Presenters

Bill Haley

Bill has been immersed in education for most of his professional career. As both a catechist and trainer of catechists, he has taught the Faith to every age level, from little children to professionals and retirees. He is a Catholic speaker, and an adjunct instructor at the Kino Institute for the Diocese of Phoenix. He served as the Director of Religious Education at St. Daniel the Prophet for 7 years, and he and his family are parishioners there. On the order of reason, Mr. Haley has been an academic dean, dean of students, and headmaster within Great Hearts Academies, providing a classical education in public charter-schools. Currently, he is the assistant headmaster of high school at Chandler Prep., where he also teaches 11 grade humane letters. In the business world, Mr. Haley is both a licensed realtor, and a rental equipment account manager. His most prized accomplishment in sales is when he convinced his lovely bride, Maureen, to marry him. They have been blessed by a clan of nine children ranging from a senior who is finishing high school to a toddler who is finishing diapers.

 

Meghan Baillargeon

Meghan is a NFP Instructor for the Diocese of Phoenix and has been teaching with her husband for seven years. Even though this is her main ministry, her heart is still with the youth of the Church. Read more>>

Nik Nikas

Nik is President and General Counsel of the Bioethics Defense Fund. Nik has directed national legal strategy on the issues of human cloning/embryonic stem cell research, abortion and end-of-life issues since 1992. His areas of expertise include legislative drafting, litigation and public education. Nik impacts legislative strategy by drafting life-protective model legislation on a host of issues, and by consulting with legislators and policy leaders in all 50 states and Congress. He also testifies in legislative committees on the constitutionality of bioethics legislation.

Nik is a dynamic speaker, having lectured on the full range of bioethics topics at legal and medical conferences and leading law schools, including Stanford, Columbia, Notre Dame, and dozens of others. He has lectured internationally on the issue of health care rights of conscience, including several addresses at the Rome conference of Matercare and the International Catholic Medical Association. Nik received his B.A. (1979) in government and international relations, and his M.A. (1981) in political philosophy from the University of Notre Dame. He received his JD, magna cum laude, in 1986 from Arizona State University College of Law, where he graduated in the top five percent of his class. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife and their five children.

Sean and Aryn Sylvester

Sean is a Fiancial Professional, and Aryn is a stay at home mom of 7 kids. In their 19years of marriage they have worked in various church ministries at St. Mary’s in Chandler including youth ministry, Legion of Mary, RCIA and the Altar Society. Additionally, they are certified Natural Family Planning teachers for engaged and married couples of the diocese. Mrs. Sylvester has experienced many conversions of faith over her 19 years of marriage in which she attributes mostly to practicing Natural family planning. For example, she didn’t want any children but after practicing abstinence in NFP saw children and life in a different light. She believes NFP has helped to restore her dignity and her respect of the dignity of others. Mr. Sylvester is in formation to be a deacon from St. Mary’s in Chandler.

Monica Jordan

Raised in Las Cruces New Mexico, Monica attended high school graduating in the top 5% of her class, before continuing on to New Mexico State University, pursuing a degree in Art Therapy. Through the years, she has ever been the humanitarian, working with special needs individuals, elderly, and now for the past 10 years has been working in the Behavioral Health field, with high school students in Arizona. Monica is currently a student at Arizona State University, continuing her degree in Art Education. Monica serves on team on the Rachel’s Vineyard Post Abortive Healing Retreats, and was instrumental in the beginning of a Non-Denominational retreat, in outreach to others in need. She is also a part of Mantle of Hope group, based at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church. She is a member and on call for the Project Rachel’s Hotline through the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. Through her abortion story, Monica helps both women, and men find healing after abortion. She shares her compelling story to the abortion minded women, and men, in hopes to spare them the regret of loss and trauma from abortion. Monica is also the Campaign Leader for the 40 days for life in Glendale Arizona. She is the Regional Coordinator for Silent No More Awareness and shares her testimony around the world. Monica has a loving and supportive Husband, children and family. Monica is truly humbled by Her Heavenly Fathers love and grace.

