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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.
Fr. John Parks was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Phoenix on June 5, 2010 and has served as parochial vicar of St. Daniel the Prophet and St. Timothy Parishes. He has also served as the chaplain of Notre Dame Preparatory. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from Arizona State University, a Master of Arts in Catholic Thought and Life and a Master of Divinity from Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology. Fr. Parks recently finished a Master of Arts Degree in Educational Leadership at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff. On December of 2016, Fr. Parks was appointed by Bishop Olmsted as the new Vicar of Evangelization for the Diocese of Phoenix. The Vicar of Evangelization is a new position in the Diocese of Phoenix that will provide counsel, advice and assistance to the bishop in the Church's mission of evangelization. The Division of Evangelization includes the Catholic Schools Office, Parish Catechetical Departments (English and Spanish), Marriage and Respect Life and Kino Catechetical Institute. Fr. Parks is also a frequent speaker at Steubenville Youth Conferences and is a regular contributor to catholicbreakfast.com--an online apostolate which seeks to engage and re-engage millennial Catholics. Most importantly, Fr. Parks loves being a priest and is immensely grateful for Jesus’ merciful love for him.
Married 25 years, Damon and Melanie Owens are founders of joytob (joytob.org) and Joy to Be Family. Since 1993, Melanie, full-time homeschooling mother of eight, and Damon, first executive director of the Theology of the Body Institute, have trained over 20,000 couples in marriage, NFP, and Theology of the Body. Melanie earned her BA in Sociology at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and her MSW at the University of California at Berkeley. Certified Speakers for the Theology of the Body Institute, presenters at the 2015 World Meeting of Families and the 2017 USCCB Convocation of Catholic Leaders, Damon and Melanie keep a full international speaking schedule at conferences, seminars, universities, high schools, seminaries, and parishes on the good news of marriage, sexuality, Theology of the Body, Theology of the Family, adoption, and NFP. Damon has published numerous articles, appears regularly on many radio and television programs (EWTN, Catholic Answers, Ave Maria, Relevant Radio, Immaculate Heart Radio, ABC World News Tonight, CBS News, NPR), and has hosted and produced three 13-part television series for EWTN. He is also an accomplished gospel singer honored with a solo during the 1995 NJ Papal Mass at Giants Stadium presided by Pope St. John Paul II. In 2018, Pope Francis honored Damon with the papal Benemerenti Medal in recognition for his service to the Church in support of marriage and family. Damon and Melanie currently live outside Philadelphia with their eight children.
The Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Lincoln, Neb., July 2, 1973. He was installed as the fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix December 20, 2003. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix he served as Bishop of Wichita, Kansas, after being ordained Coadjutor Bishop on April 20, 1999. Before serving in Wichita, he served as the Rector / President of the Pontifical College Josephinum, a Catholic Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. Since 1974, Bishop Olmsted has been a member of the Jesus Caritas fraternity of priests, and thus has been deeply influenced by the witness and wisdom of Charles de Foucauld and by the prayers and encouragement of many brother priests. For 16 years, Bishop Olmsted lived in Rome, Italy, where he obtained a master’s degree in theology, a doctorate in Canon Law, and worked more than nine years in the Secretariat of State of the Holy See. During the nine years of serving in the Holy See, he resided at the Pontifical North American College and assisted seminarians with spiritual direction. Having been reared on a family farm on the Kansas-Nebraska border, he attended a single-room grade school near Oketo, Kansas, and a small rural high school in Summerfield, Kansas. His first contact with Catholic schools came when he entered St. Thomas Seminary College in Denver, Colo., from which he graduated in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy.
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