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Father Paul Glynn SM

Father Paul Glynn SM returns this year and is, if you like, our connection with the history of this event. Many who have been to previous conventions will have heard Fr Paul speak about his work in Japan which is a continuation of the work started by his late brother Father Tony Glynn in encouraging reconciliation in Japan after the second world war. In 2008 Fr Paul gave two presentations, in the first his subject matter was “Hope, Reconcile and Move on” and in his second  “Hope in Future Generations”. Videos of both talks are included below  

Michelle Kaufman

On Friday 25 April 2014 Michelle Kaufman from Family Life International in Auckland, New Zealand, gave the Friday Night address at our Eucharistic Convention. Michelle is the wife of Brendan and the daughter of Dame Colleen and Terry Bayer of FLI Auckland. This is a recording of that presentation

Bob and Freda Narev

If you trace Bob’s family name back a few generations, you will understand why their story is so amazing. Gertrud Narewczewitz and her son Robert, 9,  were liberated in 1945 from the Nazi’s Theresienstadt concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. Two years later, they sailed in a converted troop carrier from Switzerland to Auckland, bringing with them two orphans who they dropped off with adoptive parents in Australia. Gertrud and Robert changed their name from Narewczewitz to Narev to fit into their new lives in New Zealand, which began on a Howick chicken farm owned by Ernst and Alice Rothschild. Gertrud eventually learned English and was able to teach piano and voice at St Cuthbert’s College, and to perform herself.  Young Robert did very well at Howick District High School, Auckland Grammar, and Auckland University, where he earned degrees in languages and law. Freda Malacka, long before meeting and marrying “Bob Narev”, was from an Orthodox Jewish family in Widze, Poland, which was almost completely exterminated by the Nazis. Freda, under the name “Fella”, survived by living as a Catholic for three years on a farm.  After the war, her older sister, only 18, collected Freda.  They lived in Poland and Germany before being sponsored to Auckland in 1949. Freda went through Bayfield School and Auckland Girls’ Grammar. She became engaged to Bob in 1957 and married him in 1959.  Bob worked as a lawyer and was a leader in the Jewish and general community.  Freda was for many years active both within the Citizens Advice Bureau and as a marriage counsellor, and in the Jewish community. They have three children – Kim, Rick and Ian. A few years ago, Freda received a Queen’s Service Medal for service to the community.   Bob previously had received a New Zealand Order of Merit for service to the community. Bob and Freda, if she is feeling up to it, have agreed to speak at the Convention to give first-person accounts of the Holocaust and their lives as survivors, and to thank Kiwis for the compassion and opportunities they were given.  Bob and Freda were kind enough to step in when Inge Auerbacher was forced to withdraw as a speaker.

Father Antoine Thomas

Fr Antoine is a native of France. Before joining the Brothers of St. John in 1985,( religious community founded in 1975 by Fr.Marie-Dominique PHILIPPE,O.P.), he was a member of the French Army in the Alpine Troops, pursued a degree in marketing both in France and the US, and enjoyed many active sports such as Ski Mountaineering, rock-climbing hang gliding, windsurfing, and tennis. Fr. Antoine was ordained February 1st 1992 in Paray-Le-Monial, France.. After six years as chaplain of a large Catholic school in Paris, he was sent to the USA, to Peoria Illinois, to help establish a new foundation of his community. He remained the main chaplain for 9 years at Bradley and ICC Universities. He also was local superior for 6 years. After 6 years spent in the main house of formation in the USA (Diocese of Peoria, Illinois), he is now sent by his superiors to establish a new priory in Christchurch, New Zealand with a few brothers.. Fr.Antoine is appointed full chaplain of the Canterbury University (20,000 students), vicar at St Teresa Parish in Riccarton, and local superior of his community starting this December 2010. Fr. Antoine has given many Youth 2000 retreats throughout the United States, as well as seminars and retreats to seminarians and to active and contemplative sisters throughout the world. He has formed a children’s Eucharistic Adoration program known as “Children of Hope” which is being implemented in parishes and Catholic schools around the World. He has led children, teens and families in Eucharistic Adoration in the USA, Canada, France, Australia, Haiti, Nicaragua, Romania, Singapore and now in New Zealand. In each diocese, he helped in training Eucharistic adoration leaders among catechists, parents and priests who understand the urgency of this children’s adoration ministry in the Cybernetic age. He has been invited to 4 Eucharistic Congresses in Guadalajara, St Paul, Minnesota, in Charlotte, North Carolina and in Quebec, Canada. In each place the message is the same: To help children encounter Jesus in His silent and loving presence in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, in faith, in hope and in love, to adore Him and to gaze upon Him with joy. Fr. Antoine often appears on EWTN Programs, most especially for children and teenagers. He has filmed several series for them, as well as appearing on “Life on the Rock” and “Mother Angelica Live”. He has been on CATHOLIC ANSWER, Q&A for kids for years, on RELEVANT RADIO and other Catholic Radio throughout the US in the past 10 years.  

Archimandrite Barham

The late Archimandrite Stephen Barham would be one of the most dynamic preachers we have ever brought to any of our conventions. A convert from Pentecostalism to Catholicism he had a unique end endearing way to present the Catholic Faith.  He was part of our line up in 1994 and proved so popular that we brought him back the following year.  We find that bringing a speaker back a second time is not always a successful option but in Archimandrite Barham’s case we were so glad we did; the people loved him.  

Fr Tim Deeter

In 1994 Fr Tim Deeter gave two presentations – videos of those talks can be accessed below. Fr Tim returned in 1995 – there are no recordings available of those talks. ————————————————————————————— 1) Sceptic to Convert 2) Penetential Prayer

Fr Stan Fortuna

In 1994 Father Stan Fortuna came to New Zealand for the first time and wowed the audience.  He talked about “The Narrow Way” to the main convention audience and had a session for youth as well.

Ted Flynn

Ted Flynn and his wife Maureen co-wrote the book Thunder of Justice.  They shared their story with us in 1994.    It is a good read and still available to buy on Amazon.  Here’s something about it: Heaven is stirring with extraordinary warnings and graces. Even the most lethargic of Christians know something is afoot. Lately, stories in Life, Time and Newsweek have covered the flood of heavenly phenomena: visions of The Blessed Mother, heavenly messages and warnings, miraculous healings, weeping statues and icons. There is no longer any excuse for someone to plead ignorance. Something is definitely up. Precisely »what« is up is the subject of this book. If the visionaries in this book prove correct, it is the most amazing and important subject ever written about. This book does what few books on Marian apparitions have done. It provides a comprehensive overview of the phenomena – from Our Lady’s appearances in Guadeloupe, Mexico, in 1531, to her flood of visits around the world today. The book also analyzes the many apparitions, searching for a common theme to the messages. It finds one. It is a theme enunciated by such diverse and unlikely persons as housewives in Ireland and Arizona; teenagers and young people in Ecuador, Italy, Medjugorje, and Garabandal; a converted pagan in Africa; a political prisoner in Ukraine; a factory foreman in Canada; and a disabled laborer in New Jersey. Through visionaries separated from each other by thousands of miles, scores of different languages, and in some cases hundreds of years, the Blessed Mother speaks with one voice. The world, she warns, increasingly has given itself to sin and debauchery. The time of God’s Justice is at hand. Signs and wonders increasing in power and frequency will be given to us, emphasizing the urgency of the need for man to return to God. These are acts of God’s ultimate mercy. These calls from God will culminate in what seers call the Warning, a revelation to man that will reveal the state of every single soul. One of Satan’s greatest weapons is ignorance. The Warning will allow one to actually understand how God sees the state of his or her soul. Following the Warning will be what visionaries call the Great Miracle – an event that will somehow manifest the power of God more publicly and visibly than ever before. Both of these events will allow mankind to return to God. Following these events will be the final act of God’s Justice. Those who refuse to convert will be dealt with by the only means left – a tremendous Chastisement that will purify the earth. The messages are so powerful, so extravagant in their promise and warning, that one might be inclined to dismiss them as fantasy or science fiction. Indeed, serious Catholics must be very cautious and prayerfully discerning when investigating reports of such phenomena. It is true that no Catholic need commit himself to any apparition or message. In fact, the authors emphasize that even with »church approved« apparitions, those who choose to believe in them do so only with human faith. The messages are not new. They call us back to the essential message of the gospel: prayer, fasting, conversion, sacrifice, penance, joyful service to our neighbor and reverent worship of God. For those of us who have tarried at God’s call, those who have dallied in the world and put off conversion, the messages and events compiled in this book will serve as a wake-up call. The world is a dangerous place. Time is short, and the stakes are high. Through and unprecedented outpouring of graces and apparitions, God is calling us back to Himself, shouting at us to listen, humbling Himself to tug on our sleeves – desperately trying to get our attention before the Thunder of His Justice strikes.

Mary Sue & Larry Eck

Mary Sue and Larry have a lay apostolate in their home town of Westmont, Illinois operating from the DuPage Marian Center. In 1994 Mary Sue and Larry talked about the importance of Our Lady in the Catholic faith and the necessity in our day and age to practice and encourage true family values. Unfortunately no recording was made of this session.  

Donna Lee

Donna Lee started playing guitar and singing at the age of seven. In 1972, she joined the folk group at her local parish where she sang and played guitar for 11 years. At the age of 15, she wrote her first song for a Catholic youth retreat. Her debut album, “Immaculate Heart, O Sacred Heart,” was released in 1990, and was well received by all ages. Since then, she has recorded five albums of mostly original music.

Marty Rotella

By Marty Rotella I was 25 years old when my conversion took place, and it was the Blessed Mother who brought me back. The interesting part is she didn’t bring me to her. She brought me to her Son, Jesus. I immediately became a daily communicant. Shortly after my conversion, I called the Marian Helpers Center in Stockbridge, Mass., home of the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy. Father Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, answered the phone. He invited me to visit, and upon that visit I fell in love with the Divine Mercy devotion. After about five hours of teaching from Fr. Seraphim, my brother, Jules, and I wrote 11 songs, which became our first religious album,Rays of Love. Rays of Love is our way of spreading Jesus’ and Fr. Seraphim’s teaching on Diving Mercy. The Chaplet of The Divine Mercy also became a daily prayer for me. Ever since, I’ve been speaking and singing about this great devotion. Sometimes I couple it with Our Lady of Guadalupe and/or The Shroud of Turin. I was at the house in Phoenix, Ariz., on the day when it was discovered that Jesus’ face on the Vilnius version of The Divine Mercy image was a perfect match with His face on the famous Shroud of Turin. What a rush! I learned from Fr. Seraphim, Fr. George Kosicki, and many others, of the great love of God through His Diving Mercy. I can’t get enough of these wonderful teachings. I’ve been involved with presentations of Mother of Mercy Messengers (MOMM). I’ve also worked with Ed Miller, who brings The Diving Mercy message many times a year to the New York/New Jersey area with conferences, presentations, and novenas. Divine Mercy is one of the best-kept secrets in the world, right behind the Eucharist and Our Lady of Guadalupe. Once these have found their correct place in society, the world will see peace. The Divine Mercy Image is the pictorial vision of the Eucharist. What more could you want? Jesus pours His love onto us and we are invited into His Heart. Wow! All I want to do the rest of my life is to bring this message of hope to the world, through my music, my witness and my everyday actions. I love being Catholic. Jesus is the only answer to the true healing of all the world’s problems. He is so simple. Jesus, I trust in You. ——————————————–  

Dr James Corbin

Dr Corbin was proprietor of the Catholic Shop in Auckland for many years.  He made the local contribution to our guest list in 1994 when he spoke about Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Inge NcNeill

In 1995 Inge McNeill made her first trip to New Zealand to talks about Our Lady of Guadalupe. This is a recording of that talk.  

Msgr Michael Wrenn

In 1995 we were fortunate to have Monsignor Michael Wrenn from New York deliver two excellent addresses. In 2008, following the death of Msgr Wrenn,  a posthumous consideration  was written by Msgr. George P. Graham when Msgr Wrenn was honoured with a Special Award for Contributions to the Church from the Society of Catholic Social Scientists Unfortunately we do not have a recording of what Msgr Wrenn delivered in 1995 but Monsignor Graham sums up the life of Monsignor Wrenn so beautifully we reprint the article here: ———————————- Monsignor Michael Wrenn was ordained in 1961 for the Archdiocese of New York. As a young priest he was assigned to work in the Religious Education Office of the Archdiocese. I met Monsignor Wrenn when we were both members of a state committee to prepare material for the American Catechetical Directory. Monsignor Wrenn was assigned to establish the Archdiocesan Catechetical Institute in 1977 by Terence Cardinal Cooke. The name was later changed to the present name, The Institute of Religious Studies. After ten years at the Institute, Monsignor Wrenn was appointed pastor of St. John the Evangelist Church, the church which is now located within the archdiocesan chancery building. In 2001, Monsignor Wrenn returned as a Dean to the Institute of Religious Studies, where he remained until his retirement in 2005. The great commitment of Monsignor Wrenn’s priestly life was teaching the Gospel, catechetics. Good catechetics normally requires a good catechism. This was the subject of vigorous debate at Vatican Council I (1869-1870). After this debate the fathers of Vatican Council I, by a majority of the Fathers (4/5) present and voting, approved the project of a Church-wide Catechism. However, because of the occupation of Rome by the Italian army, the Council was interrupted and never resumed, and the Schema for a Catechism was never voted upon and approved. When Vatican Council II began in 1962, there were a number of suggestions that the Vatican I project be revived. Nothing came of these suggestions, however. After the Council, catechetics throughout the Church became a disaster area. This was the time in which catechisms were replaced by balloons and banners. In reaction to this failure of catechetics, the 1985 meeting of the Synod of Bishops requested a Catechism for the Universal Church. In 1986 Pope John Paul II, in response to the request of the Synod of Bishops, appointed a Commission of twelve Cardinals and Bishops, presided over by Cardinal GRAHAM 501 The Catholic Social Science Review 14 (2009): 501-502 Joseph Ratzinger. Their task was to prepare a proposal for the Catechism asked for by the Fathers of the Synod. An additional Commission of seven diocesan Bishops, experts in theology and catechetics, assisted the Commission. The first edition of the text appeared in French on October 11, 1992. The job of translating it then was taken up by each Conference of Bishops. A first English translation was attempted, and it was not a good translation. As Msgr. Wrenn wrote at the time “If this translation had been successfully foisted off on the English speaking world as The Catechism of the Catholic Church in the form in which we have studied it and in which it went to the CDF for approval, we believe it would actually have brought discredit upon the whole enterprise, to the detriment of the Faith and the Church.” As a result of the work of Monsignor Wrenn and Kenneth D. Whitehead, in their book Flawed Expectations (1990), the earlier translation into English was rejected, and a new translation was made which was published in 1994. The Latin edition, which became the official text, was published in 1997, and the second edition of the English translation, in conformity with the official Latin was also published in 1997. After twelve years as Pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish, Monsignor Wrenn returned as Dean to the Institute of Religious Studies. Monsignor Wrenn had long been interested in the French language, and he became fluent in it, both orally and in writing. He translated at least thirteen books on theology from the French. Because of his fluency in speaking French, Monsignor Wrenn was able to visit some of the leading theologians in France. This lead to the publication in English of books by other translators, publications which Monsignor Wrenn had arranged. In 1998, Monsignor Wrenn received the Cardinal Wright Award from the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars at their convention in Denver. The great work of Monsignor Wrenn’s life was his establishment and guidance of The Institute of Religious Studies at the Seminary of St. Joseph in Dunwoodie, New York. From this Institute, there have been more than five hundred and eighty graduates. In addition, some of the students have entered seminaries to become priests. The Society of Catholic Social Scientists was proud to posthumously recognize Monsignor Michael J. Wrenn’s achievements and his many important contributions to Holy Mother Church.

David Parkes

Irish singer David Parkes gives a presentation at our 1995 Convention where he sang beautiful songs and told of his miraculous healing in Medjugorje in the late 1980s when Fr. Peter Rookey prayed over him in the cemetery there. David ended by singing the powerful pro-life song “Let Me Live”. Unfortunately we do not have a recording of his presentation at our event but it was similar to the one he gave in Chicago in 1993 which is recorded in the following video

John Canavan

In 1995 John Canavan spoke about his work in promoting the Apostolate on Divine Mercy from his Centre in Camberwell, Victoria, Australia. Here is a recording of that presentation:

Thomas Pereira

Thomas Pereira was born in Hong Kong and suffered through an extremely difficult childhood.  His father, a Singaporean of Portuguese descent was Catholic, while his Indonesian mother was a Muslim.  His parents split up when he was a young boy, leaving him in poverty. Although he had been raised a Muslim he was left in a Catholic School in Macau. Missionaries from the Salesian Order of St John Bosco “adopted him” for ten years.  Through their influence he converted to Catholicism. As an adult Thomas lived in Singapore and experienced much success in international business. He chose to “retire” in Hawaii some ten years ago where he set up The St Michael Centre for the sole purpose of promoting the Catholic faith he so loved. Ask and serious convert to the faith and they will tell you they have “found what they had been seeking”; most cannot stop sharing their good news with others.  Thomas had a great influence with young people. Unfortunately we do not have a recording of Michael’s presentation at our 1995 Convention but as we understand it, his work is till ongoing.  You are invited to browse his website on the following link:  

Fr Robert Goedert OP

In 1995 Father Robert Goedert spoke about Eucharistic Adoration.  Unfortunately we do not have a recording of his talk but the following will give you an insight into how he promotes this devotion.   “Why Eucharistic Adoration” is written by Father Robert Goedert, O.P. and found on the web site  This web site contains much information and guidance concerning the Eucharist. “Spending time with Jesus in adoration should not strike us as unusual. It is really a very natural human activity. When two people love each other, they want to spend time together to visit, to get to know each other better. You cannot love someone you do not know. Adoration of our Lord in the Eucharist is your chance to know Jesus better. One of the best aspects of Eucharistic adoration is this: how you spend your time with Jesus is entirely up to you. There is no one preaching to you, reading to you, telling you when to stand, sit, kneel, sing or whatever. You are on your own. In most adoration chapels there are books available, some holy hour books, to help you get started if you need them. Most of us do at times but you’re basically on your own. You spend your time with Jesus any way you want. You can pray your Rosary, you can read your Bible, or you can do some other spiritual reading. But I always say: remember, you are there to visit with your friend, Jesus. Talk with Him; tell Him your problems, your needs or your concerns. Tell Him about your joys, too. Chances are He doesn’t hear about those very often! Sometimes I think all Jesus hears from a lot of us is the complaints and the “gimmes”. Lord, gimme this and Lord gimme that. But most important, is to stop and listen, let Jesus do some of the talking. He’s been waiting for a chance to visit with you, but your life is so busy with work, family and school, your line is always busy. Jesus can’t get through to you. It’s time to give yourself a break. Take a little time out for a private visit with your best friend, Jesus. The whole purpose of our human existence is to live forever with the Blessed Trinity in heaven, to enjoy forever, the victory of Jesus over sin and death. We get a foretaste of that eternal happiness and peace when we visit and adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.”

