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Catholic News Herald

Serving Christ and Connecting Catholics in Western North Carolina

‘‘Humanae vitae’ 50 Years Later: Prophecy and Prescription for our Culture’

090117 GrabowskiARDEN — The Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte Respect Life office will sponsor a conference on “‘Humanae vitae’ 50 Years Later: Prophecy and Prescription for our Culture” from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, at St. Barnabas Church. Anyone interested in learning more about Church teaching on life issues is welcome to attend.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. John S. Grabowski, associate professor of Moral Theology and director of the Moral Theology/Ethics department at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Grabowski earned a B.A. in theology at the University of Steubenville and a Ph.D. at Marquette University. He has served on the faculty at Catholic University for the past 25 years.

He and his wife Claire were appointed to the Pontifical Council for the Family by Pope Benedict XVI in the fall of 2009, where they have served as a member couple. He is also serving as a theological advisor to the USCCB’s Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family and Youth. In 2015 he was appointed by Pope Francis to serve as an expert (adiutor) at the Synod of Bishops on the Family.

Grabowski has published widely in the areas of moral theology, marriage, sexuality and bioethics. His articles have appeared in scholarly journals as Nova et Vetera, The Thomist, The Heythrop Journal, and the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly as well as popular journals such as America, Commonweal, The Living Light and Share the Word.

His books include “Sex and Virtue: An Introduction to Sexual Ethics” (CUA Press, 2003) and “Transformed in Christ: Essays on the Renewal of Moral Theology” (Sapientia Press, 2017). He also wrote the foreword to the 1997 English edition of St. John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body.”

Grabowski has also taught a variety of courses for adults, catechists and lay ministers in the Washington area and has presented at conferences across the United States.

Other presenters during the Respect Life conference include Debbie Shinskie, who will address the topic of human trafficking. She has worked for a number of years as a maternal-child health registered nurse and educator for parents and professionals. She has two published textbooks in the field of human lactation.

Also active in her parishes and diocese, Shinskie has served as a parish Respect Life coordinator and master catechist with a focus in teaching Theology of the Body and RCIA topics before becoming director of the Respect Life Office of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

Presentations by Be Not Afraid Ministry and discussions of topics such as diocesan resources, end-of-life ethics, legislative Respect Life work, post-abortion healing/Rachel’s Vineyard, pregnancy support, regional pro-life resources and USCCB pro-life updates will also take place during the conference.

To register for the conference, contact Jessica Grabowski, diocesan Respect Life program director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 910-585-2460 or 704-370-3229.

The diocesan Respect Life office is funded in part by the annual Diocesan Support Appeal.
— SueAnn Howell, senior reporter