Sean Agniel started working with STEP as a student in Notre Dame's M.Div. program back in 2005. After graduation Sean took a job as the Provincial's Assistant for Social and International Ministries for the Jesuits of the Missouri Province, where he also served as the Director for the Alum Service Corps and for the Ignatian Volunteer Corps in St. Louis. More recently he changed hats and now serves as the Jesuit Provincial's Assistant for Secondary and Pre-Secondary Education. Sean lives in St. Louis with his wife and three children.
Rhodora Beaton is a New Hampshire native currently living in South Bend, IN. After completing an M.Div. from Notre Dame in 2002, Rhodora served as Campus Minister and Theology Instructor at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in Terre Haute, IN. In 2009, she completed her doctorate in Systematic Theology, writing a dissertation on the sacramentality of words in Roman Catholic theology since Vatican II. She has been working with STEP on and off since 2001. In her spare time Rhodora enjoys traveling, entertaining friends and family, and the occasional hiking trip.
Allison Blay hails from Gainesville, Florida where she spends most of her time caring for her young children. She is involved with various volunteer projects, most especially Friends Across the Ages, a nursing home volunteer program that she and her husband started in 1999 (www.acrosstheages.org). She holds a BA in English (1998) and a M.Ed. in English Education (1999), both from the University of Florida. She also earned a master’s degree in theology (2004) from the University of Notre Dame. Her background includes work in campus ministry and youth ministry in addition to the nursing home ministry. She has participated in her parish’s music ministry for many years and occasionally sings with other musical groups as well. She has continued to pursue her passion for theology through reading, writing, scripture seminars, and facilitating STEP classes.
Kandie Brinkman teaches Theology at Judge Memorial Catholic High School in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she resides. She completed a Masters in Religious Education from Loyola University, New Orleans in 1998 and a PhD in Social Psychology at the University of Utah in 2000. She is a certified Lay Ecclesial Minister for the Diocese of Utah. In addition to her ministry in Catholic Education, she is a catechetical formation director for Catholic School Educators. She frequently presents workshops in faith formation, social justice, and Catholic education and when called on she is a spiritual director. As an Associate with the Sisters of the Holy Cross, she serves as a member of the local leadership team. Kandie and her husband enjoy time together as they take the dog on long walks or travel to visit their four grown children who make their homes in Boston, Pittsburgh, Providence, and Santa Barbara.
Michael N. Buckler
A native of Florida, Mike graduated from the University of Florida with a BA in History in 2002. He received the Master of Divinity degree in 2006 from the University of Notre Dame. Currently, he serves as Director of Youth Ministry at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church in Land O’ Lakes, Florida. Mike has over fifteen years of experience in youth ministry, including involvement in a number of Catholic schools, parish youth ministries, and retreat programs. He is particularly interested in liturgical theology and Catholic social teaching. Mike has taught catechist and youth ministry training courses in three dioceses, and he and his wife Megan serve as Catholic Relief Services Fair Trade Ambassadors. They live with their four children in Wesley Chapel, Florida.
Tom graduated from St. John's University (Collegeville, MN) in 2000 with a B.A. in Theology. After graduating, he spent a year with the Catholic Charities Volunteer Corps in St. Paul, MN, working at St. Joseph's Home for Children. His educational experience is in both experiential and adventure learning (through Voyageur Outward Bound School and the YMCA) and classroom teaching (at Notre Dame). He completed his Master of Theological Studies at Notre Dame in 2006 and is currently working on completing his dissertation on justice in the theology of Thomas Aquinas. Tom lives in South Bend with his wife, Anna, and son, Sean.
Andrew Casad has served since 2013 as the Director of the Office for Liturgy in the Archdiocese of Seattle and previously was the Director of Liturgy and Catechumenate in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He holds a Master of Theological Studies in liturgical studies from the University of Notre Dame (2003) and a Master of Arts in cultural anthropology from the University of California San Diego (2005) with research focuses on Eastern Christianity, Christian Initiation, and monasticism. Andrew served as a team member for the North American Forum on the Catechumenate and has been published in Pastoral Liturgy, Catechumenate, and Catholic Rural Life. Andrew was baptized and raised in the practice of our Catholic faith at the Church of St. Mary in Escondido, California, and was called to the sacrament of marriage in 2001. He and his wife live on their small farm on Vashon Island together with their two young children.
