Archbishop Pierre

His Excellency, Most Reverend Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States

Christophe Louis Yves Georges Pierre was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to the United States by Pope Francis in April 2016. Archbishop Pierre is an experienced diplomat having previously served as nuncio to Mexico, Haiti and Uganda. He understands the plight of immigrants from Central America and Mexico to the United States and is able to give voice to Pope Francis’ concern for them.

Christophe Pierre was born in Rennes on 20 January 1946 to a family with roots for many generations in Brittany. He first attended school at Antsirabé in Madagascar and pursued his secondary studies at the College of Saint-Malo. He also spent one year in Morocco at Lycée Français of Marrakesh.

He entered the Catholic seminary of Saint-Yves in Rennes in 1963, but interrupted his studies for two years of military service in 1965 and 1966. He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Rennes at the Cathedral of Saint-Malo on 5 April 1970.

He obtained his master's degree in theology at the Institut Catholique de Paris and his doctorate in canon law in Rome.

He served as vicar of the parish of Saint-Pierre-Saint-Paul de Colombes in the Diocese of Nanterre from 1970 to 1973.

He then earned a diploma at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in Rome, the Holy See's school for diplomacy. He entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1977, serving first in Wellington, New Zealand. He then held posts in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Cuba, Brésil, and at the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva in Geneva.

Archbishop Pierre speaks English and Spanish fluently. He is noted to be a humble and simple pastor who has a great sense of fairness and balanced judgment. He speaks English and Spanish fluently.

Teresa Dominic Pastore

Mrs. Teresa Tomeo-Pastore and Deacon Dominic Pastore

Teresa Tomeo is a bestselling author, syndicated Catholic talk show host, and speaker with more than thirty years of experience in print and broadcast media. Her weekday radio program, Catholic Connection, a co-production of Ave Maria Radio and EWTN, the global Catholic radio network, is heard daily on over 500 stations worldwide, and SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Her TV show, The Catholic View for Women, is seen twice weekly on EWTN.

Tomeo is a columnist and special correspondent for OSV Newsweekly. She speaks throughout North America and also leads overseas retreats and pilgrimages annually. Tomeo is a teacher for St. Benedict Press’ Catholic Courses. She is best known for her bestselling books: Extreme Makeover: Women Transformed by Christ, Not Conformed to the Culture; and Noise: How Our Media Saturated Culture Dominates Lives and Dismantles Families.

Dominick Pastore is a deacon in the Archdiocese of Detroit, a Catholic evangelist, and a marriage coach who ministers to couples throughout the world. Tomeo and Pastore minister to couples around the world as marriage coaches at retreats and conferences. In Intimate Graces, bestselling author and Catholic media personality Teresa Tomeo and her husband, Dominick Pastore, invite couples to enrich their marriages by practicing the fourteen Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy. Through their own story and that of other married couples, Tomeo and Pastore demonstrate how reciprocating the works of mercy brings out the best in a marriage.

The 2018 Congress is preparing an outstanding program and slate of presenters to discuss and explore many aspects of "Christ the Servant: Yesterday, Today and Forever."

Most Reverend Gregory M. Aymond, Archbishop of New Orleans
Most Reverend Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States
His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Tobin, Archbishop of Newark
Deacon James Keating, Director of Theological Formation, Creighton University
Deacon Greg Kandra, The Deacons' Bench, CNEWA Editor, Diocese of Brooklyn
Most Reverend Frederick F. Campbell, Bishop of Columbus
Reverend W. Shawn McKnight, Diocese of Wichita
Mrs. Teresa Tomeo Pastore and Deacon Dominic Pastore, Authors, EWTN Broadcaster
Most Reverend Gerald F. Kicanas, Bishop of Tucson
Deacon William T. Ditewig, Author, Archdiocese of Washington
Most Reverend Samuel J. Aquila, Archbishop of Denver
His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, USCCB President

PLUS over 30 workshops that touch on a wide variety of interests and ministries for deacons and wives!

