Arland K. Nichols, Ph.D. (cand.) is President and Founder of the St. John Paul II Foundation. After a decade of teaching and leadership at a Catholic college preparatory school and an international nonprofit, Arland launched the St. John Paul II Foundation in 2014. Early in his career he became a popular speaker and successful writer while he established the groundwork for the initiatives that would become the St. John Paul II Foundation. He is author, with Rev. John Leies of the forthcoming 4th edition of the Handbook on Critical Life Issues published by the National Catholic Bioethics Center. Arland earned a B.A. in philosophy from Texas A&M, an M.DIV. in Theology from University of St. Thomas, and is completing a Ph.D. in bioethics from Regina Apostolorum in Rome. With the generous support of his wife, Cindy, and their seven children, Arland is blessed to lead the St. John Paul II Foundation as it serves, educates, and supports medical professionals, married couples, and clergy.
Chris Stravitsch is Director of the Legacy Circle and Co-Founder of the St. John Paul II Foundation. He earned an M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy and an M.A. in Pastoral Ministry from St. Mary’s University, and a Doctor of Ministry from The Catholic University of America. He earned a B.A. in Psychology from Texas A&M University. Chris previously served as Director of College Formation at Assumption Seminary. He brings to the Foundation a wealth of experience in Church ministry and the unique ability to identify the most effective ways to evangelize spouses and families.
Joshua Bitting, Ph.D. (cand.) serves as Program Director at the St. John Paul II Foundation where he oversees development of a parish-based marriage enrichment program based on our Together in Holiness conference series and curriculum. Born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, Joshua came into full communion with the Catholic Church on June 22nd, 2003, the Feast of Corpus Christi while completing his B.A. in philosophy at Southwestern College (Winfield, Kansas). Joshua attended Franciscan University of Steubenville where he earned his M.A. in theology. Afterwards, he had the opportunity to study at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (Santa Croce) in Rome, Italy. Since then, he has served the Church in various capacities at both the parish and diocesan levels. Currently, he is completing his Ph.D. in theology and catechetics from the University of Notre Dame, Sydney, Australia. Joshua and his beautiful wife, Amanda, have six children, and enjoy sharing the Gospel of life in their primary vocation as spouses and parents.
Dr. Leonora Butau is Program Director at the St. John Paul II Foundation where she oversees the Together in Holiness conference series and the second phase of the Foundation's successful Converging Roads medical ethics conferences. Leonora moved to Houston from England, where she taught Christian Ethics and Christian Spirituality at St. Mary’s University, London, for eight years, and where she led efforts to empower Catholic couples, educators and young adults in St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. While in London, she also worked for Caritas Social Action Network, the charitable agency of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales. She earned a B.A. in Theology and Religious Studies and an M.A. in Bioethics and Medical Law from St. Mary’s University, London, and has a Ph.D. in Bioethics from the University of Surrey, (England). Leonora is blessed to be married to Rufaro and to enjoy the gift of their son, Jesse. She feels honored to join the Foundation, especially in its important apostolate to medical professionals and married couples.
Dr. Roland Millare, a native Houstonian, serves as the Director of Shepherd’s Heart Program. Additionally, Roland serves as the Chair of the Theology Department at St. John XXIII College Preparatory (Katy, TX). He has been teaching at the school since it opened in 2004. He also serves as an adjunct professor of theology for permanent deacon candidates at St. Mary’s Seminary. He attended St. Francis De Sales K-8th grade and he graduated from St. Thomas High School in 1999. He received a BA in Theology from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. He has a MA in Theological Studies from the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College (Alexandria, VA) and a Licentiate (STL) and Doctorate in Sacred Theology (STD) in Dogmatic Theology (with a specialization in Sacramental Theology) at the Liturgical Institute of the University of St. Mary of the Lake (Mundelein, IL). He has published various theological articles and book reviews for the Adoremus Bulletin, Logos, Antiphon, New Blackfriars, and the Heythrop Journal. Roland enjoys the gift of life and love with his beautiful wife Veronica and their two daughters, Gabriella and Karolina, in Sugar Land.
Martin Matulia is Director of Philanthropy at the St. John Paul II Foundation. Mr. Matulia comes to the St. John Paul II Foundation from St. Thomas High School in Houston, where he served sixteen years as the Director of Campus Ministry. He also recently served on the Board of Directors of Magnificat Houses, Inc. in Houston for five years, and served as the Chairman of the Board for two years. Martin has a Master of Politics from the University of Dallas, and a B.S. with Honors in Political Science from Radford University (Va.). Martin also spent one year with the Order of St. Augustine and studied Graduate Theology at the Washington Theological Union. Martin and his wife Melinda are celebrating 25 years of marriage, and have three sons.
