This weekend we are gathering with the FutureChurch board for our annual retreat and quarterly meeting. Over the years, FutureChurch has been blessed by wise, committed, and visionary Catholics who have served on our boards and committees, helping the organization to grow and flourish. And as we continue on the synodal journey together and seek to discern the movement of the Spirit and realize the opportunities and possibility in our midst, we are profoundly grateful for the guidance and counsel of our current board members:
Sr. Anita Baird, DHM is a member of the Society of the Daughters of the Heart of Mary and previously served her community as United States Provincial. In 2000, Sr. Anita was appointed the founding director of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Office for Racial Justice. She is past president of the National Black Sisters’ Conference and recipient of the organization’s Harriet Tubman “Moses of Her People” Award.
Crystal Catalan currently serves as the director of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Presentation High School in San Jose, CA. She holds degrees from the University of San Diego and Eastern University, and previously served as a missioner with Cabrini Mission Corps in New York, the Philippines, Swaziland, and Radnor, PA at Cabrini University. She recently graduated with a masters in pastoral ministries with an emphasis in restorative justice and chaplaincy at Santa Clara University.
Jane Collen is an esteemed intellectual property attorney with more than thirty years’ experience. When she is not practicing law, Jane – an avid reader herself – is a writer of award-winning children’s books and historical fiction. She has also taught religious education for more than 20 years. She holds a BA in English and Speech Communications as well as a doctorate in Juris Prudence.
James Connell, a long-time FutureChurch member, recently retired from Ursuline College in Pepperpike, Ohio where he served as Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies and director of the Educational Administration program. A life-long educator, Connell previously served for 35 years in public education and as a superintendent. He served as one of the co-facilitators for the Diocese of Cleveland “Keeping the Faith” strategic plan for elementary schools.
Sean Gargamelli-McCreight, along with his wife Karen and their friend Jimmy Hannigan is a cofounder of Benincasa Community, a lay Catholic community founded in the tradition of religious life and the Catholic Worker movement. Originally founded in New York City in 2015 and Benincasa is now based as an emerging eco-spiritual center in Guilford, CT.
Marie Graf is a long-time FutureChurch member and has previously served as chair of the board. A marketing and communications expert, Marie is currently executive director at Learning About Business, a nonprofit organization that provides high school students with an interactive business simulation that inspires innovation, fosters teamwork, and develops leadership skills.
Nontando Hadebe is a lay woman theologian and International Coordinator for Side by Side, a faith movement for gender justice. She was previously senior lecturer at St. Augustine College in South Africa, specializing in African Theology, Pastoral & Contextual Theology, Feminist & Womanist Theology, Liberation Theology and Pastoral Psychology. She is a member of the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians.
Rita Houlihan is a member of Ascension parish in New York City where she teaches Confirmation. Since retiring after a 35+ year career at IBM, Rita has committed to restoring our historical memory of early Christian women leaders with a special focus on Mary Magdalene. She commissioned the sculpted relief – “Mary Magdalene Proclaims the Resurrection” (Margaret Beaudette, SC, 2014) and the Laura James’ series, “Mary Magdalene and the Risen Jesus” (2021).
Sr. Andrea Koverman, SC is a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati, entering in 2012 and professing final vows in 2021. Since 2019, Sr. Andrea has been living at the U.S./Mexico border, serving the women and children at Proyecto Santo Niño in Anapra, Mexico, as curriculum coordinator/educator and at Annunciation House in El Paso, Texas, connecting migrants who have been released into the U.S. with their families.
Rose Lue is a community organizer, justice advocate, and spiritual companion. Rose is an Advanced Lay Leader in the Diocese of San Jose, California, having completed 7 years of formation along with the candidates for permanent diaconate. Rose currently leads the mental health ministry at her parish and serves on the diocesan committee for Catholic Campaign for Human Development.
Vickey McBride Vice President for Mission at Saint Martin de Porres High School (Cristo Rey) in Cleveland, Ohio. Prior to working at Saint Martin, she lived and worked in Brownsville, Texas as a teacher in the Alliance for Catholic Education, earning her Master of Education degree from the University of Notre Dame. A talented musician, she serves as a music minister for her parish, Saint Patrick Parish, and as director of the Saint Martin de Porres Gospel Choir.
Joseph Miller currently serves on the theology faculty at Bellarmine Preparatory School in Tacoma, Washington. Prior to his current role, he was a Maryknoll Lay Missioner in El Salvador and Bolivia. He holds an M.A. in Pastoral Ministry from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry and is committed to a “faith that does justice.”
Todd Ray is a long time FutureChurch member and currently serves as board chair. After a long and distinguished career in leadership in clinical and educational programming services as well as clinical settings, Todd is currently serving in elected office as fiscal officer for Munson Township in Ohio.
Rev. Andy Switzer is pastor of St. Agnes Catholic Church in Shepherdstown, WV. A social justice advocate, he has been active in protests for workers’ pensions and rights, Black Lives Matter witnesses, and in the social justice work of the Catholic Community of Appalachia. Committed to reform in the Catholic Church, he has also previously served in leadership for the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests (AUSCP).
Yunuen Trujillo is a Catholic lay minister, a faith-based Community Organizer, and an Immigration Attorney. As a lay minister, she has served in young adult ministry for more than 15 years and is currently Religious Formation Coordinator (Spanish) for the Catholic Ministry with Lesbian and Gay Persons of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. She is the author of LGBTQ Catholics: A Guide for Inclusive Ministry published by Paulist Press.
Please pray for us as we meet to pray and discern and work to strengthen our common pursuit of a Church that is alive with the gifts and potential of all its members.