By Jack Crabb, SJ
Plenary Speaker Chair
In this Jubilee year for our association, we have arranged for some very gifted plenary speakers. Some are known personally to us, such as Fr. Joseph Driscoll, former executive director and president of the NACC. Others we may recognize by name, such as John Allen Jr., a prize-winning journalist known for his coverage of the Vatican for the National Catholic Reporter or the Boston Globe. Debra Canales is well-known in the Hispanic community and healthcare as one of the highest-ranking leaders. She is known also to CHE and Trinity, along with Providence Health. Ann Garrido, an associate professor at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, is a sought-after speaker on the spirituality of administration.
These speakers will bring the gift of their presence to honor us at our 2015 conference. Each brings gifts and talents to help us celebrate our 50th anniversary and to recognize the value of chaplaincy.
Fr. Joseph Driscoll will lead off the celebration with a look back at the NACC and will help us to explore our future. Our NACC executive director for 11 years during some of the most trying and challenging times of our association, Fr. Joe advocated for professional lay chaplains both with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and with various offices at the Vatican. As vice president of the Center for Ministry Leadership for the Bon Secours Health System, he has developed a four-level ministry formation program for senior leaders in healthcare in collaboration with leaders from several other healthcare systems. Many former board members remember his amazing cooking skills and tasty meals.
Debra Canales, one of the highest ranking Hispanics in healthcare, was recognized in Diversity Journal’s “Women Worth Watching” in 2012. She is a certified executive coach with a long history of helping executives develop transformational leadership styles. When CHE and Trinity Health formed CHE Trinity, she helped create synergy out of dozens of geographically and operationally diverse groups across 21 states. At Providence Health and Services she serves as executive vice president and chief people and experience officer. She is responsible for human resources, marketing and communications, digital services and community ministry and foundation boards. Our NACC members with Providence Health were overjoyed that we were able to obtain her as a speaker.
Ann Garrido, an associate professor of homiletics at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, has been drawn into administration as her school’s director of the D.Min in preaching. She admits that she sometimes finds administration draining, even boring, as it fractures her days into “tiny shards of time” that make it impossible to focus on “the big ideas.” And yet Garrido has found spiritual gifts in her many years as a theologian, parish minister, and administrator in higher education. In Redeeming Administration, she reveals those gifts by examining 12 spiritual habits, presenting a saint who embodies each habit, and showing readers how to experience their administrative work as a crucial ministry of the Church. Most recently, she oversaw a three-year grant project that established new best practices for conflict management. She now commits half-time to travelling for conflict education and mediation work with Triad Consulting Group, an arm of the Harvard Negotiation Project in Cambridge, MA. She is married to a very patient husband and has one college-aged son who plays a mean ukulele.
John L. Allen Jr., a renowned journalist with unmatched access to the Vatican, will close our conference on Monday. He is associate editor of the Boston Globe after 16 years as the prize-winning senior correspondent with the National Catholic Reporter. He also serves as the senior Vatican analyst with CNN. He is a popular speaker on Catholic affairs both in the United States and abroad. The Tablet of London has called Allen “the most authoritative writer on Vatican affairs in the English language.” Allen’s work is admired across ideological divides. Liberal commentator Fr. Andrew Greeley called his writing “indispensable,” while the late Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, a conservative, called Allen’s reporting “possibly the best source of information on the Vatican published in the United States.” His weekly Internet column, “All Things Catholic,” is widely read as a source of insight on the global Church. Allen’s most recent book is The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution. John divides his time between Rome and his home in Denver, CO. He grew up in western Kansas and holds a master’s degree in religious studies from the University of Kansas. His latest work is with www.cruxnow.com.
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