Pete Burak

Pete Burak

Pete Burak is a 2010 graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville (FUS). He has a heart for preaching and reaching today's Catholic youth and young adults. His core message is: "Stand up and be a man or woman of God, in the heart of the Church!" He engages young people with stories from his youth, high school experiences, his two years with the University of Michigan basketball team, and his transfer to FUS. He motivates young people to stand up for Jesus and make a difference in their world.

Pete has been a featured speaker at the Lift Jesus Higher Youth Rally in Toronto, and also gives numerous high school and middle school retreats. He is the director of Pine Hills Camp for junior-high-aged boys. Pete works as the Director of i.d.9:16, a Renewal Ministries’ outreach to Catholic young adults. Additionally, he is working toward his Masters in Theology and Evangelization at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. He is married to Caitlin (Donovan) of Lewes, Delaware, and they have two little girls, Grace and Erin.

Programs/Topics Include:

  • Intentional Discipleship
  • New Evangelization 
  • Young Adult topics
  • New Pentecost
  • Discipleship in the Spirit of Pope Francis
  • Building a Community of Missionary Disciples



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Sr. Sarah Burdick, SGL

Sister Sarah Burdick is an evangelist who has ministered to many people at missionary rallies in Eastern Europe and Africa. She is the director of formation for the Servants of God’s Love, a religious community canonically established in the Diocese of Lansing, Michigan. Sister Sarah has a B.S. in Education from the University of Michigan and an M.A. in Theology from Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan.

Sister Sarah has worked with youth in many different capacities over the last twenty years. She taught middle school for ten years, helped direct youth camps; and did college campus ministry at the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University. She is presently the head of the theology department at Fr. Gabriel Richard High School in Ann Arbor, where she also teaches.

Sister Sarah has also been a guest speaker at the Franciscan University of Steubenville’s youth and leadership conferences.

Programs/topics include:

Youth outreach

  • My Father's House: On Heaven
  • True Love and Relationships
  • Choosing Christ
  • Discerning God's Will
  • A Future Full of Hope
  • The Pearl of Great Price
  • Evangelism
  • The Call to be Salt and Light
  • Temptation and Mercy (college youth)


  • Dealing with Rebellious Teens


  • Women of Valor
  • The Role of Women in the Church
  • Experiencing the Presence of God in the Busyness of Life
  • Effective Prayer Teams and Prayer Ministry
  • Discipleship and prayer


  • Be a Hero

Parish Mission

  • Hope in the Midst of Suffering


srsarahb@gmail.com or sburdick@fgrhsaa.org

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Randall Cirner

Randall Cirner is a clinical counselor, author, and speaker who has been involved in Catholic ministry for over forty years in the US, Europe, Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Randall has master’s degrees in counseling and theology. In his private counseling practice, he specializes in marriage and family concerns and men’s issues. He has taught theology at both the college and high school levels.

His books include: Ten Weeks to a Better Marriage (coauthored with his wife, Therese); Transform Your Marriage; Whitewater, Bears, Dryflies and Other Ways God Speaks to Guys; and Deliverance from Evil Spirits: A Pastoral Approach (coauthored with Fr. Michael Scanlan). He and his wife Therese were married in 1969. They have five children and two grandchildren.

Programs/Topics include:

  • Living Your Marriage in the Power of the Holy Spirit
  • Effective Strategies for Spiritual Warfare
  • Overcoming Anxiety and Depression: Scripture and Psychology Meet
  • The Gospel of Mark: The Way of Discipleship



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Therese Cirner

Therese Cirner, a licensed clinical counselor and adjunct professor at Franciscan University of Steubenville (FUS), has worked to renew the Church spiritually for the past 30 years. Presently, she hosts the yearly Catholic Women’s Conference at FUS, which draws over 700 women each summer. Therese’s professional qualifications, combined with her deep walk with Jesus, provide the foundation for spiritually dynamic and life-changing presentations. Therese loves to share the Good News of Salvation and how to grow deeper into the life of the Trinity, and has a special ministry to women of all ages.

Programs/Topics Include:

  • Come to the Water of Life—JESUS

  • Does Jesus Still Heal Today?

