REVEREND JOSEPH M. ESPER is a priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit and pastor of Immaculate Conception parish in Anchorville, Michigan. He received his Master of Divinity degree from St. John's Provincial Seminary in Plymouth, Michigan. Through the years, Father Joe has lectured at Marian conferences, appeared on EWTN, spoken on Catholic radio, and written more than a dozen articles for This Rock, The Priest, Homiletic and Pastoral Review, and other publications. He is also the author of numerous books, including Saintly Solutions, More Saintly Solutions, After the Darkness, Lessons from the Lives of the Saints, and Why Is God Punishing Me? In addition to Amazon, many of his most recent books are available through Queenship Publishing.
VINCENT RYAN RUGGIERO, M.A., is Professor of Humanities Emeritus, State University of New York, Delhi College. Prior to his twenty-nine year career in education, he was a social caseworker and an industrial engineer. The author of twenty-one books, his trade books include Warning: Nonsense Is Destroying America and The Practice of Loving Kindness. His textbooks include The Art of Thinking and Beyond Feelings, both in 10th editions and available in Chinese as well as English, Thinking Critically About Ethical Issues, and A Guide to Sociological Thinking. His latest book, Corrupted Culture: Rediscovering America's Enduring Principles, Values, and Common Sense, is available at Amazon and in bookstores. Professor Ruggiero is internationally recognized as one of the pioneers of the Critical Thinking movement in education. Earlier in his career, he published essays in a variety of magazines and journals, including America, Catholic Mind, The Sign, The Lamp, and Catholic World.
REVEREND DINO VANIN, PIME was born in Cendon di Silea, Province of Treviso, Italy in 1946. He entered the PIME Seminary at Treviso at the tender age of eleven. He came to the U.S. in 1968, studying Theology at Darlington Major Seminary in New Jersey. He has an MA in Secondary School Administration from Seton Hall University. Ordained in 1972, he served as an administrator, teacher, rector and principal at the PIME High School Seminary in Newark, Ohio before being sent to the missions of Thailand, where he served for six years. On December 16, 2018 he was installed as Pastor of San Francesco Catholic Church in Clinton Township, MI. He spends some of the little time left from his mission as pastor, counselor and spiritual director doing some woodworking and trying to get his thumb a bit “greener” while caring for the plants in the Rectory’s garden and inside the Church.
DONALD WITTMER was a retired business executive who held key roles in the automotive and banking sectors. For a time, he also served as Fiscal Agency Manager for the Detroit branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. He received his undergraduate degree from Cincinnati's Xavier University, an M.A. in business management from Central Michigan University, and earned certification in bank operations from the School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A devout Catholic and family man, Mr. Wittmer passed into eternity on September 16, 2021. May God rest his soul.
REVEREND MR. KURT GODFRYD is editor of Catholic Journal and a permanent deacon of the Archdiocese of Detroit. Married and the father of five children, Deacon Kurt was ordained to the diaconate on October 4, 2008 by His Eminence Adam Cardinal Maida and is assigned to St. Clement of Rome parish in Romeo, Michigan. A native Detroiter, he was educated at the Jesuit-run University of Detroit Mercy, where he received a B.S. in finance, M.B.A., and M.A. in economics. His theological training was taken at Detroit's Sacred Heart Major Seminary, where he earned an M.A. in pastoral ministry.
REVEREND CHARLES IRVIN, or "Father Charlie," as he is known, was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on January 6, 1933. He was raised and educated there, graduating from the University of Michigan's Law School. After a brief career as an attorney he entered the seminary and was ordained a priest in 1967. Shortly thereafter he began an eleven-year ministry at St. Mary's Student Chapel in Ann Arbor. A rich variety of ministries followed including appointments to many advisory positions in the Church and three other pastorates. In the early 1970s he began writing columns for several Catholic newspapers in Michigan. In 1999 he was appointed founding editor of Faith magazine, published by the Diocese of Lansing, Michigan. Today, the magazine serves seven dioceses.
