Presider and Homilist for the Opening Mass on Sunday in the Basilica

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archdiocese of Washington

Cardinal Donald Wuerl is the Archbishop of Washington and was elevated to the College of Cardinals in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI. He participated in the March 2013 conclave that elected Pope Francis. He was appointed by Pope Francis as a member of both the 2014 and the 2015 Synods on the Family.

Family Life Ministries as Field Hospitals

Speaker: Beverly Hubble Tauke, LCSW

Description:  A prime role of today’s Church, Pope Francis has noted, is “the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful…as a field hospital after battle.” In that spirit, Family Life Ministers share a CDC-type vision and mission: to help heal current and generational family wounds; to detect and minimize entrenched and emerging threats; and also to educate and inoculate against needless family pain. On this front, the FLM world overlaps that of social workers, especially among faith-based populations. FLM/social work strategies and specific tools for healing wounds, risk management and marriage-parent-child inoculation will be explored, integrating research with Church and biblical concepts.

Family counselor, author and speaker Beverly Hubble Tauke collaborates with church communities throughout the Eastern U.S., and for years facilitated workshops for homeless men and women in Washington, D.C. She currently serves on the Boards of Bishop Ireton High School, Alexandria, Virginia, and Catholic Charities of the Arlington Diocese, Virginia.  Her graduate education includes a Master of Social Work degree from the Catholic University of America and a Master of Arts degree in communication from Wheaton College.

Church Teaching on Marriage as a Social Justice Issue

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Helen Alvaré

Talk Description

Helen Alvaré is a Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law, where she teaches Family Law, Law and Religion, and Property Law. She publishes on matters concerning marriage, parenting, non-marital households, and the First Amendment religion clauses. She is faculty advisor to the law school’s Civil Rights Law Journal, and the Latino/a Law Student Association, a consultor for the Pontifical Council of the Laity (Vatican City), an advisor to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (Washington, D.C.), founder of, and an ABC news consultant. She cooperates with the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations as a speaker and a delegate to various United Nations conferences concerning women and the family.


The Family’s Role in the New Evangelization: The Theology of the Body, St. John Paul II, and Pope Francis

Keynote Speaker: Dr. John Grabowski

Talk Description

A native of the Midwest, Dr. Grabowski earned his B.A. in theology at the University of Steubenville and his Ph.D. at Marquette University.  For the last twenty four years he has been on the faculty of the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. where he is currently Associate Professor of Moral Theology with continuous tenure and the Director of the Moral Theology/ Ethics area.  He and his wife were appointed to the Pontifical Council for the Family by Pope Benedict XVI in the fall of 2009 where they serve as a member couple.  He is also currently serving as a theological advisor to the U.S.C.C.B. Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family, and Youth.  In 2015 he was appointed by Pope Francis to serve as an expert (adiutor) at the Synod of Bishops on the Family.

Catholic Social Teaching, Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy as Mission, and the Family

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Jeanne Schindler

While Catholic Social Thought is sometimes presented as a discrete body of wisdom, one that seems palatable to the contemporary mind, Dr. Jeanne Schindler will argue that Catholic insight concerning social life and justice is inseparable from the Church’s moral theology concerning sexuality, marriage, and family life.  The deep underlying unity rests upon a rich anthropology that recognizes human beings as intrinsically social and designed for profound communion.

Dr. Jeanne Schindler is a Fellow of the John Paul II Institute.  Until 2013 she was an associate professor at Villanova University.  Dr. Schindler’s intellectual interests are interdisciplinary, integrating philosophy, theology, and political science.  She has lectured and published in a variety of areas, including Catholic social thought and democratic theory.  She edited Christianity and Civil Society: Catholic and Neo-Calvinist Perspectives (2008) and co-edited with D.C. Schindler, A Robert Spaemann Reader (Oxford University Press, 2015).


Educas y Formas, o sólo Domesticas

Keynote Speaker:  P. Angel Espinosa de los Monteros

Esta presentación tratará la urgente necesidad de formar líderes en los 7 campos de la verdadera formación la cual incluye la práctica, especialmente a los padres de familia con sus hijos.

