THIRST 2013: Oct. 25-27, 2013

Keynote Speakers

Timothy Cardinal Dolan

CardinalDolan OfficialTimothy Michael Dolan is the oldest of five children born to Robert and Shirley Dolan. After elementary education at Holy Infant Grade School in Ballwin, Mo., and seminary formation in St. Louis and at the North American College in Rome, he was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of St. Louis in 1976.  His priestly assignments include service in three parishes, graduate studies leading to a doctorate in Church history at The Catholic University of America, secretary to the Apostolic Nuncio in Washington, and a return to Rome as rector of the North American College. In 2001, he was ordained auxiliary bishop of his home archdiocese of St. Louis, then nominated Archbishop of Milwaukee by Pope John Paul II in 2002. Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Archbishop of New York in 2009.  His national appointments include Chairman of the Board of Catholic Relief Services and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Pope Benedict XVI elevated him to the College of Cardinals in 2012.

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Dr. Scott Hahn

ScottHahnDr. Scott Hahn is the author/editor of over forty books, including best-selling titles like Rome Sweet Home, The Lamb's Supper, Hail Holy Queen and A Father Who Keeps His Promises. An exceptionally popular speaker and teacher, Dr. Scott Hahn has delivered thousands of popular talks and academic lectures, nationally and internationally, on a wide range of topics related to Scripture, theology and the Catholic faith. Scott graduated from Grove City College in 1979 with his BA in theology, philosophy and economics (magna cum laude). He graduated from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 1982 with his M.Div (summa cum laude). Scott received his Ph.D. in Theology from Marquette University in 1995 (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa). He has 10 years of youth and pastoral ministry experience in Protestant congregations in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Massachusetts, Kansas and Virginia (1975-85), and is a former Professor of Theology at the Dominion Theological Institute (Dominion, Va., now Chesapeake Theological Seminary). He was ordained in 1982 at Trinity Presbyterian Church (Fairfax, Va.). He entered the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil, 1986. He is a professor at Franciscan University in Steubenville where he has taught since 1990.

Scott and his wife Kimberly live in Steubenville, Ohio and have six children and seven grandchildren. 

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Dr. Margarett A. Schlientz

Margarett SchlientzDr. Margarett A. Schlientz has masters degrees in theology (Marquette University), spirituality (Creighton University) and psychiatric nursing (University of Maryland) and a doctorate in psychiatric nursing (University of Pittsburgh). In her professional career as a university administrator and teacher at Marquette University, she has developed the integration of the psychological and spiritual relationship necessary for human growth and development.

With her professional expertise she works as a national consultant and agent of change within the internal culture of the health care system. Because of the value integration for human growth, she has consulted with numerous religious communities and dioceses. Presently, in addition to her work with health care systems, she is the assistant director at the Institute for Priestly Formation at Creighton University where she teaches and ministers to diocesan seminarians in an intensive ten-week spiritual renewal program each summer.

Committed to the ministry of healing, she has taught numerous workshops throughout the world aiding clergy and laity in the ministry of healing and deliverance. Presently, through her work with the Institute of Priestly Formation, she trains diocesan priests in a three-year program in spiritual direction integrating the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola.

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Dr. Edward Sri

Ted SriDr. Edward Sri is a nationally-known, dynamic Catholic speaker who appears regularly on EWTN.  He is the author of several Catholic best-selling books, including A Biblical Walk through the Mass: Understanding What We Say and Do in the Liturgy (Ascension press); The New Rosary in Scripture: Biblical Insights for Praying the 20 Mysteries (Servant) and Men, Women and the Mystery of Love: Practical Insights on John Paul II’s Love and Responsibility (Servant).

Edward is a founding leader with Curtis Martin of FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) and the general editor of
 Opening the Word, a journey through the Sunday Mass readings as well as Symbolon, a new RCIA curriculum. He currently serves as chancellor and professor of theology and Scripture at the Augustine Institute Master’s program in Denver, Colo. He also teaches as a visiting professor at Benedictine College and leads multiple pilgrimages to Rome for lay people each year. Edward holds a doctorate from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. He resides with his wife Elizabeth and their six children in Littleton, Colo.