WILLIAM A. BORST has taught at virtually all levels of education from elementary school through university, published commentaries in many local and national publications, and hosted a weekly talk show on WGNU radio for 22 years. Having recently served as editor of the Mindszenty Report, Dr. Borst is the author of two prominent books: Liberalism: Fatal Consequences (1999) and The Scorpion and the Frog: A Natural Conspiracy (2005). He holds a PhD in American History from St. Louis University.
THOMAS ADDIS is a retired high school teacher and published author, most recently authoring a children's book, A Gift of Light, which is available at Amazon. An M.A. graduate of Oakland University, he is Associate Editor of Catholic Journal. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and cycling.
REVEREND MR. DONALD COX is a permanent deacon of the Archdiocese of Detroit. On June 9, 1979, Deacon Don was ordained to the diaconate by His Eminence John Cardinal Dearden, an important American Father of the Second Vatican Council. Married and the father of three children and grandfather to four children, Deacon Don was born and raised in Detroit, and educated at St. Brigid Elementary School, Mackenzie High School, and Lawrence Technological University. His theological training was taken at Detroit's Sacred Heart Major Seminary.
REVEREND MONSIGNOR JOHN KASZA was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Detroit in 1993. He holds a B.A. in History from Wayne State University, Detroit and an Master of Divinity from Sacred Heart Major Seminary. He earned his doctorate in Sacramental Theology from the Pontifical Athenaeum Sant’Anselmo in Rome in 1999. Msgr. Kasza has served as an assistant professor of sacramental theology, liturgy and homiletics at Sacred Heart Major Seminary and has also taught at the Liturgical Institute at St. Mary of the Lake University in Mundelein, Illinois. He most recently served as Secretary to both Adam Cardinal Maida and Archbishop Allen Vigneron and was Vice Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Detroit. In July of 2009, Msgr. Kasza became the Academic Dean at SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake, Michigan. Monsignor is currently pastor of St.Therese of Lisieux parish in Shelby Township, Michigan and has authored several articles. His book, Understanding Sacramental Healing: Anointing and Viaticum, is available through Amazon.
FR MARIO ATTARD OFM Cap was born in San Gwann on August 26 1972. After being educated in governmental primary and secondary schools as well as at the Naxxar Trade School he felt the call to enter the Franciscan Capuchin Order. After obtaining the university requirements he entered the Capuchin friary at Kalkara on October 12 1993. A year after he was ordained a priest, precisely on 4 September 2004, his superiors sent him to work with patients as a chaplain first at St. Luke's Hospital and later at Mater Dei. In 2007 Fr Mario obtained a Master's Degree in Hospital Chaplaincy from Sydney College of Divinity, University of Sydney, Australia. Currently, he is one of the six chaplains working at Mater Dei Hospital. Furthermore, he is a regular contributor in the MUMN magazine IL-MUSBIEĦ and hosts radio programmes about the spiritual care of the sick.
MONSIGNOR JOSEPH PELLIGRINO is a priest of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida and pastor of St. Ignatius of Antioch Catholic Church in Tarpon Springs.
REVEREND DR. GREGORY WEBSTER is a permanent deacon of the Archdiocese of Chicago. He was ordained to the Permanent Diaconate by Francis Cardinal George in May 2014. Besides degrees in Chemistry, he has an M.A. in Theology from Holy Apostles College and Seminary and a D.Bioethics degree in Catholic/Research Ethics from Loyola University of Chicago. An interest in Ignatian Spirituality led him to receive a certificate in spiritual direction from Fairfield University as well. Deacon Greg and his wife have been married more than thirty years and are blessed with three beautiful daughters, two awesome son-in-laws and several great terriers along the way. When not busy with family, work or spiritual matters, you can find Greg shooting sporting clays or with his dog boating on the Chain of Lakes outside Chicago, IL.
