2017 Speakers

Sr. M. Johanna Paruch, FSGM grew up in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada. She is a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George. Sr. Johanna earned an undergraduate degree in deaf communication. She holds a BA in theology and elementary education from St. Louis University and an MA from the Angelicum, awarded after completing studies at Notre Dame Catechetical Institute. She also earned the Pontifical Catechetical Diploma. She has completed her doctorate at Maryvale Institute, Birmingham, England.

Sr. Johanna has been involved in catechetics in all its forms, at every level.
In 1999, Sr. Johanna joined the Theology faculty of Franciscan University of Steubenville. She specializes in catechetics, and teaches both graduate and undergraduate students.

Besides her teaching duties, Sr. Johanna travels throughout the country presenting workshops on catechist training, catechist retreats, and catechesis for persons with disabilities. She is a regular contributor to The Catechetical Review. In addition to her catechetical ministry, Sr. Johanna is engaged in research on the role of Catholic sisters in the American Civil War.

Sister M. Johanna serves on the Executive Board of the National Advisory Committee for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, as well as serving as a consultant for the Bishops’ Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis and has served the Pontifical Counsel for the Promotion of the New Evangelization. Her book Mentors for the New Evangelization is now on its fourth printing.


Esther Terry directs the Camino program at the University of Notre Dame’s McGrath Institute for Church Life. Camino offers online theology courses in Spanish to support dioceses across the country in the formation of lay ministers, catechists, and permanent deacons. She holds a Masters in Theological Studies from the University of Notre Dame, with a concentration in moral theology. Esther lives in Indiana with her husband Mike and their baby Joseph.

Esther Terry dirige el programa Camino del Instituto McGrath para la Vida de la Iglesia en la Universidad de Notre Dame. Camino ofrece cursos de teología en línea, colaborando con las diócesis en Estados Unidos para apoyar la formación de ministros laicos, catequistas y diáconos permanentes. Esther recibió una maestría en estudios teológicos de la Universidad de Notre Dame con una especialización en la teología moral. Vive en Indiana con su esposo Mike y su bebé Joseph.

Lucas Pollice is the Director of Program Development and Implementation and Associate Professor of Theology and Catechetics for the Augustine Institute in Denver, Colorado. He had previously served as the director of Catechesis for the Diocese of Fort Worth, Texas. Lucas has been involved in full-time parish and diocesan catechetical ministry since 1999 and currently directs and presents at catechetical training conferences across the country for parish RCIA and adult faith formation leaders.  He is the author of Open Wide the Doors to Christ: Discovering Catholicism, a complete curriculum for RCIA (Emmaus Road Publishing) and has worked in the development and production of Symbolon:  The Catholic Faith Explained, Beloved: Finding Happiness in Marriage, and other catechetical series produced by the Augustine Institute. Lucas and his wife, Mary, have six children and live in Highlands Ranch, CO.

 Scott Sollom is an Assistant Professor of Theology at Franciscan University and coordinator of campus RCIA. Scott has extensive experience as a presenter for RCIA catechist training seminars for dioceses and parishes across the country.  Some of Scott’s publications include “The Keys to the Deposit” and “Learning St. Augustine” in the Catechetical Review. Scott is married with 5 wonderful children, and has 16 years of catechetical experience.

William K. Thierfelder s President of Belmont Abbey College, a Catholic, Benedictine liberal arts college ranked as one of the fastest growing Catholic colleges in the US, a top-ten college by US News & World Report, and a recommended college by the Newman Guide to choosing a faithfully Catholic college. Prior to his appointment he served as President of the world-renowned York Barbell Company and a principal in Joyner Sports Medicine Institute. He has also served as Executive Director of the Player Management Group, a sports representation company providing services to professional athletes. Dr. Thierfelder is a licensed psychologist and received his master’s and doctoral degrees in Sports Psychology and Human Movement from Boston University. He is a former member of the United States Olympic Committee’s Sport Psychology Register, NCAA Division I Coach, Olympian (did not compete due to injury), National Champion, and a two-time All-American from the University of Maryland. He is a member of the Sports Faith International Hall of Fame, which includes world-class athletes, coaches, and team owners, such as George “Papa Bear” Halas, Wellington Mara, Brian Piccolo, and others. And he is the author of Less than a Minute to Go: The Secret to World-Class Performance in Sport, Business, and Everyday Life.

Dr. Thierfielder has also led the fight for religious freedom by initiating the first lawsuit against the federal government over the HHS Healthcare Mandate as well as testifying before the U.S. Congress in matters related to religious liberty. Dr. Thierfelder was born and raised in New York City. He is a Knight of Malta and a member of Legatus and he currently lives just outside Charlotte, NC with his wife, Mary, and their ten children. Both Dr. Thierfelder and his wife are Oblates of Belmont Abbey Monastery.

