Archives for 2018

Stephen Eguino

Stephen Eguino Bio:


I was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. Music and faith was always a part of my family and I was encouraged to use my gifts and not keep them to myself. I started playing the Saxophone in the 2nd grade and ever since then I’ve been playing and performing music. I transitioned to rap music and beat making, along with playing the guitar for praise and worship when I entered formation with the Salesians of Don Bosco in 2010. Throughout my time in formation, I was able to use my musical gifts and really blend them with my faith to reach out to the youth we served throughout the east coast and Canada. I met Br. Steve DeMaio when I entered and we formed the “Bosco Boys” and began to record music but didn’t take it “for real” at first. As we saw how vital Hip Hop was to the culture of the youth and to American culture in general we really ran with what the Holy Spirit was presenting us and we recorded an album with our most popular song “Who Says You Can’t Be A Saint?”. As I continued to discern I felt God was calling me to continue to serve Him and use my gifts but not necessarily in community life with the Salesians discerning the priesthood. In June of 2017, I left the formation program with the Salesians and began to work with Array of Hope – a ministry based out of Old Tappan, NJ that makes films and events and reaches out to families on the virtues of faith, hope, and love. I have been performing and speaking with Array of Hope for 5 years but now I am full time with them. I love to make beats, spit bars, and praise God.

Speakers List

Fr Brian Johnstone, C.Ss.R

Fr Brian Johnstone, C.Ss.R


Fr Brian Johnstone hails from Brighton, Australia. He attended the Redemptorist Seminary, St. Mary’s, Ballarat, Australia, 1958-1965, and then studied at the Pontif. Atheneum, St. Anselmo where he gained his Licentiate in Theology, (S.T.L.) in 1968 . He studied Moral Theology at the Katholisch-Theologische Fakultaet der Universitaet, Bonn, 1968-1970, and Fachbereich Kath. Theologie der Universitaet, Tuebingen, 1970, and Moral Theology at the Katholieke Universitaet, Leuven, 1971-1972, where he obtained the doctorate in moral theology (1976)

Fr Brian has held many prestigious posts, among them; Academic Posts and Teaching at the Yarra Theological Union, Box Hill, Australia, 1973-1981, as Lecturer in Moral Theology; Catholic Theological College, Clayton, Australia, (Archdiocesan Seminary), 1975-1981, as Visiting Lecturer; Loyola School of Theology, Ateneo di Manila, Philippines,1975-1976, as Assistant Professor; The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. U.S.A. Faculty of theology, 1981-1987, awarded “Continuous Tenure,” June 3rd. 1987. His courses have included; Moral Theology, Biomedical Ethics; Bioethics for Nurses; Peace and War; Human rights; Probabilism and Conscience; Contemporary Questions of Justice: Refugees, Ecology. He had directed many dostoral dissertations on moral theology.

His publications are extensive and he is the author of seventy five articles on Moral Theology and associated topics. Fr Brian is currently writing a book on “Rising to New Life: A Moral Theoloogy of Resurrection.”

Speakers List

Astronaut Michael Hopkins

Have you ever wondered how God looks at His world?
Astronauts looking back at the earth from space see the majesty of creation from a perspective not many people have experienced. Michael S. Hopkins is one such astronaut, and he’s coming to our 2018 Eucharistic Convention to tell us all about it.

NASA astronauts, engineers and scientists are exploring the wonders of space as in no other time before ours. The opportunities are limitless, the challenges immense and the discoveries exceptional.

Astronaut Mike will talk on Sunday at our convention, check our programme for details. Don’t miss this opportunity, put the date in your diary now, you won’t be disappointed.



Michael S. Hopkins was selected by NASA as an astronaut in 2009. The Missouri native was member of the Expedition 37/38 crew and has logged 166 days in space. He launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station in September 2013. During his stay aboard the station, he conducted two spacewalks totaling 12 hours and 58 minutes to change out a degraded pump module. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Illinois and a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Stanford University. Hopkins currently supports International Space Station Operations at the Johnson Space Center.

Personal Data:
Born in Lebanon, Missouri, and grew up on a farm outside Richland, Missouri. Married to the former Julie Stutz of Peoria, Illinois. They have two sons. Recreational interests include backpacking, camping, snow skiing, weight lifting, running, hockey and football. His mother and stepfather, Barbara and Dennis Duffy, reside in Camdenton, Missouri. His father, Ogle Hopkins, is deceased, and his stepmother, Paula Hertwig Hopkins, resides on the farm outside Richland, Missouri.

School of the Osage High School, Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, 1987; Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering, University of Illinois, 1991; Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering, Stanford University, 1992.

Hopkins was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force in January 1992. In April 1993, he was assigned to Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he worked on advanced space system technologies. In 1996, he attended the flight test engineering course at the United States Air Force Test Pilot School, Edwards Air Force Base, California. Following graduation in 1997, he worked at the 418 Flight Test Squadron, testing C‐17 and C‐130 aircraft. In 1999, he moved to Cold Lake, Alberta, as an exchange officer with the Canadian Flight Test Center. In 2002, Hopkins was selected as an Olmsted Scholar by the George and Carol Olmsted Foundation. Following six months of language training at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, he moved to Parma, Italy, in 2003, where he studied political science at the Università degli Studi di Parma. In 2005, Hopkins was assigned to the United States Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office at the Pentagon, where he served as a project engineer and program manager. In 2008, Hopkins was selected as a special assistant to the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, where he worked until he commenced astronaut training.


