About
the Event

Adult Congress Sessions: Thursday & Friday

 

Thursday, September 24th

 

Dr. Juan Francisco de la Guardia Brin and Mrs. Gabriela N. de la Guardia

A Gift from God: The Meaning of Human Sexuality

Session: Keynote Session D
Spanish with English, French, Italian, Vietnamese and American Sign Language simultaneously interpreted

Time: 10:30 am – 11:30 am

Description and Biographies

 

Description:

Being created in the image of God has huge implications for the ultimate goals of our lives. When we understand that material creation has spiritual meaning, our views of ourselves, each other, and all of creation transforms. This keynote presentation will combine theology and scientific data to explore how we know that we are all called to live in generous, self-giving ways, whether we are married or celibate. Join us and learn how you can help create a society which values the other. Just be warned: participating in this session might cause you to reexamine the priorities in your own life!

Dr. de la Guardia Brin’s Bio:

Dr. Juan Francisco de la Guardia Brin is the founder of the Panamanian Institute of Family Education and president of the Panamanian Alliance for Life and Family. He has appeared numerous times on radio talk shows, including Family Radio Maria in Panama. His main involvement has been in the defense of life and family against transnational movements that threaten them. He has been married to his wife, Gabriela, for 35 years, and they have four children.

Mrs. de la Guardia’s Bio:

Gabriela de la Guardia is a psychologist with a master’s degree in sexuality and the defense of life. She currently has a solo practice, and is president of Instituto Panameño de Educación Familiar. Gabriela has given presentations on topics related to family dynamics, parenting skills, sexuality, marriage, and education. She has been interviewed by TV, newspapers, and Catholic radio professionals, regarding parenting skills and the importance and significance of marriage. She is also the author of “El A, B, C … de Hacer Familia Hoy” program. She is a Catholic wife, and she and her husband have four children.

 

 

 

Dr. Scott Hahn

Back to the Garden of Eden: Unearthing God’s Covenant with Humankind

Session: Breakout
English with American Sign Language simultaneously interpreted
Time: 11:45 am – 12:45 pm

 

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

Scripture begins with the creation of man and woman in God’s image and likeness (Gen 1:26-27), and concludes with a vision of the consummation of salvation history—as “the wedding feast of the Lamb” (Rev 19:7-9). Indeed, the primordial form in which humanity bears God’s “image and likeness” is the marital covenant. What is the meaning of “covenant” in Scripture? How does it differ from a contract? By exploring the divine institution of marriage—”in the beginning”—as a covenant, we discover profound and practical insights into the social and spiritual dimensions of God’s saving plan for the human family.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Scott Hahn is the author or editor of over 40 books, including Rome Sweet Home and The Lamb’s Supper. He has delivered thousands of talks worldwide on topics related to Scripture and the Catholic faith. Dr. Hahn holds the Scanlan Chair of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization at Franciscan University in Steubenville, where he’s taught since 1990. He also holds the McEssy Distinguished Visiting Professorship of Biblical Theology at Mundelein Seminary (Chicago), and is founder and president of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. He’s been married to his wife, Kimberly, for 35 years, and they have 6 children and 11 grandchildren.

 

 

Dr. Álvaro Sierra

One Body: Marriage as a Model for the Church and the Church as a Model for Marriage

Session: Breakout
Spanish
Time: 11:45 am – 12:45 pm

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

In this session we will reflect on the family itself, to expose attitudes, behaviors and habits that have been slowly permeating many families, so that they can be stronger and fight against negative influences. Dr. Sierra will focus on how to cultivate the spiritual sphere of the family.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Álvaro Sierra is an investigative professor at the Institute of the Family, where he has been an education specialist and family counselor for many years. He is the author of various publications about human affection, marriage health, and the importance of a father figure in the family, among others. He is married to Luz Amparo Henao Jaramillo, and he is the father of 12 children.

 

 

Mrs. Erika Bachiochi

No Strings Attached? Responding to the “Hook-up” Culture

Session: Breakout
English 
Time: 11:45 am – 12:45 pm

 

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

These days it seems as though coarseness has replaced courtship, but there are signs that a new springtime of sexual integrity is dawning. Drawing on personal experience, current data, and the inspiring work of many, Bachiochi tells the curious story of casual sex today. The reality is that fewer people hook up than is perceived; fewer, still, enjoy it. But the hook-up culture remains pervasive and has created a relationship vacuum. Participate in this multimedia presentation to learn more about how young men and women can find long-lasting, fulfilling love.

Speaker Bio:

Erika Bachiochi is an independent scholar and speaker whose work focuses on Catholic sexual and social teaching and American constitutional law. A child of divorce and one-time socialist feminist, Bachiochi is most well-known for the book Women, Sex and the Church: A Case for Catholic Teaching. Referred to by papal biographer George Weigel as “one of the intellectual leaders of the new Catholic feminism in the United States,” Bachiochi makes a compelling case that Catholic teaching is more authentically pro-woman than the secular feminist alternatives. Erika and her husband have six children.

 

 

Dr. Janet Smith

Ahead of Its Time: The Prophetic Character of Humanae Vitae

Session: Breakout
English
Time: 11:45 am – 12:45 pm

 

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

Pope Paul VI was a brave man. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, he upheld the teaching of the Church that each and every marital act must retain its procreative power. He predicted that if the prevailing culture widely accepted the use of contraception, that culture itself would be changed—with devastating consequences. In this session, you will discover why those who respect the procreative power of the sexual act are so happy and learn how to foster a lifestyle of openness to Divine Providence and true love for others in your life and communities.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Janet E. Smith teaches at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit as the Father Michael J. McGivney Chair of Life Ethics. She is the author of Humanae Vitae: A Generation Later, The Right to Privacy, and the editor of Why Humanae Vitae Was Right: A Reader. She is co-author with Chris Kaczor of Life Issues, Medical Choices: Questions and Answers for Catholics. More than two million copies of her talk, “Contraception: Why Not” have been distributed. She serves on several Vatican commissions.

 

 

Mrs. Lucia Baez Luzondo

Free to be Faithful? Religious Freedom and the Family

Session: Breakout
English
Time: 11:45 am – 12:45 pm

 

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

An integral part of what it means to be human is to have the freedom to pursue our ultimate destiny. This session examines our God-given freedom of will and our innate call to live in loving community. This call is realized in a unique way in the marital union between man and woman, where the family is founded. The family is an important community that can empower us to claim our freedom to believe and to live according to God’s covenant with humans. Living in accord with our nature is what allows us to fulfill our human destiny, and the freedom to do so is an inalienable right we must exercise and protect.

Speaker Bio:

Lucia Baez Luzondo is the Director of the Secretariat of Laity and Family at the Archdiocese of San Antonio, co-founder of Renovacion Familiar and MarriageBuilding USA. She is an internationally known speaker, writer, and singer, who has presented hundreds of retreats and conferences and written multiple articles on marriage and family. With her husband, Dr. Ricardo Luzondo, she co-hosts “En el día a día con Ricardo y Lucía,” on EWTN Radio Católica Mundial, and a television series for couples on EWTN Español. Lucia collaborates on www.portumatrimonio.org, the USCCB’s marriage website in Spanish. Lucia is a Catholic wife and mother.

 

 

Dr. Andrew W. Lichtenwalner

The Holy Family and the Holiness of the Family

Session: Breakout
English
Time: 11:45 am – 12:45 pm

 

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

Although the Holy Family is held up as an example for all Christian families, we might be tempted to make the Holy Family into an abstract ideal. We may forget that its holiness was forged by a repeated yes to the Father’s will, through grace, in the midst of real struggles and joys. This session will uncover the timeless and perhaps surprising relevance of the Holy Family, providing real life applications for our families to grow in holiness in the school of the Holy Family, the original domestic Church.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Andrew W. Lichtenwalner is currently executive director of the Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth at the USCCB. He has spoken across the United States on marriage, family life, and the New Evangelization. He has been featured in various media outlets, including Relevant Radio’s Morning Air and the Knights of Columbus’s Fathers for Good. Dr. Lichtenwalner has written for Columbia magazine, Deacon’s Digest, and Family Foundations. He is a Catholic husband and father with two children.

