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Catholic Culture and Identity: Pilgrimage to discover self

“This will hurt a little bit, but I will try to ease the pain.” Realistic, yet caring. Factual, but empathetic, all at the same time. Richard Kramer, a doctoral candidate at the Catholic University of America was launching his initial probe into the state of being of the 33 participants seeking knowledge and understanding of John Paul II’s Theology of the Body (ToB). The 33 are engaged in an intensive reading and experiential pilgrimage to discover self.

Richard Kramer
Richard Kramer

The ToB course runs for two weeks from July 18–29 at the Seminary of St. John Vianney and the Uganda Martyrs, Mount St Benedict. The programme is hosted by the Archdiocesan Family Life Commission.

ToB is a compilation of 129 catecheses delivered by Blessed John Paul II over four years, from September 1979, during his Wednesday General Audiences. Here in Trinidad and Tobago, at the Seminary, Richard Kramer is visiting for the second time to help seekers explore answers to questions like, “What is Man?”, “Who is God?”, “Where is Jesus?”, “Is love for real?”, “Can love last forever?” and How does Word and action, goodness and personhood come together to affirm for each of us that despite our brokenness, order is the essential part of our original DNA.

All this is taking place against the background of communities of persons in our Archdiocese coming to terms with the dimensions of Catholic Culture and Identity, the second Pastoral Priority defined by our third Synod. The core group of learners in the two-week ToB course constitute a seed collection being nurtured by master “geneticist”, Richard Kramer. As we respond to the mandate of germinating the conversations and actions to follow, our goal is to re-order our societal systems, starting with our families at home. Next, parish, community and nation. In that way we honour Christ’s commission to go out, “cultivate” the fields of our Catholicity, proclaim who we are by personal witness to the original truth. – A participant

Taken from Catholic News July 24, 2011.

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