  • People of Hope in Uncertain Times

  • Now What? The Next Step in Your Spiritual Life

  • The Christian Family—The Challenges and Triumphs in Today’s World

  • How to Make a Good Marriage Bettter!

  • Healing, Holiness, Wholeness (for Women)


Therese, your sincere and determined effort brought Joy to more than one-thousand women, showed them the Father’s Love and the dignity of being a woman.”
~ Michael, Ohio

I attended twelve years of Catholic schooling, go to church regularly, and pray and read the Bible. However, until this weekend I never realized that I didn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus. For the first time in my life, I was open to receive Jesus and I fell in Love with Him—I am changed forever. Thank you.” 
~ Jennifer, Michigan

Therese, you told us something very powerful that weekend. It was not the content, but how you incorporated the graces of the Holy Spirit into your message. It was powerful!”
~ Laura, Pennsylvania


therese.cirner@yahoo.com and www.theresecirner.com

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Jack Flanagan

Jack Flanagan

Jack Flanagan has been active in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal for over forty years, tracing his spiritual roots to Duquesne University. He and his wife Terri have been married since 1976, and have six children. Jack was ordained as a deacon in the Diocese of Lansing, Michigan, in 2009.

His ministry has included prison and jail RCIA outreach, parish RCIA and sacramental training, Unbound ministry in the local county jail, Unbound family ministry, catechism instruction, missionary work with Renewal Ministries, and youth outreach. He has served in the Renewal Ministries and Word of God Missionary Intern Program.

During his diaconate formation period, Deacon Jack served as his parish's Education Commission chairman.  Deacon Jack had responsibilities for areas such as Men's retreats, Life in the Spirit Seminars, parish missions promoting deeper encounter and  relationship with Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit. Through his work in prison ministry, he realized the great necessity for Godly family life, and began teaching on family life topics as well.

Deacon Jack has a great desire to see the youth, especially junior and senior high students, live fruitful Christian lives. He currently leads a conference entitiled Life in the Spirit Seminars for Youth. He is interested in offering these seminars alongside parents and local young adult leaders, so that they will be enabled to continue in fruitful engagement with their youth long after the seminar.

Jack and Terri are members of Immaculate Conception Church in Milan, Michigan, where Jack was assigned by Bishop Boyea upon his ordination as a deacon. They live in Ann Arbor and are active in the Word of God Community


  • Life in the Spirit Seminars for Youth
  • Family life
  • Discipleship and prayer


“Jack gave very helpful and clear illustrations to our youth. God was very present and was powerfully with us. I am so glad we made the effort to be here. We definitely want to do follow-up now with our youth in the form of prayer meetings and something focused to serve them.”
~Parent; Life in the Spirit Seminar for Youth



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Francisco  Gavrilides

Francisco Gavrilides

Francisco "Paco"Gavrilides has served as a Catholic missionary in the ministry of evangelization and the building of Charismatic Christian communities throughout the United States, Latin America, and in countries around the world for over twenty years. He has been involved in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement since 1968, and gives conferences in English and Spanish.

Paco received his Baccalaureate of Sacred Theology from the archdiocesan seminary in Monterrey, Mexico. He is currently working in the office of evangelization in the Archdiocese of Detroit as an evangelization coordinator. Among other ministries, he teaches couples on Christian marriage and coordinates the ministry for men. He was the director of programming at St. John Center for Youth and Family. Previously, he worked at St. Thecla Parish in Clinton Township, Michigan as director of adult education and family formation. Prior to his work with St. Thecla, Paco worked for seven years at the University of Michigan in evangelization and pastoral care of university students, and later as pastoral associate at Saints Peter and Paul Parish in Ionia, Michigan.

Paco and his wife Inez have three children. Together, they have produced an album of prayerful and inspirational music entitled Gaze Upon the Lord. The songs and music are the original inspirations given to Inez by the Lord.

