Speakers

John Angotti

Angotti GuitarJohn Angotti was raised in Clarksburg, West Virginia, a small community nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Third, in a family of 4 adopted children, (an older brother and two sisters) John’s first ability to speak without stuttering was at the age of 4 with the hymn “The Church’s One Foundation.”  How appropriate for the mission God has planned for him thus far.  An accomplished pianist, John began studying piano at the age of seven. His mother, who has been a church musician for over 50 years, motivated him to become involved with the children’s choir at a very early age. “I believe it was there where I truly began to form my beliefs about God through the songs we were singing,” Angotti says. John has been writing Christian music since his teen years at St. Joseph Seminary, where Angotti was considering priesthood. It was in the music director positions where Angotti found himself composing songs for worship and meditation. He wanted the congregation to participate in song and prayer during worship services on Sunday.  John’s collection of experiences as Director of Children’s, Young Adults, Adults and Contemporary Music Choirs, as well as his experiences in the secular world, have prepared him for his full time music ministry; a ministry which sends him around the world as a speaker and presenter for conferences and events.   He is a graduate of West Virginia University with a Degree in Marketing; a graduate of the Naval School of Music, where he majored in Voice and minored in piano; and a graduate of Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, where he holds a Masters Degree in Pastoral Studies.

His witness and music has inspired and changed the lives of thousand’s. He has performed at the National Catholic Youth Conference, National Conference for Youth Ministers, National Pastoral Musicians Conference, Los Angeles Religious Education Conference, The East Coast Religious Education Conference, The NCCA Conference, The Hofinger Religious Education Conference in New Orleans, as well as many church’s around the United States and abroad.

John Angotti Music Mission (JAMM) debuted John’s new, original musical Job: The Now Testament in Memphis Tennessee in the summer of 2013.  Job: The Now Testament is intended for a truly ecumenical audience of all ages as it addresses the question of: Why do bad things happen to good people? Music lover’s young and old rocked to the contemporary musical score and were moved by the compelling story of Job.  This musical has a relevant message in today’s world as it looks for answers in the most difficult circumstances of life.

For booking Information contact mgaffney22@comcast.net or visit www.johnangotti.com.

John Allen Jr.

John Allen HeadshotJohn L. Allen Jr. is the editor of Crux, specializing in coverage of the Vatican and the Catholic Church. He has written eleven books on the Vatican and Catholic affairs, and also is a popular speaker on Catholicism both in the United States and internationally. The London Tablet has called John “the most authoritative writer on Vatican affairs in the English language,” and renowned papal biographer George Weigel has called him “the best Anglophone Vatican reporter ever.” When John was called upon to put the first question to Pope Benedict XVI aboard the papal plane en route to the United States in April 2008, the Vatican spokesman said to the pope: “Holy Father, this man needs no introduction.” That’s not just a Vatican judgment. Veteran religion writer Kenneth Woodward of Newsweek described John as “the journalist other reporters – and not a few cardinals – look to for the inside story on how all the pope’s men direct the world’s largest church.” His work is admired across ideological divides. Liberal commentator Fr. Andrew Greeley calls his writing “indispensable,” while the late Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, a conservative, called his reporting “possibly the best source of information on the Vatican published in the United States.” John’s weekly column, “All Things Catholic,” is widely read as a source of insight on the global Church. Among John’s books are “Opus Dei: An Objective Look Behind the Myths and Reality of the Most Controversial Force in the Catholic Church”, and two about Pope Benedict XVI. The first was written before Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became pope; the other came after Benedict’s election to the papacy and was the first biography of the Pope in English. John’s articles have appeared in The Boston Globe, The New York Times, CNN, NPR, The Tablet, Jesus, Second Opinion, The Nation, the Miami Herald, Die Furche, and the Irish Examiner. He is a senior Vatican analyst for CNN, and was a correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter for 16 years. John, a native of Kansas, received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Fort Hays State University and a master’s degree in religious studies from the University of Kansas. For several years, he taught journalism at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California and also supervised the student-run newspaper, The Knight. He has received honorary doctorates from the University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto, Ontario; Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill.; St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt.; and the University of Dallas, Dallas, Texas.

Mary Wilkerson

Wilkerson pictureMary Wilkerson is a graduate of Franciscan University who has worked in the Archdiocese of Detroit for 20 years.  She began as a campus minister at Mercy High School, moved on to the role of Youth and Young Adult Coordinator at Saint John Neumann in Canton, and is currently a local Catholic Speaker working with Bold Ministries.  Mary has a passion for Scripture, Women’s Ministry, and Discipleship.  Using a unique style of humor, story telling and faith-infused witness, Mary hopes she is answering the call to be a Joyful Missionary Disciple.  Along with the work she does for the Church, Mary’s greatest love is raising her five children with her best friend and husband, Aaron.   For more information about Bold Ministries visit https://boldministries.blogspot.com/

Bishop Robert Fisher

BishopFisher-4x6in_0385On Jan. 25, 2017, the Most Rev. Robert J. Fisher was ordained as auxiliary bishop to Archbishop Allen Vigneron. Bishop Fisher had previously served as rector of the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica in Royal Oak, one of many posts he held since his ordination as a priest in 1992.  Bishop Fisher attended archdiocesan Catholic schools until graduating from Univeristy of Detroit Jesuit High School in 1977. He went on to study at the Unviersity of Detroit, earning a Bachelor of Science in Management Science and later worked for the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) at their summer camps.  Bishop Fisher was ordained a priest in 1992 and in 1995 was assigned Director of Priestly Vocations for the Archdiocese. He has served at many parishes as well as serving on the Catholic Schools Council and Board of Directors of the Catholic Youth Organization.

Bishop Fisher currently serves as episcopal vicar and regional moderator for the Northeast Region of the Archdiocese.

Born: September 24, 1959
Ordained Priest: June 27, 1992
Appointed Aux. Bishop of Detroit: November 23, 2016
Ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit: January 25, 2017