These highly acclaimed Catholic speakers will address this year’s theme:
“The Better Part: How to Keep God first in your Hearts, Homes, Families and World”
Mary Lenaburg is a highly sought-after international speaker and best-selling author. She has learned through her experiences that healing and hope live in fiery moments of grace and no matter what you are facing, God remains. Always. Mary has a heart for encouragement and healing, sharing to groups of all ages the truth that God's mercy is bigger than your greatest shame. Mary's first book, Be Brave in the Scared, How I Learned to Trust God During my Most Difficult Days, was published by Ave Maria Press in 2019. In Be Brave in the Scared, Mary tells the heart-rending story of how caring for their severely disabled daughter Courtney affected her self-image, her marriage, her family life, and her faith. With audacious authenticity about the challenges we all encounter, Mary writes about control, blame, exhaustion, fear, acceptance, self-sacrifice, trust and choosing joy no matter what you are facing. Mary and her husband have been happily married for 31 years, finding joy among the ashes, having lost their daughter in 2014. They live in Northern Virginia with their grown son Jonathan. She continues to embrace her father's advice: "Never quit, never give up, never lose your faith. It's the one reason you walk this earth. For God chose this time and place just for you, so make the most of it."
Noelle Mering is an editor for the website Theology of Home and a coauthor of Theology of Home the book . She writes frequently on culture, politics, and religion and has published in National Review as well as The Federalist, The American Mind, and National Catholic Register. Her writing has been featured on Instapundit, New Advent, Big Pulpit, Catholic Herald, Albert Mohler’s The Briefing , Fox News Radio, and Relevant Radio. Noelle is a wife and mother of six children in Southern California.
Claire Dwyer has a theology degree from Franciscan University of Steubenville and puts it to work at the Avila Foundation as editor and contributor on their website, spiritualdirection.com. She writes regularly for the National Catholic Register, Endow, catholicmom.com, and on her own website, EventheSparrow.com. She has spoken to many women’s groups, retreats, and conferences and recently appeared on “Women Made New” with Crystalina Evert and Kimberly Hahn. She has led a large parish women’s study group for years and finds great joy in helping women discover the unrepeatable beauty and possibility of their interior lives. Claire and her husband live in Phoenix with their six children, ages 21-7, all of whom keep her on her toes—and on her knees.
Fr. Matthew Spencer, OSJ
Fr. Matthew entered the seminary of the Oblates of St. Joseph in 2003. He completed a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in Spiritual Theology in 2009 and was ordained to the priesthood later that year. For several years he hosted "St. Joseph's Workshop", a daily national radio program on Relevant Radio. He lives and works out of Santa Cruz, CA, where he currently serves as Provincial Superior of the Oblates of St. Joseph in the United States.