Pope John Paul II Forum 2013 Summer Workshop

Blessed and the Role of the Family Dr. J. David Franks, Dr. Philip Sutton, and Dr. John Hittinger

This year we are privileged to have Drs. J. David Franks and Philip Sutton, along with the Forum’s own Dr. John Hittinger, as the main presenters for a workshop on “Blessed John Paul II and the Role of the Family”. In light of this topic, during this year’s workshop we will work extensively through Blessed John Paul II’s Familiaris Consortio (The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World) and Letter to Families. There will also be a special treatment of the issue of homosexuality, using the booklet Homosexuality and Hope published by the Catholic Medical Association. Copies will be provided to all participants.

The workshop will be held at St. Michael’s Catholic Church (Galleria-area) from Monday, June 10 through noon on Friday, June 14th (M-Th 8:30 am- 3:00 pm).  All books and materials will be provided, as well as a light breakfast and lunch.

Dr. J. David Franks, Ph.D., is a member of the full-time faculty of Saint John’s Seminary in Boston, teaching courses in systematic and moral theology. He also serves as the Vice-President for Mission of the Theological Institute for the New Evangelization (TINE), which is the Seminary’?s initiative to provide lay formation. He received his doctorate from Boston College with a dissertation on the theodramatics of Hans Urs von Balthasar as political theology. His research interests include integrating Balthasar with the achievement of Saint , as well as showing the priority for Catholic social doctrine of being pro-life and pro-family. David serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Massachusetts Citizens for Life. He and his wife, Dr. Angela Franks, coordinated the marriage initiative “The Future Depends on Love” for the bishops of Massachusetts and co-host a CatholicTV show on the new evangelization, “Christian Witness.” David and Angela are the proud parents of six children. Blessed John Paul II and the Family is not only a topic within his area of academic interest and expertise, but is indeed a topic truly close to his heart.

Dr. Philip Sutton, Ph.D. is the founder and first director of the Graduate Counseling Program at Franciscan University. He earned a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame (1973), an M.S. from the Clinical Psychology Program (1980) and a Ph.D. from the Marriage and Family Therapy Program (1983) at Purdue University. He is licensed as a Psychologist in Michigan and Ohio and as a Marriage and Family Therapist, Clinical Social Worker and School Psychologist in Indiana. Dr. Sutton currently serves as a therapist in private practice in South Bend, Indiana, at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, and at the Samaritan Counseling Center in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Dr. Sutton has been on the front line of implementing John Paul II’s vision of marriage and family through his many years of experience as a counselor in private practice. Also, he was the cofounder of and has been the leader of a Courage Apostolate group since 2000 and has spoken at several Courage conferences, he has been a contributor to and editor of several versions of the Catholic Medical Association’s brochure and monograph, both entitled, “Homosexuality and Hope,” and is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Human Sexuality, published by the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality. Enriched by this wealth of experience, Dr. Sutton will speak on the topic of the Church and the Problem of Homosexuality, an area of particular expertise for him on the academic as well as on the pastoral level.

Dr. John P. Hittinger, PhD. – A meeting with Karol Cardinal Wojtyla in 1976 at the Catholic University of America led John Hittinger to devote himself to a life-long study of the thought of Pope John Paul II.  He has given more than 50 talks on the thought of Blessed John Paul II, focusing on Vatican II and lay apostolate, faith and reason, family, and Church and state issues. In 2009 he founded the Pope John Paul II Forum to explore his legacy and make it accessible to more people. He is a professor of philosophy at the Center for Thomistic Studies at the University of St. Thomas. He has taught at the US Air Force Academy and Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. Dr. Hittinger has published four books, as the editor of the recently published The Vocation of the Catholic Philosopher: from Maritain to Wojtyla, Washington, Catholic University of America Press, 2010. His collection of essays is entitled Liberty, Wisdom and Grace: Thomism and Modern Democratic Theory.  Lanham, Md.: Lexington Press, 2002. He is married and has four children.

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