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Speakers


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Speakers


Katie Prejean Mcgrady


Morning Keynote

Katie Prejean Mcgrady


Morning Keynote

tammy speaking.jpg

Katie Prejean McGrady is a dynamic and engaging
Catholic speaker with a passion for sharing the Faith.

When Katie was just 17 years old, the director of youth ministry for the Diocese of Lake Charles asked her to give a keynote at the annual Diocesan Youth Conference. She said yes, and years later Katie is now a professional youth minister and speaker traveling around the country. Whenever she stands on stage, Katie is completely at ease. Audiences are challenged and excited by her talks, and her powerful presentation style is filled with humor and substantive teaching.

Katie, a dynamic Catholic Speaker, incorporates the E3 Method, a unique ministry and speaking model that reaches audiences on three very distinct levels. Katie engages audiences, establishing a personal connection by simply having fun with them. Using stories and her signature dance moves, Katie is able to set an audience at ease and make them comfortable. Katie is then able to enrich the hearts and minds of the audience. Drawing on her years of studying theology, Katie is able to reach out to an audience and share with them the Truth of the Faith – Truth that exists, can be known, and must be taught. She then extends a challenge to audiences, asking them to begin figuring out the best way to incorporate the Truth into their daily lives. Katie pushes audiences to go beyond their comfort zone and live radically passionate lives for Christ.

Dave Moore


House Band

Dave Moore


House Band

Dave Moore is a Christian Singer-Songwriter who’s passion and heart for God can be seen throughout all his life and music. Moore has written many songs that have been played on Independent Christian Radio stations. He has traveled the states singing contemporary and traditional songs of Praise for all generations.

“I feel that my heart is too unite the people of God by leading them into these moments of intense and deep prayer, where the conflicts of life are forgotten and through song we can just focus on the vertical relationship, God and Man.” A lot of things have changed for Moore in the last few years…mainly the switch from being in a band to becoming a solo artist, “it was hard slowing down with the band but I think it helped me take a step back and discern even harder what avenues God was leading me.” My life really took a big U turn…I started focusing more on my spiritual life rather than the next place we where going to play. In a lot of ways I fell into a deeper love for ministry than a relationship with Christ. It was in realizing this that I was able to greater understand my role as a servant and therefore start leading with an entirely different heart.

When I was younger I would always write songs about life and love. But, usually when I wrote about love it would be to catch someone’s eye, or attention…perhaps a highschool or college crush? I just started realizing that the greatest love song I could write wouldn’t neccesarily be written for someone on earth, but rather for God. I believe that makes him smile and that’s in a way what I strive for in my relationship with God… to do things and write things that would “make Him smile…” It is really hard to forget the entertainment side of things but I feel that my prayer is truly to be invisible in so as to let all my works be for or from the heart of God.

Moore’s first record Fading Into the Light was focused on a spiritual Journey but his next record seems to touch more on Biblical Stories and the heart of those who are constantly returning to God’s shelter and love.

Stephanie Gray


Afternoon Keynote

Stephanie Gray


Afternoon Keynote

Stephanie Gray is a seasoned and international speaker who began presenting at the age of 18. She has given over 700 pro-life presentations across North America as well as in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Austria, Latvia, and Costa Rica.  She has spoken at many post-secondary institutions such as Yale University, George Washington University, the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Sussex in England.

Stephanie has debated abortion advocates such as physicians who do abortions, which includes debating late-term abortionist Dr. Fraser Fellows in front of medical students at the University of Western Ontario’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry.  She has also debated Ron Fitzsimmons, executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, Dr. Jan Narveson, Philosophy professor and recipient of the Order of Canada, Elizabeth Cavendish, legal director for NARAL Pro-Choice America, and Dr. Malcolm Potts, the first medical director for International Planned Parenthood Federation.  Stephanie’s audiences are vast, including medical students, churches of various denominations, seminaries, high schools, and pro-life organizations.

Stephanie has done hundreds of media interviews, which include being a guest on CTV News, CBC News, CBC’s The Current, Global News, EWTN, Catholic Answers Radio, 100 Huntley Street’s Listen Up, and the Miracle Channel’s Insight.  She has been interviewed by ABC-, NBC-, FOX-, and CBS-affiliated television news programs throughout the Midwest of the United States.

Much of Stephanie’s media experience was generated when she spent 12 years as executive director and co-founder of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, a ministry that took her to Alberta and Ontario.  In 2014, she returned to her home province of British Columbia and now speaks on behalf of her ministry Love Unleashes Life.

Stephanie is Faculty at Blackstone Legal Fellowship where she trains law students from around the world about conversing persuasively on abortion.  She is author of Love Unleashes Life: Abortion & the Art of Communicating Truth as well as A Physician’s Guide to Discussing Abortion.  Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from UBC in Vancouver, and a Certification, with Distinction, in Health Care Ethics, from the NCBC in Philadelphia.