Wayne Weible

In 1995 Wayne Weible came to our convention and spoke about his conversion and subsequent apostolic activity sharing his story with anyone who cares to listen. This video is a recording of that talk  

Inge McNeill

In 1996 we brought back Inge McNeill to talk more about her work with the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe apostolate. This is a recording of that talk.

Cheryl Anne

In 1996 Cheryl Anne sung a selection of her own songs in honour of her late father Phil Zambucka who helped get these Eucharistic Conventions off the ground. Phil died in May 1995. Cheryl Anne also sang our theme song that year – The Eucharist

Rita Klaus

In 1996 Rita Klaus came to our convention and delivered an address entitled “My Cure from MS” The video below are recordings of that address. (NOTE – the video has been incorrectly labeled as 1997 when in fact it was recorded at our 1996).  

Misty Cruzan

Misty Cruzan sang at our 1996 Eucharistic Convention – a lot has happened since then – here’s some history and updated information.  Our convention was one of the first events to hear her story as a very young woman. Misty was born and raised near Houston, Texas. Her early love of music caught fire after a life-changing journey when she was twelve years old to what was then called Yugoslavia. This adventure led her to encounter the miraculous events that were taking place in a tiny village called Medjugorje, and in the lives of the many people that had begun to travel there from all over the world. Her experience there had a profound effect on the young Misty and, after subsequent pilgrimages, she converted to Catholicism along with her mother. At the same time, her growing devotion to Jesus Christ and his mother Mary began to emerge in the form of music, much of it demonstrating a depth and maturity well beyond her years. The songs she ‘received’ through faith were collected in two recordings, Strength & Song and Signs of the Time.  Over the next few years Misty toured extensively throughout the United States, giving her testimony and singing at many events and conferences; most notably, she was featured at World Youth Day 1994 in Denver, Colorado.  Most of this took place before she was old enough to drive a car. After graduating from high school and spending some time in college, Misty’s spiritual longings became too forceful to resist. While on a speaking and singing trip to New Zealand, she accepted the invitation of her good friend Kevin Cunningham to join a youth apostolate that was forming in New England. The Northeast was a big change for a Texas girl, but Misty packed her things and headed for the mountains of Vermont. Little did she know how big the changes would really be. The months that followed were spent with the youth apostolate, called Youth for Life, which worked closely with the Franciscans of the Primitive Observance.  Being in the company of these friars also led to an association with Youth 2000 of New England, helping to present Catholic retreats for young people. Misty has a website to check out if you like.

Janice Connell

Janice Connell came to our convention in 2006 and gave a presentation that remained with people for a long time after. Janice is an attorney, broadcast commenter, and guest speaker in the United States and Abroad. She is considered a leading authority on Marian spirituality, and is the author of ten published volumes, including best sellers Meetings with Mary, The Visions of the Children, Angel Power, and Queen of the Cosmos, the pictorial odyssey of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart. Janice was born in Pennsylvania and holds degrees from Georgetown University, University of Pittsburgh, and Duquesne University. Janice consults with government, business, academic, and media leaders. She has served on the diocesan Protestant-Catholic Dialogue Committee, the Diocesan Jewish-Catholic Dialogue Committee, the Foundation for Global Catholic Communications, the Pittsburgh Center for Peace, and is a founding member of the Institute for World Concerns. In her books, Janice weaves her own personal angel experiences together with angel prayers and with true angel stories she has been told. Her books instruct people how to open to angelic guidance, support, and protection. Her works explain dazzling and profoundly reassuring prospect of angel power at work — a vision so beautiful and potent that those who experience it feel they know heaven on earth.  

Kevin Cunningham

In 1996 Kevin Cunningham spoke about his work with youth in New England, a place some call the birthplace of America. We don’t have a recording of what Kevin had to say in his 1996 presentation but there is a record of his 1997 talk when he returned to speak to our youth.  Check our 1997 guest list to listen to that talk.

Fr George Ruttler

Father Rutler was ordained to the diaconate in Rome by His Eminence William Cardinal Baum in 1980 and received priestly ordination in St. Patrick’s Cathedral at the hands of His Eminence Terence Cardinal Cooke in 1981. He served as Associate Pastor of St. Joseph’s in Bronxville; Our Lady of Victory in the Wall Street area; and St. Agnes, in Manhattan. He was a university chaplain for the Archdiocese, and also chaplain to a general hospital and a psychiatric hospital. For ten years he was also National Chaplain of Legatus, the organization of Catholic business leaders and their families, engaged in spiritual formation and evangelization. A board member of several schools and colleges, he is Chaplain of the New York Guild of Catholic Lawyers, Regional Spiritual Director of the Legion of Mary (New York and northern New Jersey) and has long been associated with the Missionaries of Charity, and other religious orders, as a retreat master. Since 1988 his weekly television program has been broadcast worldwide on EWTN. Father Rutler has lectured and given retreats in many nations, frequently in Ireland, Australia, and now New Zealand. Born in 1945 and reared in the Episcopal tradition in New Jersey and New York, Father Rutler was an Episcopal priest for nine years, and the youngest Episcopal rector in the country when he headed the Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont, Pennsylvania. He was received into the Catholic Church in 1979 and was sent to the North American College in Rome for seminary studies. His parents, Adolphe and Dorothy, both now deceased, were received into the Church in 1982 by Cardinal Cooke. Father Rutler graduated from Dartmouth, where he was a Rufus Choate Scholar, and took advanced degrees at the Johns Hopkins University and the General Theological Seminary. He holds several degrees from the Gregorian and Angelicum Universities in Rome, including the Pontifical Doctorate in Sacred Theology, and studied at the Institut Catholique in Paris. In England, in 1988, the University of Oxford awarded him the degree Master of Studies. From 1987 to 1988 he was regular preacher to the students, faculty, and townspeople of Oxford. Thomas More College and Christendom College awarded himhonorary doctorates, and in 1996 Governor George W. Bush made him an Honorary Texan. In 1996 Fr Ruttler spoke twice at our Convention – his first talk was entitled “Be Not Afraid – I am with you always”.   In his second talk Fr Ruttler spoke about “The Prisioner of Love in our Midst”.  Both of these presentations are brilliant and timeless – you are encouraged to watch them.  

Fr Des Byrne

Father Des Byrne was a down to earth man so dedicated to his Catholic priesthood that his enthusiasm in preaching the Gospel overflowed into his presentation at our 1996 Eucharistic Convention in a very special way.  It would be fair to say that everybody who heard him speak was grateful they made the effort to come along and hear him. Unfortunately we don’t have a recording of his talk that day but the following article reporting on the celebration of his 60th anniversary of priesthood gives some insight into the special character of the man. ————————————————————- ON SUNDAY 29 July 2012, retired parish priest of the archdiocese of Melbourne, Fr Des Byrne, celebrated a Mass of thanksgiving for his 60 years in the Catholic priesthood, at St Mary Star of the Sea Church, West Melbourne.   Fr Byrne was ordained a priest in 1952, by former archbishop of Melbourne Dr Daniel Mannix. During his homily to a packed congregation, Fr Byrne lamented the fact that some priests in the Church neglect confession and the proper teaching of the Catholic faith, and urged the people to be well informed about these priceless treasures. Fr Byrne was the parish priest of St Francis De Sales in Oak Park for 33 years, (until his retirement in 2002) and was renowned for his apostolic zeal.  In May 1991, he founded the Confraternity of St Michael in the parish, which was attended by hundreds of youths from all over Victoria.  Its purpose was to give accurate information about Catholic teaching, which Fr Byrne believed had not been properly transmitted, in the Catholic school system at this time. Many confraternity members came to join Fr Byrne on this occasion. He claims he married over a hundred couples that came through the group, and that baptisms emanating from them were in the thousands!  In addition to this, there were a number of vocations to the priesthood and religious life as well.  At this particular time, the Confraternity was one of the few Catholic youth groups in Melbourne, not organized on ethnic lines. In his homily, Fr Byrne drew a catechesis around Chapter 6 of St John’s Gospel, and decried the lack of belief in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ, in the Eucharist.  He mentioned how many years ago a 5 year old boy who he had baptized, had asked him permission to receive the Holy Eucharist.  After realizing that he could tell the difference between this and ordinary bread, Fr Byrne allowed the child to come to Holy Communion.   He said from that day on until now, that once 5 year old boy, now a man married with children,  has attended Mass every day, and asked the congregation to draw inspiration from this, in loving the Eucharist. Fr Byrne was the first person in Melbourne to ever organize a pilgrimage to World Youth Day, taking a large group from the Confraternity to Denver, Colorado in the USA, in 1993.  This was before the archdiocese itself started taking groups to the Catholic “Olympic Games”.  Since that time Fr Byrne accompanied groups to Paris in 1997, to Rome in the Jubilee Year 2000, and to Toronto in 2002.  After this time, Fr Byrne had certainly set the record for the priest in Victoria who has attended the most World Youth Days.   During the Jubilee Year, the then Archbishop George Pell made a rule for the priests accompanying the pilgrimage (which was particularly large that year), “When a priest is invited to give a sermon, the timing of the homily is to be restricted.  Fr Des Byrne goes for his life!” which underscores the reputation he has had for some time, for delivering inspiring homilies. At St Mary’s, Fr Byrne encouraged the laity there, not to be slack in regard to appreciating the value of the teachings of the Church, and said that everyone should have a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.   He said that when it came out, he was told this was only to be for bishops, and reminded them of what is said in the introduction that it is addressed to all the faithful.  Fr Byrne said just by using a search term like contraception of eucharist, one could find the unequivocal Catholic position.  In addition to this, he talked about the essentials of frequent confession and communion, and devotion to Our Lady. It seemed the 85 year old priest, had lost none of the momentum that drove him in previous decades, to proclaim the Catholic faith boldly.   Afterwards, many of his friends joined him in the crypt of St Mary’s, for a cup of tea, included parishioners from Oak Park, members of the Confraternity of St Michael, as well as admirers, who loved his fearless presentations of Catholicism. Thank God for a life lived serving Him, so faithfully.  There was no doubt among those who attended, that slower as he might now be, his interest in Catholic subjects has not in any way diminished.

Kevin Cunningham

Having been asked to return following his presentations in 1996 proved so popular, Kevin gave a talk to the youth programme that got the young people thinking. This is a recording of that talk  

Fr Des Coates

Father Des Coates spoke to the subject matter “Why am I Afraid” in a manner that caught people’s attention; you could hear a pin drop as people listened intently.A full-time Catholic Chaplain at the University of Southern Queensland since 1985, Father Des Coates was assigned to Australia in 1983 after many years working with University students in Spain, Italy and Mexico. He holds postgraduate degrees in Theology, Philosophy, and Philosophy & Communication Science, and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. He is a member of the Queensland Health Ethics Advisory Committee, the University of Southern Queensland’s Ethics, Biosafety and Human Research Committees, and the St Andrew’s Hospital Clinical Ethics Committee. He is also a member of the Catholic Moral Theology Association of Australia and New Zealand. Unfortunately there is no recording of the talk available.


Sylvie from the Community of Beatitudes has a voice from heaven; she sang at our 1996 Convention; the audience was totally absorbed in the moment!  

Fr Paul Williamson SM

In 1997 Fr Paul gave the opening address at our convention that year; unfortunately we do not have a recording of that talk. His second talk entitled “Being Docile to the Holy Spirit” is recorded – see the video below.

Mark Shea

In 1997 Mark Shea gave two presentations at our Convention that year.  The first was entitled “An Evangelical discovers Catholic Tradition” and the second “Discovering the Real Presence”. Mark also addressed the youth with a talk about the Real Presence. The three talks are below  

Fr Ernie Milne IC

Local Rosminian priest Father Ernie Milne gave two presentations at our 1997 Eucharistic Convention.  One was entitled “The Charity of Christ” and the second “The Holy Spirit”; both of which are recorded below.

Bishop John Mackey

Bishop Mackey spoke at our 1997 Eucharistic Convention. Unfortunately we do not have a recording of that presentation.  He died on 20 January 2014 – following is a tribute to this great Bishop of Auckland that was printed in NZ Catholic. ——————————- In his history of Auckland diocese, In Cruce Salus, Fr Ernest Simmons described Bishop Mackey as, “Gifted with one of the best minds in the Church in New Zealand, [he] is a gentle man of unusual sympathy — the kind of person who has a large circle of people who class themselves as personal friends”. Born in Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland, in 1918, the young John Mackey came to New Zealand aged seven, with his mother, who had been widowed. They stayed with her brother, Fr John O’Byrne, the first parish priest of Epsom. It was in this presbytery that John spent his early years. He attended school at the Epsom convent, St Benedict’s, Newton, and at Sacred Heart College. He studied for the priesthood at Holy Cross College, Mosgiel, and was ordained on November 23, 1941, after which he was assistant priest in Remuera and Thames. In 1941 he became chaplain to the Mobile Hospital Number 4 of the United States Navy, then based on the Hobson Park playing fields. While at Thames, he gained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Auckland University and then his Master of Arts degree, as well as a Diploma in Education. In a foreword to one of Bishop Mackey’s books, a former apostolic nuncio in New Zealand, Archbishop Thomas White, wrote that, while in Thames, Fr Mackey indulged in “hare-brained escapades in solo flying . . . that did not exactly thrill the very dignified Archbishop James Michael Liston”. It was also noted that Fr Mackey was an “avid cinema buff”. Fr Mackey joined the Catholic Education Office in Auckland as assistant to Fr F. Terry, having the title “Assistant Inspector of Catholic Doctrine”. In 1952, after being awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, he did two years of post-graduate study at the University of Notre Dame in the United States. From 1952 to 1971, he was diocesan inspector of Catholic schools in Auckland, a position equivalent to the Director of Catholic Education. Fr Mackey obtained a PhD in 1963, with his doctoral dissertation later published as The Making of a State Education System. Fr Simmons called this work “one of this finest historical works ever produced in this country”. It dealt with events leading up to the passing of the Education Act in 1877. The book became a prescribed text for education students in New Zealand. Fr Mackey also played a major role in preparing the Catholic submissions for the Currie Royal Commission on Education. He also served on a UNESCO committee on education. In 1972, Fr Mackey was appointed to the faculty of Holy Cross College, Mosgiel, where he taught history for two years. The same year, he was named a prelate of honour by Pope Paul VI, with the title of Monsignor.

Marilla Ness

International singer Marilla Ness came to our 1997 Eucharistic Convention and wowed everybody with her beautiful singing voice.  We were limited to what we could record because of copyright issues but below is a recording of Marilla singing “As I Kneel Before You” which is recorded below. Marilla’s music can be seen on her website:

Rita Klaus

In 1997 Rita Klaus returned to tell more of her journey not only in Auckland but Wellington and Christchurch also.  In Auckland she talked about her “Journey to God through Suffering” and the “Need for Personal Prayer”.  Rita spoke to the youth also in 1997.  Below are video recordings of those talks.

Fr Tom Keyes

In 1998 Father Tom Keyes gave an excellent presentation at our Eucharistic Convention that year.  Unfortunately we do not have a recording of the talk which is a shame because the people loved him. The following article in the July 2005 Edition of Tui Moto has a lovely article about Fr Tom – enjoy the read. ——————————————————————- Marysville “I first came to Invercargill in 1956,” says Fr Tom sitting back in his homely den at St Theresa’s presbytery. “I was sent by my parish priest to be chaplain at the Borstal. The inmates there were all young offenders from 15 to 18, and they came from Wellington and the South Island. “I was also running a parish youth group and sometimes three members of the group would come and visit the Borstal with me. They discovered that the Borstal lads had nowhere to go when they were released, so they invited some of them to join them in their flat. “After a few months I asked the parish priest if I could have the use of a house which the church owned, previously occupied by Dutch immigrants. The three youth club members formed the nucleus of a new community. That is how Marysville started and I was there for 15 years. “It was a night-and-day existence – you had to be young to put up with it. The house held 30 young people and sometimes some of the lads wouldn’t come in at night so that meant waiting up. But I found great satisfaction in the work. Our motto was that of St Benedict – every guest was Christ. Everyone was welcome, young offenders as well as down-and-outs. A woman called Joan Smith came and cooked for them and she stayed over ten years. Fortunately jobs were plentiful in those days and I was always able to get them work. “The neighbours were amazingly tolerant. The lads could be pretty noisy. If they got depressed they would tend to revert to criminal behaviour. I remember once taking them up to Lake Wakatipu station where we were given use of the shearing quarters. The boys used to go out on the lake in canoes. One day a canoe didn’t return. I managed to get a plane to search, and we found them. “When we got them in, we found they had stolen cigarettes and grog from a car. Since the boys were still technically under Borstal supervision, I said they would have to go back to there. However, they managed to find another car and took off up the West Coast and were eventually caught in Blenheim. “One of those boys, Bill, was in and out of gaol for ten years, mostly for drug offences; then he went to varsity and obtained a BA. I helped him. Eventually he came back down to Invercargill and became my ‘minder’. Sadly, he lapsed into taking drugs again and had another short spell in prison. “He became very depressed. In prison he was locked in his cell for up to 21 hours a day for four months. Even on Christmas Day he had to eat his dinner in his cell. When they were out for recreation, all the other inmates talked about was sex and drugs, and what they would be up to when they got out. Their criminal behaviour is reinforced by prison, and often they become embittered. “Bill’s background was shocking. His adoptive father abandoned the home when he was very young. His mother died when he was 10. He spent a couple of years in a boarding school. Then boys’ home, Borstal, prison. Then to Marysville. He has never really been able to rise above his origins. Now he can see only failure in his life, and the result is he becomes totally depressed. When he phones me I say: ‘Come back to Invercargill’. I pray that he will keep in touch. “When these young men get on drugs they lose all conscience and it is so difficult ever to wean them completely off the habit. It’s worse than alcoholism. I feel that Bill probably has some sort of mental sickness as well, which makes him periodically depressed. When they are depressed, drugs provide some sort of escape from a dull, aimless sort of existence. “Nearly all of these boys come from dysfunctional families. That is the root cause. There has been no real love. Many of them don’t know how to love. “Bill thought he could be a saviour to other addicts after he had got a degree. In fact, they were his downfall. I pray every day for him and all these fellows. Three of them have taken their own lives. One of them was only 29 when he died. He had visited me three times that week; yet he gave me no sign what he was about to do. It was the saddest funeral I can remember.” Fr Tom’s present apostolate “These days I still have about 30 fellows in Invercargill whom I take an active interest in. About 20 come regularly to a house Mass on a Monday. Most of them would never go near a church normally. But they come, and it gives them a Christian community to belong to. They would feel unwelcome if they went to a normal Sunday Mass. “Fifty two weeks of the year they come. There are no holidays. Holidays are a disaster for these people. Everything closes down. They have no money to enable them to go away. They are God’s poor. Or as Mother Teresa said: ‘they are Jesus in the distressing disguise of the least of his brethren.’ “Take Ted. He is schizophrenic. He tried to kill his minister and went to gaol. He is out now. He came down to live in Invercargill because he thought ‘the Chinese were after him’ – and he wanted to get as far away as possible! Slowly he has come back to the Catholic Church. He loves going to communion, but

Fr Clement Machado

In 1998 Father Clement Machado gave three lively presentations which were much appreciated by the audience. He spoke about “The Value of the Confession”,  “Purgatory; Spirit of Forgiveness” and “The Work of Mother Angelica”.  All three video recordings of those sessions are available for viewing below.      

