Bishop Sam Jacobs
Bishop Sam Jacobs is a dynamic and inspirational speaker, who is profoundly gifted at empowering people to open up to the power of the Holy Spirit. Bishop Jacobs was ordained to the priesthood in 1964 serving as chaplain, associate pastor and pastor of several parishes in the Lafayette and Lake Charles diocese. He has served as chairman of the National Service Committee for the Charismatic Renewal and diocesan director of Vocations and Seminarians.
He was appointed bishop of Alexandria in 1989 and installed as the third bishop of Houma-Thibodaux in 2003. He retired in October of 2013 and is now the bishop emeritus of Houma-Thibodaux. He spends much of his time traveling the country teaching and inspiring others on their faith journey.
Visit his website SpiritAflaim.org.
Fr. Richard McAlear, OMI
Father McAlear, a native of Boston, Massachusetts, entered the religious order of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in 1960. He studied in Rome and was ordained there in 1970, after receiving degrees in Philosophy (Ph.L.) and Theology (S.T.L.). He returned to the United States, where he taught high school and received another degree in Religious Education (M.A.).
In 1972, Father McAlear became involved in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal and he entered into the healing ministry in 1976. His ministry and work have brought him to every part of the United States, Asia, South America, Canada, Australia, New Guinea, Guatemala, Italy, France, Portugal, and Scotland.
Father McAlear has been a member of the Association of Christian Therapists since 1977, and a past director of Our Lady of Hope Center in Newburgh, NY. In Newburgh, his charismatic work included healing prayer along with a strong outreach to the poor and needy in that area. Father McAlear was subsequently appointed as the Vocation Director for the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. In this capacity he was stationed in Washington, D.C. where for ten years, he recruited young men for the priesthood. He is now assigned to devote himself full time to teaching and the healing ministry.
Visit his website FrMac.org.
Fr. Bob Mendona
Fr. Bob Mendonca is currently the Director of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal for the Diocese of Oakland.
He was born was raised in Centerville (now Fremont), California in 1947. He graduated from Holy Spirit School. After high school he attended Foothill College in Los Altos Hills and San Francisco Conservatory of Music as a composition major. In 1968 he was married to Lori Collins. They were married for twenty-four years. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from Excelsior College, New York. After a year of study he received his teaching credential. He taught Middle and High School in Alameda County for fifteen years. After Lori’s death, Fr. Bob felt the call to priesthood—a call he had felt when he was in grammar school. He entered St. Patrick’s Seminary and received the M.Div. 2000. He was pastor in Livermore, California for eleven years, first at St. Charles Borromeo and then at St. Michael. His interests include music, Bible languages, science—especially biochemistry, history, teaching and writing.
Sister Marie Hesed
Sister Marie Hesed was born in a large family in Quebec, Canada. She received her religious vocation at the age of eight on the day of her confirmation. In her twenties she answered God's Call and entered the only Contemplative Cloister in Canada, founded by Mother Aurelie of the Precious Blood. After 3 1/2 years Sister discerned that her call was not to monastic life but to contemplative life in the heart of the world.
In 1976, she met Blessed, now Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta in the South Bronx of New York. As she walked in the Chapel, she read by the Crucifix the words: "I Thirst", and she realized she was home. In this brief encounter with Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Jesus asked her to trust him unconditionally and she left her beloved country Canada to become the first candidate to the new Contemplative Branch that Saint Mother Teresa was founding in the South Bronx.
On June 28th 1979. she professed her first vows to the Missionaries of Charity Contemplatives with Saint Mother Teresa present. It was the beginning of an incredibly graced missionary life which took Sister to Tijuana, Cuba, Calcutta India, Kenya and different parts of the United States.
During her five year Cuban mission, she learned the importance of the need to meet the basic needs of the people. Sister realized that in order to teach them of the promises of Jesus, she first had to find a way to meet their basic needs. She began community gardens and taught them how to plant, grow and harvest their own food. At that time a calling was placed in her heart, to one day create a place where she could teach other Missionaries and share ideas on how to nourish both the body and the souls of people and at the same time, create a place for renewal.
It was while missioned in Nairobi, Kenya that Sister Marie Hesed felt deep down in her soul, that Jesus was drawing her to answer a "call within a call". And so began a long five years of discernment, which finally led to her seeking admission in the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity in 2003.
In 2012. Sister moved to Willey, Iowa where she built and now resides in the beautiful Domus Trinitatis Retreat and Renewal Center.
Sister Elizabeth Ann Dockery
Sister Elizabeth Ann is a member of "Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ" which is a Franciscan Charismatic Religious Community of Diocesan Rite.
Called to witness to the Gospel, we seek to draw all people into a personal relationship with Jesus through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. This flows from a deep life of prayer, praise and on-going conversion in loving commitment to one another.
In her words...
I was a Protestant until age 25 so I never discerned religious life. I had thought about becoming a missionary but opted for a career as a professional bass player and orchestra director instead.
I met Sister Rita, DLJC at the post office one day and a beautiful friendship emerged. I did volunteer work for the community and one day the Lord placed it on my heart to question my vocation. Eventually my desire for worldly things diminished and my sole desire became to be closer to the Lord. Then I read in a book “sometimes we don’t know our vocation until we meet the person or the people we are supposed to spend the rest of our life with.” I found the people then discerned my vocation.