The Mindszenty Report is re-posted with permission and is a monthly publication of the Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation, a worldwide educational organization which provides reliable information on the secular attacks on faith and family values; persecutions and abuses of human rights around the globe; and upholds the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church.
Guest Columnists are always welcome at Catholic Journal. If you have authored an essay that you feel would be of interest to our readers, please pass it our way. We especially welcome contributions from those passionate about their faith and the enduring traditions of America.
DONALD BYRNE was a retired Professor of Economics at the University of Detroit Mercy and held a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Notre Dame. He taught at other institutions, including: University of California-Berkeley, Notre Dame, Wayne State University, and Walsh College. In 2003, he helped launch an economics and finance oriented online newsletter: EconNewsLetter.com. He also served on several financial-institution boards and as a Visiting Scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. A devout Catholic and family man, Dr. Byrne passed into eternity on May 7, 2018. May God rest his soul.
DAVID SEITZ, OFS has a concentration in Sacred Scripture from the M.A. Theology Program, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit.
He is also: certified in the "New Evangelization," Sacred Heart Major Seminary; keynote speaker and retreat leader for several parishes and apostolic ministries; author of several articles on a variety of faith topics published in St. Anthony Messenger, The Michigan Catholic, Catholic Journal, and Franciscan Action Network; and a certified Hospice Chaplain.
Mr. Seitz holds a B.B.A. from the University of Michigan and has spent many years in leadership for companies as large as IBM and small start ups. He is also the founder of Tau Ministries, a 501(c)3 non profit organization. where he may be contacted:
Email: [email protected]
CAROLYN HUMPHREYS, O.C.D.S., O.T.R. is a discalced Carmelite secular and a registered occupational therapist. She is author of several books, including: From Ash to Fire: A Contemporary Journey through the Interior Castle of Teresa of Avila, Carmel Land of the Soul: Living Contemplatively in Today’s World, Mystics in the Making: Lay Women in Today's Church, Everyday Holiness: A Guide to Living Here and Getting to Eternity and Living Through Cancer,a Practical Guide to Cancer Related Concerns, Her articles have been published in Homiletic and Pastoral Review, Spiritual Life, The Priest, Review for Religious, Carmelite Digest, Spirituality, Religious Life Review, Mount Carmel and other Catholic journals. You can find her reflections online at: Contemplative Christianity Org.wordpress.com
GEORGE EICHORN is the long-time executive director of the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association and sports editor and columnist for a Detroit weekly newspaper. For more than three decades, he has covered the Olympics, Super Bowls, World Series, NBA Championships, and Stanley Cup finals. His articles have been published in the Detroit News, Basketball Times, Basketball Digest, Red Wings Magazine, Baseball Bulletin, Sports Fans Journal, Soccer World, and Bowler’s Digest. During the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, New York, he proudly covered the historic “Miracle on Ice” hockey game when the United States shocked the Soviet Union. Through the years, he has won numerous broadcasting and writing awards, and most recently received the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame’s Special Recognition Award. In 2003, he authored a book about the rich history of Michigan sports broadcasting, Detroit Sports Broadcasters: On the Air, for which the late Detroit Tigers broadcast legend, Ernie Harwell, wrote the forward. He is the married father of two daughters and a graduate of Wayne State University.
REVEREND MR. STEVE GRECO is a permanent deacon for the Diocese of Orange, California. He serves at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Irvine and the founder of Spirit Filled Hearts Ministry (www.spiritfilledhearts.org) , which engages in evangelization and the promotion of spirituality, and supports Catholic missionary efforts in the Philippines and Indonesia.
SR. ANGELITA M. FENKER, 83, passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013. Born in Fort Wayne, Sr. Angelita was a religious Sister and educator with various educational and ecumenical organizations in the U.S and Canada for 60 years, retiring in 2007.
