His Eminence Seán Cardinal O’Malley – Keynote Speaker
His Eminence Seán Patrick O’Malley currently serves as the Archbishop of Boston and is an American Cardinal of the Catholic Church. At 21, he was professed into the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin and at 26 he was ordained a Catholic priest. After earning a master’s degree in religious education and a Ph.D. in Spanish and Portuguese literature from the Catholic University of America, he taught at Catholic University and founded Centro Católico Hispano (Hispanic Catholic Center) in Washington, DC, an organization which provided educational, medical and legal help to immigrants. Since his ordination to the episcopacy on August 2, 1984, he has served as the Bishop of the dioceses of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands; Fall River, Massachusetts; and Palm Beach, Florida. Pope John Paul II appointed him Archbishop of Boston in July 2003. Pope Benedict XVI named him a Cardinal in 2006. He also serves as a member of the Congregation for the Clergy and the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life in the Roman Curia. He is also on the Presidential Council of the Pontifical Council for the Family. He runs a personal blog as well as a regular podcast. He also advises Pope Francis in a group of seven other cardinals that looks to revise Pastor Bonus, the Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia.
Mona Charen – Panelist: “The End of Intelligent Debate”
Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist and political analyst. Ms. Charen received her undergraduate degree at Barnard College, Columbia University, with honors. She also holds a degree in law from George Washington University. Ms. Charen began her career at National Review magazine where she served as editorial assistant. In 1984, Ms. Charen joined the White House staff, serving first as Nancy Reagan’s speechwriter and later as Associate Director of the Office of Public Liaison. In the latter post, she lectured widely on the Administration’s Central America policy. Later in her White House career, she worked in the Public Affairs office helping to craft the President’s communications strategy. In 1986, Ms. Charen left the White House to join the presidential campaign of then-Congressman Jack Kemp as a speechwriter. Ms. Charen launched her syndicated column in 1987, which is featured in more than 150 newspapers and websites. She spent 6 years as a regular commentator on CNN’s Capital Gang and Capital Gang Sunday, and has served as a judge of the Pulitzer Prizes. She has also been a fellow at the Hudson Institute and the Jewish Policy Center, and is currently a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Ms. Charen is the author of two bestsellers: Useful Idiots: How Liberals Got it Wrong in the Cold War and Still Blame America First (2003); and Do-Gooders: How Liberals Harm Those They Claim to Help – and the Rest of Us (2005). In 2010, she received the Eric Breindel Award for Excellence in Opinion Journalism. Ms. Charen is a frequent guest on television and radio public affairs programs.
Richard M. Doerflinger – Panelist: “The End of Intelligent Debate”
Richard M. Doerflinger is Associate Director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, where he has worked for 33 years. Among his duties is the preparation of policy statements and congressional testimony on abortion, euthanasia, conscience rights in health care, embryo research, and other medical-moral issues. He is also an Adjunct Fellow in Bioethics and Public Policy at the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia, and serves on the Advisory Board to The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity. Mr. Doerflinger has testified before Congress, the National Bioethics Advisory Commission, the National Institutes of Health, the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, and several state legislatures on the way public policy treats human life at its most vulnerable stages. His writings on medical ethics and public policy include contributions to The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, the Hastings Center Report, Duquesne Law Review, Cell Proliferation, the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, the Encyclopedia of Catholic Doctrine, the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, and the American Journal of Bioethics. He holds a BA degree and an MA in Divinity from the University of Chicago, and conducted doctoral studies in Theology at that institution and the Catholic University of America. In January 2009, Mr. Doerflinger became one of the first recipients of the Gerard Health Foundation’s “Life Prize,” honoring efforts to awaken the conscience of America to the sanctity of human life. In April 2011, he became the first recipient of the “Evangelium Vitae Medal.
Mary Hasson – Panelist: “The End of Intelligent Debate”
EPPC Fellow Mary Rice Hasson writes on Catholicism, culture, sexuality, and family life. She is the Editor of a new book, Promise and Challenge: Catholic Women Reflect on Feminism, Complementarity, and the Church (Our Sunday Visitor: 2015), which responds to Pope Francis’s call for women to assume a greater presence and influence in the Church. Mrs. Hasson also co-authored the ground-breaking report, What Catholic Women Think About Faith, Conscience, and Contraception (2012), which offered new data and analysis of the views of church-going Catholic women, ages 18-54, on faith, conscience, and contraception. She is currently working on a book that builds on her 2012 research and explores the views of Catholic women on faith, sexual morality, and reproduction. Mrs. Hasson writes commentary for a variety of websites, policy journals, and scholarly publications and has been interviewed by a wide range of media including CNN, MSNBC, EWTN, the BBC, the AP, and numerous radio programs. Before joining EPPC, Mrs. Hasson worked as an attorney, a writer, and held leadership positions in Catholic marriage preparation programs, diocesan education efforts, and Catholic ministries to women and families. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School and the University of Notre Dame, Mary and her husband, Kevin J. “Seamus” Hasson, are the parents of seven children.
