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SSJ ANNUAL FAMILY CONFERENCE 2023

Learn how to Live Like A Disciple
DECEMBER 2 | 9:30a - 4:00p

"​Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,

that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect."

Romans 12:2

Discovery Dome | All Ages

the Discovery Dome offers full-dome presentations on various subjects, providing students with educational adventures.

Full-dome presentations covering the solar system, earth science, ancient history, the human body, and more take students on incredible adventures.

Adulting: Catholic Edition | Ages 18+

Presented in English & Spanish.​

Counter Culture | English: Mike Patin & Spanish: Eduardo Miranda

Speakers will ask the important questions. What does it mean to be a disciple in Today's World? How do I share my faith with others? Come and learn God's call for you as a disciple.

Mike Patin—the “Engagin’ Cajun”- uses energy, humor and stories to remind people of God's presence among us while inviting others (and himself) to take the "next step" in our journey with God.

 

In 1984, his ministry career began as a high school teacher & coach. He then moved to diocesan youth ministry in New Orleans for 13 years. Since 2003, he has been a full-time speaker and “faith horticulturist.”

He has engaged groups from 10 to 23,000 in over 130 U.S. and Canadian dioceses, speaking at parish missions, conferences/rallies, retreats, and in-services. His audiences have includes youth, adults, families, clergy & seminarians, faculties, businesses, athletic teams and hospital staffs.

 

He has been a featured speaker at numerous national events, such as: --Natl. Catholic Educational Association Convention --Los Angeles Religious Education Congress/Youth Day --National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry --National Catholic Youth Conference --Notre Dame Vision

 

Mike has published two books: A Standing Invitation, and This Was Not in the Brochure: Lessons from Work, Life and Ministry.

In 2006, he received the National Catholic Youth Ministry Award.

Mike lives in Lafayette, LA.

Eduardo Miranda— Is a husband of 27 years and father of three. Born in Mexico City, he attended the Legionaries of Christ Catholic school. In 2010 he moved to the Woodlands and has been a part of the Sts. Simon and Jude community ever since. He is an active member of the Regnum Christi apostolate and is currently an Instituted Acolyte and is currently in formation to become a Deacon in the future.

Over the years, the Miranda Family has made their home here at Sts. Simon and Jude and serve in a variety of ministries from being Sacristans for the 2:0 PM Mass to bringing communion to the sick at the hospital. Eduardo and his wife Monica also serve on the formation team to help couples preparing for marriage and his daughter Paulina, is currently a Faith Formation Guide for Team Guadalupe. 

The Domestic Church | English: Laura Stephens & Spanish: Elizabeth & Phillipe Macias

Speakers will explore the Domestic Church i.e. the Family. What is the Family's responsibility? Mass. Praying over your children. And having the hard conversations.

Laura Stephens is a wife of seventeen years and a mother of three. Her love for the faith led her to receive a Theology degree from Franciscan University of Steubenville. After graduation she served a large, dynamic parish for 13 years leading their Faith Formation staff.  The best part of the job was watching families develop their faith.

 

Over the years, she has led countless retreats, started a Family ministry at a previous parish, written Catholic faith blogs, coordinated VBS, and even been a ghostwriter for a top Catholic faith formation publisher.  

 

Despite her love for serving God on a full-time basis, she answered the deeper call of her heart to focus on the education of her children. Laura is now in her 6th year of homeschooling her three children and giving them the gift that she received from her parents as a homeschool graduate herself. 

 

Her family joined Sts. Simon and Jude this past summer and are enjoying sharing their faith journey with their new parish family. You will see Laura volunteering here as a Family Faith Guide for Team Margaret as well as being on the Edge and Life Teen Core Teams. Yes, she really loves teaching and sharing the incredible Catholic faith with all ages!  

