On Saturday, July 30, about 40 Family Honor staff, board members, presenters and friends of the organization gathered in Columbia, SC for a day of continuing education and prayer. In conjunction with the Diocese of Charleston, SC, Family Honor board member and presenter, Kathy Schmugge, helped arrange for Fr. Thomas Loya, STB, MA to speak at the event.
Fr. Loya, is well-known in many Catholic circles. He is currently the pastor of Annunciation of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Parish in Homer Glen, IL and is also the host of “Light of the East Radio” heard on EWTN Radio affiliates, Ave Maria Radio, and The Guadalupe Radio Network. He is member of the Tabor Life Institute (www.taborlife.org) for the education and formation in the theology of the body. Fr. Loya was first exposed to Pope John Paul II’s monumental teaching on the human person when he attended his weekly audiences about The Theology of the Body. Fr. Loya brings the principles of The Theology of the Body deep into the lived experience of every aspect of human sexuality.
The day kicked-off with a wonderful Mass concelebrated by Father Thomas Loya as well as Father Bernard Oniwe, currently a student at the University of South Carolina and Father Matthew Gray from St. Joseph’s parish in Columbia. After Mass, Fr. Loya gave two inspiring talks that discussed the theology of the body along with what it really means to be “holy” and “Catholic”.
Fr. Loya also spoke about male-female complementarity where he highlighted the beautiful and divine design God instituted to draw man and woman together as a prototype of Christ’s love for His Church. He also talked about how the two are reflected in the liturgy and meaning of the Mass.
Between Fr. Loya’s talks, a potluck lunch was enjoyed by all. Because this day of Continuing Education took place in the middle of summer, those children who came with their parents were treated to a few hours at the nearby “Splash Pad”. Towards the end of the day, the staff of Family Honor surprised Executive Director, Brenda Cerkez, with a gift basket to express their appreciation for her dedication, leadership, and guidance as Family Honor continues to grow and spread the message of chastity across the United States.