“…I’ve also been enjoying a Theology of the Body class I’m taking through the Archdiocese of Vancouver. …Theology of the Body (or “TOB” as its referred to), is a theologically and philosophically rich teaching on the body and sex, as written by John Paul II. It’s been changing my life. …. The course is based on John Paul II’s book “Man And Woman He Created Them” and if I could sum it up, the material is basically highlighting God’s emphatic “yes!” to the body, and to sexual desire, and is painting a picture of how we were created to be loving gifts to one another. In this day and age, where sex is a commodity, and pornography is being consumed as nonchalantly as a bag of potato chips, this theological and anthropological teaching on sexuality is so vital!
“In my own experience growing up in the Church, I mostly heard “Don’t do it” when it came to sex — and the subtle idea that the body was sinful. And more often than not, nothing was being said about sex at all. I have so appreciated this TOB course as it has been thoughtfully answering a lot of “why” questions: Why “no” to pre-marital sex? Why is purity so important? Why is lust so bad?
“Of course, this 11-week course is directly informing the work I do with Journey, and so it’s been enriching in more than one way, as I am privileged to be able to teach on these topics in the work we do. I feel like I’m getting a really solid base for much of what we teach, by digging deep in the Bible for why we teach it.”
“I have to say I am very grateful to the Catholic church for these classes! I’m discovering a richness here that is surprising and timely.”
As a woman, and a new mother, I found Fr. Alan’s teaching to be very clear, with the dense textbook concisely summarized each week. He is a gifted teacher. I found each class very useful for my growth as a person, for my call to holiness as a wife and mother. He has helped me to understand more fully how we are all called to holiness. I feel this course has empowered me as a woman. I pray that all spouses and parents would take this course. I hope that parents in particular can digest this material and teach it to their children.C.R.
Fr. Alan’s method of teaching, which includes anecdotal, humorous, forthright and personal examples, bring clarity to the difficult subject matter. His weekly presentations clarified the dense textbook. The consequent questions and answers gave keen focus and another level of understanding the material. I would definitely recommend this class to anyone who is searching for answers in their Catholic faith.S.C.S
I found this course to be very stimulating and thought provoking. Fr. Alan’s presentation was always very interesting and very well prepared. The class presentations, the questions and answers were always well done and focused. This course reinforced my values and beliefs, giving me the courage and the mental and verbal tools to share my faith with those around me. I have encouraged everyone that I have met to take this amazing course. I will certainly want to take this course again, when it returns to my area, to gain an even deeper understanding of St. Pope John Paul (The Great)’s important teaching!S.P.
Fr. Alan is very knowledgeable and passionate about this topic. He wants to make sure that everyone learns the message, understands it and passes it along. He is an excellent speaker, who every effectively captivates his audience. Since I am a visual learning, I found the powerpoint presentations particularly helpful. The questions and class discussion were most effective in clarifying the text. This Course deepened my faith and helped me understand and appreciate my marriage in a way that I never could before. It helped me to communicate more effectively, especially to talk to my husband about some extremely important issues in a way that I could never have done before which had very good and postive results in our marriage.O.A.
I commend Fr. Alan for his presentation of Pope John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body”. HIs knowledge of the subject matter, along with his high energy level and enthusiasm offer a dynamic delivery for all who participated, thereby giving me new insights and opening my mind!! Thank-you!!! I appreciated how he demonstrated the truths of the course with a simple and sincere pastoral skill and outreach. You live what you teach, Fr. Alan!! The catholic Church certainly needs to educate the clergy as well as the lay people of God to grasp and understand the essence of this great teaching! This course embraces all aspects of our humanness in God–i.e. the Trinity, which calls us to love God fully and each other.
Fr. Alan, I give you my assurance that I offer my daily prayers for you and your ministry!!G.B. Sr.
This TOB Course was a very enlightening and personally fulfilling experience for me. It enlightened a serious problem in the world – “the lack of respect for our humanity”. It gave me a much better understanding of our own body and its purpose/function. The Course approached this topic with dignity and respect and precludes impurity in thought. Our sexuality, in this perspective, does not insult or diminish who we are. For too long the Church (we the people) have stayed away from this topic, fearing it might upset or misrepresent what we mean. Therefore as “good Catholics” we just let the topic slide and go along with society. At first, as I began to read Pope John Paul II, I found it difficult and very challenging. I felt like giving up because I felt that I couldn’t possibly understand what he was saying. However, by the grace of God, as I plugged at it, with the regular TOB classes with Father Alan Boisclair, the fog began to clear. By using the original text from Pope John Paul II, the necessity of having someone who could explain it clearly is amplified. The only regret I have is that I did not receive this Course sooner in my life, when I could have avoided some major mistakes. Nevertheless, I am now resolved to make the necessary changes in my life to live the way God intended for me.K.H.