 

 

Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, S.V.

There’s No Vacation from Vocation: Discerning God’s Calling within One’s State in Life

Session: Breakout
English
Time: 11:45 am – 12:45 pm

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

So much attention is given to discerning one’s vocation, but what happens once you start to live it out? Once you have married, entered religious life or the priesthood, or determined that you are called to remain single, have you ever thought, “Now what? How do I know what God is asking of me?” After making a definitive commitment, there can be uncertainties about God’s will in day-to-day decisions. St. Ignatius has given us practical tools for allowing our hearts to discern God’s will for our lives and to grow more deeply in the sense of the presence and promptings of the Holy Spirit. Although the world thinks license is liberation, this talk unpacks the stunning reality that the bonds of love are what truly make us free.

Speaker Bio:

Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, S.V., serves as superior of the Sisters of Life, a contemplative/apostolic community dedicated to the sacredness of the human person. The Sisters’ primary work is prayer. They welcome pregnant guests to live with them in the spiritual environment of a religious house, and offer hope and resources to those for whom pregnancy creates a crisis. The Sisters host retreats throughout the year, and accompany those suffering after abortion to an experience of the Lord’s merciful love. Mother Agnes is often called upon to share the message of reverence for life, the gift, and patrimony of the Sisters of Life.

 

 

Prof Robert George and Sherif Girgis

Prof. Robert P. George and Mr. Sherif Girgis

Creating a Flourishing Marriage Culture

Session: Breakout
English
Time: 11:45 am – 12:45 pm

 

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

Prof. George and his colleague will discuss the nature and purposes of marriage and the importance of establishing and maintaining a flourishing marriage culture. They will explain why such a culture is possible only where law and public policy are based on a healthy and liberating understanding of what marriage is—one that goes beyond just romantic companionship or domestic partnership.

Prof. George’s Bio:

Prof. Robert P. George is the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University and Chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. He is the author of books and articles on morality, politics, and law. He has also written for the The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, and appears frequently in the media to discuss public affairs. He has served on the President’s Council on Bioethics and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He is a recipient of the U.S. Presidential Citizens Medal. He is a Catholic husband and father.

Mr. Girgis’ Bio:

Sherif Girgis is a J.D. candidate at Yale Law School and Ph.D. candidate in Philosophy at Princeton. He is lead co-author of “What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense,” on which he has spoken at more than 100 lectures and debates around the world. He has written on moral, social, and legal issues in academic and popular venues including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Yale Law Journal, National Review, Christianity Today, First Things, and the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. He is a Catholic convert and recently married.

 

 

Cardinal Gerald Cyrien Lacroix

A Celebration of the Kingdom: Married and Celibate Love

Session: Breakout
French
Time: 11:45 am – 12:45 pm

 

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

God’s plan for us is beautiful! He not only tells us who we are, but how every person’s vocation to love can be lived out either through marriage or through celibacy for the kingdom of God. In a highly sexualized culture, it is very interesting to discover how the Lord leads us to healthy and holy relationships. Married couples and celibates have a lot to share in today’s world.

Speaker Bio:

Cardinal Gerald C. Lacroix is the Metropolitan Archbishop of Quebec and Primate of Canada. He has served as a missionary in Colombia, South America, and has extensive experience in evangelization. Cardinal Lacroix has participated frequently in multiple media outlets, including Vatican Radio and Television, Salt & Light Television, Radio Galilee, and CBS News’ 60 Minutes. He is a frequent speaker who enjoys preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ. The eldest of seven children, he considers his family to be one of the greatest treasures in life.

 

 

 

Mrs. Catherine Wiley, Mr. Phillip Butcher, and Mr. Michael La Corte

Loving through the Generations: Grandparents and Great-Grandparents

Session: Breakout
Delivered in English with simultaneous interpretation into Vietnamese
Time: 11:45 am – 12:45 pm

 

 

 

 

Description and Biographies

 

Description:

Passing on the Faith. Join us and explore the meaning of being created in God’s “image and likeness” and how, through the generations, the love of parents and grandparents reflects God’s wonderful plan for us all. Sharing in God’s life, we move towards the beauty of on-going love and respect in our families, where all generations are naturally inspired to become a loving and spiritual community. By sharing in family love and care, in imitating Christ’s sacrificial love and the life of the Holy Family, domestic prayer and Christian traditions become privileged means of entrusting the Faith to future generations.

Ms. Wiley’s Bio:

Catherine Wiley founded of the Catholic Grandparents Association (CGA) in 2002. She holds a degree in Psychology and is a qualified counselor. She is internationally known for both her work in developing the CGA and for her humanitarian work, especially in Romania and Cambodia. She has made numerous TV and Radio appearances across the world and, with her grandson, gave testimony in Rome to Pope Francis regarding the role and vocation of grandparents. She has published books on the subject of grandparents. She is a Catholic mother with four children and 10 grandchildren.

Mr. Butcher’s Bio:

Philip Butcher is currently Director for International Outreach for the Catholic Grandparents Association. He holds a Master’s degree in Pastoral Theology from Dominican University (Chicago) and a Master’s degree in Business Administration. For the past 10 years, he has worked in the area of Marriage and Family Life Ministry at both the diocesan and the national level in the U.K. In addition, he continues to support the Episcopal Conferences for Marriage and Family of England, Wales, and Ireland. He co-chaired the English speaking group at the recent Rome Conference. A Catholic, he and his wife, Kathy, have two children and five granddaughters.

Mr. La Corte’s Bio:

Michael La Corte, the U.S. Director of the Catholic Grandparents Association, served for eight years as the Executive Director of the World Apostolate of Fatima. He has spoken extensively on religious topics worldwide, including in Russia, Rome, and Portugal. He created and produced “One World Praying for Life and Peace,” a six-hour ecumenical event, broadcast live on EWTN-TV, which featured Muslims, Christians, and others praying simultaneously according to their faith. He has appeared in numerous religious documentaries and shows on the History Channel, EWTN, and other venues.  Michael and his wife have two children and one grandchild.

 

 

 

Dr. Daniel I. Mark

Home Improvement: Forgiveness and Family Life

Session: Breakout
English
Time: 11:45 am – 12:45 pm

 

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

The Bible and our religious teachings guide us toward family life in the ideal, but we also know that family life is hard. Cain killed his brother Abel, Noah cursed his grandson Canaan, Abraham banished his son Ishmael, the twins Jacob and Esau were estranged, and Joseph’s brothers sold him. How can we create healthy marriages and families, and how can we repair them when damage is (inevitably) done? Join us as we explore practical ideas around forgiveness.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Daniel Mark is a professor of political science at Villanova University, specializing in politics, law, and religion. This year, he is a visiting fellow at Princeton University in the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. He also serves on the nine-member nonpartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom by appointment of Speaker of the House, John Boehner. He has recently written on religious freedom in the Philadelphia Inquirer and Investor’s Business Daily. In 2010, he spoke at Archbishop Chaput’s “Living the Catholic Faith” Conference on Judaism and the Catholic Church. He is an Orthodox Jew.

 

 

Sr. Paula Jean Miller, FSE

Celibate Love: A Witness to the Kingdom of God

Session: Breakout
English
Time: 11:45 am – 12:45 pm

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

Ever wonder why a consecrated religious is called a “Bride of Christ” or why a bishop wears a ring to symbolize his relationship with his people? Why do we call a priest “Father” or a consecrated religious “Madre”? If all three vocations of Christian love are “spousal,” then why is it important for priests and consecrated religious to promise to live chaste, celibate love? We will discuss together why priests, consecrated religious, and married couples need one another to fully witness to the world Christ’s spousal love for his Church and God’s kingdom of love.