Dan Cebrick lives in northeastern Pennsylvania. Since completing the Master of Divinity degree at Notre Dame in 1994, he has taken a few different paths with work and life experiences in education, the corporate world and ministry. Upon completion of the M.Div. Degree he taught in the Religious Studies department and worked in Campus Ministry at Stonehill College in Easton, MA for one academic year. During the next several years he worked as a computer analyst and programmer in the health insurance industry in Harrisburg and Wilkes-Barre, PA. Over the past five years he has combined his computer skills and love for education as the Registrar at another Holy Cross sponsored institution of higher education, King's College in Wilkes-Barre, PA. In addition to his administrative responsibilities he teaches part-time in the Theology department. Over the past 10 years he has been actively involved in ministry in the parish, college, hospital and hospice settings working primarily in RCIA, retreat and ministry to the sick and dying. As his journey continues, he looks forward to being a part of the STEP program through Notre Dame, learning from and with others.
Jane Cors Smith
Jane lives in both Mishawaka, IN, and Harpers Ferry, WV. Her husband, Barry, and she have been married for 26 years. They have two grown sons, Ben and Jeff. She presently serves as Executive Director of Pastoral Services for the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, WV. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a Masters in Divinity in 2004. Her hobbies and interests include enjoying the beauty of the outdoors, dogs, cats, sculpting, painting, crafts, writing, boating, fishing, traveling, and collecting fossils.
Robert Cowlishaw calls home Salt Lake City, Utah. Robert graduated from Catholic Theological Union with a Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies in May 2013. He was commissioned a certified lay ecclesial minister for the Diocese of Salt Lake in 2010 after completing a four-year formation program that included theological studies through STEP. His current ministries include adult formation retreats in Utah mission territories as well as other adult catechist training sessions for the diocese. He has served in various liturgical and catechetical ministries in his home parish, but nothing excites Robert more than adult catechesis.
Robert and his wife Rocio have two adult children. He has worked for Questar Corporation for 29 years and has held various IT positions. He has an accounting degree from Utah State University. When Robert retires from Questar he plans to devote his time to Church ministry. Robert also enjoys photography and reading everything related to Thomas Merton.
Annie Crew-Renzo hails from sunny California. Annie's undergraduate work was at St. Mary's College (CA) in the San Francisco Bay Area, and she completed the Master of Theological Studies program in May of 2003. She worked for STEP her second year in the Master's program, and after graduation, she went to work for STEP and enjoyed working at ND and facilitating several courses. During the 2004-2005 school year, she worked for Saint Mary's College (IN) in Campus Ministry. Now back living in her home state of California, Annie is teaching theology at St. Francis High School in Sacramento and enjoying keeping current on her reading. Her husband Clayton is also working for the Diocese of Sacramento in a local Catholic grade school. Their family also includes one young daughter.
Catherine Crino is the Pastoral Associate and Director of Religious Education at St. Alphonsus in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago. Her responsibilities include oversight of the religious education and formation of adults and children, sacrament preparation, annulment ministry, coordination of outreach ministries including Peace and Justice and the Ministry of Care and responsibility for parish communications. She has worked at various parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago for over twenty years, as well as having experience as a classroom teacher, in retirement home administration and employment counseling. In addition to parish ministry, she has also been a faculty member in various archdiocesan institutes for ministry training and formation. She is originally from Tucson and lived in Los Angeles for some time. She has a BA in History from UCLA, as well as completing the Graduate School in education there. She holds a Masters of Divinity degree from Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Chris Culver completed his Masters of Divinity in 2000 from the University of Notre Dame. He has over ten years experience as a catechist, and five years experience as associate director in the Fort Wayne/South Bend Diocesan Office of Youth Ministry. He has completed a national certificate in youth ministry. He currently teaches at St Joseph's Catholic High School in South Bend. He loves the work and challenges that come with youth ministry. He is married and has three children, Ben, Sophie and Joshua. Chris is also an officer in the United State's Naval Reserve.
