Catholic Context

National Advisory Board


Bishop Donald Hanchon
Bishop Hanchon is a graduate of Sacred Heart Major Seminary, St. John's Provincial Seminary and has Master's degrees in Theology from University of Detroit, Liturgy from the University of Notre Dame and Ministry from St. John's Seminary. He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit, MI, on October 19, 1974. He has completed studies in Spanish and Hispanic Culture in Mexico and has served as a pastor in parishes serving the Hispanic community.

He was named Monsignor in 2005, and in the fall of 2009 was designated collaborator in the Central Region of the Archdiocese of Detroit and will continue to serve as Regional Moderator. On March 22, 2011, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Detroit and Titular Bishop of Orreomargo.

Father John Riccardo
Fr. Riccardo is a priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit, MI. Ordained in 1996, he is the pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel in Plymouth,MI, and the host of Christ is the Answer on many Catholic radio stations. Fr. Riccardo is a graduate of University of Michigan, holds advanced degrees from Sacred Heart Major Seminary, The Pontifical Greagorian University in Rome and John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. Fr. Riccardo also serves as the Director of Evangelization for the Archbishop of Detroit.

Dr. Ralph Martin
Dr. Martin was named Consultor to the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization and is the  president of Renewal Ministries (, an organization devoted to Catholic renewal and evangelization. Renewal Ministries is the sponsor of, The Choices We Face, a widely viewed weekly Catholic television and radio program distributed throughout the world, and engages in a wide variety of mission work in more than 27 countries.

He is also the Director of Graduate Theology Programs in Evangelization and an assistant professor of theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in the Archdiocese of Detroit. He is the author of a number of books including, The Fulfillment of All Desire: A Guidebook for the Journey to God Based on the Wisdom of the Saints. Click here to read pdf letter of his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI to Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization.

Most Rev. Michael Byrnes
Most Rev. Michael Byrnes is an Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Detroit, MI. He served as Vice Rector, Dean of Formation and Assistant Professor of Sacred Scripture at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. He received his B.Sc. from University of Michigan and was a lab assistant in the Department of Biological Chemistry at University of Michigan Medical School. He served as campus minister at University Christian Outreach: campuses of University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University. Prior to Sacred Heart Major Seminary, he lived as a member of the The Servants of the Word, a lay brotherhood, and was the office manager for Servant Ministries in Ann Arbor, MI.

He began priestly studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary for the Archdiocese of Detroit in 1990 and received a M.Div. and M.A in 1996. He served as Parochial Vicar of St. Joan of Arc Parish and Part-time Assistant Professor of Sacred Scripture at Sacred Heart Major Seminary from 1996-1999. He received an S.T.L. and S.T.D. from the Pontifical Gregorian University in 2003 and returned to the Faculty of Sacred Heart Major Seminary. He was ordained Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Detroit on May 5th, 2011.

Deacon James Owens
Deacon James Owens is a Permanent Deacon for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, PA. Ordained in 1999, Deacon Owens currently oversees ongoing formation of ordained deacons in the Archdiocese, as well as those men who are in formation to be deacons at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary. Deacon Owens is an attorney who has litigated on behalf of those who advocate for the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death.

Deacon Bob Ervin
Deacon Bob Ervin was ordained as a Permanent Deacon of the Archdiocese of Detroit, MI, in 2003 and is assigned to Holy Family Parish in Novi, MI. He spent his professional life as a mechanical engineer at University of Michigan and retired as Research Professor Emeritus. He directs the first year of deacon formation for the Archdiocese and serves in the charismatic Fellowship of St. Paul at Sacred Heart Major Seminary. He serves as a speaker at parish events throughout Detroit, fostering personal conversion to Christ and maturity in Catholic living by the power of the Holy Spirit. In addition, he and his wife teach regularly on Christian marriage.

Father James Mallon
Fr. Mallon is a priest of the Archdiocese of Halifax in Nova Scotia, Canada. Born and raised in Scotland, he moved to Canada at age thirteen. He was ordained in 1997 and currently serves as pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Canadian Martyrs Parish in Halifax. He is the founder and director of the John Paul II Media Institute.

Fr. Mallon has been running Alpha for over ten years in various settings, is a member of the Global Alpha Catholic Board, and has participated in a Global Alpha Training conference in Mexico with several members of his parish. He serves as an advisor for Alpha in a Catholic Context within the U.S., and is the creator of a Catholic follow-up to Alpha, Catholicism 201, which is currently running in sixteen countries and has been translated into Chinese.

Dr. Mary Healy
Dr. Healy is associate professor of Scripture at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit and senior fellow at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she earned an MA in theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville and a doctorate in biblical theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Dr. Healy served for several years as the Coordinator of Mother of God Community, a lay Catholic community in Gaithersburg, Maryland. She is the author of Men and Women Are from Eden: A Study Guide to John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and co-editor of three books on biblical interpretation. She addresses national and international conferences on topics related to biblical interpretation, the theology of the body, and the spiritual life. Dr. Healy co-edited the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture, a new series of commentaries that interpret Scripture from within the heart of the Church, and is author of its first volume, The Gospel of Mark.