Speaker Bio:

Sister Paula Jean Miller, FSE, is professor of moral theology at St. Patrick Seminary in Menlo Park, CA. Her publication, Marriage: The Sacrament of Divine-Human Communion, merited the first doctorate from the John Paul II Institute in Washington, DC. Pope Benedict invited her as a theological expert for the synod on the New Evangelization in 2012. She was a guest on EWTN and was interviewed by CNN’s John Allen and by Salt and Light TV. Sister Paula Jean is a Franciscan Sister of the Eucharist, and writes for the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious, for which she co-authored The Foundations of Religious Life: “The Spousal Bond.”

 

 

Sr. Sara Butler, M.S.B.T.

The Complementarity of the Sexes: an Obstacle or a Gift?

Session: Breakout
English
Time: 11:45 am – 12:45 pm

 

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

A book called Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus was popular in the U.S. some years ago. Theories that purport to explain or deny the differences between the sexes always seem to attract attention. Some contemporary feminist theories accentuate sameness and reject complementarity. They maintain that masculinity and femininity are sociocultural constructs unrelated to one’s bodily constitution as male or female. Why and how does Church teaching respond to these theories by defending the complementarity of the sexes? And why does the Church regard it as a value, a gift of God’s good creation and not an obstacle?

Speaker Bio:

Sr. Sara Butler, M.S.B.T., STL, Ph.D., is professor emerita of dogmatic theology at the University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein, IL. She is known for her contributions on the place of women in the Church, and her book, The Catholic Priesthood and Women. Sister has served the Holy See in the ecumenical dialogue and is one of the first two women appointed to the International Theological Commission. She is a consultant to the Pontifical Commission on the New Evangelization and to the USCCB’s Committee on Doctrine. Sister is a member of the Missionary Servants of the Most Blessed Trinity.

 

 

 

Dr. M. Craig Barnes, Rev. Kimberly van Driel, and Fr. Thomas Joseph White

Flesh and Blood: Covenantal Love and the Meaning of the Incarnation

Session: Breakout
English
Time: 11:45 am – 12:45 pm

 

 

Description and Biographies

 

Description:

This interdenominational panel of presenters will trace the idea of covenant throughout salvation history and teach you how to apply this to your own life. The presenters will begin with the Old Testament relationship between God and the Israelites and travel through the Incarnation, when God took on flesh and became human out of generous love for us. They will bring you to an understanding of how we can use the biblical idea of covenant as a model for living and being in relationships today.

Dr. Barnes’ Bio:

Dr. Craig Barnes is currently the president of Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, NJ, where he also serves as professor of pastoral leadership. He is an ordained Presbyterian pastor and an internationally known author and preacher. His books on theology, ministry, and Christian spirituality have been translated into several languages. His book Pastor as Minor Poet is a standard text in Protestant seminaries, and When God Interrupts is an enduring classic. He also writes a widely read column in Christian Century. Dr. Barnes and his wife, Dawne, have two boys.

Rev. van Driel’s Bio:

The Rev. Kimberly van Driel is pastor of First English Lutheran Church in Butler, PA. In the past, she has served as Dean of Conference Six of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod. She currently serves as a mentor to students in Pittsburgh Theological Seminary’s chapel program. She will serve as a chaplain at the Lutheran House at the Chautauqua Institution in August 2015. She has contributed essays to the series “Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary.” She is married with two children.

Fr. White’s Bio:

Fr. Thomas Joseph White, OP, is the current director of the Thomistic Institute at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC. He writes and speaks regularly on topics such as the theology of Jesus Christ and the harmony of faith and reason. He has published in First Things and Nova et Vetera, and has written several books, including The Incarnate Lord: A Thomistic Study in Christology. Fr. White was raised in a non-Catholic family, and converted to Catholicism at Brown University while reading the works of Flannery O’Connor, John Henry Newman, and St. John Paul II.

 

 

Msgr. Livio Melina

Father, Forgive Me…Family Forgive Me: The Family and the Sacrament of Reconciliation

Session: Breakout
Italian
Time: 11:45 am – 12:45 pm

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

Forgiveness is important to all relationships — none of us are perfect, and we often damage our relationships with God and with each other. How can we respond when we have hurt, or been hurt by, others? What about actions that seem unforgiveable? In this workshop we will delve into the regenerative power of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which can help renew our relationships and become a font of new life, overflowing for the family and the community. You will learn how to make a good confession and to bring mercy to everyone in your family so that our families become homes of mercy.

Msgr. Melina’s Bio:

Monsignor Livio Melina is president of the worldwide Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family and professor of fundamental moral theology at the Institute’s Central Session in Rome. He is an internationally known speaker and author of many books, courses, and articles on moral theology, bioethics, and moral philosophy. Among his recent books in English are: The Epiphany of Love: Toward a Theological Understanding of Christian Action; Building a Culture of the Family: The Language of Love; and Learning to Love: In the School of John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

 

 

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle

The Family: A Home for the Wounded Heart

Session: Keynote E
English with French, Italian, Spanish, Vietnamese and American Sign Language simultaneously interpreted
Time: 3:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m.

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

Everyone struggles with painful situations such as loneliness, poverty, disability, illness and addiction, and unemployment. In our families and churches, we must walk with each other in love and support, even carrying those with great need. The Church, too, as our mother and teacher, comforter and guide, is a family—a family of faith. How can we help each other? And how can the Church bring the healing power of God’s grace to us? Join this session and learn practical ways that we can grow in love, including participation in charity, prayer and the spiritual disciplines, scripture, and the liturgical and sacramental life.

Cardinal Tagle’s Bio:

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle is the Archbishop of Manila, Philippines. He has a doctorate in sacred theology from Catholic University of America and was a member of the International Theological Commission (1997–2002). He is an elected member of the Permanent Council of the Synod of Bishops and an appointed member of six dicasteries in the Vatican, including the Pontifical Council on the Family. He is a well-sought speaker for local and international conferences and is very visible on social media. He maintains a weekly TV show and his Facebook page has more than half a million followers.

 

 

Prof. Helen Alvaré

Building a Just Society: Catholic Social Teaching in Your Life

Session: Breakout
English
Time: 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm

 

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

Social justice is the natural progression of family love. It is not something additional to or outside of it. But what are the links between love within a family and the Christian imperative to follow the example of the Good Samaritan? How is this possible in a busy, distracted, expensive world? At least part of the answer lies in an ongoing examination of conscience and continual conversion according to the lived example of Jesus Christ. It also lies in developing practical habits of living as a man or woman for others.

Speaker Bio:

Prof. Helen Alvaré is a professor of law at George Mason University in Virginia. Her teaching and scholarship address matters concerning the family and the intersection of law and religion. She speaks at academic gatherings around the world and through print media and television. Prof. Alvaré has represented all of the U.S. Catholic bishops and the Holy See before the world press and in appearances before the U.S. Congress and the United Nations. She is a consulter to the Pontifical Council for the Laity and founder of Women Speak for Themselves. She is married and has three children.

 

 

Fr Charles Gillespie SJ

Fr. Charles Gillespie, S.J.

Bringing Power to Our Powerlessness: Addiction and Devotion

Session: Breakout
English
Time: 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm

 

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

How does addiction impact our bodies, our lives, and our families? Learn about the physical, emotional, social, moral, and spiritual effects of addiction. This session will look at a spectrum of addictions (including substance abuse, gambling and internet), both psychological and physiological. We will also discuss the ways that sacramental practices, such as the Holy Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and religious habits including devotional prayers, meditative practices, and spiritual exercises, can help bring healing and hope for individuals and families struggling with addiction.

Speaker Bio:

Father Kevin Gillespie, S.J., has for more than forty years been engaged in issues pertaining to psychology and religion. From 1996-2010 he served as a professor in the Department of Pastoral Counseling at Loyola University of Maryland. While there he had a private practice in pastoral counseling during which time he also provided pastoral programs on 5 continents. Most recently, Fr. Gillespie has served as president at Saint Joseph’s University here in Pennsylvania. This fall he began his ministry as pastor of Holy Trinity Parish in Washington, DC.

