PN1 – Children and Moral Questions
Facilitator: Leila Miller
Leila Miller is a Catholic wife and mother. She and her husband Dean have eight children (ages 10 to 28) and 10 grandchildren. Leila was a poorly-catechized Catholic who almost left the Church before her reversion in her twenties. Since then, she has taught the Faith for 25 years. Her first blog, the popular Little Catholic Bubble, ran for eight years, and her books include Made This Way: How to Prepare Kids to Face Today’s Tough Moral Issues (co-authored with Trent Horn of Catholic Answers); Primal Loss: The Now-Adult Children of Divorce Speak; Raising Chaste Catholic Men; and Impossible Marriages Redeemed: They Didn’t End the Story in the Middle. Leila has been featured on Catholic and secular print media, radio, and television. Leila’s current blog can be found at LeilaMiller.net. She and her family live in Phoenix, AZ.
PN2 – Communal Grief & COVID-19
Facilitators: John and Sandy O’Shaughnessy
John and Sandy O’Shaughnessy are the co-founders of Good Mourning Ministry. Both experienced the depths of grief and transformation through mourning.
John is a Certified Grief Counselor (CP-C) and published author of his own riveting true story of amazing love, to the dead end of grief and a return to hope. The Greatest Gift- A Return to Hope was published in 2007 and took John out of the corporate world into his life’s mission, supporting the bereaved. He volunteered and worked for seven years at a non-profit bereavement support organization, where he was a director of fund development, grief group facilitator, workshop speaker, and grant writer and was on the board of directors for three years. John’s first novel entitled Encounter was published in 2012. It is a story of a young man’s extraordinary encounter, somewhere between this life and the next, with a mother whom he thought he lost forever, but somehow found again. John and Sandy collaborated on two books: a grief journal and The Seven Intentions of Mourning. All books are available on their website.
Sandy is Director of Religious Education at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish and holds a master’s degree in Pastoral Ministry/ Bereavement. She feels called to minister to those who mourn. Sandy lost her mother in 1999, months after being paralyzed in a car accident. Her husband, David, died a year later. She became an only parent to two young children. In 2012 and 2013, both her father and father-in-law passed away.
Together, John and Sandy have four children, Eric, Collin, Morgan, and Ryan, and granddaughter Claire Ann. Our Lady of Good Counsel in Plymouth, Michigan is their home parish.
About Good Mourning Ministry – Founded in 2011, Good Mourning Ministry is a Catholic Bereavement Apostolate serving the U.S. and Canada. Sandy and John have facilitated about 60 “Grieving with Great Hope” workshops. Their DVD of this workshop has helped thousands of people grieve with great hope and was placed on the FORMED.org platform in 2019. This workshop is prayerful, practical, and personal and has been a great resource to over 100 Catholic parishes. But the harvest is plentiful, the laborers are few. The need is great within the Catholic community for this robust grief support program. They would enjoy the opportunity to partner with more parishes across the U.S. and Canada. Just before COVID hit, they were about to begin a new DVD called MOURN. This DVD was and hopefully will be one day an opportunity to address the needs of the Spanish speaking community. They are seeking sponsors for this project. Website: www.goodmourningministry.net
PN3 – Divorce Ministry
Drawing Deep Family Healing out of Divorce – Sadly, divorce in our culture and in the Church is not going away anytime soon. Learn how parishes either help or hurt families in crisis and how to provide a powerful healing ministry.
Facilitator: Rose Sweet
Rose Sweet is a respected Catholic author, speaker, and life coach. A leader in the field, her work with the separated, divorced, and remarried spans thirty years, numerous books, and the acclaimed 12-week video series, “Surviving Divorce,” in parishes worldwide.
PN4 – Domestic Abuse
Facilitator: Sharon O’Brien
Sharon O’Brien, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Director of Catholics For Family Peace Education and Research Initiative (CFFP), is an educator, author, and international presenter on the issue of the Catholic response to domestic abuse. For ten years, CFFP has collaborated with fellow Catholics who are dedicated to sharing the Church teaching that family relationships are meant to be based on safety and peace, but when that is not happening there is a path to peace. Dr. O’Brien extends her Catholic work by intentionally working with the interfaith community such as Battered Womens’ Justice Project and the National Resource Center of Domestic Violence.
PN5 – Healing for Children of Divorce
Facilitator: Lynn Kapusinski
Lynn Cassella-Kapusinski, LCPC, NCC, is a licensed clinical professional counselor, pastoral counselor, and a leading figure in Catholic pastoral care of children from divorced or separated families. As President and Founder of the Faith Journeys Foundation, Inc., she works with parishes and dioceses to offer pastoral care programs to facilitate children’s healing in a Catholic context. Lynn is also a child of divorce who has been happily married for nearly two decades and, as such, serves as a beacon of hope for these families. Her work has been recognized by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family, the Knights of Columbus, and many dioceses. She has appeared on EWTN and Relevant Radio and speaks at conferences around the country.
