The Meaning of Love:
Philosophical and Theological Considerations
on the Reality of Marriage
John Hamlon, MA
Born and raised in Minnesota, John has worked, studied and taught in the marriage arena for over 40 years. He is married with three children and seven grandchildren.
John graduated from University of Notre Dame in 1961 with a major in the Great Books. After a stint in the Marines, John earned his Master’s in Theology at the University of San Francisco in 1974, and did doctoral level work in Systematic Theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA, from 1986 to 1994.
John taught at Presentation and Ursuline high schools in San Francisco between the years 1968 and 1976. While at Presentation, he married Kathi, a San Franciscan and fellow teacher. He and his family then moved to St. Cloud, MN, where he helped direct national and international programs on Natural Family Planning and Human Sexuality at St. John’s University, Collegeville. In the diocese of St. Cloud, John was the program coordinator for marriage preparation and the diocesan chastity program. He returned to the San Francisco Bay Area to study at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. He was the acting associate director of the St. Ignatius Institute at the University of San Francisco in 1986 and 1989-90, and the associate director from 1994 to 2001. At the Institute he taught a class on the Theology of Marriage and Family.
John continued working at USF until he retired in 2004 to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. From 2006 to 2011 he taught Christian Ethics, Marriage, Family and the Human Person: A Catholic Vision and Introduction to the Catechism of the Catholic Church at the newly founded University of Sacramento.
John and his wife, Kathi, opened the first natural family planning center in San Francisco at St. Mary’s Hospital & Medical Center, and directed it from 1975 to 1977.
In addition to his teaching and administrating responsibilities, John is the author of A Call to Families: Study Guide and Commentary for Familiaris Consortio. Blessed John Paul II kept a copy in his private library as an example of the kind of explanatory book that would be successful in helping people understand his teaching (a revised edition of A Call to Families will be available in the Fall of 2012).
John also wrote articles for publications such as the International Review of Natural Family Planning, Minnesota Medicine and Human Life Issues, and was included in Trust the Truth: A Symposium on the 20th Anniversary of the Encyclical Humanae Vitae.
Why John Hamlon loves this work:
"John Paul II has brought us to a new place, where the meaning of love is at the forefront. The gift of self, for him, is the essential truth of the embodied person. Marriage is unique because it’s the sacrament that reflects the totality of self-giving within the Trinity. No mold or cobwebs here - just fresh air."
John Hamlon on the use and importance of TOB:
"John Paul II’s thought is chemotherapy for a deep-seated, virulent, post-modern cancer: seeing another as an object of use, not as a subject of love. His major gift, the Theology of the Body, is a critical catechesis, not just for the engaged and the married, but for all who have ears to hear. John Paul II’s thought should be everywhere and at every level. It is the pier and beam foundation for the New Evangelization."