Bethany Fischer was born in the same city as LeBron James so she is basically on her way to the NBA. In the meantime, she is the Director of Youth Ministry at St. Leo the Great in Winston Salem, the Life Teen Area Contact for the Carolinas, a certified trainer, and retreat speaker. Her experience includes middle and high school youth ministry as well as Confirmation preparation. 
Born in Dunstable, Bedfordshire, England, Fr. Matlak earned a BA from King’s College in London. He then entered St. Josaphat Seminary in Washington, D.C., where he studied for the priesthood. After his ordination, he was assigned to St. Josaphat Cathedral in Ohio. After a year, he was appointed the administrator for St. Basil the Great Catholic Mission in Charlotte. He also serves as Chaplain at Holy Trinity Middle School.
William Cardona y su esposa Andrea Blanco, son autores de programas de formación y liderazgo en Pastoral Familiar Hispana en los Estados Unidos. Han sido conferencistas en congresos y en el Encuentro Mundial de Familias, Philadelphia 2015. Recientemente elaboraron 10 Catequesis para las Familias: “La Familia Centro de Amor y Misericordia” en coordinación con el Pontifico Consejo para la Nueva Evangelización. Actualmente elaboran un ciclo de 10 catequesis como preparación al Encuentro Mundial de las Familias a celebrarse en Irlanda en el 2018, bajo el tema: “Hablemos de Familias Discípulas y Misioneras, Alegría para el Mundo” a la luz de la Exhortación Apostólica Postsinodal Amoris Laetitia, que podrán descargar a través de su página web: www.iglesiasdomesticas.com

Mi nombre es Adilia Rodriguez. Egresada de la Universidad Católica  de Costa Rica. trabajé  como Profesora de Educación Religiosa en mi país . Tengo mas de 30 años  sirviendo en el ministerio de la Catequesis, actualmente trabajo como Directora de Formación de Fe en la parroquia  nuestra Señora de Guadalupe,  Charlotte NC.

Hacerca de los temas: LOS FRUTOS DEL ESPIRITU SANTO EN LA VIDA DEL CATEQUISTA.

La actitud del catequista con respecto a la llamada del Señor , más  que una decision es una respuesta de fe a la invitación del Espíritu Santo.

LA INCLUSION, AMAR COMO DIOS NOS AMA .

La vida de cada ser humano tiene en el proyecto amoroso de Dios un valor único y original .

La encarnación de Jesus es un SI pleno y definitivo a la vida, a la dignidad del hombre, Jesus está gritando que todo hombre sea cual fuere su color,  raza,  familia, país, capacidad; tiene su valor ,su dignidad,su belleza, su importancia. Jesus en su encarnación dignifica al marginado ,al discapacitado,  lo reconoce, lo valoriza, lo embellece,lo integra ,lo normaliza. Como Cristianos estamos invitados a hacer  nuestro este criterio de la misericordia, con el que tratamos de incluir en nuestra vida a todos acogiendolos y amandolos como los ama Dios.

Ibis Centeno, Nativa de Cuba, 35 años de casada, madre de cuatro señoritas … Fue madre del gobierno para la reunificación familiar por 10 años en California, madre adoptiva de dos chicas maravillosas. Ha trabajado con jesuitas y apostolados jesuitas durante los últimos 15 años. Primero en una parroquia Jesuita, Santa Teresa en Mooresville, Carolina del Norte como la Coordinadora Latina. En la Diócesis de Charlotte, Carolina del Norte como Coordinadora Hispana del Vicariato de Salisbury, siendo responsable de la evangelización y coordinación pastoral de 6 parroquias, donde tuvo la oportunidad de irradiar la espiritualidad ignaciana y conocer que se encuentra a Dios en todas las cosas y especialmente en las personas;

Y ahora como Directora Regional del Ministerio Hispano – Sur, de la Oficina de Espiritualidad Ignaciana para las Provincias de Maryland y el Norte de los EE. UU. de la Compañía de Jesús. Aquí ofrecemos programas de formación para líderes de las comunidades latinas y ayudamos a las instituciones Jesuitas en su misión con la comunidad hispana de acuerdo con sus necesidades y la realidad local.

BS in Sociology, MRP/concentration in Social Policy and current student, Xavier University of Louisiana – Institute for Black Catholic Studies
BSN, Completed Charlotte Lay Ministry Course Curriculum, Graduate Theology Student, Xavier University of Louisiana – Institute for Black Catholic Studies
Paul Kotlowski earned his ThB & PhB from Marquette University and Master’s degree from St. Francis de Sales Seminary of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. He has served in parish ministry for 8 years as a Director of Religious Education & Youth Minister in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee before becoming the Director of Youth Ministry for the Diocese of Charlotte.