Padre Ángel nació en Puebla, México. Tiene maestría en Humanidades Clásicas por el Instituto de Estudios Humanísticos de Salamanca, España. Estudió Filosofía en la pontificia Universidad Gregoriana en Roma. Teología en el Ateneo Regina Apostolorum en Roma, donde obtuvo la Licencia en Teología Moral, con especialización en Bioética y Ciencias de la Familia. Desde que se ordenó Sacerdote hace 21 años, ha trabajado como orientador juvenil, y después como orientador familiar en México, Colombia, Italia y Francia. En Medellín, Colombia, fue además director del colegio Cumbres. Ha impartido más de 1500 conferencias sobre matrimonio, valores familiares y espiritualidad, en diferentes ciudades de México, Estados Unidos, Francia, Italia y todo Centro y Sudamérica. Ha atendido a cientos de matrimonios ofreciendo consejo y programas de crecimiento conyugal y familiar. Publicó el libro “El anillo es para siempre,” traducido en diferentes lenguas, y ha dictado veinte conferencias que se encuentran a disposición en CD. Actualmente trabaja en Puebla como consultor familiar y formador de adultos en la fe.

Panel: Family Moments for Evangelization

Description:  Experiences and landmarks in a family’s life often provide an “open door” for evangelization: marriage preparation, adjusting to married life, baptism preparation, family crises, and so on. But how often do we capitalize on these opportunities? Panelists with ministry experience in a variety of these family “moments” will provide insight about how family life ministers can be attentive to opportunities to evangelize families and effectively bring them closer to Christ and the Church.

Panelist: Fr. John Hopkins, LC

President of Our Lady of Bethesda Retreat Center & Center for Family Development, which includes a marriage preparation program (Three to Get Married) and a Newlywed Program; ordained in 1991; licentiate degree in moral theology (Rome, 2004).

Panelist: Ryan & Mary Rose Verret

Co-founder with her husband Ryan of Witness to Love marriage preparation program and co-author with Ryan of “Witness to Love: How to Help the Next Generation Build Marriages that Survive and Thrive”; has been interviewed by EWTN, Catholic News Agency, and more; speaks on topics of marriage, mercy, faith, family and fertility.

Panelist:  Christian & Christine Meert

Christian Meert married to Christine, have five daughters and twelve grandchildren.  They started the Agape Catholic Marriage Preparation in 1999 for the Archdiocese of Denver and launched the online version in 2004. Since then, over 15,000 engaged couples completed the program online. They added an online Baptismal preparation, an online Quinceañera preparation. They are the directors of the office of marriage for the diocese of Colorado Springs.  Check at:


Panelist:  Peg Hensler

Peg was married to her high school sweetheart, Bob Hensler, in August of 1982. They have three grown children and reside in Haddon Township, New Jersey, where they are active members of St. Teresa of Calcutta Parish in the Camden Diocese. Bob is a general practice attorney in Camden County. Bob and Peg serve as a mentor couple in the Camden Diocese, and have been involved in various forms of marriage preparation and marriage enrichment since 1987. They are responsible for marriage preparation in their parish.   Peg is a 1980 graduate of St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA with a BS in Food Marketing, and a 2013 graduate of LaSalle University, Philadelphia, PA, with a Masters in Theological Studies.  Peg is the Associate Director for Marriage Ministries and NFP for the Diocese of Trenton in the Department of Evangelization and Family Life, and has served the diocese since 2004. She currently serves as president of the New Jersey Council of Family Life Directors and Region 3 representative for the National Association of Family Life Ministers.


Panelist:  Art Bennett

Art Bennett is a licensed marriage therapist in Virginia and California and has been the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia since 2010. Catholic Charities operationalizes the social doctrine of the Church to help those most in need and most marginalized. Before that he was a Vice President for International Mental Health with SAIC.  He was also the Founder and Director of the Alpha Omega Catholic Clinics in Maryland and Virginia.  He has thirty years’ experience in the mental health field and is a frequent speaker on marriage, family issues and serving the poor.

Panel: Catholic Social Teaching and the Family

Description:  Marriage and the family are at the heart of Catholic Social Teaching. The human person is social by nature: born into a family and called to form bonds of communion with others. Marriage is a sacrament at the service of others, both one’s own family and the broader community. The health of marriages and families has a direct impact on the health of society. In this panel, experts in Catholic Social Teaching will reflect on the crucial place of the family in the Church’s social doctrine as a whole and what that can mean for ministry.


