Speakers

 

Dan Almeter

Dan has been active in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal since 1970.  He is a leader of the Alleluia Ecumenical Covenant Community in Augusta, Georgia.  Dan has also been serving for the past 5 years on the Executive Committee of the International Catholic Fraternity of Covenant Communities and Fellowships.  He is very active in the work of reconciliation and unity both nationally and internationally.  His book, Unity on Earth as in Heaven, is a witness to what is possible when Christians work against the sin of division.  Dan has been married to Marie for 38 years.  They have 6 children and 16 grandchildren.  (updated 3/2018)

 

Sr. Betty Banja, SHS

Sr. Betty Banja, SHS is from the order of The Sacred Heart of Jesus, an order dedicated to pastoral evangelization and education among the most needy. Sr. Betty was invited to Arizona by Bishop Olmsted to serve the most vulnerable persons in the community.  Sr. Betty joined Catholic Charities Parish and Community Engagement philanthropy team in the fall of 2017.  She spent most of her adult life working in Sudan. Her mission has been to work with individuals, families and communities as they recover from war, violence, and other serious traumas, by promoting reconciliation, compassion and love to those who have suffered and still suffer from these devastating events.  Sr. Betty believes that Christ’s message must not only be taught, it must also be lived and learned. This is why she negotiated the release of the man sentenced to death for killing her brother during unfortunate war times (a story she often tells when speaking at church).

Born in Uganda, to parents who had to flee Sudan during the First Sudanese War of 1955, she knows the challenges refugees face when they are forced to leave their homes and families behind. This is why she heeded God’s call, when a new mission to serve the needy in the Phoenix Diocese arrived. Sr. Betty’s new mission is to help Catholic Charites “Welcome the Stranger” by promoting our faith based mission, life affirming values and commitment to all the vulnerable clients we serve. Sr. Betty’s Christ-centered message and vast experience as a community and faith builder makes her the perfect person to help Catholic Charities engage the faith based community and become the “Good Samaritans” we are called to be. Sr. Betty regularly speaks at churches to help us spread the Christian message of hope & hospitality and help us:  “Help the community’s most vulnerable with solutions that permanently improves lives”

Jim Beckman

Jim serves as the Executive Director of Evangelization and Catechesis for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. He has been involved with Diocesan and parish ministry, evangelization and leadership development for more than 30 years. A graduate from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 1987, Jim has served in various roles of leadership for national, regional and local ministry ever since. He is a dynamic and passionate speaker and has a great love for the Church.

He has built solid and thriving ministry programs in numerous parishes and Dioceses over the years. Jim also is the Executive Director of ImpactCenter, a non-profit dedicated to leadership development in the Catholic Church, and serves as an adjunct professor for the Augustine Institute, teaching on topics of leadership, evangelization and discipleship. He also serves as an Ambassador for Franciscan University of Steubenville. He and his wife, Meg, live in Oklahoma City with their five children.

Beckman was first elected to the National Service Committee in 2015, and again this year.  (updated 3/2018)

Johnny Bertucci

Johnny Bertucci is currently the President of The Ark and The Dove Worldwide (historic site of the Duquesne Weekend), and member of the Steering Committee for the Southern Regional Conference of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. He is the former Chairman of the National Service Committee of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal 2015-2018 and Member from 2009-2018.  He currently serves as a Member of the NSC Council.

He’s been involved in the Renewal for almost 40 years beginning in 1979, when he was baptized in the Holy Spirit as a teenager. Soon afterwards he began leading parish-based prayer meetings and retreats for adults, young adults, and teenagers.

Johnny has been married to Leslie for 32 years.  They have four adult children, two teenagers, one child in heaven, and two grandchildren.  God has blessed the entire family with the gift of music, which they share at prayer meetings, conferences, masses, and other venues.  Johnny is also president of Bertucci Incorporated, a software development company.  (updated 3/2018)

David Cole

David Cole serves as interim president at The King’s University in Southlake, Texas, where he is also Dean of the Jack W. Hayford School of Graduate Studies, and Professor of Historical Theology.  He is an ordained minister with Open Bible Churches, and served for twelve years as president of Eugene Bible College (now New Hope Christian College).  He received his PhD in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary.

