top of page

Keynote Sessions

December 9 and 10, 2020 at 2:00 PM Eastern

Tuesday's Events: Text

Wednesday, December 9
2:00 PM Eastern

Join us for a dynamic conversation around the theme of innovation in the Church, with a particular focus on the accompaniment of young adults. Panelists will share their experiences and how they navigated challenges and responded to them with innovative action. Spanish and English translation available.

This keynote session is sponsored by our platinum sponsor, Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology’s Young Adult Initiative.

We are grateful for their generous suppot. 

Tuesday's Events: List

Fr. Alexandre Awi Mello

Secretary for the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life--The Vatican

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Fr. Awi Mello was ordained a priest in 2001 as a member of the Secular Institute of Schoenstatt Fathers. In 2017, Pope Francis appointed him to be the secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life.


Kerry Robinson

Partner at Leadership Roundtable

Kerry Robinson serves as a partner of Leadership Roundtable, dedicated to promoting excellence and best practices in the management, finances and human resource development of the Catholic Church by harnessing the managerial expertise and financial acumen of senior level lay executives. She is the prize winning author of Imagining Abundance: Fundraising, Philanthropy and a Spiritual Call to Service and is the founding editor of The Catholic Funding Guide: A Directory of Resources for Catholic Activities.


Doug Tooke

Vice President of Ministry Advancement for ODB Films

Doug Tooke is Vice President of Ministry Advancement for ODB films. Over the past 15 years, Doug has served more than 100 Dioceses - teaching, keynoting at conventions, and training youth ministers. His passion for Catholic teaching combined with his knowledge of story are prevalent in his ministry. A love for film has given him depth to understand story flow, character development, and recognizing conflict and themes essential to Catholic filmmaking.


Louis Damani Jones

Recipient of the 2020 USCCB-CCHD Bernardin Award for New Leadership

Louis Damani Jones is in the Master of Social Work program at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, where he is also a research assistant at Brown’s Center for Social Development. Jones is also an EngageDemocracy Fellow at the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement. He sits on the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities of St. Louis and is this year's recipient of the USCCB-CCHD Bernadine Award for Leadership.

IMG_3946 - Sr. Bernadette Mota.jpg

Sr. Bernadette Mota

Director of Mission Advancement for the Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco

Born in Long Beach, California Sr. Bernadette Motta is the Director of Mission Advancement for the Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco. Over the past ten years, she has been with the Salesian Sisters in California, Italy, Illinois, Texas, and is presently serving in Colorado Springs. Her areas of ministry experience include young adult ministry; college campus ministry; social justice; parish outreach; interfaith collaboration; athletics and physical education; and elementary, junior high, and high school faith formation.


Moderated by Dr. Tracey Lamont

Assistant Professor of Religious Education at Loyola University, New Orleans

Tracey Lamont, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Religious Education. Her research examines how constructive-developmental theory can help religious educators explore new ways to think about young adult moral development in a complex global society. She is a member of the Religious Education Association and has presented papers on young adult moral development and pedagogical practices in Catholic high schools. Tracey serves as a member of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops Young Adult Advisory team and is a committee member for the National Dialogue on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment.

SM Sem and School YAI Logo Color.jpg

Thursday, December 10
2:00 PM Eastern

We've invited young adults to share their stories of how they've experienced the past
year. Listen to what has helped their faith grow, what they wish would have happened,
and what they hope for in the future. Spanish translation available.


This keynote session is sponsored by our gold sponsor, the Catholic Apostolate Center,

a ministry of the Pallottine Fathers and Brothers.

We are grateful for their generous support.


Camille Cruz

Camille is a 27 year old Filipino-American who lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She works as a Certified Prosthetist Orthotist at Transcend Orthotics and Prosthetics where she designs and fits individuals (primarily pediatrics) with external braces or prosthetic limbs to help them stand, walk, run, and more. She is a cradle Catholic who embraced her faith during undergrad at NC State University where she was involved with her campus ministry. Her current engagement with young adults in Fort Wayne includes helping with a series that explores how to walk with people on their faith journey. In her spare time, she likes to play the guitar, dance, and cook and hopes to one day learn how to fence.


Cynthia De Leon

Cynthia De Leon is a 33 year old latina from San Antonio, Texas. Growing up on the East side of San Antonio she ran into a lot of problems in balancing both her faith and her ability to be someone who could run with the crowd. Once she graduated she began attending a young adult group called Tongues of Fire. The group is a charismatic group and embraces each other's growth in the faith. She has been serving in this group but has also been able to speak and sing at different retreats and conferences around the U.S. She is honored to share a little bit about herself as a part of the mass population of young adults trying to keep the flame alive in her heart.

kara keep.jpg

Kara Dixon

Kara Dixon is a reporter in Norfolk, Virginia. She grew up in Winchester, Virginia and is a graduate of the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism. At UMD, she participated in the CBC-UNC Diversity Fellowship Program led by UNC and WRAL. During college, Kara was a member of Capital News Service and ViewFinder presented by the University of Maryland. Both programs won numerous regional and national awards. She spent two years as a multimedia journalist at KFDM/KBTV in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered everything from historic flooding to crime. Her station was awarded the Texas Associated Press Jordan Flaherty Award in 2016. After spending two years in Texas, Kara joined the WAVY Team in June 2016.

In June 2019, Kara was one of 120 young women chosen to participate in the Given Forum, a Catholic leadership forum held in Washington, D.C. In 2020, she completed the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership’s Emerging Leaders Program at the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Leadership. Kara is also a member of the Hampton Roads Black Media professionals,where she serves as membership chair. In her free time, Kara volunteers at local soup kitchens and reads to students.  She is an active member of the Basilica of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception, the only Black basilica in the United States, and assists in a variety of ministries.

BAR-7316 - Brian Rhude.jpg

Brian Rhude

Brian Rhude is the Project Coordinator for the Catholic Apostolate Center where he works in developing Center programming, assists in updating and creating new resources on the Center's website, collaborates on the development of social media content, and participates and presents at various events and conferences on the themes of young adult ministry, accompaniment, and vocation.  


Along with his work for the Catholic Apostolate Center, Brian is the Assistant Director of Summer Programs and Formation for the Lay Apostolate for the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America where he directs their summer institute, Light the World! and does formation work with the undergraduate students. Originally from central Maryland, Brian holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology and Religious Studies as well as a Certificate in Pastoral Ministry from the Catholic University of America and an Associate of Science Degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. He also works as a music minister.


Moderated by Dr. Tracey Lamont

Tracey Lamont, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Religious Education. 

bottom of page