Jaime Cortez is a talented and popular composer, arranger and performer. Born in New York and raised in El Salvador, Jaime is fluent in Spanish and has dedicated a portion of his ministry to promoting better Hispanic liturgies and bringing cultures together for worship. His main instrument is guitar, though he is proficient in piano and other string instruments, such as charango, vihuela and bass guitar. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music composition from Arizona State University. He was named Pastoral Musician of the Year in 2016 by the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM).
Some of Jaime’s best-known songs are “Rain Down,” “Somos el Cuerpo de Cristo/We Are the Body of Christ” (with Bob Hurd) and “Today Our Savior Is Born.” He has released five solo collections with OCP, including Rain Down, Sacramentos, Adviento, Qué Alegría/I Rejoiced, and Transformation. Recent collaborative projects include Gracia y Amor/Grace and Love, a collection with Bob Hurd and Eleazar Cortés and Our Common Home, a project inspired by Pope Francis’s encyclical, Laudato Si’, featuring his song “Let Us Sing as We Go”, along with music from several other well-known Catholic composers.
In addition to workshops, Jaime gives concerts with both English and Spanish repertoire, alone or with volunteer groups. He has many years of experience presenting workshops for teachers and youth on bilingual liturgy and music.
Jaime is currently music director at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Mesa, Arizona. He lives in Mesa with his wife and their three musically talented sons.
Laura Kelly Fanucci is a mother, writer, wonderer, a seeker of God in the chaos of laundry and life with littles. She works part-time in theological research for the Collegeville Institute at Saint John’s University in Minnesota where she earned my Master of Divinity degree.
V.P. of Business Development, Covenant Eyes
Since serving in the U.S. Air Force, Ryan Foley has continually worked in the technology field with a particular focus on security. Ryan joined Covenant Eyes in 2012 and is now applying his passion for security and safety in support of families, working to protect them from Internet pornography. Ryan is the Vice President of Development for Covenant Eyes and he speaks regularly and provides Internet safety workshops at schools, parishes, and to other faith-based organizations.
Director, National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry, Washington
Christina made her way into the field of youth ministry after ten years of volunteering at her home parish, where she was drawn to empower young people to find ways to actively live out their faith and to continue to grow in their relationship with Christ in their daily living. She went on to hold multiple positions within the Office of Religious Education for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. She currently is the executive director of the National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry. She brings to NFCYM 20+ years’ experience in catechesis and youth ministry. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and her master’s degree in Social Work at the University of Southern California. She holds numerous certificates in catechesis, adult faith formation, pastoral care, building intercultural competence and youth ministry.
Christina was born and raised in Southern California. She lived in Los Angeles until August 2016. Currently, she and her 6 year old daughter, Isabella, reside in Maryland.
Musician, composer, producer and workshop clinician, Oregon Catholic Press
Rodolfo (Rudy) López is a talented musician, composer, producer and workshop clinician who believes in the power of music to change the world and to draw people more deeply into the liturgy. Having served parishes in California and Oregon as music director for many years, he is active as a songwriter, soloist and arranger for events at national and international levels. An accomplished guitarist, he is a graduate of California State University at Los Angeles (CSULA), where he completed a bachelor of music in composition.
Rudy and his wife, Stella García-López, have published two collections of liturgical music with OCP: Brille Tu Luz and Cristo No Tiene Pies en el Mundo. Their popular bilingual Mass setting, Misa Santa Cecilia/Mass of St. Cecilia, is part of the Unidos en Cristo/United in Christ missal program. Most recently, the pair also wrote one of the songs on OCP’s new Spanish-language contemporary compilation album, Bendito, Bendito, with songs for praise and worship. He has sung, played in and produced dozens of Spanish-language and bilingual music recordings for OCP.
Rudy’s events focus on the basic musical needs of bilingual and Spanish-speaking choirs and assemblies.
Currently Rudy works for OCP as a Hispanic Events Specialist, recording producer and clinician. He lives in Portland with his wife and children.
Founder/director, A Simple House
Clark Massey worked as an economist and Catholic worker before founding A Simple House in 2003. Simple House missionaries serve poor families and the homeless in Washington, DC and Kansas City, MO. They also serve the rural poor in San Marcos, Nicaragua. Missionaries merge the spiritual and corporal works of mercy while befriending the poor. They call this work friendship evangelization.