Kelly Culver Assistant Director, STEP
Kelly Culver graduated from Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, IN in 1996, and from the University of Notre Dame with a Masters of Divinity in 2001. After graduation she worked on an extensive sociological study of the implementation of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults in six parishes and co- authored a book based on the research, Real Stories of Christian Initiation: Lessons for and from the RCIA, published by Liturgical Press, 2006. She joined the STEP program in July 2002. Most importantly, she is the mother of three small children, Benjamin, Sophia, and Joshua.
Tom Cummings Director, STEP
Thomas C. Cummings graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1988. He served four years in the United States Marine Corps as a Logistics officer. After his military service, Mr. Cummings entered the Congregation of Holy Cross and began his theological studies. After two years Mr. Cummings left the Congregation of Holy Cross and taught scripture at St. Stanislaus High School in Bay St. Louis, MS. In 1996 he entered the Master of Divinity Program at the University of Notre Dame and worked in the Office of Student affairs as an Asst. Rector and Rector of an undergraduate hall. Mr. Cummings completed his M. Div. in May 1999. He began work on STEP during the 1998-99 academic year and has worked full time in the Institute for Church Life since June 1, 1999.
Kaitlyn Dudley Curtin
Kaitlyn Dudley Curtin completed Notre Dame's Master of Theological Studies program in 2003, then entered the world of high school teaching and campus ministry. She earned her Master of Education degree in 2011. In 2012, she began working with STEP and teaching part-time at Holy Spirit College in Atlanta. She lives with her wise husband, Tommy, and her delightful toddler, Becket.
Marlene DeLeon is a Catholic Campus Minister at a large state university and she also does hospital clinical hours as a chaplain-intern. She first heard Father Pedro Arrupe's poem about falling in love during her son's Notre Dame Sending Forth liturgy; to her it poignantly described her journey from the corporate world to working for God. She was an investment professional for over twenty years and before that managed college textbook development. Boston College awarded her MTS degree, recognizing coursework also at Notre Dame and Weston Jesuit. In off hours, she helps former offenders reintegrate, and provides retreats for women in transition. Marlene and her husband enjoy cooking, gardening, biking, reading, and the arts. They brought three children into the world.
Amelia Desesto-Sury is originally from the Philippines. She studied chemistry at Ateneo de Davao University, a Jesuit school, and then practiced chemistry as a researcher in a state university for several years. Feeling a call to serve in the Church, Amelia joined the campus ministry team at her undergraduate university and also became coordinator of the First Year Christian Formation Program. After several years, she enrolled at the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, California, where she completed her Master of Arts in Ministry for a Multicultural Church and Master of Arts in Theological Studies in May 2010. She became a certified Master Catechist for the Archdiocese of San Francisco in May 2011. While in San Francisco, Amelia served as a confirmation and youth minister at St. Gabriel Parish. She and her husband Joseph now live in Sun City, Arizona, where they volunteer as 5th- and 6th-grade catechists at St. Joachim and St. Anne Parish.
Mandy Dillon currently serves as a Pastoral Associate at Our Lady of the Wayside in Arlington Heights, IL, in addition to being a Licensed Massage Therapist. She holds a B.A. in psychology and theology and a Master of Divinity degree, both from the University of Notre Dame. Previously, Mandy worked as a Pastoral Associate and Director of Liturgy at Church of the Holy Spirit in Schaumburg, IL. Her ministry experience has included liturgy, young adult ministry, youth ministry, retreat work, RCIA, social justice advocacy, high school religious education, and campus ministry.
Greg Doyle Associate Director, STEP
Greg Doyle is originally from the Virginia suburbs of Washington DC. After completing undergraduate degrees at Notre Dame, he served in the Navy as a submarine officer in Charleston, SC and then worked at a commercial nuclear power plant in Maryland. He returned to Notre Dame for theological studies, graduating with a Master of Divinity degree. Greg began working with STEP while a graduate student during the first year that STEP e-Courses were offered and started full-time work there upon graduation. He and his wife have two sons.
