The St. Thomas Aquinas Society has an impressive history of bringing the finest speakers for conferences, Masses, retreat days, Divine Mercy weekends, and evenings of concert and testimony.
We invite you to read about our history and learn about our mission. Most importantly, we invite you to join the enthusiasm in sharing and experiencing our Catholic Faith.
20th Annual Conference
August 3-6, 2017
Presented by the
St. Thomas Aquinas Society
Image used with permission of Richard George
Pikes Peak Center
190 S. Cascade Ave
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
August 3, 2017 at 7:00pm
To Give Hope to All The People
"I can’t explain why people have been moved to tears, as my feet slowly apply pressure to the face and neck of my guitar something happens. For as long as I could remember these toes of mine have been like fingers. God somehow has blessed me with music and the desire to persevere."
Originally from Rivas, Nicaragua, Tony was born without arms. He also had a clubbed foot due to the drug, Thalidomide, taken by his mother. At the age of one Tony's family immigrated to the USA so he could have corrective surgery on his left foot.
Tony grew up in a home where mom protected and cared greatly for him. His father encouraged and pushed him to do things on his own. As he had no arms, Tony had to learn to do almost everything with his feet. At the age of sixteen he taught himself how to play the guitar with his toes.
In 1987 he was asked by the youth of Los Angeles to be their gift to Pope John Paul II, and this internationally broadcast event set Tony's career in to high gear. Now more than twenty-eight years later Tony has traveled to all fifty states and more than 44 foreign countries. Tony has been on shows such as Good Morning America, Hour Of Power with Robert Schuller, Arsenio Hall, 700 Club, and Jerry Lewis Telethons.
Tony has recorded five albums, Never Be The Same, Ways of The Wise, Cup Of Life, Hands In Heaven and his latest Hope/Esperanza. He also has an autobiography, A Gift Of Hope, and is the recipient of numerous awards, including special commendations from President Reagan, the State of California, the City of Los Angeles, and countless other civic and charitable organizations. He received the first annual Inspirational Hero Award from the NFL Alumni Association at Super Bowl XXIII.
Tony now resides in Branson with his wife Lynn and two kids, Marisa and Andres. Despite all the travel over the last twenty eight years, Tony continues to resist the siren song of stardom, hoping only to develop his musical career and share his God given gifts. "I don't feel like a celebrity," he says with a smile, " I just feel like me!"
Visit Tony's website at tonymelendez.com.
August 4-6, 2017
Bishop Michael Sheridan
Bishop Michael Sheridan was born in St. Louis, MO on March 4, 1945. He was ordained as a diocesan priest by Cardinal John J. Carberry on May 29, 1971. On September 3, 1997 Bishop Sheridan was ordained as an auxiliary bishop of St. Louis by Archbishop Justin Rigali. On December 4, 2001 Bishop Sheridan was appointed coadjutor bishop of Colorado Springs and became the bishop of the diocese on January 30, 2003.
Bishop Sheridan has received several graduate degrees in theology, including a Doctorate of Sacred Theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas [Angelicum] in Rome. We are honored to have Bishop Sheridan celebrate our opening Mass this year. www.diocs.com
Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J.
We are delighted to have Father Mitch Pacwa return to our conference again this year. Fr. Pacwa is the President and Founder of Ignatius Productions, and is best know for his appearances on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) where he hosts two programs: Threshold of Hope and EWTN Live. He also serves as the weekly host of EWTN Radio's Open Line program.
Father received his B.A. in Philosophy and Theology from the University of Detroit, summa cum laude. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1976 with the Society of Jesus and then continued his studies. He received his Master of Divinity and S.T.B. from the Jesuit School of Theology of Loyola University, magna cum laude. At Vanderbilt University, he received his Master of Arts, Ph.D. in Old Testament.
Father Mitch Pacwa has taught at the high school, university, and seminary levels. He is the founder and President of Ignatius Productions. The mission of Ignatius Productions is "to teach people the scriptures, to educate Catholics about their faith, and to promote unity and understanding within the mystical body of Christ." To that end, this well-known Biblical scholar has lectured and spoke at hundreds of conferences and churches around the world.
