The 2018 Ministry Team
Daniel Bernal Jr. (DJ) knew the importance of his Catholic faith as a child, but life experiences left a deep void in his heart. A Steubenville conference in 2008 helped DJ realize his need for an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Aligning perfectly with Proverbs 19:21, many were the plans in DJ’s heart, but it was the Lord’s purpose that prevailed. Since 2008, DJ has had the great privilege to minister to middle/high school students, young adults, and adult groups. DJ teaches on the necessity of obtaining a real relationship with Jesus Christ (Romans 8:38-39), and the need to have healthy, lasting relationships with others through the Theology of the Body, among other topics. DJ resides in San Antonio, TX.
Fr. Matt Russick, TOR
Father Matt Russick is a Franciscan TOR and a proud native of Michigan. He frequents ESPN.com, has a passion for preaching and teaching, and loves to worship God. Fr. Matt professed his solemn vows in 2008 and was ordained a priest in 2009. He has taught at Bishop Carroll Catholic High School in Ebensburg, Pennsylvania, and also served as a parochial vicar at St. Joseph’s Church in Herndon, Virginia. Currently, Father Matt lives with two other friars in Gaming, Austria, where he serves as campus minister and teaches a course on St. Francis of Assisi and Franciscan history for the University’s Study Abroad Program.
Katie Prejean McGrady
Katie Prejean is a teacher, youth minister, author, and speaker. Since 2007, Katie has been traveling across the country using her "theological comedy" with audiences. Her original blend of humor and story-telling along with her teaching of hard-hitting theological truth is dynamic, engaging, and challenging. Katie has her B.A. in Theology from the University of Dallas and is currently working on her Masters in Theology from the Augustine Institute. Her first book, Room 24: Adventures of a New Evangelist was just released by Ave Maria Press. She lives and works in Lake Charles, Louisiana as a 9th grade theology teacher & parish youth director. She is engaged and will marry Tommy McGrady in June of 2016.
Josh Blakesley’s mission is to make music that moves people into prayer and action. He began leading worship 15+ years ago and isn’t slowing down anytime soon. He just released a new mass setting called Mass of Restoration, which he leads at any Steubenville Conference of which he is a part. Josh travels with his band around the country at least 80 dates a year. He also serves as the Associate Music Director at his home parish, Our Lady of Prompt Succor, in Central Louisiana, where he lives with his wife Heather and two children, Sophie and Sutty.
Leah Darrow travels the country speaking about her experiences, her conversion, and the virtues of modesty and chastity in light of Pope John Paul II’s theology of the body, doing her small part to further the new evangelization. Before her debut on the reality TV show America’s Next Top Model and the subsequent years as a professional model in New York City, Leah earned a BA in psychology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. As a full-time apologist and speaker for Catholic Answers from 2010-2013, Leah brought her experience of both reality TV and the fashion world to the masses. She is currently working toward her MA in theology at the Augustine Institute in Denver, Colorado.
Kris Frank attended Franciscan University and graduated in 2008 with a degree in catechetics and theology with a youth ministry concentration. He has been a part of youth programs in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida, and currently serves as a high school youth minister just outside of Houston, Texas. Kris also has been privileged to travel around the country, sharing the Gospel with teens and young adults at various retreats, camps, and conferences. Kris spends his free time with his beautiful wife, Grace, and their three children. He is grateful every day for the gift of God’s grace and the joy of serving the Church.
Father Jose Robles-Sanchez
Father Jose Robles-Sanchez is the pastor of St. Mary's Assumption Church in Cottonport and he also serves as the Coordinator of Steubenville South for the Diocese of Alexandria. For over 19 years with the Steubenville Conferences and over ten years with Lifeteen Camps, he has devoted himself to providing young people with opportunities to find a true and endless life embedded in the Eucharist, which is the center of life for the Church, and absolutely must be the center of life for the youth. He loves challenging young people to have a better commitment with Christ and the Church, as this will help them live their call to holiness in their own culture and their own lives.
Most Reverend David Talley, Bishop of Alexandria
David Prescott Talley was born in Columbus, Georgia and raised in the Southern Baptist faith before converting to Roman Catholicism at the age of 24. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Atlanta on June 3, 1989 at the Cathedral of Christ the King. His first assignment was as parochial vicar and administrator of St. Jude the Apostle Church. He served as the assistant director of Vocations, director of Vocations, Tribunal Judge, judicial vicar, and chancellor. He was named Prelate of Honor of His Holiness with the title of monsignor on May 10, 2001 by Pope John Paul II. Msgr. David P. Talley served as pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Church, parochial vicar at St. Anne Church in Columbus, GA. (Diocese of Savannah), and pastor of St. John Neumann Church and St. Brigid Church respectively. On December 17, 2012 his holiness Pope Benedict XVI named him titular bishop of Lambaesis and auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta. He was ordained to the episcopacy on April 2, 2013. Bishop Talley was named coadjutor bishop of the Diocese of Alexandria on September 21, 2016 and twelfth Bishop of the Diocese of Alexandria on February 2, 2017.