Colleen Dunne facilitates STEP courses from the mountains of Western Montana. Colleen's undergraduate degree is in speech communication theory and public relations from Carroll College in Helena, Montana. She completed her Master of Divinity at Notre Dame in 2003. After finishing at Notre Dame she returned home to work as the Associate Director of Campus Ministry for Carroll College. In addition to her campus ministry work she is the director of Legendary Lodge, Helena's diocesan summer youth camp. Colleen also teaches a course each fall in the freshman experience program at Carroll College and helps with parish RCIA programs and the diocesan CCHD committee. In her spare time, Colleen likes to mountain bike, ski, go to movies and spend time with friends and family.
Sara Dwyer, A.S.C., is a member of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, U.S. Region and is the NETWORK Education Coordinator. (NETWORK is a Catholic Social Justice Lobby that educates, organizes and lobbies for economic and social transformation.) Her ministry has been primarily adult education both at the Diocesan and parish level in the mid-west: Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas. Over more than 30 years of ministry, she has also engaged in retreat work, campus ministry, and trained for ministry among the elders of our society. Before coming to Washington, D.C., Sara served on her Congregation’s Leadership Team and, from 2003-2006, she was Chair of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), Region 10, and served on the National Board of LCWR. Sara has Master degrees in Theology from St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas and in Education from Boston College. She enjoys walking, hiking and reading.
Originally from the rural shores of Robinson Lake in Michigan, Tom moved to Grand Rapids to study English at Aquinas College from which he graduated in 2003. Following college, Tom participated in the Holy Cross Associate program at the urban site in Santiago, Chile. During that time, he lived in an intentional Christian community, mentored children in foster care, taught English to second graders, and worked in two soup kitchens. Upon moving back to Michigan two years later, Tom taught English As a New Language to agricultural migrant laborers and tutored in a technical high school. Later he pursued a Master of Divinity from the University of Notre Dame, graduating in 2012. He currently resides in Grand Rapids while working as a pastoral associate at Our Lady of the Lake and St. Francis de Sales Catholic parishes in Holland, Michigan.
Judy Fean is the Director of Campus Ministry at Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, IN. Prior to working in Campus Ministry, she served in several parishes as a pastoral associate. During her years at Saint Mary's, Judy has been instrumental in developing leadership programs for college and high school students (such as Spiritual Leaders) and a lecturer in the Religious Studies department. She holds a master's degree in theology from the University of Notre Dame and a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a team member for the North American Forum on the Catechumenate and has served as a spiritual director for 20 years.
Bert Fitzgerald was born and raised in Los Angeles, where he also got a BA in Theology from Loyola Marymount University in 2004. He came to South Bend, IN, where he currently resides, for Notre Dame’s MTS program, which he completed in 2008. A lot of his work has been in food and farming, starting a couple of initiatives to make local foods more accessible in Washington, DC, and then in South Bend. He has also worked in development for the Faith and Politics Institute in DC, and in campus ministry at Bishop Laughlin HS in Brooklym, NY. For the last two years, Bert has served as a volunteer staff member in the Peter Claver Catholic Worker community in South Bend, an intentional Christian community of hospitality. His interests include the life of philosophy, Christian mysticism, and comedic writing.
Larry Fraher has served as a lay person in professional ministry for the past 21 years at the parish, school and diocesan levels. He has served as a parish youth ministry coordinator, high school theology teacher and coach, diocesan director of youth and young adult ministries, and diocesan lay formation coordinator and instructor. Currently he is the Director of Catechetical Ministries at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Scottsdale, Arizona and a PhD student in the area of Art and Religion at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, where his research interests lie in examining the relationship between theological aesthetics, catechesis and the development of the Christian imagination. He is married and has three daughters.
Monica Frazier is a native Texan who returned to her home state after completing a Master of Divinity at the University of Notre Dame in 2002. She also holds a Bachelors in Theology from the University of Dallas. Monica currently serves as the Director of Adult Formation and Liturgy at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church in Wichita Falls, TX. Her recent ministry experience includes coordinating family retreats for a diocesan retreat center and training parish ministers in family-centered catechesis. Monica also spent four years with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps directing the formation of young adults serving in poor communities throughout the South. In her spare time, Monica enjoys exercise, road trips, and being "the cool aunt" to her six nieces and nephews.
