the Body, at “Desire: Fulfilling Our Deepest Longing” Sept. 30 at St. Thomas More, Allentown. Donaghy explored what and who we are made for so that we can finally attain our desire and fulfill our deepest longing.
Donaghy is an instructor, international speaker and a content and curriculum specialist for the Theology of the Body Institute.
In 2000, Donaghy was chosen to represent the United States in a special tribute for the Jubilee of Missionaries in Rome. With just 11 other missionaries from around the world, he was given a simple cross by Pope St. John Paul II, who asked him to “bring Jesus back to your country.”
Donaghy previously worked for nearly a decade teaching theology at Malvern Preparatory School and Immaculata University.
At the event, Donaghy said St. Pope John Paul II began writing Theology of the Body in front of the Blessed Sacrament before being elected to the papacy. After his election, he divided his book into a 135 part teaching which was delivered during his Wednesday audiences between 1979 and 1984.
Donaghy discussed the link between our sexuality and our identity in light of St. Pope John Paul II’s teaching.
“When we say Theology of the Body, we are also synonymously saying Christianity, the Gospel, the Incarnation, and the Word made flesh. Theology of the Body is Catholicism. This is our faith … this is our education in being human. This is humanity 101, at a time when the world needs desperately to remember who we are, where we’ve come from and where we are going,
God gave us desire; he gave us this longing … the Greeks called it eros, passion, It’s the deepest desire of our heart. Our world has hijacked eros, it just sees it as erotic. It has been taken over by a corrupt culture that only sees passion as something that is dirty, sullied, and sinful,” he said.
"An education in sexuality means an education in being human. When the culture hears ‘sex’ it immediately jumps to the verb, something you do. When we are saying sex tonight, we are saying something you are," he said.
Donaghy described family life as a “school of love or living Theology of the Body, trying to become a gift. Only two to three percent of Catholics in the world know what this teaching is.”
“The birthplace of culture is the family,” Bill Donaghy told guests.
“The structure of Theology of the Body centers on two things: identity and vocation – who am I and how do I become happy?” Donaghy said. “When we live the meaning of our bodies, there is a procreative power to our bodies, and we generate generously the generations. In our broken culture we are aching to know who we are. The golden key is the dynamic relationship that God wrote in the beginning. It means something, it says something, and we don’t have the authority to rewrite that meaning. There is a theology in our bodies that point to communion with God.”
The Diocesan Office of Adult formation is offering Theology of the Body follow up sessions open to anyone. For details click here or call (610)289-8900, ext. 2021