Mr. Ryan Ayala Master of Ceremonies (AKA The MC)
Ryan Ayala has spent the past 8 years serving in youth ministry in the Diocese of Phoenix. He currently serves as the Director of Youth Evangelization at Saint Mary's Catholic High School and Youth Minister at Saint Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Phoenix, AZ. Ryan also teaches the Youth Specialization class for the Kino Institute at the Diocese of Phoenix. Prior to his arrival to Phoenix, he served as a Campus Minister at the University of Notre Dame.
Ryan is originally from New Orleans and graduated from Holy Cross College with a Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Minor in Philosophy and is in progress for his Master of Education from the University of Mary. He met his wife, Amanda, at the University of Notre Dame and then happily married in 2014. They enjoy raising their energetic and rambunctious two-year old son, Liam Joseph Ayala.
Ms. Lita Arroyo Session #1 God's call and our response
Lita Arroyo is originally from the Los Angeles area, but grew up in Mesa, AZ. She's been Catholic since her Baptism at 5 months old, but experienced a profound conversion after receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation her junior year in high school. Her passion for the Truth led her to missionary work in Mexico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and then to the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN, to study Theology and Catholic Studies. Lita has ten years of experience working with high school teens- in youth ministry and teaching Theology at a Catholic High School. She currently serves as the Director of Parish Evangelization at St. Mary Magdalene in Gilbert, AZ.
Dr. ryAN hANNING
SESSION #2 The Purpose of College
sESSION #6 Four Levels of Happiness
Session #11 How to keep your faith in college
Ryan Hanning is the Asst. VP and Director of Cultural Advancement at the University of Mary Tempe where he also teaches Church History and Catholic Studies. He writes and speaks internationally on modern objections to religious faith and obstacles to conversion. He completed his undergraduate degree in Religious studies from ASU and his M.Ed from NAU as well as graduate studies at UD and recently completed his Ph.D from Maryvale Institute, England, and currently resides in Mesa, AZ with his beautiful wife Rebecca, and their 9 well socialized homeschooled children.
Mr. Bill Marcotte Session #3 Discovering God's Plan in your Life
Mr. Bill Marcotte is a former youth leader and director who has shaped the lives of thousands of teens. From World Youth Day trips in Europe and the Philippines, to mission trips throughout South America and Haiti Mr. Marcotte has been a tireless evangelist leading teens and young adults closer to Christ. A graduate of ASU and USF he holds a graduate degree in Theology, and currently serves as Parochial Administrator & Director of Evangelization/Discipleship at St. Andrew's Parish.
sESSION #4 Making a gift of self - Catholic charities in action
Prof. Chris Zajdzinski
SESSION #5 Apologetics: Faith and Reason
Session #9 Apologetics: there is a God
Mr. Chris Zajdzinski is the Director of Marriage and Family Life at St. Mary Magdalene and a popular speaker and teacher. He has spoken to groups throughout the United States and is the founder and Executive Director of Virtuous Life. Chris' mission is to be an encouragement to others in their faith and help equip them to share the 'Good News'. He has an M.A. in Theology from the Augustine Institute in Denver Colorado.
Session #7 Four Loves
Prof. Joe Cady
SESSION #8 Integral Human Development
Joe Cady is an alumnus of Arizona State University, where he earned concurrent degrees in Philosophy and Religious Studies, as well as Holy Apostles College & Seminary, where he earned a master's degree in Theology, with a concentration in Dogmatic Theology. Mr. Cady has worked in parish ministry for over fifteen years in the areas of adult faith formation, youth ministry, and sacramental preparation. He is currently the Director of Adult Catechesis at St. Timothy Catholic Church in Mesa, AZ, as well as an adjunct professor of Moral Theology at the Tempe, AZ campus of the University of Mary, and an adjunct instructor for the Kino Catechetical Institute at the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. He is co-author of Truth Be Told and author of Faith and Reason(s). Joe Cady and his wife currently live in Tempe, AZ with their seven children.
ms. Simone Rizkallah
Session #10 Forming Authentic community
Simone Rizkallah currently teaches high school seniors Moral Theology and Church History at St. Mary's Catholic High School in Phoenix, AZ. Her graduate degree is in Theological Studies with an emphasis in Systematic Theology from Christendom College. Her undergraduate studies and professional background include marketing communications, media, radio, and theatre before discovering her passion for the Faith and the call to evangelize through teaching and speaking.
As the daughter of immigrants from the Armenian Diaspora in Cairo, Egypt, she has a particular interest in matters of religious freedom and culture. Simone is an Institute of Catholic Theology Fellow, a Witherspoon/John Jay Institute Fellow, an Acton Institute Fellow, and has studied at the St. Albert the Great Center for Scholastic Studies in Norcia, Italy and at the Phoenix Institute at the International Theological Institute in Trumau, Austria. She helps lead the local chapters of the ecclesial movement of Communion and Liberation and the Washington, D.C. based non-profit In Defense of Christians. She is also a member of Women Speak For Themselves.