“What a delight your book is! If a picture is worth 1,000 words, your 100 or so pictures are worth 100,000 words. And they’re much more memorable.”
“The Theology of the Body Evangelization Team is an admirable effort to make this aspect of our Faith accessible to more people throughout our country. TOBET is authentic in its articulation of the Theology of the Body as well as the teaching of our Church in general. I recommend making use of TOBET’s resources in various ways—especially its helpful website.”
Most Rev. Daniel M. Buechlein, OSB
Archbishop of Indianapolis
To Whom It May Concern:
Please accept this letter as a sign of my support of the endeavors of the Theology of the Body Evangelization Team, Inc. (TOBET), a non-profit group whose executive director, Monica Ashour, is a capable leader, holding two Masters degrees in Theological Studies and Humanities from the University of Dallas.
I have met with and know Monica personally and believe that her work with TOBET will continue to be a way to bring about a message of hope and healing in this Culture of Death. The late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, gave us the Theology o/the Body, which I heard personally while I was in the seminary in Rome in the early 80’s. This monumental work will undoubtedly revolutionize our Church, and it is groups like TOBET which are helping to move this message
That is why I ask you to support TOBET with your prayers and with your financial resources. These teachings get to the root of what it means to be a person, made in God’s image and likeness, a clarion call to all of us, a beacon of light in these dark times, an invitation to deeper conversion. Young and old alike will be touched by this teaching, and TOBET is God’s instmment in helping to reach many.
I thank you in advance for your consideration, support and prayers.
Sincerely in Christ,
Most Rev. Kevin W. Vann, 1.C.o., D.O.
Bishop of Orange County, CA
To Whom It May Concern:
As the pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Center, a leading campus ministry center, I spend my life surrounded by 50,000 college students of whom about 15000 are Catholic. They represent the future of the Church and the world. And they have grown up in a culture that has worked hard to sell them on the idea that sex is supposed to be safe and fun and free for everyone.
You can imagine then how important I believe it is to make sure that they hear the truth about sex: that it is a sacred gift from God, a divine energy in man and a source of blessing in marriage.
That is why I am a fan and a benefactor of Monica Ashour and TOBET, the Theology of the Body Evangelization Team. The theology of the body of Pope John Paul II is the cure for the ambivalence that surrounds sexuality in our culture and the work of TOBET in making this message known is tremendously important to healing our culture.
I want to invite you to join me in supporting Monica and the whole TOBET team. They are an excellent resource for information and for speakers to come for parish missions, youth and young adult retreats and other venues.
Rev. David Konderla
Director of Campus Ministry & Pastor
St. Mary’s Catholic Center, Texas A&M University
As the spiritual director of the Theology of the Body Evangelization Team (TOBET), I am excited to present to you a ministry that is helping our Lord to change lives. After looking into TOBET, I am sure that you too will find that it provides a vital role in building God’s kingdom and will be a worthwhile ministry to support.
Many of the social problems that occur in our society stem from a lack of understanding of the great dignity of the human person. Whether in sexual licentiousness or an unjust treatment of the most vulnerable, our culture has been imbued with a degraded idea of a person’s body and soul. Our society needs to know every person’s dignity being fashioned in the image and likeness of God.
Theology of the Body Evangelization Team (TOBET) answers to this great need. They boldly proclaim that the dignity of our personhood can be seen in our imago Dei. Taking the theology promoted concretely by John Paul II, TOBET aims at helping to heal the wounds caused by a corrupted notion of the body and seeks to help people to find in their bodies the imprint of God. Once Christ heals these wounds, people are more free to enter into their relationship with God and with others.
I believe that God has brought TOBET into fruition so that it can be a shining light in today’s culture. Through talks and study groups, TOBET aims to equip people to be ambassadors of this great news: that the human body has a purpose in God’s plan and is of great dignity. This is the message of the incarnation, when the word was made flesh. Truly, Jesus Christ, in becoming man, has shown us by what dignity he considers the human person.
I encourage you to prayerfully consider your support for the Theology of the Body Evangelization Team (TOBET). This ministry is close to my heart and one which I believe will help move our country back towards a culture of life.