Deacon Ditewig

Deacon William Ditewig, Ph.D.
Commander, US Navy (ret)
Professor of Theology
Former Executive Director of the Bishops' Committee on the Diaconate
Deacon of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC

Bill Ditewig was born and raised in Peoria, Illinois, spending high school and college as a seminarian for the Peoria Diocese.  Following graduation from college in 1971, Bill joined the Navy, serving first as a Hebrew linguist on the island of Cyprus.  For 22 years, he served in a variety of assignments around the world, including Guam, California, Texas, Rhode Island, Maine, Hawaii, Okinawa and Washington, DC.  Commander Ditewig deployed to the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf in the USS Long Beach (CGN-9), made five patrols to the North Atlantic in nuclear powered submarines, and flew missions with Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron One.  In addition to qualification in both Hebrew and Russian, Commander Ditewig’s military awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal (3 awards), the National Defense Service Medal (2 awards), the Navy Expeditionary Medal (5 awards) and the Humanitarian Service Medal (2 awards).  Bill remained active in ministry and academics throughout his Navy career, serving in a variety of lay ministries, including three years as the lay parish life coordinator of a parish in Winter Harbor, Maine.  Deacon Ditewig was ordained for the Archdiocese of Washington in 1990.  Commander Ditewig retired from the Navy in 1993. 

Since then Deacon Ditewig has served as Associate Principal of a regional Catholic high school, as the Executive Director of the Office of the Diaconate for the Archdiocese of Washington, and as the Director of Pastoral Services and Ministry Formation for the Dioceses of Davenport and Belleville.  In September 2002, Bill joined the senior staff of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops where he served as the Executive Director of both the Secretariat for the Diaconate and the Secretariat for Evangelization and as a Hebrew consultant to the Bishops’ Committee on Scripture Translations.  Throughout these assignments, Bill served as an adjunct professor of theology at the University of Maryland, the University of Maine, St. Francis University, the National Cryptologic School, St. Mary-of-the-Woods College, and the Catholic University of America.  After completing five years at the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Dr. Ditewig served as Professor of Theology, Director of Graduate Programs in Theology, and interim chair of the Philosophy, Theology & Religious Studies Department at Saint Leo University near Tampa, Florida. In June 2011, Dr. Ditewig was appointed to the senior diocesan staff of the Diocese of Monterey, California, while continuing as a professor of Theology (Santa Clara University) and consultant on the diaconate.  As of 1 January 2017, Dr. Ditewig has taken a teaching appointment at the University of South Florida, also teaching for the Pontifical College Josephinum and Chaminade University of Honolulu.

Dr. Ditewig has a BA in Philosophy, an MA in Education, an MA in Pastoral Theology, and the Ph.D. from the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America, with a major emphasis in ecclesiology.  Specific research interests include the history and theology of the Second Vatican Council, sacramental theologies of ministry, and liturgical catechesis. 

Dr. Ditewig has authored numerous books, chapters and articles.  These include: To Be and To Serve: The Ministerial Identity of the Deacon (Abbey Press, 2015); The Deacon’s Ministry of Charity and Justice (Liturgical Press, 2015); The Deacon at Mass: A Theological and Pastoral Guide (Paulist Press, 2007, second edition, 2013); Forming Deacons: Ministers of Soul and Leaven (Paulist Press, 2010). Other books (all from Paulist Press except as noted otherwise) include The Emerging Diaconate: Servant Leaders in a Servant Church (2007); [With Archbishop Alfred Hughes and Bishop Frederick Campbell] Today’s Deacon: Contemporary Issues and Cross-Currents (2006); [With Owen Cummings and Richard Gaillardetz] Theology of the Diaconate: State of the Question (2005); 101 Questions and Answers on Deacons (2004);  Lay Leaders: Resources for the Changing Parish (Ave Maria Press, 1990) and [with William R. Brinkmann] Leading Our Children to God (Ave Maria Press, 1984).  He contributed two chapters to The Deacon Reader (James Keating, ed., Paulist Press, 2006).  Chapters are also included in From Vatican II to Pope Francis: Charting a Catholic Future (Orbis, 2014); A Realist’s Church: Essays in Honor of Joseph A. Komonchak (Orbis, 2015); “Preaching as Public Theology” in Handbook for Catholic Preaching (Orbis, 2016).  Other forthcoming books include: The Deacon in Canon Law: A Proposal for New Legislation and Vatican II and Its Trajectories of Renewal: From World War to the Third Millennium.  Dr. Ditewig is the general editor of the first complete English-language edition of the 1962 German classic Diakonia in Christo  by Karl Rahner and Herbert Vorgrimler.  His articles on the diaconate have appeared in America, the New Catholic Encyclopedia, The Jurist, Canon Law Society of America Advisory Opinions, The Priest, Deacon Digest, Liturgical Ministry, Seminary Journal, Preach, and Church.  Dr. Ditewig assisted in the preparation of the National Directory for the Formation, Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States.