Jerry Morrin

Jerry Morin shared his many talents with us at our 1998 Convention – unfortunately we do not have a recoding of any of his presentations. A little bit about him: A professional singer, songwriter and musician, Jerry has entertained audiences throughout the country. After a profound conversion experience in 1988, he founded Respond Ministry, a Lay Apostolate. He is the Author/Composer of the To the World I, II & III music collections and author of To the World – the First Call and Live the Message booklet. An international conference speaker 1989 through 2005, he received a profound Second Call in 2009 and founded the Servants to the World Mission ( “Seeking and fulfilling God’s will is my only objective while I have life on this earth.” An example of Jerry’s beautiful musical renditions can be viewed in the following short video  

Fr David Halstead OP

Father David Halstead gave a presentation entitled “Holy Spirit in the Eucharist” at our 1998 Eucharistic Convention.  At the time Fr David was assigned to St Patrick’s Cathedral in Auckland. A member of the Dominican Religious Order, Fr David has held many positions in New Zealand, Australia and elsewhere over his years of service to the Lord as a Catholic priest. Unfortunately there was no recording available of Father Halstead’s talk which is unfortunate because it was riveting.  

Fr Steven Scheier

In 1998 Fr Steven Scheier gave two powerful presentations in Auckland at our Convention that year followed up by similar talks in Wellington and Christchurch. In his first talk Fr Steven told how he died, was called to judgement by God then sent back to tell his story entitled “A Priest is called to Judgement”.  In his second talk  Father Steven’s spoke about “What is Lacking in the Church Today”. Both of these videos can be viewed below

Joseph Moorman

1999 saw the first visit to our shores of the popular American Catholic singer Joseph Moorman.  Joseph came highly recommended and he did not disappoint. Unfortunately we do not have and recordings of his 1999 visit but Joseph returned in 2005 so we have posted two of his videos from that year on the speakers list of this website.  

Maria Treadaway

Maria Treadaway, a local singer from Auckland enthralled the audience with her beautiful voice at our Eucharistic Convention in 1999. This is a recording of her session.

Bishop Valerian D’Souza

Bishop Valerian D’Souza from Pune in India spoke at our Convention in 1999.  I was a privilege for us to have him as a guest that year. Unfortunately no recording is available of his talk that year. Bishop Valerian played the guitar also which was a surprise as we were not expecting him to have such musical talent. The video below shows Bishop Valerian playing his guitar at another event

Sherry Weddell

In 1999 Sherry Weddell gave two thought provoking presentations in Auckland followed by similar talks in Wellington and Christchurch. In her first Auckland talk she spoke about “The Lay Apostle Answering God’s call to Happiness” and in her second she addressed the subject “Living Our Call for the Sake of the World”. Videos of both talks are listed below    

Fr Stan Fortuna

In 1999 we were delighted to have Fr Stan Fortuna back on our programme following his very successful trip to our shores back in 1994.  We weren’t sorry, Father Stan was fantastic once again. He have two presentations, the first being “Serving the Poor in Christ”  followed up the following day by a talk about “The Corporal Works of Mercy”. In addition he preached the homily at the Saturday Mass and spoke to the youth on Saturday evening.  Needless to say his generosity of time was much appreciated. Available videos from that year are listed below

Fr Rory Morrissey

In 1999 Fr Rory Morrissey talked about “Mary Most Holy Favoured Daughter of the Father”   Father Rory was a great supporter of this event from the very start and the organisers are most grateful for his valuable input which helped sustain the event through often difficult times. The video below is a recording of that talk in 1999

Conna Cori Gibson

Donna Cori Gibson came to our Convention in the year 2000 to share her beautiful singing voice with us.  She is an amazing singing talent as I’m sure you will agree if you watch her videos below. Her first segment was entitled “When we Sing we Pray Three Times” and her second “I Will Sing to the Lord, All the Days of my Life”

Fr Michael Semana

Fr Michael Semana gave two presentations at our year 2000 Eucharistic Convention the videos of which you can see below. In his first talk Fr Mike spoke about “The Holy Trinity – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” and in his second “Faith, Hope and Charisty in the 21st Century”. NOTE:  The videos are wrongly labeled as EC2001 when they should be labeled EC2000

Tony Melendez

In the year 2000 we were fortunate indeed to be able to host Tony Melendez who has no arms yet plays the guitar with his feet as well as any able bodied person I know.  What an amazing person he is. Below you will find videos of two of his contributions to our event, the first is “Praise and Worship Music” and the second “Don’t Give up on Yourself”.

Tony Zuniga

Tony Zuniga came to our Convention in the year 2000 and had the audience spellbound as he delivered his two addresses.  The first was entitled “You Were Born for Greatness, Why Settle for Less” and the second “Stewardship”. View the videos below to experience something very special.

Fr Gio Belanich

Father Gio Belanich gave two memorable presentations at our 2001 Convention thet were remembered long after the curtain came down on the event. In his first talk Fr Gio spoke about “Serving the Poor and Disadvantaged” which is something he does on a daily basis, and in his second we heard him talk about “Taking Christ into the World.  You can see videos of both talks below.  

Al Barbarino

Al Barbarino joined up with Fr Gio Belanich to come to our 2001 Convention as they work together serving the poor and disadvantaged in our broken world. Unfortunately we do not have recordings of his presentations but his music is readily available online via his website:

Fr James & Sr Claire

Father James and Sister Claire Marie from the Oasis of Peace Community did a double presentation at our 2001 Convention entitled “Our Lady’s Call to Holiness”.  They held an attentive audience who quietly absorbed all they had to share.  Below is a video recording of their presentation

Babsie Bleasdell

In 2001 this beautiful woman Babsie Bleasdell (Aunty Babsie) set a challenge for those listening to “Use Our Gifts for God” and put our theories into practice. You can consider what she had to say by viewing the following videos

Fr Michael Moses

The goodness shone out from Father Michael Moses as he gave two presentations at our 2001 Convention. The first was entitled “Inter-generational Healing” and the second “The Eucharist; Food for our Charisms” Watch the videos below to hear what Father Michael had to say

Fr Anthony Bannon

In 2002 Father Anthony Bannon talked about Vocations in his first presentation and How to Discern the Call in his second.  Unfortunately we do not have recordings of these talks. A little bit about Fr Anthony: Fr Anthony Bannon was born on April 25, 1947, in Dublin, Ireland. He joined the LC novitiate in his home town on September 14, 1964. He made his first religious profession on September 15, 1966, and his perpetual profession on April 2, 1972. He was ordained a priest on December 24, 1975. He holds a license in philosophy from the Gregorian University. From 1971 to 1974 he was a dean at the Cumbres school and the Irish Institute school, both in Mexico City. In 1976 he worked as a chaplain to the youth section of Regnum Christi in Mexico City. From 1976-2011 he participated in various ministries in the United States, working as novice instructor in Orange, Connecticut (1976-1978), rector of the community of Orange – and, subsequently, Cheshire, Connecticut – (1978-1989), and as a vocations director and development officer (1976-2004).  He was the territorial director of North America from 1988 to 2004, and the territorial director’s assistant for religious life in that territory from 2005 to 2008. He was the superior of the community of apostolate in Dublin, Ireland, from 2011 to 2013. He is currently an assistant section director of the Regnum Christi men’s section in Mexico City. He has also been a member of the Central Commission for the Revision of the Constitutions since its inception in 2010. He is the author of the following books: Peter on the Shore, Vocation Questions and Answers, and Launch into the Deep.  

Sr Joan Hopkinson

Sr Joan attended almost every Convention since the beginning; she simply loved them. In 2002 we convinced he to talk about her life and what her vocation meant to her. Unfortunately we have no recording of this talk.  However, her family had one done which was shown at her requiem in 2011 that we think is very appropriate to share with you here.  

Frank & Linda Weterman

Local speakers Frank and Linda Weterman shared their story of married life with attendees as the focus was on vocations not only of priestly or religious life but the married and single state of life also. Unfortunately we do not have a recording of what they said which is a shame because their testimony was well worth hearing.  The attendees that year loved them.

Joe and Jean-Ann Hand

Most of us know them as the talent behind the song we hear weekly on Life on the Rock, but the partnership of Joe and Jean-Ann Hand goes way beyond this incredibly catchy theme song.  With eight CDs between them and a busy production studio business in Nashville, the Hands have found a way to combine their faith and their talent with incredible results.  Both in their own body of work and in the consultation Joe provides to other artists, the music they create is both inspiring and captivating. Along with their CDs, including Joe’s latest The Psalms, Jean-Ann is the creator of “Here with Me Now”, a musical tool aimed at teaching the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  I took time with Joe and Jean-Ann to catch up on their recent activities and am happy to share their perspective on their teamwork, their music, and the Catholic music industry. Joe says about himself:  I’m the 2nd of 4 Children, My dad is from Northern Ireland and my Mom is Italian. She was born in the states though. I grew up in South Florida. My family was always in church. When I was young, all of us played music in church. My mom led children’s choirs, and my brother played guitar, I played bass and keys, and my sister and brother sang. We were like the Von Trapp family of Catholic Music. I loved music, and was the only Hand to continue on with it. I went to the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and now I record music of all kinds at my studio in Nashville. Lots of Catholic fare recently. Jean-Ann says about herself:  I was born outside of Cleveland (Parma, to be exact) in what I later learned was one of the most Catholic areas of the country.  I wasn’t even aware there was anything besides Catholic until we moved to S FLA when I was about 10.  I was blessed with an amazing family, somewhat musical, very creative and free-spirited and of tremendous faith.  After spending some of my wild youth dating guys who were as far away as possible from where I truly belonged, meeting Joe jolted me back to awareness of who God created me to be.  His upbringing was so similar to mine.  We ended up being compatible on so many levels.  It’s been awesome. We could not record their presentations when they came to our Convention because of copyright issues – but they were good.

Scott Goudeau

Scott Goudeau came to our Convention with Joe and Jean-Ann Hand. He was backing guitarist for them but also took advantage of our offer to tell his own story of conversion; and what a story it is.  You can see a video of Scott’s talk that year below. The following story printed in the Diocese of Nashville website gives us a timely update of Scott’s life from then ’til now. —————————————————- January 30, 2015 by Briana Grzybowski, Tennessee Register Musician Scott Goudeau left behind a successful career in the secular world to focus on Scripture-based music. He is now the music director and RCIA director at St. Stephen Catholic Community in Old Hickory, and has a new album out, “All Things New,” that he will promote by leading local parish missions this winter. As a well-known rock musician in New Orleans, Scott Goudeau was playing guitar for the likes of Harry Connick Jr., Bernadette Peters and Englebert Humperdink. But God called him to follow a different path.   Now, Goudeau is creating music to immerse his listeners in Scripture and in the Catholic Church’s teachings.   His latest Christian album, “All Things New,” was released in November 2014.   An aficionado of many musical styles and a traveling musician since he was 15, Goudeau spent the next few decades of his life chasing stardom throughout South Louisiana and New Orleans. As a secular artist, he played alongside the Celestial Spring Jazz Quintet, the New Orleans Symphony Summer Pops Orchestra, and under bandleader Dick Stabile at the Fairmont Hotel in New Orleans.    “I had a good career in the secular music world,” Goudeau said. “I was well-known in the Louisiana music scene. I was playing for Allen Touissant and other famous local musicians. I was writing music. I had my own band. I was a producer. I was doing audio engineering. And I felt God calling me to step away from all of it. I talked to my family about it and they supported me. I didn’t play or do anything related to music for about 6 months.”   The next time he played again, he was helping to lead music for Mass at St. Margaret Mary Church in Slidell, Louisiana.   Since then, he has moved to Nashville and played alongside Catholic artists Greg Walton, Joe Hand and Delores Park. He has also made several appearances on EWTN and was a featured presenter at New Zealand’s Eucharistic Congress in 2004.   He is currently the music director and RCIA director at St. Stephen Church in Old Hickory, and is pursuing catechetical certification from the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio and from the Diocese of Nashville. He will earn his certifications in 2016.   “I wear two different hats at St. Stephen’s, but my two jobs there are related in a way. As an RCIA instructor, I’m trying to teach people about the faith. And as the music director preparing for the liturgy, I’m trying to connect the music for Mass to Scripture,” Goudeau said. “So I hope that the music I write teaches others about Catholicism, and that I can use it to hand on the faith to others in a clear and succinct way.”   In recording “All Things New,” he hoped to do just that.   “Some of my fellow parishioners encouraged me to record this album,” Goudeau said. “The title of it comes from a verse in the Book of Isaiah, Chapter 43, where God says He will make all things new. It’s not a concept album with a unifying theme, but all my music is rooted in Scripture and consistency in Church teaching. The most important thing I hope to convey is that my songs are true to the faith.”   To promote “All Things New,” Goudeau will be doing a series of parish missions across Nashville, beginning in February.   “Of course, I’ll do concerts at these events, but I really want the main focus to be on Scripture,” he said. “The music speaks for itself, and I am called to teach others about the faith. Overall, I really just want my music to bring the Gospel message correctly.”   Goudeau will lead a parish mission at St. Stephen on Saturday, Feb. 21, the first weekend of Lent. He also will be having a meet-and-greet at St. Mary’s bookstore in Nashville on Saturday, Feb. 28. He hopes to have a good-sized turnout at both events.    “All Things New” can be purchased at St. Mary’s, on iTunes, on, and on his website It can also be downloaded via Spotify. ———————————————————————————————-

Fr Paul Glynn SM

In 2003 our good friend Father Paul Glynn came across from Australia to give two presentations that had our audience sitting up and taking notice. Father Paul’s natural goodness shone through the message he had for us; watch the videos below to see what we mean. In his first talk Fr Paul spoke to the title “Forgive us as we Forgive Those” and his second he opened up the subject matter “The Eucharist, Source and Summit”.  

Mark Shea

Mark Shea returned to our event in 2003 following on from his first visit to our 1997 convention.  People asked for his return so we brought him back and he did not disappoint. In his first session he spoke to the subject matter “Home at Last” and in his second “Beyond Doubt”.  View both videos below  

Ted Hanley

Ted Hanley told his incredible story at Convention 2003, one that people have never forgotten. In his first presentation he spoke about the “Corporal Works of Mercy” and in his second the “Spiritual Works of Mercy. What he said can be viewed on the videos below

Robert Haddad

Robert Haddad joined us from Australia to talk about “The Tree of Life – God’s Food for Eternal Life”.  This was presented in two parts – the “Old Testament” in his first presentation and the “New Testament” in his second. Video recordings of the two talks are below.

Donna Lee

American singer Donna Lee who was past of the guest list at our first event in 1994 returned in 2003 to thrill the audience again as she had done some ten years prior. Unfortunately no recording of her 2003 presentations are available. However, we have put  up a video of her singing “Jesus I Trust in You” at another event for your enjoyment. All of Donna’s music is available from her website.  

Fr Linus Clovis

Fr. Linus F Clovis is a priest of the Archdiocese of Castries, St. Lucia in the West Indies.  He studied for the priesthood at the Angelicum in Rome and was ordained in 1983 by Blessed Pope John Paul II. Fr. Clovis is a qualified teacher and holds a doctorate in Mathematics and degrees in Theology, Canon Law and Latin Literature. He has served as dean of the Arts, Science and General Studies Faculty of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College and for seven years was principal of St. Mary’s College, St. Lucia. He is the archdiocesan spiritual director of the Legion of Mary in St. Lucia, through which he promotes devotion to Our Lady, especially that of the Rosary, the Perpetual Help novena, and the First Friday and FirstSaturday devotions.  Additionally, he has led outreaches to the neighbouring islands, and annual pilgrimages to Marian shrines in over fourteen different countries. He is also the spiritual director of the Population Research Institute and Family Life International and a versatile speaker on pro-life issues, Scripture, Mariology and on Catholic teaching in general.  Not only has he many talks and homilies on CD to his credit but he has made literary contributions to newspapers and international magazines and has published a book entitled “A Biblical Search for the Church Christ Founded.” He is currently the Director of the Secretariat for Family and Life in the Archdiocese of Castries, which works towards reestablishing family and family life on solid Christian principles in St. Lucia. In 2003, Fr. Clovis led the resistance to the St Lucia Government’s surreptitious legalization of abortion in his Catholic island and even refused Holy Communion to the head of state for having signed abortion into law. Fr. Clovis is the eldest of five brothers who are all actively in the pro-life apostolate. At our convention in 2004 Fr Clovis spoke about “Forgiveness, First Step to Conversion” the first day followed by “Forgiveness, an Ongoing Activity” the next day.  Unfortunately we do not have a recording of those talks

Paul Farge

In 2004 our good friend Paul Farge told this story that left everybody who heard him speak in tears.  Paul took the photos at our conventions in the early days and was editor and publisher of the Medjugorje News for many years until failing health saw him hand it over to Sarah Moran who continues producing the magazine to this very day (writing as of 28 May 2015) You are invited to watch the video to hear Paul’s story.

Brendan Roberts

In 2003 local author Brendan Roberts gave an overview of his book “God Fact or Fiction”.  Brendan kept his audience interested in what he had to say for the duration of his talk and many people ended up buying the book over the course of the weekend. Unfortunately we don’t have a recording of what Brendan shared with us that day but there is a snippet available to view on Youtube that you can view below. You can keep up to date with what Brendan is up to by visiting his website      

Janelle Reinhart

Janelle Reinhart was a welcome addition to our guest list in 2004 – the two videos below are a recording of her presentations at our event. Some more about Janelle: JANELLE has been one of Canada’s most successful Christian music artists over the past 10 years. By the time she was 25 years old, she’d sung for the Pope, the Queen of England and worked with music industry stars such as Michael W. Smith and David Foster. Janelle’s love of music started at a young age as her mother taught her old French folk songs and encouraged her to sing at church. By the time she was 14, she was the lead female vocalist in a praise and Worship band that gathered 400-600 youth once a month on Sunday nights. It’s here that in 1995, she met her dream guy, Jason Reinhart, who joined the band as the electric guitar player, when Janelle was only 15 years old. On July 10th, 1999, Jason and Janelle married at St. Emile’s Catholic Church in her small French hometown of Legal, AB. With Jason doing double duty as her manager and guitar player, Janelle was soon headed for unprecedented success. Her professional Christian music and speaking career was launched in 2002, when the 22 year old dynamo was chosen to be the World Youth Day theme song singer for Pope John Paul II’s visit to Toronto, Canada. There, the bilingual singer sang for the late pope and over 1 million people live, all the while being 7 months pregnant with their first son, Eric! At our 2004 event Janelle was backed by her husband Jason on guitar – what a great couple they make!