Cole also serves the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America (PCCNA) as Liaison to the Greater Christian Community, and chairs PCCNA’s Christian Unity Commission.  He has been engaged in ecumenical activity for over twenty years, and currently serves as the Pentecostal Co-secretary for the International Catholic-Pentecostal Dialogue. (updated 3/2018)

Dan Dirkes

Dan was raised in the Word of God Covenant Community in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He has served as a Worship Leader for Renewal Ministries’ events, the Camden Diocesan Charismatic Conference and LIFE TEEN. He led worship for daily and Sunday Masses at Christian Music Festival drawing 15,000 people from New England from 2002-2003. He is currently a Music Minister in his parish in New Jersey. He is married to Caroline Gambale-Dirkes and they have four children.  Dan was appointed to the NSC Council in 2016. (updated 3/2018)

Jane Guenther

Jane was introduced to the Charismatic Renewal in 1977 at Arrowhead Stadium while a freshman studying architecture at the University of Kansas. Upon completion of her degree, she was thrust into a life in ministry as a Catholic school teacher, youth minister, and religion teacher. She married John Guenther in 1980 and they have four sons and seven grandchildren.  Jane became active in the Renewal in 1992 through her involvement in the St. Louis Archdiocese healing ministry. She worked at St. Alban Roe Parish as a Liturgist and Pastoral Associate. Jane acquired her Masters in Divinity in 2005 and is currently serving the Archdiocese of St. Louis as the Director of the Catholic Renewal Center. She was elected to the NSC in 2009 and re-elected in 2012. She was elected Chairman January 2013. Her second term as member and first as Chairman ended in 2015.  In 2016, she was appointed to the NSC Council.  She was elected to the International Charismatic Renewal Services in 2016 to be the English speaking North America and Central America, Caribbean representative.  She also serves as a mentor to the Seminary Formation Council. (updated 3/2018)

Tori Harris

Tori is a full-time, touring musician and director of Arise Worship Ministry in the Diocese of Dallas.  As a musician, her songs have appeared in television, major motion pictures, and her last record was a Top-10 Christian best-seller; however, her true passion is sharing the charisms of the Holy Spirit with the global Church. Her most recent work, Holy Spirit 101, received the Nihil Obstat and imprimatur. She was appointed to the NSC Council in 2016.  She lives in Carrollton, TX with her husband and son. (updated 3/2018)

Fr. Tim Hepburn

Fr. Tim Hepburn is a priest of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Georgia, currently serving as Vocation Director.  After completing his Bachelor of Architecture at Auburn he entered St. Meinrad Seminary where he received his Masters of Divinity and MA.  In 2008 he received his license in sacred theology (S.T.L.) from the Angelicum through Sacred Heart seminary in Detroit.  Ordained a priest in 1993, he has served his Archdiocese as parochial vicar, pastor, chaplain at the high school and university levels.  Nationally and internationally, he has also been active in teen and young adult ministries, priestly formation, and conference speaking, preaching and teaching.    (updated 3/2018)

Bishop Sam Jacobs

Bishop Sam Jacobs was born in Greenwood, MS and raised in Lake Charles, LA.  He is a graduate of Catholic University and was ordained to the priesthood in 1964 for the Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana. He was consecrated the tenth Bishop of the Diocese of Alexandria, Louisiana in 1989.  In this year he celebrates both his 50th Anniversary as a priest and 25th as a Bishop.