Dr. Andrew Minto
Since 1982, Dr. Minto has served in numerous capacities during his tenure at Franciscan University of Steubenville, which include:

  • Consultant, Redeemer Pacific College, Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Tenure Board
  • Board of Governors
  • Core Curriculum Task Force 
  • Director of Graduate Theology, Franciscan University

Dr. Minto was the recipient of the Franciscan University Founders Award in 1999: For the Expertise and Dedication to the Advancement of Franciscan University of Steubenville in the Founding, Development, and Growth of the Master of Arts in Theology and Christian Ministry. In addition, he received Franciscan University's Campus Leadership and Teaching Award in 2004.  Dr. Minto is also a Professor of Theology, teaching at the graduate and under-graduate level.

Dr. Patricia Cooney-Hathaway
Dr. Cooney-Hathaway is a professor of Spirituality and Systematic Theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, MI. Previously, she taught at the Washington Theological Union. Dr. Cooney-Hathaway is the author of Weaving Faith and Experience: A Woman’s Perspective.  She is the project director for a grant from the Lilly Foundation for the education and formation of ecclesial lay ministers. Dr. Cooney-Hathaway has also traveled the nation giving lectures on various subjects, including theology, spirituality and the relationship between human and spiritual development. She is also a regular contributor to Mosaic magazine.

Mr. Michael Timmis, Esq., Phd.
Born in Detroit, MI, Mr. Timmis has had a distinguished career as both an attorney and businessman. He earned his undergraduate degree from Wayne State University and graduated with highest honors from the Wayne State Law School in 1965. He received the School’s Distinguished Law Alumni Award in 1979. In 1993, Mr. Timmis was the recipient of the Business and Professional Award from Religious Heritage of America. He received an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters degree from the University of Detroit-Mercy in 1995, in recognition of his civic and humanitarian contributions. Mr. Timmis also received a Doctorate from Ave Maria University in 2008.  

Mr. Timmis was senior partner of the law firm of Timmis & Inman L.L.P.  In addition to his legal and business involvements, Mr. Timmis holds memberships in many professional associations; is a director of numerous corporations and has served in a leadership capacity on the boards of many charitable organizations and foundations including St. John Healthcare Systems, Cornerstone Schools, Inc., The Navigators, and Alpha International.

Mr. Timmis and his wife Nancy are deeply involved in assisting the poor in the Third World and have developed self-help projects in Africa and Central and South America. They are also very active in addressing the educational needs in the city of Detroit.

Mr. Timmis' autobiography, Between Two Worlds: The Journey of an Evangelical Catholic, was published by NavPress in 2008.

Paco Gavrilides
Francisco “Paco” Gavrilides is a full-time Instructor of Homiletics at Sacred Heart Major Seminary and serves as the Coordinator of Catholic Men’s Ministry in the Archdiocese of Detroit, MI. He is a Trustee of the National Fellowship of Catholic Men, a ministry of evangelization and spiritual renewal of men in the Church.

Paco is a conference speaker and teacher both in Spanish and English. He offers missions, conferences and retreats to parishes, charismatic groups, priests and seminarians locally, nationally and internationally.  Paco with his wife have given marriage retreats for English and Spanish speaking audiences, as well as concerts of original inspirational songs.

Before settling into parish and diocesan work, Paco served as a Catholic missionary of evangelization and Christian community formation for twenty years throughout Latin America, and many other countries around the world. He received his STB from the Archdiocesan Seminary of Monterrey, Mexico and is currently pursing the Licentiate Degree in the New Evangelization from Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, MI.

Neal Lozano
Mr. Lozano has a Master’s degree in religious education from Villanova University, where he also led an evangelistic outreach to students for eighteen years. He has over thirty five years of pastoral experience and is the author of Unbound: A Practical Guide to Deliverance, Resisting the Devil: A Catholic Perspective on Deliverance and The Older Brother Returns. In addition, he wrote three children’s books, Will You Bless Me?, Can God See Me in the Dark? and What Can I Give God? 

Mr. Lozano has spoken at seminars and conferences throughout the world. He and his wife have done outreach ministry in Poland, Latvia, Slovakia, Ukraine, Haiti, Turkey, Sudan, Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda. Mr. Lozano has become a respected authority in deliverance ministry and developed a unique, balanced approach to this often controversial area of ministry which includes detailed biblical grounding, real-life examples and immense practicality. Currently the Sr. Coordinator, Neal has served The House of God’s Light, a Christian ecumenical community for over thirty-five years.

Johnny Hom
In 2005, Johnny Hom and his wife were invited to Alpha by a Christian teacher, and during it he heard the Lord say, “I died to give you a new life.” Since then, he became a committed Christian and began leading local Alphas. In 2014, he and his wife felt the Lord call them into the Catholic faith. He entered into communion during Easter of 2015, and since then has been encouraging local parishes to run Alpha. Professionally, he works as a consultant in the IT and financial industries in Bellevue, WA.

Jeff Cavins
s a recognized public speaker and Bible teacher, Jeff communicates the Catholic faith at a level that everyone can understand. He is the creator of the Great Adventure Bible Study series, founding host of EWTN’s weekly program, “Life on the Rock,” and Relevant Radio’s daily show, “Morning Air.” He is author of several books including, When You Suffer: Biblical Keys for Hope and Understanding. Jeff received an M.A. in theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also a Fellow of the Augustine Institute in Denver and the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology in Steubenville.