What I learned from this course, that I greatly appreciated, is that the morals of the Church, particularly in sexuality, are not imposed arbitrarily by human beings. Rather, they are laws, already written in the human heart, that the Church is mandated by Christ to faithfully proclaim as truth. It is important to emphasize that through Theology of the Body, the Church offers a robust and affirmative moral teaching that is meant for each and every person to ultimately experience joy and peace rather than begrudging observance, which is what the secular culture largely believes about Christianity in general. I believe that a goal of the Archdiocese should be to combat this misconception and to use Fr. Boisclair’s course as a means of communicating the freedom that John Paul II’s work conveys.B.T.
I was glad to have been exposed to St. John Paul II’s pivotal work on human nature and morality, and having taken this course, I was astounded by the beauty and depth of what it means to be a human being created in the image of God. This course truly reinvigorated my Catholic faith and inspired me to live in holiness according the teachings that ultimately come from Christ.T.B.
It would have been impossible for me to study this material and understand it on my own. Fr. Alan did an excellent job with the powerpoint presentations each week, the weekly study notes, and I especially liked the questions each week and his answers which summarized the material from each class. My future husband will HAVE to take this Course. This Course is absolutely necessary particularly for the MEN in our church. THEY NEED TO HEAR THIS! It would make such a difference in their lives as well as ours!G.S.
Due to the workload of my job, I was completely unable to follow the weekly reading assignments from the textbook. Nevertheless, I found that I still learned an amazing amount about my faith and morality just from the class powerpoints and especially Fr. Alan’s explanation. He was fantastic. Key points were stressed in a very clear way and repeated, with various different examples given, that helped highlight and explain the main points. The class discussions and the time that he gave for questions was invaluable. I had no idea that I am called to be so sacred. I only regret that I could not have taken this course 20 years ago because there have been so many painful mistakes in my life which I could have avoided with the new understanding I gained through this course.S.C.
I couldn’t understand JPII’s writing without Fr. Boisclair’s glossary of terms, notes, explanation and expertise. His extra information supplemented JPII’s ideas and made them clear and concise. The powerpoints kept us on task and the images complimented the information. Because of this TOB Course, my family has started studying our faith together; including going to extra Masses, monthly Confession and home studies. The Course has made my faith come alive, through Scripture and the Mass heaven now is very close to me. The study of scripture and daily prayer was none existent before but now it is on fire! My marriage is stronger and we are sharing our lives fully once again. It is a huge change in our lives!L.M.
I feel this course is so invaluable and critical, that it would be of great value to all Catholics, especially the young adults in high school, and what a gift to them if it were incorporated into their curriculum. If I had been the recipient of such a course in my school years, I know it would have clarified and confirmed the echoes of my heart, strengthened my resolve , and stood me in good stead to ward off the forces of a deceitful worldview. I would have avoided the wounds that leave lasting scars!M.T.
Fr. Alan is so good at summarizing complicated information and presenting it through every day language. All the extra info, the stories and examples that he brings to the class are very interesting & practical in our world. He has put into words deep feelings and longings in my heart that I could not articulate. He has deeply influenced that way I look at many issues both in the Church and in my profession as a nurse. I look forward to a completed website that has blogs and study materials readily available. It would greatly help those taking the Course and those who cannot attend.P.O.
Fr. Alan was very open to our questions which made the answers very clear in presenting the essence of JPII’s teaching. The weekly questions and answers helped focus on what was most important. Although an evening course was difficult for me, since I’ve had a full day at work and staying awake was a problem, nevertheless Fr. Alan was able to keep me awake and focused. Because of this course, I feel that I’m living with a greater appreciation of the human body, with a deep appreciation of the beauty of my own creation in “the image & likeness of God”. I have found that our secular culture has so degraded the human body, which is even more the reason why this course is so needed in our day and age. Fr. Alan does an excellent job in getting this teaching across. He is very comfortabe teaching and disussing topics which many would avoid.S.J.
I highly recommend that this course be supported promoted at every level of the Archdiocese, as Theology of the Body is a fundamentally important part of understanding and defending the faith. This course is a gift to the local Church and an opportunity to reveal the true meaning of ourselves and of our human nature. Promoting Theology of the Body in Vancouver is nothing less than participating in the mission of the New Evangelization that our modern world sorely needs.K.H.
I write to share how this amazing course has given me much insight, and taken me to a new level of understanding, broadening and deepening my understanding of the beauty of Genesis, the Incarnation, human sexuality in its Original Divine Intent, (and in certain areas even confirming personal instincts), to such a degree that I have found myself continually connecting Holy Scripture passages , Church teachings and my own human experience through the lens of John Paul II’s TOB.J.H.
I cannot begin to express my thanks to the Archdiocese for this opportunity of learning this invaluable teach of Pope John Paul II from Fr Alan Boisclair. His energy, enthusiasm and dedication is infectious! He has generously provided invaluable resources through his handouts, class-notes and the TOB Data DVD, which is a lifetime resource, which will be referred to over and over again.E.M.T.
