Fr. Jewel Aytona, CPM, is a missionary preacher with the Congregation of the Fathers of Mercy in Auburn, KY. He travels throughout the country conducting parish missions and retreats, spreading the good news of the Mercy of God and the teachings of the Catholic Faith, nourishing souls with the Bread of Life and being an instrument to reconcile souls with God.
Danielle Bean is a Catholic writer and speaker. Her mission is to help struggling moms to know their dignity and worth so they can find peace, balance, and joy in family living.
So many of us struggle, and too many of us feel alone in that struggle. Danielle says: “I know what it’s like to give your all to your family and yet still sometimes feel like you are failing at the important stuff. I know what it’s like to pour your heart and soul into this mom-thing and still sometimes wonder if it’s all worthwhile in the end.”
Her mission is let people know that there is great dignity in motherhood and being dedicated to family living. She has been married to her husband, Dan, for 28 years and together have 8 children.
The National Catholic Register said it well: “Sister Deirdre ‘Dede’ Byrne has worn three uniforms: a surgeon’s scrubs, a soldier’s camouflage, and now, a sister’s habit.”
She served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, in active duty in Afghanistan and later as a reservist. She also served for 13 months in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. As a missionary surgeon, she helped the sick in Kenya, Haiti, Sudan, and Iraq.
After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, she made her way to Ground Zero and spent two days delivering supplies and support to firefighters. After some discernment, she entered the Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. She professed her first vows in 2004. She finally retired from the U.S. military in 2009, then professed her final vows in 2011.
Her advice for all people, but especially the young:
- To do all we can to keep in the state of grace. As Catholics, that means participating in confession, Holy Communion and, if possible, adoration.
- Bring as many with you as you can. That means telling the truth to people, even when it’s difficult.
Bishop Walsh was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Scranton by Bishop James C. Timlin at the Cathedral of Saint Peter, Scranton, Pa., on June 25, 1994. After ordination, Bishop Walsh served as assistant pastor at Saint Rose of Lima Church, Carbondale, and the Cathedral of Saint Peter, Scranton. In July 1999, he was appointed to his first pastorate at Saint Mary of the Lake Church, Lake Winola, as well as Director of Spiritual & Liturgical Formation at Saint Pius X Seminary in Dalton, Pa.. From July 2004-July 2006, he served as pastor at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, Tunkhannock, until being appointed to serve as Episcopal Vicar for the Eastern Pastoral Region of the Diocese of Scranton.
In 2008, Bishop Walsh became administrator of Saint Rita Church, Gouldsboro, and in 2009 was appointed administrator of Saint Anthony, Saint Bridget and Saint John the Baptist parishes in Throop. In July 2010, Bishop Walsh was appointed to serve as pastor at the Church of Saint John, East Stroudsburg.
In January 2015, he was appointed Episcopal Vicar for Clergy by Bishop Joseph C. Bambera. While serving in that role, Bishop Walsh also served as Sacramental Minister for Our Lady of the Eucharist Parish, Pittston. In July 2020, he was appointed pastor at Saint Rose of Lima Parish, Carbondale, and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Carbondale.
On December 21, 2021, the Diocese of Gaylord, Mich., announced that Bishop Walsh had been appointed by Pope Francis to serve as sixth bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord.
Born in Stockbridge Massachusetts, Brian Flynn is Catholic singer/songwriter that has a true heart for serving God with his musical gifts. A cradle Catholic, Brian has been involved in ministry since he was 22 years old and had a “reversion” back the Catholic faith. He then traveled throughout New England with the Capuchin Friars of the Primitive Observance providing dynamic music for Youth 2000 Eucharistic centered Youth Retreats.
Brian moved to Michigan in 1999, where he worked as the Director of Music at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Westphalia, MI for the past 15 years. In addition to leading music at St. Mary’s, Brian provides music for conferences, retreats and concerts throughout the United States, sometimes teaming up with one or more of his siblings, and his father, Vinny. A versatile musician, Brian also provides music for weddings and funerals.
Many of Brian’s songs have been featured on Catholic Radio stations across the United States. He has also been featured several times on EWTN. Brian really has a knack for weaving solid, Catholic teaching into his songs in a contemporary way that goes straight to the heart. Brian has been given a true gift from God to accompany his voice on many instruments, including the piano, guitar and organ. He also enjoys playing the tin whistle, accordion, drums, harmonica, and trumpet. Brian’s prayer is that, you, too will be led closer to Jesus through his gift of music. Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!