John Paul II Renewal Center Co-Founder and President Jeff has greatly benefited from Theology of the Body in his personal life. Jeff is a lifelong Catholic, however, for a period of time, he was the prodigal son who was far from his faith. He had been finding his way home for several years when he discovered the great teaching of Blessed Pope John Paul II called Theology of the Body. The Theology of the Body was a great gift to him and to his marriage. As he says, “It changed everything for me.” His great hope is that the John Paul II Renewal Center will help others find the happiness in love that he has found. He says that if there is hope for someone who came to age in the 70’s period of “drugs, sex, and rock and roll”, then there is hope for anyone. Jeff has been married for 33 years and has three children.
John Paul II Renewal Center Co-Founder and current Treasurer Linda is dedicated to promoting a Culture of Life through sharing the teachings of the John Paul II and the Catholic Church. Linda is a retired educator who has created customized presentations for teens and adults centered on the themes of love, marriage, human sexuality, and the dignity of the human person– all rooted in the Theology of the Body catechesis and other writings of Blessed Pope John Paul II, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and the Bishops of the Catholic Church. On a personal level, Linda has been transformed by the understanding of the truth of God’s plan for love and life.
Jack is a co-founder of the John Paul II Renewal Center and presently serves as its Managing Director. In his earlier life, Jack was a professional chef with a degree in Hospitality Management. He owned and operated a number of successful restaurant concepts. Jack also spent several years in the financial services industry and went on to found his own company, primarily focused on creating and launching innovative investment solutions. In 2006, after attending graduate school at the Catholic Theological Union where he studied scripture and early church history, Jack came across the teaching of Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. It changed his life. He went on to study at the Theology of the Body Institute under Christopher West, Dr. Janet Smith, and Dr. John Grabowski, among others. Jack presents Theology of the Body to groups of all ages, including many who have attended the Gift of Self Marriage Preparation seminar sponsored by the Rockford Diocese. In addition to writing for the John Paul II Renewal Center, Jack has been featured on Relevant Radio and Radio Maria. He has three grown children and three grandchildren. He lives in Saint Charles with his wife, Jeannie, and he is an active member of St. Patrick’s Church.
John Paul II Renewal Center Co-Founder and Secretary Robyn has found a remarkable tool for a foundation of truth that makes the Gospels relatable in today’s challenges and complexities of life. Since Robyn’s profound encounter with Theology of the Body, she has made every effort to share it with groups and individuals. She shares Hope for all challenging situations in life, and how to find truth, restore dignity and reclaim beauty to the human person. Robyn presents how you can discover truth, beauty and meaning in all that life has to offer, even in its most distressing disguises, while discovering where emotions come into play. As she continues her studies in Theology of the Body, Robyn is learning the language of the body as God intended.
While steeped in a strong Christian environment at Wheaton College, Sean discovered the Theology of the Body and the writings of St. Pope John Paul II. Sean was immediately transformed by the profound depth of the teaching and began to study and explore God’s design for life and relationships. Sean has lead young adult studies of the Theology of the Body and loves the opportunity to discuss the Catholic Church’s plan for marriage and the family. Sean is passionate about following Pope Saint John Paul II’s call to youth to “build a civilization of love and truth”. Sean also works as a teacher in Special Education and coaches high school football.
Theology of the Body has completely transformed Mark’s life. For a long period of Mark’s life, he had heard all these “rules” about sex and what you weren’t supposed to be doing. He never understood the WHY behind it all and what God’s true vision was for love. Theology of the Body opened his heart up to the WHY. There was one specific line in Theology of the Body that had the biggest impact that sticks with Mark each day; “The opposite of love is not hatred, but to use someone else for your own selfish desires.” Mark has a passion for speaking to high school kids and young adults with the goal of helping them realize the WHY behind all these rules they’ve grown up hearing. Mark graduated from Wheaton College in 2014 and is currently working in the financial services industry. Mark also works on the staff of St. Katherine Drexel, in Sugar Grove, helping with their Youth Ministry.
Father Ryan Browning
John Paul II Renewal Center Spiritual Director Father Ryan Browning spent many years living a worldly life disconnected from the Catholic faith (a prodigal son). Saint John Paul II’s Theology of the Body was a catalyst for him returning to the practice of his faith. Through study, Eucharistic Adoration, and daily Mass, he heard God calling him to the priesthood and was ordained by Bishop David J. Malloy on June 22, 2013. He desires to share God’s love and mercy with a world that so badly needs it – a world confused about the truth of the human person (body and soul). I think the Theology of the Body helps us speak to deepest longings of the human heart – true selfless love and happiness.”