Steve Clifford

In 2004 we were so delighted to be able to host Steve Clifford who became Catholic from Mormonism after a long search for the truth. Steve says he found the truth in the Catholic Church – the videos below are recordings from his 2004 presentations the first being “Who Holds the Keys; Pope or Prophet?” and the second ” The Eucharist and Conversion of Souls”.    

Dame Jan Ruff-O’Herne

Father Paul Glynn recommended Dame Jan Ruff-O’Herne as an excellent speaker so we made contact with her and put it all together for our 2004 Eucharistic Convention. What a woman! Watch the videos below to listen to her incredible story. Some background on her The Dutch-born grandmother Jan Ruff-O’Herne was a sex slave for the Japanese military during World War II; at the war’s end she migrated to South Australia. In 1992 she agreed to be a witness at the international hearing on Japanese war crimes in Tokyo – the first European victim to speak out publicly about the war crimes – and helped make rape a war crime under the Geneva Convention. “It was so difficult to speak of my experience, it was the hardest thing in my life to do, but I’ve been able to do something with it, and all that suffering has not been wasted,” she says. “My suffering has given me the opportunity to speak, not only for the protection of women in war but of this beautiful faith that we’ve got and of forgiveness, at the international level as well as in Australia.”  

Fr Julian Studden

Father Julian Studden gave two very powerful presentations at our 2004 Eucharistic Convention.  “Applying Forgiveness” was the first and “Understanding Forgiveness” was the second. Unfortunately we do not have video recordings of Fr Studden’s talks from that event so we have included a video clip below of a talk he gave elsewhere. Fr Studden is a powerful preacher.  

Fr Al Winshman SJ

Father Al Winshman came to our 2004 Convention to speak about his work with Marian Renewal.  Unfortunately we do not have a recording of what he said that trip.  However, he did return in 2006 and their are two videos of his talks that year listed in that year group. Something about Father Winshman: Fr. Al entered the Jesuits in 1952 and consecrated his life “to Jesus through Mary” in the Demontfort consecration.  Ordained in 1965, he has taught high school and college chemistry and physics and served in a variety of marriage, retreat, and renewal ministries.  Fr. Al joined the Marian Movement of Priests in 1979, and entered into full time retreat ministry the following year.  He experienced a deep inner calling in 1984 to live and proclaim the Gospel centered message urged today by Our Lady at Medjugorje.  His retreatants invited him to their parishes and from this his Marian Renewal Ministry rapidly developed.  Since 1988 his Provincial superior has formally assigned him each year to this ministry to be available to parishes throughout the U.S. and the English-speaking world.  An experience retreat director, he preaches internationally on “Called to Discipleship with Jesus through Mary,” Our Lady’s apparitions and role in the Church today, and the Eucharistic through “Healing Masses.”  Any one interested in having Fr. Al come to their parish, prayer group or conference may contact Marian Renewal Ministry in Boston. Fr. Al will gladly share the Gospel and Our Lady’s call to peace wherever invited.  This ministry has taken him to date to 45 of the 50 U.S. states and ten other English-speaking countries from the British Commonwealth to the southern Pacific countries and from Canada to South Africa.  He has been spiritual director for over seventy pilgrimages which have taken him often to Medjugorje, Fatima, Lourdes and shrines of France and Belgium, Guadalupe, Rome and shrines of Italy, Holy Land, Betania and many other shrines.  Call, email, or write to him for further information or to book any of these renewal programs and his spiritual pilgrimages. More about Fr Al’s work can be found on his website:

Joseph Moorman

Joseph Moorman from USA enthralled the audience when he sang two segments at our 2005 Eucharistic Convention.  Joseph has a very special voice which he uses for the glory of God and it shows.  Videos of his two sessions are below:

Joseph Moorman

In 2004 Joseph Moorman gave two musical presentations at our Convention which were something extraordinary.  Joe was recommended to us by one of our attendees and he did not disappoint.  Unfortunately there is no recorning available of his 2004 presentation but he did return in 2005 – you can see his videos from that year in that year group.

Bishop Patrick Dunn DD

The Bishop of Auckland Patrick Dunn delivers the homily during the opening Mass for the Eucharistic Convention in 2005

Msgr Paul Cronin

Spiritual Advisor for the Eucharistic Convention Monsignor Paul Cronin delivered the homily during the Sunday Mass of the 2005 Eucharistic Convention.

EC2005 – Sunday Mass

This is a video recording of the Sunday Mass at our 2005 Eucharistic Convention

Briar Cornwall – Sung Rosary

The day Pope John Paul II died in 2005 we were celebrating our Eucharistic Convention. Briar Cornwall led this beautiful rosary in remembrance of this great Pope.

Sister Disciples of DM

The day Pope John Paul II died in 2005 The Sister Disciples of the Divine Master led exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at our Eucharistic Convention. It was a moving liturgy for those in attendance because our great Pope JPII encouraged this devotion with a passion.

Margaret & Gerry Smy

Margaret and Gerry Smy have been involved with the Eucharistic Convention since it began way back in 1994. Their unselfish and ongoing support of this work has been a major reason for its success. One of our speakers in previous years was Mr Tony Zuniga who, among other things, spoke about the Cursillo Movement he was involved with in the States. The concept of this movement struck a chord with Gerry and Margaret who consequently went to Australia to find out more about it. As a result they decided to explore the possibility of bringing the Cursillo movement to New Zealand. They met with Bishop Pat Dunn in Auckland to discuss possibilities and as a result of that meeting received permission to promote the movement in the Auckland Diocese. This video was recorded at our 2005 Eucharistic Convention.

Briar Cornwall sings

The beautiful song written by Robert Loretz and sung by Briar Cornwall is well worth a listen. This was sung at our 2005 Eucharistic Convention; and the people loved it.

Adoration – Fr Knight

As Catholics we believe that Jesus is really and truly present in the Eucharist. This is why we have devotions like the Holy Hour seen in this video that was recorded at our 2005 Eucharistic Convention. Note the reverence of those participating in this liturgy.

Josephine Reeves

In 2005 lawyer Josephine Reeves gave a beautiful presentation at our Eucharistic Convention. Here is the recording of that talk. Following is the promotional blurb used to advertise this talk pre our 2005 event. ————————————————————————————– A qualified Barrister and Solicitor, Mrs Josephine Reeves is President of Voice For Life (NZ) Inc. and has long been an advocate for human rights, particularly for the unborn and the vulnerable in society. For over 35 years, Voice For Life (formerly known as The NZ Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child) has defended the unborn against induced abortion and sought recognition for the serious health risks to women of this procedure and the negative impact on families. In more recent times, the organisation has been drawn into comment on the related issues of bio-technology and euthanasia, and has developed priority actions in five areas: the Unborn, Women’s Health, Families, the Old or Infirm and Bio-ethics. Voice For Life is a secular organisation, focused on ‘educating and informing, valuing and protecting all human life’. The vision of Voice For Life is, “A nation which is safe for all its peoples, from conception until natural death,” a goal, which Josephine believes, is ‘absolutely achievable’. Josephine is married with six children and has been active on a number of elected boards and groups including the National Council of Women, the Taranaki Hospital and Area Health Boards and Sacred Heart Girls’ College, New Plymouth.  

Fr Rory Morrissey

In 2005, the weekend Pope John Paul II died, Father Rory Morrissey led the Divine Mercy programme at our Eucharistic Convention. This is a video of that event.

Fr Neil Vaney SM

In 2005 Father Neil Vaney spoke at the Eucharistic Convention about his desire and intention to open the Catholic Discipleship College here in Auckland, New Zealand. The following promotional blurb advertised the talk that year. —————————————-­—————————————- Father Neil Vaney, SM, is a lecturer in Christian ethics at Good Shepherd College, New Zealand’s seminary. He has been working tirelessly for several years to launch a Catholic Discipleship College in New Zealand based on the incredibly successful John Paul II Bible School in Radway, Alberta, Canada. “I was there for two weeks in 2002 and was hugely impressed at the highly committed and skilled young Catholics they were turning out for mission in the Church in the world.” Father Neil is certain that we must launch a similar college in New Zealand to reach our youth who are becoming more and more isolated from virtually all community commitments. In his report on his visit to the “stunningly successful” John Paul II Bible School, Fr Neil wrote: “A prayer routine of three hours a day (including Mass) and deep commitments to the Sacraments (I have heard more confessions in the last 10 days than in the previous 10 months in New Zealand) also marks the place…” “…I was struck by the warmth and faith of these young people, their hugs, laughter and mutual ribbing freely given but within a clear framework of no dating or romantic attachments…” “…A young woman from Brazil (22) adopted by a Canadian family in 1992, told of her childhood from age 4-11. After seeing her mother murdered and chopped up by her stepfather, she was then subject to repeated physical and sexual abuse by him and his friends for the next six years. Escaping, she was put in a Catholic orphanage. She was touched by God at Mass and so began the long process of deliverance from her stepfather and adoption in Canada. Her last year of transformation at JPII saw her grow from a fearful, timid thing, quivering at the mere approach of any male, to a strong, dignified and powerful witness – quite miraculous in the deepest sense of the word.” Father Neil will talk about his dream of launching this type of Catholic Discipleship College in New Zealand With God’s grace, and the support of Convention go-ers, surely this can happen! Fr Neil holds an MA from the University of Canterbury, an STL from Gregorian University in Rome, and a PhD from the University of Otago. He has written articles for a variety of publications and has contributed to five previous books, including Catholic Dictionary of Social Justice, and Human Rights and the Common Good. In 2004 Fr Neil’s book Christ in a Grain of Sand was published.  

Fr Ken Hannon OMI

Father Ken Hannon  spoke about the Eucharist at our 2005 Eucharistic Convention. Following is the promotional blurb advertising his talk that year. Father Hannon is a Missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate from San Antonio, Texas. After ordination in 1972 he had the opportunity to engage in general parochial ministry in two U.S. parishes before being called to academic work. He has been teaching at Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio since 1979. His areas of concentration were Pastoral Theology, Systematics and Liturgical Studies, and these continue to be his areas of primary interest. Although Liturgy was a secondary specialization in his doctoral training, subsequent appointment to positions of liturgical responsibility at diocesan, regional and national levels shaped much of his academic and professional work. Pastoral Liturgy continues to be a primary focus of research and professional engagement especially as Convener of the Formation for Liturgy seminar of the North American Academy of Liturgy. Father Hannon’s recreational interests include classical music, theatre and literature. He has enjoyed playing most popular (US) sports; now that he is in New Zealand he hopes to learn to understand Cricket.

Annetta Moran

In 2005 Annetta Moran talked about her personal journey of Faith – she was awe-inspiring. You will enjoy this video of her testimony which took some courage to deliver on her part. Below is the promotional blurb used to advertise her talk at the convention that year. —————————————-­—————————————-­——— Mother of four adult daughters,teacher,. Christian politician, and tireless pro-life worker for 35 years with her husband Bernard – will speak about her conversion to the Catholic faith and her life as a Christian woman. She was born in Belfast. Raised a Presbyterian, she served as an elder in the Glenfield Presbyterian Church for a decade and as a worship leader for eight years. She became a Catholic in 2004. Annetta was vice president of the National Executive of the Voice for Life (formerly SPUC), and a member of the Auckland Executive. She worked for Family Life International for a year in education and media, and she has run pro-life workshops at various United Nations conferences internationally. She was Deputy Leader of the Christian Democratic Party, stood as a list candidate in 1996, and embarked on a speaking tour that covered the whole country. Annetta and husband worship at St Thomas More Church in Glenfield where she is a Minister of the Word.

Elizabeth Nguyen

The video below of this presentation is unique and inspiring. In 1999 I was introduced to Cardinal Nguyen van Thuan by Archbishop Valerian D’Souza of Poona in India. Archbishop D’Souza gave me a copy of the Cardinal’s book “Five Loaves and Two Fish” which was most absorbing for me. Having read the book I set about trying to entice Cardinal van Thuan to come to new Zealand to speak at one of our future conventions. The Cardinal responded by letter informing me that while he would love to come to New Zealand to share his story his health at that time was not good making such a long journey impossible; sadly he died a short time later. When the opportunity arose for the Cardinal’s youngest sister Elizabeth to make the journey to New Zealand to talk about her brother’s life we grabbed it with both arms. This video is a recording of Elizabeth’s address – what an amazing story she has. Following the the advertising blurb that was used to advertise her talk that year – ———————————­— She is the sister of the late Cardinal Francois-Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan. If his name rings a bell, it’s probably because Fr Paul Glynn spoke about him at previous Eucharistic Conventions. Elizabeth will give a talk about her late brother that she had planned to give in America. Elizabeth, the youngest of eight, left her native Vietnam in 1968. She was educated in Australia, and then made Canada her home. Married and the mother of three, Elizabeth has for years served on the Catholic Board of Education of Ontario and takes care of religious and family life programmes. She frequently gives talks on religious freedom. Her website offers a wealth of family information. (  

Fr David Knight

Fr David Knight came to speak at our 2005 Eucharistic Convention. The following is the promotional blurb to advertise his talk that year – below are recordings of his two presentations. —————————————-­—————————- Father David Knight is brought to the Eucharistic Convention this year by the Cursillo Group of Auckland led by Gerry and Margaret Smy. The organisers are very grateful to the Cursillos for their generous gesture on behalf of the Eucharistic Convention this year. David Knight was born in Dallas, TX in 1931. After studying and working in Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, Texas, Washington, and Lyon, France, he was ordained in 1961. He lives in Memphis, TN with his dog Hup. He runs His Way House center for Spiritual Growth and teaches in the Diocese of Memphis Institute for Liturgy and Spirituality. He is retired as pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church. After ordination Fr. Knight served as a missionary to the Ngama people in Danamaji, Chad for three years. His work included providing pastoral care, teaching, helping with agricultural and construction projects and basic first aid. Upon Fr. Knight’s return to the United States he earned a Doctorate in Sacred Theology (STD) at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. His doctoral dissertation “The Implictions for Spiritual Theology of Karl Rahner’s Theology of Renunciation Studied in the Light of His Concept of Man” was the foundation for his book series Cloud by Day, Fire by Night vols. 1, 2 & 3. In the years after Vatican II he led many workshops and retreats on the vows for religious communities. In 1977, St. Anthony Messenger Press published Fr. David Knight’s first book addressed to the laity. His Way: An Everyday Plan for Following Jesus was one of the first books to answer Vatican II’s call to the laity to strive for perfection and renew society. The laity’s response to this book spawned discussion groups, parish missions, retreats and more books including To Follow His Way : A Renewal Program For Parishes, Small Groups, Individuals (St. Anthony Messenger Press 1980). Dimension Books and Our Sunday Visitor Press Have also published his books. Fr. Knight has written articles for U.S. Catholic, Marian Helper, The Sign, America, and Common Sense. Fr. Knight has given talks, missions, retreats and workshops in Australia, Canada, England, Ecuador, Germany, Guam, Guatemala, Haiti, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Spain and throughout the United States. His book, Reaching Jesus: 5 Steps to a Fuller Life (1998) was written in response to requests to update His Way based on 20 years of teaching it and talking to people. Fr. Knight is now finishing Immersed in Christ: A Journey in Five Steps. This program is a course in spiritual formation for the laity. Fr. Knight taught in High Schools in Florida and Louisiana and at Catholic University, Loyola University, Christian Brothers College (University), and Memphis Theological Seminary (Cumberland Presbyterian). When Fr. Knight is not presiding at Mass, anointing the sick, visiting the imprisoned, burying the dead, writing, praying or teaching he enjoys reading, sleeping, eating and driving his tractor.    

Fr Chris Skinner SM

Father Chris Skinner is a priest of the Society of Mary in New Zealand. In a world that is searching for spirituality, the music of Fr Chris Skinner has a growing and well deserved audience. A Marist priest, he is both a singer and song-writer. Some of his songs blend into our liturgical celebrations while others are more suited to times of quiet reflection. A thread running through most of his music however is its ability to touch our souls. In 2005 Fr Chris gave two presentations at our Eucharistic Convention – the videos below are recordings of his  presentations given the same weekend Pope John Paul II died.

Bishop Patrick Dunn DD

Bishop Patrick Dunn DD giving the homily during the opening Mass at our Eucharistic Convention in 2006  

Len Barbour

In 2006 local man Len Barbour gave a beautiful presentation where he spoke about the “Rosary and the Cross”.  Unfortunately we do not have a recording of that presentation but the attendees soaked it up. In 2006  

Msgr Paul Cronin

In 2006 Monsignor Paul Cronin gave the homily during the Sunday Mass that weekend. This venerable priest of God gave a very special homily at every Mass he celebrated – watch this video and you will see what I mean. John Porteous

Grant Somerville

In 2006 Grant Somerville spoke about prayer and the Chaplet of Mercy as written in the diary of St Faustina. Grant shares some lovely insights into St Faustina’s work. This video is a “must view” for serious students of the Divine Mercy devotion.  

Maia Rose

Maia Rose is the ‘miracle baby’ of the Eucharistic Convention. Born to Daniel and Melanie Scott in 2005 little Maia Rose was an absolute delight as first born to the Scott family. Not long married, the good Lord blessed Daniel and Melanie with this delightful little daughter whose arrival into the world was awaited with great expectation by her doting parents, her excited grand parents and extended family. In addition to Maia Rose’s relatives, there were friends galore around the world waiting expectantly for this delightful new arrival to make her presence felt in the world. “Hurrah; the babe is born!” was the catch phrase once this delightful little girl arrived on planet earth! For the first few hours all was well; family and friends fussing around trying to absorb the mystery of it all. It seemed the whole world was delighted with this new arrival. Celebrations aplenty ensued. Then, without warning, some sad news. All was not well with little Maia Rose. Delight changed to concern, concern initiated action. Maia Rose required surgery; and fast. Realising the gravity of the situation, the parents and grand parents asked for prayer for this lovely little girl. This is where the Eucharistic convention community came in to assist. Through the ‘e-prayer’ facility available via the Eucharistic convention website, prayers were canvassed from the members therein. Heaven was stormed day and night through this difficult time for little Maia Rose. This prayerful activity was of great solace to Daniel and Melanie in this difficult time for them. Time moved on, operations were carried out to rectify the problem. A positive result was achieved much to the relief of all concerned. There is a lesson for us in all of this. All we need to do is look at the picture of Maia to learn it. Sometimes we have to fight to live, and Maia, just born, had that challenge from day one. Fight she did, and win she did, and more power to her arm for such an attitude; for that is what saved her! Prayer assists, but it is not magic, it simply ignites the fighting spirit within us all to affect the solution. Just look at Maia’s attitude, she’s got those little arms out ready to fight; look out Mohammed Ali! Thank you Maia Rose for showing us your courage in the face of adversity. It was you who won the battle. Daniel and Melanie were so overwhelmed by the generosity shown them by members of the convention ‘e-prayer’ facility that they are bringing their precious ‘bundle of joy’ little Maia Rose Scott to Convention 2006 to say a big ‘thank you’ to all concerned. Daniel and Melanie have a story to tell that will touch the very core of your being. I have provided but an outline of the story in this description of the event, the whole story is not to be missed. God really does answer prayer if we only bother to ask Him. Daniel and Melanie did, come along and hear their story and get a glimpse of their beautiful little baby in the process.

