Our Speakers

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Richard Lane Jr.

Richard was born in Detroit, Michigan to Mary O. Alexander, retired Educator for the Highland Park School system and the Late Dick “Night Train” Lane; National Football League Hall of Fame Cornerback. Mr. Lane, Jr. attended Morehouse College in Atlanta Georgia and also served honorably for nearly six years in the United States Army Military Police Corps in numerous domestic and international locations.

After converting to the faith in April 19, 2003, it was in early 2005 when Mr. Lane was lead to begin proclaiming the Gospel as a street corner evangelist, sharing the Word of God, passing out Bibles, crosses and other religious items. Since that time Mr. Lane has been featured on “Catholic Answers Live”, Ave Maria Radio, Relevant Radio, Our Sunday Visitor, the National Catholic Reporter, Sports Review Magazine, as well as Eternal Word Television Network’s (EWTN) the “Journey Home”. He is also the Co-Founder of Catholic Men for Christ Men’s Conference in St. Louis, Missouri which continues to draw thousands of men each year to hear the Powerful Message of the Gospel.

Maryanne Miller

Four Star General Maryanne Miller is the Commander of Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois responsible for providing airlift, air refueling, aeromedical evacuation and mobility support to enable rapid global mobility and sustainment of America’s armed forces around the globe.

General Miller was commissioned in 1981 as a distinguished graduate of the ROTC program at Ohio State University. She is a command pilot with more than 4,800 flying hours in numerous aircraft.

In addition to her current military experience, Maryanne has flown planes for Washington State Department of Fisheries and owned and operated a restaurant in Rehoboth Beach Delaware.

During her many years of study and formation, Maryanne has obtained numerous degrees from Ohio State, MIT, Trident University in California, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and Manhattan College in Riverdale NY.

In her free time, she volunteers with the Missionaries of Charity serving the poorest of the poor. She has traveled to Calcutta India to serve in the many houses started by Saint Mother Teresa and has worked with the sisters for over 5 years.

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Fr. Richard Simon

Father Richard Simon is the pastor of St. Lambert’s Parish in Skokie, IL. His expertise is in apologetics with a concentration on the early Christian Church. 

Fr. Simon attended St Francis Xavier grade school, Quigley Seminary, and received his Bachelors from Loyola University in Chicago, majoring in classical Greek. His graduate studies were at University of St. Mary of the Lake, where he received a Masters of Divinity and a Bachelors in Sacred Theology. Since 1982, he has taught classical Greek and Latin at St Joseph’s College, formerly Niles College, the undergraduate or college seminary for the Archdiocese of Chicago. In 2013, he transitioned from his position as a co-host on the popular Relevant Radio program Go Ask Your Father™ to the host of his own show Father Simon Says™.

Chris Stewart

Chris Stewart is a loving husband, father, and dynamic speaker who has engaged youth and adults with captivating talks for 20 years. He and his beautiful wife, Maria, have been married for 16 years, are blessed with seven children, and live in Wichita, Kansas. Chris’ experience with youth, family life and death, and his ability to connect with his audience no matter what age or walk of life, has made him a sought out speaker for years. 

His experience in youth ministry and public speaking began in 1996 when he first taught for Totus Tuus, a summer youth catechetical program. He discovered his gift of speaking and has continued throughout the years giving countless talks in the areas of catechetics, theology, spirituality and evangelization. He has a gift for bringing his audience to laughter and tears from experiences in his own life. 

Chris earned his Masters of Theological Studies from the Institute of Pastoral Theology of Ave Maria University. His experience is widespread and includes teaching in elementary, high school, and college settings; youth ministry; and co-hosted a radio show “Casting Nets with Tony & Chris”. He co-founded a group of young men in the virtue of chivalry and Marian devotion called the Knights of the Holy Queen. Chris just ended is long teaching career, he taught Theology Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School in Wichita for 10 years. Chris is now full-time with Casting Nets Ministries. 

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Bishop Thomas Paprocki

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1978. After ordination, he studied law at DePaul University College of Law and was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1981. Working as a parish priest at St. Michael Church in South Chicago, a neighborhood with high unemployment due to shutdowns of the local steel mills, then-Father Paprocki co‑founded the South Chicago Legal Clinic to help answer the need for legal services for the poor. In 2014 Bishop Paprocki was named President Emeritus and Of Counsel of the organization, now called the Chicago Legal Clinic.  

In November, 1985, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin appointed Fr. Paprocki Vice‑Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Chicago and in 1987 sent him to do post‑graduate studies in canon law at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.  He completed his doctoral degree in 1991. Father Paprocki then returned to his previous position in Chicago as Vice‑Chancellor and was appointed Chancellor in March, 1992, serving in that capacity under Cardinal Bernardin and then under Cardinal Francis George, following Cardinal Bernardin’s death in 1996.

Concluding his service as Chancellor after two terms in office in June, 2000, Father Paprocki studied Polish language and culture at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland. In January 2001, he was appointed Pastor of St. Constance Parish, serving primarily a large immigrant community from Poland on the northwest side of Chicago. Pope John Paul II appointed him to serve as Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago on January 24, 2003. Cardinal George named him Liaison for Health and Hospital Affairs in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Bishop Paprocki serves as Vice-President of the Illinois Catholic Health Association. He is a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance, the Committee on Budget and Finance, and the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth. He formerly served on the USCCB Administrative Committee and the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty. In addition to English, he speaks Polish, Spanish and Italian, and he reads Latin. On June 22, 2010, Bishop Paprocki was installed the ninth Bishop of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. In May 2013 he received his Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree from the University of Notre Dame. He taught as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law from 1999 to 2015. He joined the Adjunct Faculty of Notre Dame Law School in 2016.

Bishop Paprocki’s hobbies are reading, running and playing hockey. He has run twenty-three marathons: Chicago (1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2002 and 2005), Columbus, Ohio (1998), Boston (1998), Rome (2000) Athens (2000), Washington, D.C. (2004 & 2007), Dayton, Ohio (2006), Dublin, Ireland (2008), Minneapolis-St. Paul (2009), Denver (2010), Kansas City (2011), St. Louis (2012), Springfield (2013 and 2015), Philadelphia (2016) and Indianapolis (2017), in the process raising $492,131.64 for charity. He has made the connection between sports and faith a focus of his ministry. In this regard, he serves as the Chairman of the Episcopal Advisory Board of Catholic Athletes for Christ. His book, Holy Goals for Body and Soul: Eight Steps to Connect Sports with God and Faith, was published by Ave Maria Press (Notre Dame, Indiana), in 2013.