Young Catholic adults around the country have a unique summertime opportunity coming up in January against the backdrop of Tasmania’s natural and historic beauty.
The Archdiocese of Hobart will launch its inaugural Matrimonium Summer School with a line-up of some of the country’s best speakers to unpack the meaning and mystery of Catholic marriage.
Archbishop Julian Porteous is inviting people aged 18-35 for a four day deep-dive into the Church’s wisdom on marriage and family with talks, discussions, prayer, sight-seeing and social outings.
Presenters will include the University of Notre Dame Australia’s Professor Tracey Rowland and Peter Holmes, the Australian Catholic University’s Dr Kevin Donnelly, and Anna Krohn of the Anima Women’s Network.
Archbishop Porteous hopes the event which will run from 21-25 January in scenic Wellington Park close to Hobart’s centre will become an annual national summer school.
“I’m very excited about this initiative,” he said.
“These days the whole issue of sexuality, marriage, family, gender is so topical and so disputed, while the Church has a great and rich heritage, in the teaching particularly from Pope John Paul II, about the nature of marriage and family.
“The Summer School is really meant to capture that, and particularly to encourage young people who want to deepen their understanding of the vision of the Church with regard to marriage and family life.
“We have linked this event with the Australia Day long weekend in the hope that a lot of young people will take the opportunity to come down, stay on for a few days afterwards and take in some of the beauty of Tasmania.”
Ben Smith, director of the archdiocese’s Office of Life, Marriage and Family, said that while in the past young adults would have gained an understanding of the purpose and meaning of marriage in the Catholic tradition “largely by osmosis” that is no longer the case.
“We need to intentionally foster in young people an understanding of what the sacrament of marriage is, at a time when the secular culture’s concept of marriage is diverging from the vision that the Church holds,” he said.
The summer school would be intellectually, spiritually, and socially enriching, he added.
The cost for four days live-in is $800 which includes registration, accommodation and most meals. A day rate of $500 includes registration and some meals.
For details: Matrimonium Summer School 2019