Mission Statement

“The Mission of the John Paul II Renewal Center is to share the sacred meaning of human love and life contained in the teachings of Saint John Paul II, especially as presented in Theology of the Body.”

About Us

The John Paul II Renewal Center is dedicated to spreading the teachings of Saint Pope John Paul II, especially his works on Theology of the Body. The John Paul II Renewal Center was established in 2012 by five parishioners of the Rockford Diocese who have been deeply touched by the teachings of Saint Pope John Paul II in their own lives and are eager to share with others the truth regarding the rich meaning of what it means to be human and the deepest longings of the heart for love and union.  The JP2RC offers various speaking engagements, classes, seminars, study groups and resource materials for various age groups including teens, young adults, engaged and married couples. The John Paul II Renewal Center is a 501(c)(3) Not for Profit Organization.

Our Team

Testimonials

Compelling, honest, joyful, relatable, and passionate. Jack Rigert and Mark Schmitt from the JP II Renewal Center have a real gift for communicating the Theology of the Body.  With humor, candor, and conviction, they share their own personal testimonies and delve into the rich and beautiful tradition of our faith; the writings of John Paul II, the saints, and other spiritual giants. Jack and Mark are charismatic, relatable, and have a unique ability of connecting with people on the level of the heart, men and women, young and old alike. They are true apostles of the message of Theology of the Body, which is not just some peripheral teaching, but the very heart of the Gospel itself: the good news about life, love, the longing of every human heart for divine intimacy, and moreover God’s longing for intimacy with each of us.  This is a message that everyone needs to hear.

The Parish Mission was spirit-filled and truly transforming as evidenced on the culminating night by the steady and continuous stream of people lining up to receive God’s love and mercy in the sacrament of Confession.  Almost everyone in attendance went to Confession, and we believe that that was just a glimpse of the fruits of conversion and renewal to come in our parish! I recommend Jack and Mark of the JP II Renewal Center without reserve!” -Sarah Reznicek, Coordinator of Faith Formation at the Church of St. Jude, Joliet, IL

“The theology of the body training sponsored by Ruah Woods for our August 2018 diocesan Leadership Institute was very well done.  Laura Strietmann is a joy to work with and a great resource for TOB and the excellent materials from Ruah Woods.  And Jack Rigert did a great job as the keynote speaker.  With humor, passion and skill he made the theology of the body come alive, and showed how very practical and relevant it is for ministry today.  Jack and Laura’s passion for this work is evident and deeply inspiring.  We’ve received very positive feedback from the catechetical leaders and youth ministers who attended, and we look forward to hosting another training for later this year.”  David McCutchen, Coordinator of Catechetical Formation, Diocese of Toledo, OH

“Jack and Mark from the JP II Renewal Center directed a parish mission for us at the very beginning of Holy Week.  The talks given were characterized by a deep spirituality, the ability to communicate that spirituality to our people, and to communicate an enthusiasm for the Catholic faith which is desperately needed today.  Their efforts provided a wonderful introduction to  Holy Week, and gave our parishioners a deeper insight into the love that prompted the events of those most sacred days.  They touched hearts of both the younger and older generations.  One parishioner told me she had been married for over 50 years, and experienced deeper insights into love than she ever realized before.  I would certainly recommend them to everyone who is looking to revitalize the faith of our Catholic people.” -Rev. Michael Lane, Pastor of St. Jude Parish, Joliet IL

“The John Paul II Renewal Center is a gift for the Church.  The people involved in this apostolate are constantly studying the teachings of the Church with regards to the Theology of the Body that has been introduced to us by the great Saint John Paul II.  I had the privilege of working with them and their love for God and His Church and their passion and desire to share the true teaching of the Church with regards human sexuality and the gift of God in marriage covenant is beautifully put together.  As a priest and a celibate man, encountering this apostolate gave me a better understanding of my own committed love.  May God bless this apostolate!” -Fr. Ervin Pio M. Caliente, Pastor, Saint Mary Catholic Church, Huntley, IL

“It is hard to find speakers that will connect with high school, college and married people, but they did an amazing job.  My people loved the mission, learned so much, and were excited to come back each night!” -Father McMorrow, Pastor, Christ the Teacher University Parish, Dekalb, IL

“The John Paul II Renewal Center delivers a much-needed message to the youth and adults of our parishes. They are engaging and real, speaking truth amidst a culture that at best distracts the faithful from the teachings of the Church. Thank God for their bold witness.” -Therese Stahl, Director of Religious Education & Evangelization, Saint John Neumann Church, St. Charles, IL

“Jack Rigert of JP2RC is a man with an important mission and message to share. His message deals with the Sacred Romance, which points to God’s most generous love for us, and our need to appreciate and participate in this romance so we can live more authentic, meaningful and vibrant lives. Jack has given several presentations at our parish; to our Marriage Preparation couples, to our Teens and to many of our Ministry leaders.  He has been well received every time, because he has a gift for tapping into our basic spiritual hunger for something more than our culture often offers. Please consider inviting Jack to your parish, because I am confident that you will gain much from his message and his passion for sharing it.” -Fr. Bob Jones, Pastor, St. Katharine Drexel Catholic Church, Sugar Grove, IL

“We had our final confirmation class this Sunday and I had the teens evaluate the program.  Your talk was mentioned far and above all lessons as the most impactful lesson of the entire program. Thank you again!” – Michelle, Director of Religious Education

“I just wanted to say THANK YOU! again for such a wonderful presentation on Sunday night!  You have made an incredible impact on the teens.  When we met for Peer Ministry Monday night, they couldn’t say enough good things about the night and the topic.  They are VERY interested in a one-day and/or series… I also learned so much on Sunday about how to speak about such an awesome message and how it is SO crucial for our teens to hear.  I am inspired by you! I find myself wanting to learn more too.  Thank you!”  -Jessica, Youth Minister

“Thank you, again! It was such an impactful and creative summer for the kids here, as well as for us.  We will definitely need to do something, or many things, during the school year!”  – Kevin, Youth Minister

“Thank you for giving up your Sunday morning to come and give a presentation to our Confirmation students. I sincerely appreciate the work you are doing. The talks were well suited and realistic for the mostly 8th graders, especially when the information was applied to friendships!”  -Debbie, Director of Religious Education

Official Prayer to Saint John Paul II

Oh, Saint John Paul, from the window of heaven, grant us your blessing! Bless the church that you loved and served and guided, courageously leading it along the paths of the world in order to bring Jesus to everyone and everyone to Jesus. Bless the young, who were your great passion. Help them dream again, help them look up high again to find the light that illuminates the paths of life here on earth.

May you bless families, bless each family! You warned of Satan’s assault against this precious and indispensable divine spark that God lit on earth. Saint John Paul, with your prayer, may you protect the family and every life that blossoms from the family.

Pray for the whole world, which is still marked by tensions, wars and injustice. You tackled war by invoking dialogue and planting the seeds of love: pray for us so that we may be tireless sowers of peace.

Oh Saint John Paul, from heaven’s window, where we see you next to Mary, send God’s blessing down upon us all. Amen.

As found on the Vatican Website