Director, Catholic Charities, St. Cloud
Steve Pareja has been the Executive Director of Catholic Charities since November 28, 2016. Prior to Catholic Charities, he worked in healthcare leadership, capital sales of medical equipment and as a CT & MRI tech. Since 2001, he and his family have resided in Sartell and was ordained a deacon in the Catholic Church in June 2006 by Bishop John Kinney. He currently serves in ministry at St. Francis Xavier in Sartell. He holds undergraduate degrees in radiologic technology and business (both from Indiana University), a Master’s degree in Theology (St. John’s University) and a Masters in Healthcare Administration (Ohio University). In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Donna, and his two adult children, Rebecca and Alex.
Director of Mission and Spiritual Care, St. Cloud Hospital and St. Benedict’s Senior Community, St. Cloud, MN
For the past 18 years Bret Reuter has served as the Director of Mission and Spiritual Care for the St. Cloud Hospital and St. Benedict’s Senior Community in St. Cloud, MN. He is a graduate of the St. John’s University School of Theology, obtaining both a Master of Arts degree in Theology, as well as a Masters of Divinity degree. In his role at the St. Cloud Hospital and St. Benedicts Senior Community he attends to issues of Catholic Identity including compliance with the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Healthcare Services, as well as provides oversight for the Spiritual Care Departments, Parish Health Ministries, and Archives.
Bret has lived in the St. Cloud area over 25 years. He is married to Nicole, and they have three children ages 4, 10, and 14.
Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia, Diocese of Saint Cloud
Fr. Robert Rolfes has served the Diocese of Saint Cloud for more than 35 years – 16 years as vice chancellor, 14 years as chancellor and currently serves as vicar general and moderator of the curia. In addition to his service at the diocesan offices, he also have been pastor of various parishes in the diocese.
Sales Representative and Catechetical Resource, RCL Benziger Catholic Publishers
Andrew (Andy) Russell has been a church worker since 1989. He was a parish youth minister in Chicago while completing his education. Andy was a director of religious education for 16 years in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He has also ministered as a high school theology teacher. He earned a MA in Theology from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. Andy is an adjunct instructor in theology at Silver Lake College of the Holy Family in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Currently Andy Russell is the sales representative for RCL Benziger in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa.
Chaplain, St. Cloud Hospital
Amie Schumacher serves as a full-time Chaplain at St. Cloud Hospital in St. Cloud, MN. In addition to Chaplain duties, she has been providing presentations since 2012 for diverse audiences regarding the ACE Study, trauma, theology, and pastoral care, within St. Cloud Hospital, the CentraCare health system, and the surrounding community. She received training and certification to be an “ACE Interface” presenter, as sponsored by “Minnesota Communities Caring for Children” based in St. Paul.
Amie is a graduate of St. John’s University School of Theology and Seminary in Collegeville, MN, obtaining a Master of Divinity degree. She also holds a Master of Science degree in Counseling from the University of Dayton in Ohio. Amie completed a 2-year residency of Clinical Pastoral Education and training at Covenant Hospital in Lubbock, TX. Prior to pursuing her vocation as Chaplain, she worked as a Psychometric Evaluator and Research Assistant for 8 years at the Benton Neuropsychology Laboratory, within the Neurology Department at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA.
Amie is a survivor, and is steadfast about shining light into the darkness of the generational cycle of adverse childhood experiences.
Marcia Tate, EdD is a former Executive Director of Professional Development for DeKalb County School System, Decatur, Georgia. She has been a classroom teacher, reading specialist, language arts coordinator and staff development executive director. She currently is an educational consultant who has authored seven best-sellers.
Marcia received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and elementary education from Spelman College in Atlanta, GA. She earned her Master’s degree in remedial reading from the University of Michigan, her educational specialist degree from Georgia State University and her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Clark Atlanta University. Marcia is married to Tyrone Tate and is the proud mother of three children and grandmother of five grandchildren.
Director, Graduate Certificate in Spiritual Direction, St. John’s School of Theology
Becky Van Ness taught at Cathedral High School for over 20 years before leaving to head the Graduate Certificate in Spiritual Direction at Saint John’s School of Theology and Seminary. Her special interests are how the Benedictine tradition gives guidance for our life together, and how attending to and discerning our human experience can open us to a deeper relationship with God.
Dr. Joseph White converted to the Catholic Faith while in graduate school at Virginia Commonwealth University and later studied Catholic Theology at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio.
Dr. White served as a parish Director of Faith for two years, and then worked for seven years as Director of Family Counseling and Family Life for the Diocese of Austin, Texas. He now works as a National Catechetical Consultant for Our Sunday Visitor and is in part-time practice as a clinical child psychologist.
Dr. White and his wife Ana also frequently do missionary and relief work in Panama and other locations, such as Mexico and Cambodia.