Deacon Frederick Bartels
Deacon Frederick Bartels is the editor of Joy In Truth. He holds an MA in Theology and Educational Ministry, is a professor of theology at Catholic Distance University and Catholic Online School, and serves the Church as a member of the Catholic clergy. He is a Catholic writer, blogger, educator and public speaker who strives in the spirit of the New Evangelization to infuse culture with the principles and beliefs of the Catholic Church. If you’re interested in contacting him for a speaking engagement or perhaps to republish his articles and essays, please fill out the contact form available on the “Contact Us” page. Visit him also on, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. His podcasts, available for free download on iTunes and Google Play, can be accessed by searching “Joy In Truth.”
I am a high school senior striving for sainthood and learning how to live out God’s unique plan for my life. I live in a big family in a small town in New Hampshire, and I will always be a New Englander at heart. I enjoy reading Jane Austen, writing anything, and spending time with my family and friends.
Ryan Bilodeau is a high school theology teacher, author and homeless advocate in New Hampshire who just launched a Catholic app called Catholic Cases. He spent his collegiate years working on local and national political campaigns and non-profits before going on to grad school and earning an M.T.S. in Theology. Ryan is a big fan of New England sports, and can be followed on Twitter or his website.
Rashele Birmingham is a Catholic, wife, mother, and Registered Nurse in the Emergency Department of a large hospital. She and her husband are focused on raising their children and promoting a Catholic culture in the home. Rashele enjoys sunshine, hiking, all things family oriented, playing piano, making healthy and delicious food, and action movies. Be sure to check out her new website featuring healthy food and healthy living: thenourishedfamily.com
Kathleen Brandau is public relations writer living in the South. A cradle Catholic, she is continually amazed by beauty of the Church. Some of Kathleen’s favorite activities are helping to lead her young adult group, serving as a cathedral cantor, and spending time with her loved ones. She holds a B.M. in Vocal Performance and considers herself a student of the Faith.
Tiffany Buck is a stay-at-home mom. She is a parishioner at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Cumming, GA. She is active in the ministries of Walking With Purpose, Book Chat, and the Council of Catholic Women. Her poetry has been featured in Silver Birch Press, Wagon Magazine, and the San Pedro River Review. You can follow her poetry blog at ourladyslipper.blogspot.com.
Donna Caito has a B.S. in Management and a M.A. in Theology. She’s a Catholic revert who didn’t want to be a Catholic but couldn’t come up with a good argument otherwise. She lives in the middle of nowhere with her children, her black cat named Midnight, and her white dog named Jack Frost. In her spare time, she enjoys writing about her unique place in the Catholic Church as a single mother and giving good reviews on Google.
My name is Eduardo Cerdeiras. I grew up in Miami, Florida but found my way up to Concord, North Carolina where I now live with my wife, Rachel. I am assistant track and field coach at my Alama Mater, Belmont Abbey College. At the Abbey I received a Bachelors degree in theology to which I am currently pursuing a Masters. However, when I am not coaching or studying theology, I enjoy writing and fly fishing.
Matthew Chicoine is a free-lance writer, faithful Catholic, and an avid truth seeker. Matthew has written book reviews for Homiletic and PastoralReview and published works for Catholic Insight Magazine as well. He earned an M.A. in theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2014. Please feel free to visit his blog at mattchicoine.wordpress.com to learn more about his love of Catholicism.” He is also the author of Saturday with Saints on www.robertbatch.com
Lucy is a historian in training currently living in Vienna, Austria. She holds an MA in Theological Studies from the University of St Andrews, where she converted to Catholicism in 2015. In her spare time, she loves to indulge in reading biographies of Renaissance women, giving her cats nonsensical nicknames, and the paintings of Tintoretto. She is passionate about the mercy and goodness of God.
Veronica Dannemiller is a graduate student at Franciscan University, pursuing the heart of God and a Master’s Degree in Theology. She looks forward to returning to the world of youth ministry and spreading the Gospel of love to a world craving healing, truth, and joy. Her desire is to learn to love as unconditionally as possible in this life and believes that encountering love is what brings about conversion; her longing is to be that encounter with love to everyone she meets.
