The son of Mary and the late Steven Raica, with Polish/Italian roots, Bishop Raica was born on November 8, 1952 in Munising, Michigan. His mother and brother, Joseph, currently reside in Marquette, Michigan. Bishop Raica attended Sacred Heart Elementary School and William G. Mather High School in Munising before being accepted to Michigan State University in East Lansing, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics-Secondary Education in 1973. He earned his Master of Divinity from St. John Provincial Seminary in Plymouth, Michigan.
Bishop Raica was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Lansing by Bishop Kenneth Povish on October 14, 1978. In 1985, Bishop Raica was appointed Co-Rector of St. Mary Cathedral in Lansing. In 1988 he was sent to Rome to complete Licentiate Studies in Canon Law and Specialization in Jurisprudence at Pontifical Gregorian University. Raica was named a Prelate of Honor by Pope John Paul II on March 14, 1998, an honor which carries with it the title of “Monsignor.”
A gifted linguist, Bishop Raica speaks English, Italian and Polish, adding Latin, French, Spanish and German to the reading list. Raica was named fifth bishop of Gaylord on June 27, 2014. He was consecrated and installed as bishop on August 28, 2014.
Marcus Grodi is a bestselling author, speaker, and he is President of the Coming Home Network. You likely recognize him as the host of popular EWTN show called The Journey Home Program.
Marcus received his BS degree from Case Institute of Technology in Polymer Engineering and worked for six years as an engineer. During this time, he was involved in a variety of Protestant youth and music ministries. He then received his Master of Divinity Degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and was ordained to the Protestant pastoral ministry. During his more than fifteen years of youth, young adult, and pastoral ministry, his main emphasis was church and lay spiritual renewal. Marcus, his wife Marilyn, and their two older sons, JonMarc and Peter, were received into the Catholic Church on December 20, 1992. Their third son, Richard, entered through baptism.
Following 25 years as an award-winning corporate advertising executive, Tom Peterson’s life would radically change forever, after receiving a transforming Spiritual conversion while on a Catholic men’s retreat. Soon afterward, he founded VirtueMedia (pro-life) and CatholicsComeHome.org.
In the first six years, Catholics Come Home® has aired Catholic evangelization commercials in 38 dioceses and nationally, helping lead a half million souls home to the Catholic Church.
In 2011 Catholics Come Home evangomercialsTM were the first to air nationally on top TV networks like CBS and NBC, reaching 125 million viewers in every city across the United States.
In the past decade, Tom has presented worldwide at Catholic Conferences including the Vatican, and multiple appearances on Fox News, EWTN and other media venues. Upon the election of Pope Francis, Tom was selected to offer live commentary on Fox News worldwide
Susan Tassone has long been a passionate champion for the holy souls in purgatory and is recognized as leading the “purgatory movement” in the United States. She is a best-selling author whose first work, The Way of the Cross for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, has sold more than 75,000 copies. In addition to her many writings on behalf of those in purgatory, she is a popular speaker and frequent guest on radio and TV shows. Susan holds a master’s degree in religious education from Loyola University and has had the honor and privilege of being granted two private audiences with Blessed Pope John Paul II, who bestowed a special blessing upon her and her ministry for the holy souls.
Fr. Ken Geraci, CPM, lived the life of the prodigal son for most of his young adult life. Raised in a nominally Catholic family, who only lived the externals of the faith, Fr. Ken left the Catholic Church for many years. During that time he earned a business degree and worked as a business profession in Advanced R&D and software testing; a few years into his career he joined a few of his co-workers in establishing a $4.5 million Internet software company. Focused on money, fitness, and success, he made little room for God; but God did not give up on him. During this journey, God presented him with challenges that forced him to question his personal beliefs and the question “What is Truth?” Through a series of conversions, years of struggle, study and questioning, Fr. Ken found his way from agnosticism, to non-denominational Christianity, and ultimately back to the Catholic Church.
Fr. Ken joined the Fathers of Mercy in 2006 and was ordained in 2012. For two years, he served as an associate pastor of a medium sized parish and currently serves as a Missionary, webmaster and vocation director for the Fathers of Mercy. Fr. Ken has a great understanding of the personal and societal pressures that individuals face and knows what it is like to “hate coming to church.” His mission talks are for people of all levels of faith; from those who are madly in love with Jesus to those who struggle with church and religion.
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!