Fr Greg Homeming OCD

In this presentation Father Homeming talks about St Terese and Carmelite spirituality. Fr Greg Homeming was born in Sydney. He is an Australian of Chinese grandparents. After completing high school he took degrees in Economics and Law at the University of Sydney. After working as a lawyer in a Sydney law firm for five years, Greg Homeming made a massive change in lifestyle when in 1985 he joined the Discalced Carmelite Friars, a contemplative Roman Catholic religious order. He completed his novitiate training in 1987 and went on to obtain his theology degree at the Melbourne College of Divinity and an MA in philosophy at the University of Melbourne. He was ordained as a priest in 1991. In his first presentation Fr Greg spoke about “Carmelite Spirituality” and in his second “The Sacrament of the Cross”.  Videos of these talks are included below.   In 2006 when Father Homeming gave these presentations he was the provincial superior of the Discalced Carmelites in Australia and Oceania.

Fr Al Winshman SJ

Fr. Al Winshman, S.J. – of Boston, Massachusetts, spoke at our 2006 Eucharistic Convention giving two presentations. His first talk was entitled “Our Lady and the Cross” and his second “Our Cross our Gift”.  Video recordings of bot these talks are listed below.

Fr Peter Girard OP

In 2006 Father Peter Girard gave three presentations at our convention. He gave the opening address at our convention that year when he spoke about  “Accepting the Cross”. The next day his presentation was entitled  “Why St Dominic Wept” and his final talk was entitled “Our Cross Day by Day”.  Video recordings of these talks as below.    

Secretary Jim Nicholson

In 2006 a previous US Ambassador to the Vatican and the then US Secretary of Veterans Affairs came to our Convention to give two presentations. They are both included below. On October 16, 2003, Pope John Paul II named the Honorable James Nicholson a Knight of the Grand Cross of the Order of Pius IX. The Grand Cross is the highest papal award given to a layman who is not a head of state. Jim Nicholson was born during the Great Depression in 1938, the third child of seven, and raised on a tenant farm in Struble, Iowa. Like most poor American families, the Nicholsons knew that a good education would create opportunity and Jim worked hard to earn an appointment to the Unites States Military Academy. He notes his Army service as the defining experience in his life, imbuing him with a sense of duty, honor, and country. After graduation from West Point, Nicholson served 8 years as an Army Ranger and paratrooper, then 22 years in the Army Reserve, retiring with the rank of full colonel. As a Ranger in Vietnam, he earned the Bronze Star Medal, the Combat Infantry Badge, the Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Vietnamese Cross for Gallantry and two Air Medals. Nicholson also holds a master’s degree in public policy from Columbia University in New York and a law degree from the University of Denver. He practiced law with a major Denver law firm and after two years of practice, became a partner, specializing in real estate, municipal finance, and zoning law. Leaving the law in 1978, he founded Nicholson Enterprises, Inc., a developer of master planned residential communities. In 1987, he bought Renaissance Homes, which has become a nationally known, award-winning builder of high quality custom homes. Nicholson’s success in business was matched by his contributions to his community. He served three years as Chairman of the Volunteers of America in Colorado, which is the largest faith-based social service agency in the Rocky Mountain States. He chaired the Community Concerns Committee of the Denver Bar Association, he provided leadership to the Listen Foundation; and his service on the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission, and many other non-profit endeavors have earned him the stature of one of Colorado’s outstanding leaders. In 1999, Nicholson was honored by induction as a Knight in the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, one of the highest honors awarded to a Roman Catholic. In 2000, Nicholson was given the prestigious Horatio Alger Award, recognizing his climb from humble beginnings to a position of success, which has enabled him to serve others in America now less fortunate. Among community honors, Irish America magazine has named him one of the top 100 Irish Americans in the country. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Public Service, Honoris Causa, by Regis University in Denver in May of 2001. On August 10, 2001 Nicholson was sworn-in as the sixth U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, and presented his credentials to the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II on September 13, 2001. Since assuming his post in Rome, Nicholson has organized an international conference on human trafficking, which attracted over 400 people from 35 different countries to talk about the human rights dimensions of 21st century slavery. On May 17, 2002 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the prestigious John Cabot University in Rome, Italy, and on January 7, 2003 he was presented with the coveted President’s Medal from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. On October 16, 2003, Pope John Paul II named him a Knight of the Grand Cross of the Order of Pius IX. The Grand Cross is the highest papal award given to a layman who is not a head of state. Nicholson has become a forceful advocate for human rights and American humanitarian concerns worldwide, with particular emphasis on trafficking in persons, religious freedom in Russian and China, as well as the acceptability of American genetically modified food to feed the 800 million starving and undernourished people in the world. He works closely with his bilateral partners in the Vatican on these issues, as well as those of war and peace and religious reconciliation. In November 2002, Nicholson had his first book published, which is entitled “The United States and the Holy See — The Long Road.” It is the history of the diplomatic relationship between the United States of America, the temporal superpower, and the Vatican, the spiritual superpower, dating from 1788 to the present.  

Fr Chris Brady

At our 2007 Eucharistic Convention local priest Father Chris Brady who at the time looked after Devonport Parish on the North Shore of Auckland City spoke about devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Both of these devotions once popular in our Church are now not so popular for one reason or another. In this video Father Chris encourages us to participate in these devotions as part of our spiritual life in the 21st Century..

Bishop Patrick Dunn DD

Bishop Pat gave the homily at the opening Mass of the 2007 Eucharistic Convention

CDC Pupils

In 2007 Father Neil Vaney SM spoke about the progress made in establishing the Catholic Discipleship College in Auckland in the two years following his talk at the 2005 Eucharistic Convention where he spoke about his dreams and aspirations in respect of this great apostolate. In this video he is joined by students of year 2007 – you will see for yourself what CDC is all about by watching this presentation. Following is the promotional blurb from the 2007 advertising package promoting the event that year ——————————————————————– Twenty-three years ago a small group of priests and lay people shared a dream. Two years ago at the Eucharistic Convention, Father Neil Vaney talked about that dream. And last month, the dream was realised with the opening of Catholic Discipleship College at St Joseph’s Centre in Takapuna. “Though modeled on a Canadian initiative — the John Paul II Bible School in Radway, Canada — the CDC spirit, dream and philosophy are utterly kiwi. We hope to copy the successes of the early Marist missionaries who came to this land,” says Fr Neil, CDC’s principal. Seven students, men and women ages 18-49, are enrolled in the full-time, nine-month course. Each week a new topic is delivered by a skilled teacher from the Catholic community. CDC is more than a dream, it is a miracle. Fr Neil and one or more CDC students will explain why this dream is so important to them and to New Zealand. “At the very heart of CDC lies the desire to spread the gospel of Jesus.”  

Fr Andrew Matthew

At our 2007 Eucharistic Convention local priest Father Andrew Matthew who is the Parish Priest of Holy Family Parish in Te Atatu, a suburb of Auckland City spoke about seeing the Face of Christ in Parish life. At the time this video was filmed Father Andrew was Spiritual Director for the Legion of Mary and a member of the Diocesan Vocations Team.

Msgr Paul Cronin

I n 2007 Monsignor Paul Cronin the spiritual director of the Eucharistic Convention spoke about seeing the face of Christ in the community. Whenever he spoke people listened because he was a wise man with a vision that was unique and far reaching; the Eucharistic Convention is testament to that. Watch this video and you may see what I mean – John Porteous

Brad and Jo

Brad and Jo gave this beautiful testimony at our 2007 Eucharistic Convention. Following is the blurb that was written to promote their talk that year. Once Brad Larsen converted to the Catholic faith at age 17, he pretty much decided that he would be a priest. “What better way could there be to serve God?” he figured. Brad went to Holy Cross Seminary from 2001-2004 and ended up becoming fast friends with fellow seminarian Ken Joblin, who happened to be blind. In addition to learning about spiritual things at seminary, Brad’s friendship with Ken also taught him heaps about life without sight; and that prepared him for a future he could not see. In 2005 Brad took a year out to discern once and for all whether he had a vocation to the priesthood. Even though being a priest had been his dream for a decade, he had just about decided that it was only a dream, and not a vocation. His decision became even clearer when he attended Hearts Aflame and met a devout young Catholic woman named Jo Burnett who happened to be partially blind. Their first official date was on Christ the King Sunday, and things progressed from there in God’s time. The couple have decided they are called to the vocation of marriage and plan to walk down the aisle in December. This video of their testimony at the 2007 Eucharistic inspiring.

Tony Cavit

In 2007 local man Mr Tony Cavit from the Beachhaven Parish in Auckland gave a beautiful presentation about the Devotion to Divine Mercy. This Devotion is relevant to our day in particular so it does us well to check it out for ourselves. Watch this video if you want to learn about this Devotion because Tony explains all about it in a manner that is easy to understand.

Michael Pervan

Michael Pervan is a sacred artist and iconographer. If there’s one thing he wants to teach Catholics, it’s this: “They can see with the eyes of the soul, now, through the eyes of Faith. And icons are to the eye what Holy Scripture is to the ear.” At the time this video was recorded Michael had been working full-time for the previous 18 months restoring precious artworks from the Auckland Catholic Cathedral, and creating quite stunning new ones, some made out of marble sourced from the same quarry used by Michelangelo. Now in 2012 the work at the Cathedral is complete and the finished product is testament to the dedication of Michael Pervan in his service to the Lord through sacred art. He decided to devote himself full-time to this calling when he had a deep revelation that Our Lord had a simple message for him: “Paint my portrait, Michael, and paint it often.” Michael’s workshop is located behind St Joseph’s Centre in Takapuna, Auckland. In this video you will see Michael bringing and artwork to life as he talks to the subject matter: “Lord, let me see Your Face”.

Bishop Pat & Fr Rory

Bishop Patrick Dunn and Father Rory Morrissey of the Diocese of Auckland, New Zealand, celebrating the Auckland Diocesan Divine Mercy Devotion on Divine Mercy Sunday at our 2007 Eucharistic Convention

Cardinal McCarrick

At our 2007 Convention Cardinal Theodore McCarrick gave the opening address, thw presentations and finally preached the homily at two of the Masses.  He has a great sense of humour as you will see in the recorded videos of all of his presentations that year which are included below.  

Sr Dianna Ortiz OSU

After making her final vows as an Ursuline nun, Sister Dianna Ortiz became a missionary in Guatemala in 1987 and dedicated herself to teaching the Mayan children of San Miguel Acatan. This simple decision would place Dianna in the heart of unforeseen and incredible danger and alter the course of her life. In Guatemala, while working with people who had been victimized by one of the most oppressive regimes of Latin America, she received warning to stop her work and to leave the country. She did not heed the warning. As a result, on November 2, 1989, she was abducted and forced to endure unspeakable horrors of torture. While under torture Sr. Dianna made a promise to those whose screams of pain she heard: “If I survive, I will never forget you. I will tell the world what I have seen and heard.” In 2007 Sister Dianna came to New Zealand to share her story – both videos of her talks that year are included below. Truly, Sister Dianna Ortiz is one of the most courageous and inspiring women I have ever met. JOHN PORTEOUS  

Deacon David Marshall

Deacon David Marshall spoke at our Eucharistic Convention in 2008 where he talked about the Catholic Diaconate – the theme for the 2008 Convention was “Hope”, Deacon Dave’s  talk was entitled “Hope in the Diaconate”  

Mons Cronin – Fr Rory

This video was taken at our 2008 Eucharistic Convention with Monsignor Paul Cronin and Father Rory Morrissey during the blessing of the Divine Mercy Image.

Cathy Jenke

Cathy Jenke is a well known personality in New Zealand Christian broadcasting. Cathy has been a presenter on Radio Rhema for a number of years, and has also been involved with Focus on the Family. At our 2008 Eucharistic Convention Cathy spoke about her own faith experience; the subject matter was “Hope, Seek and You Shall Find”

Fr Raymond Gawronski

Father Ray Gawronski is a native of New York City, Fr Gawronski lived around the world before settling down as a Jesuit of the Maryland Province. Building on earlier graduate work in the religious traditions of Asia and of Eastern Christianity, he completed his doctorate at the Gregorian University in Rome, specializing in the thought of Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar. His research in this area was published as Word and Silence: Hans Urs Von Balthasar and the Spiritual Encounter of East and West (William B. Eerdmans Publishers). For 13 years Fr Gawronski was on the faculty of Marquette University in Milwaukee, where he taught courses in Christian discipleship, mystical theology, world religions, eschatology, and, the thought of von Balthasar. Currently he is on the faculty of the Saint John Vianney Seminary in Denver, where is also a spiritual director. In addition to his work as professor, he has done much work as a retreat director. Father Gawronski gave a series of three talks during our Eucharistic Convention in 2008. In his first session which was the opening address for our convention that year Fr Gawronski talked to the subject matter “Hope Springs Eternal” followed by “Hope, Lost in False Expectations” on the Saturday concluding with “Hope, the Restoration” to conclude his contribution to our event that year. View the video recordings of all sessions below

Fr Chris Riley

Father Chris Riley AM, who spoke at our Eucharistic Convention in 2008 was named NSW Australian of the Year 2012. Twenty years ago, Father Chris Riley founded Youth Off The Streets (YOTS) with a single food van delivering meals to young homeless people in Kings Cross. Today it is a major agency assisting young people aged 12 to 21 who are homeless, face drug and alcohol dependency, exclusion from school, neglect and abuse. Chris estimates the organisation has helped over 50,000 young people with accommodation, education, psychological services and drug and alcohol rehabilitation. And it is his determination, unstinting hard work and respect for both the clients and his 250 staff, that has guaranteed the success and effectiveness of YOTS. Chris believes there is no such thing as ‘a child born bad’ but that they become vulnerable in unsafe environments and circumstances. But with intervention and education, lives can be turned around. In 1997 he opened Key College, an independent high school pioneering a flexible education model to help young homeless people return to school. YOTS now operates Key College on three separate campuses with a fourth school in the Southern Highlands. Twice the winner of the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence, and the winner of the Human Rights Medal. Chris continues to help disadvantaged Australians with selfless dedication, respect and good humour. Below are videos of the talks Father Chris talks gave at our event in 2008

Michael Mardon

Michael Mardon from the New Zealand Bible Society has been a regular attendee at our conventions. Michael has a promotional stall where he displays the great work done by the Bible Society of New Zealand. In this video Michael talks about his work.  

Robert Loretz Choir

The Robert Loretz Choir have made an incredible contribution to our conventions over many years. Robert was named New Zealand’s most inspiring teacher in 2011. We are indebted to this man in so many ways that a simple thank you doesn’t seem adequate. These short videos taken during our 2009 convention will give some insight into the incredible talent of this humble teacher.  

Fr John Flader

In 2009 Father John Flader was Director of the Catholic Adult Education Centre in Sydney, Australia. Father John came to our convention to give two presentations entitled “Unless the Lord Build the House” which Fr Flader spoke to the first day and on day two he concluded with “They Labour in Vain Who Build it”. Father Fladder also gave the homily during one of the convention Masses – video recordings are included below.

Dr Mark Miravalle

Dr Mark Miravalle, husband, permant deacon, and father of eight, earned his Sacred Theological Doctorate at the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas in Rome. Dr Miravalle is a respected lecturer in Mariology. Dr Miravalle spoke about  “Our Lady as Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocote” in his first presentation and “Our Lady ad Mediatrix of Mercy” in his second talk.  See videos below  

Fr Rory Morrissey

Father Rory Morrissey is a priest of the Diocese of Auckland in New Zealand. Since the very beginning of these Conventions Father Rory has been there leading the celebrations of Divine Mercy at these events. In 2009 Father Rory was celebrant and homilist at our convention on Divine Mercy Sunday – here is the video of that homily.

Sr Trish Franklin

Of its essense our Catholic Faith is about service. There are plenty of people out there who target the Church for discreditation because of various indiscretions by one or some of its members or because of the moral codes that the Church demands of its members. “If they only knew” are the words that ring in my ear as verbalised by the late great Monsignor Paul Cronin of the Auckland Roman Catholic Diocese. Sister Trish Franklin is a supreme example of the sacrificial nature of her vocation of a religious sister who has given her life up to serve those less fortunate than herself. We all know about the heroic deeds of Mother Teresa – we have a duplicate here in Sister Trish Franklin who in this video taken at our 2009 Convention talks about her work among the poorest of the poor. Forget about the rubbish various contemporary world leaders, politicians and indeed ‘Catholic by Name’ individuals heap on our beloved Church; for they are out of order. Rather, watch this video and thank God for a Church that would enable Sister Trish Franklin and many others like her serve the down and out in a manner befitting the sacrifice made by Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in Whom all things are possible.

Mary Eileen Russell

In 2009 we were privileged to host Catholic author Mary-Eileen Russell. In this video Mary-Ellen talks about her first historical novel Trianon which was published under her pen name “Elena Maria Vidal”. Of this novel Mary-Eileen comments: “One of the reasons I wrote Trianon is that I kept encountering educated people who really thought that Marie-Antionette said ‘Let them eat Cake’……” Watch the video below for the real story. In the second video Mary-Ellen talks about her Sequel to Trianon, a novel of Royal France, entitled MADAME ROYALE which was also published under her pen name “Elena Maria Vidal”. MADAME ROYALE is the epic saga of Marie-Antoinette’s daughter, Marie-Thérèse-Charlotte. The period which follows the fall of Napoleon Bonaparte, called by historians “the Bourbon restoration” (1814-1830), was outwardly one of rest and peace for France. Yet beneath the surface, the forces of revolution were engaged in a ruthless duel for power with those of the reaction. At the center of the drama one woman, consumed by a quest for love and restoration, struggles to survive amid deception and betrayal. A tale of murder, mystery and secret romance, the novel searches the conflicted heart of the orphaned princess who from childhood had been called “Madame Royale.”  

Msgr Paul Cronin RIP

Little did we know it but 2010 was the last time our incredible spiritual director Monsignor Paul Cronin would be with us guiding the ship.  The Lord took him home to the Father in December of that year. Monsignor Cronin had a great devotion to the Mother of God from whom he drew much strength.  It has been our privilege to have known such a man. The two videos below are recordings of Monsignor Cronin’s last two contributions to the Eucharistic Conventions which he helped establish and sustain; Rest in Peace our good friend.  

Cardinal Arinze

Cardinal Francis Arinze Prefect-emeritus of the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments came to New Zealand in 2010 to speak at our Eucharistic Convention that year and to participate in events arranged by Colleen Bayer of Family Life International. See included here videos of his homily from the opening Mass and also the presentations he gave during the main event.