Susie Lopez is a Conference Coordinator and Team Leader at the St. John Paul II Foundation where she coordinates both Converging Roads and Together in Holiness conferences. Susie earned her B.S. in Kinesiology from Texas A&M University. After graduation, she moved to Houston and worked as an Event Associate in the philanthropy and alumni relations office at Baylor College of Medicine. She is actively involved in the Houston chapter of Young Catholic Professionals and a parishioner of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in the Galleria. She is grateful and humbled to have the opportunity to use her gifts and talents to enrich the lives touched by the St. John Paul II Foundation.
Aubrie Miller is a Conference Coordinator at the St. John Paul II Foundation. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in Leadership and minors in Business and Communication. Upon graduation, she became a Sales Manager through the Executive Development Program at Macy's. Aubrie is the Director of Membership for Young Catholic Professionals Houston Chapter and enjoys volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. She is grateful to have the opportunity to work with the St. John Paul II Foundation and to make an impact on families and health care professionals in dioceses across the nation.
Sara Dietz is a Conference Coordinator with the St. John Paul II Foundation. She graduated from Texas A&M University, with a B.A. in history and minors in English and anthropology. During her time in college, she was involved with Aggie Awakening at St. Mary's Catholic Center and worked in the Youth Education Programs department of the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Sara is an enthusiast of St. John Paul II's Theology of the Body, and she and her husband, Trey, are parishioners at St. Theresa in Sugar Land. She is excited to be working with the incredible team at the Foundation to impact spouses, medical professionals, and clergy across the country.
Erin Vallagomesa is a Conference Coordinator at the St. John Paul II Foundation. She graduated from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, TX with a B.B.A. and M.B.A. in marketing and a minor in theology. During her time in college, she worked with the Office of Student Activities at UST, where she coordinated transfer and freshman orientation. After traveling to Krakow, Poland for World Youth Day 2016 and taking a course on St. John Paul II's Theology of the Body at UST, Erin is excited and humbled by the opportunity to join the Foundation and share her gifts to further the mission of proclaiming the good news about life and family.
Amelia Arth is a Conference Coordinator at the St. John Paul II Foundation. She graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville with a Bachelor of Arts in history and theology and a minor in communications. During her time at Franciscan, she worked with the Christian Outreach Office, where she coordinated registration for adult and youth conferences. She has been an active member of the Schoenstatt International Movement since her youth and has a deep passion for building up society through the teachings of the Church. Amelia is thankful and humbled to be an instrument for the continued proclamation of good news about life and family.
Amy Norris is the Administrative Coordinator for the St. John Paul II Foundation where she assists the President and team in support of the overall mission and work of the Foundation. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing and minor in History. She brings experience from various roles in marketing and events, most recently from Houston Country Club. After a pilgrimage to Krakow, Poland for World Youth Day 2016, she is humbled by the opportunity to join the Foundation and dedicate her time to further the mission of the sanctity of life and family that was characterized by the life of St. John Paul II.
Christie Booth is the bookkeeper at the St. John Paul II Foundation. She grew up at St. Francis de Sales and graduated from St. Agnes Academy. Christie went on to attend Texas A&M University where she received a bachelors in business administration and a master’s of science in accounting. Her previous accounting experience includes both time in public accounting and also commercial real estate. After eight years at home with her children, she is excited to now be a part of the team at the St. John Paul II Foundation. She and her husband Ryan have three daughters and are parishioners at St. Thomas More.
Mackenzie Worthing is a Program Coordinator at the St. John Paul II Foundation. During her senior year of college, Mackenzie worked as an intern for the Foundation where she was initially inspired by the mission for life and family. That same year she was blessed to go to World Youth Day in Krakow and encounter the life and teaching of John Paul in a new way. She graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a B.A. in Theology and went on to earn an M.A. in Theology from the Augustine Institute. Though a native Texan, Mackenzie now lives in Omaha, Nebraska, and is grateful to be working for the Foundation at a distance while living out the Good News of marriage with her husband.
Madeline Hill is a Missions Intern with the St. John Paul II Foundation. She is a sophomore at the University of St. Thomas, where she serves as treasurer for Celts for Life and, last winter, she attended the National March for Life in Washington, D.C. Madeline also works in the Office of Institutional Advancement on campus, where she helps with donor and alumni events. Planning to pursue a masters in bioethics, she looks forward to the knowledge she will gain by assisting with and attending a Converging Roads conference. Madeline feels that God continues to work in her life by blessing her with opportunities to pursue her passion, the dignity of life.
