Raymond Cardinal Burke
Cardinal Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura
"The Mystery of Human Suffering and Dying"View Bio
Cardinal Burke studied at Holy Cross Seminary in La Cross, Wisconsin, The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1975. After his first assignment, Cardinal Burke later returned to Rome in 1980 to study Canon Law at the Pontifical Gregorian University, and after completing his studies, he was named Moderator of the Curia and Vice Chancellor of the Diocese of La Crosse. Cardinal Burke again returned to Rome in 1989, when Pope John Paul II named him Defender of the Bond of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. After five years at this post, Pope John Paul II appointed him Bishop of the Diocese of La Crosse in December 1994. During his years as Bishop of La Crosse, Bishop Burke founded the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. In December 2003, he was named Archbishop of Saint Louis. In June 2008, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, and in November 2010, His Holiness elevated him to the College of Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church.
In addition to serving as Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, Cardinal Burke serves on the Congregation for Bishops, the Congregation for Clergy, the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, and the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
Gianna Emanuela Molla, MD
Youngest Daughter of St. Gianna
"The Life and Spirituality of My Mother, Saint Gianna, and the Legacy She Left Behind"View Bio
Gianna Emanuela Molla is the youngest daughter of St. Gianna Molla. Her mother sacrificed her life when she was two months pregnant with Gianna and had a tumor in her uterus. She opted for a risky operation to remove the tumor that preserved the life of her child rather than undergo a hysterectomy. Six days after giving birth to Gianna she died from complications.
Gianna and her two siblings represent the first time in the history of the Church that a saint was canonized and children were living and attended the canonization of their parent. Gianna is a geriatrician and practiced medicine until taking leave to care full time for her venerable father for several years until his death in 2010. She currently directs the Saint Gianna Beretta Molla Foundation in Mesero, Italy. The cause for canonization of Fr. Alberto Molla, Gianna Emanuela’s uncle, was opened in 2008.
Archbishop Joseph Naumann
Archbishop of Kansas City in Kansas
Welcome & Opening RemarksView Bio
Most Reverend Joseph F. Naumann Archbishop of Kansas City in Kansas
Born: June 4, 1949
Parents: Fred Naumann and Louise (Lukens) Naumann
• St. Louis Preparatory Seminary South — Graduated 1967
• Charter member — Justin A. Nelle Chapter/National Honor Society
• Cardinal Glennon College — Graduated 1971
• Kenrick Seminary — Completed theological studies 1975
• May 24, 1975 Ordained to Priesthood
• 1974-1975 Transitional Deacon — St. Christopher‘s Parish, Florissant, Missouri
• 1975-1979 Associate Pastor — St. Dominic Savio Parish, Affton, MO
• 1979-1984 Associate Pastor — Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, St. Louis
• 1984-1989 Part-time Associate Pastor — Most Blessed Sacrament Parish, St. Louis
• 1984-1995 Coordinator of the Archdiocesan Pro-Life Committee
• 1989-1994 Pastor — Ascension Parish, Normandy, MO
• 1994-2003 Vicar General, Archdiocese of St. Louis
• September 3, 1997 Ordained Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis/Titular Bishop of Caput Cilla
• October, 2003 Appointed Administrator of Archdiocese of St. Louis
• January 7, 2004 Appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Kansas City, Kansas
• January 15, 2005 Assumed responsibilities of the 4th Archbishop and 11th Bishop of the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas
• Chairman of the Kansas Catholic Conference
• U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops — Committee on Pro-Life
• U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops — Committee on Marriage and Family Life
• Kenrick-Glennon Seminary Board of Trustees
Bishop Robert Finn
Bishop of Kansas City-Saint Joseph
Leading the RosaryView Bio
Born in St. Louis on April 2, 1953, Bishop Finn is the second of five children of the late Theodore (Pat) and Betty Schneider Finn. His family includes three sisters -- Mrs. Kathleen Fornwalt, Chesterfield, Missouri; Mrs. Patricia Bax, St. Charles, Missouri; and Mrs. Nancy Meyer, Maryland Heights, Missouri -- and one brother, Richard Finn, of Keller, Texas. Bishop Finn completed his elementary education at All Souls Catholic School in Overland, Missouri.