Felipe y Elizabeth Macias: Los Macias son una pareja que sirven en SSJ desde el 2015, sin embargo, su experiencia como presentadores y charlistas aquí en US es desde 2005. Su vocación por las familias y en especial por las parejas los ha llevado a estar envueltos en muchos programas y talleres.  Cumplieron 15 años de servidores en la Arquidiócesis Galveston Houston en el área de Preparación Matrimonial y Enriquecimiento Familiar, de Parejas y Padres.  En el 2010 participaron como anfitriones del programa “Matrimonios al Servicio de Dios” por tres años consecutivos en la estación de Radio María en Houston.  A nivel nacional se incorporaron a la compañía Laugh Your Way America por el lado hispano siendo los representantes del Programa Ríanse Hacia Un Matrimonial Mejor viajando por todo Estados Unidos. Elizabeth fue co-escritora y traductora del manual en español del mismo programa.   Han compartido con parejas en varias iglesias el Programa “El plan de Dios para un Matrimonio lleno de Alegría” que se refiere al estudio del Papa Juan Pablo II sobre la Teología del Cuerpo. Tienen el certificado de Catequesis de la Sexualidad. Están registrados en el Programa de Prepare-Enrich para ser mentores de parejas en situaciones difíciles. Su servicio en SSJ está enfocado en apoyar los programas en español de Preparación Bautismal, Matrimonial y Formación de Fe. En el área litúrgica, Felipe es acolito instituido y Elizabeth es sacristán, ella también apoya el programa de asistencia de “Guardian Angel Closet”. Felipe nació en el Paso, Texas. Obtuvo el título de Administración de Negocios con énfasis en Finanzas de la Universidad de Texas en El Paso. Actualmente trabaja en ENCON Safety Products como gerente de Ventas a nivel Norte, Central y Sur América. Elizabeth nació en la ciudad de México, es Psicóloga Clínica, recibió su título de la Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, y se dedica al hogar. Tienen 32 años de casados, una hija, Tanya, de la cual están muy orgullosos. Ella vive en San Antonio.  

 

The Macias are a couple who have been serving in SSJ since 2015. However, their experience as presenters and speakers here in the US dates back to 2005. Their vocation for families, especially couples, has led them to be involved in many programs and workshops. They celebrated 15 years of service in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in the area of Marriage Preparation and Family Enrichment for Couples and Parents. In 2010, they served as hosts of the program "Matrimonios al Servicio de Dios" for three consecutive years on Radio María station in Houston. On a national level, they joined Laugh Your Way America as the Hispanic representatives for the "Ríanse Hacia Un Matrimonial Mejor" program, traveling across the United States. Elizabeth was a co-writer and translator of the program's manual in Spanish. 

They have shared the program "El plan de Dios para un Matrimonio lleno de Alegría" with couples in various churches, which is based on Pope St. John Paul II's study of the Theology of the Body. They hold a certificate in Sexuality Catechesis and are registered in the Prepare-Enrich program to mentor couples facing difficult situations. Their service in SSJ is focused on supporting Spanish-language programs for Baptismal Preparation, Marriage, and Faith Formation. In the liturgical area, Felipe is an instituted acolyte, and Elizabeth is a sacristan. She also supports the "Guardian Angel Closet" assistance program.  

Felipe was born in El Paso, Texas. He earned a degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance from the University of Texas at El Paso. He currently works at ENCON Safety Products as the Sales Manager for North, Central, and South America. 

Elizabeth was born in Mexico City and is a Clinical Psychologist with a degree from the Autonomous University of Ciudad Juárez. She is a dedicated housewife. They have been married for 32 years and have a daughter, Tanya, of whom they are very proud. She lives in San Antonio. 

Adults only Q&A | Kim Zember & Alex Gotay Jr. "Dr. G" with Translator Diana Valencia 

It's time to ask the hard questions to people whose answers come easy. All adults are welcome.

 

Untangled | Life Teen

9-12 Grade​

Living against the Norm Alex Gotay Jr. "Dr. G"

Alex Gotay Jr. "Dr. G" will be speaking on the Theology of the Body, St. John Paul II's inspired answers to the Church and the secular world as a whole's questions on the human person.

