Arland K. Nichols, PhD (cand.) 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 BA in philosophy from Texas A&M, an MDiv in Theology from University of St. Thomas, and is completing a PhD in bioethics from Regina Apostolorum in Rome. With the generous support of his wife, Cindy, and their eight 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 MA in Marriage and Family Therapy and an MA in Pastoral Ministry from St. Mary’s University, and a Doctor of Ministry from The Catholic University of America. He earned a BA 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, PhD (cand.) serves as Program Director at the St. John Paul II Foundation where he oversees the Foundation's Together in Holiness Formation series. 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 BA in philosophy at Southwestern College (Winfield, Kansas). Joshua attended Franciscan University of Steubenville where he earned his MA 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 PhD 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. 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.
Mary Elise Keller is Assistant Director of Philanthropy at the St. John Paul II Foundation. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sport Management. While there, she was an active member in her sorority, and spent two years playing on the club soccer team. She spent three years working as an administrative assistant to the Texas A&M football coaches, assisting in various operations and recruiting logistics for the football staff. Mary Elise and her husband, Kolby, married in September of 2020, and are new residents to Houston. They plan to be active parishioners at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Memorial. Mary Elise is grateful to work with vibrant staff who share the common mission to perpetuate St. John Paul II’s passion for life and family.
Susie Lopez is Director of Conference Events at the St. John Paul II Foundation where she oversees and supports the conference team as they plan and execute conferences across the country. Susie earned her BS in Kinesiology from Texas A&M University. Prior to joining the St. John Paul II Foundation in 2017, she worked at Baylor College of Medicine in the philanthropy and alumni relations office. Over the years, she has been involved with the Houston chapter of Young Catholic Professionals and is active in her home parish of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Houston. 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.
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.
Sara Dietz is a Conference Coordinator with the St. John Paul II Foundation. She graduated from Texas A&M University, with a BA 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 Ellwanger is a Conference Coordinator at the St. John Paul II Foundation. She graduated from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, TX with a BBA and MBA 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. Erin is a parishioner at St. John the Evangelist in Baytown, TX where she teaches CCE and regularly volunteers with the high school youth. After traveling to Krakow, Poland for World Youth Day 2016, 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.
Michelle McDonald is a Conference Coordinator at the St. John Paul II Foundation. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Georgia and a Master of Science in Human Resource Management from Texas A&M University. She is excited to find a home in Houston and grateful for the opportunity to join the foundation and share her gifts to perpetuate St. John Paul II’s passion for life and family.
Elizabeth Nguyen is Program Coordinator, Business Development and Support for the Together in Holiness Formation Series. She most recently served as Director of Laity, Family and Life for the Diocese of Corpus Christi where she trained facilitating couples to offer their testimonies through marriage preparation workshops and coordinated natural family planning instruction and respect life activities. She has also worked with the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT) as their Communication Specialist and has written articles for the Catholic Medical Association’s quarterly magazine, The Pulse of Catholic Medicine and the Diocese of Corpus Christi’s South Texas Catholic magazine. As a wife, mother, and part-time teacher, she earned her master's degree in Theology Studies (MTS) from the Institute for Pastoral Theology (IPT) program through Ave Maria University in 2012 and also holds a bachelor’s degree in English-Technical Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She and her husband Ben grew up in Wichita, Kansas and have been married for 25 years. They have five children, ranging in age from young adult to teen, and one grandchild born in 2020.
Shelby DeLeon is a Program Coordinator for the St. John Paul II Foundation. She is a graduate from Texas A&M University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Educational Psychology. Prior to joining the St. John Paul II Foundation, she was an elementary school teacher in Houston ISD. Shelby and her husband, Allan, are parishioners of St. John the Evangelist in Baytown where they teach CCE and serve the Youth and Young Adult Ministries. After encountering the life and teachings of St. John Paul II on a pilgrimage to Poland for World Youth Day, Shelby is grateful to join the Foundation and their mission to proclaim the good news of 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, she is grateful for the opportunity to join the Foundation and its mission of promoting the sanctity of life and family, characterized by the life and teachings of St. John Paul II.
Christie Booth is the Accountant 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 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.