Bishop Finn studied for the priesthood at archdiocesan seminaries and in Rome. He is a 1971 graduate of St. Louis Preparatory Seminary North, and received a B.A. in Philosophy at Cardinal Glennon College in 1975. At the North American College in Rome, he earned a Master‘s in Theology in 1979 from Angelicum University. He served his Diaconate assignment in 1978-79 at St. Charles Borromeo Parish, in the Archdiocese of Westminster. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of St. Louis at All Souls Parish Church on July 7, 1979.
Bishop Finn‘s first assignments were as associate pastor of two parishes in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. He later was appointed to the faculty of St. Francis Borgia Regional High School in Washington, Missouri, where he taught from 1983 -1989. During those years, he lived in residence and served as part-time pastoral associate in area parishes.
In 1989, Bishop Finn received a Master's in Education Administration from St. Louis University and was appointed administrator of St. Dominic High School in O‘Fallon, Missouri. During his tenure at St. Dominic‘s, he assisted the pastors of area parishes. He served the St. Dominic High School community until 1996.
In 1996, he was appointed Director of Continuing Formation of Priests and, in 1999, while continuing as CFP Director, he was named editor of The St. Louis Review. The Review is a weekly newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.
Bishop Finn was named a Chaplain to His Holiness in August 2003, with the title of Monsignor. He served in several other capacities including chairman of the Archdiocesan Committee on the Diaconate. He is a Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus.
On March 9, 2004, Bishop Finn was named Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph, by Pope John Paul II. His ordination to the episcopacy was May 3, 2004, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, in Kansas City, Missouri.
On May 24, 2005 the Vatican accepted Bishop Boland‘s request for retirement. As Coadjutor, Bishop Finn automatically succeeded him as sixth bishop of the Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph.
Within the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Finn currently serves as consultant to both the Pro-Life Secretariat and the Bishops Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. He has served as Chairman of the Bishop's Task Force on the Life and Dignity of the Human Person and on the Administrative and the Priorities and Plans Committees. Bishop Finn is President of the Institute on Religious Life and a board member of the John Paul II Institute for Stem Cell Research. He is a member of the Board of Regents for Conception Seminary College, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors for Missouri Catholic Conference, a member of the Board of Trustees for Kenrick School of Theology, a member of the Board of Directors for Catholic Athletes for Christ, and other national organizations. Bishop Finn is a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Equestrian Order of Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, and a Knight of St. Peter Claver
Austin Welsh, MD
"Case Studies at the End of Life: A Geriatrician’s Perspective"View Bio
Austin Welsh MD is a Geriatrician at a seniors-only campus in Overland Park, Kansas, for a national medical group which exclusively serves continuing-care communities. He was a resident in Family Medicine at St John’s Mercy Medical Center in St Louis and received additional training for a year in the geriatrics program at the University of Hawaii. For over 15 years he has practiced in rural and urban clinics where Medicare was the patients’ primary insurance. He is the founding president of the Kansas City chapter of the Catholic Medical Association. He and his wife live in Overland Park and have seven children.
Thomas More Society
"Defending Natural Death: Using the Law to Save Lives"View Bio
Peter Breen serves as Executive Director & Legal Counsel of the Thomas More Society, a national public interest law firm focused on restoring the respect for life in law. Peter joined the Society in 2008, bringing broad experience in the private, political, and charitable sectors to the position. In addition to directing the day-to-day operations of the Society, Peter Breen actively practices law in state and federal courts around the country, in addition to advising elected officials on legislative issues. Prior to joining the Thomas More Society, Peter founded two pregnancy centers in the western suburbs of Chicago, along with an affiliate network of over 30 churches, to provide practical assistance to women in need and their children. Peter holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Vanderbilt University, which he earned in three years, and a juris doctor from the University of Notre Dame. Peter and his wife Margie, who directs the Respect Life Office of the Archdiocese of Chicago, reside in Lombard, Illinois.
Bobby Schindler & Suzanne Vitadamo
Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network Founders
"How many ‘Terri Schiavos’ Are Dying Every Day in America?"View Bio
Bobby Schindler is the Executive Director of the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network which works to protect the lives of the medically vulnerable and disabled from the threat of euthanasia. The Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network was the 2009-2010 recipient of the Gerard Health Life Prizes Award. The only son of Bob and Mary Schindler, Bobby was born and raised just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with his sisters, Terri and Suzanne. After his graduation from LaSalle University with a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing, Bobby went on to obtain a degree in meteorology from Florida State University.
