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EC2019 – Father Neil Vaney SM

Father Neil Vaney SM



Neil Vaney is a Marist priest who taught Christian ethics, including a course on bioethics, at the Marist seminary in Hawkes Bay then at Good Shepherd College in Auckland 1987-2009. He has a doctorate in environmental ethics and the theology of nature. He presently is pastoral director of the Catholic Enquiry Centre in Wellington.

He is a son of post WWII Wellington and was ordained in St Theresa’s Karori July 1969. He has been a secondary school teacher, University chaplain Christchurch 1974-78, member of a retreat team offering 30-day retreats, a lecturer in moral theology and founding Principal of the NZ Catholic Discipleship College. He has been the Vicar – Provincial, Society of Mary and currently is the Pastoral Director of Catholic Enquiry Centre.

You can find out more about Fr Neil at:

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EC2019 – Father Roger Landry

Father Roger Landry



Father Roger Landry works for the Holy See’s Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations in New York. Ordained a priest of the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts, in 1999, he has served as a high school chaplain, the pastor of two parishes, and the former executive editor of The Anchor, the weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Fall River (2005-2012).

He is an alumnus of Harvard College and the Pontifical North American College in Rome. He was an on-site commentator for EWTN’s coverage of the 2013 papal conclave that elected Pope Francis, appears often on various Catholic radio programs, is national chaplain for Catholic Voices USA, and is the chaplain for the New York Chapter of the Leonine Forum.

He regularly leads pilgrimages to Rome, the Holy Land, Christian Europe and other sacred destinations and preaches several retreats a year for priests, seminarians, religious and lay faithful. He writes for various Catholic publications and is the author of the new book Plan of Life: Habits to Help You Grow Closer to God

You can find out more about Fr Roger at:

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EC2019 – Professor Tom O’Loughlin

Professor Tom O’Loughlin



Thomas O’Loughlin is Professor of Historical Theology at the University of Nottingham. He earned a BA, MPhil, PhD, STB and DD hon.c. Tom studied for his BA in Philosophy and Medieval History in UCD, before going to Maynooth College for his BD, before moving on to do a M.Phi in University College Dublin. He holds a Diploma in Theology from Mater Dei in Dublin, and Diploma in Pastoral Theology from All Hallows College, Dublin.

He began his career as a teacher in the University College Dublin, he also taught at the Dominican Studium, Tallaght and the Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy and was later made a scholar at the School of Celtic Studies in the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. In 1997, he worked in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies in the University of Wales, Lampeter, where he became the first Professor of Historical Theology in the University of Wales in February 2006. He joined the University of Nottingham in 2009. He is a priest of the Catholic diocese of Arundel and Brighton. (Wikipedia)

You can find out more about Tom O’Loughlin at

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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