Programs/Topics Include:

  • How to Walk with Christ in Hard Times

  • Evangelism Training

  • Discipleship and Prayer

  • Scripture Study Training

  • The Blessed Mother

  • Leadership Training

  • Healing Ministry

  • Life in the Spirit Seminars


"On the feast of the Immaculate Conception, at our day of reflection, Paco spoke on our Blessed Mother. For those who already loved our Holy Mother Mary, their love increased ten-fold. For those who had concerns and problems with our Dear Mother, all their questions were answered and doubts erased. For those who knew Her not, their light was lit and the flame enkindled. We would very much like to have Paco back."
~ Anne Bliss, St. Mary Queen of Creation, Choose Life Committee

"Paco is enlightening, Spirit-filled and engaging! His knowledge of the faith and the Church are evident in his presentations. People from all walks of life will benefit from what he has to say. He draws people to a deeper conversion and discipleship in Christ."
~ Fr. Gary Smetanka, Pastor of St. Thecla Parish, Clinton Twp., Michigan



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Debbie Herbeck

Debbie Herbeck

Debbie Herbeck, a Messianic Jewish Catholic, has worked extensively for the past thirty years in youth and women’s ministry—evangelizing on university campuses, speaking at youth conferences, directing Pine Hills Girls’ Camp, leading mission trips, and mentoring high school and college-age women. She has spoken at Franciscan University’s women’s and youth conferences, and at women’s events throughout the country.

Debbie has developed and leads Be Love Revolution, a ministry that helps young women know the personal love of Jesus so they can live freely and confidently, and be empowered to spread Love to all they meet. Debbie also helps lead i.d.9:16, a ministry that equips young adult Catholics to live as intentional disciples and to respond to the call for a New Evangelization.

In addition, Debbie facilitates a weekly Catholic Bible study for women and directs the Renewal Ministries’ School of Catholic Bible Study.

She has written Safely Through the Storm: 120 Reflections on Hope, Firmly on the Rock120 Reflections on Faith, and Love Never Fails: 120 Reflections on Love. She and her husband Peter co-authored When the Spirit Speaks: Touched by God’s Word.

Debbie and Peter have four children and three adorable grandchildren. They live in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Programs/Topics Include:

  • Personal Testimony: My Journey Home; Conversion from Judaism to Catholicism

  • Women: Growing in Holiness

  • Love Never Fails: Marriage in Christ

  • Building a Civilization of Love—Lessons From Mother Teresa

  • Talks for Young Women (Junior High, High School, College, Young Adult): Identity and Self Image, Spiritual Warfare, The Role of Emotions, Meeting Jesus

  • True Discipleship

  • The Better Portion: Martha and Mary

  • For Moms: Raising Teenage and Young Adult Daughters

  • You’ve Got the Power: The Difference the Holy Spirit Makes

  • Relational Evangelization and Mentoring

  • Mary’s ‘Yes’

  • How to Share Your Personal Testimony

  • The Eucharist: the Gift of Unending Life


Your conversion story was very moving, impressive, and uplifting.”

I was so touched and overwhelmed with such a beautiful account of your journey home. I must say even though I am a man, I got a little emotional listening to your story. You are such a sincere and beautiful representative of our faith.”



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Peter Herbeck

Peter Herbeck

Peter Herbeck is the vice president and director of missions for Renewal Ministries. He has been actively involved in evangelization and Catholic renewal throughout the US, Canada, Africa, and Eastern Europe for more than thirty years. Peter is a co-host for the weekly EWTN television programs The Choices We Face and Crossing the Goal. He also hosts the daily radio show Fire on the Earth. He is a frequent conference speaker, has authored When the Spirit Comes in Power and When the Spirit Speaks, and has produced CDs and booklets about discipleship and life in the Spirit. Peter and his wife Debbie have four children and live in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Programs/Topics Include:

  • Making Disciples

  • New Pentecost

  • New Evangelization

  • What is the Gospel?

  • The Battle for the Family

  • The Culture Wars

  • Fatherhood

  • Charisms and Spiritual Gifts

  • Discernment of Spirits

  • Overcoming Sin

  • Forming the Next Generation

  • Men's Ministry



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Jack Lynch

Jack Lynch is Renewal Ministries' TV and radio producer. He and his wife Lisa have five adult children, a growing list of grandchildren, and live in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Jack is a graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. Active in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal for over forty years, he currently leads Life in the Spirit Seminars for his parish in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Prior to joining Renewal Ministries, he had a thirty-five-year career in information technology, in a variety of positions. He also was a candidate for US Congress in 2008 and 2010.

Programs/Topics Include:

  • Life in the Spirit Seminar
  • Winning the Battle for the Family
  • Prayer and Union with God—The “One Thing Necessary”


"The best presenter was Jack. If I had difficulty following a speaker, the following week he would summarize it into wonderful words."

