May 8, 2020: Luke Spehar

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Luke began writing songs at the age of sixteen and composed all of the music on his debut album, “Be Still,” before he graduated from high school. He continued to write music throughout his college years, and in 2010 he recorded and released “Be Still,” followed by his second album, ”No Other Way,” in 2011.

In 2012 Luke’s intricate guitar style and warm captivating vocals attracted three-time Grammy Award-winning artist, Ben Harper. Luke then opened for Harper’s first ever solo acoustic tour in both the U.S. and Canada, playing in such storied venues as Chicago’s Cadillac Palace, Toronto’s Massey Hall, and Philadelphia’s Merriam Theatre.

Harper went on to produce Spehar’s third album, “All Is Gift” in 2015. Following the release Luke married his wife, Elizabeth, and together as newlyweds they toured the country with the new album. This adventure was the catalyst of Spehar’s latest release, “The Pilgrim” (2018). Produced by Matt Patrick at the Library Recording Studio in Minneapolis, “The Pilgrim” celebrates the beauty and adventure of music, marriage, and fatherhood. Together with their three young daughters, Luke and Elizabeth live in St. Paul, MN.

The meeting will be via Zoom; for security reasons we are not sharing the Zoom link. Watch for an email with the Zoom link, Meeting ID, and password.

April 10, 2020: Matthew Leonard

Great News! Our Good Friday (April 10th) speaker, Matthew Leonard, has graciously agreed to present his talk to CP&BC Fresno and Visalia chapters via Zoom. We will start the virtual meeting at 8AM.

Simply download the free Zoom app for your phone or go to on your computer.

As long as you’re a current member, check your email for our Zoom Meeting ID number so you may join the meeting a few minutes prior to 8AM on April 10th.

Matthew is an international speaker, author, podcaster and founder of Next Level Catholic Academy, an online membership community focused on teaching Catholic spirituality. An accomplished filmmaker, he has written, produced, directed, and hosted multiple best-selling Catholic video series such as The Bible and the Virgin Mary and Genesis to Jesus, which have been translated into almost a dozen languages.

A convert to Catholicism and former missionary to Latin America, Matthew is a frequent guest on radio and television programs across the country. His podcast, The Art of Catholic, is heard in more than 170 countries around the world.

Matthew holds a Masters in Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville and is the author of two books, Louder Than Words: The Art of Living as a Catholic and Prayer Works! Getting A Grip On Catholic Spirituality. He lives in Ohio with his wife Veronica and their six children.

How does a Protestant pastor’s kid and former missionary to Latin America preaching to Catholics end up Catholic himself? Matthew describes his road into the arms of Mother Church, including many of the issues he had to deal with. It’s a journey filled with study, a few tears, and some big laughs.

We look forward to seeing you at this all-new, inspiring beginning to our Easter weekend!

March 12, 2020: Cy Kellett

Cy Kellett is the host of Catholic Answers Live. He formerly hosted The Bright Side with Cy Kellett on the Immaculate Heart Radio network. For more than a decade Kellett was editor of San Diego’s diocesan newspaper, The Southern Cross. Before that, he taught high school, and then spent several years working with the homeless mentally ill in Massachusetts, while living in a Catholic Worker house. Kellett and his wife, Missy, have three children.

Kellett will be the voice of Catholic Answers over the air waves to help achieve its mission to serve Christ by bringing the fullness of Catholic truth to the world. “I believe we serve Christ best when we do so joyfully and with kindness,” Kellett said. “Ultimately, he himself is the truth we hope to share as we answer questions and converse with callers. My hope is to share our Lord with joy so that others are encouraged to come closer to him.”

Topic for March 12th: What Ever Happened to the Modern World?

The modern era, which was supposed to be all about progress and reason, has gotten itself into serious trouble. In many ways the modern world has become unfit for real people, and as it progresses, it becomes even less so. We cannot make a society fit for humans until we admit that the modern world, though it has gained many things, has also been a time of losses for humanity. The most serious of these losses is the loss of Christ. And knowing how that happened can help us recover a modern world fit for people.

Our club welcomes all who want to hear inspiring Catholic speakers. If interested, we will meet from 7:00-8:00 AM at the Visalia Wyndham Hotel. Please call Eileen Daly at 559-805-7008 for breakfast reservations by Monday, March 9th or register online at Breakfast is $20 for non-members and $15 for members. Please plan to join us for Cy’s inspirational presentation. All are very welcome!

February 6, 2020: The Most Reverend Bishop Joseph V. Brennan

Catholic Professionals and Business Club wishes everyone a wonderful New Year. We are honored and blessed to welcome The Most Reverend Bishop Joseph V. Brennan as our first speaker in 2020! Looking around his office, it's easy to tell Bishop Brennan has a sense of humor. From the classic red phone with direct dial to the Pope to hints of his love for chocolate, the Bishop has learned how to balance life.

Joseph Brennan grew up with nine brothers and sisters, including a twin brother. As devout Catholics, his family attended mass every Sunday, but there was always time for basketball and singing. It wasn't until his first year at college in Oregon that he felt a call to the priesthood.

We are looking forward to his message on February 6th at the Visalia Wyndham Hotel. Please note that we’re meeting the FIRST THURSDAY in February due to special scheduling. We will meet from 7:00-8:30 AM on February 6th at the Visalia Wyndham Hotel. Please call Eileen Daly at 559-805-7008 for breakfast reservations by Monday February 3rd or register online at Breakfast is $20 for non-members and $15 for members. Let’s welcome our new Bishop. We hope to see you there!

December 12, 2019: Christmas Party Social

The Catholic Professionals and Business Club will be hosting its annual Christmas Party Social on Thursday, December 12th at The Wyndham Hotel, Visalia. We will begin at 7:00 AM. Please bring an unwrapped toy as a Christmas present for a needy child for distribution through the Bethlehem Center. For our program, we will have seasonal music, featuring the George McCann Bell Choir, and a message about the Reason for the Season from Fr. Rick. Also, Deacon Henry will say a few words about the importance of the Bethlehem Center.

This is always a well-attended event, so be sure to register by Monday, December 9th! Reservations can be made online at, or by calling Eileen Daly at (559) 805-7008. Breakfast is $20 for non-members and $15 for members.

November 7, 2019: Patrick Coffin

Please join us for our November 7th breakfast, featuring Patrick Coffin. Please note, we are meeting ONE WEEK EARLIER. Patrick has over 25 years of professional public experience. He is the host of the highly rated "Catholic Answers Live" radio show, and has interviewed a very wide array of leaders and influencers including Kevin Costner, Harry Connick, Jr., presidential candidates Newt Gingrich, Pat Buchanan, Rick Santorum, and Bobby Jindal, and more.

Patrick has also appeared on the Fox Channel, Comedy Central and EWTN, and is also the co-founder of the indie film company Immaculate Pictures. But his "sweet spot" is teaching communication strategies for evangelization and apologetics. Popular topics include:


Does the media cause social ills or are social ills merely reflected by the media? How can the average media consumer counter the anti-faith, anti-family messages beamed out on mainstream media outlets? How is the Judeo-Christian culture being re-built by new forms of media?

Prior to the late 1960s, the mom-and-dad family unit was essentially intact and reinforced by the surrounding culture. Now the opposite is true. The rise of the contraceptive mentality, the pornography pandemic, the unlimited abortion license, and the redefinition of marriage have all created a crisis the Church must face squarely.


This is a fresh look at the main biblical texts that reveal the Real Presence of Jesus — body, blood, soul and divinity — in the Eucharist, which the Second Vatican Council called “the source and summit of the Christian life.” How can I know it isn’t just a symbol?


“Why would God allow this?” “How could this have happened?” The mystery of suffering and of evil is a deep one, perhaps the deepest of all. When tragedy strikes or when we read the news and wonder why God doesn’t stop bad things from happening?


This is a trek through the teaching of Scripture and sacred Tradition that uncovers the truth about the Catholic traditions relating to the Blessed Virgin Mary and her unique role in salvation history.

We will meet from 7:00-8:00 AM on November 7th at the Visalia Wyndham Hotel. Please call Eileen Daly at 559-805-7008 for breakfast reservations by Monday, November 4th or register online at Breakfast is $20 for non-members and $15 for members. Please plan to join us on November 7th. All are welcome.

October 10, 2019: Chris Bray

Chris Bray is a full time travelling worship leader and speaker. Having received multiple Gospel Music Association Covenant awards and numerous top 10 and #1 hit songs on Christian radio in Canada, his ministry has spanned North America from headlining the National March for Life rally on Parliament Hill for 25,000 people, the Air Canada Centre, involvement in Life Teen, World Youth Day, Steubenville Toronto, presenting to tens of thousands each year at hundreds of conferences, retreats, schools and churches. Please note that all breakfasts will be held at the Visalia Wyndham Hotel for the rest of the year!

Chris Bray is a husband and father of four children. Growing up in a small country town and being born into a devout Catholic family in southwestern Ontario, Canada, Chris' faith was initially out of obedience and discipline. After a profound encounter with Christ at a Charismatic service at his home church as an adolescent, his immersion and reversion to the faith deepened, which is the passion behind his ministry, not only aiming to unite Christians of various denominations as one Body in Christ, but also to reach the unchurched and revive the lapsed in faith.

His interest in music at a young age found him participating in a local Christian worship band. However, Chris was immersed into ministry in a more professional capacity when he was hired to be the music director for Life Teen in London, Ontario, a position which he held for seven years. During this time his involvement in various conferences and retreats increased as well as his songwriting.

This led to his first national release titled, "The Worship Album" (2009) which garnered him two #1 hit songs, "Called" and "Finally Let Go" on the More Radio Canadian Christian radio chart, as well as winning, "New Artist of the Year" at the Gospel Music Association Covenant Awards.

Now as a full time travelling worship artist and speaker, his aggressive tour schedule illustrates the demand for his musical efforts spanning North America.

Chris' latest live worship project, "The Praises of His People" is a collection of well known contemporary praise and worship songs that enables people to be able to enter into worship with God. The goal of this record was to create an experience that Christ followers could worship along with in their car on their way to work or throughout their day and feel like they are part of a larger church, together worshipping our Creator."

Chris will be talking to us about the subject of "Identity Crisis" - Each of us has a longing and desire for something more, but many times we try and fill this void with temporary things, when ultimately the only thing that satisfies us is God.

September 12, 2019: Dan DeMatte

Our first speaker for the 2019-20 year is Dan DeMatte, a highly motivational speaker who has realized that there is truly no dream worth living for other than the dream of heaven. He preaches the GOOD News, not the mediocre news, or the ‘I-hope-this-isn’t-too-big-of-an-inconvenience’ news. Dan knows that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only message worth living for, and worth dying for!