Panelist:  Dean Will Rainford

 Dr. Will C. Rainford became Dean of the National Catholic School of Social Service at the Catholic University of America in June 2013. His scholarly work focuses on social development, social work education, and poverty in America. Dean Rainford earned his Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley and Master of Social Work at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis.

Panelist:  Dr. Jonathan Reyes

Dr. Jonathan J. Reyes, Executive Director of the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, was educated at the University of Michigan, where he studied European History as a Rackham Fellow.  He earned a Ph.D. in European History at the University of Notre Dame, writing his dissertation on the historical vision of Christopher Dawson.  In 2009, Dr. Reyes became the President/CEO of Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of Denver.   In 2005, Dr. Reyes helped founded the Augustine Institute of Denver, a graduate program devoted to Catholic theological studies and leadership training, and served as its first President.  Dr. Reyes also served as Vice President for ministry and formation for the Fellowship of Catholic University Students and also taught in the History Department at Christendom College, in Front Royal, Virginia where he served two years served as Vice President for Academic Affairs. 

Panelist:  Dr. Jeanne Schindler

Research fellow with the Center for Cultural and Pastoral Research at the JPII Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family; formerly associate professor in the Dept of Humanities at Villanova University; lectured and published on Catholic social thought among other topics.

Panelist:  Dr. Trevor Thompson

Director of Justice and Peace, and Pastoral Ministries, at St. Francis parish in Raleigh, NC; taught English and religion for 15 years; was the director of a soup kitchen and a campus ministry; graduate degree from St. Bonaventure.

Panelist:  Sister Clare Hunter, F.S.E.

A member of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist. She has a bachelor’s degree in Corporate Communication and Media, from Southern Connecticut State University; a Masters in Theological Studies from the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, in Washington, D.C.; a Masters degree in Education Administration from the University of St. Thomas, in Houston, TX, and is certified in the National Catholic Certification Program in Health Care Ethics. Before becoming the Director of the Respect Life Office for the Arlington Diocese, she taught high school and worked in campus ministry. 

Como el V Encuentro está y seguirá impactando al Impulso Misionero de Nuestras Familias / Panel: How the V Encuentro is and will continue to impact the Missionary Impulse of Our Families


  • The focus of the panel is to look at the transforming experience of the V Encuentro Process and the impact it is and will have on millions of Hispanic Latino families, particularly through the lens of its main goal of bringing about personal and pastoral conversion by missionary evangelization, community building and consultation.
• The panel will discuss the findings from the local process of Encuentros in parishes and communities … and how it is impacting youth /young adults and families… and look ahead at the emerging recommendations for ministry for diocesan and regional and national Encuentros for 2018.
• Panelists will also want to take into consideration that the NACFLM Conference will take place on the heels of the Convocation. They will want to discuss how the Convocation gathering/process of equipping and re-energizing missionary disciples to share the Gospel, will impact our Hispanic families and young people – the main focal audience of the V Encuentro Process.

Panelist: Jake Samour

Director Family Life, Wichita, KN. Jake Samour, M.T.S., is the Director for the Office of Marriage and Family Life for the Catholic Diocese of Wichita. Prior to his current position, Jake was the director of the Office of Marriage, Family Life and Natural Family Planning of the Archdiocese of San Antonio for six years. He is originally from El Salvador, and emigrated from there 34 years ago with his family. His background is in engineering, which precedes a personal call to ministry to work with Hispanic youth and young adults. Jake received a master’s degree in theology from the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family Life in Washington, DC and is currently enrolled in a doctor of ministry program at Oblate School of Theology 2015.

Panelist: Alejandro Aguilera-Titus

 Director of the V Encuentro,  Secretariat on Cultural Diversity in the Church.

Panelist:  Mar Muñoz-Visoso

 Mar Munoz-Visoso is the executive director of the Secretariat for Cultural Diversity at the Church of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, where she previously served as associate director of media relations. Before moving to Washington, Mar worked for the Archdiocese of Denver where she held various positions, as editor of the diocesan newspaper El Pueblo Catolico, director of the Hispanic Ministry, founder and executive director of the San Juan Diego Center. Mar has a degree in journalism and a masters degree in pastoral theology. She is married and has three children.

Panelist:  Javier Bustamante

 Director of Cultural Diversity Office, Archdiocese of Washington.

Panelist:  Carla Ferrando

 Associate Director, Family Life, Archdiocese of Washington.