Money, Sex, Marriage and Contraception

By: Therese Bermpohl, Director of the Office for Family Life

“How has the Church and the Culture influenced the priorities and attitudes of women of faith?”

“What do you think are the leading burdens on the lives and consciences of women today?  Is it all about money and time? Or, is there something deeper that troubles us?”

“Why are the ‘markets’ for sex and marriage in the United States today skewed toward males’ worst preferences and not females’ best hopes?”

“What is the relationship between the laws on abortion, same-sex marriage, contraception and today’s ‘markets’ for sex and marriage?”

These are just some of the thought-provoking questions proposed by Helen Alvaré that will be directing the discussion at the 2011 Women’s Conference hosted by the Diocese of Arlington’s Office for Family Life and the Arlington Diocesan Council of Catholic Women. The conference is entitled, “Exploring the Challenges Confronting Women of Faith.”

This won’t be your average conference.  It will be more like a conversation between the presenters and the audience.  Our keynote speakers have been examining these issues for the past 30 years; as a result, they come well-prepared to present, listen and offer their expert advice.

Helen Alvaré

Helen Alvaré is a distinguished professor of law at George Mason and an expert on the intersection of family law, Catholic theology and the new feminism.  She is also a member of the Pontifical Council on the Laity, appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006. Theresa Notare, Ph.D., is the assistant director for the Secretariat for Family Life, Laity, Women and Youth at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and she travels throughout the country speaking to diocesan leaders on marriage and family issues.

Theresa Notare, Ph.D.,

Each of our distinguished speakers will offer a 30-45 minute presentation during the morning segment of the conference, followed by a short period of questions/comments.  The afternoon sessions will include a short summary by each of the speakers and will conclude with 30-40 minutes of conversation between the speakers and the audience. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to share your thoughts and questions on these pressing issues.

  • When?: The conference begins on Saturday, March 12 at 7:45 a.m. with continental breakfast and 9 a.m. Mass with Arlington’s Bishop Paul Loverde.
  • Where?: It will be held in Burke Hall, located at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More, Arlington .
  • Cost?: The registration fee is $35 on or before February 11 and $45 after that.  All registrations must be received before March 10.
  • For more information: Visit or call (703) 841-2550.  If you miss the deadline, please call the office to find out if seating is available. Space is limited.

One thought on “Money, Sex, Marriage and Contraception

  1. Dear Lord Jesus and Mary Mother of GOD ever virgin. You chose the celibate life not out of distain for human sexuality but rather to consecrate heroically and enhance your humanity in all things sensitive, affective, and emotional. Being mindful that human sexuality is such an integral part of our psychic life, even for those who unlike me, have same sex attractions or temptations to such, I am also mindful that in ways and means perhaps not understood fully be humanity at present, our limited human sexuality in this life will too in a sense be Resurrected complete although in angelic purity at the Final Resurrection of the Dead at the End of Time and may also exist for those in Heaven and in Purgatory in ways not clearly discernable by we human still alive on Earth simply because Purgatory then Heaven accentuate our personalities instead of corrupting them and because GOD has made us in HIS Image and likeness, Male and Female.

    I therefore offer up my solely and fully heterosexuality to live out my life as a single man as a sacrifice so that those looking for authentic human heterosexual romance can find the partner of their dreams which for Catholics seeking the married life, should be at least under ordinary circumstance, full Holy Matrimony.

    For all of those who are insecure about their sexuality and who have been bullied in sexual manners, sexually abused, or who have non-violent as well as violent sexual crimes committed against them, I offer up my life and sexuality as a single man as a sacrifice so that all such persons can come to a peaceful acceptance of their sexuality and know that You cherish them as another self in all things emotional and affective, big and small.

    For those struggling with sexual identity and insecurities regarding their sexuality, I offer up my full and solely heterosexuality as a sacrifice so that they can find peaceful acceptance of their sexualities.

    For those whose capacity for sexual feelings has been eroded due to physical or emotional disability, injury, or illness, and who want very much to regain the use of their degraded ability for sexual expression, I pray for their complete healing in these regards. However, in cases where you deem such healing is un-necessary and where these persons desire opposite sex attraction based romantic affection which is also an aspect of human sexuality, I pray that all such persons find authentic romantic love and affection under the guiding principles of proper Christian ethics regarding human romantic attraction.

    I am mindful that although Angels lack sexual identity, they too have emotions and feelings, perhaps in some manners far more intense than we humans have due to their natural elevation of their basic created natures above humanity due to the fact that they have no bodies as they are pure spirits and are therefore unlimited in emotional and affective expression by a finite brain or a central nervous system of any sort. However, I offer up my sexuality in my committed single life so that the angels in Heaven can in some mysterious manner currently veiled to human understanding express any willfully desired affection among themselves in Heaven, even if at a level that is more spiritualized and sublime than ways and manners of romantic human affectionate emotional and affective expression than we can understand on Earth.

    I offer up my sexuality in the single life so that all of those who validly desire and are looking for romantic love as a male or female spouse with a person of the opposite sex will be graced with finding their dream soul-mate in opposite sex marriage regardless of their religious faith or lack thereof. Even in cases where such marriage is to be among non-Catholics such as between persons of other faiths, or even between self-described atheists and agnostics, I pray that their marriage bonds lead them to a more authentic humanity guided by principles of procreation set by GOD in natural law.

    And lastly, I pray that for all other human persons who have made the decision as I have to remain single, as well as Catholic Religious and those who have been admitted to the Catholic Clerical State through sacramental Ordination, and who are unduly repressive or insecure about their sexuality will become more at peace with their sexuality and thereby offer it up in a more authentic manner as consecrated celibate mature men and women.

    Our Lord Jesus, who was and is perfectly human yet Divine, in your human nature you share all things authentic that we do. For you can relate to every one of our temptations including those of a sexual nature. I therefore offer up all of the temptations to sexual impurity experienced by me as well as the same for all other single men and women who have also definitively decided to remain single, as a sacrifice for those looking for authentic human romance and heterosexual romantic love to find it this Valentine’s day or soon after.

    We as the civilization of humanity need more of affective, sensitive, and emotional love and less of the violence, hate, and interpersonal aversion that has marked the second half of the 20th Century and which still marks the civilization of humanity to this present day.



    On a final note, perhaps if more men and women committed to the single life or to the consecrated religious or clerical state prayed several times a day in a similar manner as the spiritual sentiments expressed in my above willfull and heartfelt prayer, the problem of those seeking to assert themselves an in undully financially manner under the guise of wanting to or desiring to be undully independent would be remedied and muted with a proper sense of the interdependance of all creatures as willed by GOD which is clearly stated in the new Catechism of the Catholic Church.

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