In 2003 he became the third Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux, also in Louisiana.  Earlier this year he retired as Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux.  Before being made bishop, he served in a number of positions including associate pastor, chaplain, Director of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, and Director of Vocations and Seminarians. He became a member of the National Service Committee of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in 1982, and Chairman in 1987, and served until his resignation in 1993.  In January of 2014 he was re-elected to the National Service Committee, and then re-elected in January 2017.  He resigned in September, 2017.  He again serves as an Episcopal Consultant to the NSC.  On the National level he has served and or chaired a number of USCCB committees. For many years he was the Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Catholic Charismatic Renewal no longer in existence. He is a frequent and inspirational conference speaker. (updated 3/2018)

Matthew Lozano

Matthew is Director of Training and Leadership Development for the Heart of the Father Ministry.  Over the past 15 years, Matt has volunteered with various ministries, including Intervarsity of Christian Fellowship, Lifeteen, and Renewal Ministries.  Before being called to full-time ministry, Matt served as a high school teacher for twelve years.  Matt holds a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Villanova University and a Master’s degree in Theology from the Augustine Institute.  He was appointed to the NSC Council in 2016.  He and his wife Jennifer have four children and live in the Philadelphia area. He is the coauthor of the Unbound Ministry Guidebook and Abba’s Heart. (updated 3/2018)

Sr. Lucy Lukasiewicz, DLJC

Sister Lucy Lukasiewicz, DLJC was born, Linda Kay Lukasiewicz, in Grand Island, Nebraska. At age 17, Linda began to hear of and experience charismatic prayer meetings and baptism in the Holy Spirit. Soon after she she was given information about the Disciples of Lord Jesus Christ, which is a Catholic Charismatic Franciscan Religious Institute of Sisters. Linda came to the Disciples at age 19, and received the name Sister Lucy as a novice. She professed her first vows in 1984, and her final vows in 1988. She was elected Superior General January 21, 2002 and served in that position for 12 years, finishing her term in January 2014.  She was elected to the National Service Committee in January 2012 and was re-elected in 2015 and again this year..

Sister Lucy’s greatest joy is praising the Lord and bringing people to a deeper realization of a great God who has a plan for their life. Her heart says, ”Lord, I am your servant. I have come to do Your will.” (Updated 3/2018)

Bill Marcotte

Bill Marcotte is a member of the National Service Committee.  He has over 25 years of experience in Catholic pastoral ministry experience, both at parish and diocesan levels, and brings with him a wide-range knowledge and expertise in non-profit management and developing program strategies, including collaborative communication, visionary leadership and spearheading volunteer project teams.

Since July, 2013 Bill has been Pastoral Associate\Parish Manager of St. Andrew Catholic Parish in Chandler, AZ.  He previously served as Executive Director of Living Water Retreat Center, and has also served as Director of Youth and Young Adult Evangelization for the Diocese of Phoenix for over 5 years – giving support, training and vision to pastors and youth leaders throughout the Diocese of Phoenix for effective youth and young adult evangelization.

Bill earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Arizona State University in Communications\Public Relations and his Master’s of Theology Degree from the University of San Francisco.

Since 1984 Bill has been active in youth, young adult and adult evangelization pioneering a variety of new methods of evangelization and catechists through the founding of Youth Arise North America (now Caritas in Veritate), and Catholic Network Ministry. From 1994 to 2000, he served as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel’s Director of Youth and Young Adults. In 1999 received the “Vision Award” from the Diocese of Phoenix in Youth Evangelization.

He is married to Beth and they have five children. Bill and his family reside in Tempe and attend Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish. He was elected to the NSC in March 2015 and reelected this year. (updated 3/2018)

Fr. Dave Pivonka

Fr. Dave Pivonka, TOR, has been saved by the Love of God revealed to us by Jesus. His entire ministry is proclaiming this reality.  Fr. Dave is as an evangelist who speaks at conferences, retreats and parish missions around the U.S. and world. For twenty years he has also been leading pilgrimages around the world to some of the holiest and most important sites in our Christian faith.  He spends much of his time helping others come to know God’s love for them through his preaching, writings, CDs, and other spiritual outreaches.

Fr. Dave has written several books;  Hiking the Camino – 500 Miles with Jesus and his most recent Encounter Jesus – From Discovery to Discipleship and most recently, Breath of God. 

Fr. Dave is also responsible for The Wild Goose – a 14 part video series which explores what it is to have a relationship with the Holy Spirit.

Currently, he is the Director of Franciscan Pathways which is an evangelistic outreach of his Franciscan Community.