 

 

Elder D. Todd Christofferson

Living Our Heavenly Father’s Plan: Techniques for Family Unity from Mormon Homes

Session: Breakout
English
Time: 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

Elder Christofferson will share principles and activities that unify Mormon families worldwide, including Sunday worship, family prayer and Scripture study, a weekly family night, and family history. Participants will be introduced to inspiring principles and practical advice on building and maintaining faith-based families. The presentation will include documentary footage, samples of social media, and music. Participants will gain an added appreciation of how families can flourish in their God-ordained role in any culture or environment.

Speaker Bio:

Elder D. Todd Christofferson has served as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, a senior governing body of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, since 2008. He is a graduate of Duke Law School, and prior to his call to full-time church service, he had a distinguished law career in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington, DC, including time as law clerk to Judge John J. Sirica during Watergate. Elder Christofferson speaks throughout the world, often teaching the importance of moral agency and religious freedom. He and his wife, Katherine, have 5 children and 15 grandchildren.

 

 

 

Ms. Janice Benton

Embracing the Struggles and Blessings of Disabilities

Session: Breakout
English with American Sign Language simultaneously interpreted
Time: 
4:15 pm – 5:15 pm

 

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

Countless parishes embrace and celebrate the inherent dignity and worth of every person. Such communities foster the growth in faith of all parishioners, including those with disabilities, calling forth their gifts in service and meaningful participation. Yet they still encounter fear, ignorance, and rejection all too often. This workshop explores these conflicting realities and the ways in which families and parish communities can be sources of mercy, safety, friendship, and support for one another.

Speaker Bio:

Janice L. Benton, executive director of the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD), guides initiatives that promote participation of persons with disabilities in the Catholic Church. She speaks throughout the U.S. and as a guest on Catholic radio. She consults with the USCCB on life and disability issues, and spoke at the 2014 Vatican international symposium on autism. In 2012, Janice received national awards from the Roundtable Association of Catholic Diocesan Social Action Directors and the National Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order, USA. She is a professed secular Franciscan, wife, and mother of two adult children.

 

Mrs. Kathy Hendricks, Sr. Patricia M. McCormack, IHM, Mr. Damon Owens, and Mr. Matthew Pinto

The Sacred Balancing Act: Busy Lives and Family Spirituality

Session: Breakout
English
Time: 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm

 

 

 

Description and Biographies

 

Description:

Three questions weigh on parents’ and grandparents’ hearts today: “How do I balance faith, family, and work?” “How do I live in the secular world with all of its temporal demands while also pursuing the call to become a saint?” “How do I cultivate a rich yet practical family spirituality?” Our panelists approach these questions from four different perspectives by sharing how faith-based parenting and family practices transcend these and other challenges. Come join the conversation and benefit from their collective wisdom and experience.

Mrs. Hendricks’ Bio:

Kathy Hendricks is the national catechetical consultant for the William H. Sadlier publishing company. She is a popular speaker who gives talks and organizes retreats nationally and internationally on family, spirituality, catechetics, and pastoral ministry. Kathy is a well-known author whose books include Pocket Prayers for Parents and Prayers and Rituals for the Home. She writes a weekly blog for Sadlier, and has contributed articles to numerous magazines, including Religion Teacher’s Journal and Catholic Digest. She is a Catholic mother, and she and her husband, Ron, have two children.

Sr. Patricia M. McCormack, IHM’s Bio:

Sr. Patricia M. McCormack, IHM, Ed.D., is director of the IHM Office of Formative Support in Philadelphia. Through presentations, workshops, and retreats, she speaks internationally to parents and educators on adult practices that foster the formation education of children. She is the author of the “Parent Partnership Handbook” feature of Today’s Catholic Teacher magazine (1996–2015), numerous articles, and several books. Her published works reflect practical advice gathered from parents during research. Since 1964, as a member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Immaculata, PA, she has taught elementary, secondary, and college-level students.

Mr. Owens’ Bio:

Damon Clarke Owens is currently executive director of the Theology of the Body Institute (www.tobinstitute.org) whose mission is to educate men and women to understand, live, and promote the Theology of the Body. He is the founder of Joy-Filled Marriage NJ, and New Jersey Natural Family Planning Association. He is an internationally known presenter on the good news of marriage, sexuality, Theology of the Body, theology of the family, adoption, and NFP. He has published numerous articles, and is regularly featured on Catholic radio, television, and catechetical programs. Damon is a Catholic husband and father to eight children.

Mr. Pinto’s Bio:

Matthew Pinto is the founder and president of Ascension Press and the author of best-selling works, including the teen question-and-answer book Did Adam and Eve Have Belly Buttons? Matt also co-authored A Guide to the Passion, which reached number 6 on the New York Times Best Seller list. He was the recipient of the Catholic Leadership Institute’s 2004 Award for Outstanding Catholic Leadership. Matt serves on advisory boards for a number of apostolates, including the Theology of the Body Institute and John Paul the Great University. Matt and his wife, Maryanne, are the parents of six children.

 

Fr. John Paul Echert, Fr. Antonio López, F.S.C.B., & Dr. Joseph White

The Power of Family During Times of Separation

Session: Breakout
English with Vietnamese simultaneously interpreted
Time: 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm

 

 

 

 

Description and Biographies

 

Description:

Because of work commitments, military service, and other factors that are commonplace in the modern world, many families today spend more time apart than ever before. This session will offer theological and religious perspectives on the power of the family during times of separation, discuss the role of family identity and shared memories in keeping families spiritually and emotionally united despite physical distance, and offer some practical strategies and means for families to find support and remain strong in these situations of separation.

Fr. John Paul Echert’s Bio:

Fr. John Paul Echert is currently pastor of Holy Trinity Parish in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and a Catholic military chaplain in the Minnesota Air National Guard. He has served as a military chaplain for more than 20 years, and has been deployed four times. As a former professor of sacred Scripture at St. Thomas University and The Saint Paul Seminary, Fr. Echert has expertise in biblical topics and responds to biblical Q&A questions on the EWTN website and Spirit Radio of Omaha. Fr. Echert has extensive personal experience working with military members and families dealing with extended separations.

Fr. Antonio López’s Bio:

Fr. Antonio López, FSCB, is provost/dean of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. He speaks and writes on marriage, including childhood and the effect of divorce on children; Trinitarian theology and the meaning of person; and the gift character of being and life. He has worked for many years in the formation of young adults and families. He is a contributor and editor of Communio: International Catholic Review, and has also appeared in Columbia, Traces, and on the Guadalupe Radio Network. Ordained in 1995, he is a member of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Charles Borromeo.

Dr. White’s Bio:

Dr. Joseph White is a clinical psychologist specializing in work with children and families. A former diocesan director of family counseling and family life, he currently serves as national catechetical consultant for Our Sunday Visitor Publishing and Curriculum. Dr. White is the author of A Catholic Parent’s Tool Box: Raising Healthy Families in the 21st Century.

 

 

 

Anderson, M

Dr. Melissa Anderson

Navigating the Net: The Benefits and Obstacles of Being an Online Family

Session: Breakout
English
Time: 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm

 

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

It is a reality: the Internet, apps, social media, and e-readers are all here to stay and are, or will be, an integral part of our children’s lives. How as parents can we stay connected and shape the family dialogue around technology? Using humor and, of course, the Internet, we will explore current research on the brain and technology, how our kids develop an internal compass for decision making, and discuss practical tips on how we can use this information to inform the choices we make with our family around technology.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Melissa Anderson is a licensed child psychologist, currently consulting at The Agnes Irwin School. For the past 20 years, she has worked clinically in private practice and in schools. She has led workshops for parents, teachers, and preschool directors on such topics as moral conscience development, leadership in girls, eating disorders, and balancing family and technology. In addition, she works with nonprofits to develop child-centered programming and services. She is a wife and mother of four children.