She started her ministry in 1947, earned Bachelors degrees in education and family studies from University of Saint Francis and Purdue University. She was an elementary teacher, principal and director of religious education in Missouri, Louisiana and Indiana. She earned her Masters degree in education administration from Marquette University. From 1973 to 1990, served as the National Associate Director of Families for Prayer, Inc, of Albany, N.Y. During this time, she also earned her doctorate degree in spirituality and family spirituality from the Graduate Theological Foundation.
Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
HUMBLE AUTHOR resides in the snows of Valley Forge, a place named in honor of that Most Hallowed Place where a handful of our fellow citizens once made an arduous, lonely, yet blessedly fateful stand. He is committed, through his own poor efforts, to provide a faint light for the way in this new darkness, and a few peaceful arms for the long battle that lies ahead.
MICHAEL VACCA is a devotee of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and St. Therese of Lisieux. He graduated from Hillsdale College with a B.A. in English and Political Science, holds a J.D. from Ave Maria School of Law, and is a licensed attorney in Michigan. He currently serves as Director of Ministry, Bioethics, and Member Experience for Christ Medicus Foundation CURO. He worked for the Pontifical Council of the Family in Rome, where he advised the Church on pro-life and pro-family issues and advanced Catholic social teaching throughout the world. Michael is the Managing Editor of the International Center on Law, Life, Faith, and Family, which produces and provides resources on these issues, www.icolf.org. He is a founding board member of Sidewalk Advocates for Life, and currently serves on the board of the Casa Vitae Foundation. He is author and coauthor of various articles on bioethics and law, including: Michael Vacca, A Reexamination of Conscience Protections in Healthcare, 62 MEDICINA E MORALE 78 (2013) ; Jane Adolphe & Michael Vacca, Best Practices: Laws Protecting Human Life and the Family Around the Globe, 2 AVE MARIE INT’L L. J. 1 (2012); Michael Vacca, Talk About a Human Rights Violation: How Heterologous Assisted Reproduction Harms Children and Violates International Human Rights Law, 7 AVE MARIE INT’L L. J. 53 (2018); Michael Vacca, Natural Law as Guardian of the Human Person, 4 BAKU ST. UNIV. L. REV. 149 (2018); and Michael Vacca, Education and Religious Freedom in the Toledo Guiding Principles: A Comparative Analysis Between the Holy See and the United States 36 ARIZONA JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE LAW 2 (2019). He is also a co-editor of two published books, ST. PAUL, THE NATURAL LAW, AND CONTEMPORARY LEGAL THEORY (2012) and EQUALITY AND NON-DISCRIMINATION CATHOLIC ROOTS, CURRENT CHALLENGES (2019). More than anything, Michael is grateful to know the love of Jesus Christ and for his beautiful and holy wife Sarah.
EDWARD DERBIN teaches online courses in economics at UC-Berkley and edits a popular website: EconNewsLetter.com. For years, he and Professor Donald Byrne (now deceased) have enjoyed bringing an increasingly relevant view of the American economic landscape to the public. Professor Derbin holds both M.A. and M.B.A. degrees from the University of Detroit Mercy. Professor Byrne earned his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Notre Dame.
PAUL SUSKI hails from Poland and is the father of three adolescent children. Mr. Suski holds a B.A. in English Language and an M.A. in Political Science. Paul wears a Carmelite scapular, claims St. Rita of Cascia as his favorite saint, and has published articles in: Catholic Insight, The Universe, Indian Catholic Matters, and Nasz Dziennik.
JOHN LOCKWOOD is a park ranger from Washington, D.C. Having spent his past six decades in the nation's capital, he writes with generous assistance from the National Archives and Library of Congress.
JOHN TUTTLE is a Catholic man on fire for beauty and truth. His journalism focuses on secular and faith-based coverage alike. A regular writer with the Catholic magazine, Culture Wars, his writing also appears in The Prehistoric Times and on sites such as Those Catholic Men, Hacker Noon, and Movie Babble. His short film "The Amazing World of Insects" won 1st place in the youth film category of the 2017 SkeenaWild Film Fest.