Fr. Joshua Johnson


Homilist

Fr. Joshua Johnson


Homilist

Throughout his teenage years, Fr. Joshua Johnson was aware of a deep ache in his heart for something more. He sought to fill the ache in every way that the world offered him happiness. He wrestled deep within his heart and came to know Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of the restlessness in his heart. Today Fr. Josh is a priest for the Diocese of Baton Rouge and is currently the parochial vicar at Saint Aloysius Catholic Church.  Prior to his ordination to the priesthood, he attended Southern University and graduated from St. Joseph’s Seminary College and Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. He has led many retreats and workshops throughout his diocese and has travelled the country sharing his witness on the healing power of Christ!

 

Josh Blakesley


Headline Band

Josh Blakesley


Headline Band

The Josh Blakesley Band has acknowledged a simple calling: To make music that moves people into prayer and action.

Their latest album, EVEN IN THIS (2015), has done just that. After a very successful Kickstarter campaign, raising more than $38,000, the band recorded the 10-song album with producer and songwriter, Michael Farren (Let it Rain, Come as You Are). The album features songs co-written with Farren, Mia Fieldes (Hillsong), Dove Award winner Marc Byrd (God of Wonders) and Grammy Award nominated, Sarah Hart (Better than a Hallelujah).

The title track from the album, EVEN IN THIS, is a song about finding hope in the darkest valleys of life. It was born out of tragedy after the band's guitar player, Grae McCullough, lost his one-month-old daughter to a chromosomal disorder called Trisomy 18. "The peace I had the day Lizzie's short life ended could have only been God. There was an underlying sense of peace in the devastation and the song really encapsulates the situation we were in," says McCoullough.

He’s in the valley of your pain

He’s in the shattered broken things

Even in this, Even in this

He’s in the hurt you cannot hide

He’s in the fear you cannot fight

Even in this, Even in this

The album’s first single - “Grateful” - as well as "Sing Hallelujah" - have both shown great popularity at events as well as with worship leaders. Blakesley (lead vocal), McCullough (electric guitar), Christian Gaudet (bass) and Blake Powell (drums), all hail from the central Louisiana area and they take great pride in their heritage. Two of the tracks on the album - “Revive Us” and “Brighter Days” - highlight the southern culture and flair that is the band’s roots.

In 2003, Blakesley released his award-winning debut album, Immersed (SpiritandSong/OCP), featuring “Our God is Good” and "The Lord is My Shepherd" - his popular setting of the 23rd Psalm. He then released two more albums with OCP - Waiting (2006) and Free (2010). The next project, You Are the Light (2012), was produced by Ed Cash (Chris Tomlin, Kari Jobe) and Robbie Seay (Song of Hope, Slow Me Down), peaked at #16 on the iTunes Christian and Gospel charts and #4 on the Christian Radio weekly chart.

Blakesley and the band have been featured on Sirius XM, EWTN’s Life on the Rock, and have performed with artists like Kutless, The City Harmonic, Jars of Clay and the Newsboys; on tour with Matt Maher and Audrey Assad; as well as International Papal events such as the 1993 Denver and 2011 Madrid World Youth Days and the 2012 World Meeting of Families in Milan, Italy.

The band continues to tour domestically and internationally with dates booked all over the US, Canada and Poland in 2015-16. The band partners with the Franciscan University of Steubenville for their youth and young adult conferences, Life Teen International, Catholic Heart Work Camps, Adore Ministries, as well as many churches, camps and conferences of all sizes in an effort to live out their calling and to “make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:18)

Josh and the band currently live in Alexandria, Louisiana with their families. EVEN IN THIS is available now. For more information, visit www.joshblakesleyband.com

 

Josh Blakesley Band is:

Josh Blakesley - Lead Vocals, Guitar, Piano

Grae McCullough - Guitar

Christian Gaudet - Bass

Blake Powell - Drums

David Calavitta


Evening Keynote

David Calavitta


Evening Keynote

David Calavitta is a passionate Catholic speaker in love with Christ and his Church. He's also very much in love with his beautiful wife, Brittany. David has been blessed to serve the Church through youth ministry in various ways since the year 2000. In addition to his speaking ministry, he currently serves as the head of Design & Marketing for Life Teen International. 

Sister Tracey Dugas


Emcee

Sister Tracey Dugas


Emcee

Sr. Tracey Matthia Dugas is a Media Nun. She belongs to the Daughters of St. Paul who preach the Gospel through all forms of media, especially social media. Her favorite thing about being consecrated to God is that she's God's "audio-visual"... called to communicate Him and his love and truth to everyone. She is currently stationed in New Orleans, LA where she and the sisters run the Pauline Book & Media Center--a center of faith and hope where people come to be close to Jesus in the Eucharistic Chapel as well as through books, music and videos. She spends much of her time continuing her theological training at Notre Dame Seminary, facilitating her community of sisters and speaking God's word at retreats, conferences and radio.

Seminarian Gabe Bouck


Student Emcee

Seminarian Gabe Bouck


Student Emcee

Gabe is a Seminarian for the Diocese of Memphis. He is a convert to the Catholic faith and loves bringing a good time wherever he goes! Aside from having a career as a computer nerd for many years before seminary, he is also a professional singer. When he is not studying philosophy, Gabe loves spending time with friends and generally being awesome. His laugh is contagious, and he can put a smile on anyone's face.