 

 

 

Mrs. Naomi Schaefer Riley

Called Together: Interfaith Marriage

Session: Breakout
English
Time: 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm

 

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

Two in every five marriages in America today are between members of different faiths. Almost everyone has been touched by this issue in one way or another. Whether it is our own interfaith marriage or a family member’s, we must navigate some rough waters. Therapists say that the three things married couples fight about are how we spend our time, how we spend our money, and how we raise our children. Faith affects all three. And different faiths affect them in assorted ways. Come learn how faithful couples and religious leaders are rising to meet these challenges and share your own experiences.

Speaker Bio:

Naomi Schaefer Riley is a weekly columnist for the New York Post and a former Wall Street Journal editor, whose work focuses on higher education, religion, philanthropy, and culture. She is the author, most recently, of Got Religion?: How Churches, Mosques, and Synagogues Can Bring Young People Back. Her book ‘Til Faith Do Us Part: How Interfaith Marriage is Transforming America was named an editor’s pick by the New York Times Book Review. She and her husband, Jason, have three children.

 

 

Ms. Rose Sweet

“I Am with You”: Struggling with Divorce

Session: Breakout
English
Time: 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm

 

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

Marriage can, and should, mean so much—but sometimes divorce happens. Based on 20 years working with the separated, divorced, and remarried, Rose brings heart and even humor to this inspiring and interactive talk. You’ll learn what God says about divorce, three ways to heal the hurting family, the two best remedies to give your children, how to help the divorced in your family, and why you can trust your Mother, the Church.

Speaker Bio:

Rose Sweet is a Catholic author and speaker whose love for the separated, divorced, and remarried has made her a national leader in divorce ministry. She has written ten books, and gives weekend retreats on divorce healing, remarriage/blended families, and annulment. Rose is featured frequently on Catholic radio, and has appeared on EWTN’s Women of Grace and Living Right with Dr. Ray. She has also produced the landmark DVD series The Catholic’s Divorce Survival Guide, used in hundreds of parishes in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Rose and her husband have adult children.

 

 

 

Mr. Christopher West

Desiring Infinite Love: Sexuality in the Divine Plan

Session: Breakout
English
Time: 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm

 

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

In this presentation for young adults, Christopher West explores the ancient but largely forgotten idea that the restless yearnings we feel in both our bodies and our spirits reveal the cry of our hearts for Infinite Love, that is, for God. The divine plan for sexuality is not a call to suffocate our longings, but to free them in Christ to reach their true height: union with the Infinite, union with God. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, “Chastity is a promise of immortality” (2347). Come learn why this is so and, more importantly, how to live it!

Speaker Bio:

Christopher West is the founder and president of The Cor Project, a global membership organization devoted to helping men and women learn, live, and share St. John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body.” He also serves as senior lecturer of Theology and Christian Anthropology at the Theology of the Body Institute, where his graduate and undergraduate courses attract students from around the world. He is the best-selling author of multiple books and video programs, and his work has been featured in The New York Times, on ABC News, Fox News, MSNBC, and countless Catholic and evangelical media outlets.

 

 

Mr. Ron Belgau and Mrs. Beverley Belgau

“Always Consider the Person”: Homosexuality in the Family

Session: Breakout
English
Time: 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm

 

 

Description and Biographies

 

Description:

What are some ways that Catholic families can respond to a family member’s disclosure that they are same sex attracted, or the announcement that they are gay or lesbian? Ron Belgau, a celibate gay Catholic who embraces and Church teaching, and his mother, Beverley Belgau, will share their own stories as a way of highlighting some of the challenges faced by same sex attracted Catholics and their families. They will also talk about how Catholics should respond with both grace and truth to gay or lesbian friends or family members who struggle with or reject Catholic teaching on chastity.

Mr. Belgau’s Bio:

Ron Belgau is in the Ph.D. program in philosophy at St. Louis University, where he teaches ethics, medical ethics, and philosophy of the human person. He is the co-founder of Spiritual Friendship, which seeks to provide pastoral responses to homosexuality, drawing on the Church’s traditional teachings on vocation and chaste friendship. His writings have appeared in First Things and New Oxford Review. His essay, “My Alternative Lifestyle,” received a Catholic Press Award in 2005. He is a single lay Catholic.

Mrs. Belgau’s Bio:

Beverley V. Belgau is the CFO of Balametrics, Inc., a family business founded by her husband and dedicated to helping people, particularly children, overcome physical and mental challenges through balance therapy. Since her first child was born in 1962, her family has grown to include 9 children, 18 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren. After spending most of her life as a Baptist, she was received into the Catholic Church at Easter 2007. She is a temporarily professed lay Carmelite.

 

 

 

Mr. Curtis Martin

What’s “New” About the New Evangelization

Session: Breakout
English
Time: 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm

 

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

Many people wonder: “What is New about the New Evangelization?” We know that the most recent popes have spoken a great deal about the “New Evangelization”, so what exactly is evangelization? And what makes it new? In this presentation, through great stories and illustrations, hear about the many ways that the Church is finding new joy and growth as well as how the Catholic faith is the key to each of us becoming who we are meant to be.

Speaker Bio:

Curtis A. Martin is the founder and CEO of FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, and one of two Americans who serve on the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization. He is author of the best-selling books Made for More and The Real Story, and co-host of the ground-breaking show on EWTN, Crossing the Goal. Curtis and his wife, Michaelann, have nine children.

 

 

Dr. Kyle A. Beiter, Cardinal Willem Jacobus Eijk, and Dr. Gianna Emanuela Molla

Out of the Depths I Cry to You, O Lord: The Heartbreak of Infertility

Session: Breakout
Delivered in a mixture of English and Italian with simultaneous interpretation into both English and Italian
Time: 
4:15 pm – 5:15 pm

 

 

Description and Biographies

 

Description:

Infertility can be a heavy cross to bear. When a married couple’s conjugal love is unable to find its completeness in procreation, this involuntary sterility is often a deeply felt source of pain. However, placed in God’s hands, there is always hope and an opportunity for great good. What ethical medical options are available for families struggling with infertility? In what ways can the community, relatives, neighbors, parishes, and friends support involuntarily sterile married couples? Lastly, hear about St. Gianna Beretta Molla, a powerful intercessor for couples unable to conceive a child, from her very own daughter, Gianna Emanuela Molla.

Dr. Beiter’s Bio:

Kyle A. Beiter, MD, is an obstetrician/gynecologist, and serves as the medical director of the National Gianna Center, a member of Saint Peter’s Healthcare System (New Brunswick, NJ). He is well known for incorporating Catholic ethics into his practice, including infertility therapy, chronic pelvic pain and endometriosis, and obstetrics using NaProTechnology. He has spoken internationally on these topics, and has been featured on EWTN with Benedict Groeschel. He has presented on Catholic bioethics at numerous diocesan, pro-life, university, seminary, professional, and youth group events. He and his wife, Lisamarie, have six children.

Cardinal Eijk’s Bio:

Cardinal Willem Jacobus Eijk has been Archbishop of Utrecht since 2008, and was Bishop of Groningen-Leeuwarden from 1999 to 2008. He is a member of the Congregation for the Clergy, member of the Congregation for Catholic Education, and ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy for Life. He has been a professor of ethics and moral theology, and has a medical doctorate degree.

Dr. Molla’s Bio:

Gianna Emanuela Molla, MD, is the daughter for whom Saint Gianna Beretta Molla gave her life. St. Gianna is one of the patron saints of the WMOF 2015. She currently works full time for the Saint Gianna Foundation as general secretary; is a lifetime member of the board of directors; and is director of the magazine Gianna, Smile of God. She formerly practiced as a geriatrician at the Geriatric Institute Camillo Golgi in Abbiategrasso, Milan. In 2003, she left her profession to care for her father, Pietro, who had serious health problems, until he died in 2010 at the age of 97.