“Be Perfect as your Heavenly Father is Perfect” Matthew 5:48/p>

Jesus did not call His followers to strive for mediocrity; He didn’t ask them to give up some of their major sins and follow Him if it wasn’t too big of an inconvenience. Jesus Christ called all men and women to follow Him, and to do so radically – giving up everything, putting everything on the line!! Dan DeMatte, a slave to His Master Jesus Christ, serves in like manner, calling men and women of today to a radical holiness – A holiness that produces saints, not mere mediocre Catholics.

Dan witnessed to his radical lifestyle when he starred on A&E’s hit reality TV show, God or the Girl. The show captured Dan’s intense discernment process between the priesthood and the married life, along with three other men. In his discernment, Dan carried an 80lb cross on a 22 mile pilgrimage in order to better unite himself to the cross of Christ – the center of all vocations and the core of the Christian life. After discerning his call for three years, he heard the Lord calling him to the married life – God through the Girl as he puts it. Dan is happily married to Amber Marie and together they have three beautiful children: Sophia Therese, Giovanni Francis and Gemma Therese.

As a speaker and evangelist, Dan is very engaging, and gets his audience involved. His goal is to encourage all people to reject Sin and Satan, and to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a fearless and radical way. He believes that every person is called to be a saint. He believes that this world is in need of an intense renewal. He believes that the renewal begins with you!

The theme of Dan’s presentation will be, “Prayer DARE”: It has been said that prayer is a dangerous thing because it is an encounter with the living God. Why is it that people don’t pray? It is because they know that when they pray, God is going to call them to conversion – and they are afraid of conversion. The purpose of prayer is change – to change us, not to change God. This talk is aimed at motivating each of us to begin an active daily prayer life that will change our lives, and change the world! by inviting us to this intense mission of prayer, if you dare.

Our first breakfast this year will be held on September 12th at the Marriot hotel in downtown Visalia. As always, it will begin at 7:00 am, and we will be finished by 8:00.

Please call Eileen Daly at 559-805-7008 for breakfast reservations by Monday, September 9th.

Breakfast is $20 for non-members and $15 for members.

More information will be coming soon regarding the room we will meet in, and the particulars for the parking information. Let’s make this our biggest opening breakfast ever! Dan Dematte will be an outstanding speaker to kickoff our year of excellent presenters. Invite a guest if you can, we hope to see you there! All are welcome!

June 13, 2019: Karlo Broussard

Our final speaker for the 2018-19 year is a fantastic choice for our breakfast club. Karlo Broussard, a native of Southern Louisiana, left a promising musical career to devote himself full-time to the work of Catholic apologetics. As a staff apologist and speaker for Catholic Answers, he travels the country giving talks on apologetics, biblical studies, theology, and philosophy. Karlo has published articles on a variety of subjects in Catholic Answers Magazine, is a regular guest on Catholic Answers Live, and is an active blogger.

Karlo holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in theology from Catholic Distance University and the Augustine Institute, and is currently working on his masters in philosophy with Holy Apostles College and Seminary. He also worked for several years with nationally known author and theologian Fr. Robert J. Spitzer at the Magis Center.

Karlo is one of the most dynamic and gifted Catholic speakers on the circuit today, communicating with precision of thought, a genuine love for God, and an enthusiasm that inspires. This morning, his talk will be:

Miracles: God’s Light in the Darkness of Unbelief

Karlo responds to objections that skeptics give to the possibility of miracles and offers credible historical evidence that miracles have occurred, as in the case of the resurrection of Jesus, and still occur today. He also explains why miracles are important in the life of the Catholic while at the same time emphasizing the need to have a healthy balance in our search of the miraculous.

Let’s make this last breakfast of the year a full house, and all come out to hear an inspirational talk from Karlo Broussard. See you on June 13th, at 7:00 AM at the Wyndham Hotel in Visalia. All are welcome!

May 9, 2019: Diana Marie Wehbe

Joining us at 7:00 AM on May 9th at the Wyndham Hotel is a truly wonderful speaker, who will share with us her own story of life in the fast lane to her conversion and commitment to a love for a life dedicated to Christ and the Church.

From living in sin and the enjoyment of worldly possessions to a devout Catholic life consecrated to Jesus through Mary... Diana Marie Wehbe has been through illness and human rejection, has had a world class career in secular radio with fame and fortune to boot, but has left it all behind to follow Christ in the mission of the New Evangelization.

Featured in Women's Health Magazine, her testimony heard on I Heart Media, interviewed by Terry Barber of Relevant Radio and countless other outlets and events, Diana Wehbe has changed the hearts and lives of thousands for Christ. Her God-given testimony and wisdom from the Lord helps others see what God is truly calling them to. Her talks have been heard at Disneyland, on secular and Christian radio as well as to over 80,000 students at middle schools, high schools and colleges. A humble Evangelist with a heart after Christ, Diana will light a fire under those in the audience!

She studied Theatre Arts at Cal State Los Angeles, has worked in Youth Ministry, Young Adult Ministry and runs a non-profit organization called The Purpose Foundation, leading youth and young adults by example... from the Foot of the Cross. Her story begins with an ovarian cyst, a health diagnosis that God would use to change her whole life. She began to fast and pray, losing 100lbs in the process, reversing a verbal diagnosis of Type II Diabetes and all the while growing in her faith. Her time in secular radio taught her that fame, celebrities and the such... did not bring her or them True and lasting happiness. This could only come from Christ.

Her testimony proves that loss, pain, suffering and rejection bring us into the Wounds of Christ... that if only “we suffer with Him, we would be glorified with Him.” (Romans 8:17). Modesty, heart conversion, life transformation, submission to God's plan, humility and obedience are the ways in which she teaches the New Evangelization... be prepared to cry, laugh and change-- The Word of God does not return void... (Isiaiah 55:11)

Please plan on joining us on May 9th to hear Diana’s heartwarming story.

April 11, 2019: Rose Sweet

Please join us for breakfast on April 11th at 7:00 AM at the Wyndham Hotel to listen to and enjoy another outstanding presentation. Rose Sweet, who comes to us from Palm Desert, California is a passionate, courageous, and humorous author of 10 books, and has inspired Catholics for 25 years on how to “Put Your Religion in Your Relationships!” No matter the topic, all of her talks take the audience on an adventure into the interior life.

Rose is a frequent guest on Catholic radio, TV, and has been a presenter at the World Meeting of Families, Theology of the Body Congress, USCCB Convocation, and more. Here’s what others are saying about what Rose has to offer:

“Rose Sweet’s work is a good example of the opportunities that Catholics, and all people of good will, should take advantage of. It is necessary not only for their own flourishing, but for that of our nation as a whole. I hope this (weekend retreat) will be a great success. It is certainly needed!” - Archbishop Salvatore Codileone

“Rose has allowed the Theology of the Body to penetrate and shine in every area of her life; she knows what it is to get to the “core” of matters and her heart shines in all her work. If you want a speaker who will lift the veil of cultural confusion and reveal the tender heart of God to you, who will offer tasty morsels of truth and the choice, rich wine of the Gospel, call Rose Sweet. You won’t be disappointed!” - Christopher West

We hope to see you on April 11th to hear this wonderful and inspiring presentation by Rose Sweet.

March 7, 2019: Jon Leonetti

Please join us on March 7th, for an entertaining and spiritually uplifting presentation from Jon Leonetti. As both speaker and storyteller, Jon conveys a message of lasting fulfillment in Jesus Christ.

As an international Catholic speaker, author and radio host, Jon has dedicated his life to spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ in a faithful, energetic, and humorous way to thousands everywhere.

Providing keynote presentations and parish missions, Jon is a recognized leader in the Church today, helping others to cultivate intimacy with Jesus Christ through prayer, Sacraments, family life, Mary and the saints. Jon and his wife, Teresa, reside in Des Moines, Iowa, with their son Joseph. Jon is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Moral Theology.

Jon’s first book entitled Mission of the Family was published and featured by Matthew Kelly’s Dynamic Catholic Book Program and was released in March, 2013.

Jon’s topic for us this morning will be, “Communicating the Faith to a Hurting World.” Please join us to hear Jon’s important, inspirational message.

What people are saying:

“Jon Leonetti speaks with passion about our Catholic faith. His heart is filled with enthusiasm about the Good News of Jesus Christ and his Church.” - Tom Peterson, Founder and President, Catholics Come Home

“Engaging, entertaining, and hilarious!” - Erin Walsh, Teacher, Omaha, NE.

“Jon's evangelizing message brings laughter and truth in a way that is relatable, inspiring and challenging!” - Cindy Black, Director of Faith Formation and Youth Ministry, Diocese of Fort Wayne, IN.

“Your stories, humor and deep inspiration have led many of us to examine our lives and feel the touch of Jesus in our hearts.” - Deacon Don Musso, Blessed Sacrament Parish, Baton Rouge, LA.

February 7, 2019: Jim Cruise (The Spoons Guy)

Joining us for our February breakfast is Jim Cruise (The Spoons Guy). Jim is married with 5 kids and a mortgage and has been supporting his family for 20 years by playing the spoons. If that is not a testimony to Jesus Christ, then he doesn't know what is. Jim is a renowned Catholic Evangelist, comedian, keynote speaker and author. He is a graduate of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids Michigan.

Jim’s burning desire is to share his Catholic faith with adults, teens, and families around the country. Every performance contains audience participation, music, comedy and a spoonful of Catholic doctrine. He has a totally clean act - he never uses dirty silverware. His performances have brought him all over the country including corporate clients such as GM, Ford, Chrysler, IBM, Steelcase and Herman Miller. He has also performed for former U.S. President Gerald R. Ford and Mikhail Gorbachev.

Jims topic for us will be, “We are Stewards not Owners.” Please join us for Jim’s entertaining and motivational presentation.

Personal Testimony Quotes:

Diocese of Beaumont - Tommy Chatlosh, Director - “Jim, you cracked through even the most diehard 'make me enjoy this wall' some people can build up.
You creatively involved us in your fun with your high energy antics. You’re a seasoned performer and a man of spirit and faith that really connected. You helped us realize it doesn't matter how strange or unusual your gift or talent may be - It can make a difference in people’s lives and bring glory to God. We'll definitely have you back.”

Diocese of Gaylord - Joanne Willis -
 “Jim, you were the best keynote speaker and entertainer that we've ever had since I've been here.”

Our lady of Consolation - Laura Readle - “Your audience interaction especially with Bishop McKinney was fabulous.”

December 13, 2018: Christmas Party Social

For our December breakfast this year, we will, again, celebrate our annual Christmas Party Social! Please bring an unwrapped toy as a Christmas gift for a needy child, which will be distributed through the Bethlehem Center. Our musical program will consist of seasonal music presented by the George McCann 8th Grade Bell Choir, followed by a Christmas message from a special guest speaker.

This is always a well-attended event, so be sure to register early!

November 8, 2018: Robert Hutchinson

Please join us on November 8th to hear an outstanding presentation from Robert J. Hutchinson. Robert is an award-winning Catholic writer, international speaker and the author of numerous books of popular history, including; The Dawn of Christianity, Searching for Jesus, New Discoveries in the Quest for Jesus of Nazareth, The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Bible, When in Rome: A Journal of Life in Vatican City, and The Book of Vices: A Collection of Classic Immoral Tales.

Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Hutchinson attended a Jesuit high school and university, earned an undergraduate degree in philosophy, moved to Israel in his early 20s to learn Hebrew, and earned a graduate degree in New Testament Studies. He specializes in New Testament studies, current events and business.

For the past 30 years, Hutchinson has worked as a full-time professional writer. He has won numerous awards from the Catholic Press Association and Associated Church Press and has contributed essays and syndicated columns to such outlets as Fox News, The Blaze, Catholic Exchange, Christianity Today, Human Events, the National Catholic Register, Catholic Digest, Our Sunday Visitor, and many more. An avid traveler, Hutchinson is also the former managing editor of Hawaii Magazine and the former Hawaii Bureau Chief for The Hollywood Reporter. He has appeared on many Catholic and secular radio shows.

At our breakfast, Robert will be speaking on the following topic: Lessons for a Divided America from the Civil War. Hutchinson is currently working on a series of popular books for Regnery Publishing about the key events in history that shaped the world as we know it. The first title is What Really Happened When Lincoln Was Shot? In this talk, Hutchinson takes his audience back to a time when America was really divided by politics – and how ordinary Americans coped when friends and family members bitterly opposed one another about social and political issues.

October 11, 2018: Mary-Ellen “MEL” Kennedy

Please join us for our October 11th breakfast. We are pleased to have as our speaker the Award Nominated Recording Artist and Inspirational Performer, Motivational and Liturgical Speaker, NPM Certified Cantor - Mary-Ellen “MEL” Kennedy. Mel uses her gifts of an extraordinary voice, dynamic presentation, and infectious spirituality to capture the hearts of those who hear her. She is an NPM Certified Cantor. The former Mrs. Anaheim Hills shares sacred scripture, heart-warming songs, and personal and humorous stories to engage her audience with an authentic faith experience. In addition to her live presentations and performances, Mel has released five contemporary Christian CDs. Mel's ministry is about empowering and encouraging men and women to share their faith and radiate God's love through liturgy, service, relationship, and the simple actions of day to day life.

Mel is currently working toward her Doctor of Ministry in Spirituality from Graduate Theological Foundation. She holds an M.A. in Liturgical Ministry and Graduate Certificate in Pastoral Studies from Catholic Theological Union, Chicago. Her B.A. is in Business Administration and was earned from California State University, Fullerton. She is a graduate of the Genesis Institute (a three-year lay formation program) and is a National Association of Pastoral Musicians’ Certified Cantor Colleague. In 2007, she was nominated for the Momentum Award Artist of the Year.

Mel has spoken and performed at conferences, churches, and women's retreats across the country. Her ministry is about empowering and encouraging men and women to share their faith and radiate God's love through liturgy, service, relationship, and the simple actions of day to day life.

Mel will be speaking to us on the following topic:

Joy in the Journey: Embracing Faith, Love, and Peace in Life: Life is seldom what we expect, is it? Even as faithful servants of God who know and love the Lord Jesus with all our hearts, we can so easily get caught up in life’s uncertainties and struggles. In this presentation, we will reflect on inspiring models from the bible, so that, wherever our journey takes us, we can proclaim, “Therefore my heart is glad” (Psalm 16:9)

September 13, 2018: Matt Archold

For our September 13th CPBC breakfast, we are happy to have Matt Archbold with us. Matt is the father of five children, an author, and a columnist for several prominent Catholic publications.

His comedic and inspiring tales of raising five children in The Catholic Digest have moved many to laughter and tears while his thoughtful take on current events, pro-life and religious liberty issues at The National Catholic Register has garnered him a large and faithful readership. His own blog, “Creative Minority Report,” whose tagline is “We laugh because we believe,” has become one of the most popular Catholic blogs.

Matt’s book, “Faith Under Fire - Dramatic Stories of Christian Courage,” has received wide acclaim for its portrayals of Christians facing intolerance, oppression, and even violence with expressions of love and faith.

Deacon Greg Kandra, award-winning journalist and multimedia editor of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, called Archbold’s work “Superb.” He called the book, “a bright beacon of hope,” which will leave readers, “uplifted, inspired, consoled, and enriched.”

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said that Archbold “highlights the urgent need for a national conversation about - and defense - of religious liberty, the bedrock of our nation.”

Danielle Bean, author, editor of Catholic Digest Magazine, called Archbold, “a gifted reporter and storyteller,” who makes stories “come to life” and will “light a fire in your faith!”

Matt has been a guest on several radio shows including EWTN Radio and Teresa Tomeo and Patrick Coffin.

Matt’s topic for our breakfast will be: “How My Children Rid Me of Sanity, But Gave Me So Much More.”

June 7, 2018: Deacon Lawrence Klimecki

Please join us for our June 7th breakfast to hear Deacon Lawrence Klimecki, an internationally acclaimed artist, writer, and motivational speaker. He brings a unique message, “Find your story, discover the person you were meant to be, and change the world.” He will inspire and motivate us with a customized, interactive presentation that will lift hearts and minds and leave a lasting impact.

“All of us are here for a purpose. We are each uniquely gifted and called to a mission which no one else can accomplish. Discovering our purpose and pursuing it brings to us the life we were meant to live, a life of happiness and joy and a sense of fulfillment. It's up to us to be open to the opportunities God is bringing our way, and embark on the great adventure of our lives.”

“In the middle of the journey of our life I found myself within a dark woods where the straight way was lost.” • Dante Alighieri, Inferno

I think we all find ourselves in that dark wood at some point in our lives. Perhaps sooner, perhaps later, but eventually, in this great adventure of life, we all find ourselves in Dante’s dark woods, looking for the lost path.

I was there. But in becoming lost in the woods I also found silence. In that quiet, deep in the dark woods, I heard the voice calling. It had always been calling to me but up to that point in my life it was drowned out in the sound and fury of the world around me. But now I heard more clearly than ever, a voice calling me to take up the journey and plunge into the adventure.

We all hear the voice calling us, but too many times we ignore it or refuse the call. But for me, this was the time to answer, cross the threshold and enter into a new world. I started by returning to the faith of my youth which I had drifted away from in my years as a young man. God had given me many gifts, including artistic ones, and I set off on a journey to find their true meaning and purpose.

I barely started along the newly found path when the voice called out to me again; not like the first time, not a quiet voice that echoed in my mind unbidden. This was the booming voice of a deacon giving the homily at Mass.

“God is calling you!” He said emphatically. As he spoke those words he gestured, pointing off to his side. As it happened he pointed directly at me. Coincidence? Maybe, but I have come to look at the concept of “coincidence” with suspicion. Everything happens for a reason.

And so early on in the journey, my quest to find the meaning and purpose of my gifts was tempered by my studies in formation for the diaconate in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento. The journey up the mountain was full of adventure, struggles, and challenges. There were monsters to overcome, dragons of the mind to slay and demons of doubt and uncertainty to exorcise. And there was a villain, mankinds great adversary hounded my heels seeking to pull me away from the path and give up the journey. For he wants nothing more than to separate us from God’s love, a love he abandoned long ago.

Finally I reached the top of the mountain and my own encounter with the divine. For me it was receiving the sacrament of Holy Orders and again I heard the voice, quiet and still in my heart, “be a deacon, I will take care of everything else.”

I also found some measure of the prize I sought, the realization that my artistic gifts, like all the gifts that are given to all of us, are not for me alone. The gifts that we are given, are given for us to help others in their own journey and their own encounter with the divine.

So now I make my way back down the mountain, helping others along the way rediscover the path. I am now of two worlds, the mundane and the spiritual, the visible and the invisible. Through my art I connect the two and move freely between them. There are new adventures ahead, new trials to endure and new challenges to overcome. But now I am better equipped for the journey, strengthened by what I have encountered thus far, and armed with the prize.

May 10, 2018: Mark Price

Please join us for our May 10th breakfast to hear an outstanding motivational speaker. Mark Price has been Catholic since 1956 and has been speaking professionally since 1978. His professional speaking was an extension of his theater background and corporate marketing and advertising experience. When a guest speaker did not "show" for a regional marketing event Mark was asked to step in. Mark’s topic for the morning will be, “Let Your Light Shine.”

Since 1975 Mark has blended his corporate and faith based speaking. Mark Price has been a favored and popular speaker at conferences and conventions for many years. He is a versatile presenter, often incorporating his extensive research on many of the Apostles and connecting their life's challenges with our own. Mark utilizes passion and humor to make points and inspire his audiences.

Below are just a few testimonials about Mark's speaking abilities.


“What a terrific, motivational and uplifting presentation you made at our Kick-Off Rally. Our salespeople thoroughly enjoyed the important message you humorously presented!” • B. Wolfe, Field Operations Manager, Toyota Motors
“As our guest speaker, you surpassed anyone that had previously been with us.” • Jack Parkinson, Division President, Sunroad Enterprises
“You are a tremendous speaker. Everyone was greatly impressed and grateful to you for bringing this great message.” • Anna Dewey, President, Women V.I.P.’s

April 12, 2018: Donna Heckler

Please join us for our April 12th breakfast to hear the highly motivational and energizing presentation from Donna Heckler, entitled “And Then God Gave Me A Time Out!” Ms. Heckler’s shares her personal journey through a shattered leg, a new job, and stage three breast cancer. Trusting in God, while finding humor in her situation at times, she leans heavily on her spiritual foundation to stand up to her challenges, choosing to live as radiantly as possible in the process.

Donna jokes that God gave her a timeout when she injured her leg. However, because she didn’t fully learn to sit quietly with him, he gave her another, bigger, time out - stage three cancer.

Ms. Heckler has served as a global marketing executive for several multi-billion dollar organizations. As a very accomplished and busy professional, she missed God in her everyday life, and yet she couldn’t figure out how to make time for him. So, God gave her a “time-out” with a freak leg accident. No sooner had her leg started to heal and she started interviewing for a new job, when she discovered her stage three breast cancer.

Donna worked through her treatments, but she worked even more at trying to live radiantly every day. Sometimes it meant all she could do was smile. Other days it meant a lot more, even traveling for work. During her journey, she kept a journal, a blog. She has since converted the journal into a book entitled, Living Like a Lady When You Have Cancer. She interviewed many other patients and medical providers, in an effort to provide countless insights, tips and tricks to live, and live radiantly through a cancer journey. The book has been recognized as an International Book Awards Finalist winner.

God now takes a front seat in her life as she shares her journey, her beliefs, tips and tricks. The tips and tricks in her book are very practical as Ms. Heckler believes that, if we can easily know about and take care of the little things of everyday life, it frees us up to live radiantly, with God shining through everyday.

Ms. Heckler shares her story, her path, with humor, faith and passion. She motivates and energizes you to live your most radiant life, regardless of the challenges in your own personal journey.

March 8, 2018: Chris Mueller

Joining us for our March breakfast is Chris Mueller, a youth minister from Murrieta, California. He crafts dynamic talks that communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a way that resonates with teen and adult audiences alike. Chris is the president and founder of 242 Revolution Ministries, a nonprofit organization that invites young people to share in the devotion of the first generation of Christians’devoted to the teaching of the apostles, to the communal life, and to the breaking of the bread and prayer (Acts 2:42). Chris and his wife, Christina, live in California with their five children.

Chris Mueller is a nationally sought after Catholic speaker from Murrieta, CA. Each year he speaks to thousands of people all over N. America.

He crafts dynamic talks that communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ in a way that resonates with the teen and adult audiences alike. In addition to Chris' speaking ministry, for over 15 years he has been serving teens and families as a parish youth minister. For the last 12 of those years he has served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry at Saint Martha, in Murrieta CA.

“Chris Mueller is a true talent. He brings knowledge, depth, Catholic orthodoxy and passion to every presentation. In a culture where attention spans continue to dwindle and truth is often watered down, it’s vital to have speakers who know how to engage an audience with truth in a way that lasts... Chris knows how to do just that.” • Mark Hart, Catholic Speaker, Author, Executive Vice President of Life Teen

Chris' writing has been featured on the Great Adventure Bible Study’s Bible Study for Catholics Blog and he has been a regular contributor to

Chris is the proud dad of five incredible children, and the husband of a saintly, strong, faithful, beautiful wife, Christina.

February 8, 2018: Matthew Allner

Please join us on Thursday, February 8th to hear an inspirational and motivational presentation from Matt Allner. Matt is an enthusiastic and powerful speaker with a diverse background of both professional and life experiences that will have you reflecting not only about what matters in life, but will help you discover discernment and to hear God’s call for your discipleship. With the world at such a critical turning point, national and personal debt at an all-time high, social pressures and competition in school and in sports higher than they have ever been before for our youth, the multitude of external factors chiseling away at marriages and family dynamics, and with the very real spiritual battle for our souls that is waging, Matt will help you see why there is no better time than now to address these issues with positive and realistic solutions as he sheds a very simple light on how we all can protect our relationships and our children by staying the course on what matters most---loving and serving God. From athletics to public education, marriage to fatherhood, science researcher to entrepreneur, Matt will connect with audiences of all ages in ways that will leave you wanting to hear more and desiring to build a stronger relationship with and serve God more than you ever have before.

Matt’s path to a deep faith in the Lord started at a very early age when Matt felt God’s presence in his life, where his first discerning of God’s call was while he was an altar server in the Catholic Church he attended each Sunday. As God continued to strengthen his faith and his talents, he felt God favoring his life and moving him to an athletic platform where he would work to positively influence a broad age range of youth. As his life evolved further Matt found himself moving to new and sometimes very different platforms but all serving the same focus of protecting youth and positively influencing others. This focus eventually moved him to a more intense focus in 2015 where he felt a very strong and clear call from God to heavily pursue more mission work through his consulting efforts and from substantial tithing efforts from the success of the business entities he owns and manages. Matts story of discernment and clear understanding of his call to serve God is not only moving but empowering, as he has turned down multiple lures throughout his life that would have brought him fame and fortune, but did so in order to continue the path he knows God has asked him to pursue. He is unshaken in his faith, strong in his marriage, fiercely protective of his children and all youth he works with, and is finding a deeper relationship with God each day through the work in which he is now involved.

Matt married his wife (Jessica) in 2000 and they have three amazing children. He has 17 years experience in public education as a science teacher and five years as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Graduate School level. He received his Masters in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota in 2009 and has worked extensively as a research scientist from 2005-12 where he was also a finalist in the NASA Astronaut Selection Process three times (2004, 2008, and 2012). Research emphasis was in the area of space psychology where he developed original research in the areas of Psychosocial Issues for Consideration for Long-Duration Space Flight, as well as STEM Education and Student Engagement programs. He has presented his research at five different international space science conferences from 2006-10, having published over 16 technical papers and abstracts, has been published in professional scientific journals, and his work was featured in an article review by the Smithsonian.

Matt will be speaking to us on the topic: When Will We Have Enough?: A Culture Focused on Possessions, Personal Accomplishments, and Careers

December 14, 2017: Christmas Party Social

For our December breakfast this year, we will, again, celebrate our annual Christmas Party Social! Please bring an unwrapped toy as a Christmas gift for a needy child, which will be distributed through the Bethlehem Center. Our musical program will consist of seasonal music presented by the George McCann 8th Grade Bell Choir, followed by a Christmas message from a special guest speaker.

This is always a well-attended event, so be sure to register early!

November 10, 2017: Deacon Bill Lucido

Deacon Bill Lucido was born in Quantico, VA, and grew up in San Diego. He attended Catholic grammar school in Ocean Beach, CA, and graduated from University of San Diego High School.

After two years at the University of San Diego, he transferred to Fresno State College and obtained a Bachelors degree in Mathematics in 1970. He earned his pilot’s wing from the United State Air Force and spent 30 years in the California Air National Guard, logging over seven thousand flying hours. After retiring from the Guard, he served for 11 years as Director of Development, Director of Communication, and editor of the Central California Catholic Life for the Diocese of Fresno.

Bill met his wife, Betsy, while at the University of San Diego, and they were married on June 6, 1964. He and Betsy have four daughters. He was ordained a deacon on January 15, 2011.

For over 1,000 years pilgrims have been walking from Europe, and today from all over the world, to the cathedral in Santiago, Spain, the legendary burial site of the apostle Saint James. Why do people still do it today? Athletic adventure, stroll in the country side, penance or pilgrimage? Deacon Bill’s presentation will allow us to experience with him his pilgrimage from France through Spain on the Camino de Santiago. Come and learn why he walked the 500 miles from St. Jean Pied de Port, France, to Santiago, Spain, along the Camino de Santiago. Hear how he walked, prayed, grew a beard, and lost 22 pounds!

Join us on Thursday, November 9th to experience Deacon Bill’s fascinating and inspiring journey.

October 12, 2017: Lorenzo James Henrie

September 14, 2017: Fr. Tony Okolo

June 8, 2017: Kelly Wahlquist

Our final speaker before our summer break is Kelly Wahlquist, a dynamic and inspiring Catholic speaker whose gift of weaving personal stories and Scripture together with practical advice allow her audience to enter more fully into what Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict have called us into - to be witnesses of our faith and part of the New Evangelization. She resides in Minnesota with her husband, Andy, and their three children. The breakfast will be on June 8th, from 7:00 - 8:30 AM at the Visalia Wyndham Hotel. Please call Eileen Daly at 559.805.7008 for reservations by June 5th, or register on line at Breakfast is $20 for non-members and $15 for members.

Letting the Peace of Christ Rule Your Heart in a World That Wants to Rule You will be the topic of Kelly's presentation. Pope Benedict XVI asked, How can we experience peace within ourselves, in spite of problems, darkness and anxieties? Not only did he ask, but he answered, giving us the key to unlock the doors to the interior peace which we ought to have amid the sometimes tumultuous and confusing events of history, events whose meaning we often do not grasp and which disconcert us. With highlights on history and glimpses of humor we will look at some practical ways we can experience inner peace in a world ruled by constant chaos, confusion, and noise.

May 11, 2017: Lisa Hendey

We are happy to have with us as our May speaker, Lisa Hendey, a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television. The breakfast will be held on May 11th, from 7:00 - 8:30 AM at the Visalia Wyndham Hotel. Please call Eileen Daly at 559.805.7008 for reservations by May 8th, or register on line at Breakfast is $20 for non-members and $15 for members.

Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and Catholic TV. She hosted Catholic Moments on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN's SonRise Morning Show. Lisa's articles have appeared in the Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the Bishops and Bloggers meeting, and has written internationally on the work of Catholic Relief Services and Unbound. She is the founder and editor of and lives with her family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

April 6, 2017: John Gerardi

Our guest speaker for the CPBC April 6th breakfast will be John Gerardi, who grew up in Clovis and is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (Class of 2010), and Notre Dame Law School (2013). At Notre Dame, John met his lovely wife Holly, and they were married in 2013. They have two daughters; Madeleine (21 months) and Sophia (3 months).

John has been involved with Right to Life of Central California since he was 14 years old, participating in Right to Life's educational youth group. Those experiences helped shaped his views about the central importance of the life issues leading him to continue his involvement in the pro-life movement in college and beyond. In law school John focused his coursework on jurisprudence, bioethics, and religious liberty, and wrote his final paper on the history of abortion law in the United States.

After two years of practicing law at a civil litigation firm in Massachusetts, John passed the California Bar exam in July 2015 and began working as the legislative director for the California Family Council in Fresno. CFC played an integral part in helping defeat SB 1146, a California bill that would have cut off Cal Grants funding for religious colleges that uphold traditional marriage. Following this victory, John was hired to serve as the executive director of Right to Life in September of 2016. He looks forward to many years of leading Right to Life in its mission of educating churches and youth, outreach to those considering or suffering from abortion, and engaging the broader culture.

Please plan on joining us to hear John's wonderful presentation on April 6th.

March 9, 2017: Martha and Dick Lyles

Our guests for our March 9th breakfast will be Martha and Dick Lyles! As co-authors of ANSWER YOUR CALL: RECLAIM GOD'S PURPOSE FOR FAITH, FAMILY AND WORK, Martha and Dick Lyles have positioned themselves at the forefront of the New Evangelization. Through this book and through Dick's efforts as host of THE CATHOLIC BUSINESS HOUR on EWTN's global Catholic Radio Network and Martha's inspirational columns on the religion page of The Huffington Post, they have touched millions of people in a spiritually uplifting way.

As CEO of Origin Entertainment in Hollywood, Dick is also working tirelessly to bring heroic stories of the good, the true and the beautiful to the big screen. He is a producer of COSMIC ORIGINS for Father Robert Spitzer and the Magis Institute, a co-executive producer of MARY, MOTHER OF THE CHRIST which is the prequel to Mel Gibson's PASSION OF THE CHRIST, and is currently involved in half a dozen other inspirational movie projects. Either individually or together Martha and Dick inspire audiences with their message of renewal and optimism. They promise to touch your heart, introduce you to new ideas and inspire you to bring positive changes to your life and the world around you.

February 2, 2017: Barbara Nicolosi

Joining us for our February 2nd breakfast will be Barbara Nicolosi! Originally from Portsmouth, Rhode Island, Barbara Nicolosi is the Founder and Chair Emeritus of Act One, Inc., a nonprofit program to train and mentor Christians for careers as Hollywood writers and executives. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the new Galileo Studio at Azusa Pacific University, an on-line think tank that utilizes 3D video technology.

Barbara is a member of the Writers Guild of America-West and has written screenplays for several Hollywood production companies. Her most recent credit is as a co-writer with Benedict Fitzgerald on the 2013 Lionsgate release, Mary, Mother of the Christ.

Barbara has a Masters in Film and Television from Northwestern University, and a B.A. from the Great Books program at Magdalen College in Warner, NH. She has done further studies in documentary production and animation at UCLA. She has been a script analyst, production company executive, and consultant on scores of entertainment projects including the features The Passion of the Christ and That Evening Sun, and TV shows Joan of Arcadia (CBS) and Saving Grace (TNT).

December 8, 2016: Annual Christmas Party

For our December breakfast this year, we will, again, celebrate our annual Christmas Party Social! Please bring an unwrapped toy as a Christmas gift for a needy child, which will be distributed through the Bethlehem Center. Our musical program will consist of seasonal music presented by the George McCann 8th Grade Bell Choir, followed by a Christmas message from Fr. Cesar.

This is always a well-attended event, so be sure to register early!

November 10, 2016: Sam Saladino

Join us for our November 10th breakfast to hear CEO and noted speaker, Sam Saladino. It all began for Sam in 2005 when he sold his successful financial services business and started an independent investment management company, intending that the Catholic faith would be an integral part of the business. He knew God was calling him to this. For Sam, that was a great leap of faith. "I went to church, but my faith was a Sunday thing," he recalls.

Sam's transition wasn't that easy. Clients didn't come, and desperation started to set in. On top of it all, Sam had to have emergency open heart surgery. He felt like the whole world was against him. However, this medical crisis was a blessing in disguise: he felt the Virgin Mary's presence, and she restored peace to his heart, helping him understand that no matter how difficult God's path is, it is always the best one to take. Soon after, the clarity he had been seeking for his business came to him: he would start the Epiphany Fund, a Catholic mutual fund. There were already some in existence, but Epiphany would be different - the focus would be not only on the Church's social and moral teachings but would also include dynamic work to change society. The firm would be active shareholders, working to influence companies to be better corporate citizens. He also developed an extensive screening criteria for stocks to make sure the companies he invested in respected human dignity, were good stewards of the earth, and strove for the common good.

Even with the reassurance of the Virgin Mary, things were rough; Sam really had taken a leap of faith with his business venture. The success of mutual funds depends on the fund's assets; unfortunately, with the current economic situation they have been slow to grow. However, momentum is building, and this economy, as remarkable as it may sound, is his chance. He believes that investing in companies that embody Catholic social and moral teachings will not only put investors right with God but will also lead to increased shareholder value.

Sam likes to compare modern America to the Israelites of the Old Testament. When they had strong faith in God, they had material prosperity and peace in their nation. However, this wealth could lead them to pride, and then they would forget God. It was only when they repented and changed their ways that they would prosper again. Our country needs a conversion, and this is the time to act. Sam whole-heartedly believes that through personal holiness and integrity in the workplace, Catholics can lead families, companies, and the country back to God. The greatest and hardest lesson Sam has learned is to trust God in all things. This will bring true happiness and true conversion to humanity even through the hardest of times. Our faith will see us through.

October 13, 2016: Kenn Cramer

Joining us for our October 13th breakfast is Kenn Cramer, a man who will share with us his remarkable story of faith. The Latin phrase, Ad Astra Per Aspera (to the stars through adversity), perfectly explains Kenn's dedication to helping Catholics work though life's struggles and transitions in order to discover God's abiding presence and unfathomable love.

Abused as a child, Kenn sank into drug addiction and a life of sin, ultimately facing a life-or-death decision. Following a profound experience of God's grace, he worked his way out of despondency and discovered the truth that he is deeply loved by our Father in heaven. In 2015, he and his wife Laura answered a call to serve as missionaries on the Ft. Belknap Indian Reservation in north central Montana, where he continues to help others become aware of that same Love in their lives.

Kenn holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Northern Colorado. Two years after college, Kenn discerned a call to the priesthood and spent one year at St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver, CO. After his time at seminary, he completed a master's degree in counseling psychology from Regis Jesuit University and founded a Catholic psychotherapy practice called St. Raphael Counseling, which he led for seven years. He is currently working on his second master's degree in theology through the Augustine Institute. He is also in diaconate formation for the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings, with an expected ordination in 2018.

Kenn has been speaking publicly since 2006, beginning in parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Denver. Later, he was asked to lead retreats and give talks all across the nation. Most notably, he was featured on the EWTN program "The Journey Home" and in the video series "One Billion Stories." He continues to teach and give witness to groups across the country.

September 8, 2016: Gary Zimak

As we begin our new fall line-up of exciting Catholic speakers, CPBC's kick-off is the dynamic Gary Zimak, flying in all the way from New Jersey for our September 8th breakfast! The group meets on the 2nd Thursday of each month, (with the exception of January, July and August), from 7-8:30 am at the Visalia Wyndham Hotel. For questions, more information or reservations, please call Eileen Daly at 559-805-7008, or register on line at Breakfast is $20 for non-members and $15 for members.

Gary was working as a project manager when he felt the call to form Following The Truth, an apostolate dedicated to teaching the truths of the Catholic Faith. Initially performing his work for the Lord on a part time basis, a job layoff in 2012 gave him the opportunity to make a bold move. After much prayer, Gary decided to "step out of the boat" and become a FULL TIME Catholic lay evangelist.

Gary is now a frequent speaker and retreat leader at parishes and conferences, has an international radio following and is recognized as the leading Catholic speaker on the topic of overcoming anxiety. Gary has appeared on several EWTN television programs including Women Of Grace, At Home With Jim And Joy,Bookmark and The Journey Home.

Gary is the host of The Gary Zimak Show on BlogTalkRadio and a regular guest on Catholic Answers Live, EWTN's The Son Rise Morning Show, Catholic Connection and numerous other radio programs.

His talk is entitled From Fear To Faith. Are you tired of worrying? After struggling to overcome anxiety for many years, Gary has learned that Jesus Christ is the ultimate answer to winning the battle. In this talk, based on his best-selling books, A Worrier's Guide To The Bible and From Fear To Faith, Gary will share his step by step approach for moving from anxiety to peace!

May 12, 2016: Dr. Robert Stackpole

Our May breakfast will feature Dr. Robert Stackpole, Director of the John Paul II Institute of Divine Mercy, based in Stockbridge Massachusetts. The breakfast will be on May 12th, from 7:00 - 8:30 AM at the Visalia Wyndham Hotel. Please call Eileen Daly at 559.805.7008 for reservations by May 9th, or register on line at Breakfast is $20 for non-members and $15 for members.

Dr. Stackpole, an American by birth, earned a B.A. in History from Williams College in Massachusetts in 1982, and a Masters degree in Theology from Oxford University in England in 1988. Robert was an ordained Anglican pastor before becoming a Catholic in 1994. After his conversion, he married a Catholic Canadian, and they went to Rome together, where Robert obtained a Doctorate in Theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (the "Angelicum") in 2000.

Upon returning to North America, in 1997 he began work as the Research Director, and later Director, of the John Paul II Institute of Divine Mercy based in Stockbridge Massachusetts, a position he continues to hold. In that capacity, he has been a speaker at many conferences, and the author and editor of numerous journal articles and books on the Divine Mercy message and devotion, including Divine Mercy, A Guide From Genesis To Benedict XVI (Marian Press, 2009). He regularly contributes articles to the official Divine Mercy website.

Robert has a special academic interest in ecumenical dialogue with Evangelical Christians, an interest that grew during his 10-years of teaching Theology to undergraduates at Redeemer Pacific College (Trinity Western University) in Langley, BC. Robert also enjoys reading and writing about the works of CS Lewis, and describes himself as an incurable "Narniac." Since 2012, Robert hails from St. Therese Institute in Bruno, SK where he is the Assistant Director of Formation. During breaks in the school year, Robert is usually found in Poland where his wife and teen-aged daughter, Katherine and Christina, presently live and care for Katherine's father.

April 14, 2016: Joyce Coronel

Our next breakfast will feature Joyce Coronel, a well-known Catholic journalist and motivational speaker. The breakfast will be on April 14th, from 7:00 - 8:30 AM at the Visalia Wyndham Hotel. Please call Eileen Daly at 559.805.7008 for reservations by April 11th, or register on line at Breakfast is $20 for non-members and $15 for members.

Catholic journalist, author, speaker and mother of five sons, Joyce Coronel holds audiences spellbound with her heartfelt presentation about the persecution of Catholics in the Middle East. While on assignment for The Catholic Sun, Joyce discovered the heart-wrenching story of Catholics who have had to flee the violence and religious persecution in their native Iraq. She tells the real-life accounts of two priests she met who were tortured for the faith and how learning their stories led her to abandon herself completely to God's will. Though she'd covered scores of tragedies through the years as a journalist, the plight of the Chaldean Catholic Church pierced her soul and brought her to a new appreciation of her faith and her freedom.

The inescapable question her listeners face is this: Would I be willing to die for my faith? And more importantly, what am I doing to truly live it?

Her articles have appeared widely in the Catholic press across the nation, including Our Sunday Visitor, The Tidings and ONE Magazine. She's a regular contributor to Catholic radio and helps manage a local biweekly community newspaper, Wrangler News. Joyce has traveled to the Holy Land three times and has covered Pope Francis in Jerusalem in 2014 and Philadelphia in 2015.

March 10, 2016: Mike Koelzer

Our next breakfast will feature Mike Koelzer, an outstanding motivational speaker. It will be held on March 10th. from 7 - 8:30 am at the Visalia Wyndham Hotel. Please call Eileen Daly at 559.805.7008 for reservations prior to March 7th, or register on line at Breakfast is $20 for non-members and $15 for members.

As a child, Mike had dreams of becoming a pharmacist just like his dad. He began his own road to becoming a pharmacist in 1984 by studying pre-pharmacy during his first two years of college. After taking a year off from pharmacy studies to discern a potential calling to the priesthood at the Redemptorist seminary in St. Louis, MO, Mike returned to continue his pharmacy studies at Purdue University. He graduated from pharmacy school in 1991 and joined his father; working side-by-side with his hero, mentor and friend at their family-owned pharmacy. Mike married his college sweetheart that same year. After nearly five years of working in the pharmacy with his father, Mike was surprised to find out from a friend that birth control pills could act as abortifacients. After much scientific research, prayer and studying the Catholic Church's stance on the evils of contraception, Mike decided to approach his father with this information to see if his dad would agree to stop selling contraceptives. The response Mike received from his father was a disappointing "no". But that is only the beginning to his amazing story, and one that would catch national attention and shake the country. Hear this account of one man's triumph over the pressures of the world, being thrust into an international spotlight, his discovery of the unconditional love between him and his father, and the grace that helped him stand up for what was right, no matter the cost, by eventually stopping the sale of all contraceptives in his third-generation family-owned pharmacy. Listen as Mike encourages others to make right choices when they are faced with challenges in their own careers and personal lives; challenging them to become the person God is calling them to be, no matter the cost. Mike lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan with his wife and nine children.

February 4, 2016: Matthew Arnold

We will have our next breakfast on Thursday, February 4th. Usually, we meet on the 2nd Thursday of each month, (with the exception of January, February, July and August) from 7-8:30 am at the Visalia Wyndham Hotel. In February, the breakfast is held on the first Thursday, due to the conflict with the World AG Expo, which takes place during the second week. For questions, more information, please call Eileen Daly at 559-805-7008.

Our guest speaker for the February breakfast is Matthew Arnold, who has produced dozens of popular Catholic audio and video presentations including Our Catholic Faith and Fire & Sword: The Crusades. He has appeared often on EWTN Radio where he co-hosted Scripture Matters LIVE with Dr. Scott Hahn. His enlightening programs, What every Catholic Needs to Know About the Bible and What Every Catholic Needs to Know About Hell, continue to air on EWTN-TV. Matthew's popular CDs, DVDs and brochures on the Catholic Faith are currently available in over six thousand parishes around the United States through Lighthouse Catholic Media where he enjoys the distinction of having the most CD titles in their catalogue (after Scott Hahn!).

Whether he's speaking at a Cathedral Church or a major Catholic Conference, leading a retreat for the folks at a humble small-town parish, or addressing a meeting of Catholic professionals, Matthew Arnold brings the same energy, passion, and humor to every enlightening and entertaining presentation.

Matthew holds a Certificate of Lay Ecclesial Ministry for the Diocese of Orange, a Certificate in Christian Counseling, and was a founding member of the Society for Christian Psychology. He currently resides in Southern California with his wife Betty and six children.

His topic for us on February 4th will be: 


Raised in an atmosphere of "generic Christianity," Matthew's spiritual beliefs eventually ran the gamut from the "New Age" variety, including crystals, Tarot and "channeling," to practical agnosticism. Here is the surprising and inspiring story of how this former Hollywood entertainer (Friends, The Drew Carey Show, Dave's World, etc.) discovered Christ and His Church and the on-going challenges of living life as a faithful Catholic husband, father, and evangelist.

Keeping the Faith - But Not to Yourself!

In this presentation you'll discover why Matthew Arnold was chosen to write the Introduction to Terry Barber's Catholic best-seller How to Share Your Faith with Anyone. A twenty year veteran of "intentional evangelization" Matthew shares many personal "and often humorous" anecdotes of his challenging, but rewarding journey of sharing the Faith. On the way, he reveals why real evangelization is not proselytism, why you do not need to be an "expert" in order to share the Faith, and how effective evangelization is not primarily about tactics or strategies, but is a way of life.

December 10, 2015: December Meeting

For our December meeting this year, we will, again, have our annual Christmas Party Social! Please bring an unwrapped toy as a Christmas present for a needy child for distribution through the Bethlehem Center. For our program, we will have a musical Christmas program and a message about the Reason for the Season from a special guest speaker.

This is always a well-attended event, so be sure to register early!

November 12, 2015: Terry Barber

Terry Barber is the founder of St. Joseph Communications, which is the largest international Catholic audio and video reproduction and distribution company in the United States. Saint Joseph Communications, Inc. has offices in Covina, California and distributors in Canada, England, Australia and the Philippines.

Terry has recorded numerous podcasts on Saint Joseph Podcasts called Culture Warriors for Christ and God Loves You, addressing all the social issues affecting our culture today. He has over 30 years of experience in evangelization in the Catholic Church; his two most influential talks today are The Ten Commandments of Evangelization and The Five Reasons to be Catholic. Terry Barber is from Los Angeles, CA. He is a true pioneer of Catholic evangelization.

He has been instrumental in helping promote Catholic radio since the 1980s, at which time there were only 5 Catholic stations across the country, and he currently co-hosts Reason's for Faith Live on EWTN Radio, which is heard on over 170 Catholic radio stations around the country. Terry is the founder of St. Joseph Communications and the Catholic Resource Center; the co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Lighthouse Catholic Media and he has hosted countless conferences. Terry has touched millions of lives through CD evangelization, and in the past 31 years he has distributed over 25 million inspirational Catholic audio CDs and DVDs. If you have ever listened to Dr. Scott Hahn, Steve Wood, Steven Ray, Tim Staples or Dr. Michael Barber, you have indirectly been influenced by this man through his ministry.

Terry is married, and he and his wife Danielle have 4 children, and before working full time to promote the Catholic Faith he was one of the top real estate producers in the state of California. Terry has come to share his enthusiasm and to encourage us to embrace our calling as Catholic men and women to share the Good News of Christ and the Catholic Faith with our family, friends and the whole world. Terry and his wife, Danielle, have been happily married for 21 years.

October 8, 2015: Luke Spehar

Twin Cities Native, Luke Spehar, crafts Catholic Folk music with his intricate finger picking style and raw lyrics that draw the listener deeper into the dynamic journey of life lived in the light of God's love. He draws from both the simple, natural beauty of the outdoors and the common human experiences including love, suffering, failures and triumphs. Luke's performances create a unique space for prayer and reflection leading to a transforming and renewing encounter with Christ.

"We all need to be inspired from time to time, especially in our spiritual journeys. Luke Spehar is using music in a powerful way to inspire the people of our times." -MATTHEW KELLY.

Luke grew up in a small rural community north of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, and began writing songs at the age of 16 and composed all of the music on his debut album, Be still, before he graduated high school. Be still, chronicles his triumphs and struggles in his Catholic faith throughout high school. He continued to write music throughout his college years, a time he devoted to discerning a potential call to the Catholic priesthood. The songs from his second album, No Other Way, were born during this challenging time of growth and reflection through adoration and philosophical formation.

Following seminary, Luke felt drawn and inspired to use his gift of music to participate in the New Evangelization. He began recording and then performing around the country. Since then, he has performed for audiences of all ages, from concerts to retreats to memorials; in churches, cafes, and university auditoriums; for youth groups, colleges and for U.S. military events. In 2012, Luke was honored to open for Grammy Award-winning musician Ben Harper on tour in both the U.S. and Canada.

In September 2014, Luke released the much-anticipated third album, All Is Gift, co-produced by Ben Harper and Sheldon Gomberg. In January 2015, he married his wife, Elizabeth Yetzer, and together, they are traveling the country releasing Luke's third album, All Is Gift.

"All Is Gift!"

Imagine a world where everyone knew what gifts they were given and used them to honor God! Sadly, it seems that not enough people recognize the gifts they have, or if they do, they don't use them to the fullest extent. In this talk and musical performance, Luke gives a witness to the joy he found as he began to discover his God-given gifts. Luke shares his own transformational process that ultimately resulted in him deciding to use them to honor God, the giver of all things, and give them back by traveling the country to share his music. Luke inspires and motivates his audience to identify their own gifts and to consider how they can use them to build up their local church and ultimately the body of Christ.

September 10, 2015: Bear Woznick

In a culture that seeks to place men in a predetermined category, Bear Woznick defies easy classification. A rare combination of serious adventure seeker, husband, father and devout Catholic, Bear's creed, "the most radical thing you can do in life is to abandon yourself to the wild adventure of God's will," dynamites an opening in people's souls to the possibilities that God has for them.

Bear left the Catholic Church and embraced non-denominational Christianity for over a decade, but reading the early Church fathers and a deep longing for the Eucharist brought him back filled with a passion for the Catholic Faith. In the meantime, he spent years working at CPA firms such as Price Waterhouse and Deloitte Touche in land-locked cities around the country, but it wasn't until he came back to the ocean and the faith of his childhood that he found his true home.

While on his journey home, Bear realized that being a Catholic does not just mean being a nice guy who pays the bills, mows the lawn and sits in a pew on Sunday. God calls each of us to be a saint, and Bear believes that He calls every person to be a hero. But being a hero requires prayer. It requires suffering. It requires faith formation. It requires the disciplined pursuit of intimacy with God and an abandonment to His Will.

Now, as a World Champion surfer, certified Ninja Black Belt, cast member of Fox Fuel TV's adventure show "Clean Break" and all around adventurer, Bear's life message transparently communicates the thrills and spills of a life lived in the quest of abandonment to God. His life inspires people to rise to the unique challenge and purpose that God has for them in every dimension of their lives. And as a novitiate Benedictine Oblate, certified Catechist and co-founder of Fishers of Men, a parish-based men's fellowship movement, Bear follows a faith journey in his own faith community of Waikiki Beach, Hawaii.

Men and women want a challenge. They want an adventure and they want meaning. Throughout his use of media – writing, blogging, reality TV, radio features on the virtues, his talks and his upcoming Catholic radio program – Bear inspires people to a high calling as well as a weightiness of purpose that gives them traction to lead by example those that God has called them to serve.

June 11, 2015: Dale Ahlquist

Dale Ahlquist (born June 14, 1958 in St. Paul, Minnesota) is an author, public speaker, Evangelical convert to Catholicism, and Catholic apologist. He has written, edited, or contributed to more than fifteen books on G.K. Chesterton, including The Apostle of Common Sense, Common Sense 101: Lessons from G.K. Chesterton, The Complete Thinker, and In Defense of Sanity. Ahlquist is the president and co-founder of the American Chesterton Society and the publisher of its magazine, Gilbert. He is the creator and host of the television series, The Apostle of Common Sense, on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). He is also the co-founder of Chesterton Academy, a Minneapolis-based high school rated one of the top 50 Catholic schools in the United States.

Ahlquist is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences, presenting engaging talks on Chesterton's wit and wisdom, his impressive and prophetic insight, and his role in the New Evangelization. He has given over 400 lectures at major colleges and universities and other venues, including Yale, Columbia, Cornell, Notre Dame, Oxford, Cal-Berkeley, Cal-Tech, Rice, Penn, Dartmouth, San Pablo (Madrid), the Vatican Forum in Rome, and the House of Lords in London.

May 14, 2015: TERRY BARBER

Terry Barber is the founder of St. Joseph Communications, which is the largest international Catholic audio and video reproduction and distribution company in the United States. Saint Joseph Communications, Inc. has offices in Covina, California and distributors in Canada, England, Australia and the Philippines.

Terry has recorded numerous podcasts on Saint Joseph Podcasts called Culture Warriors for Christ and God Loves You, addressing all the social issues affecting our culture today. He has over 30 years of experience in evangelization in the Catholic Church; his two most influential talks today are The Ten Commandments of Evangelization and The Five Reasons to be Catholic. Terry Barber is from Los Angeles, CA. He is a true pioneer of Catholic evangelization.

He has been instrumental in helping promote Catholic radio since the 1980s, at which time there were only 5 Catholic stations across the country, and he currently co-hosts Reason's for Faith Live on EWTN Radio, which is heard on over 170 Catholic radio stations around the country. Terry is the founder of St. Joseph Communications and the Catholic Resource Center; the co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Lighthouse Catholic Media and he has hosted countless conferences. Terry has touched millions of lives through CD evangelization, and in the past 31 years he has distributed over 25 million inspirational Catholic audio CDs and DVDs. If you have ever listened to Dr. Scott Hahn, Steve Wood, Steven Ray, Tim Staples or Dr. Michael Barber, you have indirectly been influenced by this man through his ministry.

Terry is married, and he and his wife Danielle have 4 children, and before working full time to promote the Catholic Faith he was one of the top real estate producers in the state of California. Terry has come to share his enthusiasm and to encourage us to embrace our calling as Catholic men and women to share the Good News of Christ and the Catholic Faith with our family, friends and the whole world. Terry and his wife, Danielle, have been happily married for 21 years.

April 9, 2015: Tom Carroll

Former CIA Officer
Helping Catholics understand Islam and the Middle East
Islam for Catholics (instead of "Islam for Christians")

Tom Carroll is a former officer in the Clandestine Service of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). He served under cover in the Middle East, including many years in Turkey, both Istanbul and Ankara, and elsewhere in the region. Tom and his wife converted to Roman Catholicism while living in Istanbul.

Tom speaks, writes, and consults on Islam, the Middle East and associated topics, including espionage and national security. His specialty is Islam and Catholicism. He is a Contributing Fellow at the Public Policy Institute of William Jessup University.

Tom graduated with a degree in philosophy from the University of Southern California.

Click here to find out more about Tom's interesting and informative presentation.

March 12, 2015: Connie Conway

Connie Conway was elected to the California Assembly on Nov. 4, 2008 and began her first two-year term on Dec. 1, 2008. She retired as the Republican Minority Leader in 2014.

While serving in office, Assemblywoman Conway was appointed to seven key committees (more than any other Assembly member) where she was able to utilize her vast experience. Connie served as Vice-Chair to the Assembly Appropriations Committee and the Higher Education Committee and as a member on the Agriculture, Business and Professions, Health, Transportation, and Public Employees, Retirement and Social Services Committees. Assemblywoman Conway was also appointed by Assembly Speaker Karen Bass to the California Commission on Disability Access.

Prior to coming to the Legislature Connie served as a Tulare County Supervisor for eight years, where she was Chair of the Board, and also served as chair of the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley, an appointment she received from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The 28-member partnership, which includes state agency secretaries, elected officials and members of the private sector, works to improve the economy and quality of life by making policy recommendations to the governor.

Connie is a past state president of the Cities, Counties and Schools Partnership, and in 2006, Connie served as President of the California State Association of Counties, which represents 58 counties at the state and federal levels.

In 2007, the Tulare Chamber of Commerce honored her as Woman of the Year. One person who nominated her for the award wrote: "She is a relentlessly dedicated public official who demonstrates her integrity by working - literally - seven days a week to serve her constituents. ... She is personable, informal, humble, candid and charismatic. She seeks advice. She answers questions directly. She explains her positions well. Without exaggeration, she answers her cellular phone from dawn to midnight. This accessible, down-to-earth leadership style has earned Connie the respect of her constituents, and has developed allies across the state. She builds consensus because people know her beliefs and thought processes."

Connie has served as a director for the California Public Employee Post Employment Benefits Commission; the Tulare County Employees' Retirement Association; the San Joaquin Valley Rail Committee; the California State Association of Counties' Excess Insurance Authority; and the California Elected Women's Association for Education and Research.

Prior to her election as Supervisor, Connie served for six years as a director of the Tulare Redevelopment Agency and was a district manager of CorVel Corp., a nationally certified health care organization specializing in workers compensation disability management.

Connie was born in Bakersfield on Sept. 25, 1950. Her father, John R. Conway, served as a Tulare County supervisor from 1981 until his death in 1991. Her mother, Clara Conway was honored for 40 years of employment at Tulare District Hospital.

February 5, 2015: Jennifer Naimo

Jennifer Naimo Morales has been an actress and singer for over 20 years. She originated the role of Frankie Valli's wife, Mary Delgado, in the Tony Award Winning Musical JERSEY BOYS on Broadway.

The CD of the show has gone Gold already and the show continues to sell out nightly, and now has over 7 productions worldwide! She has performed with the late Christopher Reeve, "John Boy" Richard Thomas, Sigourney Weaver, Deborah Gibson, Blythe Danner, and various other "stars".

But the journey of how Jennifer got there and how she has defended her faith and stood up in the midst of "Giants", is the adventure she'll take you on.??Jennifer grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1 of 5 children in a loud, Italian Catholic family. As of late her nieces and nephews total 19. She attended Catholic school until she was accepted as an undergrad in New York University's prestigious Graduate Acting Program at the age of 18,and timidly left her beloved home and parents. Her story of how the Lord has guided and protected her in the secular and fickle world of Entertainment is funny, challenging, moving and inspiring.??Besides the recent Jersey Boys, Jennifer has also performed in several Broadway shows including Les Miserables, Grease, The Full Monty, and Big River. She has several Children's Videos including "The Rosary for Little Children", "Christmas for Little Children", "Prayers for Little Children", "Sing A Long for Little Children" and most recently "The Eucharist for Little Children". They have sold over 100,000 copies around the US. She has appeared on EWTN's Life on the Rock , and Ralph Martins "The Choices We Face".

Jennifer now resides in Los Angeles where she has worked on several TV shows and also commercials. She met her wonderful husband Tim on Ave Maria Single Catholics Online!!!!!! (So yes, there is hope out there for all you single men and women) and just adopted a sweet boy to make their family complete.??Jennifer's singing style has been compared to Barbara Streisand, Karen Carpenter, Twila Paris, and an eclectic mix of Christian singers. However, it's her ability to interpret a song and reveal Gods light in the darkness, that makes her an unusual and original force in the field God has planted her in. She is just as surprised and humbled by the roles and work God has blessed her with as you may be. But than with God, Nothing is Impossible.

December 11, 2014: Christmas Social

For our December meeting this year, we will, again, have our annual Christmas Party Social! Please bring an unwrapped toy as a Christmas present for a needy child for distribution through the Bethlehem Center. For our program, we will have a musical Christmas program, featuring the George McCann Bell Choir, and a message about the Reason for the Season from a special guest speaker, Fr. Eric Swearingen.

This is always a well-attended event, so be sure to register early!

November 13, 2014: Fr. Maurice Emelu

Fr. Maurice Emelu
a Catholic priest from Orlu Diocese Nigeria

I am now a media evangelist and a spiritual retreat preacher. I have a teaching series on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) called, "The Faith with Fr. Maurice", which has been on air since March 2013 in the USA (and North America), Europe, Africa, South America, Australia and Asia. The series attracts thousands of viewers all over the world.

Similarly, I am the host of "Word For A Wounded World" another EWTN series to be premiered in September 2014. In addition, I am working on three other projects for EWTN, namely "Echoes From Africa", "Called" and a documentary on "The Church in Africa."

I have also been a guest on a number of other EWTN regular shows, namely; EWTN Live hosted by Fr. Mitch Pacwa, EWTN Bookmark hosted by Doug Keck and Live on the Rock hosted by Fr. Mark Mary and Doug Barry, in addition to celebrating and preaching a number of live Masses on the same network. Likewise, I have been a guest on Tom Price Catholic Radio show, as well as Sister Juanita Sheely's weekly radio show "God's Saving Word" on WERE 1490 AM Station in Cleveland Ohio, USA in 2010 and 2011. My teaching series also appear on KNXT TV in Southern California, USA.

I am an infant theologian on my knees gazing into God's sanctuary, a curious philosopher, journalist, and a media practitioner. But of all earned degrees, my joy is in being a priest, a holy priest and nothing but a servant at the Lord's court in service of God and His people.

October 9, 2014: Michele Fleming, M.A.

Michele Fleming, M.A. - Michele is a Catholic counselor, radio host, blogger, and highly experienced motivational speaker on a wide variety of topics related to relationships, marriage, and challenges in living our faith. Michele holds a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in integration of Theology. She is completing her doctorate degree, and she recently presented her research at the National Convention of the Christian Association for the Psychological Sciences. Her presentation to us asks, What is Truth? Have you ever been challenged to really defend your faith? Did it leave you questioning, how do you know what is true and what is simply opinion? Ever think you're the only one with these thoughts? Michele explores this question through a detailed analysis of Jesus' discussion with Pilate in John's Gospel. Rather than trying to memorize bible versus or cover every topic in Church teaching, Michele will leave your audience feeling more passionate and committed to the truth of our faith.

June 12, 2014: Fr. Dan Avila

Rev. Dan Avila

Our June 12 speaker will be Father Dan Avila, Vocation Director for the Diocese of Fresno. He assists those men who are seeking to serve as priests and also helps to develop vocation awareness, promotion programs and activities in the diocese.

Fr. Dan will talk about his continuing discernment groups for young men who feel they may be called by God to do something more with their lives beyond just looking out for their own interests by considering a priestly vocation.

Fr. Dan will describe the solemn as well as the humorous steps along the journey in his light-hearted and approachable way. The whole Church needs to foster vocations – Fr. Avila will let us know how we can help within our own families and parishes.

May 8, 2014: Noel Irwin Hentschel

Noel Irwin Hentschel is Chairman, CEO and co-Founder of AmericanTours International (ATI), America's largest privately held, American-owned, inbound/outbound tourism and marketing organization serving one million visitors annually from more than 70 countries. One of California's major woman owned businesses, ATI was founded in 1977 and today generates nearly $3 billion into the U.S. economy annually. ATI is headquartered in Los Angeles with offices across the US.

In 2002, ATI entered into a strategic alliance with the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) to provide worldwide online travel services as a private label preferred partner servicing their 50 million members.

Hentschel and ATI revolutionized the tour operator industry from the moment it opened its doors and continues to do so today, setting standards for quality of service, ethical practice, product and safety in the industry. ATI created and operated the first Visit USA seat-in motorcoach tours, the first DriveAmerica fly-drive itineraries and the first Visit USA city packages in North America for international travelers.

In 2007, Hentschel worked with U.S. and P.R.C. government officials to implement approved destination status (ADS) for the United States of America. In 2008, ATI opened a Representative Office in Beijing to promote tourism to all 50 U.S. states and territories. In 2009, Hentschel created the Trust Travel Alliance (TTA) and “The Rules of The Road” for travel from China to U.S.A and Canada.

ATI set its footprint in Cuba, beginning in 1992, with approval from the U.S. State Department, when Irwin Hentschel led an international delegation to Cuba, and was welcomed by Fidel Castro. In 2010, ATI became the only major tour operator to be given a Travel Service Provider license to take Americans to Cuba; it offers “purposeful” tours to Cuba, including visitors for religious, academic, medical, professional reasons.

Widely accepted in the travel industry as a pioneering entrepreneur, through more than three decades as an international businesswoman, Hentschel's approach to business incorporates diplomacy, peacemaking, innovation, humanitarian efforts, understanding and respecting worldwide religions and politics as a means of shared communication, friendship and partnership.

A prominent voice for public policy issues that affect the tourism industry and global economy, Hentschel served 6 recurring terms on the U.S Secretary of Commerce U.S. Travel & Tourism Advisory Board. She is active in strengthening America's international relations by working with government leaders in establishing global strategic partnerships.

An active member of the United States Travel Association, National Tour Association (NTA), American Chamber of Commerce China and Asia Society, Hentschel also serves on select boards including the L.A. World Affairs Council and Board of Governors Cedars Sinai Hospital.

Hentschel also works with business and government to respond to humanitarian needs. When Noel was just 16 Padre Pio wrote, “Noel, work toward good and good will happen”. Throughout her life she has tried to live by this holy advice. In 1988 she was inspired by Mother Teresa of Calcutta to establish The Noel Foundation focusing on women as untapped resources in developing countries, in our inner cities and in our migrant farming communities in California. Noel's life was blessed to have worked beside Mother Teresa and be mentored by her from 1989 until she passed in 1997.

Hentschel is a guest host of “The America Show” on China Central Television ( Success Magazine named her as one of America's leading entrepreneurs ranked with Oprah Winfrey. Time Magazine called her a ‘local hero' for her service in Los Angeles.

Holding a Masters of Theological Studies from the University of California at Berkeley, Hentschel focused her studies on world religions' impact on international relations and global ethics issues. She is considered to be a Mariologist Specialist and China Expert. She also holds an honorary doctorate for humanities from Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island.

Hentschel and her husband Gordon live in Los Angeles and Hawaii. They own and operate Stonepine Estate, a retreat in Carmel Valley California that plays host to various events, including religious retreats, seminars and other events that seek to advance the goals of The Noel Foundation as well as other humanitarian purposes. They are the parents of seven children.

April 10, 2014: Dr. Derry Connolly

President, John Paul the Great Catholic University, San Diego CA

Dr. Connolly has served as President of John Paul the Great Catholic University since its founding in 2003.

He is retired from the University of California, San Diego where he most recently served on the Executive Board of the Center for the Commercialization of Advanced Technology (CCAT). He previously served as the Associate Dean of Continuing Education at UCSD Extension. Prior to UCSD, Dr Connolly spent 15 years working in industrial Research and Development with IBM and Kodak. He holds 8 US patents and has numerous technical publications. Since 2003, he has taught 'Applied Innovation' at the Von Liebig Center for Entrepreneurism and Technology Advancement at UCSD.

Derry holds a PhD in Applied Mechanics from Cal-Tech in Pasadena, CA and both an MSc & BSc in Mathematical Science from University College, Cork, Ireland

Derry and his wife Lidy have five children and a growing number of grandchildren. They attend Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish in Rancho Penasquito

March 13, 2014: Jesse Romero

Apologetics, New Evangelization

Jesse is bilingual, and equally at home in front of both English and Spanish speaking audiences. In addition, he has proven himself as a presenter with both youth and adults. A devoted husband and father of three children, he resides in the San Fernando Valley of Southern California.

Boxing, martial arts, contact sports. That was how Jesse Romero used to channel his competitive fire, his spirit. Then, in 1986, a fellow officer challenged Jesse to pick up a bible, and use faith instead of force as a way to find escape from the pressures of police life. That event began a transformation that continues to benefit us today. For in the Bible, Jesse rediscovered his Catholic roots. He also discovered how most Catholics really don't understand the basics of their faith, choosing to live out their lives in a kind of spiritual coma. For them - and us – Jesse is a five-alarm wakeup call.

You see, during his years as a Deputy Sheriff, Jesse experienced the dark side of society everyday; yet also saw the evidence of God's work in some of the most unexpected places. What made the difference? Faith in JESUS CHRIST.

Today, Jesse is committed to keeping the Faith alive by speaking at parishes and Catholic events throughout the United States. As a speaker, Jesse has the ability to make the sometimes-complex teachings of the Faith understandable with his straight talk Christ-centered approach. His messages may be simple but when delivered with energy and conviction that has become a Jesse Romero trademark, the audience is left with the indelible impression that our Catholic Faith is something to be worn visibly and proudly, not kept hidden away (Matt 5: 14-16). The phrase “use it or lose it” takes on a whole new meaning in his hands.

Jesse lives in southern California with his wife (Anita) of 23 years and his three children: Paul, Annmarie and Joshua. "He (Jesse) brings to the marketplace and to his professional career, his deep love for God, his great love for his church, and his deep respect for all God's people. Jesse is truly a modern day evangelist, proclaiming the Good News, that Jesus Christ is Lord of our lives. Jesse has my respect and my prayers for his ministry..."

Most Rev. Thomas J. Flanagan, D.D.
Auxiliary Bishop of San Antonio, TX

February 13, 2014: David Casper

Former NFL Player, Financial Advisor

David John Casper (born February 2, 1952 in Bemidji, Minnesota) is a retired American football player. He was an offensive lineman and tight end. His nickname was "The Ghost." Dave spent his high school years at Chilton High School in Chilton, Wisconsin.

Casper played collegiate football at the University of Notre Dame, where he earned Honorable Mention All-America as a tackle in 1972. In 1973 he was an All-American at tight end.

He was drafted in the second round of the 1974 NFL draft by the Oakland Raiders. Casper only caught a total of 9 passes his first two seasons, but was a top 10 receiver in 1976. That season he had 53 catches for 691 yards and 10 touchdowns.

One of Casper's most memorable games as a Raider came in a 1977 Divisional Playoff game against the Baltimore Colts. Casper made an over-the-head catch of a soft pass lofted by Ken Stabler on "The Ghost to the Post." The 42-yard reception set up a game-tying field goal that forced overtime and the Raiders went on to a 37-31 victory with Casper's 10-yard touchdown reception in the second overtime period. He finished the game 4 receptions for 70 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Casper caught the first touchdown of Super Bowl XI, a 32-14 Raiders victory over the Minnesota Vikings. As a Raider, Casper was selected to four straight Pro Bowls (1976-1979).

Midway through the 1980 season Casper was traded to the Houston Oilers for their first and second round draft picks. He was reunited with his former Raider quarterback, Ken Stabler, when he was traded to the Oilers. He finished the 1980 season with 56 receptions and was named to his fifth Pro Bowl. In 1984 he returned to the Raiders for his final NFL season.

Casper finished his pro career with 378 receptions, 5,216 yards and 52 touchdowns. In 2002 he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was the 13th Raider to be inducted.

December 12, 2013: Annual Christmas Program

In December, we will have our first Christmas Party Social! Please bring an unwrapped toy as a Christmas present for a needy child for distribution though the Bethlehem Center. This year, we will have a special Christmas program, including music and a special message about the Reason for the Season from our club's Spiritual Advisor, Monsignor Ray Dreiling.

November 14, 2013: Josh Brahm

Josh's primary passion is helping pro-life people to be more persuasive when they communicate with pro-choice people. After describing the necessary skills to be a good ambassador for Christ, (2 Cor 5:20) Josh will give an introduction to pro-life apologetics. Whether you are new to the pro-life world or if you're an expert on the issue of abortion, you are sure to learn something in this presentation that is designed to challenge, educate and equip you to dialogue with anybody about abortion. You will learn how to defend the pro-life position with air-tight scientific and philosophic arguments.

October 11, 2013: Bishop Armando Ochoa & Officer Installation

Join us on October 11th for our inaugural meeting! Bishop Ochoa will be installing new officers to kick off the newest branch of the Catholic Professionals & Business Club!

Bishop Ochoa was born in Oxnard, California, in 1943, the second child to Angel and Mary Ochoa. He received his education at Santa Clara Elementary and Santa Clara High School, also in Oxnard, and graduated in 1961. In 1962 he entered St. John's Seminary College and having graduated, continued his studies at St. John's Seminary School of Theology. Bishop Ochoa was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles on May 23, 1970, by Cardinal Timothy Manning. He served as Associate Pastor at St. Alphonsus Church in East Los Angeles; St. John the Baptist Church in Baldwin Park; and St. Teresa of Avila Church, Los Angeles. Bishop Ochoa was appointed Pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Los Angeles, in December, 1984. While an Associate Pastor at St. Teresa of Avila, he was named a Monsignor, Chaplain to His Holiness, in 1982.

Prior to his Ordination to the Episcopacy, in February, 1987, as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and Regional Bishop of the San Fernando Pastoral Region, he served as a board member and later as co-director of the Permanent Diaconate Program for the Archdiocese. He also headed the Secretariat for Ethnic Ministry Services. Bishop Ochoa also served as a board member for both Don Bosco Technical High School and St. John's Seminary. On June 26, 1996, Bishop Ochoa was installed as fifth Bishop of the Diocese of El Paso in Texas.

Bishop Ochoa was installed as the fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Fresno on February 1, 2012.

Throughout Bishop Ochoa's Episcopacy, he has held the following USCCB positions: Member of the Sub-Committee on Lay Ministry, Committee on Migration, Sub-Committee on Hispanic Affairs, Committee on Laity, Committee on Vocations, Committee on the Diaconate, Committee on the Millennium/Jubilee Year, Sub-Committee on Lay Ecclesial Ministry, CLINIC Board of Directors and Region XIII Administrative Committee. Bishop Ochoa has also been a Consultant on the Committee on Migration and Sub-Committee on Hispanic Affairs. Other National and International responsibilities have included member of the Alta/Baja California Border Bishops Council, United States Delegate to the Eucharistic Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, and member of the Texas Mexico Border Bishops' Council.