Father Joseph Koterski – Panelist: “The End of Intelligent Debate”
Father Joseph W. Koterski, S.J. is a Jesuit Priest of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus. Fr. Koterski is a distinguished scholar, professor, and priest. He has been a member of the Philosophy Department of Fordham University since 1992 and is the Editor-in-Chief of the International Philosophical Quarterly. In 2011, he was re-elected President of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars. He is the chaplain for the Sisters of Life and gives retreats for the Missionaries of Charity around the world. He was the chair of the Philosophy Department at Fordham University from 2001-2005. He has been a member of University Faculty for Life since 1991, having held numerous positions in service to the society. Fr. Koterski is a member of the American Catholic Philosophical Society, Academy of Catholic Theology, American Philosophical Association, and the Institute for Theological Encounters with Science and Technology. Among his recent publications is An Introduction to Medieval Philosophy: Some Basic Concepts (2009). On the Fordham campus he serves as Master of Queens Court Residential College for Freshmen. For The Teaching Company he has produced lecture courses on Aristotle’s Ethics, on Natural Law and Human Nature, and most recently on Biblical Wisdom Literature. Fr. Koterski has also written extensively on human nature, society, and law.
Father Stephen Fields – Panel Moderator: “The End of Intelligent Debate” Breakout Speaker: “Why the Natural Law is Pro-Life”
Stephen Fields, SJ has taught at Georgetown University for 22 years, where he is Associate Professor of Historical and Philosophical Theology. His recent courses include the Church Fathers, truth and the natural law, the thought of John Henry Newman, and the philosophy of religion. He holds degrees from Oxford and Yale, and has written books and articles on various aspects of St Thomas Aquinas. On campus, he serves as chaplain of the campus Knights of Columbus and the Traditional Latin Mass congregation.
Jennifer Lahl – Breakout Speaker: “The Ethics of the New Modern Family”
Jennifer Lahl is founder and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. Lahl has 25years of experience as a pediatric critical care nurse, a hospital administrator, and a senior-level nursing manager. Lahl’s writings have appeared in various publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, and the American Journal of Bioethics. As a field expert, she is routinely interviewed on radio and television including ABC, CBC, PBS, and NPR. She is also called upon to speak alongside lawmakers and members of the scientific community, even being invited to speak to members of the European Parliament in Brussels toaddress egg trafficking. She serves on the North American Editorial Board for Ethics and Medicine and on the Board of Reference for Joni Eareckson Tada’s Institute on Disability. In 2009, Lahl was associate producer of the documentary film, Lines That Divide: The Great Stem Cell Debate. She also produced the documentary films Eggsploitation and Father’s Day, which explores the stories of women and men who were created by anonymous sperm donation. She is currently at work on a documentary film, slated for release in 2014, that will explore the issue of surrogacy.
Vicki Thorn – Breakout Speaker: “The Biology of the Theology of the Body” and “There’s a Hole in My Soul”
Vicki Thorn is the foundress of Project Rachel and the executive director of the National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation & Healing. She has a degree in Psychology from the University of Minnesota and a certificate in Spiritual Direction. She is a bereavement facilitator and a prenatal loss councilor. She also holds a certificate in Trauma Counseling from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is a long time member of the Association of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health. Vicki is an international speaker and author on the topics of abortion’s aftermath in women, men and others as well as the process of post-abortion healing. She speaks internationally on the biology of bonding and attachment. Additionally she has written and spoken about the sociological changes in society since 1960 and the spiritual and psychological wounds carried by Gen X and Gen Y as a result of those changes. She has written about the role of stress in making abortion decisions, and ways to help women in crisis pregnancies. In August 2009 she received the People of Life Award from the Pro-Life Secretariat of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for her pro-life service to the Church. In November 2010, she received recognition as a “Woman of Faith” from the Sisters of the Divine Savior. She is a Corresponding Member of the Pontifical Academy for Life. She and her husband William Thorn are the parents of 6 children and the proud grandparents of 5 granddaughters and one grandson.
Damon Clarke Owens – Breakout Speaker – “Theology of the Body: Building a Culture of Awe and Wonder“
Damon Owens is the Executive Director of the Theology of the Body Institute. He is the founder of Joy-Filled Marriage NJ and New Jersey Natural Family Planning Association, non-profit organizations dedicated to building a marriage culture. In 2011, Damon served as Executive Director of The Children First Foundation. He has been a Certified Speaker for the Theology of the Body Institute and National Trainer for Ascension Press since 2006. Damon has served as the NJ Director for the National Organization for Marriage. In addition, he has served as National Spokesman for L.E.A.R.N. (Life, Education, and Resource Network) – the national network of independent African-American pro-life organizations. He earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Brown University in 1988 and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley in 1990. Following 13 years as manager with a major technology firm, he founded a technology startup in 2001 before moving full-time in support of marriage and the family. Damon has published numerous articles, appeared on many radio and television programs, and has hosted and produced three 13-part series for EWTN. He is also an accomplished gospel singer honored with a solo during the 1995 NJ Papal Mass at Giants Stadium presided by Blessed Pope John Paul II. Damon lives outside Philadelphia with his wife Melanie and their eight children.