Dr. Miguel Ángel Domínguez Mena

The “Field Hospital”: The Church’s Responsibility to Make Christ the Healer Present to the Family and World

Session: Breakout
Spanish
Time: 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

The Lazarus story in the Gospel of John can teach us that our Lord Jesus Christ is alive and wants to become the healer of our society. How can we collaborate in this process? We can respond to our Lord’s calling to become his instruments to reestablish hope and life, both physically and spiritually. Lend Jesus both your hands and witness some miracles in the process!

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Miguel Ángel Domínguez Mena is a young pro-life Mexican obstetrician gynecologist. He is a known Latin American speaker on topics related to restorative reproductive medicine and the consequences of contraception, IVF, and abortion. He has participated in the legislation against abortion and IVF in his country, and has been featured in several international congresses and media outlets, such as EWTN’s Cara a Cara, Radio Católica Mundial, and the latest Prolife World Congress. He is currently devotedly involved in both his medical practice and clinical professional research. He is a Catholic husband and father of two children.

 

 

Dr. Christauria Welland

When the Wound Comes from Within: Domestic Violence in Catholic Families

Session: Breakout
Delivered in English with simultaneous interpretation into French
Time: 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

Domestic violence strikes one in three women worldwide, who may suffer physical and sexual violence and emotional abuse from their spouse. The promise of mutual love is shattered, hearts are broken, bodies and spirits are injured, and hope wavers. Their children are at high risk of repeating this violence. What can you do about domestic violence? How can you show compassion to the victim? How can you provide help to the families you know? How can you get help? How can we, as a society and a Church, prevent violence in our families? We will talk about attitudes, respect, and practical techniques to end violence in marriages.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Christauria Welland is a bilingual clinical psychologist in private practice in San Diego, CA, specializing in family therapy and domestic violence. She is also adjunct professor at Alliant International University. She has 40 years’ experience working internationally, and was selected as a U.S. Department of State Fulbright Specialist in the area of domestic violence. Her Spanish program, Sin Golpes: Cuaderno de Trabajo, is widely used in offender treatment in the U.S. and Latin America, where she has trained hundreds of therapists. Dr. Welland and her husband have served Mexican migrant families in their Catholic parish for 24 years.

 

 

Adult Congress Sessions: Friday

 

Friday, September 25th

 

Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap. and Pastor Richard “Rick” Warren

The Joy of the Gospel of Life

Session: Keynote Session F
English with French, Italian, Spanish, Vietnamese and American Sign Language simultaneously interpreted
Time: 10:30 am – 11:30 am

 

 

 

 

Description and Biographies

 

Description:

Christian families are called to be a leaven in our world, offering light and hope. In a world filled with suffering and sadness, our greatest witness is to live a life of daring faith and contagious joy, embodying the Beatitudes of Christ to make a difference. We can do this by embracing the Good News of the Gospel and trusting completely in God’s plan for the family.

Cardinal O’Malley’s Bio:

Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Boston, was born on June 29, 1944, in Lakewood, Ohio. He was ordained a priest on August 29, 1970, and holds a master’s degree in religious education and a doctorate in Spanish and Portuguese literature. As a young priest in the Archdiocese of Washington, he was director of the Apostolate for Hispanics. He received episcopal ordination on August 2, 1984, and made Bishop of St. Thomas. In 1992, he became Bishop of Fall River, and in 2002, he was appointed Bishop of Palm Beach. In 2003, he was appointed as Archbishop of Boston.

Dr. Warren’s Bio:

Dr. Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, is the author of The Purpose Driven Life and 10 other books. He is also founder of the Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan (Promote reconciliation, Equip leaders, Assist the poor, Care for the sick, and Educate the next generation). He established the Purpose Driven Network of Churches, and has trained over 400,000 priests and pastors in 197 countries.

 

 

 

Mr. Alejandro Bermudez, Mr. Joseph Loehr, Mrs. Gina Loehr, and Rabbi Abraham Skorka

How Precious Is the Family: Advice from Pope Francis on How to Love

Session: Breakout
English
Time: 11:45 am – 12:45 pm

 

 

Description and Biographies

 

Description:

What do the words and actions of Pope Francis teach us about how to make love our life’s mission? The panelists in this session have all met Pope Francis or know him personally, and through their research and personal experiences they will highlight themes from Church documents and events to reflect upon the wisdom Pope Francis has to share with us. The panel will conclude with concrete suggestions to help families live out this beautiful mission in the heart of their own homes.

Mr. Bermudez’s Bio:

Alejandro Bermudez is currently the executive director of the ACI Group, which includes the Catholic news agencies ACI Prensa (Spanish), CNA (English), and ACI Digital (Portuguese). He is the host of the show Cara a Cara, a weekly program on EWTN in Spanish. He is also the author of Francis, Our Brother, Our Friend, which describes the life of Pope Francis before he became pope. Mr. Bermudez is a consecrated layperson at the Sodality of Christian Life, a Catholic Society of Apostolic Life.

Mr. Loehr’s Bio:

Joseph Loehr is partner-owner of Loehr Dairy, LLC, a 700-acre dairy farm that has been in his family for 130 years. An active member of the international Order of the Knights of Columbus and a parish catechist, he has also given presentations and led workshops for thousands of engaged and married couples on the subject of strengthening marriages and families. Mr. Loehr’s work has been featured in several media outlets, including the television program Living our Faith and the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s newspaper, the Catholic Herald. He is a Catholic husband and father of five children.

Mrs. Loehr’s Bio:

Gina Loehr is an instructor of theology at Marian University of Wisconsin. A freelance author and speaker on topics including marriage, women’s issues, and spirituality, she has also served as a delegate for the Pontifical Council for the Laity’s recent study seminar during which she met Pope Francis. Gina has been featured on numerous Catholic radio programs, including EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show and Ave Maria Radio’s Kresta in the Afternoon. She is the author of four books, including Saint Francis, Pope Francis: A Common Vision, and The Four Teresas. She is a Catholic wife and mother of five.

Rabbi Skorka’s Bio:

Rabbi Dr. Abraham Skorka is currently rector of the Seminario Rabínico Latinoamericano and rabbi of the Comunidad Benei Tikva in Buenos Aires. He was very involved in the interfaith dialogue many years ago, especially with his friend, Pope Francis. He has published articles on biophysics, the Bible, and rabbinic literature, and has written several books on the Bible, Hebrew law, and the well-known On Heaven and Earth, dialogues with the then Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Bergoglio. He has also published many articles in newspapers such as La Nación, L’Osservatore Romano, among others. He is married and has two children.

 

 

 

Mrs. Lacy Rabideau

Family Ties: How Meals, Rituals, Traditions, Worship and Prayer Create Strong, Healthy and Joy-Filled Catholic Homes

Session: Breakout
English
Time: 11:45 am – 12:45 pm

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

You’ve chosen life, and you’re in the midst of raising your children. What now? Join Lacy Rabideau for an inspiring talk about the journey of raising your children in the faith. Living the liturgical year at home can be a joy for the whole family, trickling down for generations to come. Learn how to incorporate the faith into many aspects in your home. You’ll come away with practical ideas on how to get started and what the domestic church can look like for your family.

Speaker Bio:

Lacy Rabideau is the founder and owner of Catholic Icing, a company dedicated to creating quality resources to teach children about the Catholic faith in fun and hands-on ways. She is the author of Catholic ABC’s and A Picture Book of the Mass Illustrated by the Masters. She has been featured in multiple media outlets, including the National Catholic Register, Catholic Digest, and Catechist magazine. Lacy has been publishing on the web since 2008, and creates new articles and resources weekly. She is a wife, mother of four, author, speaker, artist, craft designer, and home educator.

 

 

Mrs. Sue Muldoon

Loving on the Edge: Healing the Hurts of Damaged Relationships

Session: Breakout
English
Time: 11:45 am – 12:45 pm

 

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

How are we to respond when family or close friends disappoint us? How do we seek to repair pain we have caused? Real love can be challenging. God has called us into relationships and given us families to help to stretch us toward love, forgiveness, and bearing one another’s burdens. This session will use stories from real families and images drawn from Scripture to explore ways to move toward healing and acceptance. Participants will leave with a deeper understanding of setting healthy boundaries, practical strategies for seeking healing, and spiritual inspiration for finding peace in the midst of pain.