~ Mary Jane, Michigan, Life in the Spirit Seminar participant

"Jack was an exceptional leader and he made a huge impact on the success of the series."

~ Annie, Michigan, Life in the Spirit Seminar participant



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David Mangan

David Mangan is a graduate of Duquesne University and holds a Master’s Degree in Education. David has been involved in all levels of religious education for more than forty years as teacher and administrator. He and his wife Barbara were married in 1972, and have five children and sixteen grandchildren. They live in Ann Arbor, Michigan and are members of Christ the King Catholic Church.

David was one of the participants on the retreat in February of 1967 where events took place that are often marked as the beginning of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. He has served as a leader and teacher in Catholic renewal movements and has been active in preaching, teaching, family life seminars, bringing young people into the life of faith, healing ministry, and leadership training. David has written several magazine articles and has co-authored a book entitled Life in the Spirit for Your Kids, a practical “how to” manual for leading children into meaningful and lasting experience with God.

David presents himself not as an “expert” on Christian life and family life, but as a struggling father, doing his best to live an effective Christian life and raise his own kids Catholic. His conferences, workshops, and retreats are entertaining and practical, giving real help and hope.

David currently teaches math at Washtenaw Community College, after retiring as a math and theology teacher at Father Gabriel Richard High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His current book is God Loves You and There's Nothing You Can Do About It.

Programs/Topics Include:

  • Come Holy Spirit Workshop: In this workshop, David helps participants receive or be renewed in the baptism in the Holy Spirit and live in the power of God by His grace.

  • Keeping Your Kids Catholic Workshop: In this workshop, parents will learn why young people leave the Church and how to prevent it, how to build resilient family relationships, how to introduce children to Jesus, how to create a Catholic culture at home, how to pray effectively for kids, and how to receive God’s power to help perform parental duties.

  • Healing Ministry

  • Leadership Training

  • Discipleship and Prayer


Parents who participate in David’s workshops leave knowing that God loves them so much that He will honor their efforts to hand on the faith to their children. For more than 30 years, David has been a leader in Catholic renewal movements and a popular conference speaker. But in the workshop David speaks mainly as a Catholic dad, sharing personally and practically about preparing kids to make the right faith choices.” 
~ Bert Ghezzi, author of Keeping Your Kids Catholic and the Keeping Your Kids Catholic Workshop

Those who participated continue to refer to the practical insights that surfaced. The presentations, discussions, and personal reflections were clear, invigorating, and do-able. Our participants felt an atmosphere of mutual hope and support. The sessions were very confirming and uplifting.”
~ Fr. Patsy Iaquinta, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Bluefield, West Virginia



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Laurie Watson Manhardt

Laurie Watson Manhardt, PhD is a Catholic wife, mother, and grandmother. After teaching young girls at the Huron Valley School in Michigan, she taught second grade catechism for several years in New Jersey, preparing children to receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist.

After teaching an inter-faith Bible Study for ten years, Laurie recognized the need for orthodox, layperson-friendly Catholic Bible study materials that could present the finest of Catholic Biblical scholarship available. Together with three Biblical scholars, Father Joseph Ponessa, SSD from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome; Monsignor Jan Majernik, STD from the Franciscan School of Biblical Studies in Jerusalem; and Bishop Jan Liesen, SSD, a graduate of the Biblicum who serves on the Papal Theological Commission, she is offering the Come and See Catholic Bible Study Series for adults and children. Adult books cover the entire Catholic Bible in fourteen volumes.

Presently, Laurie and her husband Jim host a home Bible Study for couples in mixed marriages. She also serves in a weekly Bible study for teenagers in her parish in Vero Beach, Florida. She is particularly interested in helping people who feel called to start a Catholic Bible study in their home or parish.

Programs/Topics Include:

  • God’s Word Can Transform You

  • Deepening the Catholic Heart

  • Why I am a Catholic

  • The Eucharist—Our Food for the Journey

  • How to Start a Bible Study in Your Parish

  • Home Bible Study as a Means of Evangelism

  • Getting Teens into God's Word

  • Summer Catholic Bible Study School


The Come and See Bible Studies Series is a trusted source for sound Catholic Biblical study. Unlike other programs, the Come and See Series covers all 73 books of the Catholic Bible. The series offers an “in-depth” look at each Biblical book yet covers a great multitude of material.

