September 19, 2019 marked Ruah Woods’ Annual Banquet where we celebrated our 10th anniversary of bringing Theology of the Body to the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area and the 40th Anniversary of Pope JPII delivering the audiences on St. Peter’s Square. In that time we’ve come a long way!
Cincinnati Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr addressed the sellout crowd of over 600 supporters, consecrating Ruah Woods to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He conveyed his appreciation for the work of Ruah Woods in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and beyond, emphasizing the need for Theology of the Body to be taught to even “our littlest ones.”
Glenn T. Stanton, director of Global Family Formation Studies at Focus on the Family delivered the keynote address. He debates and lectures extensively on the issues of gender, sexuality, marriage and parenting at universities and churches around the world. He predicted that JPII’s work, Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body, will in years to come, gain the stature that Aquinas’ Summa Theologica and Augustine’s Confessions hold in the Church today. His presentation stressed the power of TOB to overcome the cultural confusion over the dignity of the person prevalent in today’s society.
Leslie Kuhlman, Executive Director of Ruah Woods provided the following ministry update, opening by asking, “Who isn’t intrigued by before and after pictures?”
What is so satisfying…even amazing…about seeing something that’s in a shambles, reclaimed to its original condition? Why does it touch our emotions so?
- Think of the depressed, greying middle aged woman whose kids get her a makeover and voila…she looks 30 again;
- Or the morbidly obese ex-athlete who wins the prize on The Biggest Loser;
- Or the disheveled homeless veteran who gets a shower, shave, and haircut and feels like a new man.
We celebrate and cheer for these transformed lives, don’t we! They were lost and now, are found….wounded, and now healed…their human dignity restored. It’s as though the person, somewhere along their journey, succumbed to an identity crisis…they’ve forgotten who they are.
Identity is the core plague of our culture today. We don’t know
- who we are,
- who we belong to,
- where we are going.
Maybe you do, but you know someone near you who doesn’t. Look around…there’s this sense that something is very culturally “off” right now. There is a massive disturbance in the human ecosystem.
In Mary Eberstadt’s new book, Primal Screams, she notes that legions of people – especially the young – have become unmoored from a firm sense of self, mostly due to the implosion of the family wrought by the sexual revolution.
Add to this a retreat from religion and God, and the ties to the Creator have been cut, leaving people untethered to the One who made them.
To compensate, many seek a new family and join the ranks of ideological tribes spawned by identity politics and react with frenzy against any perceived threat to their group. Opposing voices are crushed.
Who am I? Such a seemingly small question, but with GIGANTIC implications for our lives. TOB answers this question with this: I am made to love by love for love. My purpose is to make a gift of myself to others, and to see others as a gift given. We want every child to grow up knowing the answer to this question!
Ruah Woods is on the Extreme Makeover Team and we’ve been getting after this reno project for the last ten years! Here are some highlights from the last twelve months…
- Marriage prep and NFP classes continue to form engaged couples on Theology of the Body and the Catholic Church’s sexual ethic to help set a firm foundation for healthy families.
- Book Discussions focus on covering the cultural concerns of the day through the lens of Theology of the Body. We have two coming up before the end of the year…one is by our keynote speaker Glenn Stanton, “The Ring Makes All the Difference: The Hidden Consequences of Cohabitation and the Strong Benefits of Marriage”
- Provided over 2700 clinical hours of psychotherapy to patients in their mission to provide services that integrate the best of psychological science and the truths of the Catholic faith;
- They conducted 19 psychological evaluations for candidates to seminary or religious life which contributes to the success and vitality of our seminary and Archdiocese;
- And they provided about $80,000 worth of scholarships for psychological services to those in financial need.
- Their expertise is routinely sought after, nationally, regarding gender and sexual identity issues as well as ways to fight the scourge of pornography addiction.
- Our three Psychologists are booked at capacity and the practice is on solid footing, thanks to the leadership of Director, Dr. Andrew Sodergren.
- ROOTED: K-12 Theology of the Body Curriculum is COMPLETED with the delivery of our middle school this fall.
- We have been contacted by 60% of the dioceses in the United States.
- And many classrooms will recite the rosary together accompanied by our new On A Mission to Love Children’s Rosary App developed by board member, Debbie Staresinic.
- We’ve hosted live teaching training events in over 33 US Cities…many happening this summer
- 192 hours of TOB teaching was delivered this summer with over 2000 teachers reached
- Over 20,000 miles were travelled by our teacher trainers
- Thousands of students will explore TOB via ROOTED: K-12 TOB Curriculum this school year
- Next up: We will now be shifting from product production to sales and training…there’s still much work to be done.
Written by, Leslie Kuhlman, Executive Director of Ruah Woods
Sign up for our newsletter, and we'll send you news and updates on theology of the body and much more!