This weekend I was proud to attend the induction ceremony for Corpus Christi and Crown of Creation households, respectively the new mens’ and womens’ households at Franciscan University dedicated to studying and living Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body at Franciscan University. They are the first of their kind. I am honored to have been asked to serve as the advisor to Corpus Christi, the men’s TOB household. I will be assisting in their TOB formation, but they have many great ideas for developing their understanding and appreciation for this important work. Damon Owens, the Executive Director of the TOB Institute was in attendance as Corpus Christi’s guest to encourage this new initiative.
In what I believe is a testament to the movement of the Holy Spirit, the two households began somewhat independently of each other, but both are dedicated to living out the vision of love and the human person as laid out in Blessed John Paul the Great’s Theology of the Body. In particular, the men’s household is dedicated to seeking out opportunities for joyful, self-donative service, living an ethos of authentic love & chastity, and discovering their dignity as men of God. They have made commitments to communal and independent prayer, and an ongoing process of studying and applying JPII’s TOB. In particular, in honor of the fact that TOB began as a series of Wed addresses by Pope John Paul II, each Wed, the men of Corpus Christi have committed to reading aloud and studying the addresses together. I will be leading other opportunities for the men to dive more deeply into JPII’s work as well. In fact, this August, the co-coordinators of Corpus Christi will be attending Christopher West’s week long TOB immersion course at the TOB Institute.
The induction ceremony represents the end of an arduous, year-long process of household formation in which the student-founders were required to identify the structure of their household, and develop their covenant, commitments, and charisms. The household system is the primary way Franciscan sees to the spiritual formation of its students, provides social and front-line spiritual support, and invites students to own their faith. There are 48 households currently on campus, each of which is dedicated to a particular type of spirituality and charism–similar, in ways, to a secular order of religious (e.g., secular Franciscans, secular Dominicans, etc) but without the requirement of a lifelong commitment (although often resulting in lifelong relationships).
I’m pleased to help support these young men–and to also welcome the young women of Crown of Creation–who have recognized the life-changing power of TOB and are dedicating the next several years of there college experience to unpacking and spreading the profound spiritual/intellectual legacy of Blessed John Paul the Great. I ask that you support them with you prayers. They are truly an inspiring example of their generation and a hint at what God has planned for the next generation of the Church.