2023 Speakers

Fr. Paul Check

Fr. Paul N. Check was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Bridgeport, CT in 1997.  He holds an STB from the Gregorian University and an STL from the University of the Holy Cross.  Fr. Check has taught courses in fundamental moral theology, sexual and medical ethics, Christian anthropology, the Beatitudes, and the Parables.  For twelve years, he taught a two-week moral theology course annually to St. Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, and more recently, he has taught regularly for the Augustine Institute, and for FOCUS.  He has given several retreats and days of recollection to diocesan clergy, religious, and seminarians.   

Fr. Check earned a BA in history and political science from Rice University in 1981, after which he served as an officer in the US Marine Corps for nine years, and prior to entering seminary.  He has been a parish priest and a high school chaplain.  From 2008-2016, Fr Check was the Executive Director of Courage International, presenting to clergy in many dioceses the Church’s teaching on homosexuality and her pastoral response.  Fr. Check was then assigned as the Rector of the St John Fisher Seminary in the Diocese of Bridgeport for four years, during which time he also served as director of ongoing priestly formation.  On August 15, 2020 and with the permission of his Bishop, he was appointed the Executive Director of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, WI, by His Eminence, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, and Shrine’s Board of Directors.

Katie Prejean McGrady

Katie Prejean McGrady is a wife, mom, award-winning author, international speaker, podcaster & daily radio show host. 

She hosts the Ave Explores podcast as well as the Like a Mother podcast.

Katie regularly writes for Blessed is She, Our Sunday Visitor, Aleteia, and the Grotto Network. She appears as a Catholic commentator on CNN,  and is a consultant for the USCCB working group on youth and young adult ministryIn Spring of 2021, Katie began hosting The Katie McGrady Show, a daily radio program on The Catholic Channel on Sirius XM 129 that talks about pop culture, current  events, and Catholic news.

Dr. Ray Guarendi

Dr. Ray Guarendi is a Catholic father of ten adopted children, a clinical psychologist, author, professional speaker, and national radio and television host. His radio show, “The Dr. Is In” can be heard on 600 stations and Sirius XM channel 130. His TV show, “Living Right With Dr. Ray” can be seen on EWTN Global Catholic Network and is aired in 140 countries. 

      Fr. Sebastian Walshe

Originally from Pasadena, Fr. Sebastian Walshe is a Norbertine Canon of the Abbey of St. Michael in the Diocese of Orange, California, where he is a professor of philosophy and Dean of Studies for the seminary program.  After completing his studies at Thomas Aquinas College in California, he continued studies at The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C., receiving a license in Philosophy.  Later, he attended the Pontifical University of St. Thomas at Rome (the Angelicum) where he received a Masters in Sacred Theology and a Doctorate in Philosophy.  His thesis was entitled: “The Primacy of the Common Good as the Root of Personal Dignity in the Doctrine of St. Thomas Aquinas.”  From 2003-2005, Fr. Sebastian was also a visiting professor in the Philosophy Department at the Angelicum.  Fr. Sebastian is a regular guest on Catholic Answers Live, and has authored several books including "Always a Catholic," "Secrets from Heaven," "Understanding Marriage and Family," "St. Joseph: the Man Closest to Christ," and "Heart of the Gospel." 

Fr. Spitzer

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii on May 16, 1952, Fr. Spitzer is a Catholic Priest in the Jesuit order, and is currently the President of the Spitzer-Magis Institute of Reason and Faith

(www.magiscenter.com). The Magis Center produces documentaries, books, high school

programs, college courses, adult-education programs, and social media materials to show the close connection between faith and reason in contemporary physics, philosophy, and historical study of the New Testament. Fr. Spitzer is also the President, Master of Ceremonies, and speaker at the Napa Institute (www.napa-institute.org). 

Fr. Dennis McManus

Fr. Dennis McManus is a priest of the Archdiocese of Mobile in Alabama. From 1997-2006, he worked as Associate Director of the Secretariat for the Liturgy at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, DC. Pope John Paul II named him as consultor and theologian to the newly established Vox Clara commission of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on which he has served since 2001; Pope Benedict XVI then appointed Fr. McManus as consultor to the Congregation itself in 2010 and then as peritus to the Vox Clara commission. He has taught as professor of liturgy at several seminaries, just completing his last assignment at Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg. Fr. McManus has written widely on liturgical topics. He served as pastoral coordinator for the Archdiocese of New York in deliverance and exorcism ministry from 2009-2011. He is also the USCCB consultant for Jewish Affairs and membered on both the Vatican-Baptist dialogue (2007-20012) and the USCCB-Reform Churches dialogue which issued its historic joint agreement on the form and recognition of baptism (2012). He was general editor of Paulist Press’ Ancient Christian Writers Series from 1994-2007 and translation editor of Varsity Press’ Ancient Christian Commentary from 1995-1998 . Fr. McManus has taught courses in theology, medieval literature, classical languages and Jewish studies for over 40 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in classical languages and philosophy from St. Mary’s College of California; a master’s degree in historical ethics from Georgetown University and a doctorate in patristics from Drew University. He just completed 25 years as Professor in the department of Jewish civilization at Georgetown University. He is presently assigned as parochial vicar at the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, California and professor of theology at St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park.

Fr. Lawrence Carney

Carney was ordained for the Diocese of Wichita in 2007. In 2014, he was appointed as chaplain of the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles and he walks the streets of US cities in cassock carrying a crucifix and a rosary in each hand in an effort to bring souls to the Catholic Church. In 2017, he began the League of St. Martin, a pious association of the faithful that prays for reverence, reparation, and reversion—the chief goals being enrollment in the Archconfraternity of the Holy Face and the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary.  In 2022 continuing as chaplain of the Nuns and director of the League, he was appointed Missionary Priest of Wichita, Kansas. He has written the book, The Secret of the Holy Face: The Devotion Destined to Save Society 

Catherine DiNuzzo

Catherine DiNuzzo, MA is a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice, who also operates Sacred Heart Mental Wellness; a website offering online resources for Catholics to learn skills and tools to help navigate their mental health. 

Catherine earned her Master’s Degree in Counseling and Human Services from the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. In addition to running her private practice and SacredHeartMentalWellness.com, Catherine worked for several years in both schools and in agency counseling. Catherine specializes in helping clients to overcome anxiety and depression, as well as other concerns. She has spoken internationally on the topics of mental wellness, as well as for FOCUS, EWTN-Women of Grace, The Military Council of Catholic Women, and more. 

Catherine and her husband, Dave, live in a small rural town in the middle of Kansas with their four amazing children.

Dr. Pat Castle

Dr. Pat Castle is the founder of LIFE Runners, the world’s largest Pro-Life team.  Dr. Pat’s fearless faith and tireless efforts have united and inspired thousands to be heroically Pro-Life.  He dynamically presents amazing faith encounters, encouraging statistics, and life saving experiences.  Dr. Pat served in harms way as a career military officer and now serves in harms way outside abortion facilities. 

The Rees Family Band

The Rees Family aka Pelican 212 is a band of eight brothers and sisters who honed their skills busking on the sidewalks of Nashville, New Orleans, and Pensacola and have perfected their high energy performances on popular television shows like NBC’s America’s Got Talent, Little Big Shots, and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.