After growing up in Florida, Betsy graduated from Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX) with a BA in Religious Studies in May 1999. She received her Master of Divinity degree in May 2003 from the University of Notre Dame. Currently, she works as Director Religious Education at Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church in Port Orange, FL. Betsy has 15 years of ministry experience including youth ministry, religious education and catechist formation as well as brief but informative times in hospital chaplaincy and RCIA.
Susanna L. Cantu Gregory facilitates STEP courses from Dubuque, Iowa. She holds a B.A. from St. Edward’s University in her hometown Austin, Texas and an M.A. in Theology from Boston College. In May 2014, she was awarded the PhD in Theology from the University of Dayton (Ohio). In her scholarship and teaching, she is most interested in the intersections between systematic theology and ecclesiology: between church teachings and the faithful’s operations of mind and acts as they live them out. Currently she is writing a book on the lay associate movement in the American Catholic church, which is about those in formal relationship with vowed religious congregations. She and Bill, her husband of 11 years, have two children. She began with STEP in January 2015.
Jim lives in suburban Pittsburgh with Alice, his wife of 39 years, where they are members of St. Louise de Marillac parish and Jim serves on Pastoral Council. Jim earned his M.A. in Theology from Duquesne University (2014). He also completed a Certificate of Catholic Theology in Morality and Ethics through STEP (2011) as well as a Social Justice Certificate from the University of Dayton (VLCFF). While still employed in the corporate environment Jim volunteers at Pittsburgh's St. Joseph House of Hospitality and facilitates retreats for the "Ignatian Spirituality Project: Retreats Ending Homelessness". Jim also has an interest in Cistercian spirituality and monasticism, and the life of Dorothy Day.
Hannah Hemphill Barrett has been working with STEP since 2005. She primarily facilitates the course Jesus Christ: Yesterday and Today. She is currently working on a doctoral dissertation in Theology at Notre Dame. She sometimes lives in South Bend; sometimes in Jerusalem.
Kristen Hempstead is currently the Director of Religious Education at St. Teresa of Avila parish in Chicago. She studied Music at Loyola University New Orleans and later went on to receive her Master of Divinity from the University of Notre Dame in 2006. She has been working in Lincoln Park ever since. Prior to her graduate studies, she served as youth minister and retreat facilitator for Capuchin Youth and Family Ministries in Garrison, NY.
Gary Hortsch serves as the Director of Faith (Campus Ministry) at a Catholic High School in Portland, Oregon. His educational history includes a BS from the University of Portland in Secondary Education, a MAT from the University of Portland through the ACE program, and a MDiv from the University of Notre Dame. His employment history includes experiences as a teacher, camp counselor, retreat facilitator, and university residence life. In his free time, Gary enjoys hiking, fly fishing, skiing and spending time with his family.
A native of Texas, Liz LaFortune graduated from the University of St. Thomas, Houston, in 1987, with a Masters of Religious Education. She moved to Ohio in 1992, and on to Granger, IN, in January of this 2005. Over her years of ministry to the Church, she has served as a youth ministry director, high school theology teacher and department chair, campus minister and and as a parish social action coordinator for the Diocese of Cleveland. She brings a love of teaching to her role as a STEP facilitator. Liz resides in Granger with her husband Mike and their son, Matt, a sophomore at Marian High School in Mishawaka.
Karen Mallozzi lives in Natick, MA where she currently serves on St. Linus’ Parish Council. She is a certified Catholic catechist who chose to stay with a single class as they progressed from second grade religious education through the Confirmation Program. Karen facilitates the yearly Advent wreath program for the parish as well as facilitating the Christian Book group that includes parishioners from St. Linus, St. Patrick and St. Zepherin. For nine years Karen worked as Parish Office Coordinator for St. Ann and St. Zepherin Parishes in Wayland, MA. In 1981, Karen earned a BA from the University of Rhode Island, majoring in History. Later that year she married and in 1983 she and her husband added a daughter to their family. Karen completed her MA in Theology and the Arts in May, 2010 from Andover-Newton Theological School in Newton, MA, concentrating on religious themes in literature and film. Karen is currently the Coordinator for Parish Ministries at St. Bridget Parish in Framingham, MA.