Bishop Patrick Dunn DD

Bishop Pat gave the homily during the Mass on the Saturday of our 2010 Eucharistic Convention.  

Fr Rory Morrissey

Father Rory Morrissey has been coordinating the Divine Mercy segment of these Eucharistic Conventions since they began. This video is one of best on Divine Mercy I have ever seen. While there are a lot of lay people promoting this devotion and admirably so, a Catholic priest adds a different dimension to these devotions by virtue of their priestly ordination. Father Rory is a holy priest who lives his Faith without compromise. That fact is evident in this video.

Robert Loretz

Robert Loretz led his choir once again at our 2010 convention – here are a couple of video recordings for your enjoyment

Fr Paul Glynn SM

Father Paul Glynn has been to our convention a number of times. He loves his vocation which is very obvious when you hear him speak. Recently he said this: When we were leaving the seminary as new priests we were bluntly told: “Don’t be a linen priest – a priest who doesn’t prepare with prayer, but goes straight from the bed linen, to the altar linen, to the breakfast table linen. If you want the Mass to give spiritual energy to yourself and your people so that living the Gospel becomes alive, joyful and creative, then do what Jesus did. He kept breaking away from doing things like preaching, healing and talking to people, to find time to converse alone with his Father. If praying alone is not a central part of your life you will end up like that useless gong that St Paul told the Corinthian Christians not to become. Much noise maybe, but no lasting harvest. Enjoy this video recorded at our 2010 Convention.

Barbara McGuigan

Barbara McGuigan is one of the foremost pro-life, pro-chastity educators in the English-speaking world. She is the founder of VOICE OF VIRTUE INTERNATIONAL, a non-profit entity dedicated to spreading the Gospel of Life to a world in crisis. As the President of VVI, she explains the timeless teachings of Holy Mother Church lovingly and without condemnation, while never wavering from the full truth. This video was taken at our 2010 Eucharistic Convention when Barbara spoke about “The Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus”

Magda Brown

Magda Brown was just 17 years old in June 1944 when she and her family were herded into a sweltering cattle car with about 80 other people. They had little food, no water and no idea of their destination. The journey ended at Auschwitz Concentration Camp. After the war how did Magda and other survivors adjust to society after such a tragic ordeal? Watch these videos to find out.

Archbishop Charles Balvo DD

In 2011 we were blessed to be able to have hosted the Apostolic Nuncio to New Zealand Archbishop Charles Daniel Balvo DD. Below are videos of the Archbishop’s presentations.    

Fr Allan Jones SM

Fr Allan gave the homily during the Mass on Sunday morning at our 2011 Convention.

Fr Rory Morrissey

Fr Rory Morrissey leading the Divine Mercy liturgy during our 2011 Eucharistic Convention

Young & Prolife

Young Aucklanders sing their brand new song: “A Brand New Day”

Annie Karto

A beautiful person inside and out – we were so blessed to have persuaded Annie Karto to make the trip down to New Zealand to share her incredible talents with us. The videos below of her presentations at our 2011 Convention speak for themselves; you are invited to enjoy them yourself.        

Ron Tesoriero

In 2011 Ron Tesoriero came to New Zealand to speak at our Eucharistic Convention; as he says: Belief is difficult. Sometimes we need to see to believe. Jesus was gentle with Thomas and his doubts. He allowed him to touch His wounded heart. Is He doing the same for us now, in this new millennium? A statue of Christ mysteriously weeps and bleeds in Cochabamba, Bolivia In the same city Katya Rivas experiences the wounds of the crucifixion of Christ, the stigmata. Although theologically uneducated she writes profound teachings which she says are dictated by Christ. In Argentina, a communion host (bread) changes to living flesh. Are these claims true? Is it the body and blood of Jesus Christ? What does Science have to say?  

Fr Don Calloway

How is a die-hard agnostic transformed into a fervent apostle of Christ? Fr. Donald Calloway, a former drug dealer, will have you on the edge of your seat as he candidly shares the amazing story of how he was unexpectedly led into the Catholic Faith and to the priesthood by God’s grace and the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. His conversion can be compared to that of St. Augustine. Formerly titled: Former Drug Dealer to Catholic Priesthood  

Colleen Bayer

The Director of Family Life International in New Zealand Mrs Colleen Bayer gave the opening address at our 2012 Eucharistic Convention as well as two other informational talks over the course of the weekend.  All videos are included below.  

Bishop Patrick Dunn DD

Homily by the Bishop of Auckland, New Zealand, Bishop Patrick Dunn DD, given at the Mass to open the 2012 Eucharistic Convention.

Robert Loretz

We invite you to enjoy some of Robert Loretz’s 2012 contributions recorded below.    

Ellyn von Huben

Eucharistic Convention, Auckland, New Zealand, 2012 presentations by Ellyn von Huben who came to our Convention from USA where she is a regular contributor to Fr Robert Baron’s ‘Word on Fire’ website. Here Ellyn talks about her conversion to the Catholic Faith in her first segment and take a critical look at Lady Gaga’s catch-phrase “Born that Way” in her second.    

Steven Mosher

Eucharistic Convention, Auckland, New Zealand, 2012 Presentation by Steven Mosher who came to our Convention from USA to talk of his experiences in China as a young social scientist. Such was the impact of what he experienced in China Steven began to explore the mystery of life more deeply beginning a journey that would eventually lead to his conversion to the Catholic Faith.  

Fr Andy Davy MIC

Eucharistic Convention, Auckland, New Zealand, 2012 Presentations by Father Andy Davy MIC who came to our Convention after having been recommended by Father Donald Calloway from the same religious order who spoke at our convention last year.   You are invited to watch the video recordings listed below that were given at our 2012 Convention.  

Fr Paul Nicholson

Presentation by Father Paul Nicholson who came to our Convention from the diocese of London, Ontario, Canada.  You are invited to watch the video recordings of his presentations at our 2012 Eucharistic Convention included below.  

Dame Colleen Bayer

Dame Colleen Bayer gave the opening address at our 2013 Eucharistic Convention.  You can view the video recording of her talk below.

Sr Veronica Mary

Sister Veronica Mary who is a member of the religious community Sisters of Life gave this outstanding presentation entitled “The Charism of Life” on Saturday 6th April 2013 at our Eucharistic Convention. This is a recording of that presentation.

Sr Bethany Madonna

In April 2013 at our Eucharistic Convention Sister Bethany Madonna, a member of the religious order Sisters of Life spoke about “Faith in the Lamb of God” the first day and “New Evangelisation” the second. Video recordings of both cars as below.

John-Henry Westen

John-Henry is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of He and his wife Dianne and their eight children live in the Ottawa Valley in Ontario, Canada. John-Henry gave two talks at our 2013 Eucharistic Convention which are both included below.

Susan Conroy

Susan Conroy gave two talks at our 2013 Eucharistic Convention. Video recordings of them are below. Susan talked about “Faith and her experiences with Mother Teresa” working among the poorest of the poor in Calcutta in her first presentation and “Evangelisation with Love” in her second

Fr Leszek Czelusniak MIC

Father Leszek came to our Eucharistic Convention in 2013  to talk about Our Lady of Kibeho and the Divine mercy devotion. In the videos below you can enjoy his presentations given over the convention weekend.  

Fr John Hollowell

Father John Hollowell is a young dynamic Catholic priest who we were lucky enough to have as one of our guest speakers at our 2013 Eucharistic Convention. Here Father Hollowell talks about evangelising through the internet and social media.    

Henrietta Reid

Henrietta Reid is a local artist and a very talented young woman with a big future ahead of her.  At our Eucharistic Convention this year she gave two delightful presentations the recording as below. Make yourself a cup of your favorite tea or coffee then sit back and listen; you will enjoy the experience.

Bishop Patrick Dunn DD

Bishop Pat gives the opening address at our 2014 Eucharistic Convention

Susana Fiu Fetaiai

Susana Fiu Fetaiai is affectionately known as the Mother Teresa of Auckland where she runs a refuge for women and children, many who have been traumatised by family violence. In 2012 Susana was a semi-finalist in the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year promotion – here is what they said about her: As the manager of Mother of Divine Mercy Refuge, one of the largest and busiest women’s refuge organisations in New Zealand, Susana has become mother to many hundreds of disadvantaged and abused children, young teenagers and their mothers; all of whom were victims of domestic violence. Her service to the community has been extensive and is best encapsulated in the many services and groundbreaking programs that she has championed to eliminate the reoccurrence of domestic violence in families. In doing so, she has impacted on the lives, and future of several hundred families in Auckland. The outcomes she has achieved from her work have been outstanding with many couples openly expressing their gratitude to Susana and her team at Mother Divine Mercy. She has helped heal broken hearts, broken lives and broken spirits. It was our privilege to have Susana as a speaker at our 2014 Convention – we invite you to hear what she had to say in this video.

Fr Paul Glynn SM

Father Paul Glynn continued his contributions to our conventions over many years.  In 2014 Fr Paul spoke about “Miracles at Mary’s Shrines” in his first session and “John Paul II the Great” in his second.  Recording of both talks below.

Fr Allan Jones SM

In 2014 Fr Allan Jones gave the homily at the Sunday Mass during our Eucharistic Convention.  This is a recording of that homily.

Martha Fernandez-Sardina

Father Allan Jones SM of The Catholic Enquiry Centre in New Zealand recommended Martha Fernandez-Sardina to us as a possible speaker for our convention. Father Allan suggested she was one of the top lay speakers on the Catholic Faith he had heard. When you listen to Martha give a presentation it is easy to see why Fr Allan was so enthusiastic about her inclusion into our programme this year. Sit back and enjoy these videos – you won’t be disappointed.  

MDM Refuge Testimonies

Recorded at our 2014 Eucharistic Convention in April, you will see in this video 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.

Fr Tony Ricard

Father Tony Ricard and his incredible connection with the Mother Of Divine Mercy Refuge Community here in Auckland, New Zealand was one of the great miracles of our 2014 Eucharistic Convention. “How Did You Know?” he asked me after I suggested he needed to visit the Refuge sometime before the opening of our event this year. “I didn’t know” was my response, “but this was obviously what the Lord had in mind as He perfected the human planning of this most amazing event that is the Eucharistic Convention” I responded. This is what God does if we put ourselves at His service. It happens time after time, year after year. Enjoy these videos; I know I did. JOHN PORTEOUS

Michelle Kaufman

Michelle Kaufman from FLI Auckland gave this incredible opening address at our 2015 Eucharistic Convention – their was dead silence as Michelle spoke. To see why watch the video recording of Michelle’s presentation  below.

Dame Colleen Bayer

Dame Colleen Bayer spoke to the subject matter “Welcoming the Least Among You” at our 2015 Eucharistic Convention to a very attentive audience. You can watch her presentation on the video recording below.

Teresa & Monica Orbe

The mother/daughter duo were excited to be sharing their musical talents with us at our 2015 Convention. Mum Teresa played the piano while Monica sang.  The videos below are recordings of their presentations.

Christine Bell

Christine Bell gives an update on her plans to set up a house in Auckland for young men in crisis: her vision is focused on “New Horizons of Hope”

Fr. Shenan Boquet

In his first presentation at our 2015 Eucharistic Convention Fr Shenan spoke to the title “Speaking a Language of Life and Family” and in his second       he talked about “Building a Culture of Life” – see videos of both presentations below. A little bit about Fr Shenan. Fr. Shenan Boquet is the president of Human Life International. Before coming to HLI, he most recently served as Pastor of St. Gregory Barbarigo Parish in Houma, Louisiana. Since being ordained as a priest in 1993, Fr. Boquet has given hundreds of talks at conferences and in parishes on issues ranging from the dignity of the human person and the nature of marriage, to social justice and moral theology. He has given retreats and educational seminars on the Theology of the Body, Holy Scripture and various theological topics. Fr. Boquet has also appeared numerous times on EWTN and Ave Maria Radio, as well as in other media. He has served and continues to serve on numerous boards, including the Diocesan Priests Council, of which he remains Chairman. Fr. Boquet grew up in the small town of Bourg, Louisiana, just south of Houma in a devoutly Catholic family, for which he is extremely grateful. His earliest and most influential examples were of his parents and parish priests, all of whom instilled in him at a young age a love for Christ and his Church, and an active faith that was to be lived, and not merely held. He was very active as a youth in service projects with Catholic Charities and with other groups who ministered to the elderly, the sick, the poor, and the marginalized. This active faith grew naturally into a vocation to the priesthood, where the contemplative and sacramental aspects of the Faith complemented and informed the active. A natural teacher, Fr. Boquet has been marginalized himself at times for sharing the Church’s teaching on life and family issues, although he emphasizes that it is important to do so with Charity. Throughout his priesthood, he has found himself in leadership positions, and increasingly in the areas of pro-life and pro-family teaching and advocacy. Fr Shenan travels around the world spreading the Gospel of Life as president of Human Life International (HLI). He is a priest of the Houma-Thibodaux Roman Catholic Diocese in Louisiana, his home state, where he served before joining Human Life International in August 2011. As president of HLI, Fr. Boquet has traveled 290,000 miles to 15 countries, speaking at numerous international conferences and pro-life events, spreading the Catholic Church’s teachings on life and family as part of HLI’s life-saving mission worldwide to build a Culture of Life. Since being ordained as a priest in 1993, Fr. Boquet has also given hundreds of talks at conferences and in parishes across the United States on issues ranging from the dignity of the human person and the nature of marriage, to social justice and moral theology. A natural teacher, Fr. Boquet has been persecuted at times for sharing the Church’s teaching on life and family issues, although he emphasizes that it is important to do so with Charity. Fr. Boquet has been a guest on several EWTN television programs, EWTN Radio, Catholic Answers Live, Ave Maria Radio, Vatican Radio, as well as a number of local Catholic radio programs in the U.S. and in other international media outlets. His writings have appeared in numerous publications such as LifeSiteNews, LifeNews, Catholic Exchange, CNS News, Catholic Lane, and Fr. Boquet grew up in the small town of Bourg, Louisiana, just south of Houma in a devoutly Catholic family, for which he is extremely grateful. His earliest and most influential examples were of his parents and parish priests, all of whom instilled in him at a young age a love for Christ and his Church, and an active faith that was to be lived, and not merely held. He was very active as a youth in service projects with Catholic Charities and with other groups who ministered to the elderly, the sick, the poor and marginalized. This active faith grew naturally into a vocation to the priesthood, where the contemplative and sacramental aspects of the Faith complemented and informed the active. Throughout his priesthood, he has been dedicated to pro-life and pro-family teaching and advocacy.    

Claire Culwell

At our convention in 2015 Claire Culwell shared her very personal story as survivor of a botched abortion – her twin was aborted, she would have been also but the person performing the procedure missed the fact that she was also present in her mother’s womb. Video recordings of Claire’s two sessions are available for viewing below. This is what Claire says about herself. I found out I was affected by abortion some timeago. This changed my life. I had walked into the Coalition For Life wondering what their organization provided and 5 months later I met my birth mother who told me my life is a miracle. My birth mother was 13 years old at the time she became pregnant with me. Her mother took her straight to an abortion clinic where she had a surgical abortion. After thinking she had “fixed the problem,” a few weeks later she realized her belly was still growing. Her mother took her back to the abortion clinic where she learned that she had been pregnant with twins…One was aborted; One survived. My life is a miracle and I would be selfish to keep this GIFT of life to myself. I want to tell everyone what a gift I and even they have been given!! I want to encourage them to seek alternatives to abortion because I would never want any woman/man to go through the grief and the pain that my birth mother went through simply because she didn’t know she had any other option. I also want to be a vessel to offer God’s forgiveness to the men and women who have previously had abortions. I know healing is possible and I have been given the gift of surviving an abortion so that I can tell these men and women that they are forgiven…coming from an aborted child, I hope they know the power of forgiveness and healing through meeting me. My involvement in Coalition For Life transformed me, taught me how to stand up for life on the front lines, and how to share my story in a meaningful way. I have the staff at Coalition For Life to thank for encouraging me to get involved and to share my story not only on the sidewalk but in public (my biggest fear) because God is glorified when I publically proclaim that “I am here not because of anything I did, but ONLY because of God’s mercy and love for me.” My life is a testimony that there are wonderful alternatives to abortion (such as adoption in my case) and an accident/unwanted child still deserves life…even a child with disabilities. I was born 2 1/2 months early, weighed 3 lbs 2 oz, had dislocated hips and club feet. I had to wear casts on my feet, a harness and eventually a body cast. The abortion still affects me today. All that to say, LIFE IS STILL WORTH IT.If my life can touch just one person who has had an abortion or considering an abortion or adoption, then I am fulfilling my purpose in the pro-life movement. I will not be silent because each mother and child are in the same place my biological mother, my twin and I were in 22 years ago and I am here to say THERE IS HOPE and there are options! Traveling and sharing my story was not something that I had planned for myself, but God proved to have better plans for me than I had for myself. Sharing my story is as much of a gift to MYSELF as it is to others.

Roy Schoeman

At our Eucharistic Convention this year Roy Schoeman gave two presentations. This is the first of them where he talks about the Role of the Holocaust in Salvation History and the second he shared hir personal testimony with us. Roy had a dramatic conversion from Judaism to the Catholic faith – he is what he says about himself: My parents are German Jews who fled from the Nazi holocaust and settled here in the U.S.. I was born and raised in a middle class suburb of New York City. Growing up I was quite religious, but drifted away from religion when I went to college — first to M.I.T., where I absorbed the hip scientific “we know better than to believe in God” philosophy, and then to Harvard Business School, where I eventually joined the faculty. Despite worldly success my life felt irrelevant, meaningless. When I suffered some reverses in both my professional and my personal lives, I hit bottom. It was at that point that the Lord gave me perhaps the greatest grace of my life. While walking on an empty beach, it seemed like I “fell” into Heaven. I directly felt God’s presence and His love. I knew that He existed, that from the first moment of my life He loved me and watched over me, and that everything, every event which happened in my life was exactly the best thing which could possibly happen. I knew that everything I did — for good or for bad — mattered and was weighed in the scales. I knew that we lived forever, and knew that Heaven existed. I knew about the angelic hierarchy. I knew that this was not the picture of God that I had from the Old Testament. I prayed to know the name of my Lord and Master, my God. I prayed “Let me know your name. I don’t mind if you are Buddha, and I have to become a Buddhist. I don’t mind if you are Apollo, and I have to become a Roman pagan. I don’t mind if you are Krishna, and I have to become a Hindu. As long as you are not Christ and I have to become a Christian!” Roy has an interesting story – we invite you to enjoy watching these videos.

