Speakers

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Most Rev. Robert J. McClory

Bishop of Gary

Celebrant and Homilist for the opening Mass

Fr. Donald Calloway M.I.C.

Keynote Speaker and Breakout #1

Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, a convert to Catholicism, is a member of the Congregation of Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception. Before his conversion, he was a high school dropout who had been kicked out of a foreign country, institutionalized twice, and thrown in jail multiple times. After his radical conversion, he earned a BA in philosophy and theology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, MDiv and STB degrees from the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., and an STL in Mariology from the International Marian Research Institute in Dayton, Ohio. He leads pilgrimages to Marian Shrines around the world and is the author of 14 books.  His latest best-selling book is Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father. Find out more at: www.fathercalloway.com

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Talks

Keynote: Conversion Story 

Come along as Fr. Calloway takes you on a wild ride through his story of rebellion against all rules and even rejection of his own family, right into the arms of Jesus. 

Breakout #1: The Year of St. Joseph is Over. Now What? 

The year of St. Joseph is over, but the influence and blessings from this great saint are only beginning. Find out what this can mean for you. 

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Talks

Keynote: Hope in Suffering 

Paula went from a professional tennis player to a quadriplegic mother of five children. Listen to her unforgettable and inspiring story full of hope, faith, and courage.

Breakout #1: Empowering Your Womanhood Through the Example of Mother Mary. BILINGUAL

An inspirational yet humorous, multicultural discussion of life as a woman, whether wife, mother, widow, or single, empowered through the example and grace of our Blessed Mother.

Paula Umana

Keynote Speaker and Breakout #1

Paula Umana is a former professional tennis player, a Catholic mother of five children and wife to Dr. Serge Sautré, French chiropractor. After her fifth childbirth, she suddenly became sick due to a nervous system disorder called CIDP which left her a quadriplegic.

After hundreds of prayers, pilgrimages from friends and family, and extreme treatments, Paula was able to start moving. Through her faith, joy from the Holy Spirit, and courage, she progressed from her bed to a wheelchair, then to a walker, and is currently able to walk with the help of miraculous leg devices. All of these milestones were achieved on specific dates that were directly connected with Mary Mother of Jesus, especially the Virgin of Lourdes.

With hope and courage, she surpassed everyone’s expectations. She has persistently pressed on throughout her entire life, something that led her to become the #1 tennis player in her country of origin, Costa Rica, and Central America. With a major in international trade, and a fluency in English, Spanish, and French, Paula has become an international speaker with experience in the U.S. and Central America. 

Paula is constantly reinventing in herself what it means to be handicapped, while dealing with pain and trials, and managing her house, her business, and her children. Being completely paralyzed, she learned to live a life offering her suffering to the Lord for others. This inspired her to write a book, 40 Gifts of Hope: Encouragement in Times of Sickness and Suffering, about managing suffering for the sick. The book is filled with faith and touching stories of people who are ill who found a way out of their darkness. It available in English and Spanish versions.

Sonja Corbitt

Breakout #1 & #2

Sonja, a Catholic author and speaker, erupted on the scene with her explosive bestselling book, Unleashed, where she shared how the Holy Spirit is freeing her from her patterns of toxic relationships, self-medicating habits, painful circumstances, woundedness, and overwhelming desires.

Now she’s everywhere. Her podcast/radio show, Bible Study Evangelista, has over 10k email subscribers and 500 monthly donors; is featured on local stations and networks throughout the country and the Discerning Hearts® website; and is now available on the most popular Catholic app for iPhone and Android, Laudate.

She has produced several multimedia Bible studies, including Unleashed, Fearless, and Exalted. She also created the LOVE the Word Bible study method. Corbitt is a columnist at The Great Adventure Bible Study blog and a contributor to Magnificat. She has written numerous books; all but one have gone on to be bestsellers.

A Carolina native who was raised as a Southern Baptist, Corbitt attended Mitchell College and the Southern Baptist Seminary Extension before converting to Catholicism. She has since served as director of religious education at St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Gallatin, Tennessee, and as executive director of Risen Radio in Lebanon, Tennessee.

She lives in Tennessee with her husband, Bob, and their two sons.