Most Special Moment
My wedding day (the day of my perpetual vows) included a moment where I was lying prostrate on the floor during the Litany of the Saints. One of my young nephews was close by and I heard him ask, “Mommy, is she dead?” On the contrary, I was very much alive! The scripture “the life I live now is not my own but Christ living in me” (Gal. 2:20) became very tangible. Yes, I was dead to self and rising to new life.
Words of Encouragement
In order to know with understanding what is, we need to also know what is not. We know real joy when we have experienced sorrow. We know we are called to marriage when we know we are not called to religious life and vice versa. It is more than head thoughts. We must step out of the boat and actively seek the Lord’s will. Our call in life strengthens when we discern all vocations through prayer and growth in virtue.
Visit their website DLJC.org.
Sister Ana Chiara Richardson
Sister Ana Chiara is a member of "Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ" which is a Franciscan Charismatic Religious Community of Diocesan Rite.
She was born in a small farming town in the San Juaquin valley of California to Ronnie and Theresa Richardson. Marie, as she was so named, is the middle child of five girls and so felt that Providence was preparing her from the very beginning to live community life, though a call to a religious vocation did not occur to her until she was in her mid 20’s.
Marie always believed that she would grow up, get married and have six or seven children. She loved children and, put frankly, loved living in the world. She enjoyed Bar-B-Ques, city league volleyball and hosting themed dress-up parties.
Returning to her Catholic faith, though, after several years of searching for God within other Christian faith traditions, Marie found that in the deepest part of her heart something still remained unsatisfied. She hungered for something more, that friends, family and even her faith could not completely satisfy, but she didn’t know what that “something” was. That is, until one Sunday evening after the youth Mass at her parish she heard a 14 year old girl say, “I’m going to be a nun.” Never having encountered somebody discerning the religious life, Marie was intrigued and asked to speak with the young girl.
“Every Religious takes three vows,” began the young girl. Then she proceeded to explain each of the vows in more detail. At some point in the conversation she qualified one of her statements about poverty by saying, “Religious poverty, though, is not as much about having nothing as it is about needing nothing but Jesus. “And something leaped in my heart as I recognized my deepest longing: to live a life that needed nothing but Jesus.”
And for the first time, Marie wondered if Jesus might be calling her to be His bride. After that, she deepened her prayer life, started making longer and more frequent visits to the Blessed Sacrament and opened her heart to hear God’s plan for her life. He pursued her through moments of doubt, insecurity and fear until, finally, His love conquered her heart. And little by little He has continued to conquer every part of her heart that opposes His plan for her life: to need nothing but Jesus.
Visit their website DLJC.org.
Fr. Cameron Faller
San Francisco, CA
Fr. Cameron Faller was born and raised in Novato and attended Marin Catholic High School in Kentfield. During that time he was much more interested in playing sports and getting into a good college than practicing his faith, or even considering a call to the priesthood. However, after his first year studying Engineering at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, his life took a dramatic turn during a pilgrimage to Lourdes. There he began to have a deep conviction that God was calling him to be a priest. Upon his return he began his priestly formation. His first two years were spent at Bishop White Seminary in Spokane, where he received his BA in Philosophy from Gonzaga University followed by five years in the Theology program at St. Patrick's. He was ordained to the Priesthood for the Archdiocese of San Francisco on June 6, 2015 by Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone.
Fr. Cameron is currently Priest-secretary to the Archbishop and Director of Vocations, with residence at Star of the Sea Parish, San Francisco.
Fr. Andrew C. Ibegbulem, OSA
San Francisco, CA
Fr. Andrew Chioma Ibegbulem, OSA is an Augustinian Priest of the Province of St. Augustine of Nigeria. He was ordained to the priesthood after his final religious profession and upon completion of his Philosophy and theology degrees on July 3, 2004. Fr. Andrew has been involved in parish apostolate as associate pastor, treasurer, youth chaplain, vocation director, spiritual director and pastor. In addition, he was the National Coordinator of the Augustinian Associate and was responsible for fund raising in Nigeria for the training of Augustinian friars in formation.
Fr. Andrew received his master's degree in 2016 in counseling in clinical mental health from Villanova University in Pennsylvania. He had practiced as an intern with Siloam and Eagleville Hospital in Philadelphia.
Fr. Andrew is passionate about the Word of God, a good listener and loves good music. He is presently on Mission in the Archdiocese of San Francisco at St. Paul of the Shipwreck. He is a frequent celebrant at the Archdiocese of San Francisco Catholic Charismatic Renewal 1st Friday monthly masses.
Deacon Bill Brennan
Ordained in 1981, Deacon Bill has been active in leadership in the Renewal for many years. He serves as the bishop's Episcopal Liaison the for the Charismatic Renewal, Diocese of Stockton. He is also the Chairman of NCRC - Northern California Renewal Coalition.
Deacon Bill has ministered throughout the United States and abroad, giving parish missions, retreats and days of renewal. He is a gifted speaker, especially in the areas of "The Baptism of the Holy Spirit" and the spiritual gifts.
Deacon Bill's teaching style touches hearts and souls leaving all who hear him hungry for a deeper relationship with the Lord through the ever-flowing power of the Holy Spirit.
He currently serves his parish, Church of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in Stockton, CA.