Speaker Information

Fr. Ricardo Pineda, CPMFather Ricardo Pineda, CPM was born in 1987 into a Catholic family of both Salvadoran and Mexican descent. He is the fourth of five children, and a native of San Diego, California. Following high school, he attended the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. While in studies at Notre Dame, he played trumpet in the marching Band of the Fighting Irish. In May of 2008, he graduated from Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and a minor in Theology.

Fr. Ricardo began hearing a call to the priesthood as early as age 6, but it was not until his freshmen year of high school that he began serious discernment of his vocation in prayer. This discernment continued throughout high school and college. After learning more about the vocation to priesthood as well as the vocation to marriage, he discovered that although the thought of marriage made him happy, he understood that he would be happier as a priest, serving God for the salvation of souls. So by the end of his second year at Notre Dame, he had accepted God’s call to the priesthood with a firm “Yes!” In time, he further discerned a call to the religious life.

Fr. Ricardo joined the Fathers of Mercy as a postulant in July of 2008. Following his one year novitiate, he professed his first year of temporary vows of Obedience, Poverty, and Chastity on August 14, 2009. He graduated from Holy Apostles College and Seminary and was ordained a priest for the Fathers of Mercy in May of 2013. For three years, he served as an associate pastor of four small parishes in the Archdiocese of Louisville. This past June, he was resigned to the Fathers of Mercy Mission Band. He also currently serves as the community’s Treasurer General.

Fr. John D. Corbett, O.P.Father John D. Corbett O.P. grew up in Columbus, Ohio and came to know the Dominicans through family members in the Order, through St. Patrick’s Parish, and through attending Providence College. He graduated from the College in 1973 with a B.A. in Political Science. Fr. Corbett joined the Dominicans in the summer of 1974 and was ordained a priest on May 12, 1980. He completed his Licentiate in Scared Theology in 1981 and began to teach Moral Theology as well as the Development of Western Civilization at Providence College. He also assisted in campus ministries and in the Student Residence Program. Three years later, he began his Doctorial Studies at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland and was awarded his Ph.D. after completing his dissertation on the Theology of Virtue in the Thought of Thomas Aquinas. While in Fribourg, Fr. Corbett served as pastor to the English speaking parish of Bruderklaus. Upon returning to the United States in 1989, he was appointed Assistant Student Master. Fr. Corbett was appointed to the Faculty of the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio in 1991 and spent the next seven years teaching various coursed in Moral Theology, as well as offering retreats, spiritual direction, and personal formation for Seminarians. He regularly assisted in three parishes for Sunday preaching. He joined the faculty of The Dominican House of Studies in the fall of 1998. Fr. Corbett teaches in the area of fundamental moral theology.

Fr. Dave Pivonka, TORFather Maurice Emelu is the founder of Gratia Vobis Ministries. A renowned Catholic Speaker and Retreat Preacher, Fr. Maurice is the host of two television teaching series on the Global Catholic Television (EWTN) namely, The Faith With Father Maurice and Word For A Wounded World, in addition to numerous other short interstitials, also aired on KNXT. These series are well received in over 140 countries. He also provides daily reflections for Immaculate Heart Radio; daily online blogs (reflections) that attract over 70,000 weekly views.  

Like a digital native, Father Maurice has huge online presence (over 12,000 followers on Facebook, 15,000+ followers on Twitter, 26,000+ on his blog site, etc.), and thousands of views on YouTube, where he boldly shows the beauties of our Catholic faith and doctrines.

He is a lecturer (adjunct) of leadership and managerial skills for graduate programs in non-profit administration at John Carroll University, USA. An author of three books and numerous articles, Father Maurice is a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Orlu in Nigeria. His passionate love for Christ and His Body, the Church, is palpable and he shares this with joy every moment of his time. As an author and journalist, he has a unique style of reaching a diverse audience, blending his African heritage with the western culture. 

He is also the Executive Producer and Producer of Echoes From Africa and Called; and is currently working on a 12-part film documentary series on The Church in Africa, a first attempt to present a robust film production of Faith and Life in Africa, covering a span of over 2000 years of the history. He is a consultant for Pax Press Agency Geneva, which reports the Holy See’s participation at the UN Office in Geneva.

Previously, Father Maurice was the Director of Communications for the Catholic Diocese of Orlu, Nigeria, the editor-in-chief of the Orlu Diocesan Catholic Newspaper, The Forum, and the National Secretary of the Catholic Directors of Social Communication, Nigeria.