John Paul Falcon is a Missions Intern for the St. John Paul II Foundation. He was born and raised in Katy, Texas with his 3 older brothers. John Paul graduated from St. Thomas High School. He is currently studying at the University of Texas at Arlington, where he will be applying for Nursing School this upcoming spring. He plans on becoming a Nurse Practitioner in Pediatric Oncology and wants to work at Texas Children's Hospital in the Houston Medical Center. He is honored to work at the St. John Paul II Foundation due to its dedication to the works of the saint from whom he received his name.
Mary Caprio received a B.A. in nursing from the University of Texas Health Science Center and an M.A. in Nursing from Loyola University. She worked in clinical settings for over 20 years caring for persons with HIV/AIDS, disorders and trauma. She earned an M.A. in Theology from Franciscan University and M.T.S. from Pontifical John Paul II Institute on Marriage and Family with an emphasis in bioethics. Mary is adjunct faculty at University of St. Thomas in both the theology and nursing programs and is a Certified Fertility Care Practitioner for the Creighton Model System. Mary is the Pastoral Associate in charge of evangelization and administration at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, and is a great asset to the team as an Associate Fellow.
Arland Nichols is president and founder of the St. John Paul II Foundation. For nearly a decade Arland taught at a Catholic high school and worked at an international nonprofit. During those years he became a popular speaker, successful writer, and he established the groundwork for launching the St. John Paul II Foundation. Arland earned a B.A. in philosophy from Texas A&M, an M.DIV. in Theology from University of St. Thomas, and is completing a Ph.D. in bioethics from Regina Apostolorum in Rome. With the generous support of his wife, Cindy, and seven children, Arland is blessed to lead the St. John Paul II Foundation as it becomes the foremost Catholic non-profit proclaiming the Good News of life and family.
Chris Stravitsch is Director of the Legacy Circle and co-founder of the St. John Paul II Foundation. He earned an M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy and an M.A. in Pastoral Ministry from St. Mary’s University, and a Doctor of Ministry from The Catholic University of America. He earned a B.A. in Psychology from Texas A&M University. Chris previously served as Director of College Formation at Assumption Seminary. He brings to the Foundation a wealth of experience in Church ministry and the unique ability to identify the most effective ways to evangelize spouses and families.
Preston H. Young is Regional Managing Partner at Stream Realty Partners, a full-service commercial real estate firm also focused in principal activities. Mr. Young also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Free Enterprise Institute and is on the Board of Directors for the Business Ethics Forum. He is involved in a number of other civic and charitable organizations including the 12th Man Foundation’s Champions Council, Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture, and The Center for Cultural Renewal. He and his wife, Amber, have three children and are parishioners at St. John Vianney Parish in Houston.
Ray Frierson is managing partner of Frierson, Sola, Simonton, Kutac, PLLC, a full service CPA firm in Houston and is president of Greenbriar Financial, a branch office of LPL Financial. He is a graduate of the University of Texas’ McCombs School of Business. Ray is married to Theresa and they have three grown children. They are parishioners of St. Anne's Parish in Houston, Texas.
Will Cravens is Executive Vice President of the Scanlan Foundation. Previously, he served as President of Jerdon Enterprise, LP a civil engineering general contractor and privately held company in Houston. He is active in the Serra Club of Houston where he is immediate past president and he is a trustee of the Scanlan Foundation. Will is married to Janet, and they have three children, James, Mary and Stephen. They are members of St. Michael’s Parish in Houston, Texas.
Patrick J. McCarthy is President of Magna Operating, an independent oil and gas exploration company in Houston. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a member of the Houston Chapter of Legatus and is a Trustee of Western Academy, an independent liberal arts grade school for boys on the west side of Houston. He and his wife, Vickie, have five children.
Nancy Gold is a Corporate Reserves Advisor at Murphy Oil. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Petroleum Engineering and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, both from Texas A&M University. She coordinates the Women's Programs at Holy Cross Chapel, serves on the Board for Murray Hill Institute-Texas, facilitates ENDOW (Educating on the Nature and Dignity of Women) Catholic Women Studies, and works as a Commissioner for the Houston Women's Soccer Association. Nancy is a parishioner of All Saints Catholic Community in Houston, Texas.
Patrick Draughon is an Associate Professor of Practice at Texas A&M University, where he teaches undergraduate engineering. Previously, Patrick had a long and distinguished career in the oil and gas industry and worked at many locations both globally and domestically. Patrick has been an active Catholic layperson as Pastoral Council Chair in two foreign parishes and with his wife, Valerie, was a founding family of St. John XXIII Catholic High School in Katy, Texas. Patrick and Valerie have four children and live in College Station, Texas.
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