2016 Conference


Father Andrew Apostoli, CFR

Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR, is a founding member for the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, has been active in teaching, preaching retreats and parish missions, and giving spiritual direction.  He was ordained a priest by then Bishop Fulton J. Sheen on March 16, 1967. You can see him on EWTN hosting “Sunday Night Prime”. 

Fr. Apostoli is the author of numerous books, including “Following Mary to Jesus: Our Lady as Mother, Teacher, and Advocate” (Word Among Us) and “Walk Humbly with Your God: Simple Steps to a Virtuous Life” (Servant).


A frequent host on the Eternal Word Television Network, Fr. Apostoli hosted the television special “Our Lady of Fatima and the First Saturday Devotion” seen on EWTN.

Father Apostoli will speak in two sessions:

Bishop Fulton Sheen

Fr. Apostoli was the vice-postulator for the cause for the canonization of Bishop Fulton Sheen. With his teachings, he instructed many people in the media of television, where 25-30 million watched him on a Tuesday night for six years. “It seems to me that people of that time seem to be good Catholics today,” says Fr. Apostoli. “I often wonder if his programs and his steadfast loyalty to the Church have been a source of strength and faith in the people of that era.”

Our Lady of Fatima

The author of an exhaustive study on the Virgin Mary's 1917 appearances in Portugal, Fr. Apostoli says her words are being fulfilled by the rise of aggressive secularism and loss of religious freedom in the West. “Bl. John Paul II repeatedly stressed the importance of the message of Fatima – a call to conversion, prayer, and penance – during his pontificate, as he saw the Church entering a “life-and-death struggle” involving billions of souls,” said Fr. Apostoli. He noted that as official atheism grows, so does the importance of Our Lady of Fatima's message – which involves daily prayer of the Rosary, personal sanctification, reparation for offenses against God, and the practice of attending Mass on the first Saturday of five consecutive months.

“This message is not over,” Fr. Apostoli stated. “Our Lady said that the Rosary can stop wars, and can bring world peace. We have to do what she said, and live good lives. There's no other plan from Heaven that's so specific, for what we're going through now. She spelled it out. Prayer, penance, the 'First Five Saturdays' devotion – and live a good, holy life. That's the answer.”

Marie Bellet

Marie is a singer/songwriter and mother of nine.  She has written and recorded six albums about the reality of family life and the peace to be found in giving to one another.  Her authentic Americana songs take the listener away from the distractions and conventions of media culture. “I write about the life I know, from something as simple as a trip to the grocery store with a bunch of kids to something as difficult as watching a son deploy to Afghanistan.  I want to tell others that sacrifice is not stupidity or victimization.  It is noble. It is transformative.  It is love.”


Marie lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her children and husband Bill, a psychologist with sense.  They are parishioners of St. Mary’s of the Seven Sorrows Catholic Church.

Learn more about Marie at www.mariebellet.com.

Topic: Transformation Through Irritation

All of us are called to be transformed from self-centered me-first creatures to self-giving, sacrificial people. As wives and mothers, it is the difficult, uncomfortable, irritating things that we must do for our families that are the substance of our transformation. Marie uses stories and songs to describe how sacrificing for marriage and family is not stupidity or victimization, it is the noblest thing we do. We need go no further than accepting the contradictions of everyday life to become the generous, loving creatures we were made to be.

Lisa M. Hendey

Lisa is the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and the bestselling author of “The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms” and “A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms”. Lisa’s newest project, the “Chime Travelers” fiction for elementary school readers, is based upon the lives of the saints.  As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV.  She is the host of “Catholic Moments”, on Radio Maria and the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show.  She blogs at multiple online venues including Patheos.  Her articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor.  Lisa travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family and Catholic technology and communications topics.  She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and the Catholic Press Association tour of Israel as a guest of the Israeli Ministry of Tourism.  Lisa lives with her family in the Diocese of Fresno, California.


Learn more about Lisa at www.lisahendey.com.

Topic: Nurturing the New Evangelization

The New Evangelization calls each of us to deepen our faith, believe in the Gospel message and go forth to proclaim the Gospel. But how can we be effective and loving missionaries of the Word in the midst of busyness, societal pressures and our own life challenges. Lisa Hendey will provide an uplifting message on what it truly means to be a share our faith in our own homes and beyond. Learn effective strategies and tools to nurture your own faith. Discover how the Communion of Saints can be your partners in living the Gospel. Create a plan for your own spiritual, emotional and physical self-care to be more effective and joyful in the New Evangelization. Embrace the grace of your own "Yes" to God's will for your life.