"I am pleased to welcome this marriage initiative into the archdiocese. My hope is that spouses from across the archdiocese will be blessed and strengthened in their noble vocation by participating in this event."
Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston
Patty Schneier is a Catholic author and speaker from the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Since 2003, she has been inspiring Catholics to reignite their faith. Her book, "Love Letters From Mom on What Matters Most," is a must-read for parents who want to pass the faith on to their children. She hosts a weekly radio show to promote holy vocations, entitled "The Pearl of Great Price" (heard on Covenant Network.) Patty has been a guest on EWTN as well as numerous Catholic radio programs. She received the 2015 "St. Paul Woman of the Year" Award and the "Archbishop Robert J. Carlson Excellence in Communications" Award for her work in evangelization. She and her husband Larry have been married for 29 years; their oldest son was recently ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of St. Louis.
Father Mitch Pacwa, S.J. received his B.A. in Philosophy and Theology from the University of Detroit, summa cum laude. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1976 with the Society of Jesus, as a Master of Divinity and S.T.B. from the Jesuit School of Theology of Loyola University, magna cum laude. At Vanderbilt University, he received his Master of Arts as well as his Ph.D. in Old Testament. He is best known for his appearances on EWTN for over the last thirty years. Fr. Pacwa is a best-selling Catholic author and has written numerous books on a variety of topics about the Scripture and our Catholic Faith to continue to teach us and generations to come. As we know, since the 1960's the Catholic church has lost several generations of baptized Catholics due to a lack of knowledge of their Catholic Faith. But since the 1980's there has been efforts to address the lack of faith in our young adults: Theology on Tap, Cardinal Newman Society, Fellowship of Catholic University and College Students and Young Catholic Professionals to name a few known efforts. Father's mission is to offer younger adults the opportunity to talk with him in informal, smaller venues. He wants to listen to, support, and strengthen the next generation of Catholics as they strive to live their Faith in today's culture. In 2017, Father extended his teaching mission by embarking on a new 'Legacy of Faith' Initiative. This is a specific effort to reach younger Catholics in answering their questions and concerns as living as Catholics in the 21st century.
Mini Vettical, MD is a wife, mother of five children and has given up her career as Internist and Assistant Professor at Baylor College of Medicine to raise her children.
Helen Tschoepe has been married to Phil for 37 years, and they have 4 grown children, all happily married, and 6 grandchildren. When her youngest child started kindergarten, she returned to teaching at St. Michael Catholic School, where she taught 2nd grade for 19 years and then became the Religion Resource Teacher. Helen also helps with all the Sacramental preparation at St. Michael’s and teaches twice a month for Pre-K3 through 5th grade.
Preston H. Young is Regional Managing Partner at Stream Realty Partners. Mr. Young also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Free Enterprise Institute and is on the Board of Directors for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, the Business Ethics Forum and Western Academy. At Texas A&M University, Mr. Young serves as an Advisory Board Member for Mays Business School and is a member of the 12th Man Foundation’s Champions Council. He and his wife, Amber, have three children and are parishioners at St. John Vianney Parish in Houston.
Dr. Chris Stravitsch is Co-founder of the St. John Paul II Foundation and Chairman of the Board. He has a passion for creating new ministries that meet today's most pressing needs, especially the pastoral needs of couples and families. Dr. Stravitsch earned a Doctor of Ministry from The Catholic University of America, Washington DC, where he focused his research on the spiritual formation of spouses and families. He earned a dual degree in Pastoral Counseling from St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas, which consisted of an M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy and M.A. in Pastoral Ministry, and he earned a B.A. in Psychology from Texas A&M University. Dr. Stravitsch is the President and Founder of Rejoice Counseling Apostolate, an apostolate which serves parishes by providing onsite Catholic counseling services. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Dr. Stravitsch and his wife, Sarah, reside in Katy, Texas, with their five children.
Gabriela Karaszewski, M.S., M.A. is currently the Director of the Office of Young Adults & Campus Ministry at the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Obtained a M.A. in Pastoral Studies from University of St. Thomas and Master of Science from University of Washington. Serves as member of the National Advisory Team for Young Adult Ministry for the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth at the USCCB. Previously was the Director of Faith Formation for 10 years at a parish in Texas. Originally from Mexico, married to a Polish man and they have two daughters.
Pat has been married for 7 years and has three children; he works in financial services. His home parish is St. Bartholomew in Katy. Pat and his wife, Joanna, are self-proclaimed marriage enthusiasts. They were speakers for the Chicago Archdiocesan marriage preparatory program, they have been featured at Theology on Tap, and they remain involved in marriage prep ministry.
Matthew David Watson is the Upper School Head at Aristoi Classical Academy, a K-12 charter school in Katy, TX. He received his B.A. in History from George Fox University, summa cum laude. Mr. Watson has worked in private and public K-12 education since 2003, along the way earning an M.A. in Early American History from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He and his wife, Jenny, have five children and are parishioners at Saint Bartholomew the Apostle Catholic Church in Katy, where they serve in the marriage preparation ministry.
Originally from Chicago, Annamarie Omanga has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education. She began her career in the middle school classroom and then spent 6 years directing a tutor/mentor program for inner city youth in Chicago. Annamarie then took her teaching skills to the business arena, where she started in training and development and then enjoyed a career in Human Resources with Cap Gemini America and AIG. Annamarie has been married to Billy Omanga for fourteen years and is at home full time raising two daughters and two sons. The Omangas are parishioners at St. John Vianney Parish in Houston.
1177 W Loop South, Ste. 940
Houston, TX 77027
P.O. Box 5927
Katy, TX 77491