Father Maurice holds bachelor degrees in philosophy and theology- from the Pontifical Urban University Rome; in Religious Studies from Imo State University, Nigeria; Masters degree in Communication and Media Management, John Carroll University, Cleveland, Post-graduate degree in Journalism from the International Institute for Journalism, and will be defending his PhD (Theology), specialty in Media, Evangelization and Culture from the Maryvale Institute of the Liverpool Hope University, UK in December, 2017.

As he likes to describe himself, “I am an African priest passionately in love with Christ and His Church.”


Fr. Stephen Dominic Hayes, O.P.

Father Hayes is an itinerant preacher assigned to Saint Patrick Priory, Columbus Ohio.

Father Hayes is a native of Boston, Massachusetts. Born in 1953, has seven brothers and sisters and rejoices in his Irish heritage.

He holds an A.B. in Biology from Saint Anselm College, Manchester, New Hampshire; a J.D. from Boston University School of Law, and an S.T.B. From the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception (the Dominican House of Studies) in Washington, DC.

After practicing law for a few years, he entered the Dominican Order in 1982, made solemn profession in 1986, and was ordained a priest in 1988. Has served as a priest and pastor for the last 29 years in Ohio and Kentucky.

In addition to parochial service, Father Hayes has had experience in retreat work, parish missions, pilgrimage direction, and as a spiritual director and confessor, as well as experience in Catholic radio and print media.

He has for many years been active in the Knights of Columbus and the Ancient Order of Hibernians. He is particularly interested in Holy Scripture, sacramentology, and medieval Christian history

Fr. Denis G. Wilde, O.S.A., Ph.D.Rev. Denis G. Wilde, O.S.A., Ph.D. is a member of the Augustinian Province of St. Thomas of Villanova, was associate professor of music at Villanova University from 1977 to 1998, before he joined Priests for Life.  A Long Island native, Fr. Wilde is a professional pianist and presents piano recitals around the country in conjunction with pro-life ministry. Father Wilde received his Ph.D. in music from The Catholic University of America (1984) and had been professionally engaged as choral director at Villanova and as guest conductor in five continents. Father feels a unique interest in relating music and pro-life ministry much as the heart is moved through beauty in life.

Fr. Denis has been actively involved in pro-life concerns since before Roe v. Wade. In the 80s he personally witnessed to the "rescue" movement and thereby developed ecumenical ties from the expression of common faith in God as the Author of Life. Beyond preaching and teaching on campus he has now traveled to over 750 venues in 47 states, Canada, Mexico and Europe, delivering the Gospel of Life and supporting the local pro-life efforts of clergy and laity.

Fr. Denis writes: "There is sadly no more dangerous place to live than the womb. This bizarre situation of a culture of death propped up by law and camouflaged as medicine perpetuates a lie of a colossal order. Its consequence is a dead end street to baby, mother and civilization.

"Our days, seen against this backdrop, can be foreboding. But they can also serve as a national and church wake-up call to act on the promise God has given us all - to thwart evil and reclaim His Victory over death. A priest therefore needs to be at the front, side by side and supporting his flock in this battle for life. Ours is not an option to wait for someone else to come along. What a joy it is to know that God is in charge and will not fail to lead us forward to end this 'unspeakable crime’.”

Fr. Dave Pivonka, TORFather Dave Pivonka, TOR, has been saved by the Love of God revealed to us by Jesus. His entire ministry is proclaiming this reality.  Fr. Dave is as an evangelist who speaks at conferences, retreats and parish missions around the U.S. and world. For twenty years Fr. Dave has also been leading pilgrimages around the world to some of the holiest and most important sites in our Christian faith.  He spends much of his time helping others come to know God's love for them through his preaching, writings, CDs, and other spiritual outreaches.  

Fr. Dave has written several books:  Spiritual Freedom – God’s Life Changing Gift, Hiking the Camino - 500 Miles with Jesus, Encounter Jesus – From Discovery to Discipleship and most recently, Breath of God.  

Fr. Dave is also responsible for The Wild Goose – a 14 part video series which explores what it is to have a relationship with the Holy Spirit. 

Currently, Fr. Dave is the Director of Franciscan Pathways which is an evangelistic outreach of his Franciscan Community.