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Love & Responsibility – John Paul II

26 March, 2024

Hayley Lanzon, Parish Faith Coordinator of Star of the Sea Parish in Gladstone, travelled to Sydney in January to attend the 5-day immersion course “Love and Responsibility” presented by Theology of the Body Institute.


When I first received the course schedule I felt overwhelmed by the length of the days. Our days included study of JPII’s philosophical writing “Love and Responsibility” complemented with presenter Christopher West’s knowledge of Theology of the Body, but gave a large amount of time to prayer, Adoration, Confession and Mass. After, experiencing the course, I now appreciate that the long days gave me the opportunity to properly immerse myself in what I was learning from St John Paul II (a Bishop at the time of writing his book “Love and Responsibility”). The study/retreat blend allowed my heart to begin a journey of learning and healing that wouldn’t have been possible without the time spent with Jesus in the chapel.

Learning about love and responsibility through Wotyla’s work takes us through an examination of conscience. When we see the truths of God’s creation, our sexuality, our desires, and our own failures in chastity, modesty and relationships, it hurts. I saw in a new way how I had misused and hurt myself and others. An examination of conscience can be extremely painful and it presents us two choices: when we rationalise, shift the blame or push the hurt aside, we reject the Divine Mercy of Christ; but when we accept the pain and open it up to the Lord to ask for his healing we accept the Cross with Christ and can be taken on an intimate and fruitful journey with him.

Next time your heart hurts, let this be a place for blessings to land. Say, “Lord, I open myself to you. Lord, heal me.” We live in a broken world. We cannot escape sin or pain. But we can take in God’s mercy. His Divine, never-ending mercy will give us healing. We can be with Jesus at the cross, we can stay with him in the tomb and we can trust that there will be glory.

Hayley will be presenting a webinar on Zoom about her experiences of the course and some of the core messages of John Paul II’s ‘Love & Responsibility’. Webinars will be held at 7pm on Tuesday, 2nd of April and again at 10am on Saturday, 6th of April. For more information and to register go to