Bill and his wife Diann, who is a professional artist, have been married for forty-seven years and they have four grown children and fourteen grandchildren.

Archbishop Aquila

His Excellency, Most Reverend Samuel J. Aquila, Archbishop of Denver

The Most Rev. Samuel J. Aquila is the eighth bishop of Denver and its fifth archbishop. His episcopal motto is, “Do whatever he tells you" (Jn 2:5).

The Most Reverend Samuel J. Aquila was named the Archbishop of Denver on May 29, 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI.

Archbishop Aquila’s ministry as shepherd of the people of northern Colorado is dedicated to helping every person experience the love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and be moved by that encounter to a lasting commitment to share the Gospel with enthusiasm, creativity and joy.

Archbishop Aquila was born on September 24, 1950, in Burbank, Calif. He was ordained to the priesthood in Denver on June 5, 1976, and served the Denver Archdiocese for 25 years before being appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Fargo, N.D. on June 12, 2001. On March 18, 2002, he became bishop of Fargo upon the retirement of Bishop James Sullivan. He was installed as the eighth Archbishop of Denver on July 18, 2012.


The Most Reverend Gregory M. Aymond
Archbishop of New Orleans
Convention Host and Keynote Presenter

The 14th Archbishop of New Orleans, Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond, is the first New Orleans native to serve as archbishop in the 216-year history of the archdiocese.

In 1971, he received his undergraduate degree from St. Joseph Seminary College. In 1975, he received a master's degree in divinity from Notre Dame Seminary and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. He was a professor and later rector of St. John Vianney Preparatory School until 1981. He then served as professor of pastoral theology and homiletics and director of pastoral education at Notre Dame Seminary where he later served as president-rector for 14 years. He also served as Executive Director of the archdiocesan Department of Christian Formation and as the archdiocesan Director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. In the 1980s he founded and lead a regular medical mission program to Nicaragua.

Archbishop Aymond was ordained auxiliary bishop of New Orleans in 1997, named Bishop of Austin in 2000, and appointed Archbishop of New Orleans in 2009. He has served as chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People and the Committee on Divine Worship. He was also Chair of the Board of the National Catholic Educational Association from 2000-2004. He continues to serve on several US bishops' committees and currently chairs the board of the National Catholic Bioethics Center.


Father McKnight

The Reverend W. Shawn McKnight
Pastor, Church of the Magdalene, Wichita
Former Executive Director of CCLV

Fr. McKnight was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Wichita in 1994. He holds an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from the University of Dallas, two master’s degrees from the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, and licentiate and doctoral degrees in theology from the Pontifical Athenaeum of St. Anselm in Rome.

In addition to parish work, Fr. McKnight taught graduate studies at the Josephinum from 2003 to 2008 and served on the faculty of the St. Meinrad Permanent Deacon Formation Program. Fr. McKnight was a chaplain at Newman University in Wichita where he taught theology as an adjunct professor.

In 2010, Fr. McKnight was named Executive Director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Secretariat for Consecrated Life and Vocations. Fr. McKnight is currently the Pastor of Church of the Magdalene in Wichita.