Leah Libresco

Leah Libresco is a writer and school systems analyst based in Washington, D.C. A former atheist blogger and writer for the Huffington Post, Ms. Libresco stunned her readers in summer 2012 when she announced that she was converting to Catholicism. Raised in an atheist household on Long Island, she had graduated from Yale University in 2011 with a B.A. in political science. Ms. Libresco now writes about her conversion and newfound Catholic faith in the Unequally Yoked blog at the Patheos Catholic portal. A frequent commentator on Catholic issues, she has appeared on CNN and other national media outlets to discuss her conversion from rationalist atheism to Catholicism. Her writing has also appeared in First Things magazine and the American Conservative. Her first book, Arriving at Amen: Seven Catholic Prayers that Even I Can Offer, was published by Ave Maria Press on May 11. The great strength of her presentation is that Libresco manages to show how our philosophical and theological prejudices show up in our prayer life. Few considerations could be more profoundly Christian. What we think about the world matters, and it matters most intimately in our personal life with God. Whether she’s debunking her Kantian-Stoic prejudice against petitionary prayer or her fascination with rubrics about the treatment of the Eucharist, by offering her own scruples and perspective, she affords the rest of us avenues of growth. Libresco’s book abounds with priceless examples, which are as accessible and welcome as they are intimate and creative. Arriving at Amen chronicles the bizarre crossroads of contemporary American Catholicism. Ours is now a Church inspired by the fruitful models of Catholic bloggers’ own little examens, prayed with the iBreviary app, and where allegiance to saints is chosen by online generators (there’s as much determinism there as in the holy cards traded by happen-stance on playgrounds of yore, I suppose). If the spiritual classicals of perennial value appear to you hindered by the dust of centuries past, fear not, because Libresco’s book opens ancient devotions like lectio divina, the divine office, and the rosary with insight pregnant for our times: “The joyful mysteries, which begin with Mary’s great ‘Amen,’ invite me to make a small one, at any scale, to receive the chance to better know the God who is Love at all scales.” Perhaps the best of what Libresco offers is her insatiable energy and enthusiasm. She moves, unexhausted, from exercise to exercise. This greatest virtue of modernity directly combats the sloth to which we lovers of the one, true, and good are too often prone. Urging us onward to grapple with prayer, she notes, “If I wait to offer prayers only in moments of peace and confidence, I’ll lose the chance to invite God into all parts of my life, including the tumultuous moments when I need him most.” Libresco eloquently details the challenges of prayer, and captures–with strokes only the most talented expressionist could paint–the essence of the landscape of the spiritual life.     Category Education

Jim Bertrand

Roger Gilbride who has been to many conventions and is now a Seminarian with the Priestly Confraternity of Saint Peter in Nebraska recommended Jim Bertrand as an idea guest speaker for our convention. Bishop Pat agrees and so Jim is on board for 2016. This is very exciting because Jim will give us an insight into the Shroud of Turin which he has studied for many years. Here is the Bio he sent us. Jim Bertrand has been a student of the Holy Shroud for some 30 years and at the most recent International Shroud Convention held in St. Louis (Oct. 2014) he became affiliated with the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, headed by Dr. John Jackson, the world’s foremost expert on the Shroud of Turin. Bishop Michael Sheridan, of the Diocese of Colorado Springs, decreed the formation of the American Confraternity of the Holy Shroud in September of 2014. “As a presenter of the Shroud, my mission is to unite Truth with the human heart. People will see the most updated scientific evidence regarding the Shroud, and then they can make their own reasoned judgment regarding its authenticity.   Whether a relic or an icon, the Shroud is a sacramental, leading us to a deeper relationship with Jesus.” Jim and his wife, Kristi, are in their 32nd year of marriage and have six children ages 15 – 30. He has a Master’s Degree in Education and has been teaching high school science for 35 years. In the past year he has given over 40 Shroud presentations to religious communities, schools, and parishes. He also directs his parish choir at St. Peter Parish in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA, and has been the Perpetual Adoration Director for the past 24 years. “There is a beautiful harmony between faith and reason. Accepting the fullness of the truth, requires us to use both our reason, and to step out in faith to understand the sacred mysteries which we cannot quantify, such as the Real Presence and the infinite love of God. Having the opportunity to share this information about the Shroud and my Catholic faith, is such a blessing. People will see some things in the power point they have not seen before.”

Fr Linus Clovis

Fr. Linus F Clovis is a priest of the Archdiocese of Castries, St. Lucia in the West Indies.  He studied for the priesthood at the Angelicum in Rome and was ordained in 1983 by Saint Pope John Paul II. Fr. Clovis is a qualified teacher and holds a doctorate in Mathematics and degrees in Theology, Canon Law and Latin Literature. He has served as dean of the Arts, Science and General Studies Faculty of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College and for seven years was principal of St. Mary’s College, St. Lucia.  He has served as the archdiocesan spiritual director of the Legion of Mary in St. Lucia, through which he promotes devotion to Our Lady, especially that of the Rosary, the Perpetual Help novena, and the First Friday and First Saturday devotions. Additionally, he has led outreaches to the neighbouring islands, and annual pilgrimages to Marian shrines in over fourteen different countries. He is also the spiritual director of the Population Research Institute and Family Life International and a versatile speaker on pro-life issues, Scripture, Mariology and on Catholic teaching in general.  Not only has he many talks and homilies on CD to his credit but he has made literary contributions to newspapers and international magazines and has published a book entitled “A Biblical Search for the Church Christ Founded.” In 2003, Fr. Clovis led the resistance to the St Lucia Government’s surreptitious legalization of abortion in his Catholic island and even refused Holy Communion to the head of state for having signed abortion into law. Fr. Clovis is the eldest of five brothers who are all active in the pro-life apostolate. Father Clovis is being sponsored by Family Life International, Auckland, for the Eucharistic Convention.

Fr Andrew Matthew

Father Andrew is Parish Priest of Holy Family Parish in Te Atatu, Auckland City.  He is also spiritual director to the Senatus of the Legion of Mary. Father Andrew will talk about the objective of the Legion of Mary, some topics may include: The Legion of Mary Altar Mary Mediatrix of all Graces The Legion of Mary and St Patrick St Louis Maria De Montfort – The True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin What is Faith? The Spirit of Generosity Assumption of Mary The Spiritual life of Mary after the Ascension of Jesus Who is the Virgin Mary to You? The Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord Some thoughts about the Vexillium The Angelus What is a Spirit? What is a Soul? A Deeper Look at the Interior Spiritual Life Duty of the President at the Legion Meeting The Spirit of Home Visitation The Work of the Officers of the Legion of Mary The Tessera Legion and the Priest Pentecost Sunday 2011 What is a good Legionary? The Most Holy Name of our Lord Jesus Christ Legion of Mary Christmas Angels Nourished by the Eucharist Mary Mother of Virtue The Four Last Things: Death – Judgement – Heaven – Hell The Legion of Mary and the Epiphany of the Lord Sound the Trumpet A serious question, often asked at the Legion of Mary meetings The Object of the Legion of Mary Thursday, 9 June 2011 The object of the Legion of Mary is the glory of God; through the holiness of its members developed by prayer and active co-operation, under ecclesiastical guidance, in Mary’s and the Church’s work of crushing the head of the serpent, and advancing the reign of Christ. [Legion of Mary Handbook, Chapter 2, pg 11, Object] Some questions to ask your Praesidium: Is the glory of God a real “ever present aim” for all our members? Are we one fire or has routine fallen upon us? Do we often reflect that Jesus said; “I choose you, you did not choose me”? Do we remember one of the 6 precepts of the Catholic Church is to be Apostolic? Advancing the holiness of our members. Does our Presidium have a real concern and friendship for each other? Do we all go to Confession once a month as a Legion group?Do we hold regular Praesidium days in our Parish? Di we ask for special Masses for our Praesidium? Do we have religious talks or Praesidium study days for our members? Do we go on retreat at least once a year with our Presidium members? (Not just Motuti retreat) Working with our Parish Priest Do we inform our Parish Priest with summary of our work each week? Do we invite the Priest to our prayer days or to give a talk to our Praesidium occasionally? Do we ask the Priest to offer Mass for the Legions intentions each week? Do we make sure the Parish Priest is invited to the Acies, Legion functions, and Legion Masses. In Mary Do we really have a loving relationship with Mary outside our Legion work? Do we promote Mary under the title of our Presidium? Do we have a shrine of Mary in our Church, do we take her flowers and make sure the shrine is clean and neat at all times? In our 2 hours apostolic work each week Do we actively and sincerely do our work realising it is important? Do we prepare with prayer before we go to do our work? Do we have a Praesidium Plan Monthly plan for visitation, apostolic works? Yearly plan for Parish visitations? Do we keep a detailed list of the people we have met? Do we revisit people whom we have met? Is Christ more present in our parish because of our Legion Presence? Is the Legion of Mary known in our Parish? Do we have a Legion presence in the Parish Council? Do you have a poster with contact names in the Church? Do you have Legion information at the back of the Church? Do we advertise once a month in the parish newsletter? Do we try to gain younger members who are apostolic (active members)? Do we try to gain older members who are good prayers (auxiliaries)?

Mark Gasparini

Mark is the the Senatus President of the Legion of Mary for New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga and Nuie. He has found his calling working within the Legion. He is very aware that all Catholics are called to be witnesses for the Lord. What better way to fulfil this mission but through the Mother of God, Mary. Mark plays the organ at St. Joseph’s Parish in Grey Lynn and helps with the Catechism programme at Holy Family Church in Te Atatu, and for fun he starts up Legion groups throughout the parishes in Auckland. Mark is married to Annemarie and they have two daughters. At the convention this year Mark will talk about the value that he and other lay people who are involved in the work of the Legion of Mary get from their efforts.

Philip Hines

Philip, whose singing talent was made known to us during the year, is the son of Brian and Barbara Hines who are well known in many areas of lay involvement in the Catholic Church in the Auckland Diocese. We are delighted to be able to welcome Philip onto our guest list this year and look forward to his contribution with eager anticipation. John Porteous  

Colleen & Michelle – FLI

Either Colleen, Michelle or both of them together will give us an update of how things are going with their work of saving the most venerable in our society; innocent babies.  This will take place after the opening Mass of the Friday evening of our convention and is always a highlight of the weekend. Colleen Bayer is the National Director, Family Life International NZ Colleen established Family Life International NZ in 1992. Inspired by the late Fr Paul Marx (the great Apostle of Life, she realised the need for a pro-life, pro-family organisation in New Zealand which addressed all the life issues from natural conception through to natural death, was unashamedly Catholic, and would open its arms wide to every pregnant mother facing a crisis pregnancy, as well as the sick, disabled and elderly who` may find  themselves a target for euthanasia-type practices. Colleen has been married to her husband Terry for 40 years.  Together the have five children (four adopted, three of whom have special needs), and ten grandchildren.  For many years Colleen and Terry have fostered and provided respite for 27 children with various special needs, truly opening their hearts and their home to those who are most vulnerable in society today.  In the 20 years prior to establishing Family Life International, Colleen was actively involved in SPUC, Operation Rescue, and praying outside the abortion clinics. Prior to his resignation, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI named Colleen a Dame in the Order of St Gregory the Great, an honour for her pro-life work with mothers and babies in New Zealand. Colleen has her hand in every aspect of the organisation, directly working with the mothers that come into the John Paul II Centres for Life, as well as ensuring that the mission of Family Life International NZ is carried out faithfully Michelle Kaufman is the Communications Director at FLI The daughter of Colleen and Terry Bayer, Michelle has been immersed in the pro-life,  pro-family apostolate all of her life.  However, it was at the age of 14 that her real  passion to be actively involved took hold.  Michelle has been with Family Life  International NZ since its very first days and has experience working throughout the organisation.  With a primary teaching background, Michelle is passionate about educating on the various life issues and motivating people to action.  Her articles can be found on Family Life International NZ’s blog A Culture of Life as well as and NZ Catholic. Michelle is married to Brendan, who manages Family Life Catholic Gifts.  Together, they have seven children.    

Christine Bell

Christine Bell holds the vision to open a residential House of Welcome for men in New Zealand who are struggling in life whether from depression, anxiety, addiction or other presentation. Christine has recently lived with communities in Italy who have successfully operated in this ministry and has witnessed first hand the miraculous transformation of these men as they follow the two-three year residential programme. She is working to open a similar community, St Philomena House, on a ‘farmlet’ in the wider Auckland area, prior to Christmas 2016. Christine is excited to share the progress to date and will present a 7 minute video that gives an inside view of life in a House of Welcome in Italy. A house of welcome in Trento, Italy.  Christine is second row to the back. The ‘boys’ and house leaders lunching alfresco, Trento, Italy. The boys cater for weddings at the community house, Trento, Italy.  All dressed  and ready to go!  Solid evidence of the transformations that occur in community. This ministry is long overdue in New Zealand and well timed in this Year of Mercy. Christine resides in Auckland and is the mother of adult children, a lawyer and gained a Masters in Theology from Franciscan University, Steubenville, USA.

Fr Paul Glynn, SM

Father Paul has been good enough to give of his time to come to our conventions on many occasions over the years.   In the early days he spoke about the work both his brother Tony, also a Marist priest, and himself were involved in reconciling the peoples of Japan and Australia following the terrible events that took place during the second world war. Father Paul introduced us to Dame Jan Ruff O’Herne who was a sex slave for the Japanese during the war who told of the plight of her and other young women who were treated very harshly at that time. Father Paul was not going to come this year because he wants to get another book he is writing finished but then changed his mind so that he could assist our event by hearing confessions over the weekend.  If you have not read any of Fr Paul’s books you are encouraged to do so – every cent made from the books help a charitable cause.  Here are some samples Fr Paul has made a very generous gesture by deciding to join us again this year  for which we are most grateful.  Even though he has to come all the way from Australia to do this for us. Here is the communication I received from Fr Paul about his change of mind: Dear John, After reading Pope Francis’ document announcing the Jubilee Year of Mercy, which includes a section on the importance of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and also on the need of priest confessors to make the Sacrament encouraging and helpful to the penitent, I reversed my thinking on the Convention.I shall be happy to go with the job of making it possible for everyone to go to Confession. If I am of use in this capacity, and in any other way, I shall happily co-operate in anything you require. If I would be helpful,  let me know We are indeed most grateful to Fr Paul – we look forward to having him with us once again at this years convention John Porteous

Mother of Divine Mercy Refuge Group

Under the maternal leadership of Susana Fiu Fetalai the Mother of Mercy Divine Refuge Group will be leading our singing at the convention Masses and assisting wherever else they see a need.  For the last two years their assistance has been invaluable – we welome them back on board again this year with open arms! Here’s a little about their leader Susana – she is the reason the group exists The message is heard loud and clear when Susana Fiu Fetalai counsels a family stuck in a cycle of violence. That’s because she’s lived through it. Mrs Fiu Fetalai has helped hundreds of families in her time as manager of Mother of Divine Mercy Refuge where she started as a volunteer in 1993. The mother-of-four gets by on three hours sleep a night. Many families stay at the refuge at any one time and she works with all of them, including the fathers. “I look into what has happened to them, it’s about counselling and self-healing,” she says. “They get into a cycle and they don’t know how to get out of it.” Mrs Fiu Fetalai was in an abusive relationship so she knows what the families are going through. “I left quite a few times and would often go back thinking he would change.” Her journey wasn’t easy but her faith and love of her children got her through.

Kitty Cleveland

Kitty talks about why she does what she does….. “If I had to boil down the essence of what I feel called to do, it is to encourage people—whether through singing, storytelling, or teaching from the great Catholic spiritual writers and my own life experience. Tears in the audience (and occasionally from me) are not uncommon, and I consider them sacred. My audiences and I also laugh a lot, which I consider to be a true gift of the Holy Spirit. These audiences range from women’s prayer breakfasts like Magnificat, to Catholic leadership groups like Legatus, to retreats and large regional conferences. My heart burns with a desire to share the riches of our Catholic faith in an engaging way, especially to lapsed or lukewarm Catholics. I submit myself to the teaching authority of the Magesterium of the Roman Catholic Church in matters of faith and morals, and I delight in her guidance.” What People Are Saying “Kitty’s love for the Lord and for her Catholic faith was palpable, and she left us all uplifted and encouraged with her message and music.  I wholeheartedly recommend Kitty Cleveland for your future event.”  Most Rev. Samuel J. Aquila, S.T.I, Archbishop of Denver “Kitty shared her inspiring story and beautiful singing with endearing personality and delightful humor.  Many of the 500 women said afterward that she was their favorite Magnificat speaker of all time—out of 40 speakers! I heartily recommend her for any group.”   Kay Burkot, Magnificat of Pittsburgh, PA “I have the privilege of counting Kitty Cleveland as one of my close friends, and for that I am most grateful. When I listen to her CDs I’m touched by her wellspring of talent, but even more I’m moved knowing that her music is the result of God interacting with her in the valleys and the mountaintops of her life. She is real, she is deeply spiritual, and she has one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard.” Jeff Cavins, bible scholar and Catholic evangelist “We are all still floating since your appearance at our Endow Gala! This week I have had more positive calls and emails than I can possibly handle. The humor, warmth, and love that came through in your talk had all 500 people in the room riveted.”  Terry Polakovic, Endow Co-Founder and Executive Director RECORDINGS Surrender: Collection of popular liturgical songs, plus two originals. Winner of Unity Award® for “Sacramental Album of the Year” (2000, 2007 remix). Sacred Arias: Twelve classics with a chamber orchestra. Final Unity Award® nominee for “Devotional Album of the Year” (2001). The Miracle of Love Rosary: International best-seller featuring music and meditations on the sanctity of life, including the Luminous Mysteries. Recorded with Fr. Robert Cavalier (2002). O Holy Night: Well-loved Christmas songs with a Celtic flair (2003). The Miracle of Divine Mercy: Original sung Divine Mercy chaplet with a children’s choir, plus two inspiring songs and Kitty’s Divine Mercy miracle testimony (2004). Be Not Afraid: Includes 12 songs of hope and consolation, including “Now You Come to Me”, an original song inspired by the last words of Pope John Paul II. Winner of Unity Award for “Devotional Album of the Year” (2006) Sublime Chant: The Scotland Project: An ambitious recording of 17 Gregorian chants recorded in a 13th century Scottish cathedral (2008). Lighthouse–God Will Provide: 2010 release by Lighthouse Catholic Media includes Kitty’s testimony plus nine songs from her previous collections. The Miracle of Life Rosary for Children: Kids love hearing the upbeat, life-affirming music and meditations written by Kitty specifically for a young audience, with all of the prayers led by kids.  Kitty’s daughter, Cecilia (age 7), also sings with her to music arranged by Joe Hand (2-CD, 2011). Lighthouse–The Miracle of Divine Mercy: 2013 release by Lighthouse Catholic Media of Kitty’s Divine Mercy chaplet with a sample of her Divine Mercy testimony. Blue Skies: A collection of jazz standards with some of New Orleans’ greatest musicians, including Summertime, My Funny Valentine, Someone to Watch over Me, and many other well-loved classics (2014). View Kitty’s Website Here

Diane Foley

Diane Foley, whose son was murdered last August, forgave Emwazi. “It saddens me – his continued hatred,” she told The Times. “He felt wronged, now we hate him – now that just prolongs the hatred. We need to end it. Ms Foley added: “As a mum, I forgive him. You know, the whole thing is tragic.”   “The “blood of martyrs” is already uniting divided Christian communities, as the indiscriminate persecution and murder of Christians worldwide has shown. Those who hate and target Christians are not interested in finding out whether they are Lutheran or Methodist, it is enough that they are committed to Jesus Christ. The killers “aren’t confused, they know there is a common root there” and they have no problem recognizing it as the devil guides them” Pope Francis – July 2015 Come and listed to this woman of great Faith and courage who has a common bond with St Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist who was also beheaded for Christ.   Diane will be the Keynote speaker  at our Dinner on the Saturday night of the Convention weekend. At the Dinner she will focus on sharing where she and her family got the strength to get them through such a terrible tragedy.  On Sunday Diane will also address our Convention audience with her focus being “Forgiveness”. You are encouraged to attend both the Dinner and the Convention if at all possible – a chance like this does not happen often. John Porteous

Children of the Eucharistic Convention – Choir

This choir and music group are a group of families and friends who have come together to use their gifts in support of the convention and for the glory of God. Soloists (Saturday afternoon) Jess and Mya Rogers, Kate Brannigan, and Eli Moore Our soloists are all professionally trained and multi talented. Combining their talents as singers, pianists, guitarists and composers, they will perform for you as a witness to the goodness of God in their lives. Children’s Choir (Sunday afternoon) This choir is made up primarily of the children from the choir of Holy Family Parish in Te Atatu (Michael Loretz – conductor) joining with other families from around our diocese keen to join our combined choir. Musicians David Bennett – Piano Mary Hartley- violin David McNeill- violin Paula and John Brannigan – cellos and others to be confirmed… We are all musicians and friends who teach and play at church. Our desire is to provide beautiful music that draws the soul to greater praise of God. This is what gives us the courage to perform before our convention family.