PN6 – ENGLISH – Hispanics and NACFLM
Hispanic Representation Within NACFLM: Follow Up To Dr. Ospino’s Presentation
NACFLM requested that an Ad Hoc Committee assemble to discern and make recommendations to address the growing need for Family Life Ministry with Hispanics. In light of the V Encuentro process, which culminated with the National V Encuentro gathering in Dallas, TX in September 2018, together with the Proceedings and Conclusions document released this past September 2019, the members of the Ad Hoc Committee recommended to the Board of representatives of NACFLM the creation of a new Federation for Family Life Ministry with Hispanics (FFLMH) – Federación para la Pastoral de Vida Familiar con Hispanos. Jake will offer an overview of the process and plans for the future in order to provoke dialogue and reflection from the audience.
Facilitator: Jake Samour
Jake is the Director for the Office of Marriage and Family Life in the Diocese of Wichita, KS. He has over 25 years of ministry experience in the Catholic Church in a variety of fields. He is originally from El Salvador and the oldest of 12 children. His parents were married by St. Archbishop Oscar Romero. Due to the civil war, he immigrated with his family to the U.S. over 40 years ago. In 2005, he received a master’s degree in theology from the John Paul II Institute on Marriage and Family and is currently a Doctor of Ministry Candidate at Oblate School of Theology, San Antonio, TX. Jake and his wife Ramie have been married 15 years and have 6 children.
Jacobo (Jake) es el Director de la Oficina de la Pastoral para Matrimonios y Vida Familiar en la Diócesis de Wichita, Kansas. Jake tiene más de 25 años de experiencia pastoral en la Iglesia. Nació en El Salvador y es el mayor de 12 hijos. San Oscar Romero oficio el matrimonio de los padres de Jake. Debido a la guerra civil en su país, Jake inmigró a los Estados Unidos con su familia hace más de 40 años. En el 2005, Jake obtuvo una maestría en teología del Instituto Juan Pablo II sobre Estudios de Matrimonio y Familia, donde conoció a su esposa Ramie. Jake es candidato para recibir su Doctorado con la Escuela de Teología de los Oblatos en San Antonio, Texas. Él y su esposa Ramie tienen 15 años de casados y 6 hijos.
PN7 – Homeschooling
Homeschooling During A Pandemic
Facilitator: Christina Perez
Christina Perez is the Administrative Manager and Registrar at Our Lady of Victory Homeschool. After graduating from OLVS, she attended St. Mary’s College and earned her Associates in Liberal Arts and recently completed her Bachelors in Organizational Sciences from the University of Idaho. For the past 13 years, Christina has counseled hundreds (if not thousands!) of homeschool students, parents, and educators across the U.S. and Canada as well as South America, Australia, New Zealand, and India. She has also represented Our Lady of Victory Homeschool at several IHM Conferences across the US.
As a former homeschool student herself and alumna of OLVS, she understands firsthand both the challenges and incredible opportunities afforded by homeschooling and loves to share her experience with others. Her favorite part of the job is empowering parents to realize their potential to educate their children successfully and hearing students’ success stories.
PN8 – Marriage Preparation for Adult Children of Divorce
Facilitator: Dr. Dan Meola
Dr. Daniel Meola earned his Ph.D. in Theology of Marriage and Family from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Washington, D.C. In 2018, he and his wife Bethany founded Life-Giving Wounds ministry to bring Christ’s healing to young adults and adults whose parents have divorced or separated. As a core part of this healing, it aims to help people make a life-long gift of love in marriage and strengthen existing marriages. In this capacity and in previous work, they have accompanied hundreds of people with their relational wounds and know very intimately the challenges and hope of healing. He and his wife Bethany have been married since 2011 and live in Bowie, MD, with their daughters Zelie-Louise and Grace. They are members of Teams of Our Lady, an international marriage apostolate.
PN9 – Mental Health Ministry
Facilitator: Deacon Ed Shoener
Ed Shoener was ordained a permanent deacon in 2004 and serves at St. Peter’s Cathedral in the Diocese of Scranton. Shoener is a founding member of the Association of Catholic Mental Health Ministers and the Catholic Institute of Mental Health Ministry at the University of San Diego and the Scranton Mental Health Ministry. He serves on the Council on Mental Illness of the National Catholic Partnership on Disability and on the Board of Pathways to Promise. He earned a graduate certificate in spiritual direction from the Aquinas Institute of Theology. Shoener’s family and friends founded The Katie Foundation after his daughter, Kathleen, died by suicide in 2016. Katie’s obituary went viral because it spoke to the needs and concerns of people who live with mental illness. He lives with his family in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
PN10 – Ministry to the Newly Married
Ministry to the Newly Married – Christian will discuss a mentoring program for the first 5 years of marriage for couples married in the Catholic Church. The goals of such a program are to foster the development of relationship skills, to broaden their understanding of each other and of the living out of the sacrament of marriage, and to anchor the newly married couple in parish life after their wedding.
Facilitator: Christian Meert
Christian Meert has been married to Christine since 1977. He has five daughters and 13 grandchildren. Christian is the co-founder, with Christine, of CatholicMarriagePrep.com, the first online Catholic Marriage Preparation, launched in 2004. He is also the co-director with Christine of the office of marriage and family life for the Diocese of Colorado Springs since 2005. Christian has offered presentations, in person and via video-conference, in many U.S. dioceses, the UK, and France, on TOB and marriage in general.