Dan Dellamarine (Brother Paschal, OCDS) is a Third Order Discalced Carmelite, a CCD teacher for multiple grades at two parishes, and is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. He has experience serving the Altar in the Extraordinary Form, and particularly enjoys the works of Saint Alphonsus Liguori and Father Stefano M. Manelli, FI.
Hector Duarte is a high school student born in Guatemala, a country in Central America. A year ago, with the help of God, he was accepted in a Catholic High School in the United States allowing him to continue his studies, and learn more about Catholicism. In his free time, he likes to code and to learn new things about technology. He also loves writing and exploring more about Catholicism.
Hi, my name is Sue. I grew up in the Midwest where the land is stable and doesn’t shift under our feet. No earthquakes here, but we do have an occasional tornado or blizzard. This place shaped me into what I am: a practical, down to earth, family-loving, sensible, occasionally comedic, cradle Catholic who has struggled with my faith and remaining in relationship with God and others all my life. I make progress in baby steps, not miles. I hope to offer something that is spiritually edifying to others on this earthly journey. Keep me in your prayers, please. God’s blessings to you all!
Hello, my name is Johnnie Eagan. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, a predominately superficial, secular culture. Thankfully God led me to a Catholic University in Florida, which has helped reinforce my faith, and equip me with the tools I’ll need to move back to CA, ready to enact positive change! I truly believe beauty- through art and the written word are the most powerful tools when aiming to lead people to Christ and his truth. My passions just so happen to be art (illustrations, drawings and paintings) and creative writing, and I hope to use both to bring people to the faith I hold so dear to my heart. I am a proud Catholic, a published writer and illustrator, and could not be more grateful to contribute to Joy In Truth!
Tyler Marie Flatt
Tyler Marie Flatt holds a BA in Psychology and is currently attending Saint Leo University to attain an MA in Theology. She loves writing and has a personal blog at bringingchristback.com. She owns a Jewelry company called Jewelry for Jesus and uses the funds toward the creation of a retreat center called Living Life through the Stations. Lent marked the beginning of her journey towards inspirational speaking. Each Friday during the season of Lent she led the Stations of the Cross as well as explained how people can incorporate them into their life. She has a passion for the Catholic Faith and is a very active member of her parish.
Virginia Fraguio is a Secular Discalced Carmelite pursuing her Master of Arts in Theological Studies at the University of St. Thomas at St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston, Texas. She is passionate about the truth, spreading the Catholic faith, going on pilgrimages, and the international dimension of the Universal (Catholic) Church. Virginia was born in Argentina and grew up in Japan. After living in Brazil for some years, she was brought to the United States by her U.S. employer twelve years ago.
Deacon Keith Fournier
Video Credit: Liberty Council. Used with permission.
Deacon Keith Fournier is the Editor in Chief of Catholic Online, a Senior Contributing Writer for THE STREAM, and an ordained minister, a Deacon of the Roman Catholic Church. He is the founder and Chairman of Common Good Foundation and Common Good Alliance. A married Roman Catholic Deacon of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, he and his wife Laurine have five grown children and six grandchildren. He is also a human rights lawyer and public policy advocate who served as the first and founding Executive Director of the American Center for Law and Justice in the nineteen nineties.
Victoria Gisondi has a B.A. in Communication from DeSales University. She has a been published in several Catholic and secular publications. She lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania with her husband and five children and giant St. Bernard. Victoria can be reached via email: vggisondi (at) gmail.com
Hello! My name is Maria Greco and I’m 23 years old from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. From since I can remember, Church has always been an immovable part of my family. Not until the first year out of high school would my own personal relationship blossom in consequence to the recitation of the Rosary. This in turn would lead me to write about the goodness of God and the exclusive love He has for each person. I’ve been actively discerning religious life for two years – I credit this immense grace to the Blessed Virgin who confirmed this call on a trip to Medjugorje. Out of high school I worked at a Catholic school for a few years before I completed a service year in Florida at a special needs residency.
It’s truly a joy to be able to contribute to Joy in Truth, and my hope is that these writings can shed some light and guidance for the reader. All for the greater glory of God!