Because the series has obtained the Nihil obstat and Imprimatur, groups using it can be assured that it is free of doctrinal or moral error. Combining the Catechism of the Catholic Church with the study of Sacred Scripture has opened the doors of both minds and hearts to discover explanations about why the Church teaches what she does. The reasonable price is also appreciated by groups hungering for good materials they can continue on with. People are very creative in how they use this program. Both small groups and large groups are finding inventive ways to get into God’s Word and encounter Jesus, the living Word through the Come and See Catholic Bible Study.”
Sharon Doran, MA, Omaha, Nebraska

Thank you very much for the Come and See Catholic Bible Study Series. Bible study and adult education are critical tools for Catholics in the process of faith formation. Thank you for your commitment to this process and sharing your faith through the books. May God always guide you and fill you with the gift of the Holy Spirit to continue in this ministry.
Most Reverend Gerald M. Barbarito, Bishop of Palm Beach, Florida

Thank you for the opportunity to review the Catholic Bible Study material. I have reviewed the book myself and find it very interesting. Your labor of love has certainly produced great fruit.

Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Ph.D., D.D., Bishop of Brooklyn, New York

 “Thank you so much for the Come and See: Catholic Bible Study book. It is truly wonderful and just what I needed!
Genevieve Zalatorius, Prague, Czech Republic

I have heard Laurie Manhardt speak at the women’s conference here in New Jersey and am very happy to recommend her.
Father Brendan Williams, Pastor, St. Veronica Church, Howell, New Jersey



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Carol Marquardt

Carol Marquardt

Carol Marquardt has worked for many years in lay ministry in the Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida. Before beginning the development of the Our Fiat materials and Mantle of Mary Association, she served as adult education director, catechumenate director, retreat house director, and charismatic prayer group leader. Along with these positions, she has worked in inner healing ministry and spiritual direction. She also has led pilgrimages to Marian shrines such as Medjugorje, Lourdes, and Guadalupe, as well as Rome and Assisi. She has participated in evangelization missions to Eastern Europe with Renewal Ministries from Ann Arbor, Michigan.

A graduate of Duke University, Carol holds Master’s Degrees in Education from the University of Illinois and in Pastoral Ministry from St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida. She also received a certificate in spiritual direction from the Benedictine Monastery in Pecos, New Mexico.

Formerly a nationally ranked tennis player, Carol converted to Catholicism in 1966 after her marriage to Mark. She has two married sons and eight grandchildren. She attributes her interest in spirituality to an experience of the presence of Jesus in 1971, which she saw as a call to follow Him and serve Him. Shortly after that, she experienced the charismatic anointing of the Holy Spirit. Ever since then, her interest and focus has been the spirituality of the lay apostle in the modern world.

Programs/Topics Include:


"Carol's writings reflect not only a personal experience that she has with the Lord, but a practical, pastoral way to teach others to do so. I highly recommend her books."
- Fr. Bill McCarthy, MSA, author and director of My Father’s House Retreat Center

"This program is a common-sense approach that combines human insight and truth about the pains of the inner self with the gifts of the Spirit of God. The Gospel truths are brought to bear in simple, but profound ways, to open the person to healing grace." 
- Father Richard McAlear, OMI, author, conference speaker and National Ministry of Hope and Healing



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Ralph Martin

Ralph Martin

Ralph Martin has been a leader in renewal movements in the Catholic Church for many years. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame, he did graduate work in philosophy at Princeton University and holds an MA in Theology from Sacred Heart School of Theology in the Archdiocese of  Detroit, a Licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL) from the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., and a Doctorate in Sacred Theology (STD) from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas (the “Angelicum”) in Rome. He worked for a number of years for the National Office of the Cursillo Movement and subsequently became a leader in the national and international development of the charismatic renewal movement in the Catholic Church. He was the founding editor of New Covenant Magazine, as well as the founding director of the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Office, currently located in Rome.