PN11 – Parents And The Sacrament of Initiation
Family and Sacrament of Initiation – Parents have, by nature and by faith, the commitment to initiate children into our universal vocation: to Love. This commitment is reinforced by our promises at the moment of marriage and at our children’s baptism. Let’s explore what it means in our daily life as parents and ministers in Family Life Ministry.
Facilitator: Dr. Dora Tobar
Dr. Dora Tobar is a ative of Colombia, married for 22 years, and mother of two sons. She earned her Doctorate in Dogmatic Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Roma. She currently serves as Director for Family Life and Hispanic Ministry Office at the Diocese of Lafayette in Indiana. Dr. Tobar has authored articles and materials for youth and parents on formation to the mystery of Love, serves as editor in chief of the USCCB website www.portumatrimonio.org, and is a public speaker at national and international levels.
PN12 – Parenting: Screen Time
Taming Technology: Managing Screen Time – How do we help parents form their children in the faith when screens bombard our children with distraction and doubt? Learn how to equip parents to 1) Make space for God in their home; 2) Teach their children about repentance and conversion; 3) Teach their children they are a child of God; and 4) Build a community that supports faith in their family.
Facilitator: Deacon Eric Paige
Deacon Eric Paige directs the Archdiocese of Seattle’s Marriage, Family Life and Formation Department where he supports the ministry of strengthening marriages and families as a way for all people to grow in their relationship with Jesus through the Church. Deacon Eric also writes for Northwest Catholic and serves as Human Formation Coordinator for the Archdiocese of Seattle’s Deacon Formation program. He lives in Sumner, WA with his wife and daughters.
Pornography (Viable Strategies For Addressing Pornography On The Parish And Diocesan Levels) – The issue of pornography and its deep and lasting effects on individuals, families, and society as a whole are truly overwhelming. It can make us feel tempted to discouragement and even despair when we are faced with how we can possibly make any headway in addressing these dynamics in our ministry roles. This discussion session will look to address the modern reality of the effects of pornography and present for discussion both strategies that have proven effective and pitfalls that can cause us to waste time and energy.
Facilitator: David Dawson
David Dawson is the husband of Kate Dawson and father of eight beautiful children. He is currently the Director of the Office of Parish Support for the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux and recently served as the Director of the Office of Marriage and Family Life for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. He speaks nationally with a particular focus on faith in marriage and is responsible for the establishment in the U.S. of the Polish-born Domestic Church movement.
PN14 – Promoting Virtue in Youth
Facilitator: Lindsay Fay
Lindsay Fay works as a Mission Team Manager for The Culture Project International where she focuses on Training, Formation, and Outreach Curriculum for the organization. She met The Culture Project after a short time working for the Theology of the Body Institute in Philadelphia where she is currently in pursuit of certification. She grew up in Southern California and is a 2015 graduate of Santa Clara University. Her greatest ministry passion lies in sharing the messages of chastity and human dignity with youth and young adult audiences and has spoken to thousands of young people on these topics over the last five years working for the mission.
PN15 – Racism
Facilitator: Archbishop William E. Lori
William Edward Lori 16th Archbishop of Baltimore, appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in March 2012, and ordained May 16, 2012. Archbishop Lori is chancellor and chairman of the board of St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, chancellor of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, and past chairman of the board of trustees of The Catholic University of America.
Archbishop Lori is the former chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine and the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty. He currently serves as a member of the Administrative Committee, the Priorities and Plans Committee, the Committee on Pro-Life Activities and the Promotion and Defense of Marriage Committee. He serves as a consultant to the Committee on Doctrine, the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism and the Committee for Religious Liberty.
In February 2018, he released “The Enduring Power of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Principles of Nonviolence: A Pastoral Reflection” to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the civil rights leader. He also hosted an interfaith prayer service in April 2018 at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen to mark the anniversary.
In January 2019, Archbishop Lori released “The Journey to Racial Justice: Repentance, Healing and Action,” acknowledging sins of racism within the Church in the past and present, and suggesting concrete measures to combat racism and promote racial justice.
PN16 – Spiritual Self-Care
Sustaining Your Own Spiritual Health – While focusing on yourself may seem overly indulgent or impossible in the midst of hectic ministry life, Jesus taught important lessons of self-care through his own example. Taking time to pray and to rest are essential for ministering to others.
Facilitator: Socorro Truchan
Socorro Truchan is humbled to be representing Region VI on the Board of Directors of NACFLM. She works for the Diocese of Kalamazoo since November 2013, as the Associate Director for Parish Life and Lay Leadership – Domestic Church. During this time she has worked diligently, reaching out to and accompanying individuals and families in all kinds of situations and social levels; forming caring disciples in marriage and family parish ministry, utilizing all media avenues in English and Spanish; as well as personal one-on-one and family group conversations in parishes, apostolic movements, and area organizations, to promote sound family ministry – as Ecclesia domestica: Taking Family, Marriage and Parenting Seriously and Faithfully. She is a member of various organizations and committees where she offers her talents for bringing God’s love and the Gospel to all the corners of the world.