REVEREND MR. JOSEPH HULWAY is a permanent deacon of the Archdiocese of Detroit. Dr. Hulway is a retired engineer, published author, and has been married to his wife, Jenni, for 43 years. They have four children, nine grandchildren, and more on the way. He is assigned to Ss. Cyril & Methodius Slovak Catholic Church in Sterling Heights, Michigan.
DAVID BREUHAN is Vice President and Portfolio Manager with Gregory J. Schwartz & Co. in Bloomfield Hills. For greater than two decades, he has managed retirement plans and individual accounts for high net worth clients. David received his Bachelor of Science from the United States Military Academy at West Point and a Master of Science from Walsh College.
Following completion of Airborne and Ranger training, he led soldiers in the United States Army. He served as Cavalry Troop Commander in Operation Desert Storm. David taught graduate school at Walsh College. He has published in Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Detroit News.
David has lectured at West Point, Georgetown University and Hillsdale College. He has appeared on Neil Cavuto, National Public Radio and Bloomberg Radio. His book is entitled, Spread The Wealth: More Haves Fewer Have-Nots.
REVEREND MR. DANIEL F. GONOS is a permanent deacon of the Archdiocese of Detroit and is assigned to St. Regis Parish in Bloomfield Hills Michigan. In October 2008, he was ordained to the Permanent Diaconate by His Eminence Adam Cardinal Maida.
For more than thirty-five years, Deacon Dan has been active in the telecommunications industry. He has also held several senior level positions with major telecommunications providers and large end user firms.
A native of Pittsburgh, Deacon Dan holds a Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies from Sacred Heart Major Seminary, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Psychology from Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania, and has pursued graduate studies at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. He and his wife, Patricia, have been married more than thirty years.
FELIX BACKHAUS is a contributor to Catholic Journal. Originally from Germany, he is studying business at Georgetown University, in Washington D.C., the largest and oldest Jesuit university in the United States. He has a strong interest in art history.
ANDREW MAHON is a Canadian-British writer and classical bass-baritone based in London, England.
CYNTHIA TODD is semi-retired and lives in Phoenix, Arizona in order to be active in the lives of her two grandsons. She works in real estate and volunteers at a local St. Vincent DePaul dining room and at The Gift of Mary Shelter, which is operated by the Missionaries of Charity. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology.
REVEREND AVELINO GONZÁLEZ is a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington and currently works at the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in Rome.
GARY DeGREGORIO holds a Bachelors Degree in Accounting from William Paterson University and a Masters Degree in European History from Monmouth University. A former CPA in the State of New Jersey, he also served as Chief Executive Officer for a real estate concern in New Jersey from 1996 to 2015. Married with two daughters, a son, and two grandchildren, he is currently retired and lives in Shrewsbury, New Jersey.
MATTHEW WEISENBORN is a native of Valparaiso, Indiana and grew up in a small town outside of Bowling Green, Ohio. A 2014 graduate of Bluffton University, Matt worked one year in a public high school before moving to Cincinnati and becoming involved in Catholic Education. Since his arrival in Cincinnati, Matt has served as a teacher, coach, and athletic director at both Catholic primary and secondary schools. Currently, he serves as the Director of Community Service at Archbishop Moeller High School and is pursuing a Masters in Educational Administration at Xavier University.
DAVID LAIDLER received his B.A. in history from The Citadel and served as an Armor officer in Germany during the Gulf War (’91). Upon returning home, he studied at Indiana University where he received an M.B.A. with a concentration in Finance and Economics. Born and raised in Michigan, he now resides in Seattle and serves as CFO for a Seattle-based IT consulting firm. Most importantly, however, he is married and the father of two beautiful daughters. A convert to the Catholic faith, David was received into the Church on the last Sunday of Advent 2009.