Diana Matthews has roots as a "Valley girl," having grown up in Southern California. After graduating from UCLA with a B.A. in Mathematics-Applied Science, she spent time as a lay missionary in northern Sweden before engaging in Youth and Campus Ministry in Los Angeles and earning an M.A. in Religious Studies from Mount St. Mary's College. An avid folk dancer, Diana met her husband Chris in an international dance company. They have lived in Montreal (Canada, eh?), Cleveland, Knoxville -- and now the Milwaukee area, where they currently reside. Diana received an M.A. in Ministry from Ursuline College while in Cleveland, as well as Certification in Lay Ecclesial Ministry from the diocese. She also holds a certificate in spiritual direction. She enjoys STEP and the opportunity for being present with others in this creative environment for study, faith sharing and prayer.
Claire McManus is the Director of Faith Formation for the Diocese of Fall River, MA. In this capacity she oversees the Office of Catechesis and Formation; The Office of Adult Spirituality; the Office of Youth & Young Adult Ministry. Claire also works closely with the Office of Catholic Schools reviewing the religion curriculum and providing formation to the Catholic School catechists. Claire has worked for over twenty years in her parish in Marshfield, MA doing ministry with adolescents and young adults. Born and raised in NJ, Claire received a BA in Psychology from Rutgers University. She received a MA in Pastoral Ministry from Boston College Institute of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry, and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from Weston Jesuit School of Theology. In her more than thirty years of marriage Claire has lived in Washington State, Michigan, NJ, England, The Netherlands, and Massachusetts. She and her husband, Tim, have raised five children-two sons and three daughters.
A native of Northern Minnesota, Arlene Montevecchio is a graduate of St. Norbert College and Harvard Divinity School. She is Director of the Center for Social Concerns at Gannon University and her publications include spiritual reflections and book reviews in U.S. Catholic, National Catholic Reporter, The Social Edge.com, and The Merton Seasonal. Arlene lives in Erie, Pennsylvania with her husband and son.
Caesar Montevecchio graduated from Georgetown University in Washington, DC in 2000 with a bachelor's degree in theology and psychology. He then attended Harvard Divinity School and earned a Master of Theological Studies degree in 2002. From 2002-2005 he taught and did campus ministry work at North Cambridge Catholic High School in Cambridge, MA, a member of the Cristo Rey network of schools started by the Chicago Province of Jesuits. In 2005 he moved to Erie, PA and taught theology for two years at Villa Maria Academy. Currently he resides in Erie with his wife, Arlene, and son, Andrew, and is a member of the religious studies faculty at Mercyhurst College.
Cindy Muenchrath-Spady is originally from Iowa and now lives and works in Hastings, Nebraska. Currently, Cindy is helping her husband manage the family farm and also their start-up software company. In addition, she is adjunct teaching various religion courses at local and online colleges.
Cindy has her B.A. in Management and Religion from Simpson College in Indianola, IA (1995). From there she went to Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO to obtain her Masters of Divinity in 1998. After working in a downtown parish for five years she moved to North Platte, NE. Cindy was Director of Lay Ministry for the Diocese of Grand Island, Nebraska from 2000-2008. Cindy earned her Doctorate of Ministry from Drew University in 2007. Her dissertation and project were focused on Lay Ministry. She also recently lived in Seattle, WA and was pastoral associate for a parish there. Cindy has been facilitating for STEP since 2006 and is honored to have this opportunity to learn with the Notre Dame community.
Josh Noem is originally from the Black Hills of South Dakota. He met his wife, Stacey, as an undergraduate of Notre Dame; they both graduated in 1998. After spending a year with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Alaska, they worked for the Church in Florida, where Josh served as editor of the diocesan newspaper in Venice. Josh returned with his wife to Notre Dame, where they earned their Masters in Divinity degrees in 2005. Josh serves with Stacey in campus ministry at the University of Portland, Oregon. They have two sons.
Lisa Orchen is a native of Southern California. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BA in 1988 and pursued a career in corporate life in Hartford, Connecticut. After experiencing a deep call to serve the church she returned to Notre Dame where she earned a Master of Divinity in 1994. She is a certified Chaplain with the National Association of Catholic Chaplains and has served as a hospital chaplain, Director of Campus Ministry and as a Pastoral Associate for a vibrant parish in Connecticut. She serves as a trained catechist for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, writes for Liturgy Training Publications and leads archdiocesan workshops and retreats. She is married to John Baker. Lisa and John and their two children live outside of Hartford, Connecticut.