Elizabeth Yore – Breakout Speaker – “Human Rights of Children: A Call to Action!”
Elizabeth Yore is an Attorney and International Child Rights Advocate. She served as Special Counsel at Harpo, Inc. until 2012. In that position, she acted as Oprah Winfrey’s Child Advocate both with the Oprah Winfrey Show and in South Africa at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. Liz was Ms. Winfrey’s liaison at the South African criminal trial involving child victims from the school. Prior to that position, Liz was General Counsel for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, the Illinois statewide child welfare agency. At DCFS, Liz created the first missing child unit, which required the DCFS to notify police when a foster child went missing. She also spearheaded a program with the FBI to prosecute human trafficking cases involving children who are in foster care. Prior to DCFS, Liz was General Counsel at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Virginia, and its first Director of the International Division handling international child exploitation and abduction cases. She now blogs, speaks internationally on various child protection issues, appears on television, cable and radio programs as an expert in human trafficking and child exploitation issues and consults both nationally and internationally with corporations on child exploitation. Liz serves on the Boards of the National Association to Protect Children, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, the Napa Institute and the Institute for Religious Life. She received her B.A. from Georgetown University and her J.D. from Loyola University Law School in Chicago.
Steven Mosher – Breakout Speaker: “There are Too Many People on This Planet. Not.”
Steven W. Mosher is an internationally recognized authority on China and population issues, as well as an acclaimed author, speaker. He has worked tirelessly since 1979 to fight coercive population control programs and has helped hundreds of thousands of women and families worldwide over the years. Steven has appeared numerous times before Congress as an expert in world population, China, and human rights abuses. He has also made TV appearances on Good Morning America, 60 Minutes, The Today Show, 20/20, FOX and CNN news, as well as being a regular guest on talk radio shows across the nation. He is also the author of the best-selling A Mother’s Ordeal: One Woman’s Fight Against China’s One-Child Policy. Other books include Hegemon: China’s Plan to Dominate Asia and the World, China Attacks, China Misperceived: American Illusions and Chinese Reality, Journey to the Forbidden China, and Broken Earth: The Rural Chinese. Articles by Steve have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, The New Republic, The Washington Post, National Review, Reason, The Asian Wall Street Journal, Freedom Review, Linacre Quarterly, Catholic World Report, Human Life Review, First Things, and numerous other publications. Steven Mosher lives in Virginia with his wife, Vera, and their nine children.
Sr. Mary Gabriel – Breakout Speaker – “The Life and Legacy of John Cardinal O’Connor”
Sister Mary Gabriel is a member of the Sisters of Life, a New York based community of consecrated women religious dedicated to protect and enhance the sacredness of human life. The Sisters have missions in New York, Connecticut and Toronto, Canada through which they bring the liberating message of the Gospel of Life, the beauty of human love and the mercy of Christ to those they serve. The Sisters accompany pregnant women in need, some of whom live with the Sisters; walk with those healing after an abortion experience; and host retreats on the spiritual life to all women and men. Sr. Mary Gabriel is originally from Long Island, NY and has been a member of the Sisters of Life since 1999. She currently serves as Novice Director for the community. Sr. Mary Gabriel spoke to undergraduate students at the Seek 2013 Conference presented by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students on Power in Prayer. She also speaks on glory and our human desire to live to the fullest, and counsels others on how to do exactly that. Sr. Mary Gabriel has been described as a “force of Joy to be reckoned with.”
Wayne Hipley – Breakout Speaker: “Mercy and Forgiveness: A Life Issue Even for the Guilty”
Wayne Hipley, has been the Coordinator of Youth and Young Adult Ministry at St. William of York Church since July 2002. His ministry focuses on areas of spirituality, conflict resolution, ecumenism, social justice, and crisis intervention. He serves on the Archdiocesan Response Team, acts as the youth ministry liaison on the Beyond the Boundaries Steering Committee, and directs the Archdiocese of Baltimore Justice Action Week program. Wayne has also worked closely with pastoral leaders of many faith traditions individually and through an ecumenical clergy collegium. In May 2007, he received the diocesan Medal of Honor for Youth and Young Adult Ministry. Prior to his career in ministry, Wayne worked more than 20 years in the film and video production industry as a production manager, director, camera operator and editor. He helped develop and produce dozens of projects aimed at those working with middle and high school age youth. Topics included child sexual abuse, conflict resolution, depression, morality and social justice for clients ranging from the Maryland State Board of Education to the National Institutes of Health.
Stay tuned for more speaker details as they become available.
To view a list of past speakers, click here.