Deacon Greg Kandra, Diocese of Brooklyn

A veteran journalist, Deacon Greg Kandra worked for nearly three decades as a writer and producer for CBS News in Washington and New York, winning every major award in broadcast journalism, including two Emmy Awards and two Peabody Awards. But he may be best known as the creator of the blog, “The Deacon’s Bench,” which has attracted over 15 million visitors from around the world since it was launched 10 years ago.  He now works as multimedia editor for Catholic Near East Welfare Association—CNEWA—an agency of the Holy See founded by Pope Pius XI in 1926.  Ordained for the Diocese of Brooklyn in 2007, Deacon Greg serves at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs parish in Forest Hills, New York.  From 2009-2012, he served as a consultant to the communications committee of the USCCB.  A renowned presenter at conferences, parish missions and retreats, he was invited by the Vatican to be one of the speakers during the Jubilee for Deacons in 2016.  Deacon Greg’s essays and articles have been honored multiples times by the Catholic Press Association, and he was featured as one of 70 people profiled in the book “New York Catholics” (2014) by Patrick McNamara.

Bishop Kicanas

The Most Reverend Gerald F. Kicanas
Bishop Emeritus, Diocese of Tucson
Former Chairman of the Bishops Committee on the Diaconate

The Most Reverend Gerald Kicanas was born in Chicago, Illinois. He attended the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, from where he obtained his licentiate in Sacred Theology. He was ordained to the priesthood on April 27, 1967, and then earned a PhD in Educational Psychology and an MEd in Guidance and Counseling from Loyola University in Chicago.

After working as an associate pastor until 1978, Kicanas held various offices within the archdiocesan seminary for over twenty-five years. He was appointed rector of Mundelein Seminary at the University of St. Mary of the Lake in 1984.

On January 24, 1995, Kicanas was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on the following March 20 from Joseph Cardinal Bernardin. Kicanas’ episcopal motto is: "La Justicia Promueve La Paz", meaning "Justice begets peace" (Isaiah 32:17).

During his tenure as an auxiliary, he served as Episcopal Vicar for Vicariate I in the archdiocese, which includes Lake and Cook Counties. He also became highly involved with vocations, the permanent diaconate, and encouragement of lay ministry.

Kicanas was named Coadjutor Bishop of Tucson, Arizona on October 30, 2001, being formally installed as such on January 15, 2002. He later succeeded Manuel Moreno as the seventh Bishop of Tucson on March 7, 2003. Kicanas has been praised for his handling of the sexual abuse crisis in his diocese, which had declared bankruptcy due to settlement costs.

On November 13, 2007, he was elected Vice-President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops On February 28, 2008, Kicanas was chosen by the USCCB, and confirmed by Pope Benedict XVI, to become a member of the American delegation to the twelfth World Synod of Bishops, which was held in the Vatican from October 5 to October 26, 2012. On November 17, 2010 Kicanas was appointed chairman of the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Board of Directors by Cardinal Francis George, OMI, of Chicago, outgoing president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The Most Reverend Frederick F. Campbell
Bishop of Columbus
Former Chairman of the Bishops Committee on the Diaconate

The Most Reverend Frederick F. Campbell, D.D., Ph.D., was appointed Bishop of Columbus on October 14, 2004, by His Holiness Pope John Paul II.  He was installed as the 11th. Bishop of Columbus at St. Joseph Cathedral on January 13, 2005 and has served as the shepherd of the diocese since then.

A native of Elmira, New York, Bishop Campbell earned a bachelor’s degree in history and foreign language from Saint Lawrence University, Canton, New York, and obtained his master’s degree and doctorate in history from The Ohio State University.  Prior to entering the seminary in 1976, he served as a history professor at the Pontifical College Josephinum and as an assistant professor of history at California State College in San Bernardino.  After studying at the Saint Paul Seminary, Saint Paul, Minnesota, he was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis by the Most Reverend John R. Roach at the Cathedral of Saint Paul on May 31, 1980.  Campbell served as an associate pastor and pastor in the archdiocese until Pope John Paul II named him Auxiliary Bishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis in 1999.  He was ordained to the Episcopate by Archbishop Harry J. Flynn on May 14 of that year in the Cathedral of Saint Paul.