JACK MURRAY is an occupational therapy graduate of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA. He enjoys spending time with family and friends, drawing, and writing poems in his spare time. Most of his creative work is inspired by his faith in God.
Ryan A. MacDonald is a New York-based advocate for the wrongfully convicted and a contributing writer for Spero News. His writings on the scandal in the priesthood have been extensively cited in Hope Springs Eternal in the Priestly Breast by Father James Valladares, Ph.D., and Catholic Priests Falsely Accused by David F. Pierre, Jr. Ryan blogs occasionally at A Ram in the Thicket.
CAROLINE BILLHIMER attended Washington College in Chestertown, MD, earning a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy with a minor in Creative Writing in 2008. She went on to achieve a master’s degree in Theological Studies with a Specialization in Marriage and Family from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC in 2010. She is currently employed as a theology teacher at a Catholic high school in the DC Metro Area. She lives with her husband, Nick Billhimer, at their home in Adelphi, Maryland.
ARTHUR I. CYR is director of the A.W. Clausen Center for World Business at Carthage College, a first-class learning facility that prepares students for business leadership in our global economy.
Professor Cyr is the author of four books on international relations and British politics: After the Cold War — American Foreign Policy, Europe and Asia (Macmillan/Palgrave and New York University Press, 1997; revised edition 2000, translated into Korean by Oruem Publishing); Liberal Politics in Britain (John Calder Ltd. and Transaction Press, 1977; revised edition 1988); U.S. Foreign Policy and European Security (Macmillan and St. Martin’s, 1987); and British Foreign Policy and the Atlantic Area: The Techniques of Accommodation (Macmillan, 1979). He also authored the monograph Taiwan: The Commercial State (Baltimore: University of Maryland School of Law, 2003; revised edition 2005). His articles have appeared in numerous professional journals and the popular press.
Dr. Cyr is a 1966 graduate of UCLA and received a Ph.D. with distinction in political science from Harvard University in 1971. At Harvard, he was a Frank Knox fellow in England, an NDEA Title IV fellow, and a teaching fellow.
WILLIAM SCHMITT is an independent journalist/broadcaster, media consultant and author with experience in specialized publications and Catholic education. His biography and his blog--focusing on news, social polarization and faith-based values--are found at OnWord.net. He is active in the Knights of Columbus and as a lifetime-professed member of the Secular Franciscan Order.
MICHAEL J. KWINN, Jr. PhD and his wife Brigitte are both graduates from the US Military Academy at West Point and both served for over 20 years in the US Army and retired as Lieutenant Colonels. They both received their MS in Systems Engineering from the University of Arizona and Mike received his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. Mike deployed all over the world including Afghanistan and Iraq and spent the latter part of his career as a Professor of Systems Engineering at West Point. He is published in many journals including Management Science and Systems Engineering.
Mike became very involved in the pediatric brain tumor community following Michael's diagnosis and, in accordance with his son's wishes, he along with Brigitte, his daughter Cheryl and many friends started The Friends4Michael Foundation which helps children fighting a brain tumor and their families all across the country.
Mike now works for Raytheon Technologies and Brigitte teaches online for the Naval Postgraduate School. They are raising and have adopted their three great nieces, Jasmine, Jade and Emerald. They currently reside in Tucson, Arizona.
MARY F. WERBANETH is a housewife and mother from Maplewood, New Jersey, and her education includes a master’s degree in philosophy and a bachelor’s degree in journalism and film. She has sung in numerous church choirs, both Western and Eastern Christian, for the past 30 years. Mary lived in London, England for two-and-a-half years where she worked as a bookseller at a theological bookstore. She hails from the Midwest, and recently became co-owner of the family farm there.
DOUGLAS LeBLANC is a high school humanities teacher. Mr. LeBlanc holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in English. He is currently working on a Ph.D in Humanities.
DANIEL MCAFEE is a theologian and graduate of the University of Notre Dame. He is the retired Director of the Office for Christian Worship for the Archdiocese of Detroit.