Abby Johnson has always had a fierce determination to help women in need. It was this desire that both led Abby to a career with Planned Parenthood, our nation’s largest abortion provider, and caused her to flee the organization and become an outspoken advocate for the pro-life movement.
During her eight years with Planned Parenthood, Abby quickly rose in the organization’s ranks and became a clinic director. She was increasingly disturbed by what she witnessed. Abortion was a product Planned Parenthood was selling, not an unfortunate necessity that they fought to decrease.
All of that changed on September 26, 2009 when Abby was asked to assist with an ultrasound-guided abortion. She watched in horror as a 13-week baby fought, and ultimately lost its life at the hand of the abortionist. At that moment, the full realization of what abortion was and what she had dedicated her life to washed over Abby and a dramatic transformation took place.
Desperate and confused, Abby sought help from a local pro-life group. She swore that she would begin to advocate for life in the womb and expose abortion for what it truly is.
She is a frequently requested guest on Fox News and a variety of other shows and the author of the nationally best-selling book, Unplanned, which chronicles both her experiences within Planned Parenthood and her dramatic exit.
Michael Harold Brown was born in Niagara Falls, N.Y. on March 5, 1952 with twin sister Maureen. Brown attended Fordham University in New York City, where he obtained a degree in communications, specializing in print journalism.
In 1977 he rejoined The Niagara Gazette as a full-time reporter, focusing on toxic-waste dumps in the towns of Lewiston and Porter. During this time, his focus turned to a toxic dump, which soon became famous as "Love Canal."
Michael's reporting was nominated for three categories of the Pulitzer Prize and drew a special award from the Environmental Protection Agency. Michael wrote Laying Waste: The Poisoning of America by Toxic Chemicals, which was adapted for articles in The New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic Monthly, New York Magazine, Rolling Stone, Family Weekly (now USA Today Magazine), and other magazines and major newspapers. Michael has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including national ones such as Today, Nightline, Larry King (radio), and McNeil-Lehrer.
In the early 1980s, while writing a book about the Mafia, Brown experienced a dramatic return to his Catholic faith (detailed in his book Prayer of the Warrior). His other books include Witness, The Final Hour, The Trumpet of Gabriel, The Day Will Come, The Last Secret, Secrets of the Eucharist, After Life, Seven Days With Mary, The Bridge to Heaven, Sent To Earth, The God of Miracles, Tower of Light, The Other Side, and a novel, The Seven. His newest book is The Spirits Around Us.
Brown and wife Lisa, have three children, Elizabeth Grace, Joseph Michael, and Mary Rose, and are founders of the Catholic news website, www.spiritdaily.com. They live near St. Augustine, Florida. Michael has traveled throughout Europe and other places researching apparitions of the Blessed Mother and spiritual phenomena.
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.
Tom also hosts a television series, premiering worldwide in prime time on EWTN. The show is called Catholics Come Home, and inspires Catholics to share their faith.
In the past decade, Tom has presented worldwide at Conferences 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.
Peterson’s second apostolate, VirtueMedia.org, creates and airs sanctity of life commercials helping as many as 22,000 abortion vulnerable women in a given month, and were the first to air their ads nationally on MTV and BET.
He encourages others to seek God’s plan for their lives, to help change our world for the better. His new book entitled Catholics, Come Home was recently published by Random House.
Having done events throughout 5 countries over the past 20+ years, there is a refined beauty and very powerful presentation that goes beyond a common concert experience. Julie is not your typical recording artist.
Though not always ‘easy,’ her life has been blessed with grace when she has needed it most. Julie is passionate about Eucharist, Reconciliation, Marriage, Life, and Living in God’s Grace. Her concerts, missions and other events, encourage people to step out of their comfort zone and truly live the teachings of The Church.
She was born and raised in Northern Michigan. She worked within the Diocese of Phoenix for 10 years as Director of Music prior to accepting the call to a national and international concert and speaking ministry.
The events she has developed have been beneficial to thousands of Christians in their spiritual development. Her witness shares the real heart of a woman who has experienced some of the toughest things in life and because of her faith, has stayed the course with Christ. From dealing with serious struggles in marriage, losing 2 children through miscarriage, helping an adult daughter through a rape that resulted in pregnancy and most recently a Lung Cancer survivor, she knows what it means to ‘live’ her Catholic Faith.
Julie has written and recorded 9 music CDs and a Rosary CD. She also is working on 3 DVD projects; A Concert “Living The Mass,” her concert “Living Our Catholic Creed” and “In The Waiting,” a powerful Music CD and Meditation DVD.
Julie is married to Kurt Carrick for 30+ years. They have 3 adult children. They began their life together in Germany, and now call Arizona their home.
Fr. Jozo “Joe” Grbes, O.F.M.
Fr. Jozo “Joe” Grbes was born in Rama, Bosnia-Herzegovina on March 17, 1966. As a child his family moved to Pozega, Slavonia, where he completed his first 12 years of schooling. He joined the Franciscan Order in 1986 in Humac. Fr. Grbes studied philosophy and theology at colleges in Sarajevo, Canterbury and London, England where he graduated in 1992.
He arrived in the United States on October 2, 1992 and was ordained a priest on February 7, 1993 at SS. Cyril and Methodius Parish in New York. After his ordination, he continued his pastoral duties in the same parish while taking post-graduate courses at St. John's University where he received a Master's Degree in theology.
In 1996, Fr. Jozo was transferred to St. Jerome's in Chicago as assistant pastor. He became St. Jerome's pastor from 2001 to 2013. He continued his post-graduate work in pastoral theology at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.
In 2012, he was elected Franciscan Custos/Superior for the Croatian Franciscan Fathers in USA and Canada. He resides at the Franciscan Fathers main Friary in Chicago.
Fr. Timothy Deeter
Father Timothy Deeter was born and ordained in Chicago, and has ministered for the past twenty-one years in Perth and Sydney, Australia. He has served at the archdiocesan level in both cities in the areas of liturgy, church music, vocations discernment, young adult ministry, and the preparation committee for World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney. He is presently the parish priest of St Paul’s Parish and the chaplain of Edith Cowan University in Mount Lawley.