Raleigh Convention Center
500 S Salisbury Street
Raleigh, NC 27601
Fri, Feb 24th starting at 6pm, and Sat, Feb 25th
EARLY REGISTRATION DISCOUNTS
Adults $35, Students (age 10+) $25 — Includes Friday, Saturday, and Lunch!
Friday only: Adults $15, Students (age 10+) free
See below for speaker bios.
Abby Johnson has always had a fierce determination to help women in need. It was this desire that both led Abby to a career with Planned Parenthood, our nation’s largest abortion provider, and caused her to flee the organization and become an outspoken advocate for the pro-life movement.
During her eight years with Planned Parenthood, Abby quickly rose in the organization’s ranks and became a clinic director. She was increasingly disturbed by what she witnessed. Abortion was a product Planned Parenthood was selling, not an unfortunate necessity that they fought to decrease.
All of that changed on September 26, 2009 when Abby was asked to assist with an ultrasound-guided abortion. She watched in horror as a 13-week baby fought, and ultimately lost, its life at the hand of the abortionist. At that moment, the full realization of what abortion was and what she had dedicated her life to washed over Abby and a dramatic transformation took place.
Desperate and confused, Abby sought help from a local pro-life group. She swore that she would begin to advocate for life in the womb and expose abortion for what it truly is.
She is a frequently requested guest on Fox News and a variety of other shows and the author of the nationally best-selling book, Unplanned, which chronicles both her experiences within Planned Parenthood and her dramatic exit.
Today, Abby travels across the globe sharing her story, educating the public on pro-life issues, advocating for the unborn, and reaching out to abortion clinic staff who still work in the industry. She is the founder of And Then There Were None, a ministry designed to assist abortion clinic workers out of the industry. To date, this ministry has helped over 300 workers leave the abortion industry.
Abby lives in Texas with her husband and five precious children.
As a star on America’s Next Top Model and subsequent years as a professional model in New York City, Leah had it all: fame, beauty and money. But deep inside she knew she was missing the one thing that could satisfy her: The Father’s love.
Leah is the author of Reclaiming Beauty: A 5 Step Guide To A More Beautiful You.
As a full-time apologist and speaker for Catholic Answers from 2010-2013, Leah brought her experience of both reality TV and the fashion world to the masses. Now she travels the world to help young people find real happiness and explore authentic relationships by reclaiming their worth, to know real Truth, Beauty, and Love, in light of Saint Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.
Leah has a BA in psychology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and is currently working toward her MA in theology at the Augustine Institute in Denver, Colorado. She and her husband, Ricky, live in St. Louis, MO with three beautiful children ages, 3, 1, and 7 months.
Father Michael Gaitley
Father Michael Gaitley, MIC, is director of evangelization for the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception and director of formation for the Marian Missionaries of Divine Mercy. Fr. Michael is also the author of the best-selling Marian Press books, Consoling the Heart of Jesus, 33 Days to Morning Glory, The One Thing Is Three, You Did It To Me, The Second Greatest Story Ever Told, Divine Mercy Image Explained, and Divine Mercy Explained.
He frequently appears on EWTN and preaches retreats throughout the country on topics such as Divine Mercy, Consoling Spirituality, and Marian Consecration.
When he is not preaching missions and retreats, Fr. Michael lives and works on Eden Hill in Stockbridge, Mass., home of the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy. Fr. Michael has an MA in Theology and a Licentiate Degree in Moral Theology.
Fr. Michael strives to carry out the call from St. Pope John Paul II who told the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception to “Be apostles of Divine Mercy under the maternal and loving guidance of Mary.”
Ken Hensley, noted Catholic author, speaker, and apologist, was a Baptist minister for eleven years before resigning his pastorate in 1996 to enter the Catholic Church along with his wife, Tina. Ken currently works with the Coming Home Network International, serving the needs of converts and those curious about the Catholic faith. He also teaches Old and New Testament courses at St. John’s Seminary for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and blogs from Callingallconverts.com. With Patrick Madrid, Ken co-authored The Godless Delusion: A Catholic Challenge to Modern Atheism.
With an MA in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA, Ken has a deep knowledge of theology, Sacred Scripture, apologetics, and Reformation history, with the unique ability to make complex theological issues accessible to the average person.
Like many Protestants, Ken admired Martin Luther as a humble pastor whom God used to reform the Church and spent his early life learning about him. To mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in Sept of 2017, Ken will be leading a pilgrimage to Germany with Steve Ray to explore the life and teaching of Martin Luther.
Ken and Tina have been married for 34 years. They have two children and seven grandchildren and live in Fillmore, California.
Greg and Julie Alexander
Greg and Julie are authors, speakers, and marriage disciples. After years of living their marriage as prescribed by the world, they found themselves on the brink of divorce. Providentially they encountered a wonderful priest who encouraged them to discover God’s plan for marriage. Indebted to God, they now dedicate their lives to helping others receive the tools to live a joy-filled marriage.
To this end, the Alexanders have created a multi-faceted ministry, including The Alexander House, whose mission is to provide practical tools for couples to live marriage and relationship successfully, through healing education and enrichment, based on God’s plan and the teachings of the church. They have developed a parish-based program and, along with their teams of Marriage Disciples, reach out to thousands of couples in crisis.