Sr. Mary Eileen Jewell, PVMI

Sr. Mary Eileen is a consecrated religious in the community of Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate. She lives at Our Lady of Joy convent in Scottsdale with another sister from her Community. Sister was missioned at the Catholic Newman Center at ASU from 2012 until 2018. Recently, she began an exciting ministry as Coordinator of Evangelization at Our Lady of Joy in Carefree. Before coming to Arizona, Sister was a Life Teen youth minister for high school teens for 7 years in the Bronx, New York. Coming to Arizona from the Bronx has had its challenges. When Sister first saw the “Fear the Fork” sign she was afraid to do it because she was sure it was a gang sign. She still prefers meeting a mugger rather than a snake or scorpion because…. “at least you can talk to a mugger.”

Mariah Maza

Mariah married her high school sweetheart on December 30, 2017 during the octave of Christmas. She is an ASU graduate with a bachelor’s in psychology and a minor in theological studies from the University of Mary. Most of her work revolves around helping women in unplanned pregnancies and her editorial position with the Spoken Bride blog. She has written and worked for the past two years with the pro-life organization Voices for the Voiceless, even travelling with them as a journalist to shoot the Voices Docuseries: West. She loves theology, literature, writing, and the Truth, Beauty, and Goodness that is so uniquely present in the Catholic faith. You can find her on any given day with a book in her hand or excitedly preparing for her and her husband’s first child, arriving February 2020! 

Fr. Kurt Perera

Father Kurt Perera was born in Klang, Malaysia on April 17th, 1985. Father Kurt says, “The earliest memories of my childhood consisted of going to Church and praying the rosary at home with my family. I saw great examples of living out the Catholic faith in my parents, family, parish priest and a close friend of mine who is a consecrated single lay woman. In addition, my family always seemed to form close relationships with many good, holy priests, who were joyful in living out their vocation. I believe this was the foundation of my calling to discern the life of the priesthood in the seminary. Even though, I remember thinking about the priesthood as early as 5th grade, it wasn’t until the latter part of high school and college where the possibility of God’s call to this particular vocation seem to not leave me. I just knew I had to give God the chance and allow Him to lead me to wherever He wanted me.”

Father Kurt entered seminary after graduating ASU with Bachelor degrees in Mathematics and Religious Studies. He attended the Pontifical College Josephinum where he received his Bachelor in Philosophy, His Masters in Theology and Divinity, and eventually a post- seminary degree, a Masters in Education (emphasis on Educational Leadership) from Grand Canyon University.

Having spent most his 6 years of the priesthood in high school chaplaincy, Father Kurt enjoys seeing how a relationship with Jesus changes people for the better. He sees the primary encounter of Jesus being in the Sacraments, along with the development of good and holy friendships rooted in the love of Christ and His Church. He also serves as the Spiritual Director for the Phoenix Comitium of the Legion of Mary.

 

JoLynn Mendoza

JoLynn is a Registered Nurse currently working in Payson, Arizona. She works full time coordinating a Diabetes Program for Native Americans and has a part-time job teaching nursing courses at the community college in Payson. She is a cradle Catholic, but it was during her college years at the NAU Newman Center where she developed a deep love for the Catholic faith. It was at this time that she discovered a passion to share her faith with others, and she sincerely loves opportunities to share the Truth, especially with the youth. She has been a leader for youth groups and retreats and has also volunteered at the Steubenville West conferences in Tucson, Arizona. JoLynn also enjoys hiking, running, and spending time with her family and friends.

 

Cindy Leonard

Cindy has taught the Sympto-Thermal method of Natural Family Planning with her husband, Mike, for 30 years. They are both certified Northwest Family Services instructors and she is a trainer with that method of NFP. Early in her marriage she worked part time at the Phoenix Natural Family Planning Center, then under the direction of co-founder, Janet Kistler.   Read more>>