Reverend Monsignor J. Brian Bransfield, a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, serves as the General Secretary of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, D.C. Prior to his current service, he has served as the Associate General Secretary, Assistant General Secretary, Executive Director of the Secretariat of Evangelization and Catechesis at the Conference, and as lead staff to the Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage.
Monsignor Bransfield has served in parish ministry, as a high-school faculty member teaching freshman and senior theology. After earning a doctorate in moral theology from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, he served as a professor at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
His articles have appeared in America Magazine, Our Sunday Visitor Newsweekly and Catechetical Leader, a publication of the National Conference of Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of The Human Person: According to John Paul II (June 2010); Living the Beatitudes: A Journey to Life in Christ (October 2011); Meeting Jesus Christ: Meditations on the Word (September 2013); and Life Everlasting: The Mystery and the Promise (August 2015).
Louis Canter, OEF, is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio. He is the Minister of Music for Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Kissimmee, Florida. While Louis is focused on Parish Ministry, he gives workshops throughout the United States on topics related to Music and Worship. He also gives Parish Missions and Concerts. He is involved with interfaith dialogue and has participated in conferences and concerts related to the peace efforts and praise and worship. He is a sought after accompanist and vocalist for numerous Christian Artists. His bi-lingual ability gives him freedom to work within the Spanish speaking community. His “Requiem for the Innocents” has been recently released by ILP and has been well received in the Catholic Community.
“It is my hope that this message goes out to the work regarding the respect of life and the consequences of our choices. Life is sacred. Life is a gift. May this work help remind us all that only God gives the gift of life from conception to natural end.”
Most Reverend Felipe J. Estévez, Bishop of the Diocese of Saint Augustine, was born February 5, 1946 in Havana, Cuba and arrived in the United States on an Operation Pedro Pan flight as a teenager. He was ordained in 1970 and has done extensive studies in spiritual theology, earning a doctorate from Gregorian University in Rome. He is fluent in English, Spanish, French and Italian.
From 2001 to 2003, Bishop Estévez served as spiritual director of St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, FL where he served as rector from 1980 to 1986. He was pastor of St Agatha Parish in Miami for 14 years, while also directing campus ministry at Florida International University. Appointed Auxiliary Bishop on November 21, 2003, and ordained January 7, 2004, he oversaw the archdiocese’s Ministry of Pastoral Services including family life, youth, campus, prison and respect life ministries, as well as all the apostolic movements.
In 2010, under the leadership of Archbishop Thomas G Wenski, Bishop Estévez was appointed Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Miami. On April 27, 2011, Pope Benedict XVI named him the tenth Bishop of St. Augustine. He was installed on June 2, 2011 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jacksonville. Bishop Estévez also currently serves on the US Bishops’ Committee for Pro-Life Activities, Catholic Relief Services Board and Latino American Committee.
Father David Garcia is a priest of the Archdiocese of San Antonio for 41 years. A native of San Antonio, he received his BA in History from St. Mary’s University, and two Masters degrees from Notre Dame University in Theology and Institutional Administration. He held a fellowship at Notre Dame from 1972-74 and a Charles Merrill Fellowship at Harvard Divinity School in 1994. He has served four parishes in San Antonio, including San Fernando Cathedral where he was rector from 1995-2008 and completed a $21 million restoration and expansion program.
He currently serves as Director of the Old Spanish Missions, restoring the mission churches, and participated in the successful effort to win a UNESCO World Heritage designation for the missions. He also serves as Senior Advisor for Clergy Outreach at Catholic Relief Services, the official international humanitarian and relief agency of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Father Miguel Gonzalez was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Orlando on May 23, 1998. He served as parochial vicar at the Cathedral Church of St. James, Orlando. In the fall of 2000, Fr. Miguel was transferred to St. John Vianney Parish, where he continued his priestly ministry as parochial vicar. On December 15, 2004 Bishop Thomas Wenski named Fr. Miguel Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Orlando.
Fr. Miguel has served as a board member for Bishop Moore Catholic High School in Orlando, and he has also served as a member of The National Advisory Council for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Besides serving the Diocese of Orlando as Pastor of St. John Vianney Parish since March 1, 2011, he is also Vicar for Priests, Board member for Bishop Grady Villas, and assists the Orlando Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (ODCCW) as Diocesan Spiritual Advisor.
John Thomas Littell, MD, is a board-certified family physician. After earning his MD from George Washington University, he served in the US Army, receiving the Meritorious Service Medal for his work in quality improvement, and also served with the National Health Service Corps in Montana. During his eighteen years in Kissimmee, FL, Dr. Littell has served on the faculty of the UCF School of Medicine, President of the County Medical Society, and Chief of Staff at the Florida Hospital.
Recently, Dr Littell authored the book The Hidden Truth: Deception in Women’s Health Care A Physician’s Advice to Women – and all who care for them Dr. Littell is actively involved in Blessed Trinity Parish, Ocala FL, where he serves as cantor. He is a former board member of the Catholic Medical Association and, along with his wife, Kathleen, serves as an instructor in Natural Family Planning (Billings Ovulation Method). Dr. Littell has always viewed his chosen vocation of family medicine as an offshoot of his Catholic identity and remains very active as a family physician with practices both in Kissimmee and Ocala.