NASA Experience:
Hopkins was selected in July 2009 as one of 14 members of the 20th NASA astronaut class. He graduated from Astronaut Candidate Training in November 2011, which included scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in International Space Station systems, spacewalks, robotics, physiological training, T 38 flight training and water and wilderness survival training.


Spaceflight Experience:
Expedition 37/38 (September 25 through March 10, 2014). On September 25, 2013, Hopkins launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan along with Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy. They were welcomed to the space station by Expedition 37 commander Fyodor Yurchikhin of Roscosmos, Karen Nyberg of NASA and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency. They were later joined by Expedition 39 commander Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and flight engineers Russian cosmonaut Mikhal Tyurin and U.S. astronaut Rick Mastracchio. During his stay aboard the space station, Hopkins and Mastracchio conducted a pair of U.S. spacewalks to change out a degraded pump module for a total of 12 hours and 58 minutes. Hopkins, Kotov and Ryazanskiy returned to Earth on March 10, 2014, after 166 days in space. During the expedition, the crew completed 2,656 orbits of the Earth and traveled more than 70 million miles.

Team Captain, 1991 University of Illinois Football Team; Distinguished Graduate, Reserve Officers Training Corps, University of Illinois; Distinguished Graduate and top flight test engineer in United States Air Force Test Pilot School Class 96B; Defense Meritorious Service Medal; Meritorious Service Medal; Aerial Achievement Medal; two Air Force Commendation Medals and three Air Force Achievement Medals.

Speakers List

Bishop Patrick Dunn, DD

Bishop Patrick Dunn was born in London and raised in Auckland, and entered Holy Cross College in Mosgiel after study at Auckland University. He was ordained for Auckland diocese on April 24, 1976.

After various parish appointments, further study and time spent as an assistant to Bishop Denis Browne, Bishop Patrick was named an auxiliary bishop for Auckland diocese in 1994.

Later that year, on Christmas Eve, he was appointed the 11th Bishop of Auckland, taking over as head of the diocese on March 29, 1995.

Bishop Patrick will deliver the homily at the opening Mass of the 2018 Eucharistic Convention.

Speakers List

EC2018 – Gerry and Margaret Smy

Ministry to the Elderly, Sick and Housebound

2018-M & G


Gerry and Margaret have been part of the Eucharistic Convention team right from its inception. Not only that, they were at the forefront of many other Catholic lay activities long before this convention was even heard of.

Before the days of the internet (yes, that’s how far we go back), all communications were done by mail. Newsletters were compiled and mailed out from my downtown office by a band of willing helpers which always included Gerry and Margaret Smy. This convention owes them, and the other generous individuals who dedicated themselves to this necessary task, a huge debt of gratitude. As I think back so many individuals come to mind, the majority of whom have died and gone to their eternal rest. It is always dangerous to name people; the risk of offending others by not including their names is real. While never intentional, I have been at the receiving end of such omissions which is never a nice situation to find oneself in. That said, one name that comes to mind is Mark McCarthy who helped with our very first event. Mark had a tragic end; he died in a house fire in Te Aroha some years ago. Please remember him in your prayers.

It is our privilege to have Margaret and Gerry address our 25th anniversary Eucharistic Convention this year. They are a beautiful couple who, aligned to the call of Pope Francis, carry out tremendous works of mercy to the elderly, sick and housebound of our day. Beth and I have first-hand experience of the dedication they apply to their volunteer role, Gerry and Margaret take the Blessed Eucharist to Beth’s mum Dawn at the Orchard’s Resthome in Glenfield, where she now resides. Other Catholics in the rest home are also visited and attended by Margaret and Gerry; their heavenly reward will be great indeed.

Be sure to come to our 2018 Eucharistic Convention to hear what Margaret and Gerry have to share with us; you won’t be disappointed.

John Porteous

Speakers List

EC2018 – Aurora Zacarias

Aurora Zacarias from Mexico will share her incredible life story at the Eucharistic convention this year.

NPH (Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos) is a Catholic organisation which helps abandoned, orphaned and other vulnerable children throughout Latin America. Aurora is one of these children. She has now grown into a successful businesswoman and ambassador for NPH.

Tragedy struck when Aurora was only 10 years old in Mexico City. While her childhood has been challenging, Aurora contributes her success as an adult to the loving care and education she received thanks to the charity, Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos. (NPH, Our Little Brothers and Sisters), founded by Father William Wasson in 1954.

Aurora is now a successful businesswoman, social entrepreneur and ambassador for NPH.

Aurora hopes to give you an insight into how, with the right support and a strong faith, vulnerable children can overcome adversity, thrive through education and use their experience, ideas and passion to make the world a better place for others.