Fr. Dave was a member of the NSC from 2008 to 2011, and was then appointed to the NSC Council in 2011, which he continues to serve.   (updated 3/2018)

Susan Potvin

Susan, worship leader and inspirational speaker, has been involved in Catholic and ecumenical renewal work for more than thirty years. She and her husband, Urby, have been married for thirty-six years and reside in Steubenville, Ohio.  Passionate about adoption, they have raised four children and have one grandchild. Susan is the leader of Living Praise Worship Team, which travels nationally and internationally, serving such groups as Magnificat® – A Ministry to Catholic Women, Women of Grace®, a new developing Spiritual Mother’s ministry and the National Charismatic Renewal.  Susan is an Advisor-at-large for the Magnificat Central Service Team, serving as the chairperson for Praise and Worship.  She was appointed to the NSC Council in 2017. With Living Praise, Susan has produced six worship CD’s. She graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville with a B.A. in Theology and has a Masters of Education in School Counseling from Liberty University.  Susan works as a school counselor at a K-12 Christian school. You can visit Susan and Living Praise at their website at:  www.LivingPraiseWorship.com  (updated 3/2018)

Deacon Ralph Poyo

As founder of New Evangelization Ministries, Deacon Ralph has become a useful tool for pastors in assisting them in training their parish leadership in evangelization.  He has traveled extensively around the country serving as an evangelist and benefits from four years of diocesan and parish venues.  With almost thirty years of parish ministry, he understands the complexities and diversities of various ministry environments.  When Deacon Ralph is not consulting with parishes (www.NewEvangelizationMinistries.org), he is a popular national speaker capable of speaking to a wide variety of audiences.  His passionate, humorous, and playful style has captivated adult and teen audiences across the country with the truth of the Gospel of Christ.  This presentation style disarms his audiences, and he speaks directly to the issues that plague our efforts in living the Catholic Faith. Deacon Ralph is married to his high school sweetheart, Susan, and has five daughters, two sons (in-law), and three grandkids.  He was appointed to the NSC Council in 2017.  (updated 3/2018)

Casey Sprehe

A native of New Orleans, Casey and her husband Kevin are parents of four young children. She spends her time painting, building towers and being a personal chef and chauffeur for her family. Outside of the home, she is highly involved in the Charismatic Renewal and in her home parish.
Casey first experienced the power of the Holy Spirit at a teen retreat sponsored by the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of New Orleans in 2000. She earned an undergraduate degree in theology education from Holy Cross College and a master’s degree in Catechesis and Evangelization at The Augustine Institute. In 2013, she was appointed to the NSC Council. She was elected to the NSC in 2014 and re-elected in 2017.
Casey enjoys speaking on matters of the Catholic faith. She has a heart for the New Evangelization and ministers around the country. She is especially called to bridge the generational gap and help millennials strengthen their faith and become leaders in the Charismatic Renewal and the Church. (updated 3/2018)

Dave VanVickle

Dave is married and has four children. He is currently the Director of Evangelization for St. Bonaventure Parish.  He grew up in the Community of God’s Delight in Dallas, Texas, and is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville. On campus, he was active in the Charismatic Renewal there.  He worked as the NSC’s Young Adult Coordinator from October 2015 until his recent transition.  He was elected to the NSC in January.

He is a gifted speaker who loves to evangelize and to bring the power of the Holy Spirit to all that God puts in his path. (updated 3/2018)

NOLOUDROCKS Worship Band

Music for this year’s conference is provided by the NoLoudRocks Worship Band, led by Leslie Bertucci. The band was formed several years ago to provide music for teen and young adult events sponsored by the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of New Orleans.

 

Leslie has been married for 33 years to Johnny Bertucci, former NSC Chairman and current president of The Ark and The Dove Worldwide. They have five children, all of whom have the gift of music. They often minister as a family at retreats and conferences. Current band members include their sons John and James, as well as Locke Marcello, Lily Livaudais and Maria Goddard.

 

NoLoudRocks takes its name from Luke 19:40, where Jesus tells the Pharisees, “I tell you, if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out!”