Father Pacwa is fluent in twelve languages and has a unique understanding of the peoples and cultures of the Middle East. Father’s extensive travels throughout the Middle East, Europe, and the Holy Land has inspired him to write the “Holy Land Prayer Book,” which has been published by his own apostolate, Ignatius Productions, and can be used as a prayer book guide for any pilgrim traveling to the Holy Land. Father Pacwa also has the privilege of being bi-ritual, which means he can also celebrate the Maronite Mass of the Eastern Catholic Church.
Fr. Charles Becker
Marian Movement of Priests
Fr. Charles Becker is a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago and is the National Responsible for the Marian Movement of Priests, a worldwide Movement begun by Our Lady in Fatima through Fr. Stefano Gobbi who received interior locutions explaining the need for Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Three years after his ordination in 1986, Fr. Becker was invited to go to Medjugorje. Upon his return he was introduced to the prayer group format of the Marian Movement of Priests based on Our Lady's messages to Fr. Stefano Gobbi of Milan, Italy. These experiences coupled with his Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in October 1990 began to change Father's whole perspective on his life as a priest, of the Church and of the world. He began to develop Cenacles of the Marian Movement of Priests and other Marian Rosary Groups throughout the Archdiocese in response to Our Lady's call to prayer in order to assist others who had similar experiences.
Father Becker has assisted approximately 2 to 3 trips to Medjugorje yearly since 1990 and has participated in the annual International Marian Movement of Priest Retreat in Italy since 1997. Father has been a guest homilist on EWTN.
Fr. Greg Bramlage
Missionary of the New Evangelization
Fr. Greg Bramlage was born in 1964 in Covington, Kentucky. He received a B.S. in Business Administration and graduated Cum Laude from Marian College. He worked 13 years in the Shipping and Transportation Industry. In 1996 he graduated Cum Laude from Mount St. Mary’s Seminary with a Masters Degree in Theology and was ordained for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, IN.
Fr. Greg has worked 15 years pastoring multiple parishes and Catholic Schools. He incorporated a full-time Healing and Deliverance ministry into St. Nicholas Parish and began a monthly Healing Service. Fr. Greg has been a guest speaker on Radio Maria as well as a guest on Ave Maria Radio.
In July of 2011, Archbishop Buechlein released Fr. Greg from diocesan ministry to pursue full-time work in Evangelization to the third world under the supervision of Bishop Sam Jacobs of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana. In October of 2011, Fr. Greg founded "Missionaries of the New Evangelization" to accomplish this purpose. Fr. Greg now travels the world teaching others how to pray for miracles with expectant faith. His goal is to share the healing love of Jesus with those whom he meets and thus bring about the renewal of all God’s people.
Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC
Champion of the Rosary
Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, a prominent Marian priest, exhibits an unmistakable zeal for the priesthood and devotion to Our Lady. He was born in Dearborn, Michigan on June 29, 1972. Fr. Calloway was ordained a priest on May 31, 2003 at The National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, MA, becoming a member of the Congregation of Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.
He is a well-known conference speaker on Divine Mercy and the Blessed Virgin Mary. He speaks passionately about these topics in his moving conversion story.
Fr. Calloway is the editor of two books:
The Virgin Mary and Theology of the Body and The Immaculate Conception in the Life of the Church.
He has also authored seven books:
- Champions of the Rosary: The History and Heroes of a Spiritual Weapon
- Purest of All Lilies: The Virgin Mary in the Spirituality of St. Faustina
- No Turning Back: A Witness to Mercy
- Under the Mantle: Marian Thoughts from a 21st Century Priest
- Marian Gems: Daily Wisdom on Our Lady
- Mary of Nazareth: The Life of Our Lady in Pictures
- Rosary Gems: Daily Wisdom on the Holy Rosary
St. Thomas Aquinas Society is proud to support the following two-day event in May unrelated to our 20th Annual Conference August 3-6, 2017.