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58th Annual Convention


Rev. Bill Watson

Title: Brother Priest, I am your Divine Physician: Let me heal you so you can better heal your people

Fr. Bill Watson, S.J. specializes in building enduring Ignatian-based programs that stand the test of time. The Encounter program at Jesuit High School in Portland, Oregon turned 40 in 2019 and has transformed the school.The 5-Day Ignatian Retreat at Georgetown University had its 30th anniversary in 2017 and the Georgetown Freshman ESCAPE retreat celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2016. Fr. Watson received his Master of Divinity at Weston Jesuit School of Theology, Cambridge, MA, in 1986 and then his Doctor of Ministry at The Catholic University of America Washington, D.C. in 2009.

Mr. Chris Stefanick

Title: Empowering Seminarians to be JOY-FILLED Faith Leaders in the Midst of a World Gone Woke.

Chris Stefanick is an internationally acclaimed author, speaker, and television host who has devoted his life to inspiring people to live a bold, contagious faith. Recipient of the Papal Benemerenti Medal, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput calls Chris “one of the most engaging defenders of the Christian faith on the scene today.” Chris’s live seminars reach more than 85,000 people per year. His reality TV show, videos, and radio spots reach millions of people, and his educational initiatives are turning the tide in the Church. He authored the Chosen Confirmation program which has already formed more than 500,000 teens. A graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Chris is also the founder and president of Real Life Catholic, a non-profit which operates as the headquarters for Chris’s various initiatives.  Above all, Chris is proud to be the husband to his wife Natalie and father to their six children.


Workshops Session 1

Workshop 1: Canon Law and Internal/External Forum

Very Rev. Joe Waters

Fr. Waters is Judicial Vicar of the Dioceses of St. Petersburg and Venice. He does canonical consulting with the Diocese of Orlando and Dioceses/Archdioceses around the Country, focusing on clergy matters. His JCL Thesis was Sufficient Human Maturity in Suitable Sacred Ministers.  From 1996 to 2000 Fr. Waters was Vice Rector of St. John Vianney College Seminary, Miami.  Fr. Waters presented at a NCDVD Convention on two prior occasions.

Workshop 2:The Virtue of Masculinity

Dr. Timothy Gray

Tim Gray is President of the Augustine Institute and a well-known Catholic speaker and author.

Under Dr. Gray’s leadership, the Augustine Institute has established the largest Catholic graduate  school of theology in the country, and has created best-selling programs including: Symbolon, a  comprehensive program of faith formation for adults; The Search, a celebrated evangelization series,  FORMED, a digital platform with a vast array of Catholic films, eBooks, and audio talks; and Signs of  Grace, a sacramental preparation program for children.

Dr. Gray has a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from Catholic University of America., and is the author of  several books including Peter: Keys to Following Jesus and Praying Scripture for a Change: An Introduction to  Lectio Divina. He is also the host of The Augustine Institute Show, a weekly live show that explores  topics of the Faith.

Tim and his wife Kris, live in Littleton, Colorado. They have one son and a daughter-in-law.

Workshop 3: FOCUS 11 and Retreats​

Rev. Michael Perucho

Father Mike Perucho has been serving at Holy Trinity Parish in Los Angeles, California since 2018. His previous assignments include Holy Family, Glendale and most recently as pastor at Our Lady of Peace. His current assignment is working at the Archdiocese Vocations Office.


Workshops Session 2

Workshop 1: The New Seminarian Bootcamp

Onboard your new seminarians in a way that increases a love for the diocese, builds fraternity, and decreases formation issues down the road.

Rev. Michael Pratt

Fr. Michael Pratt is from the Diocese of Tulsa. He attended public school growing up and played baseball through high school. After attending Oklahoma State University for two years he felt called to join the seminary. He studied at St. John Vianney College Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota where he obtained a degree in philosophy. After graduation, he began his theological studies at the North American College in Rome. There he earned a Bachelor’s degree from the Angelicum and a Licentiate degree from the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family Studies. He was ordained a priest in 2011. He has served as an associate pastor, chaplain at a Catholic High School, and a pastor. He has been the vocation director since 2017. He enjoys reading, fishing, and hanging out with brother priests. He currently lives at Holy Family Cathedral in Tulsa.

Workshop 2: Diocesan Spirituality of St. John Avila

Rev. Gustavo Castillo

Rev. Gustavo Castillo was born May 1, 1975 in Tecolotlán, Jalisco, Mexico, the fifth of eight children born to Vidal Castillo Gomez and Rosa M. Cueva de Castillo. In June of 1990, he immigrated to the United States, and in 1997 he entered St. Meinrad College Seminary. In the following years he went on to study at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, California and then the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, where he received both his STD and STL in Spiritual Theology. After serving in the parishes of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and Epiphany Church in California, he went on to work at Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Rome and now serves as Director of Spiritual Formation, St. John’s Seminary, Camarillo, California. Fr. Castillo has been published eight times in such works as “St. John of Avila Speaks to Newly Ordained Priests,” The Priest, “Bienvenidos al Congreso San Juan de Ávila,” Vida Nueva, and The Spirituality of Diocesan Priesthood in the Writings of St. John of Avila, Priest and Doctor of the Church, Doctoral Dissertation.