Trish Powers resides in Cleveland Heights, OH, where she is a Research Scholar at the Center for Genetic Research Ethics and Law (www.cgreal.org) located in the department of Bioethics in Case Western Reserve University's school of medicine. Trish was graduated from Notre Dame in 1990, with a BA in Government and International Relations. After 5 years as an Air Force officer, in command and control, and search and rescue, she returned to Notre Dame to enter the MDiv program. Trish completed the MDiv in 1998, and remained at Notre Dame as the director's assistant at the Institute for Church Life (ICL), where she assisted with the development of STEP. Since then, Trish has worked part- and full-time at ICL while completing a PhD in Theology from Loyola University Chicago, in Moral Theology (Christian Ethics). Specializing in the area of medical ethics, her dissertation is on the topic of human vulnerability. Trish completed her Ph.D. in December 2008.
Amanda Roberts grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina and moved to Massachusetts with her family after graduating high school. She completed her undergraduate degree at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester MA and her M.Div. at Notre Dame a few years later. After finishing her degree, she spent two years in Gresham, OR working as Director of Adult Education and RCIA before returning to Massachusetts to live closer to her family and friends. She is the Faith Formation Director at St. Robert Bellarmine Parish in Andover MA and the author of Saints Off the Pedestal: Real Saints for Real People.
Tracy Rodenborn has been happily involved with STEP since 2003! She hails now from Austin, TX, where she lives with her husband, Steve, and two young children. She has worked in parish ministry with a focus on adult education and formation and also in Catholic education as a teacher and as a campus minister. She received her Master of Divinity degree from the University of Notre Dame in 2001.
Joel is managing editor of TrueQuest Communications in Chicago, publishers of the PrepareTheWord.com whole parish evangelization and homily preparation resource and the VISION Catholic Religious Vocation Discernment Guide. He has a master's degree in theological studies and is the author of God's Doorkeepers: Padre Pio, Solanus Casey, and André Bessette and Holy Simplicity: The Little Way of Mother Teresa, Dorothy Day, and Thérèse of Lisieux, both from Servant Books, as well as many articles for the Catholic press.
Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Megan graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a Science Pre-Professional and Theology degree. After graduation she spent a year as a full-time volunteer with Capuchin Youth and Family Ministries in Garrison, NY. Her ministry with youth during that year inspired her to pursue her calling in lay ministry. She returned to Notre Dame for the Master of Divinity Program where she focused on parish models of youth ministry for her Synthesis Seminar. After graduation, she moved to Chicago where she was the Director of Youth Ministry at St. Giles Parish in Oak Park, IL for three years. For the past six years she has been the Assistant Director of Pastoral Ministry and eventually the Sophomore and Junior Class Chaplain at Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago, IL. She is also involved on the national level as part of the Founding Leadership Team for the National Association of Catholic Youth Ministry Leaders (NACYML) - a professional organization for those involved in ministry with adolescents. In March of 2010 Megan joined Notre Dame Vision as Assistant Director where she coordinates the summer conferences for Campus and Youth Ministers and facilitates ongoing formation for the undergraduate Mentors-In-Faith.
Lourdes Silva, ha laborado con el ministerio hispano alrededor de unos 15 años en parroquia y a nivel diocesano. Actualmente, es la Directora Asociada para el Ministerio Hispano en la Diócesis de Fort Wayne - South Bend, IN. Obtuvo su Maestría en Divinidad de la Universidad de Notre Dame, IN. Nacida en Brooklyn, N.Y. de padre y madre Puertoriqueños, es madre de 3 princesas y abuela de 3. La experiencia del ministerio y el amor a su fe Romana Católica la anima en su rol de facilitadora en los cursos cibernéticos de Notre Dame, IN. Ella comparte: "Exhorto a todos los que buscan algo más para enriquecer los conocimientos sobre su fe Romana Católica a que participen de los cursos para que vean lo alentador que es no solo aprender pero a la misma vez particpar con personas globalmente aprendiendo todos juntos en una verdadera experiencia de la Comunión en el Cuerpo de Cristo."