In July 2002, Bishop Campbell became rector and vice president of the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity of the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul.  He also served as Chairman of the Bishops’ Committee on the Diaconate from 2004 to 2006.



His Eminence, Joseph William Cardinal Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark

In 1973, Joseph Tobin professed vows as a member of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, the Redemptorists. In 1976, he professed perpetual vows with the Community. In 1978, he was ordained to both the diaconate and the priesthood. Between 1979 and 1984, Father Tobin served as associate pastor of Holy Redeemer Parish, Detroit, where he engaged in both pastoral ministry to the Hispanic community and youth ministry. In 1984, he was named pastor of Holy Redeemer Parish. He also served in a number of diocesan assignments within the Archdiocese of Detroit, including: Episcopal Vicar; member of the Presbyteral Council, and; official in the Metropolitan Tribunal. 

From 1990 until 1991, he served as pastor of St. Alphonsus Parish in Chicago, a parish staffed in that Archdiocese by the Redemptorists.

Within the Redemptorist Community, Father Tobin served as a Provincial Consultor from 1984 until 1990, as General Consultor of the Community in Rome from 1991 until 1997, and as Superior General of the Redemptorists in Rome from 1997 until 2009.

On August 9, 2010, His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, named Father Tobin to the Roman Curia post of Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CICLSA), and titular Archbishop of Obba. On October 18, 2012, Pope Benedict appointed him to serve as the Sixth Archbishop of Indianapolis. He was installed as Archbishop of Indianapolis on December 3, 2012. His Holiness, Pope Francis, named him to the College of Cardinals on October 9, 2016. He was created Cardinal on November 19, 2016.

On November 7, 2016, His Holiness, Pope Francis named Joseph William Cardinal Tobin to serve as the Sixth Archbishop of Newark.

His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo
Archbishop of Galveston-Houston
President of the USCCB

His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo is the metropolitan archbishop of Galveston-Houston and pastor to its 1.3 million Catholics. His seats are St. Mary Cathedral Basilica in Galveston and the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Houston.

He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Pittsburgh in 1977 and served as parish pastor, seminary professor, spiritual director, and in the chancery. From 1984 to 1991, he worked in Rome as a staff member for the Congregation for Bishops, as director of Villa Stritch (the house for American clergy), and as adjunct professor at the Pontifical North American College. In 1991 he returned to Pittsburgh, serving as pastor to several parishes and again in the chancery.

He was appointed coadjutor bishop of Sioux City, Iowa and ordained there as a bishop in October 1997. As his Episcopal motto he adopted: Ave Crux Spes Unica, meaning "Hail the Cross, Our Only Hope." He succeeded retiring Bishop Lawrence Donald Soens of Sioux City in November of 1998.

He was named coadjutor bishop (later coadjutor archbishop) of Galveston-Houston in January 2004 and succeeded Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza on February 28, 2006. On June 29, 2006, he received the pallium from Pope Benedict XVI. He was elevated to the College of Cardinals in November of 2007 at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. As a member of the Sacred College, he served as a Cardinal-Elector in the Papal Conclave of 2013, which saw the election of Pope Francis to the See of Peter. In 2016 he was elected by his brother bishops as the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) for a three-year term. He is a member of the Pontifical Council for Culture, the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, the Pontifical Council for the Economy, and is on the Board of Trustees of the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Deacon Keating

Deacon James Keating
Institute for Priestly Formation, Creighton University
Author of 5 books on diaconal spirituality

Deacon James Keating, Ph.D., is Director of Theological Formation at the Institute for Priestly Formation at Creighton University and is the director of the Office of the Permanent Diaconate for the Archdiocese of Omaha. Before joining the staff of the IPF Deacon Keating taught moral and spiritual theology for thirteen years in the School of Theology at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio. He has given over 400 workshops, retreats and days of reflection on the Catholic spiritual/moral life. In the field of his professional research, the interpenetration of the spiritual and moral life, Deacon Keating has authored or edited 15 books and dozens of essays for theological journals.