18th Annual Conference
July 31 - August 2, 2015
Presented by the
St. Thomas Aquinas Society
Pikes Peak Center
190 S. Cascade Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80903
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. Piotr Prusakiewicz, CSMA
Divine Mercy and the Holy Angels
Internationally renowned retreat master from Poland, he is an authority on Holy Angels and Editor-in-Chief of the magazine "The Angels". Fr. Peter is an expert on St. Faustina Kowalska and the Divine Mercy devotion.
Father Peter was ordained priest of the Congregation of St Michael the Archangel on May 23rd 1990.
By God’s providence from 1993 – 1996 he served as chaplain to the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Warsaw where St Faustina began her religious life. This was one of the most treasured periods in his life. He learned much about her character, trials, spiritual battles and revelations given to St Faustina in her writings and from the sisters who were still alive and knew St Faustina personally.
Fr. Peter (Piotr) on EWTN
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.
Fr. Chris Alar, MIC
Director of the Association of Marian Helpers
Fr. Chris entered the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, the religious community entrusted with spreading the message and devotion of Divine Mercy, as a postulant in July, 2006. Prior to that time he received a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and an MBA from the University of Michigan. After working several years at a Fortune 500 company, he began his own consulting company in Charlotte, NC in 2000.
After answering the Lord's call, he attended Franciscan University in Steubenville, OH, for his Philosophy studies and earned his Masters of Divinity Degree from Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, CT. Over the past several years he has been mentored by the world's leading experts in Divine Mercy, and he has spoken at over 100 parishes to date. Currently he lives and works on Eden Hill in Stockbridge, Mass., home of the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy.
Fr. Andre Mahanna
Liturgy and History
Fr. Andre is Pastor of St. Rafka Maronite Church in Lakewood, CO. He is Director of: Office of Evangelization and Catechesis for Diocese of Our Lady of Lebanon for Maronite Catholics, USA; of Office of Ecumenism and Interfaith Dialogue for Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon; of Initiative PLACE for Peace in the Middle East at Archdiocese of Denver, CO and more.
Fr. Wade Menezes, CPM
The Crux of the Matter
Fr. Wade L. J. Menezes, CPM is a member of the Fathers of Mercy, a missionary preaching Religious Congregation based in Auburn, Kentucky. Ordained a priest during the Great Jubilee Year 2000, he received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Catholic Thought from the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Toronto, Canada and his dual Master of Arts and Master of Divinity Degrees in Theology from Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut.
Having served as Director of Vocations and Director of Seminarians for the Fathers of Mercy, Fr. Wade has also served as the Chaplain-in-Residence at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament of Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Hanceville, Alabama, both affiliated with EWTN, the Eternal Word Television Network. While at the Shrine, Fr. Wade was a daily Mass celebrant, homilist and confessor.
Fr. Wade has been a contributing writer for The National Catholic Register, Our Sunday Visitor, Catholic Twin Circle, Catholic Faith and Family, The Wanderer, Pastoral Life, The Catholic Faith, Lay Witness and Christian Ranchman publications. Fr. Wade has also been a guest on various episodes of EWTN’s “Mother Angelica Live” and “Life on the Rock” programs during which he discussed such topics as the sanctification of marriage and family life, vocations and the Sacred Liturgy. He has hosted several series for EWTN, which have covered such topics as the necessity of the spiritual life, the Four Last Things, the Ten Commandments of Catholic Family Life, and the Gospel of Life vs. the Culture of Death. He is also host of the EWTN segment series, The Crux of the Matter.
Singer and Songwriter
Connie Salazar is an inspirational Catholic recording artist from Southern California. In 2000 and again in 2005, she was nominated for Female Vocalist of The Year from the United Catholic Music and Video Association and has 4 full-length compact discs entitled “into Your presence”, “Journey of Faith”, “I Heard A Gentle Call”, and "Christmas". Connie graduated from Mount St. Mary’s University in Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Music degree with an emphasis in church music. She also serves as a cantor at her parish and in the surrounding Southern California area.
Memorable events include being selected to sing in the Papal Choir for St. Pope John Paul II in honor of his visit to Los Angeles in 1987; in 1996, Connie performed for President Gerald Ford, New Jersey Governor Christy Todd Whitman and the New Jersey Republican National Convention delegation in San Diego, California; singing the National Anthem at Dodger Stadium.
Connie and her husband have to two children. Their greatest vocation is to raise them in the Catholic faith. You can listen to Connie's music on EWTN’s Catholic Jukebox; Indie Gospel Radio; KVBM Portland, Oregon; Highland Radio, County Donegal Ireland; and Vatican Radio. She was recently interview by Julie Carrick for Guadalupe Radio's "We Sing Our Faith" program.
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's 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.
Dcn. Mattie Henry
General Program MC
A gifted Irish baritone will be our Master of Ceremony. Mattie immigrated from Ireland with his family in 1970. He and his brothers formed the Noel Henry Irish Show Band and they toured for 20 years. Mattie spreads the Word of God through music and has been an indispensable M.C. for our conferences.
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.
Fr. Israel Gonsalves, O.C.D.
Father Israel has traveled across vast oceans and continents to be with us. He is originally from Goa, India. Goa was evangelized by Saint Francis Xavier and is located along India’s southwestern coast. He now serves as Parochial Vicar at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Centennial, Colorado.
Father Israel is a member of the Carmelite Order, joining them in 1984 and professing his vows in 1988. Father Israel is the youngest of five children. His family had a hard life growing up because his father was killed when he was only eleven years old. A priest used to visit his family to assist when they were struggling and set a good example for him.
Father Israel got his first taste for the priesthood in the seventh grade. He used to help out at a nearby Carmelite monastery. It was there that he felt in his soul a deep desire to reach out and help the poor and orphaned. Because he himself had once been poor, he feels it is his turn to give back and help others in need.
Father Israel enjoys praying with small Christian communities, working on social projects, visiting the sick in nursing homes and helping orphans. In his own words: “I really enjoy meeting new people of all walks of life, poor and rich alike. I like connecting people. Even after I leave, the people I connect can remain friends. We are all one family in Jesus Christ, we just don’t know each other yet.”