Monica Ashour, MTS; M Hum, Executive Director
Monica Ashour is a cofounder of the Theology of the Body Evangelization Team, Inc. (TOBET), a non-profit group based in Texas that promotes Pope John Paul’s seminal work known as The Theology of the Body with study groups, speaking engagements, and retreats around the nation. As the primary speaker and executive director of TOBET, she has also helped initiate the Theology of the Body For Teens By Teens, set in motion by young people transformed by her faithful teaching of the Theology of the Body.
Before becoming a national speaker, Monica served as a campus minister at St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Texas A&M University from 1996 to 1999. There she launched the now nationwide Nun Run, in which young women travel around the nation visiting convents. Before and after her stint at St. Mary’s, Monica enjoyed 18 years teaching theology and literature in the high school classroom.
Monica’s energetic work has been acclaimed by various groups, from being named Bishop Farrell’s Pro-Life Person of the Year in Civic Action to the Catholic Foundation’s Work of Heart award for inspiring teaching.
Monica’s master’s degree in Theological Studies is complemented with a master’s degree in Humanities, both from the University of Dallas; thus, her attention is not only to theology but also to beauty and culture, making her talks on the Theology of the Body truly unique.
The October 24, 2010 Our Sunday Visitor lists Monica Ashour as one of the top 10 speakers in the nation saying: “Although Ashour, who co-founded the Texas-based Theology of the Body Evangelization Team, speaks to adults as well as teens, there are few speakers as experienced and gifted as Ashour at reaching young Catholics.” Her interview with Zenit, an international online Catholic publication, was published on September 10, 2010. Monica has a chapter published in Set Free to Love: Lives Changed by the Theology of the Body by Servant Books. Early in 2011, Monica will be published by Ascension Press in three ways: as a consultant to the new junior high curriculum on the Theology of the Body, as author to a pamphlet entitled “The Theology of the Body and Social Networking,” and as author of a children’s series based on key concepts of the Theology of the Body.
Monica lives in Dallas, Texas, where she employs her singleness in ready devotion to her mission: spreading the good news of love through Pope John Paul’s Theology of the Body. Click here to view Monica's Curriculum Vitae.
John Austin, Certified Speaker
|John Austin is currently working on his Master's Degree in Theological and Pastoral Studies at the University of Dallas. He is happily married to his wife, Kim, celebrating 23 years of marriage with their 3 children that attend The Highlands School in Irving, Texas. Employed at Abbott Medical Optics, he is responsible for sales of LASIK lasers to eye surgeons across the southern US and Puerto Rico, and he speaks at conferences relating to the eye care industry. He was involved with Fullness of Truth Catholic Evangelization Ministries in Houston before moving to the Dallas area. Since moving to Dallas, John has been involved in his men's group organizing silent retreats for adults, teaching Theology of the Body to married couples, and helping facilitate retreats for middle school kids. Theology of the Body has transformed his marriage and his family. He hopes and prays that his witness on TOB will help transform others lives as well.|
Isaac Cotherman & Gabbi Chee, Certified Speakers
|Gabbi and Isaac have each been involved with TOBET for about a year now, attending the weekly study group and volunteering at TOBET events. Gabbi, a cradle Catholic, graduated from University of Dallas with a degree in History, and Isaac received a degree in Philosophy from SMU, where he converted to Catholicism on Easter 2011. They met and got to know each other at the TOBET study group and started dating in May of last year. The Theology of the Body greatly informs the approach they take to their dating relationship: making a gift of themselves to each other in order to grow deeper in relationship with God.|
Julie Heinen, M.Th. (JPII Melb), Certified Speaker
|Julie Heinen completed her undergraduate degree in philosophy from Ave Maria College as well as her master's degree from the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family Studies in Melbourne, Australia. From this unique educational background, she has obtained a formation which includes subjects such as the social sciences, faith, the human person, modern philosophies, and culture. She is fascinated by the modern world's challenges to the Church, with its thought-provoking and worthwhile questions through philosophy, science, technology, and questions of the heart. She has come to discover that the Church offers answers to these questions, answers that are positive, attractive, loving and real. She desires to spread the Gospel message of Christ, particularly His promise that "I came so that they may have life, and may have it abundantly" (Jn 10:10).|
Daniel Lehew, Certified Speaker
|Raised in a Catholic family but lured away from the Lord in high school by worldly attractions before returning to the Church, Daniel Lehew is especially equipped to reach teens and adults in what it means to live the Theology of the Body. His journey back to the Lord set him on a new path, including time in seminary before discerning he was called to marriage. Daniel has a Degree in Philosophy from Dominican University, is a certified speaker for TOBET, and is a certified personal trainer, wanting to help people grow physically and spiritually. He also volunteers with the youth ministry program at his parish. Passionately in love with Jesus and the Church, Daniel shares that zeal with others as an absolutely dynamic speaker. Daniel lives with his wife Naomi and their son Elijah in Coppell, Texas.|
Amy and Daniel Northrop, Certified Speakers
|Amy and Daniel have been married for 13 years and have 5 children. Daniel works as an independent contractor for a law firm headquartered in Philadelphia. In addition to her primary role as wife and mother, Amy is pursuing a Masters Degree in Theological Studies from the Institute of Pastoral Theology through Ave Maria University. She is also a math tutor for middle and high school students.
Together Daniel and Amy are speakers for TOBET's Marriage Preparation Program, bringing to it their combined knowledge and experience of love within the marriage vocation and the truths of John Paul II's Theology of the Body. They are vibrant and engaging and are a valuable resource for anyone who wants to better understand Theology of the Body and how to live it out in everyday life.
Brian Vallone, Certified Speaker
|Brian Vallone, a junior Business major at the University of Dallas, has his hometown in Houston, Texas. Brian loves growing deeper in his faith and sharing his life experiences with others. His involvement in teaching young people about God’s unfailing love can be traced back to his days as a camp counselor at age 16. Brian is a very extroverted person and isn’t afraid to look like a fool for Jesus. He is most excited about deepening his love for the Theology of the Body and understanding who God has called him to be.|
Annie Vining, MTh, Certified Speaker
|Annie Vining received a bachelor's degree in Philosophy with minors in Religious Studies and Spanish from Texas A&M University. She holds a masters degree in Theology from the University of Dallas, where she focused on marriage and the family particularly as they are presented in the writings of Pope John Paul II. An internationally published author, Annie has years of experience giving presentations to different religious organizations. She is the president of the Theology of the Body Evangelization Team, a non-profit organization formed to spread Pope John Paul II’s explanation of the Church’s teaching on sex and marriage. Annie and her husband Steven are proud parents four children.|