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Msgr. James Shea

Msgr. SheaThe oldest of eight children, Monsignor Shea grew up on a dairy and grain farm near Hazelton, North Dakota. He began his undergraduate work at Jamestown College, majoring in English and history. He then entered the seminary for the Diocese of Bismarck, earning a bachelor’s degree and a pontifical master’s degree (licentiate) in philosophyat the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He studied classical Greek at the University of Texas at Austin and continued at the Vatican’s North American College, studying theology at the Gregorian and Lateran universities in Rome. He has studied management at the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business and is also an alumnus of the Institutes for Higher Education at the Graduate School of Education, Harvard University.

Following his ordination to the priesthood in 2002, he was an associate pastor in Bismarck and Mandan while serving as the chaplain and an instructor at Saint Mary’s Central High School. He then served as pastor in Killdeer and Halliday while teaching at Trinity High School in Dickinson. Deeply committed to the education and formation of young people, he has been an inspirational teacher and mentor for many students. Monsignor Shea was inaugurated in 2009 as the sixth president of the University of Mary, and at the age of 34, became the youngest college or university president in the United States.

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Breakout Session Speakers

Fr. Scott Traynor

Fr. Scott Traynor1

Fr. Scott Traynor, J.C.L., is a priest of the Diocese of Sioux Falls in South Dakota.  He is presently preparing to become the next rector of St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver.  He received his STB from the Pontifical Gregorian University and his JCL from Catholic University of America.  Since his ordination in June of 2000, Father Scott has served as a pastor, a college chaplain, a seminary formator, and as a judge for the Sioux Falls marriage tribunal.  Father Scott is a teacher, spiritual director and program facilitator for several initiatives of the Institute for Priestly Formation in Omaha, Nebraska.  He is an experienced retreat master and spiritual director for priests, seminarians and lay people alike.  He loves to help people learn how to pray—to cultivate a real, effective and deeply intimate relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

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Peter Herbeck

Peter Herbeck1Peter Herbeck is the vice president and director of missions for Renewal Ministries. Peter oversees the work of lay mission teams throughout the world who work to equip Catholic lay people, bishops, priests and religious to respond to Blessed John Paul II's call for a new evangelization. He has traveled extensively in the U.S., Canada, Africa and Eastern Europe for the past 30 years, assisting and training local churches in proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ and ministering through the exercise of spiritual gifts. Peter is the co-host of the weekly television show The Choices We Face and the host of the daily radio show Fire on the Earth. Peter also is a co-host on Crossing the Goal, a popular show for men broadcast weekly on EWTN.

He is a frequent conference speaker and the author of books and audio tapes about discipleship and life in the Spirit. He has authored a book entitled When the Spirit Comes in Power and co-authored When the Spirit Speaks, Touched by God's Word with his wife Debbie.

Peter holds a BA in philosophy from St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minn. and an MA in theology from Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, Mich.

Peter and his wife Debbie have four children, ages 18 to 25, and are members of Christ the King parish in Ann Arbor, Mich.

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Debbie Herbeck

Debbie HerbeckDebbie Herbeck has worked extensively in youth and women’s ministry for the past thirty years, doing evangelism on university campuses, speaking at conferences and retreats, directing Pine Hills youth camp, leading mission trips, and mentoring high school and college-aged women. For 8 years she led a weekly Bible study for over 200 women and is currently the director of the Renewal Ministries School of Catholic Bible Study.

Debbie is the newsletter editor for Renewal Ministries and has written articles for New Covenant, Pastoral Renewal, Credo, and Catholic Faith and Family. She and her husband Peter have co-authored a book entitled, When the Spirit Speaks, Touched by God’s Word and has written Safely Through the Storm, 120 Reflections on Hope and Firmly on the Rock, 120 Reflections on Faith. The Herbecks live in Ann Arbor, Mich. and are the parents of four children, ages 18-25.