Brandon Harvey is married and blessed with four children. He studied undergraduate theology and philosophy at Briar Cliff University and received an MA in Theology from Franciscan University. He works as a Catholic speaker, theological consultant, and writer. He has developed the Home Catechesis Podcast and Vlog resource. Visit his website at homecatechesis.com
Lauren Heaton is a graduate from Colorado Mesa University with a BBA in marketing. She loves working with high schoolers and leads a high school youth group and bible study, in addition to singing at church. Lauren is a modest fashion enthusiast, pancake connoisseur, promoter of faith and fitness, and lover of all things family oriented.
William is a convert to the Catholic faith and was ordained as a Baptist and a Lutheran. He holds a Master of Divinity from Liberty University and is pursuing a Masters in Sacred Theology from Saint Joseph’s College of Maine. He lives in Tucson, AZ with his wife and four children. William is active in the Church and teaches 1st grade CCD as well as his parish’s RCIA program.
Tim lives in Michigan where he enjoys running, kayaking, hiking, craft beer, and going on adventures with his wife and daughter. He currently teaches Sacred Scripture at Divine Child High School in Dearborn, Michigan. Together with his wife, Celia, Tim writes about simple living, Christian spirituality, and family life at their blog, theminfam.com. He has received an M.A. in Theology and a B.Phil from Sacred Heart Major Seminary, as well as a B.S. in Health Fitness from Central Michigan University. He has plans to publish his first book later this year (2019) on the spirituality and practical implications of remembering to keep the Lord’s Day holy.
Derrick Huestis recently obtained a degree in philosophy and now aspires to obtain a Masters of Theology with an emphasis on sacred scripture. He has a love for missionary work and has spent time living in Mexico, Egypt and Jordan.
Renata Hunter received a BA from Ohio University and an MA from St. Meinrad Seminary. She has traveled extensively in Europe and enjoyed visiting the Holy Land. Married to her late husband, David, for 40 years, they have a son and a daughter. Mrs. Hunter has served as a Catholic school teacher and in parish ministry. She currently resides in Ohio, across from Lake Erie. Her greatest passion is Jesus Christ and his holy Catholic Church.
Colleen Jewell is a licensed therapist in Michigan, and the founder of Saint Rita’s Christian Counseling. She has been helping individuals, couples, families and clergy to face life’s challenges for the past 22 years. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Northern Michigan University and a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Western Michigan University. Colleen is a consultant for Guesthouse, a residential addiction treatment facility for priests and religious. She serves on the board of directors for Opus Bono Sacerdotii, an organization which conducts retreats for priests. Colleen recently partnered with Dr. Peter Kleponis of Comprehensive Counseling Services and Integrity Restored, to help people struggling with eating disorders, pornography addiction, trauma and grief. Colleen also has a special interest in helping individuals experiencing the complicated grief of losing a loved one to suicide.
Therapy sessions can be conducted in person, by phone or by video. To make an appointment, call 610-397-0960.
Joy Joseph is a Life Coach and a Family Business Facilitator, from Kochi, Kerala, India. He specializes in Human Behaviour and Relationships. He founded his own enterprise “The You Tomorrow” in November 2011. He is married, and together with his wife Anu they have 5 children, 3 boys and two girls. Joseph is 54 years of age. He is a motivational speaker. Know more about him at www.theyoutomorrow.com
Patrick enjoys engaging theology in everyday life, especially in the areas of the lay vocation, discernment, prayer, ministry, Catholic social teaching, art and family life. He brings a strong foundation in formation and ministry, having discerned the priesthood with the Dominican Order for almost five years. Currently, he works for the School Sisters of Notre Dame and was previously with the Archdiocese of Hartford and Catholic Relief Services. He holds graduate degrees in pastoral studies and nonprofit management. With a strong devotion to Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati and St. John Paul II, Patrick enjoys the outdoors, cooking, woodworking, and photography.
Amelia Maness-Gilliland, PhD
Amelia Maness- Gilliland holds a doctorate degree in education and currently teaches as an adjunct faculty through distance education. She is a married mom of six amazing children and three grandchildren. She lives with her family in rural Alabama on a small and growing farm where she home schools her youngest three children. Having attended Catholic schools growing up and teaching PSR, she wants to give her children an education grounded in Catholic faith.