Currently, Ralph is president of Renewal Ministries, an organization devoted to Catholic renewal and evangelization. Ralph also hosts The Choices We Face, a widely viewed weekly Catholic television and radio program distributed throughout the world. Renewal Ministries is accountable in its work to a board of directors in the United States, for which Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis serves as episcopal advisor, and to a board in Canada, for which Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto serves as episcopal advisor. Renewal Ministries is also actively involved in assisting the Church in more than 30 different countries through leadership training, evangelistic conferences and retreats, and the publication and distribution of Catholic resources.

Ralph also is an associate professor and the Director of Graduate Theology Programs in the New Evangelization at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in the Archdiocese of Detroitand a visiting professor of theology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. He was named by Pope Benedict XVI as a Consultor to the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization and was also appointed as a “peritus” to the Synod on the New Evangelization in October of 2012.  

Ralph is the author of a number of books, the most recent of which are The Urgency of the New Evangelization: Answering the Call, The Fulfillment of All Desire: A Guidebook for the Journey to God Based on the Wisdom of the Saints, and Will Many Be Saved? What Vatican II Actually Teaches and Its Implications for the New Evangelization. He and his wife Anne have six children and fifteen grandchildren and reside in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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Mark Nehrbas

Mark Nehrbas is a lay evangelist who enjoys speaking on a wide range of topics, including men’s spirituality, starting Catholic men’s groups, the New Evangelization, the Holy Spirit, the spirituality of work, spiritual gifts, the universal call to holiness, and the power of prayer. He also enjoys sharing his inspiring conversion story from his college days.

Mark has spoken at retreats, conferences, and days of renewal throughout the United States and abroad. He authored a booklet entitled, Small Groups for Catholic Men.

Mark has been employed on the campus of the Franciscan University of Steubenville since 1985. He currently serves as executive director of Christian outreach. He develops and implements the university’s adult summer conference and year-round evangelization programs, which draw over 10,000 people to campus annually. In addition, he oversees the university’s off-campus high school youth conferences, which serve an additional 35,000 participants at thirteen different sites around the United States.

From 1985-1995, Mark was the administrator for the F.I.R.E. team, an international Catholic evangelistic ministry. He traveled throughout the United States and to several foreign countries promoting and organizing F.I.R.E. rallies.

Mark worked in the university’s development office from 1991-2000. As executive director of development, he raised over $15 million for scholarships, financial aid, and building projects.

He served on the National Service Committee of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in the United States from 2001-2005. Prior to that, Mark represented Franciscan University on the National Advisory Committee to the National Service Committee, a post he held for nine years.

Mark is active in the local community. He lectors at Holy Family Parish; volunteers for the Diocese of Steubenville, the Franciscan Sisters, TOR, and Steubenville City Schools; and serves on the board of the Steubenville Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Mark and his wife Carol reside in Steubenville, Ohio, and have nine children.

Programs/Topics Include:

  • Getting Free: Overcoming Obstacles to Faith

  • Equipping the Saints: Receiving Spiritual Gifts for Ministry

  • The Parish of the Third Millennium: The Dynamic Vision of Pope John Paul II

  • Dare to Believe Men’s Conference

  • Catholic Family Life

  • Catholic Fatherhood

  • Jesus is the Answer

  • Forming Catholic Men’s Groups

  • Pope John Paul II and the Challenge of the Jubilee Year 2000

  • The Merciful Love of God the Father

  • Empowered to Meet the Challenge of the Third Millennium

  • Working Our Way to Heaven?


"Integrity. Wholeheartedness. Keen pastoral insight. Strong Scriptural teaching. Docility to the Holy Spirit. Love for God's people and the Church. These are the phrases that come readily to mind when I think of my friend, Mark Nehrbas. He is an outstanding Catholic layman whose years in pastoral ministry have forged him into an effective teacher. Mark's commitment to the family, to strengthening men, to Catholic education, and to renewal movements in the Church, have contributed to making him an excellent speaker. He recently addressed a group of leaders in the Charismatic Renewal in the South and everyone found his teachings to be superb. My husband and I regard Mark as one of the 'bright lights' in the Church today."
~ Patti Mansfield, New Orleans, LA

"Mark speaks with great impact. He has a commanding presence and an effective delivery that call forth a committed response. He is knowledgeable in the areas of renewal, evangelization, and community. He always stays on the topic, within the time frame, and links his message to what has preceded him."
~ Fr. Michael Scanlan, T.O.R.


mnehrbas@franciscan.edu or by phone at 740-284-5870

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Sr. Ann Shields, SGL

Sr. Ann Shields, SGL

Sr. Ann Shields, S.G.L., is an internationally noted conference and retreat speaker, and the author of numerous books on Catholic spirituality, including Deeper Conversion, To Be Like Jesus, and More of the Holy Spirit. She currently hosts the popular daily radio program Food for the Journey.

