Gabriel Garnica is crazy enough to believe that we can all be saints, and he refuses to buy the lie that we cannot. He is a college professor with degrees in law and mental health counseling. He was born in Colombia and came to the U.S. as a young child. While Gabe continues to enjoy teaching law, his greatest fulfillment as an educator has come from his ten years as a catechist at two local parishes. Gabe is passionate about sharing his faith through writing and speaking; and he has enjoyed giving numerous talks to children on such topics as Divine Mercy, David and Goliath, The Ten Commandments, and prioritizing one’s faith. While he enjoys talking to children, it is in writing and speaking to adults that Gabe truly feels he has found his calling. His goal is to continue developing his Catholic speaking and write several books on his topics of interest, which include meditations on the Ten Commandments, Divine Mercy, the saints, parable stories, general Scripture, Pro-Life, and The Virgin Mary. He enjoys writing for his blog Deus solus https://wordpress.com/posts/deussolus9.wordpress.com and as a columnist at Catholic Stand ww.catholicstand.com/author/gabriel-garnica/
Gabe’s favorite saints are Tarcisius, Therese “The Little Flower”, and Alphonsus de Liguori, whom he describes as giving us a powerful glimpse of the loving challenge which God has given each of us. As mentioned above, Gabe believes that we are all called to be saints, but we spend more time convincing ourselves why we cannot become one than trying to fulfill our true purpose in becoming precisely that. Gabe also speaks about Catholic marriage as being the true “Love Triangle”, with each partner and God.
Fr. Juan R. Vélez is a Catholic priest of the Prelature of Opus Dei, presently working in San Francisco and Berkeley. He was born in Venezuela and raised in Colombia, England and the United States. He holds a doctorate in dogmatic theology from the University of Navarre. Fr. Juan has a medical degree, also from the University of Navarre, and was previously board certified in internal medicine. He is author of Passion for Truth, the Life of John Henry Newman (TAN, 2012) and co-author of Take Five, Meditations with John Henry Newman (Our Sunday Visitor, 2010). He has also published a number of journal articles on theology and on medical ethics. He posts short reflections on Cardinal Newman’s writings at: www.cardinaljohnhenrynewman.com
Deanna Bartalini is the Director of Faith Formation for St. Edward Catholic Church in Palm Beach, FL. She has served in the diocese of Palm Beach since 1985 in both paid and volunteer positions in the areas of religious education, youth ministry and stewardship. Prior to working in full time ministry, Deanna worked in the field of English as a Second Language as a teacher, consultant, teacher trainer, curriculum developer and publishing sales manager. Deanna has been married for over 30 years and has raised two wonderful adults. For most of her life she has been a planner; however, the Holy Spirit usually intervenes, sometimes quite forcefully, and leads her to another path.
Deanna is available to lead retreats and speak at catechist and ministry events. Learn more about her on her website, New Evangelizers, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest.
Msgr. Charles Pope is the pastor of Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian, a vibrant parish community in Washington, D.C. A native of Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, his interest in the priesthood stemmed from his experience as a church musician. He attended Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary and was ordained in 1989. A pastor since 2000, he also has led Bible studies in the U.S. Congress and at the White House in past years. Monsignor Pope is often featured in New Advent and Our Sunday Visitor and is the primary author for the Archdiocese of Washington’s blog, and we are honored that he will be sharing some of his best blogs on theology, art, music, and culture here at Amazing Catechists.
Elizabeth Ficocelli is a best-selling, award winning Catholic author of fifteen books for adults and young people, including Seven from Heaven: How Your Family Can Find Healing, Strength and Protection in the Sacraments and The Imitation of Christ for Children. She has spoken at the LA Congress, NCEA, and various catechetical conferences, as well as at numerous schools and parishes. Elizabeth also hosts “Answering the Call” on St. Gabriel Catholic Radio AM 820, in which she interviews priests, deacons, and religious about their spiritual journeys and current vocations. For more information, visit www.elizabethficocelli.com
Karee Santos is a happily married mom of six and a popular writer and speaker on Catholic marriage. Karee and her husband, Manuel P. Santos, M.D., began teaching marriage preparation and enrichment classes in New York City in 2003. They are also co-authors of The Four Keys to Everlasting Love: How Your Catholic Marriage Can Bring You Joy for a Lifetime (Ave Maria Press 2016). Karee’s writing can be found at Catholic Match Institute, Aleteia, CatholicMom and her personal blogs Can We Cana? and Comencemos en Caná.
Elizabeth Tichvon is a Consecrated Marian Catechist, UCLA Certified Paralegal and Writer. Always faithful to the Magisterium, she spreads and defends the Catholic faith as a true witness of Christ, confessing the name of Jesus boldly; never ashamed of the Cross.
Elizabeth became aware of the need for the New Evangelization while in the three years of her formation as a Marian Catechist and wrote over 100 published meditations on Sacred Scripture for The Journey, www.daily-meditations.org. In 2006, she created her blog, http://elizabethtichvon.wordpress.com, and following Jesus’ example, now teaches through her own parables so that by sharing her stories through social media, might bring others closer to the heart of Christ. As a Consecrated Marian Catechist, her spiritual life is the foundation of her writing.
In 1986 Elizabeth completed UCLA’s Graduate Paralegal Program With Honors and worked in the legal field for 34 years before retiring from Chrysler in 2008. She is now writing and catechizing daily, and lives with her husband of 34 years
Alice Gunther is a mother of nine and a columnist for The Long Island Catholic. She writes about Catholic family life at her weblog, Cottage Blessings, and is the author of “Haystack Full of Needles, A Catholic Home Educator’s Guide to Socialization.”