Speaker Bio:

Sue Muldoon is a licensed professional counselor and the director of family ministries at Good Shepherd Parish in Wayland, MA. She has spoken widely on the topics of the intersection of faith and mental health, adoption and foster care, family spirituality, and communication skills. She has been featured on Catholic TV and numerous radio programs, including EWTN, Relevant Radio, and Ave Maria Radio. She is the author, with her husband, Tim, of Six Sacred Rules for Families: A Spirituality for the Home, and a contributor to the book I Love Being a Mom. She is a Catholic wife and mother to three children.

 

 

Dr. Carolyn Y. Woo

Life Is Good: Proclaiming the Love of Christ to the World

Session: Breakout
English
Time: 11:45 am – 12:45 pm

 

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

The work of Christian development, though it takes place amidst the worst deprivations: of food, medical care, education, livelihood opportunities, or justice, is premised on our faith in God’s abundance. Come learn how to replace a consumerist approach to God’s abundance with one that better honors God’s abundance, through giving, living, and focusing on the many. May we turn our hearts and minds to God’s abundance as we recast how we approach this abundance in the service of all in need.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Carolyn Y. Woo is the CEO and president of Catholic Relief Services (CRS). Representing CRS, she was featured in Foreign Policy (May/June 2013) as one of the 500 most powerful people on the planet and one of 33 in the category of “a force for good.” Her Catholic News Service monthly column took first place in the 2013 Catholic Press Association Awards category of Best Regular Column – Spiritual Life. Before CRS, she was dean of the Mendoza College of Business, University of Notre Dame. She is a married Catholic with two children.

 

 

 

Prof. Stephanie Coontz, Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio, and Mr. Mitchel and Mrs. Kathy Finley Session Coordinator: Dr. Melissa Moschella

Marriage Then and Now: The Expectations of Matrimony at the Birth of the US Nation

Session: Breakout
English
Time: 11:45 am – 12:45 pm

 

 

Description and Biographies

 

Description:

This panel explores historical views of marriage in American culture. Since the American experience of marriage has evolved significantly over the past 250 years, we will explore these developments and their implications. As we strive be faithful to the perennial understanding of marriage presented by the Church, the example of remarkable couples like John and Abigail Adams can offer insight and inspiration. Our Catholic vision of the family as the domestic church serves as the foundation from which we will analyze current and past understandings of marriage as well as anticipate what we hope to see in the future.

Prof. Coontz’s Bio:

Prof. Stephanie Coontz is the author of seven books on the history of family life, marriage, and gender. She frequently writes for the New York Times, and has appeared on TV shows such as Oprah, The Colbert Report, The Today Show, and The Cycle. She and her husband have one son.

Dr. D’Ambrosio’s Bio:

Marcellino D’Ambrosio is a world-renowned commentator on religious issues. With a Ph.D. in historical theology under Avery Cardinal Dulles, nine years of university teaching, and hundreds of published articles, Marcellino makes the riches of the Catholic tradition accessible to a wide variety of audiences. As “Dr. Italy,” he is found on the Internet, Facebook, and Twitter, and appears weekly on a variety of Catholic TV and radio networks. He is the co-author of the million-copy bestseller The Guide to the Passion, as well as three other books. He and his wife have five children.

Mr. Finley’s Bio:

Mitch Finley is the author of more than 30 books on themes of interest to Catholics. He earned a B.A. in religious studies from Santa Clara University and an M.A. in theology from Marquette University. He and his wife, Kathy, co-authored their first book, Christian Families in the Real World (1985)—now titled Building Christian Families. This book pioneered theological reflection on the family as domestic church, and received the Thomas More Medal for a distinguished contribution to Catholic literature. He and Kathy Finley have been married since 1974 and have three grown sons.

Mrs. Finley’s Bio:

Kathy Finley is currently adjunct instructor of religious studies at Gonzaga University, as well as a counselor and spiritual director. She has graduate degrees in religious education and counseling psychology and a B.A. in theology. She and her husband, Mitch, have written and spoken together and separately about Catholic marriage, family life, and practical spirituality topics for over 30 years. They have been married since 1974 and have three adult children.

Dr. Moschella’s Bio: 

Dr. Melissa Moschella is an assistant professor of Philosophy at Catholic University of America. She speaks and writes on topics such as marriage, parental rights, reproductive technologies, sexual ethics, and religious freedom. Her popular writings have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New York Daily News, and National Review, and she has appeared on Fox’s Stossel Show and EWTN News Nightly.  She graduated from Harvard and received her Ph.D. from Princeton. As a single Catholic lay woman, she is active in many initiatives to help others integrate their faith with their daily life.

 

 

Mrs. Sonia María Crespo

Communication for Couples

Session: Breakout
Spanish
Time: 11:45 am – 12:45 pm

 

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

Do husbands and wives really understand each other? For example, a wife might interpret something the husband said differently from what he meant. The two end up angry because neither could communicate what they really thought and felt. Does this sound familiar? Sometimes, feelings and thoughts that we put into words play tricks on us, and we can’t express what we really want to. Disagreements in marriage can be better solved if communication is direct, respectful, and welcoming. We could love each other more if we could communicate better! In this workshop we will discuss how to talk with your spouse to live a true communion of love.

Speaker Bio:

Sonia María Crespo is a journalist from Ecuador with 20 years’ experience in television as a reporter and news anchor. With a B.A. in family counseling and a degree in systemic family and couples therapy, she has promoted family values over the last ten years through her media company, VIVE, as chief editor of a magazine, newspaper, and website. She is also a pro-life leader. As president of Family and Future Foundation, she has defended life in her country in coordination with Latin American leaders. She has been married for 26 years, and is the mother of two children.

 

 

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle

Mission **possible: Reaching Out to Others in Authentic and
Effective Ways

Session: Breakout
ENGLISH with Vietnamese simultaneously interpreted
Time: 11:45 am – 12:45 pm

 

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

Diversity makes life colorful and rich. In encountering others, we need a willingness to appreciate their uniqueness, just as we expect to be accepted as unique. We do not want to be labeled, yet we categorize and stereotype others. With authentic dialogue based on respect and love, we can avoid division, prejudice, isolation and even violence. This common mission can determine the future of the whole human family.

Speaker Bio:

 Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle is the Archbishop of Manila, Philippines. He has a doctorate in sacred theology from Catholic University of America, and was a member of the International Theological Commission (1997–2002). He is an elected member of the Permanent Council of the Synod of Bishops and an appointed member of six dicasteries in the Vatican, including the Pontifical Council on the Family. He is a well-sought speaker for local and international conferences and is very visible on social media. He maintains a weekly TV show and his Facebook page has more than half a million followers.

 

 

Mr. Chris Stefanick

Priest, Prophet, and King: Living Out Our Baptismal Vocation

Session: Breakout
English
Time: 11:45 am – 12:45 pm

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

Be who you are! Everyone wants a deeper sense of meaning, identity, and mission for their lives. Our faith delivers that in a way that nothing else can. It’s in the context (and even in the midst of the craziness) of family life that we first learn the greatness of who we are and what we’re called to do in this world. In this presentation, Chris Stefanick offers practical tips on how to live out our true identity as families, and how to save the world while we’re at it.

Speaker Bio:

Chris Stefanick is a co-author and presenter for Chosen. He speaks to more than 50,000 teens, young adults, and parents every year. Chris has served at a parish in the East Los Angeles area and as director of youth and young adult ministry for the Archdiocese of Denver. He is the founder and president of Real Life Catholic, a nonprofit organization dedicated to re-engaging a generation. Chris is a syndicated columnist, has authored or co-authored several books, and is a regular on Catholic TV and radio. Chris and his wife, Natalie, live with their children in Denver.