Aurora photo_14


Aurora looks forward to sharing her life story, giving you an insight into how our most vulnerable children survive adversity through faith in God, and a helping hand from generous people like Father Wasson.

Don’t miss out on hearing Aurora speak. She will speak at the convention on both Saturday the 7th and Sunday the 8th of April, as well as be our guest speaker at the fundraising dinner on the Saturday night.

Aurora photo_9

Aurora photo_1

Speakers List

EC2018 – Mother Mary Assumpta

Mother Mary Assumpta Long, O.P., is the Prioress General of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor, Michigan.


She holds a S.T.L. in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, and has taught at the elementary, secondary and junior college levels.

Mother Assumpta is a former President of the Forum of Major Superiors and has served on the boards of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars and the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

In the early 1990’s she was invited by John Cardinal O’Connor to assist with the initial formation of the Sisters of Life in New York.

In 1997 she and three other Sisters founded the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist; in the intervening 20 years the Community has grown from four to over 130 Sisters with an average age of 30 years old.

The Community currently has Sisters teaching and serving as administrators in elementary and secondary schools in Michigan and seven other states across the country, and serving at the Pontifical North American College Seminary Library in Rome.

Mother Assumpta and the community were on the Oprah show – watch these videos and be impressed!

Speakers List

EC2018 – Sister Joseph Andrew

Sister Joseph Andrew Bogdanowicz, OP, is one of the four foundresses of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor, MI.


As the Community’s vocations director, she travels throughout the U.S. (and beyond) giving talks that employ Sacred Scripture, anthropology and psychology, guiding audiences to a greater understanding of the Divine Image in both male and female, and the authority God has entrusted to each.

Sister has published in various Catholic journals and magazines as well as led retreats for high school and university students, parishes, religious priests and seminarians in the USA, Canada and Austria. She has appeared on television including EWTN, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and, more recently, NPR, CBS, and Fox & Friends to speak about the amazing success of the Community’s first CD, “Mater Eucharistiae.”

In November of 2014, a second CD was made — “The Rosary: Mysteries, Meditations, Music.” A Christmas CD, “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” will be released in October of this year.

Sister also served as general editor and an author of the Community’s “And Mary’s ‘Yes’ Continues,” a much needed and timely book about Religious Life in the Church today.

In her Community’s 20 years of existence, it has grown from 4 to over 130 members, with women coming from 30+ states in the USA as well as from Canada and Australia.

For more information about this Dominican Community, located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, please go to

Sister Joseph Andrew and the community were on the Oprah show – watch these videos and be impressed!


Speakers List

EC2018 – Aisha Te Kani


“My love of public speaking began when I was young when at the age of 12 I spoke for the first time in front of a school assembly sharing about my life. The uniqueness of my story is that I was born with a condition known as ectopia cordis – my heart being on the outside of my body. I am the only New Zealander with this condition. I use my story and different aspects of my personal experiences to encourage and inspire those I speak to. I have spoken at a range of events, conferences and gatherings both here in New Zealand and overseas”.


Aisha Te Kani has a heart so open that people are able to see it, literally! Born with her heart outside of her body, she is a living miracle for those who consider her life to be “medically impossible”. She is a passionate and inspirational speaker, whose voice comes at a time when it is often difficult for one to encounter encouragement and words of wisdomand hope to walk through the hardships that life throws at all of us. Having faced some challenging times herself, she has a real determination to use her life story and experience to help others discover a sense of hope and purpose that will provoke strength and endurance.


Speakers List

EC2018 – MDM Refuge

The Sunday of the Eucharistic Convention is the big feast day of Divine Mercy established in the Church by Pope St John Paul II on the 30 April 2000 when he canonised Sr. Faustina who had visions of Jesus with messages central to the Divine Mercy devotion now celebrated around the world.

While there are many promoters of this devotion, some of whom have had promotional tables at some of our conventions over the years, the leadership and members of the Mother of Divine Mercy Refuge are living examples of what the devotion is really all about. Mother Susana Fiu and her community live the messages of Divine Mercy in such a way that kids not wanted by their families and dumped on their door step are nurtured, healed and restored back to life. Other kids are extracted from gang life, shown some love and encouraged to travel a new road of peace and stability they have never before known. Yet others are rescued from violent home situations where all they have ever known are arguments, bashing’s, rapes and everything else that goes with the dark side of life. MDM Refuge are the champions of Divine Mercy in our local community and as such are the champions of the Divine Mercy devotion at the Eucharistic Convention.

MDM Refuge Choir_1

Together with Father Tony Ricard and RabelztheMC, the community from MDM Refuge will have a central role at our 2018 Eucharistic Convention where they will celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday in a manner that will be aligned to the practical works of Mercy they carry out every day. This will be something very special – not to be missed.

You are invited to view the following video recorded at our 2014 Eucharistic Convention. In it you will see four members of the Mother of Divine Mercy Refuge in Auckland give their very moving testimonies of how their lives were saved, and changed by their association with Mother Susana, as they call her, and their experience of a new life at the Refuge she established



Speakers List


“My goal, my mission is to expose Jesus’ Divine Mercy to hip-hop culture, to youth, and ...

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