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Talks

Breakout #1 - Just Rest, Receiving God’s Renewing Presence in the Deserts of Your Life 

Rest is not a luxury; it is a spiritual discipline. It is gift. Rest is a promise.

We dispose ourselves to receive the promise of rest through a disciplined desert process common to God’s people from the beginning. The biblical Exodus story is a map through this desert process, showing us the disciplines that offer “dew” – God’s renewing presence in the desert that leads us to the superabundance of rest in thought, emotion, body, and soul.

Breakout #2 - Exalted, The Magnificat, Verse by Verse, How the Power of the Magnificat Can Transform Us

This ancient canticle is the fruit of Mary’s prayer and a model of praise for the Church, as is illustrated in its inclusion in the daily office and at Mass.

Together, verse by verse, we will explore how Mary teaches that each of us is called to be a magnificat, too: to be so fully what we were created to be that our own lives give unique witness to the power of God in the world.

“Let it be done to me ...” Amen. And so, let’s begin.

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Talk

Breakout - The Gift of Living In the Divine Will: The Writings and Life of Luisa Piccarreta Servant of God.

God invites us to return to the order, to the place, and to the purpose for which we were created.

September 18, 1924, Jesus to Luisa:           

“This Living in My Will is the greatest Gift that I want to give to creatures.  My Goodness wants to pour itself out in Love more and more towards My creatures; and now that I have given them everything else – and having nothing more to give them so that I might be loved – I want to give them the Gift of My Will, so that possessing It, they shall Love the great Good that they possess."

Fr. B. Thomas Celso, B.D.V.

Breakout #2

Fr. Celso was born in Newark, New York on May 27, 1950. He entered St. Bernard Seminary in 1974. He did clinical pastoral study in 1976 at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Massachusetts, where he was introduced to the Divine Will. He was ordained to the holy priesthood on March 9, 1979, at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish and worked as an associate pastor at various parishes in the state of New York.

In 1994, the Bishop of Rochester gave Fr. Celso permission to work with the Secretariat of the cause in Trani, Italy for the promotion of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta. In 1994, Fr. Celso was present at the opening of the cause of Luisa on November 20, 1994, on the Solemnity of Christ the King in Trani, Italy. He was asked to help copy the original writings of Luisa Piccarreta in the Secret Archives of the Vatican under the direction of the then Cardinal Ratzinger. In 2005, he attended the closing of the cause of Luisa Piccarreta in which the Diocese of Trani gave its positive evaluation, asking the Vatican for its approval to have Luisa canonized. Many miracles attributed to her are being studied by the Vatican at this time.

Fr. Celso, now a retired priest, gives retreats and days of recollection throughout the United States and Europe focusing on the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta and the Divine Will. Fr. Celso is also on weekly programs on Mary’s Hill, The School of Mary.

Fr. Andrew Summerson and Laura Ieraci 

Breakout #2

Talk

Breakout: Money & Marriage

Money is a point of tension in many marriages and "incompatibility in financial matters" is cited among the leading causes of divorce in the United States. Why? Because money touches on every aspect of our lives: where we live, what we eat, how we raise our children, celebrate the holidays, express love, and the list goes on. And when funds are short or we can't agree on how to manage finances, money can become a stress point, an all-consuming concern that erodes our relationship with our spouse. How can we resolve our tensions over finances, so we can live the marriage we were called to live? In this session, Laura and Father Andrew will share how a married couple can order their finances, from both spiritual and practical perspectives, for a more unified, peace-filled and joyful marriage.

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Fr. Andrew Summerson, S.Th.D., is the administrator of St. Mary Byzantine Catholic Church in Whiting, Indiana. He is also assistant professor of theology at the Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies at the University of Toronto. He has published widely on the Christian East and the Fathers of the Church and has been a guest commentator for Vatican Radio and EWTN.

Laura Ieraci, Ph.L., is a certified financial coach and founder of AVIVA Ministry & Coaching, which offers education and coaching in personal finance to engaged and married couples from a Catholic perspective. She is also an award-winning journalist and communications specialist. She has worked in Catholic print, television and radio, including as a Vatican correspondent. She currently works for ONE, the magazine of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association.

Together, Laura and Fr. Andrew have given biblically based personal finance classes at St. Mary Byzantine Catholic Church since 2018. They have been partners in life and ministry since their marriage in 2013.