Rose Llauget, Director of Pregnancy and Adoption Services joined Catholic Charities Diocese of St. Petersburg in 2009. She oversees four Foundations of Life Pregnancy Centers, Knights Women’s Center, Project Rachel and Catholic Charities Adoption Services for four dioceses.
Before joining Catholic Charities, Ms. Llauget retired after 28 years with GTE Telecommunications. Her last position was GTE Telecommunications Services Director – International Sales Latin America and Caribbean establishing GTE as a major player in the Latin American wireless market. After retiring she taught Business Communication, a college level course, adapted for grades 6-8, at Villa Madonna School.
Ms. Llauget holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from the University of South Florida and a Master’s degree in Education Leadership from Saint Leo University. She is a former licensed private pilot and certified scuba diver. Married to Ron, she lives with her two sons Michael and Alex in Lutz, Florida.
Reverend Mr. Fernando “Fred” Molina was ordained a deacon in 1999 in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York. He is retired from the U.S. Postal Service as a senior systems analyst at JFK Airport. Currently, Deacon Fred is a member of the CRS (Catholic Relief Service) Good Fellows and is serving both the English and Spanish speaking communities in the Diocese of Orlando at Resurrection Catholic Church in Winter Garden.
He is trained as an annulment advocate and his ministry has also included the RCIA program, Spanish community ministry, prison ministry, pre-Cana, Baptism preparation classes, marriage intake and prayer group. Deacon Fred was instrumental in helping to form the Diocese of Orlando Human Trafficking Task Force and currently serves as one of their Coordinators. Fred frequently speaks to parishes and groups about the issue of human trafficking, especially in the state of Florida.
Most Reverend John Noonan was born in Limerick, Ireland, and immigrated to New York at the age of 18 and later relocated to Miami where his calling to the priesthood led him to St. John Vianney College Seminary. After graduation, he attended St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary and graduated with a Master of Divinity in 1983. On September 23, 1983, he was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Miami, and received his first pastoral assignment as parochial vicar, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Pompano Beach.
He excelled at leading young people to Christ and became chaplain for Youth Ministry in Broward County between 1985 and 1987. He then assisted young men discerning a vocation to the priesthood as Dean of Men, St. John Vianney College Seminary from 1989 to 1993. He continued to serve in the area of education as supervising principal of Msgr. Edward Pace High School, Miami Gardens, from 1993 to 1994 and supervising principal of St. Brendan High School, Miami, from 1994 to 1996.
Bishop Noonan received a Master of Education from Boston College in 1996 and served as Rector/President of St. John Vianney College Seminary between 1996 and 2005 and Director of Priestly Life and Ministry between 2001 and 2010. On October 22, 2001, Pope John Paul II conferred the title of monsignor upon him. Pope Benedict XVI named him auxiliary bishop of Miami and he was ordained to the episcopacy on August 24, 2005. The Holy Father appointed him bishop of Orlando on October 23, 2010.
Bishop Noonan currently serves as the Episcopal Liaison to Catholic Volunteers in Florida, as well as a member of the USCCB Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations (CCLV) as the liaison to the National Association of College Seminaries (NACS).
He is fluent in English, Gaelic, and Spanish.
Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D. is a priest of the diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts. As an undergraduate he earned degrees in philosophy, biochemistry, molecular cell biology, and chemistry, and did laboratory research on hormonal regulation of the immune response. He later earned a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Yale University, where he focused on cloning genes for neurotransmitter transporters which are expressed in the brain. He worked for several years as a molecular biologist at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Fr. Tad studied for 5 years in Rome where he did advanced work in dogmatic theology and in bioethics, examining the question of delayed ensoulment of the human embryo. He has testified before members of the Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Virginia and Oregon State Legislatures during deliberations over stem cell research and cloning. He has given presentations and participated in roundtables on contemporary bioethics throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. He has done numerous media commentaries, including appearances on CNN International, ABC World News Tonight, NBC Nightly News and National Public Radio. He is Director of Education for The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia and directs the Center’s National Catholic Certification Program in Health Care Ethics.
Father Tad writes a monthly column on timely life issues. From stem cell research to organ donation, abortion to euthanasia, he offers a clear and compelling analysis of modern bioethical questions, addressing issues we may confront at one time or another in our daily living. His column is entitled, “Making Sense Out of Bioethics” and is nationally syndicated in the U.S. to numerous diocesan newspapers, and also carried by newspapers in England, Poland and Australia.
Sister Helen Prejean was born on April 21, 1939, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She joined the Sisters of St. Joseph of Medaille in 1957 (now know as the Congregation of St. Joseph) and received a B.A. in English and Education from St. Mary’s Dominican College, New Orleans in 1962. In 1973, she earned an M.A. in Religious Education from St. Paul’s University in Ottawa, Canada. She has been the Religious Education Director at St. Frances Cabrini Parish in New Orleans, the Formation Director for her religious community, and has taught junior and senior high school students. Sister Helen began her prison ministry in 1981 in New Orleans and became pen pals with Patrick Sonnier, the convicted killer of two teenagers, sentenced to die in the electric chair of Louisiana’s Angola State Prison. At his request, she visited him as his spiritual advisor which opened her eyes to the Louisiana execution process.