 

St. John Paul II dedicated 129 Wednesday audiences between 1979-1984 to answering some of life's hardest questions. "Who am I? Why am I here? What is my relationship to my body?". These talks and more were combined and are popularly known as the Theology of the Body. Come explore his answers to human sexuality as presented by speaker Alex Gotay Jr. "Dr. G".

 

The full TOB text, Man & Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body, is available HERE.

Dr. Alex Gotay, “Dr. G,” is a dynamic, national teen and young adult speaker who uses his unique perspective and combines it with his passion, humor, creativity, and stories to communicate the good news in a way that connects with ALL teens, young adults, and adults! His passion for his faith, being raised in a multicultural home, and his experiences in life allow him to address the culture’s many ailments from a unique perspective! He is a Husband of 19 years, father of three boys, convert, Retreat Leader, Evangelist, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black belt, has many years in professional Youth Ministry, presently works full-time in Campus Ministry, and teaches Theology. All of these allow him to provide a fervent talk, retreat, or event that your group will love!

Text provided by CatholicSpeaker.com

Living a Life of Virtue | Kim Zember

Kim shares her personal testimony from experiencing same-sex attraction at the age of 17 to pursuing a string of unfulfilling relationships with women throughout her life and finally finding that fulfillment in single life, through a relationship with Christ and his Church. This is not a tale of shame and guilt but of authenticity and freedom, you don't want to miss.

 

Kim Zember speaks internationally about the love and freedom she has found in her life in Jesus Christ. She loves people and strives to be totally transparent, to help others know they are safe to do the same. When Kim is not in Southern California, she is most likely found in her ‘home away from home’, Ethiopia, surrounded by her 280+ children.

Read more about Kim Zember and her ministry Overcome HERE

Influenced By Faith | Edge

6-8 Grade​

Legends - "Who is the Most Influential Person in History" | Diana Valencia

Diana Valencia will be leading a talk on Legends - "Who is the Most Influential Person in History". An EDGE Session on how we can continue to be influencers of Jesus Christ as Disciples in today's world.

According to the Times, the top five most influential people in history are 5.) Abraham Lincoln, 4.) William Shakespeare, 3.) Muhammad, 2.) Napoleon... and the person at number one may surprise you... or perhaps not. Come hear Diana Valencia talk about influencers in today's media-dominated landscape and how even YOU can be an influencer of Jesus Christ and his Church. So grab your Ring Lights and flip your cameras because today we are going to talk all about who we are influenced by and how we influence others.

Theology Of The Body Talk | Alex Gotay Jr. "Dr. G"

Alex Gotay Jr. "Dr. G" will be speaking on the Theology of the Body, St. John Paul II's inspired answers to the Church and the secular world as a whole's questions on the human person.

 

St. John Paul II dedicated 129 Wednesday audiences between 1979-1984 to answering some of life's hardest questions. "Who am I? Why am I here? What is my relationship to my body?". These talks and more were combined and are popularly known as the Theology of the Body. Come explore his answers to human sexuality as presented by speaker Alex Gotay Jr. "Dr. G".

 

The full TOB text, Man & Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body, is available HERE.

Dr. Alex Gotay is a Christ follower, Husband of 24 years, Father of three Boys, National Teen and Young Adult Speaker, Retreat Leader, Evangelizer, Missioner, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Blackbelt and full-time Youth Minister, who has been there and is now living it REAL for Christ! His intense approach and real style captures audiences!

Dr. G’s passion for Christ and his experiences in life allows him to address the culture’s many ailments from a unique perspective with all the answers being found in Christ! His childhood and teenage years consisted of many troubles. Growing up the way he did led him to despair. In his early twenties Alex met a Youth Minister who helped him from his relationship with Christ. He became heavily involved in multicultural youth ministry right after and has been involved and doing it ever since! His powerful messages help connect with teens and young adults, from all backgrounds, because his electric discussions are in a language that they understand and are made relevant!

Investigate Your Faith | Sleuth For Truth

Pre-K - 5 Grade

Your child is on the case! This tract is dedicated to helping your young one learn their faith and find the answer to the all-important question "Why Catholic?"

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