The John Paul II Centre for Life is pleased to introduce its new Director, Theresa Klaassens. She is following on from the great work of Maria Schmetzer, who is retiring.
Theresa comments: “I am excited to put all I have learned and my life experience into service at the John
Paul II Centre for Life. I am part of a large Catholic, pro-life, homeschooling family in Whakatane. I was blessed with parents who not only talked about the importance of the family but also modeled it in their day to day lives. Because of this, the mission of the JPII Centre “to build a culture which affirms life, marriage, and family” has always been very close to my heart.
I hope to bring to my new role, my experience as a Loving for Life facilitator in Catholic secondary schools around the country. We offer a sexuality and relationship programme, which aims to show forth the truth and beauty of the Church’s teaching. Having also attended several Theology of the Body courses, I am passionate about helping young adults to learn about the immense dignity of the human person. This teaching, developed by Pope John Paul II, does a great job of explaining why the human person has value and is made for fulfilling relationships with others and with God and what true love is.”
The John Paul II Centre for Life hosted its annual Mass of Remembrance on 9 November at St Teresa’s
Church in Riccarton. This Mass took place to commemorate and pray for all children who died before
or at birth and for their families. Theresa Klaassens reflected: “This was a beautiful and tangible way to
acknowledge those who are not here with us today. Many families struggle to grieve properly, when there is no body to bury and no public way to mourn their loss, or to recognise the immensity of their loss. At the Mass of Remembrance, attendees had the opportunity to write the name of an unborn child in the Book of Remembrance, and to light a candle in acknowledgement of this life. The Mass was one of great peace and healing as attendees were assured of God’s love and mercy.”