 

 

Dr. Douglas Farrow

Redefining Marriage: Is It Really Whatever We Say It Is?

Session: Breakout
Delivered in English with simultaneous interpretation into French
Time:11:45 am – 12:45 pm

 

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

Courts and legislatures in many places are redefining marriage to make it gender neutral in the name of dignity, freedom, and rights. But what really is the logic of same-sex marriage? How does that logic change the way the state views families? How does it change the way the state views itself, its citizens, and the role of religion in society? How should those who regard marriage as belonging to the divine design for human flourishing respond to the claim that the state has the power to redefine marriage, and that the new definition is both just and compassionate?

Speaker Bio:

Douglas Farrow is professor of Christian thought and Kennedy Smith Chair in Catholic Studies at McGill University in Montreal. He has published widely, and his articles have appeared in Canadian national newspapers and in American religious magazines such as First Things and Touchstone, and in various academic journals. He is the author of Nation of Bastards and co-author of Divorcing Marriage. For his contributions to public debate in Canada, he was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal. He is married with five children.

 

 

Cherico, R

Dr. Rebecca Vitz Cherico

Mom and Dad as the First Teachers of the Faith: Passing on the Faith to your Children from Infancy to Adulthood

Session: Breakout
English
Time: 11:45 am – 12:45 pm

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

Usually, when a friend tells me about a talk she heard on being a better Catholic parent, I get stressed. The ideas are often great. But sometimes it’s hard just remembering what the tips were. This session will focus on a few things that inspire and reassure me — and others —as a parent. Our faith is such a great blessing, one that we want to convey to our children by showing them the attractiveness of Catholic faith. One of the ways we can do this is by building happy and beautiful family religious traditions (including food!).

Speaker Bio:

Rebecca Vitz Cherico grew up in New York and first encountered the Communion and Liberation movement in high school, which she has been involved with ever since. She received her B.A. in Italian from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in Spanish literature from New York University. Rebecca was editor of Atheist to Catholic: Stories of Conversion, and contributed a chapter to Breaking Through: Catholic Women Speak for Themselves. Rebecca is an adjunct professor at Villanova University, and hosted a program (Conversion Keeps Happening) for Radio Maria. Rebecca and her husband have five children.

 

 

 

Mrs. Simcha Fisher

“Go Forth:” Evangelization and the Global Community

Session: Breakout
English
Time: 11:45 am – 12:45 pm

 

 

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

God’s laws make us more ourselves, and not less. The popular notion that obedience is the same as oppression, that self-denial and self-discipline mean personal defeat and the extinction of personality is unfortunate. Catholic families are in a unique position to show to the world (and to learn for themselves) that the virtues of obedience and self-denial, when practiced with love, are the only genuinely liberating choices we can make.

Speaker  Bio:

Simcha Fisher is a speaker and a blogger for the National Catholic Register and Patheos. She writes for several Catholic publications, including the National Catholic Register and Catholic Digest. Her first book, The Sinner’s Guide to Natural Family Planning, is a popular collection of essays exploring the comedy, tragedy, and confusion of Catholic married love. Fisher and her husband, Damien, have ten children.

 

 

Dr. Mary Hirschfeld

Supporting the Common Good through Your Purchases and Spending

Session: Breakout
English
Time: 11:45 am – 12:45 pm

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

How much is enough? How do we balance our need to take care of our families with the Christian command to help those in need? In this session, I offer some theological insights into the role of material goods in a life well lived. Understanding the relationship between God and creation can help us better appreciate material goods in a way that should also free up resources to help others. In addition, we will consider strategies for how to live out the Christian vocation in a culture that is centered on material wealth.

Speaker Bio:

Mary Hirschfeld earned her doctorate in economics from Harvard University and her doctorate in theology from the University of Notre Dame. Her research involves developing an account of economic life grounded in the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas, and an exploration of the boundary between the disciplines of economics and theology. She has published and spoken widely on this subject and is currently working on a book titled, Toward a Humane Economy: Aquinas and the Modern Economy. She is currently an assistant professor of economics and theology in the Department of Humanities at Villanova University.

 

 

Patriarch Fouad B. Twal, H.B. and Dr. Salvatore Martinez

The Way of the Cross, the Way of the Heart: Suffering and the Family

Session: Breakout
Italian

Time: 11:45 am – 12:45 pm

 

Description and Biographies

 

Description:

The joy of the Gospel always includes the human experience of suffering. We are created for joy: our heart yearns for it, and yet it meets the way of the cross. The cross cannot be eliminated from history. Jesus came to teach us how to carry it and how to overcome it. In every family, suffering must have the fragrance of the Resurrection: it is not for death, but for life! The cross is the most authentic proof of our friendship with Jesus; it lays our heart bare and tests the quality of our love toward God, ourselves, and others.

Patriarch Twal’s Bio:

His Beatitude Fouad Twal is the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. He is president of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land, and of the Conference of Latin Bishops of the Arab Region. He is a member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches; the Pontifical Councils for Interreligious Dialogue, and for Justice and Peace; and the Presidential Committee of the Pontifical Council for the Family.

Dr. Martinez’s Bio:

Dr. Salvatore Martinez is president of the Vatican Foundation International Center Family of Nazareth and the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement of Italy. A conference speaker, he has spoken in 35 countries (all continents) on spirituality with special emphasis on youth, families, and priests and the social doctrine of the Church. He is consulter to three pontifical dicasteries: Pontifical Councils for the Laity; the Family; and the Promotion of the New Evangelization. In 2014 in Rome with Pope Francis, he led the 37th Renewal Convocation with 52,000 participants.

 

 

Archbishop Jose H. Gomez

Archbishop José Horacio Gomez

“Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor…”

Session: Breakout
Spanish 

Time: 11:45 am – 12:45 pm

 

 

 

 

Description and Biography

 

Description:

For Archbishop Gomez, immigration is about people. As leader of the nation’s largest Catholic community, he serves more than 5 million Catholics who come from every corner of the world and speak more than 40 languages. Drawing on his experience in Los Angeles, and his own experience as a Mexican immigrant and naturalized citizen, he will present the “human face” of immigration today. Archbishop Gomez will explore the cruel impact of America’s broken immigration system on families and children and explain why he believes reform is essential to protect human rights and renew “the soul of America.”

Speaker Bio:

Most Reverend José H. Gomez is Archbishop of Los Angeles, the nation’s largest Catholic community. He is a leading voice on moral and spiritual issues in American public life and culture. His books include Immigration and the Next America; Men of Brave Heart: The Virtue of Courage in the Priestly Life; and A Will to Live: Clear Answers on End of Life Issues. His writings have appeared in L’Osservatore Romano; Vital Speeches of the Day; Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics and Public Policy; La Opinion; First Things; the New York Post, and elsewhere.

 

 

Suzy Ismail

“To See the Other Side”: An Interfaith Call to Service

Session: Breakout
English simultaneously interpreted into American Sign Language

Time: 11:45 am – 12:45 pm

 

 

 

Description and Biography

Description:

Marriage and families form the cornerstones of communities across faiths. Muslims value the importance of maintaining positive family ties and seek to strengthen this human connection. How can believers of all faiths preserve the sanctity of marriage and encourage strong marriages and families from the beginning of a relationship? What is the Muslim community in the US doing to secure these family bonds? How can we learn from each other to help counter the anti-marriage culture across faiths? Learn how you can you change the dialogue on marriage today in your community while partnering with others in working towards the same goal.

Speaker Bio:

Suzy Ismail is the author of several books on marriage and relationships. She specializes in presenting communication, diversity, and family seminars at corporations, conferences, and universities, such as Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. She is a Visiting Professor at DeVry University, a high school teacher, and the founder and head counselor at Cornerstone. She has appeared on numerous media outlets such as Fox News, BBC, PTV, and other local networks. She serves on many non-profit boards, commissions, and organizations. She is currently completing her doctorate in marriage and family intervention. She and her husband have three children.