When she is not busy with homeschool, you can find her writing, making soap, herding chickens, mastering DIY projects, or working out. You can follow her family at their blog www.gillygrown.com
Julia is a student at The University of Dallas studying theology. She will also pursue a Master’s Degree in secondary education from the university. She hopes to one day become a high school religion teacher in order to spread the faith to the youth of America. She has been blessed to receive a Catholic education and cannot wait to aid others in receiving the same gift!
Sr. Christina M. Neumann
Sr. Christina serves at St. Anne’s Living Center, a home for the elderly and disabled in Grand Forks, North Dakota. There, she helps in a variety of roles, including receptionist, sacristan, activities, and occasional personal care aide. Along with these duties, she also manages the web page for the facility, writes their weekly blog, and edits their resident newsletter. Sr. Christina also authors “Our Franciscan Fiat” , the blog for her religious community of Dillingen Franciscan Sisters in North Dakota. She also finds time for embroidery, baking, and liturgical music. Before entering religious life, she received a bachelor of arts in written communication, with some coursework also in graphic arts and theology.
I was born in San Diego, California, number seven out of nine siblings, to a devout Catholic mother and a not-so-devout Episcopalian father. My family relocated to the Los Angeles area when I was 13, where I followed (somewhat) in the footsteps of my maternal grandmother, a prolific dancer, into the entertainment business; but as a writer, not to dance. I wrote primarily for local music publications, including Street Beat and Music Connection, and reviewed bands and interviewed pop stars such as Y&T and Duran Duran. In 1984, I had the privilege of interviewing Sir Paul McCartney for Songwriter Connection, Music Connection’s sister publication. Later, I went on to work as an executive assistant for Los Angeles television stations KTLA, KTTV and KHJ, then later as a legal assistant at MGM/UA in the business affairs department, where I worked behind the scenes on television shows In the Heat of the Night, Thirtysomething, and The Young Riders. Eventually, burnt out by the jaded lifestyle of working in Hollywood, I left the business entirely and went to work for the State of California, concentrating on raising my two daughters and eventually returning to the Church of my birth. I went on to receive a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies at UMUC and a Master’s in Management at The Catholic University of America. I’m thankful to contribute to Joy In Truth and hope my writing may help to encourage others to explore the Catholic faith and grow nearer to Jesus Christ, Our Savior.
Blyton is a Catholic based in Australia, is married and has 4 daughters. Through his blog he writes about being happy, not from worldly or material means but through Faith in God and obedience to His teachings via the Church. Visit his personal blog at howtobehappy.today
Jessica Ptomey, Ph.D
Jessica is a wife, mom, writer, Communications scholar, and adjunct professor. She blogs on topics that include: Christian living, Catholicism, and culture. As a Catholic convert and former Evangelical Protestant, Jessica promotes ecumenical dialogue between Protestants and Catholics in both her writing and academic scholarship. She lives in the DC suburbs with her husband, three sons, and daughter. Follow her at jessicaptomey.com.
Jocelyn Soriano is a Catholic self-help author, poet, and blogger. You can find her books (To Love an Invisible God, Beloved, Mend My Broken Heart and In Your Hour of Grief) by visiting her Amazon Profile. You can also visit her blogs at itakeoffthemask.com and hiddensaints.com .
Jocelyn is a CPA and Internal Auditor but has also ventured to write freelance. From time to time, she reviews books, develops her own Android applications (God’s Promises, Catholic Answers, etc.) and contributes to other publications. When she is not busy writing books, Jocelyn enjoys singing and composing her own songs. Although she enjoys the company of family and friends, she also looks forward to times of solitude and prayer. Nature inspires her and reminds her of the beauty of God’s love.