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Fr. Nathan Cromly, CSJ

Fr. Nathan Cromly1Originally from Toledo, Ohio, Father Nathan Cromly is a member of the Community of St. John.  Having done ministry in a variety of venues, from preaching to gymnasiums full of teens to teaching Philosophy to the Brothers and Sisters of his Community, Father Nathan currently serves as Prior of the Brothers in Laredo, Texas. where he is also responsible for a multitude of ministries.  Among his many programs, he is the founder of the Eagle Eye Summer Institutes,  Eagle Eye  Retreats, the Eagle Eye School of Evangelization, the Marian Faith Network, the Ecclesia Institute for a New Evangelization, and the annual Saint John Summer Conference for young adults. Father studied in France for five years, and traveled extensively in Europe and North America, preaching and teaching. Besides finishing a book to promote the DeMontfort consecration, he has regularly hosted radio series on RadioMaria, has been a guest on EWTN’s Life on the Rock, Focus TV, and is a member of the Apostolate for Family Consecration’s teaching faculty, and an adjunct professor at the University of Mary. He is currently pursuing a Masters in Biblical Studies from John Paul the Great Catholic University. 

Here are some of his websites:;;;

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Jennifer Fulwiler

Jennifer Fulwiler1Jennifer Fulwiler is a writer, speaker, and mother of six from Austin, Texas. She’s a blogger for the National Catholic Register, and a regular guest on the Relevant Radio and EWTN radio networks. She has appeared on the EWTN television shows The Journey Home, The Choices We Face, and Life on the Rock, and has also been a guest on Fox News. Her personal blog,, recent won Best Written Blog, Most Spiritual Blog, Best Blog by a Woman, and People’s Choice Blog in the Catholic New Media Awards. She has written a memoir about her conversion from atheism to Catholicism that will be published soon.

To find out more about Jennifer visit:

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Sisters of Life - Sr. Bethany Madonna

Sr. Bethany1
The Sisters of Life are consecrated to protect and enhance a sense of the sacredness of human life.

Immersed in contemplative Eucharistic prayer, within a vibrant community life, the Sisters act in imitation of the Blessed Mother, bringing the consoling presence of Jesus Christ, conceived beneath their hearts to every person they meet, especially those whose lives are hidden, weak or wounded.

Their missions include caring for vulnerable pregnant women and their unborn children; inviting those wounded by abortion into the healing mercy of Jesus; fostering a Culture of Life through evangelization; retreat works; and upholding the beauty of marriage and family life.

Sr. Bethany Madonna entered the Sisters of Life in 2007.  After professing her first vows in 2010, she served the community by assisting young women in the discernment of their vocation. Currently, she serves in the Holy Respite Mission, where pregnant women are invited to live in the convent as guests.

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Apostles of the Interior Life

Apostles of the Interior Life1The Apostles of the Interior Life are a community of consecrated women founde
d in1990 by Fr. Salvatore Scorza, a priest of the diocese of Rome, with a male branch of ordained priests founded later in 2000.  The community was formed in response to an ever-increasing need of helping modern man to know Jesus Christ—the Truth who sets the human being free.  Having a solid formation and education in philosophy and theology from various pontifical universities and a devout life of prayer, the Apostles go wherever the need is present to form others spiritually—as Christ’s twelve first did.

With three houses in the U.S. (two in Kansas and one in Texas) and their Mother House in Rome, the Apostles of the Interior Life offer spiritual direction for numerous individuals while also preaching at parish missions and retreats for different age groups, speaking in classrooms, hosting vocational discernment groups, and ministering to students on college campuses.

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Sherry Anne Weddell

Sherry Weddell1Sherry Anne Weddell created the first charism discernment process specifically designed for Catholics in 1993.  In 1997, she co-founded the Catherine of Siena Institute, an affiliated international ministry of the Western Dominican Province, and currently serves as co-director.  Sherry has developed numerous unique formation resources that are used around the world. She has trained and helps lead an international team that has worked directly with over 60,000 ordained, religious, and lay Catholics in more than 100 dioceses on five continents.  When not hanging around airports, Sherry enjoys tending her high altitude Tuscan garden in the Colorado Rockies.

