The Open Track provides Non-Track participants with additional workshops from which to choose. These workshops will address current issues and trends within the catechetical field, the Church and the world in order to equip the catechist to more effectively proclaim the Gospel in today’s rapidly changing society. These workshops are new each year, and therefore provide participants with excellent opportunities for on-going formation. Also, non-track participants can choose from ANY workshop in ANY track to further customize your conference experience.
This Year’s Open Track Workshops:
Witness as Gateway to Conversion
Cultivating Catholic Identity in the Home
Contraception: Why Not?
Theology of the Body and the Eucharist
Hormones R’ Us
Helping Teenage Disciples Learn How to Frame Hot Button Conversations
Effective (and Ineffective) Social Media Strategies at the Parish and the Home
Intercultural Competency 101: What Does it Mean to Serve in a Diverse Parish?
Effective (and Ineffective) Social Media Strategies at the Parish and the Home
Using Pop Culture in the High School Classroom
Theology of the Body for Parents: Helping Parents Educate Their Children in a Catholic Vision of Sexuality
Laying Adequate Foundations for our Students in Sacramental Catechesis
Ecclesial Method Part 1
Ecclesial Method Part 2
How Does a Parish Begin a RCIC?
Teaching from the Catechism: Practical Tools
Pope Francis and the Way of Mercy: The Nuts, Bolts and Struggles
Connecting Discipleship in Catechesis
The New Evangelization in Sacramental Preparation (children and adults)
Dr. Scott Hahn is the author or editor of over 40 books; his most recent titles are The Creed and Evangelizing Catholics. He holds the Father Michael Scanlan Chair of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization at Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he has taught since 1990. He is also the founder and president of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. Following a master’s in divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Dr. Hahn received his PhD in theology from Marquette University. He and Kimberly married in 1979. They live in Steubenville and have 6 children and 14 grandchildren. Learn more about Dr. Hahn at www.scotthahn.com. He will be presenting at the St. John Bosco Conference, the Applied Biblical Studies Conference, and the Defending the Faith Conference.
Fr. Derek Anderson, SOLT, was ordained a priest for the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity in 2003 and served as a parochial vicar in the Diocese of Rome for the first five years of his priesthood. Upon completion of his STL in dogmatic theology at the Angelicum, where he is also a doctoral candidate, Father Anderson was appointed academic dean of the SOLT Theological House of Studies in Rome. He currently serves as the director of Catechesis for the Diocese of Paterson, New Jersey, as well as pastor of Saint Mary’s Parish in Dover, New Jersey. He will be presenting at the St. John Bosco Conference.
Keith Borchers is a recognized and experienced leader in the field of evangelization, catechesis, consultation, and development. He has dedicated over 20 years of his professional career leading various efforts, teams, and volunteers in Catholic dioceses, parishes, apostolates, orders, and schools. He is currently the Founder and President of Evangelium Consulting Group, a firm dedicated to helping Catholic leadership teams maximize their organizational health and apostolic impact. Keith holds degrees in Business, Psychology, and Theology, and lives in Walnut Creek, CA with his wife Gina and their eight kids. He will be presenting at the St. John Bosco Conference.
Marlon De La Torre is the current Department Director of Evangelization and Catechesis for the Diocese of Fort Worth. For over twenty years he has served as a professor of Catechetics for Seminary and Deaconate Formation, Catholic Distance University and Parish/Diocesan DRE, Catholic High School Principal (Diocese of Memphis), and Superintendent of Catholic Schools (Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph). His multiple published/media credits include Screwtape Teaches the Faith (Tan/Saint Benedict Press, 2011), knowingisdoing.org, catholicmom.com, the Sower, New Advent.org, and EWTN Live. He holds a MA Theology/Catechesis (FUS 03′); MEd. University of Saint Mary (2010). He is happily married to his wife Amy of over twenty years and are blessed with four wonderful children; Miguel 18, Gabriella 15, Maria 12, Gianna 3. He will be presenting at the St. John Bosco Conference.
Derek Doroski will be presenting at the St. John Bosco Conference.
Dr. Dan Kuebler is a Professor of Biology at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He research involves the study of adult stem cells from bone marrow, adipose and placental tissue. He is the co-author of The Evolution Controversy: A Survey of Competing Theories, a book that critically examines the various theories of evolutionary thought. He has also published a variety of popular articles on science, politics, culture and religion. He received a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from University of California, Berkeley. He also holds a Masters of Science in Cell Biology and a Bachelors degree in English from Catholic University of America. He will be presenting at the St. John Bosco Conference.
Ann Lankford is the Director for the Office of Catechesis and Evangelization for the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin. She has held this position for fourteen years. She received her MA in Theology and Christian Ministry with a specialization in Catechetics from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 1998 and received the St. John Bosco Conference DRE Certification. At heart, Ann is a ‘people person.’ Helping children, young people, and adults to fall in love with Jesus Christ and to be more fully committed to Him in every area of their lives gives her great joy. She will be presenting at the St. John Bosco Conference.