Samuel Aigbe

  Unfortunately Samuel had to cancel his trip for personal reasons. We are most disappointed about this but these things happen We wish Samuel all the best dealing with what’s currently on his plate John Porteous 6 February 2017  

Alanna-Marie Boudreau

It is interesting how the Spirit of God has His Hand covering every aspect of this Eucharistic Convention. In 1994 Bill and Anna Moore attended our very first event with their five year old son Eli. As you will know Bill has dedicated himself to working with us in the years since using his professional skills to promote this convention. Anna has been a tower of strength also; many will remember the beautiful Logo Design she made up for us all those years ago. As the wheel turns it is gratifying for us to experience contemporary enthusiasm for this event through Bill and Anna’s son Eli, now an adult and an accomplished musician in his own right. Eli recommended a beautiful young singer Alanna-Marie Boudreau as someone who could make a worthwhile contribution to our 2017 Eucharistic Convention. Those of us at the cutting edge of this event agree, as does Bishop Pat – so Alanna’s coming to our 2017 Convention. We are excited about that and we are sure you will be also. Don’t miss this event next April. Here’s how Eli describes his discovery of Alanna: I somehow came across her either from a link or a sidebar in the link that my cruise ship agent, based in Canada, posted on her Facebook wall. Through a conversational moment on a business call with her, she asked what my particular engagement was for that January, and it happened to be Hearts Aflame, which I of course explained. And it turns out she’s a very vocal and dedicated Catholic. So there you go. We will give you more information about Alanna as our promotion for the Eucharistic Convention next April develops, meanwhile we invite you to enjoy this video where Alanna sings: “I’m Sorry” John Porteous UPDATED 17 JANUARY 2017 WHY I WROTE A SONG ABOUT PORN Dismantled by Love is one of the heavier songs I’ve written, but it has undoubtedly instigated the greatest volume of response I’ve ever received from friends, fans, and random listeners alike. I have felt very strongly about pornography for a long time, ever since the first crystallized moment when I myself saw a pornographic poster flash past my eyes at a music shop when I was a little girl…more      

Mariatu Kamara

We are so fortunate to have been able to encourage Mariatu to come half way around the world to share her story with us.  At the Eucharistic Convention Dinner on the Saturday evening of our 2017 convention, Mariatu will talk about what happened to her as a young girl in war torn Sierra Leone. This Dinner will be held at the North Harbour  Netball Centre, 44 Northcote Road, Takapuna on Saturday 22nd April 2017 beginning at 7.30pm.  Tickets for this event are $65 per head.  There will be a cash bar operating also.  See the REGISTRATIONS PAGE to book your place. On Sunday Mariatu will tell us how she has managed since.  Mariatu will not speak during the day on Saturday, only at the dinner on Saturday evening.                    John Porteous ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Susan McClelland’s review of the book The Bite of the Mango which is a story of the tragedy suffered by Mariatu Kamara as a 12 year old girl best tells the story of this incredible woman we are so fortunate to have as Keynote speaker at our 2017 Eucharistic Convention Dinner.  This is an event not to be missed.  There is limited seating so book your place early to avoid the disappointment of being told “sorry – there is no more room available”..      JOHN PORTEOUS “There are times when silence is louder than any voice” (Kamara) The Bite of the Mango is a remarkable story of a 12 year old girl named Mariatu Kamara who was living peacefully in a rural village in Sierre Leone with her family and friends before the rebel soldiers invaded her life and destroyed everything she once knew. Her story deals with the most brutal 20th century civil war in Sierra Leone. A coming of age novel, it’s written in a simple first person perspective as her story deals with loss, sadness, letting go, acceptance and ultimately the path to recovery. Mariatu’s narrative starts when she describes her day to day life before the rebels attacked her village; she describes some beautiful memories she has of her childhood. Her everyday life comes to a halt when there is a rumour that rebel soldiers are making their way to her village. Mariatu and her family decide to flee to another village to seek safe haven form the bloodthirsty rebel soldiers. But Mariatu and some of her family are captured by rebel soldiers as they make their way to the second village. The rebel soldiers kill members of her family in front of her and she knows that she must be next to die. But surprisingly, the rebels decide not to kill her but rather amputate her hands, it is here that Mariatu describes the horrifying and disrobing details as to how her hands were cut off. She pleads with the child soldiers who have been drugged and created into vicious monsters. The following is the dialogue she has with a rebel child soldier: “If you are going to chop off my hands, please just kill me,” I begged them. “We’re not going to kill you,” one boy replied. “We want you to go to the president and show him what we did to you. You won’t be able to vote for him now. Ask the president to give you new hands” (Kamara 40). “As my mind went dark, I remember asking myself: “What is a president?” ( Kamara 41). The rebel soldiers were amputating people’s hands, legs, arms and ears to display their frustration at the government whom they accused of being corrupt and not helping its people. Thus, by cutting off people’s hands the logic they derived at was that these people would no longer be able to vote for the same president, thus he would be overthrown.  This amputation was a sign of their protest against the government. Mariatu’s horrifying encounter with the rebels is similar to the other 20,000 civilians who have had their body parts amputated. After the rebels amputated her hands she ran away in search of some form of safety and it was while she came to a village that she was offered a mango and she learned of her grim reality- she no longer had hands. She was taken to a hospital by a woman from a village and she spent a lot of time at this hospital. She was then taken to a refugee camp where she reunited with some of her family members. Through this time she constantly fought extreme cases of depression and many times contemplated and attempted to kill herself, but was watched closely by family members. In the refugee camp she joined a theatre troupe, who put on shows to display Sierra Leones problems. It was through this group that she began to deal with her depression. In the refugee group, she met a Canadian journalist who decided to sponsor her to Canada. Mariatu Kamara now lives in Toronto, with a Sierra Leonean family. Mariatu doesn’t hold any grudges against the rebel soldiers because she has come to understand that like her they too are victims of the war, she says, “At first I felt only anger: I wanted those four boys dead. But the anger made me sick, and over time I saw that taking a life was not the solution. They were kids, like me who’d got caught up in something beyond their control” (Kamara 197). Her text starts with a child like innocent tone which later as her narrative progresses transforms into a mature tone- one of understanding and great insight. Her narrative screams hope, love, understanding, letting go and saying goodbye. Mariatu is a voice of courage and her raw compelling passion is vivid in her narrative. Mariatu is such a brave heroine because she has agreed to share her story with the world which is one of the most heroic things one can do as it is stories and words which make us understand, accept and ultimately it is stories which heal

Rosanne Romero

Rosanne Romero is the bestselling author of Amusing Grace, a collection of articles from her well-loved column in Kerygma Magazine, Kitchen Scribbles. In 2015, she launched Amusing Grace, A Second Helping which was nominated for Best Inspirational Book for the Cardinal Sin Book Awards in the same year. A very active teenager who was into horseback riding and ballet, Rosanne started experiencing strange symptoms in her university days which no doctor then could diagnose. It was only years later, in 1986 following the birth of her second child that her mysterious symptoms were given a diagnosis– Multiple Sclerosis, a debilitating degenerative disease of the brain and spinal column. Currently living in Manila, she and her family spent a good chunk of their lives as missionaries in Jakarta, Indonesia from 1995-1998. She is a sought-after speaker on the subject of Adversity, speaking from her own experiences of God not only in spite of, but mostly because of her illness. She is a wife to Omy Romero, PhD, a management consultant, mother to two batty daughters, Rinka and Becca. The most recent addition to the hats she wears is “Lola” (grandma) and she wears it proudly.  She enjoys babysitting her only (for now, at least!) grandchild, Malaya who is four going on twenty-five. —————————————————————————————————————- Updated 17 January 2017 Thanks to Pope, oldest inmate in Women’s Correctional Prison in the Philippines gets freedom Prayers do get answered. In January 2015 Petra Lukingan, a 91-year-old inmate from the Baguio Women’s Correctional facility gained her freedom thanks in large part to the prayers of Pope Francis. Thanks to Kara David, a reporter for GMA News who was on the flight when Pope Francis made his trip to the Philipines in January 2015, a rosary made by Petra was given to the Pope. Strung together inside the Women’s Correctional facility, the beaded pink-and-white rosary was handed over to Pope Francis on the flight to Sri Lanka before heading to the Philipines.. It included the picture and a letter from 91-year-old Petra Lukingan, one of the oldest inmates in the prison. She wished the Pope to learn of her case. Pope Francis unexpectedly responded to the reporter in English and thanked her for the gift. The Pope prayed, the prisoner was released, what a happy ending. Following are two videos – although the audio tracks aren’t in English the storyline is self evident. This first video shows Pope Francis being given the rosary and the picture on the flight: This second video shows Petra’s release from prison. This week Rosanne Romero, who will be one of the guest speakers at our 2017 Eucharistic Convention, visited that same prison in the Phiippines to give a talk entitled “We are all Prisoners in the War of our Lives” One of Rosanne’s sponsors to bring her to New Zealand in April is Tina Cochrane who told me: “Rosanne was very brave to do a talk to these women, they are hard, tough and criminal women. She was astoundingly accepted and applauded by them all.” Rosanne Romero giving her talk at the Baguio Women’s Correctional Prison. Don’t miss hearing her talk when she comes to speak at our 2017 Eucharistic Convention over the weekend 21 to 23 April 2017 John Porteous

Dr Inge Auerbacher

“I remember as a little girl waiting impatiently for my birthday to arrive. My childhood birthdays were always very happy and special. That is, until my eighth birthday. I was seven years old in 1942 when I was sent with my parents to a concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. My next three birthdays marked the years of a nightmare.”* Dr. Auerbacher with her parents and grandparents We had booked Dr Auerbacher to come to tell her story to attendees of or 2015 Eucharistic Convention.  An unfortunate accident meant she was unable to make the trip to New Zealand that year which was disappointing not only for us but also for Dr Auerbacher – she was devastated to say the least. Bob and Freda Narev from Auckland came to our rescue that year as they told their story as Holocaust survivors; you could hear a pin drop in the auditorium during their presentation. In 2010 Holocaust survivor Magda Brown shared her story with us – she brought listeners to tears.  I mentioned to Dr Auerbacher that with Magda and the Narev’s having told their stories perhaps having her talk to us as well might be a repetition of what she might have to share with us.   Dr Auerbacher made the point that all stories are personal and that in her opinion it is most important that all who are willing to speak about their experiences in Concentration Camps should be given the opportunity to do so before there are none left to tell the story.  I couldn’t agree with her more – so welcome aboard our 2017 Eucharistic Convention guest list Dr Auerbacher – we are so lucky that you are prepared to come half way around the world  to talk to us in little old New Zealand. Here is how Dr Auerbacher responded to our invitation for her to join us in 2017: “Dear John: Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your invitation. I feel so blessed. I would like to join you in 2017. The people you have selected to speak at your 2017 Eucharistic Convention are amazing, and I would be so honored to join them. It is a once in a lifetime group to celebrate the face of our ever-loving God on us.  Much love and blessings, Inge” Dr. Auerbacher will be sharing her compelling story of her three childhood years spent in the Terezin concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. Her vivid memory recounts the story of her as a seven year old who witnessed life’s darkest, most horrific moments. Through dreadful diseases and mass starvation, Dr. Auerbacher amazingly maintains a wonderful, loving persona which instantly draws you into her friendship and vast “adopted” family. Not letting her torment from childhood hold her back, Dr. Auerbacher has gone on “to being a chemist, world traveler, travel writer, and avid photographer. Inge is also a writer. More than fifty of her poems and numerous articles have been published.” (Auerbacher, 2006, p. 87, inside back cover) While not wanting to tell you her whole story—since Dr. Auerbacher is the very best at that—we can encourage you to come to hear her present it herself. In 1981, she began traveling and lecturing about the events in her life in an effort to educate people about the Holocaust so history does not repeat itself and to convey her main message of “We shall never forget.” Complete silence, listening to Dr. Auerbacher’s account of her childhood story is common no matter the audience.  Dr. Auerbacher has great rapport with children and loves to answer all their questions, while being sensitive to the fact that they are indeed children. Common Questions Many children asked her questions about what she had to eat while in the concentration camp. In her book, I Am A Star, she describes how they stood in long lines waiting for “coffee, a muddy-looking liquid, which always had a horrible taste. Lunch was a watery soup, a potato, and a small portion of turnips or so-called meat sauce; and dinner was soup. By the time the people reached the barrels from which the food was ladled out, they were so hungry and exhausted that they immediately gulped their portion down.” Some children ask about her birthdays. In I Am Star, she gives account of her eighth, ninth, and tenth birthday gifts while in Terezin: “Birthdays presented a special challenge. One year, I received a potato cake the size of my palm, prepared from a mashed boiled potato with just a hint of sugar in it. Another year Marlene, my doll, was given a new outfit sewn from rags. On my tenth birthday my gift was a poem my mother had written especially for me.” Children walk back to their seats with looks of disbelief and hopefully a greater appreciation for what they have in their own lives. It is truly a great learning experience to hear all that Dr. Auerbacher has overcome during her younger years. Her story is so compelling that “The Star on My Heart” theatrical play was written by Angela Milora-Hansen to depict Dr. Auerbacher’s life. After attending the play, Ohio Senator Kenny Yuko summed up Dr. Auerbacher’s life: “The Nazis tried to destroy Inge’s life, but they could not break her spirit.” (Facebook post by Senator Kenny Yuko, November 20, 2015). We encourage you to come to hear Dr Auerbacher and meet her in person in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. John Porteous Here is a recent interview with Dr Auerbacher that you might enjoy  

Father Douglas Al-Bazi

Father Douglas Al-Bazi saw his church blown up in front of him before crazed jihadis knocked his teeth knocked out with a hammer, broke his nose and back and shot him in the leg. The Christian population of Iraq has been decimated from two million in 2003 to less than 200,000 today. Father Al-Bazi was captured and tortured for nine days by al-Qaeda on his way home from a Mass in Iraq in 2006. He said: “They destroyed my car, they blew up my church on front of me. I got shot by AK-47 in my leg. The bullet is still in my leg. And I had been kidnapped for nine days. “They smash my nose and my teeth by hammer. And they broke one of my back discs.” Fatrher Al-Bazi was captured by Islamist militants in a planned raid as he made his way to a friend’s house after taking Mass in November 2006. Two cars blocked off the road before gun-toting jihadis dragged him from his vehicle, threw him in the boot and sped off. The fighters – who Father Al-Bazi says were wearing Iraqi government uniforms and had access to state police cars and ambulances – then began their campaign of torture as they attempted to secure a huge ransom payout from the church. He revealed: “When I arrived they took me outside and I found myself on the ground with a lot of blood on my face. One of them hit me with his knee to my face and back and broke my nose. Then they took me inside and they brought chains and I spent nine days there in this way. “My cell was a tiny toilet and my head had to rest in the sink. After the second day they used a hammer and they started to break my teeth. There was blood in my mouth and when I spat my teeth and blood came out. One of them told me ‘don’t be worried, you have a lot of teeth and we have all night’. “They hit me in my shoulder and my back and they broke one of the discs in my back. At one point they said they were going to cut off my head and put the head of a dog in its place then send it to my relatives. “Even now I never go to my bed without being sure there’s a bottle of water near my bed because they left me without water for days. They were a horrible nine days.”


“My goal, my mission is to expose Jesus’ Divine Mercy to hip-hop culture, to youth, and to the world before it’s too late”    RABELZTHEMC Coming to the Eucharsitic Convention in Auckland, New Zealand over the weekend 6th to 8th April 2018 RabelztheMC in conjunction with Father Tony Ricard and the Mother of Divine Mercy Refuge community are planning something beautiful for those lucky enough to be attending our unique event next year. The Spirit of God is moving through contemporary society like you wouldn’t believe – RabelztheMC is an example of the Grace of God that is being bestowed on young people who are open enough to recognise what’s happening

EC2018 – Fr Tony Ricard

Fr Tony Ricard is returning to speak at our 2018 Eucharistic Convention. Fr Tony wearing the beautiful cloak gifted to him by the late Joy Mendes at a welcoming function for him at Te Unga Waka Marae in Auckland.   Joy died a short time later – please say a prayer for the repose of her soul. When he was here previously at our 2014 Eucharistic Convention Fr Tony fell in love with the members of the Mother of Divine Mercy Refuge and is so delighted we have asked him to return for our 25th anniversary event next April.  If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to experience Father Tony Ricard in action you are in for a real thrill if you are lucky enough to be present at our Eucharistic Convention over the weekend Friday 6th to Sunday 8th April 2018. Don’t miss our 2018 Eucharistic Convention – it will be something very special. John Porteous. WHAT’S FATHER TONY UP TO NOW-A-DAYS? ‘click’ this link to find out  

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. 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    

EC2018 – Aisha Te Kani

AISHA SAYS: “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”. PROMO FROM FLI WEBSITE 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.    

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!  

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!

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 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.

EC2018 – Gerry and Margaret Smy

Ministry to the Elderly, Sick and Housebound   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

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. 

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.   Summary: 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. Education: 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. Experience: 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. Awards/Honors: 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.

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.”

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.

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

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:

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: