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Modern Saints: Missions from God 
A SmartCatholics Online Event

Each century, the Church gives us real-life examples of holiness. Saints are missions from God to the modern world! Join this online conference and community to find out how you can live your own mission of holiness today.

How you can live your mission of holiness today

On October 22-23, 2020, the ‘Modern Saints: Missions from God’ Online Conference brings you a range of veteran speakers and new voices.

Many Catholics today don’t ‘get’ the special witness that modern saints are. But when we do, we begin to see our own journey!

Keep reading…

Questions? Leave a comment! →

Catholic experts
Real-life examples
Sacred Scripture
New voices from the JPII generation
Practical advice
The Church in the modern world
Short stories
Saints to relate to
Fellowship in community

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October 22-23, 2020


Catholic veterans & new voices


Live & recorded video

"What is it about the Saints that I love?

“I love how they are able to intercede for us. I love how Jesus uses/used them, and communicated with them. I love how imperfect they were when they were alive on earth. Their imperfections make them relatable. I love how the Saints inspire me to become more holy. I love how their stories draws me closer to Jesus. And sometimes I am just in awe that Jesus spoke to them. ” – Brigitte

“Each saint is a mission, planned by the Father to reflect and embody, at a specific moment in history, a certain aspect of the Gospel. ”

Pope Francis, Gaudete et Exultate

Welcome Letter from Dominic

Every saint is a mission from God! These missions are messages for us right now.

In a nutshell, the Church gives us saints in each century for a specific reason: to help us have tangible examples of holiness from our cultures. As much as we love the saints great and small from history, the saints from our time are oursThey’re meant for us. 

They walked our streets, saw our headlines, thought about similar futures, lived through the same World Wars. Modern models of holiness.

This is the challenge that our ‘Modern Saints’ event seeks to answer; what is the ‘certain aspect of the Gospel’ that the saints lived? If we don’t know, then we won’t understand the ‘point’ of the saints’ lives.

Most Catholics like you and me are struggling just to get by.

We punch in to Mass on Sundays (usually!), donate to Peter’s Pence, and hit ‘like’ for the parish live stream.

‘Life in Christ’ doesn’t mean much to us.

So it’s strange when the Pope gets excited to tell us that some of us Catholics made it to Heaven.

Some surprising men and women fought hard against popular influences, demonic temptation, and their own weaknesses, and made it through. They allowed the living, bursting life of God to fill every cell of their being. And when they passed, they entered a deeper, richer, wilder life – Heaven.

Every single one of us is called to live that same life of holiness, whether in Bangladesh, Boston, or Brisbane.

Every human being is called to plug into Christ right now. To literally go online with Heaven. That’s the definition of sainthood – someone who ‘got it’, and checked in to what ‘holiness’ means.

But there’s another problem. Holiness usually sounds like being weak, flippant, and petty. But the lives of our saints don’t show that. They were powerful. Exciting. Challenging. Troubling. Confusing. Welcoming.

They were truly alive.

We are called to this same kind of exciting, passionate, life. Called to be unlikely, surprising heroes. Each of us has a unique and individual path, with our own skills and interests, and dreams.

Just like the saints, you and I have a mission. The very fact that we’re alive and privileged to be baptized into Christ means we were born with a job to do. A job that is the only way we will find holiness.

But if you’re like me, and most of us, we need to find out what that mission is. We need to hear these saints’ stories in a way that’s relatable to who we are today.

And the best people to learn from are the ones who made it to Heaven ahead of us.


Today, our recent saints are examples to us of how we should be. Right now.

This is what the conference aims to show us.

  • What does it mean to be a saint today?
  • How do the saints of the last 100 years show us sanctity with a smartphone?
  • With international travel and Instagram trends?
  • With gang warfare, government pressure, and Twitter?
  • With broken families and young love and social media?

“The saints surprise us, they confound us, because by their lives they urge us to abandon a dull and dreary mediocrity.” Pope Francis

Welcome friend!

Our Catholic Faith is smart, beautiful, and actually makes life more exciting!

But too few of us know about this smart heritage, or the real-life impact Christ is having on the world today.

Most of all, we need friends on this sacred pilgrimage called ‘life’.

If this is your first time hearing about SmartCatholics, here’s what we believe: when Catholics understand our Faith in the modern world, we experience greater personal joy, and confidence in sharing the good news. Read the About Page to learn more!

We need smart Catholics…

We all work hard to be 100% Catholic. That means we’re a mission Church, united to Pope Francis’ call to bring the joy of the Gospel to every corner of the world – starting with ourselves.

Catholic brands we love:

Dominic de Souza is your founder and host, a young dad with a small family and a smaller corgi, passionate about all things Catholic, watching movies, and reading the mystics.

Why you should join this community:

We need somewhere online that’s ours, where we can

  • Uplift and inspire each other, and make new friends
  • Swap stories and ideas (not just advice!)
  • Be free of toxicity, trolls, and ads. (Bye bye, Facebook. We love you, but…)

When you join, you’ll get to dip in and out of discussions whenever you want.

Each time we host a new event, you’re welcome to join.

Sometimes we’ll host workshops. Or firesides.

But most exciting is this – the veterans and new voices that you meet in the events are sticking around. They’ll host group chats, share tips, and accompany your journey.

Because we need more than just information. We need insights we can trust. We need friendship to help us live lives of hope and meaning.


Who this group is not for:

For any community to mean something and take action, there must be focus. And our community exists for a clear goal: unity, friendship, and formation.

Pope Francis is a source of unity for us. Please don’t enter if you reject Pope Francis and the 2nd Vatican Council, thrive on impending apocalyptic prophecies, polarized politics, and constant argument. 

There are plenty of other groups out there for you! Discussion on all topics is welcome, but bad manners aren’t. Ever. Offenders are warned or removed. God love you!


"I wanted to see what [SmartCatholics] was about, as I love being Catholic and all about Catholicism."

“I was actually surprised at the warmth and spirituality of the messages and people on it. It’s keeping me closer to God.

I used to always go on Facebook but now it’s very shallow compared to SC. So I think it’s providence me being on SC! It’s what I’ve been searching for and has brought me home!”

Paula E.

"I have been doing a ton of poking around on Smart Catholics today and this is what I see. "

“We are all united in Christ with many different abilities that make this platform beautiful. We have the recruiters, prayer warriors, counselors, technicians, comforters, teachers, and students.

“Many different branches coming and going back to the main source just like the Celtic symbol… Dominic, you have created something beautiful.”

Melinda K.

"This initiative is really cool

“I am impressed by the quality and range of discussion and the app is quite versatile and user friendly. Keep going; this is a contemporary way to engage Catholics to come forward! Awesome work!” Adam P.

Event Workbook

Schedule of Events

Your $10 access pass lets you watch all these videos during the conference. Join the community to RSVP, ask questions, and chat with fellow attendees.

Note: The schedule is in in New York (EST) time.
Here’s a timezone converter tool


Join Special Workshops

Only for conference attendees, our special ‘5 Minutes and 5 Days with a Saint’. 

Meet the Speakers

Press a face to learn more. More coming soon!


    Celeste Behe

    Celeste Behe is a passionately Catholic writer, speaker, and storyteller. Celeste has written for several publications, including The National Catholic Register and Catholic Digest, and her column “The Catholic Storyteller” is published in her diocesan newspaper. A homeschooler and mother of nine, Celeste is also the creator of the podcast segment, “The Homeschool Housefly,” which can be heard on the “Homeschooling Saints” podcast.

    Talk: "The Heavens Are Astounded": St. Faustina and the Divine Mercy Message for Prodigals
    Described by Pope John Paul II as a “gift of God for our time,” St. Faustina Kowalska was given by Our Lord Himself the mission of spreading the message of Divine Mercy throughout the world. For those of us whose loved ones have left the Church, that message is one of hope and consolation. This talk will focus on God’s extraordinary mercy as it was revealed to Sr. Faustina, and the ways in which we can help our prodigal loved ones to be immersed in the “ocean of Divine Mercy.”

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        Madeleine Carrington

        Madeleine is the co-founder of Fire Up Ministries. She is also a high school teacher, Theology of the Body enthusiast and most importantly a wife and mother.

        Talk - Edith Stein and the Feminine Genius
        In this talk, Madeleine will unpack the inspirational writings by Edith Stein on women as well as discuss the relevance of them for us today. This talk will showcase how Edith Stein is a modern model of Femininity.

        Featured Resource: Discovering Your Call to Sanctity Talk
        Download Madeleine's talk on Sanctity for FREE by using the promo code SAINT at the check out. In this talk Madeleine will unpack the call to sanctity and offer some practical ways that this call can be embraced and lived out in our daily life.

        "The Saints have impacted my life in such a significant way. The lives and writings of the Saints can inspire us so much in our faith. This is such a fantastic opportunity to learn more about modern saints that show us what sanctity really looks like and remind us that it really is possible."

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            Nathan Crankfield

            Nathan Crankfield chose to convert to the Catholic faith at age 13, becoming the first Catholic in his entire family. He is a graduate of Mount St. Mary's University, former Army Infantry Officer, and the President and Founder of Seeking Excellence. He currently serves as a resident director at Benedictine College.

            To The Heights: How to Avoid Spiritual Mediocrity
            God doesn't call us to lukewarmness. He created us for greatness. Come and learn how Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati's example of excellence can show us the way to fulfilling our potential through God's grace.

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                Anne DeSantis

                Anne DeSantis is the Director of the St. Raymond Nonnatus Foundation for Freedom, Family, and Faith. The foundation offers spiritual accompaniment for families in crisis.

                Talk: St. Katherine Drexel: How She Loved Those in Need
                St. Katherine Drexel is a modern saint who modeled love of the poor and marginalized. Learn more about how she did this and how we can model her in this 15 minute talk.

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                    Dave DiNuzzo

                    Dave DiNuzzo Sr. is a Catholic, Husband, Father of 4, Speaker, Theology Teacher, and Evangelist. Dave has recently started the formation process of becoming a Roman Catholic Deacon. He started the apostolate of TrueManhood in 2008 and has traveled the world speaking, teaching, and leading retreats for the faithful.

                    Talk: Ven. Fr. Capodanno - Lay It Down
                    Venerable Father Vincent Capodanno lived heroic virtue unlike any other saint in modern times. Dying on the battlefield, using his body as a human shield, the "Grunt Padre" exemplified self-sacrifice and the actual "laying his life down for his friends." Fr. Vince's life shows us that sainthood in modernity is possible!

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                        Robert Haddad

                        Robert Haddad lives in Sydney, Australia. He holds nine university qualifications in the areas of law, theology, philosophy, education, religious education, and executive management. In addition to his studies, Robert has authored ten books, selling over 60,000 copies, his most popular being "Defend the Faith!" and "1001 Reasons Why It’s Great to be Catholic!" Currently, he works as the Manager, Network Catholic Identity for the Sydney Catholic Schools Office

                        No Greater Love - St Damien of Molokai
                        Jesus Christ calls us to loving lives of service, sacrifice and suffering. He also declared that the greatest love one can show is to lay down one's life for others. St Damian of Molokai was an example of such love, someone who gave up everything and sacrificed his life to serve the spiritual and material needs of the lepers of Molokai, Hawaii.

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                            Chantal Howard

                            Chantal is a wife and homeschooling mother of six children. She is a national speaker and author of The School of the Family and The Family Rule. As an essential oil advocate and leadership coach, she seeks to help families become healthy, holy and free.
                            Website | Instagram | My Work

                            Talk: St. Zelie - Icon for Momtreprenuers
                            Chantal will deep dive into the heart of the woman who inspires the efforts of personal development and servant-hearted leadership. As a wife, mother, and business owner, St. Zelie Martin, allows us to see that it is still possible to ascend to the heights of holiness and profound union with God while muddying our hands in the pursuit of our goals. Come listen in and be captivated by a message of personal development unlike any other. You will come away with a new take on personal awareness and identity, developing talents and potential, building human capital, and contributing to the realization of your dreams and aspirations.

                            Featured Resource: Catholic Oil Mom Cheat Sheet
                            Chantal seeks to help families discover how to use essential oils wisely and well so that they can be healers in their homes surrounding everyday needs in prayer, emotional, and physical wellbeing. Creator and designer of aromaRosary, you will find this resource practical and inspiring.

                            "Discovering the wisdom of the saints through this conference is sure to propel us forward, through the tough times ahead, with courage and confidence in the perfect providence and care of God."

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                                Dr. Peter Howard

                                Dr. Peter Howard is the father of 6 children and holds a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. Peter is a Mariologist and world renowned expert, speaker and author on the teachings of Venerable Fulton J. Sheen. Dr. Howard is the founder and president of the Fulton Sheen Institute.

                                Talk: Fulton Sheen and the Revolution We Must Win Today
                                The world has arrived at its most pivotal moment since the time of Christ. Sheen foresaw our crisis 80 years ago and this talk will give a few of his key insights into understanding the evil we are up against and how we are to defeat it.

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                                    Pedro Gabriel

                                    Pedro Gabriel, MD, is a Catholic layman and physician, born and residing in Portugal. He is a medical oncologist, currently employed in a Portuguese public hospital. A published writer of Catholic novels with a Tolkienite flavor, he is also a parish reader and a former catechist. He seeks to better understand the relationship of God and Man by putting the lens on the frailty of the human condition, be it physical and spiritual. He also wishes to provide a fresh perspective of current Church and World affairs from the point of view of a small western European country, highly secularized but also highly Catholic by tradition.

                                    Talk: St. Junípero Serra -- imperfect saints and dialogue with modern man
                                    Modern man tends to view ancient saints with suspicion, especially when these saints had imperfections proper to their time and age. This seems especially true today for St. Junípero Serra and St. Louis IX, whose statues have recently been called into question. But is it impossible to bridge this gap between ancient saints and modern man? In this video, I explore how the imperfections of the saints can actually make modern man see them in a new light, and help people today grow in holiness

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                                        Allison Gingras

                                        Allison Gingras is the creator and author of Stay Connected Journals for Catholic Women, published by Our Sunday Visitor. Allison shares her Catholic Faith and always evolving relationship with Jesus with laughter and honesty, and how it is lived in the everyday, ordinary of life!

                                        Talk: Entangled with Faustina
                                        Have you ever experienced a clear sign that someone wants to be your friend? How about when that person is a Saint? Trust me, my Faustina story is good!

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                                            Sam Guzman

                                            Sam Guzman is a husband and father, author, and podcaster. He lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with his wife and four children.

                                            Talk: 3 Lessons from the Life of Bl. Charles de Foucauld
                                            Bl. Charles witnessed to Christ in a hostile environment. Here's what we can learn from him.

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                                                Marek Rudak

                                                An Army Ranger who fought in two wars, Marek Rudak noticed time and again how men can accomplish the impossible - with friends. The bonds created in such high-performing teams drive out fear. Today, he helps Christian men grow beyond loneliness and fear, and live life base don what truly matters. In 2020, he published a #1 Amazon New Release, “The Love Driven Man.”
                                                Website | Youtube | Facebook

                                                Talk: Four Strategies for Growing through Suffering Based on St. Faustina's Diary
                                                In this talk, you will pick up practical tips that will help you to get closer to God during difficult situations. You will hear quotes from St. Faustina's diary that will strengthen your resolve and help you find meaning in the wait.

                                                Featured Resource: Order a copy of "The Love Driven Man"
                                                All of us went through painful situations that wounded our hearts. What I found from my experience and the experiences of the men I coach is that we typically turn to control to prevent ourselves from feeling that pain again. The Love Driven Man will help you let go of your wounds and become a much more loving person.

                                                "Growing in holiness is hard. Having good examples to follow and a supportive community is incredibly helpful. You will get both at the Modern Saints Online Conference. "

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                                                    Robert LeBlanc

                                                    Robert is a Catholic, husband and father, author and speaker who has worked in Catholic education for over 25 years, and has been involved in Parish catechesis for over 10 years.
                                                    Website | Facebook | Twitter

                                                    Talk: The Shepherd Children of Fatima
                                                    The example of the saintly lives of the Shepherd Children of Fatima is as important as the Message of Fatima for our times. Through their witness of childlike faith, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta act as guides for our Spiritual journey. By examining the lives of these visionaries from a century ago, we can learn how to live saintly lives ourselves, so as to be shepherds ourselves for the lambs God has entrusted to us.

                                                    Featured Resource: Who Do You Say That I Am? And other questions that Christ asks us
                                                    A series of short reflections on the questions Christ asks us through the Gospels, and their relevance for us in the world today.

                                                    "The saints act as guides for us, beckoning us along the path to the Kingdom of God. We are called to not only recognize saints, but to also emulate them. By getting to know the saints and their missions better, we too can learn to lead saintly lives."

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                                                        Shannon McGurk

                                                        Shannon McGurk, a Type-A in recovery (from being a Type-A!) and the happily married father of 12 children (despite wanting no children when he got married!) He’s an American entrepreneur, soldier, author and speaker, and the founder of Authentic Masculinity, a Men’s Lifestyle project. Shannon founded Authentic Masculinity after rebuilding his life and marriage following the perfect storm of crashing a business, a child’s successful battle against cancer while simultaneously battling other family medical challenges.

                                                        Talk: How Christ-centered Masculine Servanthood Can Save the World
                                                        Using Blessed Solanus Casey as an example, Shannon introduces listeners to Authentically Masculine men's calling to fulfill their Privileged Responsibilities of Prince, Priest, prophet, Provider and protector in the Modern World
                                                        Featured Resource: Workshop for no more than 9 men on how to begin mastering a man's 5 Privileged Responsibilities as Prince (leadership), Priest (asking the deeper questions), Prophet (observe the signs of the times and take appropriate action), Provider (provide for others so they can focus on their vocations) and Protector (protector of the innocent, the beautiful and the good) all while refining The Masculine Genius for Simplicity, Clarity and Action and Male-Female Complementarity.Interested? Contact me through my Website

                                                        "Cheerful, confident Roman Catholicism is the only thing that can save the world. As a convert, I speak from experience. But for my contribution, cheerful, confident Roman Catholic masculine virtue and male-female complementarity, as subsets of Magisterial Catholicism, are perhaps the most urgently needed aspects of Roman Catholicism, because the most urgent ills pressing upon us are a failure of masculinity to protect the innocent, the beautiful and the good [Good]. Finally, in the Truth, Beauty, Goodness initiative, leading with masculine beauty and goodness lead men-- if we are patient-- to Truth."

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                                                            Efran Menny

                                                            Efran Menny is a passionate follower of Jesus Christ and a convert to the Catholic Church. He enjoys being a loving husband and family man. When he isn’t blogging, he enjoys spending time watching films or reading about Catholicism.

                                                            Talk: Blessed Stanley Rother: An Inspiring Shepherd
                                                            This talk will help those understand why the saints challenge us to emulate their lives as they submitted to God. With Pope Francis’ beatification of this selfless American shepherd, he has given the Church an empowering servant and example of love.

                                                            Featured Resource: Menny Thoughts
                                                            This site is where you can find my speaking opportunities, writings, and podcasts.

                                                            "This conference will enable Christians to heed the call of the New Evangelization and discover fresh ways to be a disciple of Jesus Christ."

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                                                                Patrick Novecosky

                                                                Patrick Novecosky is an award-winning author and journalist with a passion for the New Evangelization and Pope St. John Paul II, whom he met five times. He is has spoken in six countries around the world and works as a pro-life activist.

                                                                John Paul II's Answer to Social Unrest
                                                                John Paul II knew social unrest better than most modern leaders. He grew up in Communist Poland and led the Church against an atheistic regime. His message was clear: Man is not fully man without God. The world today needs John Paul's message now more than ever!

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                                                                    Katherine O'Brien

                                                                    Katherine is the mother of nine, three of whom are in heaven, a Benedictine Oblate, and a doctoral student in theology. A revert, she has been strongly influenced by the writing of Pope St. John Paul II. In addition to reading, writing, and speaking, she is a college consultant and enjoys music. She lives in the Midwest with a few of her children.

                                                                    Talk: Holy Parents, Holy Children: The Parents of St. Thérèse of Lisieux and Pope St. John Paul II
                                                                    As parents, our call to holiness is found in the day to day challenges of parenting. The holy parents of the Little Flower and St. John Paul II teach us much about meeting life's challenges and trials with acceptance and peace born from deep faith and strong prayer lives. We also see how the lessons of these parents impacted the powerful writings of their holy children.

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                                                                        Charbel Raish

                                                                        Charbel works full time with Parousia, specializing in Faith Formation resources and events. Charbel gives multiple talks on Evangelisation and Faith Formation, the Bible timeline, as well as a personal testimony on how Islam led him to Christ. Charbel has a passion for helping people get closer to discovering the fullness of Truth and invites anyone who is willing to help him on this mission of evangelisation through Parousia.

                                                                        St Charbel Makhlouf: True Heroes in Heaven

                                                                        We need heroes today! But we shouldn’t ignore the saints in Heaven. St. Charbel, the ‘Miracle Monk of Lebanon,’ lived in a great spirit of prayer and sacrifice to serve and love others. He is a reminder for us today to live in the presence of God, in the presence of the Eucharist. Live with Heaven in mind.

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                                                                            Steve Ray

                                                                            Steve Ray is a convert to the Catholic Church and the author of three best-selling Ignatius Press books ("Crossing the Tiber", "Upon this Rock", and "St. John’s Gospel"). Steve and his wife Janet and are certified guides to the Holy Land and lead pilgrimages throughout the Middle East and Rome.
                                                                            Twitter | Youtube | Facebook

                                                                            Talk: Padre Pio - A Saint for Today
                                                                            We have a dearth of larger than life heroes and champions today. Padre Pio lived in our lifetime and was a model of deep spirituality, miracles, supernatural events, and holiness of life. He was loved by millions and 100,000 attended his funeral. You will LOVE his life story.

                                                                            Featured Resource: My Website
                                                                            As a convert and Bible teacher my website contains a massive amount of material including free resources, daily blog, my bookstore, pilgrimages, Virtual Pilgrimages to Israel and all the major Catholic sites, lots of audio and video and much more.

                                                                            "We need heroes today. We need to know our Catholic history, champions, and the miraculous depth of the Catholic Church. This will open peoples' eyes to the great champions and examples in recent times."

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                                                                                Emmanuel Rentoy

                                                                                Emmanuel Rentoy is a lecturer from the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P), and is the only accredited speaker of the Center for the 4th & 5th Rs Asia where he also serves as Executive Director. He founded Westbridge School in the Philippines, and established CATALYST for Professional Development, a private institution championing character formation. He has been a classroom teacher for the last 33 years.

                                                                                Talk: St. Josemaria: A Saint for the Modern Times
                                                                                The message of St. Josemaria is highly relevant to the needs of the times: drowning evil in an abundance of good, turning busy work into prayer, the role of the laity in re-evangelizing society, the need to deepen one's love for the Catholic Faith. As he always said: "as old as the Gospel, and like the Gospel, new!"

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                                                                                    Simone Rizkallah

                                                                                    Simone Rizkallah is currently the Director of Program Growth for Endow Groups. Previously she worked at St. Mary's Catholic High School in Phoenix, Arizona as Theology Department Chair and Senior Theology Teacher.

                                                                                    Talk: Edith Stein: Seeker of Truth
                                                                                    Edith Stein's story encompasses her journey from Judaism, to atheism, to philosopher, to Catholicism and ultimately to her vocation as a Carmelite and ultimately as a martyr! She is a modern saint who has something to say for men and women interested in the pursuit of the True, the Good, and the Beautiful!

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                                                                                        Mikki Sciba

                                                                                        Mikki Sciba is the Catechetical Specialist for the St. Philip Institute of Catechesis and Evangelization in the Diocese of Tyler.

                                                                                        Talk: St. Teresa of Kolkata: All for Jesus
                                                                                        Mother Teresa once said, "I have been longing to be all for Jesus and to make other souls come and love Him fervently." She knew her life and mission belonged to God, and being all for Jesus requires surrender on our part. During this talk, we will touch on some stories from her life and learn valuable lessons on how to be "All for Jesus."

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                                                                                            Taylor Schroll

                                                                                            Taylor is the founder of Forte Catholic where he is a speaker, worship leader, podcast/radio host. His mission is to “Make Catholicism Fun Again” by sharing the Joy of the Gospel in all that he does.

                                                                                            Talk: The Next Great Saint
                                                                                            Pope Francis just beatified Bl. Carlo Acutis which is reminding us all that sainthood is possible. With that in mind, I want to share with you about the next great saint: you. This is our call, our command and it's possible.

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                                                                                                Christina Semmens

                                                                                                Christina Semmens is a Roman Catholic author, speaker, and coach, and host of the Say Yes to Holiness podcast. She currently lives in Fort Payne, Alabama where she strives to live out a life of authentic discipleship in the pursuit of holiness while empowering, teaching and accompanying others in striving to do the same.
                                                                                                Youtube | Podcast | Facebook

                                                                                                Talk: 7 Characteristics All Saints Have (and You Can Too!)
                                                                                                Knowing what characteristics all saints have, plus knowledge of the reality that it is possible for each and every one of us to be a saint in our world today, is fundamental to being inspired, encouraged and empowered to embrace the life God created each of us for--to be living, breathing, wonder working saints!

                                                                                                Featured Resource: My Book - Say Yes: Discovering Purpose, Peace and Abundance in Daily Life
                                                                                                Living a life of happiness and fulfillment in the world today is not impossible. In this book, you will find a simple, but time-proven method synthesized from Sacred Scripture and the wisdom of the Catholic Church that will allow you to embark upon an extraordinary personal journey using a process that will revolutionize and transform your daily life and empower you to live a life of purpose, peace and abundance.

                                                                                                "The Modern Saints Conference is an opportunity for you to grow closer to God and become more like Jesus by learning about the men and women who became witnesses of God's love and mercy in the last century. Through this knowledge, it is possible for you to be inspired, encouraged, and empowered to live similarly in your own life in the here and now."

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                                                                                                    Al Smith

                                                                                                    Pipe Fitter, Catholic Evangelist, Radio Host, Retreat Director, Archbishop Sheen Expert. Husband, Father, Grandfather and Business Owner.
                                                                                                    Website | Facebook | Youtube

                                                                                                    Talk: Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen - A Man For All Media and a Prophet for Our Times.
                                                                                                    Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen used all forms of media available to him to share the gospel message. He was a prophet for our times and was not afraid to engage the culture in a "spiritual conversation". I will share the five secret weapons that Archbishop Sheen used to help millions find some true "Peace of Soul".

                                                                                                    Featured Resource: Lord Teach us to Pray (Book)
                                                                                                    Best Selling book on Prayer by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

                                                                                                    "That old saying of "Show me your friends and I will show you who you are" will apply to this conference. If you want to be a Saint, it is best that they become our friends. During this conference you will be introduced to a number of good friends,
                                                                                                    Please join us."

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                                                                                                        Rachel Ullmann

                                                                                                        Rachel serves as the Executive Director of The GIVEN Institute which seeks to activate the gifts of young adult women for the Church and the world. A graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, she majored in Theology and Catechetics and then obtained her Masters in Education Administration from Johns Hopkins University.
                                                                                                        Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

                                                                                                        Talk: Wonder Women - Rise Up!
                                                                                                        While exploring JPII’s Mediation on Givenness and throwing in plenty of pop culture references, Rachel shares the key to restoring culture...raising up Catholic female leaders! Through the example of Our Lady of Guadalupe, woman can heal a hurting world.

                                                                                                        Featured Resource: GIVEN Master Classes
                                                                                                        Streamed LIVE from the St. John Paul II National Shrine in Washington DC, the Masterclasses will cover the breadth of leadership skills exercised by the feminine genius. Masterclasses will be led by seasoned female leaders teaching practical, professional skills. Some sample topics:
                                                                                                        Negotiation Skills
                                                                                                        Leading as a Catholic in the secular world
                                                                                                        Developing the Leader Within
                                                                                                        Driving Organizational Change
                                                                                                        Constructive Collaboration in the workplace
                                                                                                        Tips and Tools for Running Effective Meetings
                                                                                                        Best Practices for Working Effectively with older Colleagues (understanding generational differences)
                                                                                                        Peacemaking in Business
                                                                                                        Dealing with Conflict as a Catholic Professional
                                                                                                        Navigating Conflict Biblically

                                                                                                        "We all need to look to modern saints for inspiration! In a hurting world, let's all answer the universal call to holiness!"

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                                                                                                            Sr Nancy Usselmann

                                                                                                            Sr Nancy Usselmann is a Daughter of St Paul and Director of the Pauline Center for Media Studies in Los Angeles. She is a theologian, writer, presenter, film reviewer and author of the award-winning book on theology and pop culture, "A Sacred Look: Becoming Cultural Mystics."
                                                                                                            Website | Instagram | Facebook

                                                                                                            Talk: The Media Apostle: Blessed James Alberione
                                                                                                            St John Paul II called him the "Media Apostle of the 20th Century." Blessed James Alberione would say, “We are not called to save the people who lived two centuries ago who had no radio, television or cinema... but those who live today!” This modern saint was the first to take on media as his sole mission and apostolate in the Church. His spirit lives on in the Pauline Family and his media spirituality. You won't want to miss this presentation about this modern giant of evangelization!

                                                                                                            Featured Resource: In Caelo et in Terra
                                                                                                            The saints’ lives are proof that God’s grace is real. Even in difficult moments in history, they were lights in the darkness witnessing to God's glory. This gorgeous volume with beautiful reflections on the lives of the saints and blesseds can be cherished for years. And the exquisite artwork will help you to forge deeper bonds with saints and blesseds you already know and many with whom you might be unfamiliar. Includes an index of patron saints, feast days, and prayers by saints.

                                                                                                            "The saints are people we can learn from on how to be holy in the everyday experience. And the more current they are to our times, the more relatable they become!"

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                                                                                                                Rachel Watkins

                                                                                                                Wife to Matt, Mom to 11 as well as creator and developer of the Little Flowers Girls' Program; helping our daughters grow a little holier, one virtue at a time. Also a contributor to More2Life on EWTN radio with Dr. Greg and Lisa Popcak.