In the Heart of Jesus,
Rev. Jason B. Cargo
Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Corsicana, TX
Just a quick word to THANK YOU and your wonderful TOBET team for hosting a most remarkable and powerful retreat for our sophomore students. Though I was not able to attend, I understand from those who did (students and faculty alike) that each one of the interns shared a persuasive, content filled witness regarding the TOB, and did so in a manner and with a sincerity and authenticity that commanded the attention, respect, and the deeper reflection of our students.
May our good Lord enable all the seeds that were planted yesterday in the hearts of our students to take root, grow, and bear manifold fruit in their lives. And, may He continue to bless TOBET’s efforts to get this wonderful word out to as many young people as possible.
Fr. Paul McCormick, O.Cist.
Assistant Headmaster, Head of Middle School
Cistercian Preparatory School
To Whom It May Concern:
Christ’s peace to you and greetings from Christendom College! I want to thank [TOBET] so much for sending me this beautiful TOB Marriage Preparation book! What a wonderful “labor of love”! I so much recognize myself in the description of the TOBET staff in some respects. We have all had to navigate the “Culture of Death” in various ways, and very few of us in this common and difficult generation been damage free from the wages of this war. When I discovered Theology of the Body and related teachings, an entire worldview changed, and thus, my life changed. The mystical, moral, intellectual and cultural life of Catholicism was opened to me, and I saw Our Lord’s way of life as an integrated whole. This is how my call to the priesthood was set upon my heart: to live as closely and intimately as possible to Jesus in the Eucharist, where the truest and deepest “Theology of the Body” unfolds…and it never ends!
I am… looking very much forward to applying some of your schema to the way I will do “marriage prep” in my parish… I really want to make this accessible to my couples, not only couples preparing for marriage, but those who simply don’t know what married love can be when lived fully from the very Heart of Jesus. I also very much want to incorporate NFP in my preparations and formation for them, because as you know this was in a sense the raison d’etre of TOB: the “why” behind the “what” of conjugal chastity according to God’s plan. I am very much united in mind and heart with… TOBET.
In Corde Mariae,
Father Cassian DiRocco
To Whom It May Concern:
Please accept this letter as a testament to my endorsement of The Theology of the Body
Evangelization Team, Inc. (TOBET). Having known the Executive Director, Monica Ashour,
since 1993 as her theology professor for three years and now as her friend, I maintain the highest level of confidence in her faithfulness to the Catholic Church in her practice and her doctrinal soundness. Often seeing her at daily Mass and dialoguing with her throughout the years, I know that she has taken seriously her call for evangelizing many. Both she and Annie Vining, another co-founder of TOBET, were diligent, insightful students whose education has proven most fruitful in the work of TOBET as they promote Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.
I see the Theology of the Body as an avenue to reach many people in a variety of areas: pro-life, bio-ethics, sexual ethics, general catechesis, formation of seminarians, and family values, to name a few. I am confident that the The Theology of the Body Evangelization Team will continue to transform the Culture of Death into a Culture of Life.
As such, I encourage you to support their efforts by prayer, networking, and financial contributions.
Please do not hesitate to contact me for further comments or questions: firstname.lastname@example.org or 972-721-5108.
Mark Lowery, PhD
Full Professor, Theology Department
The University of Dallas
“The Theology of the Body conference that Monica led in our parish was filled with her rich knowledge and insights into the work of the Holy Spirit and our dear John Paul the Great. She has a knack for taking the dense philosophical ideas and presenting them in a way that leads to understanding and practical application in our lives. Her presentations are filled with insight, compassion, lively humor and practical examples. Coming away from the weekend, I was filled with thanksgiving to our God and His Church for leading us deeper into Truth and to be more mindful of the need to be a joyful Christian witness in this world.”