Lourdes Silva has worked in Hispanic Ministry for about 15 years doing parish and diocesan ministry. At this time she is the Associate Director for Hispanic Ministry in the Diocese of Fort Wayne - South Bend, IN. She obtained her Master of Divinity from the University of Notre Dame, IN. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y. from Puerto Rican parents, she is mother of 3 princesses and has 3 grandchildren. The ministry experience and the love of her Roman Catholic faith encourages her facilitator role with the Notre Dame STEP program. She shares: "I encourage all those who are looking for something more to enrich their Roman Catholic faith to participate in these courses so they might be inspired not only with the purpose to learn, but at the same time participate with other people globally, learning together the true experience of Communion within the Body of Christ."
Michael Skaggs is a doctoral candidate in the University of Notre Dame Department of History, where he studies interfaith and interracial relations in the Midwest. He spent his undergraduate career at Indiana University Bloomington from 2005-2009 and received an MA in history from the University of Louisville in 2011. He began facilitating STEP courses in January 2015. Michael lives in South Bend, Indiana with his wife Caroline and sons Henry and George.
Charles Strauss finishes his Lilly Postdoctoral Fellowship at Valparaiso University in December 2012. In January 2013 he begins a new position as Assistant Professor of History at Mount Saint Mary's University in Emmitsburg, Md. Charles has a PhD in history from the University of Notre Dame and master's degrees in history from the University of Notre Dame and from the University of Cape Town in South Africa. He completed his undergraduate degree at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pa., Charles is married to Elizabeth Covington Strauss, also a historian, and has three young children: Anna Louise, Charlie, and Tessa.
Colleen Reiss Vermeulen began working with STEP as a graduate student in 2012. Originally from Piscataway, New Jersey, Colleen graduated from Cornell University in 2004 and served as a U.S. Army Engineer for 6.5 years, volunteering in children’s catechesis, young adult ministry, and music ministry. After leaving active duty military service, she began the Masters of Divinity program at the University of Notre Dame, focusing on adult faith formation and evangelization, and graduated in May 2013. She serves as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve, teaches at Eastern Michigan University, writes for newevangelizers.com, and is completing a Masters of Nonprofit Administration through Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. She currently resides in Ypsilanti, Michigan, with her husband and young son.
Scott Williams is a native of Southern California and currently lives in South Bend, IN. While completing his Ph.D. in Medieval Theology from the University of Oxford, Scott’s Ph.D. Supervisor left Oxford and came to Notre Dame; in turn, Scott followed suit. His dissertation was on Henry of Ghent’s Trinitarian Theology. Henry was a 13th century ‘secular’ priest and theology ‘master’ at the University of Paris. Scott has a B.A. in English Literature and a B.A. in Classics from San Francisco State University. He began working with STEP in the Summer of 2012 and has greatly enjoyed the experience! Scott will be returning to Southern California in August 2012 for a position teaching philosophy at Azusa Pacific University.
Mary Ann Wilson
Mary Ann Wilson is originally from Birmingham, Alabama. She first came to the Midwest to attend the University of Notre Dame for undergraduate studies from 2002-2006, and she returned to attend the ND Master of Divinity program from 2010-2013 with her husband, Ben. Between undergrad and divinity school, Mary Ann worked for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, trained with the Maryknoll Lay Missioners, and served as a high school campus minister. Now a resident of South Bend, Mary Ann works as the Adult Faith Formation Coordinator at St. Matthew Cathedral and volunteers as a catechist for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. She and Ben have one young son and are members of the extended St. Peter Claver Catholic Worker community.
Regina Wilson currently serves as the Assistant Director of Campus Ministry at Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, IN. She received her Master's Degree in Music and Worship from the University of Portland and the Master of Divinity from the University of Notre Dame. Prior to working at Saint Mary's, she worked at St. Joseph Parish, South Bend, IN as Pastoral Associate. Ms. Wilson also served as the Director for the Office of Worship for the Diocese of Superior in Wisconsin. She has served two other parishes in California and Oregon and is a Benedictine Oblate with the monastery of St. Scholastica in Chicago. Ms. Wilson is married and has two daughters.