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
Fr. Bill Halbing
God's Word Alive Today
Fr. Bill Halbing, of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey, is known for his gift of bible teaching. Fr. Bill, attended the Immaculate Conception Seminary in Mahwah, New Jersey, and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Newark on October 30th, 1982. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and received both his Master of Fine Arts degree in Jewish-Christian studies and his Master of Divinity degree at Seton Hall University.
Active in Charismatic Renewal since 1975, Fr. Bill has been a guest speaker at national charismatic conferences in Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Denver, Florida, New Hampshire and Idaho and has traveled as far as Canada, Guyana, Eastern Europe and the Philippines to preach God's Word. He is also involved in door-to-door evangelization, Catechism for Filipino Catholics, Bookas Loob Sa Diyos and Hispanic ministry. He has been a featured guest speaker at conferences, retreats, days of renewal, parish missions and youth bible conferences.
Father Aniello Salicone, SX
We welcome Fr. Aniello Salicone to this year's conference where he will share his experience of how God has called him to special ministry. Fr. Aniello's presentation will be thought-provoking and humorous. You will delight and be inspired when he touches on God's infinite love for all of us. Fr. Salicone will be available for individual healing prayer for all those in attendance.
Father Aniello Salicone of the Xaverian Missionaries was born in Italy in 1940. In 1952 he entered a Minor Seminary because he wanted to become a priest. In 1961 he left the Pontifical Seminary of Salerno (Italy) to join the Xaverian Missionaries in Parma. He was ordained a priest in 1966. He has served in Italy, London, West Africa and many states throughout the United States most recently at St. Therese in Chinatown. Fr. Salicone is currently the assistant to the Rector at the Xaverian house in Franklin, Wisconsin.
Fr. Aniello began his healing ministry in 1995 after an extraordinary personal experience of God’s love for each person. He has being doing healing masses in through the United States and in Italy. He feels that his main duty is to speak about the personal love of God for each person.
In September 2005, he went to Medjugorje with John and Colleen Willard for the third anniversary of Colleen's extraordinary physical healing. Father Aniello had encouraged Colleen to go to Medjugorje where she would see His Glory. She went and was healed from seven terminal illnesses. In September 2007, John and Colleen Willard took Father Aniello with them again to Medjugorje. In June 2008, Father Aniello became a United States citizen. As of July 1, 2010 Fr. Aniello has been at the Xaverian Missionary House in Franklin, WI, where he serves as the Assistant to the Rector and Vocations Director.
Musician, Liturgical Assistant
By helping to convey the love of God, and stressing a need for a personal relationship with Christ, Bernie's heartfelt songs present a call to action and a challenge to service. In the past 17 years he has told his miraculous story and performed his songs for thousands of youth throughout the country and abroad.
Some of Bernie's performances include appearances at the National Catholic Youth Convention - main stage at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis and main stage with his band at the Reliant Stadium in Houston. Bernie has also performed at 3 World Youth Days- Philippines, Rome and Toronto and was also asked to be on EWTN's "Back Stage" He also hosted a TV series geared for teens called "Be A Light" that he co-produced for Boston Catholic Television. Bernie is an for artist for World Library Publications where his music is being published and distributed. He was also the winner for 2003 UCMVA Awards for his song Emmanuel.
Singer, Recording Artist
Kristin Taylor is an international recording artist and Founder of T.H.O.R.N. Ministries Catholic lay Apostolate in Western Samoa. She was gifted her voice and the ability to write music at the age of 13. Instead of going into secular music she chose to be a wife and mother first. She and her husband David have 12 children- 8 who were adopted. During the 90's Kristin began traveling internationally as an inspirational speaker and singer. During that time her ministry grew as she realized she needed to live her faith in order to teach the children about Jesus. The homeless ministry began in 97 and now feeds 400 meals a week. The ministry in Western Samoa born in 1995 to teach the corporal works thru the gifting of much needed medical supplies she collected State side.
In 1998 Kristin was bestowed the honorary Princess title To'oa by their Late Head of State. This gift enabled Kristin to share the ministry throughout the country. Kristin''s life has been an uphill climb with temendous loss and heartache- yet her complete trust in the Lord and Blessed Mother has kept this light shining bright!
General Program MC
Since 1997 Matt Werner has served as President of Queen of the Apostles Mission Association working to advance the interests of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Russia and former Soviet Union countries. This charitable non-profit group has helped many bishops, priests and sisters build and repair churches and monasteries that underwent neglect and destruction during Communist rule. He travels every year to monasteries, seminaries and parishes in the Ukraine bringing them hope, assessing their progress and bringing back reports. He and his wife always visit an orphanage where they teach the children the Rosary. You can learn more about QAMA on their website at www.facebook.com/QueenofApostlesMission.
Fr. Kyle Ingels
Young Adult Program MC
A native of Colorado Springs, Fr Kyle Ingels serves as the Director of Campus Ministry for the Diocese of Colorado Springs. He has served as Chaplain for the Catholic Student Center at the University of Maryland and as Pastor of Ascension Parish in Bowie, Maryland. Fr Kyle graduated from The Catholic University of America and Mount St. Mary's Seminary and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Washington by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick in 2005.
Fr. Mark Wheelan, SOLT
Fr. Mark Wheelan, SOLT, studied in Rome at the Angelicum. He was ordained in Corpus Christi, TX and was sent to serve the Native American Indians in North Dakota. Fr. Mark has been attending our conferences for several years to assist with the sacraments and is very much appreciated by all. Father has participated in conferences across the states as a sacramental minister where he is appreciated for his long hours in the confessional and his charism of reconciliation. We look forward to Father's return for this year's conference.