Sister Helen turned her experiences into a book, Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty. The book was number one on the New York Times Best Seller List for 31 weeks, was an international best seller translated into ten different languages , and was made into a major motion picture in 1996 starring Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon, who won the Oscar for Best Actress.
Fifteen years after beginning her crusade, Sister Helen has witnessed five executions in Louisiana and today educates the public about the death penalty by lecturing, organizing and writing. As the founder of “Survive,” a victim’s advocacy group in New Orleans, she continues to counsel not only inmates on death row, but the families of murder victims, as well.
Sister Helen will have her books Dead Man Walking and Death of the Innocents available for purchase at the event. Books are $15 or $25 for any two purchased together. Checks should be made payable to: Ministry Against the Death Penalty or MADP.
Dale S. Recinella, JD, MTS (Catholic Correctional Chaplain for Florida’s Death Row of ±400 men: second largest in U.S.A.) for the last eighteen years: currently, for spiritual advising and death watch; formerly, death row cell to cell ministry and for long term solitary confinement (±2000 men) cell-front ministry; all on behalf of the Catholic Bishops of Florida at Florida State Prison (Starke, FL USA) and Union Correctional Institution (Raiford, FL USA).
His responsibilities have included pastoral care and religious education for inmates on death row and in solitary confinement, as well as deathwatch pastoral care of inmates and (as a team with Dr. Susan Recinella) inmate families during execution, distribution of Catholic Eucharist and sacramentals at cell-front, chapel services and teaching for general population inmates, coordination and training of volunteers, and scheduling of services and events. From 1990 through 1996, he served as volunteer chaplain at Apalachee Correctional Institution (Sneads, FL).
Recent responsibilities also include ministry to families and loved ones of murder victims, presenting the weekly two-hour program for the ±100 multi-faith inmates in the faith and character-based dorm at Raiford, and writing and speaking in faith venues concerning the spiritual journey, death penalty, prison conditions, and faith perspectives upon crime and punishment. At the statewide Red Mass of the Florida Catholic Bishops, he was presented the 2016 Holy Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, the highest Papal Honor a lay person can receive in the Catholic Church, for distinguished service to the Church.
Dale will have the following books available for purchase at the event: The Biblical Truth about America’s Death Penalty $40; Now I Walk on Death Row: A Wall Street Lawyer Stumbles into the Arms of a Loving God $20; When We Visit Jesus in Prison: A Guide for Catholic Ministry $35 – See Flyer. Checks may be made payable to: I Was in Prison Outreach Ministry (Prices include tax and shipping)
Dr. Susan Ward Recinella was awarded her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) at Nova University, School of Psychology, Fort Lauderdale, FL (1986) and is licensed in Florida and Georgia with a specialty in working with the severely mentally ill and served for over 13 years as a Senior Psychologist at Northeast Florida State Hospital, Macclenny, Florida where she was the Director of Psychological Internship Training for her last 8 years.
Dr. Recinella is now on staff at the Florida State University Counseling Center in Tallahassee, the city where she has previously been a fellow in private practice working with children, adolescents and adults. She is a member of the Florida Psychological Association and has participated in death row ministry by ministering to the families of inmates on deathwatch, especially during the time of execution. She also ministers to the families and loved ones of murder victims and to the female inmates (Federal) housed at the Baker County Jail and served for ten years as Coordinator of the Parish Praise and Worship Choir at St. Mary’s Catholic Church for the monthly parish healing services. She and her husband, Dale Recinella, who have raised five children, have extensively addressed audiences nationally and in Europe.
Dr. Jonathan J. Reyes, Executive Director of the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, was educated at the University of Michigan, where he studied European History as a Rackham Fellow. He earned a Ph.D. in European History at the University of Notre Dame, writing his dissertation on the historical vision of Christopher Dawson. In 2009, Dr. Reyes became the President/CEO of Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of Denver. In 2005, Dr. Reyes helped founded the Augustine Institute of Denver, a graduate program devoted to Catholic theological studies and leadership training, and served as its first President. Dr. Reyes also served as Vice President for ministry and formation for the Fellowship of Catholic University Students and also taught in the History Department at Christendom College, in Front Royal, Virginia where he served two years served as Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Bruce Stumbras, currently heads the St. Peter Claver Prison Ministry, a special service conference within the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Orlando. In years past, Bruce has also been the National Director of SVDP, President of the SVDP Diocesan Council, as well as parish and special services conference President. He was born in Sheboygan, WI, graduated from Madison area Technical Institute and for many years worked as an instructor for Wisconsin State Vocational system in food service and hotel management. He was also an owner and manager of a number of restaurants in Wisconsin.
Thirty-seven years ago he relocated to Central Florida to work in real estate sales and marketing before retiring in 1999.
Bruce has been married for 58 years and has 4 children and 7 grandchildren