I have found myself sharing and expounding on what I learned with those I meet each day. There is so much beauty and love in St. John Paul (The Great!)’s teaching that it is impossible not to share it with others! It seems so natural to do so! There is still so much to learn and digest, if the opportunity presents itself, if Fr. Alan returns to a local parish, I will certainly take this TOB class again as a returning student. It is so deeply holy and beautiful, I want to do it over again to learn as much as I can.M.T.
Fr. Alan was able to take the sometimes confusing, obscure and difficult concepts of St. John Paul II and simplify, clarify and summarize it in an amazing way! The printed class-notes were always helpful so that we could read as well as hear the material presented, which reinforced the spoken word. Having the printed class-notes a week ahead, so that I could read them along with the reading assignment made the reading a lot easier and more understandable! What I most appreciated was the excellent explanation of the Church’s teaching on the sanctity of marriage and human life. This Course is an ABSOLUTE NECESSITY! All laity and clergy should be required to take it! I wish I had this Course when I got married 30 years ago!S.T.S.
Because the book is so complex, Fr. Alan’s presentation was excellent in accurately simplifying the material for me to understand. The class notes were excellent as well. Having the printed class-notes was very helpful, especially for those of us who are not so computer literate. The questions did an excellent job of summing up the material from each class. I always knew that my marriage was sacred but I had no idea of the wonder and awe of God’s intimacy with us in our marriage and the depth of our love when fully empowered by God’s love. I am sure that this Course will make me a better wife. I just wish that my husband would have taken the Course with me! This TOB Course is excellent and would be of great help to those preparing for marriage.S.S.
Fr. Alan’s presentation was clear, helpful & enlightening. We could relate to the material; our eyes were opened! The answers to each week’s questions helped to focus and reinforce the content; it helped to correct any misunderstandings. This Course has changed how I look at everything, my understanding of myself, my relationship with others and God; each time I am reading the Bible, or hearing it at Church, I now understand it in an entirely different and deeper way. The holiness, truth and beauty that is conveyed in this Course is truly awesome!O.L.M.
Fr. Alan presented the material in a very clear and logical way, covering the subject matter adequately; demonstating an expert knowledge; paced his lectures appropriately; shows great enthusiasm; and answers questions in a meaningful way. This was a truely inspirational course that has change the way I look at life/my body and my priorities.H.T.
Some told me that this TOB Course was only about sex. No, it is all above love of God and holiness. As a young adult, I have found that when faced with things that we don’t understand (such as the Church’s teachings on current issues) many people will either “flee” and run from the Church to avoid discussing these issues or fight and condemn the Church by ridiculing ,protesting or slandering it. As a young adult, in a world where many people have turned away and started speaking against the Church, I have both fleed from the Church and fought against her teachings at various times. I actually came to this course hoping to gain a deeper understanding of the Church’s teachings to either convince me not to flee or to give me ammunition to have even stronger arguments AGAINST the Church. Since I didn’t want to commit “straw-man” arguments, I wanted my material to come straight from the Church, then use it against the Church. However, this course not only convinced me not to run from the Church, it turned me around to start defending the teachings of the Church with my peers who argue against it. This course deepended my faith and led me to fall deeply in love with God. This course is extremely powerful in its message!! I consider myself to be a very skeptical person, but nevertheless I found that this course was proficient in overcoming my doubts and affirming my faith. I strongly encourage Fr. Alan to teach my peers to help them to understand our faith!!S.A.
After 35 years of marriage I learned many things I should have been taught in High School or at least in first year of University. What an eye opener for all who want to grow in their faith.D.F.
Fr. Alan’s presentation and explanations were always so clear and helpful. Since I grasp things better when I can see them as well as hear them, his teaching style was amazing! He responded to all questions immediately, right on the topic, straight off the tongue. We usually got more than we asked for or expected!! Wonderful!!! This Course has changed my life!! I have come to realize the beauty, strength and miracle of my God given body. This led me to an appreciation and fuller recognition of who I am, “in the image of God” I love me!!J.B.
As a Religious Sister, I would state that, in finishing this “Theology of the Body” Course from Fr. Alan, that it was not only a good experience for me, but a powerful awareness that marriage was the Primordial Sacrament, created to make the love, life and holiness of the Trinity, Present & Radiant in this world. Through the Incarnation of Christ, His Spousal Love, As Adonaih, means that His Love is Redemptive Love, but it is also the beginning of our Communion with Him, “As One with Him, as He is One with the Father.” As a Religious Sister, it has renewed my relationship with God as my Adonaih/Husband. It has helped my prayer life and my relationship with God which is the whole basis of my religious life.
This Course has the potential to re-awaken the faith. It would be beneficial to seminarians and religious formation houses as well as high-schools and colleges.M.A.M.
Fr. Alan: Thank you so much for the time and effort you have given to making this course enjoyable and “lay friendly”. You certainly spoke with great knowledge and clarity. I hope there will be more priests able to follow in your footsteps; if only to help you in your ministry. I only wish that I had learned sooner or earlier in my life as to how important my body (temple) was and is to my life and the lives of others. However, “better late than never” Again, I thank you and wish you all the very best with whatever the future holds for you. Sincerely, and God’s blessing.N.J.V.