Director of Marriage and Family Life
St. Vincent de Paul Church
Dear Monica and Board of Directors of TOBET,I pray you are aware of the many graces that must be coming your way! Thank you for the many positive, soul-searching-and-saving “strategies” you presented to our kids at the Teen Retreat in Pismo Beach on May 16-17, 09. As one of the chaperones, I saw you “bring to life” the teens who were reluctant to participate. The activities got everyone involved, even though the age-range of the teens was as wide as could be. You were successful at reaching all age levels, (even the adults both at the retreat and those before and after the retreat).Monica, you really exhibit great people skills–like when the teens stopped wearing their name tags, you remembered their names anyway! I think they were impressed, (I was!!), and you could tell they thought you were genuinely interested in each and every one of them.Also, like a true nurturer, you saw to each of the teens during Confession time. I believe your little “visits” to each child in church encouraged every one of them to partake of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I was especially glad of your reviewing church “etiquette” before going into church. It helped renew my behavior as well!
One of my friend’s sons who attended the retreat was so grateful, (afterall), that he thanked and kissed his mom! It brought tears to her eyes, because he was one of the ones who did not want to go initially. My daughters thanked me as well. I am grateful for the support of someone from worlds away, (Texas, ha ha), who has the same convictions. (The whole Catholic church should have the same convictions, yes?) So with that said, it was reassuring to my daughters that I’m not just “making up” traditions or teachings because I’m “old-fashioned”, but because these practices and beliefs are to be valued and continued. Traditions were not “handed down” evenly among families, and some teachings from the pulpit do not reach everyone. Your presentation was timely and so needed. I ‘ll keep praying for this retreat to become an “annual” at St. Paul’s.Thank you again for all of your efforts, enlightenment and prayers. You are truly a gift of the Holy Spirit!
I first wanted to tell you thank you for all that you did to teach us about the Theology of the Body. You helped me understand that the body reveals the person and most of all God. There could have been many people that could have taught us this topic, but I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else. You explained this to us in a way that we could understand and grasp it. You didn’t just take this topic and give a seven hour lecture on it. You came up with fun activities and amazing stories to help us understand. Some examples you gave us for the body revealing the person and God were awesome. You had us create the most hideous creature just to show us that God could have created us like this. You helped teach us to protect and provide for our future spouses. You showed us how fragile our purity is. It is as fragile as a single egg. In the blink of an eye, it can break and shatter. This was the best retreat I have attended and I will always remember it. You helped me realize so much, and thanks to you, my entire life-style has changed. Thanks again.
8th grade Boy
I just wanted to take some time to thank you for coming and speaking to us at our retreat. I really enjoyed all of the activities and your talks. Most of all I enjoyed the Theology of the Body talks. I was very inspired by your stories, especially the one about Fernando. I really started to think more seriously about my role as a women after you talked to us about it. Now I really think about my purity and my role as a women to be hiding and inviting. I enjoyed the egg relay because it made me realize how fragile our purity is. I have really taken the Purity Contract seriously. It Really struck me and I want to never break it. I have started to pray for my future husband to be all that you described men should. Thank you for telling the boys whatever you did (Girls retreat was Monday; boys on Tuesday) because it has worked. They treat us ladies with more respect now. I think they realize that the(y) can be both rough, tough, and buff but still protect and provide for us. I really think all of the activities really made the day fun. Another thing, the boys now see us for who we are on the inside and not just by our looks. Thank you so much.
8th grade Girl
You met my daughter, Chelsea, and her at the Pre-Cana class. Chelsea and David went to the class not expecting to get much from it. And despite that her dad is a Deacon and I teach Theology, you reached her in a way we could not and I am thankful beyond what these words can express!
Let we share with you what Chelsea shared with me:
“She just taught us about NFP and I almost cried. She has fertility nurse/doctor friends who help couples with NFP and she is going to give us a few of their cards so we can get in contact with them. I went up and thanked her cause it sure did change my prospective of things!! “
When Chelsea told me you were teaching the class, I was excited, hopeful, and thankful! She and David thoroughly enjoyed the day! Your presentations far surpassed their expectations! You made a very real difference and I thank you from the bottom of my heart! May God continue to bless your efforts! Wishing you all the best! Thank you from an extremely grateful parent!
Wishing you Christ’s peace,