She is a member of The Servants of God’s Love, a charismatic religious community established in the Diocese of Lansing, Michigan, and is a member of the diocesan pastoral council.

Sr. Ann was awarded the Benemerenti Medal by Pope Benedict XVI in September of 2012 for service to the Church. She also is a recipient of the Aggiornamento Award, given by the Catholic Library Association in recognition of outstanding contribution through her books and articles for the renewal of parish and community life.



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Lavinia Spirito

Lavinia Spirito

Lavinia Spirito is an active lay teacher, author, spiritual director, and evangelist in parish renewal and the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in the US and Italy. In addition to being a founding teaching leader for the nationally distributed Catholic Way Bible Study, as seen on EWTN, she has led and participated in the Life in the Spirit Seminars, Alpha for Catholics, Theology on Tap, Diocesan Speaker Series, Christ Renews His Parish, Disciples in Mission, small groups, RCIA and CCD, and has led various retreats. She is frequently tapped to teach catechist and deacon continuing education sessions. She collaborates in Renewal Ministries’ young adult ministry, i.d.916.

Lavinia co-hosts two radio shows on Christian Living and the Gospels on WMJR 1380AM/94.9FM and has appeared on numerous shows on EWTN and Catholic radio, including Morning Air on Relevant Radio, Catholic Connection with Teresa Tomeo, and Catholic Answers. She also leads pilgrimages to Italy and Israel.

Lavinia grew up in Rome, Italy, and has a BA in Anthropology from the University of Michigan and a JD from the University of Kentucky’s College of Law. Lavinia practices law in family court and lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with her husband Michael and two daughters. She currently is working on a Master’s Degree in Theology from the Augustine Institute in Denver, Colorado.

Programs/Topics Include:

  • Understanding Mercy

  • Marriage and Family Life

  • Scripture Study Training

  • Discipleship and Prayer

  • Interacting with the Culture; Catholics in the Public Square

  • Catholic Devotion

  • Spiritual Gifts/Charisms

  • Women and Personal Holiness

  • Catholic Magisterial Teaching


Lavinia Spirito employs her passion for the Word of God and her scholarly expertise to open the Word of God and help the ordinary believer connect this Word to his or her daily life.”

~ Most Reverend John Stowe, OFM Conv., Bishop of Lexington, Kentucky

Lavinia Spirito engages her listeners' heads and hearts with the Biblical truths that further our continuing faith formation, evangelization and community building.”

~ Most Reverend Ronald W. Gainer, Bishop of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Lavinia Spirito does a truly excellent job in unfolding the great wealth of God’s Word in ways that ordinary people can understand, but nevertheless is true to the Word’s challenge. The program unpacks the Scriptures in a way that is useful and inspiring. I recommend this for everyone!”

~ Ralph Martin, S.T.D., Director of Graduate Theology Programs in the New Evangelization, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Archdiocese of Detroit

Years of laboring ‘in the trenches’ teaching Catholic Bible studies has equipped Lavinia with a unique talent to make a wealth of life-changing information accessible to anyone who hungers to know the Word of God."

~ Peter Herbeck, Director of Missions, Renewal Ministries, Ann Arbor Michigan

"Lavinia Spirito does her homework!  With all the skill and tenacity of a highly-trained lawyer researching a case, Lavinia examines the text and historical background of the Bible, interprets it accurately, and applies it to life today. She fulfills, and helps others fulfill, St. Paul's words: "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth" (2 Tim 2:15).  Catholic Way Bible Study belongs to a new wave of Catholic initiatives to restore the Word of God to the center of Catholic life.  I highly recommend this program!"

~ Dr. Peter S. Williamson, S.T.D., Adam Cardinal, Maida Chair in Sacred Scripture, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, General Editor, Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture



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