Workshop 3: Self Care in a Post Covid World

Dr. Laura Webb, MD

Dr. Laura Webb, MD received her medical degree from the University of Oklahoma and completed her residency in the field of psychiatry.  She lives in Oklahoma City with her husband, Jeremy, and their three children.  In addition to practicing psychiatry for 16 years, she is a catechist with The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.  In her free time she enjoys running, coaching her daughter’s fast pitch softball team, gardening with her son, and wallpapering with her husband. She also serves the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City as a member of the Vocations Board.

Join Dr. Laura Webb as she leads a discussion on mental health and the benefits of taking care of one’s self in the shadow of 2020. 

Break Outs

Break Out Room #1: What’s working in Small Dioceses
Break Out Room #2: What’s working in Medium Arch/Dioceses
Break Out Room #3: What’s working in Large Arch/Dioceses


Workshops Session 1

Workshop 1: The Priests we Need

Dr. Edward Sri

Dr. Edward Sri is a theologian, author and well-known Catholic speaker who appears regularly on EWTN. Each year he speaks to tens of thousands of people from around the world, including clergy, parish leaders, catechists and laity. He has written several best-selling books, including No Greater Love: A Biblical Walk through Christ’s Passion, Walking with Mary, Who Am I to Judge? – Responding to Relativism with Logic and Love, and Into His Likeness: Be Transformed as a Disciple. Edward Sri is also the host of the acclaimed film series Symbolon: The Catholic Faith Explained and the presenter of several faith formation film series, including A Biblical Walk through the Mass; Mary: A Biblical Walk with the Blessed Mother; and Follow Me: Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John. He is a founding leader with Curtis Martin of FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students), where he currently serves as Vice President of Formation.

Dr. Sri leads pilgrimages to Rome and the Holy Land each year and is the host of the weekly podcast “All Things Catholic.” He holds a doctorate from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome and is an adjunct professor at the Augustine Institute. He resides with his wife Elizabeth and their eight children in Littleton, Colorado.

Workshop 2:“Do you find him to be ready?” Assessing a man’s capacity for seminary formation

Rev. Paul Hoesing

Father Paul Hoesing is a priest of the Archdiocese of Omaha and serves as Vice Rector for Formation at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. Raised in rural Nebraska, Fr. Hoesing earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of Saint Thomas in St. Paul in 1998, as well as a Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology and a Licentiate in Dogmatic Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 2001 and 2003, respectively. Since his ordination in 2002, Fr. Hoesing has served in parish ministry, taught in Catholic high schools and at the Institute for Priestly Formation, and worked as Director of Catholic Campus Ministry at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Fr. Hoesing was named Director of the Office of Vocations for the Archdiocese of Omaha in 2008 and was elected President of the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors in 2013. In 2015, Fr. Hoesing joined the faculty of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary as Dean of Seminarians and Director of Human Formation, before being named Vice Rector in 2019. Fr. Hoesing is the author of Have I Been With You?, a primer on prayer.

Workshop 3: Eucharistic Revival

Rev. Jorge Torres

Fr. Jorge Torres was ordained in 2005 and served as parochial vicar at St. Ann and Most Precious Blood Catholic churches until 2011, each for three years respectively.  He was a vocation director for seven years until 2018 when he was named pastor of Holy Redeemer and later on Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic churches.  In July 2021 he started a new role at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops as part of the Eucharistic Revival.

The bishops are promoting a three year Eucharistic Revival for the nation which will begin Corpus Christi 2022. This presentation will explore the reasons for this initiative as well as the methods as well as the ways for the upcoming synod and revival to be a unified expression of the church. It will also present on some the writings of St. Manuel Gonzalez Garcia and Blessed Concepción Cabrera de Armida on the priesthood and the Eucharist with some time for discussion and/or faith sharing.