                                                                                                                The Wisdom of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
                                                                                                                While we can feel intimidated by the intellectual gravitas of some saints, each one wants to reveal God's deep love in some way. Never let a saint's credentials keep you from learning something new about yourself and your faith from their life or teachings.

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                                                                                                                  "We need heroes today."

                                                                                                                  “We need to know our Catholic history, champions, and the miraculous depth of the Catholic Church. This will open peoples’ eyes to the great champions and examples in recent times.”

                                                                                                                  – Steve Ray

                                                                                                                  "Cheerful, confident Roman Catholicism is the only thing that can save the world. "

                                                                                                                  As a convert, I speak from experience… The most urgent ills pressing upon us are a failure of masculinity to protect the innocent, the beautiful and the good [Good]. 

                                                                                                                  – Shannon McGurk

                                                                                                                  "Grow closer to God and become more like Jesus"

                                                                                                                  “Learn about the men and women who became witnesses of God’s love and mercy in the last century. Through this knowledge, it is possible for you to be inspired, encouraged, and empowered to live similarly in your own life in the here and now.”

                                                                                                                  – Christina Semmens

                                                                                                                  "This is such a fantastic opportunity

                                                                                                                  “to learn more about modern saints that show us what sanctity really looks like and remind us that it really is possible.”

                                                                                                                  – Madeleine Carrington

                                                                                                                  "The saints act as guides for us"

                                                                                                                  “They beckon us along the path to the Kingdom of God. We are called to not only recognize saints, but to also emulate them. By getting to know the saints and their missions better, we too can learn to lead saintly lives.”

                                                                                                                  – Robert LeBlanc

                                                                                                                  "Show me your friends and I will show you who you are"

                                                                                                                  That phase applies to this conference. If you want to be a Saint, it is best that they become our friends. During this conference you will be introduced to a number of good friends. Please join us.

                                                                                                                  – Allan Smith

                                                                                                                  "Discovering the wisdom of the saints"

                                                                                                                  “Discovering the wisdom of the saints through this conference is sure to propel us forward, through the tough times ahead, with courage and confidence in the perfect providence and care of God.”

                                                                                                                  – Chantal Howard

                                                                                                                  "Growing in holiness is hard."

                                                                                                                  “Having good examples to follow and a supportive community is incredibly helpful. You will get both at the Modern Saints Online Conference.”

                                                                                                                  – Marek Rudak

                                                                                                                  "The saints are people we can learn from"

                                                                                                                  “The saints are people we can learn from on how to be holy in the everyday experience. And the more current they are to our times, the more relatable they become!”

                                                                                                                  – Sr. Nancy Usselmann

                                                                                                                  "Discover fresh ways to be a disciple of Jesus Christ"

                                                                                                                  “This conference will enable Christians to heed the call of the New Evangelization and discover fresh ways to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.”

                                                                                                                  – Efran Menny

                                                                                                                  "We all need to look to modern saints for inspiration!"

                                                                                                                  “In a hurting world, let’s all answer the universal call to holiness!”

                                                                                                                  – Rachel Ullman

                                                                                                                  Meet your hosts 

                                                                                                                  Meet the Sponsors

                                                                                                                  Would you like to sponsor this event? Learn more →

                                                                                                                  Support a Catholic mission

                                                                                                                  This event is supporting The Pontifical Missions Society in the United States.

                                                                                                                  Description: The blasts in Beirut’s killed many and injured thousands. People aree homeless and desperate for humanitarian aid. Help is critical. Our support will bring things like food packets to feed families, first aid kits, and shelter to the needy. Send your own donation →

                                                                                                                  “We are a single human family. It’s critical to find little ways to support each other. Join me in sharing a little of what we have with those who need help today.”
                                                                                                                  – Dominic de Souza

                                                                                                                  Frequently Asked Questions

                                                                                                                  How can I watch the videos?

                                                                                                                  The videos will be sent to the email you registered with. You’ll be able to watch 10 of them for free during the 7 days before the live event.

                                                                                                                  I can’t attend the event. Will there be replays?

                                                                                                                  Yes, all the recordings will be stored in a beautiful, on-demand library that you can watch any time.

                                                                                                                  Access the replays is $10. The replays will be stored on

                                                                                                                  Is there a community?

                                                                                                                  Yes, this event is launching an ongoing group within the SmartCatholics community, here for you for years to come. Get formation, feedback, answers, and new friends!

                                                                                                                  Questions? Leave a comment! →

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