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Youth Program

Chris Stefanick

CHRIS STEFANICK1Archbishop Charles J. Chaput has called Chris Stefanick “one of the most engaging young defenders of the Christian faith on the scene today.” Chris speaks to over 50,000 teens, young adults and parents every year. Venues he has spoken at include hundreds of high school assemblies and parish events, colleges (including Annapolis, Penn State and the U.S. Air Force Academy) and both national and international events including the Steubenville Youth Conferences, National Catholic Youth Convention, the Knock, Ireland Youth Festival, and FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) National Conferences. Chris is a syndicated columnist and regularly appears on Catholic radio and TV. He has authored or co-authored, Do I Have to Go? (about the Mass), Raising Pure Teens, and Absolute Relativism.

This 14-year youth ministry veteran served at a parish in the East Los Angeles area as director of youth and young adult ministry for the Diocese of Lacrosse and as director of youth, young adult and campus ministry for the Archdiocese of Denver. He is also on the board of directors for the Dead Theologians Society. Stefanick currently works for the Augustine Institute as director of youth outreach for YDisciple. Most of all he is proud to be a husband and father to six beautiful children.

To find out more about Chris visit:

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Children's Program


Cat.ChatCat.Chat Productions is a Catholic kids ministry dedicated to providing inspiring concert performances as well as solid faith-based resources with a mission to help make the faith come alive for kids ages pre-K through grade six (concerts are good for ages 3-10). Gerald Montpetit, also known as the Cat.Chat Man, and his wife Denise, founded the ministry in 2001. They have five children who are all actively involved in the ministry. With a desire to educate and entertain kids in the basics of the Catholic faith, Cat.Chat has been making a difference in the lives of kids all over the world.  The Cat.Chat family, along with Moses the Cat, has been traveling extensively across the U.S. and Canada since 2005. Experience them live, as you witness a beautiful blend of faith and entertainment, as they touch the hearts of kids in ways that are truly inspiring. For the last 12 years, the Cat.Chat family has poured a tremendous amount of energy, time and hard work into catechizing and making the faith come alive for kids. They give all the glory to God for the amazing fruit that they have seen in the lives of kids and families who have been blessed by this ministry. One dad from Quakertown, Pa. says; “Cat.Chat has truly blessed our children with profound knowledge, wisdom and an absolute joy for our Catholic faith! As a father, you have blessed my wife and myself with solid and much needed resources to lead our children in our family’s faith journey. – Thank you Cat.Chat family!”  

For more information visit:

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The Thirsting

The ThirstingThe Thirsting is a four piece Catholic alternative rock band from Vancouver, Washington. The band consists of lead vocals/guitar Daniel Oberreuter, bass player Vlad Belonozchko, lead guitarist Michael Mette and drummer Bruce Briggzs. Under the direction of band founder and leader Daniel Oberreuter, The Thirsting offers cutting edge Catholic music that speaks to today’s generation. Lyrically, there is no other band in the Catholic music world that teaches about the truths of the Catholic faith like The Thirsting. From confession to the Eucharist, the Trinity to Mary and from addictions of sin to freedom in Christ, The Thirsting offers songs that reflect on the whole meaning of being Catholic and living in Christ’s one holy Church. In 2008, The Thirsting released their first album Companions of the Lamb and in 2011, they released their highly anticipated sophomore album Universal Youth. The Thirsting is not your typical band. But going deeper into The Thirsting reveals a much bigger picture and future for the band. The mission of The Thirsting is to inspire a revolution among Catholics to totally surrender their lives to Jesus Christ in the Eucharist and all the teachings of the Catholic Church, through Mary and the rosary. This mission is the crux of the band and the purpose for the existence of The Thirsting. The Thirsting wants to light a fire in the Catholic Church that is completely focused on Jesus in the Eucharist through Mary and the rosary. As Oberreuter preaches at concerts, it is through the rosary that peace will come to our hearts and to the world and that we will know the great love of Jesus Christ. That we must pray the rosary daily is the battle cry of the Thirsting. Will you be a part of this revolution?

For more information visit:

Listen to some of the songs you may hear:

Universal Youth
The Road
Stepping into the day
Fight the Fight
I am not worthy
In the name of the Father
Love is Blind
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