Greg and Julie have presented numerous workshops, seminars and talks to thousands of participants across the country. They have appeared on various productions aired on EWTN, including as guests on “Life on the Rock” and as co-hosts of their own show, “Marriage Works in Christ.” They have written two books, Marriage 911 and Growing in Love Through Prayer.
Greg and Julie are happily married and have seven children and three grandchildren.
Marellino and Anthony D’Ambrosio
Marcellino and Anthony D’Ambrosio are dynamic Catholic Youth Speakers and Musicians who provide powerful retreats, talks, and worship experiences through their ministry program, Crossroads Pursuit, created in 2010. They are the twin sons of well-known Catholic Theologian and Speaker, Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio and Crossroads Pursuit is the youth apostolate of their father’s Crossroads Initiative ministry.
The D’Ambrosio’s unique talks incorporate music and comedy, and their remarkable witnesses give teens the inspiration to be counter-cultural. Marcellino and Anthony know personally the particular challenges confronting youth today and are unafraid to challenge cliques, social structure, and the idolization of appearance. They promote sexual abstinence, the value of family, true masculinity and femininity, and above all a radical love in the person of Jesus Christ.
Marcellino began doing youth ministry in college at Ave Maria University. He was a high school Youth Director at a parish for three years before moving to campus ministry. Marcellino now serves as the Director of Music for the Catholic Center at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX.
Anthony D’Ambrosio began youth ministry as a Totus Tuus teacher in Wichita, Kansas. He currently works in Youth Ministry at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Frisco, Texas. Since he began there in 2010, the youth group has grown by 400%.
Dana Catherine is a 23-year-old Catholic Christian singer/songwriter who finds abundant joy in allowing the Lord to use her and her music for His greater glory. She independently released her debut album, Glorious Horizons, in September 2015. After signing with a new Christian record label, Rekindle Records, Dana recently released her first single, “My Savior in Me,” which she penned after leading Praise and Worship Adoration one night.
Dana has been featured as a guest on SiriusXM and her music can be heard on radio stations across the U.S., including Catholic Playlist Show and Immaculate Heart Radio. She travels throughout the U.S. to encourage and inspire others with her songs and witness, performing and speaking at retreats and youth rallies. She also travels extensively within the Raleigh Diocese for youth events. When she’s not traveling, she serves as a Youth Minister at Saint Catherine of Siena Parish in Wake Forest.
Growing up in a Catholic family, Dana always had a strong faith, but it wasn’t until she went to college at UNC Chapel Hill that her relationship with God truly deepened and she began to understand that true and lasting happiness, peace, and purpose is found in Christ alone.
Only then did she realize that God was calling her to step out and share His truth and love with others using the musical gifts she was given.
For as long as she can remember, Dana loved to sing and began to write songs around the time she was in middle school. Dana describes her songs as prayers from her to God and through her “prayer songs” she hopes to inspire listeners to place all their trust in God and completely surrender their hearts and lives to Him.
Father Philip Bochanski
Father Philip Bochanski is the Executive Director of Courage International, Inc., an apostolate of the Catholic Church, that provides pastoral care and spiritual support for men and women who experience same-sex attractions and who desire to live chastely. Founded in New York in 1980, Courage has become a mainstream Catholic apostolate helping thousands of men and women find peace through fellowship, prayer, and the sacraments.
Prior to being named as executive director in 2016, Fr. Bochanski helped implement the apostolate’s “Courage Study Days” to form priests about Catholic teaching on homosexuality, how to be clear and compassionate in presenting Catholic teaching, and how to provide authentic pastoral care to men and women with same-sex attractions. He also oversees existing and new chapters of EnCourage, a ministry to parents, friends, and family members of loved ones with same-sex attractions.
A native of Philadelphia, Fr. Bochanski received his MA in theology from Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary and was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in May 1999. He presently lives in the Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut, where the headquarters of Courage International, Inc., is located. He is an award-winning author and has published several books, articles and audio lectures on such topics as Church history, spirituality, evangelization and pastoral care.
Father Philip Johnson
Rev. Philip Johnson was born in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1984, the youngest of two children. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science degree in History and a minor in French language.
While serving in the Navy, he was diagnosed at the age of only 24 with an inoperable brain tumor, of a kind which even in the best of circumstances would normally have taken his life in less than two years. After his discharge from the service, and medical treatment aimed at delaying the tumor’s progress, rather than curing it, he was accepted as a seminarian.
In 2009, Rev. Johnson began formation for the priesthood at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, graduating summa cum laude in May 2016 with a Master of Divinity degree. He was ordained a transitional deacon for the Diocese of Raleigh on April 11, 2015 by Bishop Michael Burbidge and was ordained to the priesthood on January 7, 2017.
His cancer has been “on hold” for about a decade at this point, a beautiful miracle; he now serves in priestly ministry at Sacred Heart Parish in Pinehurst and San Juan Diego Mission in Robbins.
Rev. Johnson is a Third Order member of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy (Mercedarians) and a “permanent member” of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association of the Sacred Heart.