Workshops Session 2

Workshop 1: Spirituality of Generation Z

Mr. Joel Stepanek

Joel Stepanek has been actively and passionately involved in ministry for over 15 years. What began as a simple internship in a parish youth ministry office evolved into an incredible adventure that led him on numerous middle school lock-ins, high school retreats, parish missions, and ultimately to meet his wife, Colleen. Joel is the Vice President of Parish Services for Life Teen International where he guides several teams that support Catholic parishes in creating and sustaining vibrant youth ministries that form passionate Catholic evangelists and disciples. Joel is a sought after speaker who has traveled across the world speaking to groups of all sizes, ages, and vocations. Joel is the author of several books, including “Chasing Humility: 8 Ways to Shape a Christian Heart,” “XY: An Authentic Masculine Identity,” “True North: A Roadmap for Discernment,” “Getting More Out of Confession,”and “The Greatest Job on Earth: The Seven Virtues of an Awesome Youth Minister.” He is a co-author of “The 99,” an evangelization program from Ascension and is a contributing author for Youth Cartel and Youth Specialities. Joel received his Master’s degree in religious education with an emphasis in youth and young adult ministry from Fordham University in New York City. In addition to his ministry at Life Teen, he continues to serve in the field of higher education as adjunct faculty for Franciscan University of Steubenville. Joel is an avid crossfitter, enjoys cooking and gardening, and loves spending time with his wife and two children, Elijah Daniel and Sophia Grace.

Workshop 2: Hispanic Vocation Ministry 101

Rev. Sam Ward & Rev. Chuck Dornquast

Father Samuel W. Ward was ordained a Priest for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles on May 31, 2003.  Father Sam has been Pastor of St. Helen Church in South Gate, CA from 2008-2013.  Previously he was Associate Pastor at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Santa Clarita (2007-2008) and St. Emydius Church in Lynwood (2003-2007).  Archbishop Jose H. Gomez appointed him as Associate Director of Vocations in 2013 and Director of Vocations in 2018.  He lives in residence at Holy Family Church in Glendale.  A member of NCDVD since 2013, Fr. Sam was Region XI Coordinator this past year and now serves at Executive Board Secretary for NCDVD.  Father Sam was Recording Secretary for the Council of Priests (2004-2008) and San Pedro Regional Representative for the Council of Priests (2010-2012) and served as Secretary/Treasurer for the Council of Priests (20011-2012).  Has been a member of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, a fraternal group of Catholic priests, for 17 years.  He has served as Chaplain at St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy in Downey for 17 years as well. Father Sam received a M.A. Theology and M. Divinity from St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, CA in 2003 and a B.A. Philosophy from St. John’s Seminary College in 2000.  He graduated from UC Irvine Cum Laude with a B.A. History and B.A. Psychology & Social Behavior (1995).  He was educated in the public schools in Oak Park, CA throughout his education until he entered the Seminary.

Fr. Chuck was born and raised in the small town of Zephyrhills near Tampa, FL. His practice of the faith began after his family experienced the generosity of his local parish. He entered St. John Vianney College Seminary in Miami, FL immediately following High School. He then attended St. Vincent de Paul regional seminary in Boynton Beach, FL and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of St. Petersburg on May 16, 2015. He served 4 years as the associate pastor of St. Lawrence in Tampa where he also became the team priest for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In 2019 he was appointed Director of Vocations, serving as both vocations promoter and director of seminarians. He currently serves as a member-at-large on the executive board for the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors.

Rev. Austin Gilstrap

Jerilyn Rost

Workshop 6: Social Media, beyond the basics​

Rev. Austin Gilstrap and Jerilyn Rost

Jerilyn Rost grew up in the heart of Michigan, where she attended catholic school. She completed her high school years in the Chicago area, where she fell in love with musical performance. That love of performance and music brought her to travel in the international performance group, Up With People, where she immersed herself in community service, performance and cultural enrichment opportunities. She attended the University of Tennessee and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Judaic Studies. After working for more than 14 years in Business Management, Sales and Marketing in both the non-profit and for-profit worlds, Jerilyn found her way to the Diocese of Nashville in its chancery office. Jerilyn then moved to the parish side of the diocese as the business manager for two parishes in and a Catholic School. Throughout her time working in the parishes, she was blessed to work alongside several wonderful priests, as well as seminarians assigned to the parishes in the summer. Jerilyn transitioned back to the chancery in her role as Vocations Office Coordinator in 2018, where she continues her work today. As part of her work, Jerilyn has produced media that has earned a prestigious Addy award, a Communicator Award of Excellence and was named this year’s Video Producer of the Year by Catholic Press Association’s 2020 CPA Awards. Jerilyn is married to her husband Craig, and together they have three children, McKenna (14), Canon (9) and Emmerson (8). When she is not working, you will find her at some sports field or gym, cheering on her children, and in a non-covid world, she would be spending time with her friends and family trying out the latest addition to the Nashville restaurant scene. Jerilyn and her family have been active members of St. Ann Catholic Church for over 20 years and looks forward to being active in her parish once again.

Fr. Gilstrap has served the Diocese of Nashville as a priest for 5 years and throughout his time as a priest he has been involved in Vocations work. He has also served as Priest secretary for Bishop David Choby and as a Teacher and Chaplain at Pope John Paul II high school. Over the last two years Father Gilstrap has been the Director of Vocations and Director of the Permanent Deacon Formation Program for the Diocese of Nashville and recently has been named as Pastor of Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Hendersonville Tennessee.