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Christian Anthropology: Responding to Modern Challenges, Arlington, Spring 2024


St. Mary of Sorrows Catholic Church

5222 Sideburn Rd.
Fairfax, VA 22032 United States

March 21, 2024

8:30 am - 3:00 pm

Workshop Overview

Teachers in the Diocese of Arlington are invited to join our team for a one-day Workshop on addressing gender ideology. Explore the truth of the human person, the reality of sex, and the magnitude of the cultural influences of gender ideology from a societal level to your local community. Learn facts about gender dysphoria, transgender identification, and the psycho-social, medical, and surgical interventions to align the appearance of the body with self-determined identity. Understand Church teaching on the dignity of the person and medical ethics of “gender-affirming care” and the meaning of true accompaniment for vulnerable persons and help for those who are suffering. Finally, receive activities, lesson ideas, and practical tools to help guide you in navigating this difficult issue with your students.

This Workshop blends scholar presentations with interactive pedagogical sessions, giving you a chance to explore content with a respected scholar, as well as explore and simulate practical teaching strategies with ready-to-use classroom materials. Share best practices with your fellow teachers, enjoy catered breakfast and lunch, and engage in both formal and informal discussions.


  • 8:30-9:00am

    Breakfast and Check-In

  • 9:00-9:15am

    Program Introduction

  • 9:15-9:45am

    Defining the Human Person Through Images

    Examine sacred art and other images to discuss how Christian anthropology and gender ideology define the human person.

  • 9:45-10:30am

    Theological Considerations: A Basic Overview of Theology of the Body

    Spend time reflecting on the beautiful teachings of the Theology of the Body and how it is the key to addressing the problems that have arisen from gender ideology.

  • 10:30-10:45am


  • 10:45-11:30am

    Scientific and Medical Considerations

    This session will explore the science behind biological sex and medical consequences of surgical procedures performed on those seeking to “transition”.

  • 11:30am-12:15pm

    Holy Mass

  • 12:15-1:00pm


  • 1:00-1:45pm

    A Clash of Anthropologies: Responding to the Current Culture

    This session will explore the current secular cultural view and contrast it with the Catholic worldview.

  • 1:45-2:00pm


  • 2:00-2:45pm

    A Pastoral Response: Practical tips on Accompanying Students and Parents

    Learn what the Church truly means by accompaniment and receive practical strategies to help guide students and parents who are hurting.

  • 2:45-3:00pm

    Additional Resources, Evaluation

Join us, and you'll receive…

Catechetical Formation

Engaging sessions by a catechetical scholar provide background knowledge.

Practical Application

Research-based teaching strategies, and concrete tools to apply this knowledge in the classroom.

Spiritual Formation

You'll explore your vocation as a teacher, and your calling as a witness to Christ.

Ready-to-Use Materials

Receive a free supplemental guide featuring 10-12 lessons with activities and sacred art.


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Jose Gonzalez

Jose Gonzalez joined the team at Sophia Institute for Teachers in 2014 after more than 10 years as a Catholic high school teacher. In addition to teaching, Jose has experience working in parish and diocesan ministry. Jose has been leading Workshops in over 60 dioceses for more than 8 years, and contributes regularly to our teacher’s guides and digital instructional resources. He has a BA in theology with a concentration in religious education from Franciscan University of Steubenville, and an MA in evangelization and catechesis from the Augustine Institute. Jose and his wife, Mary Beth, have four children.

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Monica Ashour

Holding two Masters from the University of Dallas—one in Theological Studies and one in Humanities—Monica Ashour is an international speaker, author of 28 books, and President and Director of Content Creation for the Theology of the Body Evangelization Team (TOBET). She was also named by the Catholic National Register as one of the top six speakers on Saint John Paul’s Theology of the Body. In May 2015, Miss Ashour was a participant for an ad hoc committee in Washington DC for the Pontifical Council for the Family, and presented a talk “Teaching TOB to Teens” at the Theology of the Body International Symposium in Rome. She was also a participant in the International Summit on Lay Leadership with Cardinal Arinze in Rome. Before becoming an international speaker, Monica served as a campus minister at St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Texas A&M University from 1996 to 1999. Before and after her stint at St. Mary’s, Monica enjoyed 20 years teaching theology and literature in grade school and high school classrooms. Monica was the recipient of Cardinal Farrell’s 2008 Pro-Life Award for Civic Action and was named to the Hall of Fame for her alma mater, Nolan Catholic High School in Ft. Worth.

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