Barbara Case Speers
My Google account has a picture of me wearing a cowboy hat, a souvenir from Dodge City, an amusement park that closed down more than fifty-years ago. From the time I could hold a pencil in my hand, I wanted to write! The smell of new textbooks, even mimeograph paper, brought excitement to my heart. Words were a story, ready to be written. Yes, I was a very unusual child! Born a cradle Catholic before Vatican II, I was totally void of catechesis. Although, my best friend Lorraine and I would play “Mass” in her basement. She always got the best parts because it was her house! At the age of twenty-five, an evangelical knocked on my door. In less than five minutes, (that’s all it took) they pulled the Catholic wool rug from under my feet, toppling my vacillating lackluster faith to the floor. For thirty-years I was missing in action – joined the ranks of the evangelicals. I even went to preaching school. For years I tried to catechize my mom, hoping to “save” her. Mom’s final words to curtail our ongoing spiritual debate, “Bobby, I was born a Catholic; I will die a Catholic.” The tide changed and life wrote a new chapter in my book. My faith was placed on the back burner. Years later, it was Mom who brought me back to my Catholic cradle. It wasn’t by lectures, because she could not quote book, chapter, and verse. She didn’t hand me volumes of theological rhetoric. Instead, I took her to Mass every Saturday night. I sat there like a lump on a log trying to decide what I would order at Granny’s Kitchen (our favorite diner), until one evening when the priest caught my attention by his homily on the Eucharist. It lit a fire in my heart and I hit the books – the Bible and Catechism. There is joy in truth! Years flew by and mom required round-the-clock nursing care – Alzheimer’s complicated by medical conditions. In my grief of losing my best friend, I spent my mornings at Mass and adoration before I went to stay with her at the nursing home. During that time, I lost my job and new jobs were hard to find, especially when you are over the hill, and climbing another. Life was difficult but my deep Catholic faith navigated me through the turbulent waters. Mom quietly left to meet the Lord. As a writer, I paint a black and white canvas of words hoping to project a new imaginative world for the reader, even if it is just me! Through the years, I have published poetry, religious articles, and I have written adult fiction, Cold Case Series, which seems to intrigue bookworms. In addition, Gee Bee Series, children’s fiction, I weave a spiritual nugget of truth into each story. Writing is definitely my happy place! All books are digital or paperback and can be found on Amazon under Barbara Case Speers. Life is a journey. May it lead you to grace and glory! www.coldcaseseries.net, www.geebeeseries.com
Patrick Tchakounte is a four year Biochemistry major from the University of Oklahoma with a minor in Spanish and a two year Web Design and Development major from Oklahoma City Community College. He has been a blogger for the past ten years and regularly posts on a personal blog titled Mysterium Verbi. He has a passion for the Roman Catholic Church, having served as an altar server, and is in the process of discerning to join Opus Dei. Mr. Tchakounte has diverse interests in philosophy, art, theology, comic books, and film. Additionally, he speaks French fluently.
“The love of Christ knows no limits. It never ends; it does not shrink from ugliness and filth.” -St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
Larisa Tuttle is a ballet dancer from Indianapolis who will be joining Cincinnati Ballet’s Professional Training Division in the fall. She is passionate about ministry, particularly for middle school students, and loves writing and speaking about Christ’s relentless love, the inherent beauty of the human person, her love for literature, and the necessity of the Oxford comma. Her writing can be found on her shared blog, notlikethemagazines.wordpress.com.
Theresa Tuttle is a lifelong Catholic and graduate from St. Wendelin Catholic Schools, in Fostoria, Ohio. She received her undergraduate and masters from Grand Valley State University. She now lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan with her husband and two fur babies, enjoys spoiling her grandchildren and works to give service to her greater community. She is the mother of one adoptive son and one step-son, who are both now grown with their own families. Active in her Parish, she has taught Religious Education, led various Bible Studies, is a member of the RCIA Team, an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, and a Sacristan. She authors the popular Today’s Catholic Woman Blog.
Deano Ware Jr.
Deano Ware Jr. is a fiction writer, and freelance cultural critic from the American Midwest. He holds a Bachelors in Comparative Religion and Behavioral Science and is a convert to the Catholic Church.
Grace Williams is a recent graduate of Ave Maria University with a degree in Humanities and Liberal Studies and a minor in Shakespeare in Performance. She plans to continue her education in Child Study and Human Development with a masters from Tufts University beginning this fall. She comes from a large family of 9 children and enjoys all things Shakespeare and acting. Grace is passionate about education and the preservation of the family, especially as she prepares to begin her own next summer. She hopes to use her education and talents in teaching and theatre in her future career.