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Friends of the Project

With each Immersion, we invite accomplished guest speakers to share their expertise and experiences through which they've impacted the culture for the good. 

Fr. Burns is a priest from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, author of Lift Up Your Heart and has given retreats, conferences, and spiritual direction for the Missionaries of Charity all over the world. He is a regular guest on Relevant Radio’s The Inner Life. 

Deborah Castellano-Lubov

Deborah is a Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT, author of The Other Francis published in four languages and featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets, and a collaborator with EWTN and NBC Universal.

Sister Emanuela Edwards 

Sr. Emanuela is a member of the Missionaries of Divine Revelation, author of Learning through Art: You Are Peter! and an official guide for the Vatican Museums where she shares 'Art and Faith' tours.

Fr. Cush is the Academic Dean and Formation Advisor at the Pontifical North American College. He is also a professor of Theology and U.S. Catholic Church History at the Pontifical Gregorian University and a Contributor to the National Catholic Register.

Fr. Ehli is an Official at the Vatican's Pontifical Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, also known as Propaganda Fide. The PCPF is responsible for coordinating and guiding the Church's missionary efforts and initiatives. He is a priest of the Diocese of Bismark. 

Mel & Susan Finlay

Mel & Susan are the founders of Nation at Prayer. Founded on Scripture and governed by a national Board of Directors, Nation At Prayer is a federally incorporated non-issue, non-partisan, trans-denominational charitable organization, which exists to pray with elected representatives and to engage Christians to pray for all elected representatives at every level of government.

Fr. Giordano is the Director of Human Life International's Rome office. He is a Professor at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas [Angelicum] and has lectured all over the world. He received his BA from Vanderbilt University, an MA from the University of Chicago, and a Doctorate in systematic theology from Santa Croce in Rome.

Tim has over 25 years of experience in executive education, management consulting and information systems development. He leads business simulations and management education programs for senior and high-potential audiences in leadership development, strategy, finance, business acumen, strategic thinking & project management.

Kishore is the Director of Istituto Acton where he organizes the institute's educational and outreach efforts in Rome and throughout Europe. Prior to that, he was and Official at the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.   

Afaf is an International Communications Strategist, Emcee, Moderator, Journalist and Anchor.
She was the formerly the Spokesperson of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Alan is the Bureau Chief of EWTN News Rome and Catholic News Agency Rome. He originally hails from Nebraska and is the father of four. 

Fr. Grattaroti is a priest of the diocese of Worcester. He's the Diocesan Spiritual Director of the Cursillo Movement and has been Pastor of St. Joseph’s Parish in Charlton since 1989.

Jim is a theologian, historian, author, speaker, and singer/songwriter. He's also a Professor of Church History and Historical Theology at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and is one of the world's foremost scholars of Novatian of Rome. He's a Senior Fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology.

Elizabeth is an author and Art Historian. On an average day, one can find her working on her latest article or book, preparing for one of her worldwide speaking engagements - like her famous Ted talk - touring visitors through the treasures of Rome, or using her skills as a sommelier to find the perfect wine to pair with dinner.

Sister Mary Christa Nutt

Sr. Mary is a member of the Religious Sisters of Mercy and is a Coordinator for the Bishops’ Office for U.S. Visitors to the Vatican. She is the Program Coordinator of the Thomistic Institute

Anna is an acclaimed international Christian Recording Artist & Singer/Songwriter and TV host.


She has produced four albums and sung all over the world including the Holy Land, Rome and Carnegie Hall. 

Sally is a British poet and the poet-in-residence at The Hermitage of the Three Holy Hierarchs. She shared the Eric Gregory Award in 2001. Her first collection, The Point of Splitting, was shortlisted for the Jerwood-Aldeburgh First Collection prize. She is the author of Night’s Bright Darkness which tells the story of her conversion from atheism to Catholicism.  

Father Joseph Roesch

Father Roesch is the Vicar General of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He is a member on the Marians' General Council in Rome and visits the Marians communities in various countries. In addition, he publishes newsletters, studies, and explores possibilities for future missions. 

Mark is a nationally known painter and sculptor who began his distinguished career as a commercial artist and photographer, laying foundation for his current work. He has been commissioned to paint notable portraits of distinguished individuals, including Church officials, and is recognized nationally for his portraiture and sculpting of religious art

Michael is the Operations Manager at Instituto Acton. He is responsible for helping to organize international conferences, increase private funding, as well as expand networking opportunities and relations among European businesses, media and religious communities, while managing the day-to-day operations of the Rome office.  

Monsignor Sylva is a priest of the Diocese of Paterson and Vicar for Special Projects and Rector at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. He was formerly an Official at the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization at the Vatican.

Vicki & Bill Thorn

Vicki is the foundress of Project Rachel and the Executive Director of the National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation & Healing and an international speaker. Bill is a professor of Communications and Journalism and was a Consultor to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications at the Vatican.

Sister Sean Marie Striby

Sr. Sean Marie is a member of the Religious Sisters of Mercy and is an Infirmarian at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.

Geoffrey is an International Associate and Rome Office Director for Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries. He is also a collaborator with the Pontifical Council for Integral Human Development.

Father John Wauck

Fr. Wauck is a Professor of Literature & Communications of the Faith at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. He is a frequent television and news commentator and was an on-set adviser for the film There Be Dragons.

Bear is a World Champion surfer, certified ninja black belt, host of EWTN's  Deep in the Wave, the author of Long Ride Home radio program, host of EWTN's Deep Adventure and a speaker. Bear & Cindy are also tandem surfers.