Christine Hamlin is Project Coordinator for the St. John Paul II Foundation where she works on a variety of projects to support the philanthropic and business development efforts of the Foundation. Hailing from Southern California, she earned a bachelor’s degree in Literature with a minor in Theatrical Stage Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In her hometown of San Diego, she served as a young adult ministry coordinator at the parish and diocesan levels and worked for four years in marketing & communications at Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation. She is excited and deeply humbled to be called to Houston to serve our Lord and His church through the apostolate of the St. John Paul II Foundation.
Taryn Lockwood is the Marketing and Communications Coordinator at the St. John Paul II Foundation. A native Houstonian, Taryn graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing. She and her husband, Ryan, have three young daughters and recently moved to The Woodlands where they attend Sts. Simon and Jude. In 2017, through a Cana Family Institute Group at Christ the Redeemer, Taryn began studying the teachings of St. John Paul II about God's design for women in their vocation as wives and mothers in their domestic church. She is humbled and excited to answer the call to share her talents to magnify the Good News of life and family, and share the endless beauty and joy in the Catholic Church under the intercession of St. John Paul II.
Dr. Leonora Butau 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 BA in Theology and Religious Studies and an MA in Bioethics and Medical Law from St. Mary’s University, London, and has a PhD in Bioethics from the University of Surrey, (England). Leonora is blessed to be married to Rufaro and to enjoy the gift of their sons, Jesse and Louis. She feels honored to work with the Foundation, especially in its important apostolate to medical professionals and married couples.
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 BA in philosophy from Texas A&M, an MDiv in Theology from University of St. Thomas, and is completing a PhD in bioethics from Regina Apostolorum in Rome. With the generous support of his wife, Cindy, and their eight 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.
Quinn Hebert holds a BA from LSU and a J.D. from Boston College School of Law. Retired, most recently he was CEO of CalDive International until 2015. He and his beloved late wife, Jane, are parents of three adult sons. A parishioner at St. Vincent de Paul, he's active in a number of Catholic organizations including Order of Malta and the Serra Club of Houston.
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.
Todd Dittmann joined Angelo Gordon in 2013 to lead the firm’s energy strategy. He is a Managing Director and a member of the firm’s executive committee. Todd is a seasoned and experienced investment professional who has spent more than 25 years in energy finance with investing and board experience in both public and private companies. His experience includes the closing of approximately 150 debt, equity, M&A, derivative-linked and other energy related transactions, most of which he completed as a principal investor or lead lender. Todd has previously held roles with D.B. Zwirn & Co., Jefferies & Co. and the Chase Manhattan Bank. Todd holds a B.B.A. degree with a concentration in finance and an M.B.A. degree from the University of Texas, Austin and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Sandi Lemming has been a family practice medical doctor in Houston since 1999. She retired in 2020 after 18 years as a partner in Village Family Practice. Sandi holds Bachelor of Science degrees from Texas A&M University and the University of Texas Health Science Center, an MBA - finance from University of North Texas, and a Doctor of Medicine from Baylor College of Medicine. She has previously served on the Board of Directors of the University of St. Thomas and various committees for both Strake Jesuit College Preparatory and Memorial Park Conservancy. It is her hope to help steer and spread the good works of the JP II Foundation, most especially with the Foundation’s Converging Roads initiative. She has been married to Jim Lemming since 1981 and has 3 sons with growing families of their own. Leisure time is spent enjoying family, golfing, reading, and trying new recipes.
Lisa Stewart holds a BA in Speech Communication from Texas A&M University. She and her husband, Mark, have raised seven children and welcome two grandchildren, thus far. Lisa and Mark are one of the principle owners of Stewart Builders, Inc., a family business consisting of several construction related entities, Keystone Concrete Placement being the most notable. Parishioners at Prince of Peace, Lisa and Mark are proud supporters of Catholic education, St. Mary’s seminary, and St. Mary’s Catholic Center in College Station. Additionally, they are active citizens and patriots, supporting numerous conservative causes and wounded military organizations. Lisa’s greatest joy is her faith and her family.
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Medical Director at Texas Children’s Hospital
Physician Assistant at MD Anderson
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Archbishop of Los Angeles
Archbishop of San Antonio
Director of Development for the School of Philosophy, The Catholic University of America
Director of Institutional Relations and Ethicist, The National Catholic Bioethics Center
President Emeritus, The National Catholic Bioethics Center
United States Air Force
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Spiritual Advisor, St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church in Houston, TX
Rector of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Walsingham