Bobby‘s life took a dramatic and unexpected turn in February of 1990 when his older sister, Terri, suddenly collapsed and was left with a profound brain injury. When Terri‘s estranged husband sought court permission to starve and dehydrate her to death, Bobby was suddenly propelled into a life he‘d never imagined. He spoke in defense of his sister‘s life on numerous national television and radio programs including Hannity & Colmes, Larry King Live, the Oprah Winfrey Show, The Glenn Beck Show, Good Morning America, The Early Show, The Today Show, Dateline NBC, the 700 Club, EWTN and many others.
Following Terri's tragic death on March 31, 2005, Bobby gave up his teaching job at Tampa Catholic High School and became a full-time pro-life and disability rights advocate. Today, Bobby through Terri‘s Life & Hope Network assists families in need of legal action to prevent their loved ones from health care rationing and food and water removal. Terri‘s Life & Hope Network has provided resources and support to over 1000 families and has been involved in hundreds of cases helping to protect persons who were in or potentially facing life-threatening situations. He has spoken extensively throughout the U.S. and internationally, giving a firsthand account about Terri‘s story which was largely misrepresented by the mainstream media. Bobby talks about the effects this case has had across America and about the tens of thousands of individuals living like Terri today.
Bobby has also been asked to testify before state legislatures in Florida, Louisiana, California and Kentucky, and has addressed Members of Parliament in Canada and Australia concerning the protection of the medically vulnerable. He and his family have also authored the book A Life That Matters (2006), regarding their decade long struggle to care for his sister Terri. Bobby also co-hosted on America‘s Lifeline, a weekly radio program that covered such topics as euthanasia, futile care and assisted suicide. The Schindler family continues to advocate for persons with disabilities and works tirelessly to put an end to the growing pro-death mentality that is plaguing our nation.Suzanne Vitadamo
Suzanne is the youngest daughter of Bob and Mary Schindler. After completing high school, she moved with her family to St. Petersburg, Florida. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in business from the University of South Florida and then worked for five years as a stockbroker with TD Waterhouse.
During her family‘s long struggle to save Terri‘s life, Suzanne made countless media appearances, speaking on Terri‘s behalf and against the practice of euthanasia. Since Terri‘s death, she has dedicated her life to helping other families protect their loved ones from the same evil that took Terri‘s life. She now works for Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network (formerly The Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation) which she, along with her parents and brother, Bobby, founded to combat the death culture that threatens our nation. Suzanne continues to speak to groups about the life and death of her sister, Terri, and works to assist families whose loved ones are threatened by euthanasia. Suzanne and her family have authored the book A Life That Matters (2006), regarding their decade long struggle to care for his sister Terri. Suzanne also co-hosted America's Lifeline, a weekly radio program that covered such topics as euthanasia, futile care and assisted suicide. She currently resides in St. Petersburg, Florida, with her husband, Michael, and daughter, Alexandra.
Thomas J. McKenna
St. Gianna Physician’s Guild
Founder and President
Conference Host and ModeratorView Bio
Thomas J. McKenna has been involved full time in lay apostolates throughout his entire life. He is also the founder and president of Catholic Action for Faith and Family. Thomas is a personal friend of Cardinal Raymond Burke who helped him in the founding of these organizations and continues to serve as the Episcopal Advisor.
The goal of St. Gianna Physician’s Guild is to gather physicians and others to be part of an association which can address issues of public concern especially focusing on those related to the practice of medicine and the health care profession. Through programs and activities members have the opportunity to meet other who share their concerns as well as their Faith. The program has spread to include nurses, medical students, residents as well as others who share these concerns. The movement is growing rapidly across the country.
Mr. McKenna is a personal friend of St. Gianna Molla’s family and has written a short biography on the life of this modern day saint and produced an inspiring DVD on her life.
Mr. McKenna is also a director of the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima Foundation. He has served as a special custodian of this famous statue for more than 30 years and traveled to many countries around the world with her. He is writing a book on the history of the statue which is scheduled to be published later this year.
He serves as the Executive Director of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, a national association of over 600 priests and deacons which he has assisted for over 15 years.
Thomas has appeared as a special guest on several of EWTN’s programs and on secular television debates defending Catholic principles. He lectures nationally and internationally and has published articles in a variety of Catholic journals in the United States and abroad.