Drake McCalister is the coordinator of the catechetical practicum and coordinator of the St. John Bosco Conference for the Office of Catechetics at Franciscan University of Steubenville. In addition to his work at Franciscan, Drake serves as the director of RCIA for Franciscan and oversees the EDGE junior high youth group, besides writing and speaking. Previously, Drake was a Pentecostal pastor in the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel for 13 years from 1991-2004 but, after five years of study, prayer, and reluctance, he resigned his pastorate and brought his wife and three daughters home to the Catholic Church on December 12, 2004, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Drake now has five daughters and lives in Steubenville. He will be presenting at the St. John Bosco Conference.
Ken Ogorek is the archdiocesan catechetical director in Indianapolis and a consultant with the Evangelium Consulting Group, which works with pastors and other Catholic leaders to enhance, by God’s grace, the ministries they oversee, such as catechesis. After earning a master’s degree from the Pontifical Center for Catechetical Studies, Ken taught high school religion, then served as assistant diocesan catechetical director in Pittsburgh for 10 years before returning to his native Hoosier state in 2007. With his bride of 20-plus years and their children, Ken is a parishioner at St. Pius X in Indianapolis. His efforts were recently acknowledged by his peers when they elected him to a term as president of the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He will be speaking at the St. John Bosco Conference.
William O’Leary has worked in parish ministry as a Director of Religious Education and Youth Ministry in a number of parishes for the last 17 years. Currently, he works as Director of Religious Formation for a large parish in Overland Park, KS. O’Leary is passionate about catechist formation and curriculum development. He have given workshops and formation days for parish catechists. He will be speaking at the St. John Bosco Conference.
Dr. Gerard O’Shea is associate dean and senior lecturer in Religious Education and Family Catechesis at the Australian campus of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family Studies in Melbourne. He also serves as associate professor of religious education at the University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney campus. Previously, Dr. O’Shea was involved in Catholic education as a teacher and principal for over 30 years. Part of the writing team for the Australian religious education text To Know, Worship, and Love, his own parent resource, As I Have Loved You, helps parents train their children in a Catholic vision of sexuality. Dr. O’Shea and his wife, Anne, served a five-year term as president couple for the National Association of Catholic Families (2003-2007). They have five children and six grandchildren. He will be speaking at the St. John Bosco Conference.
Sister M. Johanna Paruch, FSGM, a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George, holds a BA in theology and elementary education from St. Louis University, a pontifical catechetical diploma, an MA in religious education from the Angelicum, and a PhD in theology from Maryvale Institute, Birmingham, England. Sister Johanna has been involved in religious education for over 25 years. She currently serves as an associate professor of theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, specializing in catechetics. Her first publication, Mentors in the New Evangelization: Catechetical Saints of North America, became available in 2013. She will be speaking at the St. John Bosco Conference.
Dr. James Pauley, S.T.L., S.T.D. (cand.) is associate professor of theology and catechetics and has served on the theology faculty at Franciscan University since 2002. He received his doctorate in sacred theology from the Liturgical Institute at Mundelein Seminary in 2014. His doctoral research was focused on the 20th century history of the renewal of liturgy and catechesis and the proposal of principles for the revitalization of liturgical catechesis. In 2014, Dr. Pauley was appointed founding editor of The Catechetical Review, Franciscan University’s journal dedicated to the new evangelization. Dr. Pauley began working as a parish catechetical leader in 1989 in Phoenix and has served professionally in parish, diocesan, and university catechetical formation for more than 25 years. A native of Arizona, James is married to Katrina, and they have three daughters. He will be presenting at the St. John Bosco Conference.
Dr. Joseph White is a child and family psychologist and National Catechetical Consultant for Our Sunday Visitor Publishing and Curriculum. He has taught courses in Catechetics and Pastoral Guidance at the University of Dallas and the University of St. Thomas in Houston. Dr. White has worked as a parish catechetical leader and spent seven years as Director of Family Counseling and Family Life in the Diocese of Austin. He is the author of ten books and numerous articles on catechesis and ministry, and co-authored the Allelu and Alive in Christ catechetical series. He will be presenting at the St. John Bosco Conference.
Dr. Benjamin Wiker is a professor of political science, director of the Human Life Studies Minor, and senior fellow at the Veritas Center for Ethics and Public Life at Franciscan University. He holds a BA in political philosophy from Furman University and an MA in religion and a PhD in theological ethics, both from Vanderbilt University. His 12 books include Worshipping the State, and Politicizing the Bible (with Dr. Scott Hahn). Dr. Wiker is now writing and starring in a new EWTN series, Saints vs Scoundrels. He and his wife have seven children and two grandchildren. He will be presenting at the St. John Bosco Conference.