The Family Room (The Quest)

Join co-hosts Mari Cleveland from St. Jude the Apostle and John Gordon and Craig Wesemeyer from St. Peter Chanel as they speak with authors, theologians, and local priests and lay leaders to provide your family encouragement, resources, and hope. Enjoy heartfelt stories and engaging conversations with Catholics who are excited to share their life experiences and acquired wisdom to help your family continue to live out your faith with joy.

Fr. Timothy M. Gallagher, author, speaker, spiritual director, and retreat leader

Fr. Timothy M. Gallagher has been referred to as “America’s preeminent writer on Ignatian spiritual direction and discernment.” Fr. Gallagher shares wisdom from his book, Discernment of Spirits in Marriage: Ignatian Wisdom for Husbands and Wives, to help couples apply St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Rules for Discernment to their role as a husband or a wife. In this book, Fr. Gallagher aims to free couples from discouragement and assist them in finding peace in their spiritual lives and in their marriage. His book helps couples determine what is of God and what is not and discover ways in which God strengthens husbands and wives who seek to grow spiritually.

Timothy M. Gallagher OVM was ordained to the priesthood in 1979 as a member of the Congregation of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary. He is an author of many bestselling books on the theology and spirituality of Ignatius of Loyola as well as other themes of the spiritual life and has also published articles in Catholic periodicals. He appears frequently on Catholic television and records many podcasts, radio interviews, series on YouTube, and virtual events

He served for twelve years in formation of seminarians, for ten years as provincial superior of his Catholic religious congregation, the Oblates of the Virgin Mary, and since 2000, has been dedicated to a ministry of writing, public speaking, retreats, digital events, and spiritual direction.


Stephen Auth, missionary, author, and business executive

Stephen Auth describes with humor and humility how, in the midst of a long career on Wall Street, he has a conversion experience in 2002 that leads to an incredible missionary journey, one that involves taking on what he describes as “mission impossible” projects. Following where he feels God is calling him, Stephen starts a New York City street mission that is all about transforming and bringing Catholics back to the faith. Stephen shares that he has seen how the Lord transforms us and our faith by the experiences we have when we work hand in hand with Him. Stephen’s book, The Missionary of Wall Street, includes riveting and often funny stories of how he and his group of missionaries - ordinary Catholics from the financial sector - work shoulder-to-shoulder with Christ, feeling God’s grace, as they evangelize their wary New York neighbors.

Stephen Auth has had a long career on Wall Street and since 2000 has been with Federated Investors, where he serves as executive vice president and a chief investment officer of Federated Global Equities. Steve is a frequent guest on CNBC, Fox Business News, and Bloomberg TV, and is a long-standing participant in Barron’s annual investment outlook panel. He earned his undergraduate degree at Princeton University, where he graduated summa cum laude, and his graduate degree at Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar. Steve is a member of the Regnum Christi movement and sits on the national board of the Lumen Institute, which he helped found in New York. He has participated in missions in Mexico, and with his wife, Evelyn, has led the New York City street mission for ten years. Steve and Evelyn have two wonderful sons, Richard and Michael Auth.


Sr. Mary Josefa from The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, and Elizabeth Pham, mother and author

Join us for a lively discussion with two guests sharing God’s joy and hope through fun and beautiful children’s books. Sr. Mary Josefa of the Eucharist, a cloistered nun, gives a glimpse into the joy-filled lives of religious sisters, brought alive for children with heartwarming illustrations and captivating verse in the book Brides of Christ by The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles. Sr. Mary Josefa discusses how the book also helps de-mystify the religious life for parents to better understand how it can be a wonderful calling that overflows with joy. She shares that though the lives religious sisters lead may seem mysterious to others, their lives of prayer and sacrifice and the graces from that go beyond the cloistered walls to spill over to the world. We are reminded that the more united we are to Christ, the more we experience real, abiding joy.

We also hear from Elizabeth Pham, a mother of six (soon to be seven) children, who shares what lead her to write The World Waits, a portrayal of all of humanity’s longing for Jesus (both in the past, current, and future) through beautiful illustrations evoking a sense of joyful anticipation. Mostly targeted for younger children, it is also a book for all ages to enjoy, as Elizabeth shares how her favorite children’s books also draw in her older children and speak to her as a parent. In this book, perfect for Advent, with picture references from Noah’s Ark to the Star of Bethlehem to the tabernacle on the altar, we are reminded of God’s hand in all of history, guiding us through the darkness and on toward the light. We see how we wait for Jesus’ coming at Christmas each year, we wait for His coming in the Blessed Sacrament during Mass, we wait for His coming at the end of time, and we wait for His coming into our hearts in all seasons and situations.


Phil Nagel, CEO and Founder of firstPro and parishioner of Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Atlanta

Phil Nagel shares his compelling story of hope and redemption due to God’s love and faithfulness.

Phil and his wife founded firstPRO, a full service, independent staffing and recruitment firm.

John Bursch, VP, Appellate Advocacy for Alliance Defending Freedom

John Bursch shares points from his timely and incisive book, Loving God’s Children: The Church and Gender Ideology. John helps explain what the Catholic Church teaches about the human person and why modern culture’s embrace of “gender ideology” is not only wrong but terribly dangerous for parents and families, female athletes, medical professionals, and especially those experiencing gender confusion. John’s book provides straightforward reasons to defend the Church’s teaching on human sexuality and ways to develop virtue and courage to withstand the rising persecution of those who promote and defend the Church’s teachings. It covers a range of topics including how to approach the use of pronouns in the workplace, ways to accompany those struggling with gender confusion, and how to respond to practical questions with factual information and authentic spiritual guidance.

John Bursch serves as Vice President of Appellate Advocacy for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the largest public-interest law firm in the world defending religious liberty, free speech, parental rights, marriage and family, and the right to life. John has argued twelve cases in the U.S. Supreme Court, including cases defending the Catholic Church’s teachings on marriage and sexuality. John speaks frequently to groups — both religious and secular — about topics including marriage, human sexuality, the right to life, and religious liberty.


Andrew Laubacher, Executive Director of Humanality, speaker, and musician

Humanality is a non-profit corporation that exists to help people live more meaningful lives through a limited use of technology. Andrew Laubacher shares about the ambitious road ahead of the organization whose goal is to help people find a right relationship with technology: one that serves and points to engagement with the real world and one another, rather than distract from it. As studies are starting to show just how destructive technology use has been for people, families, and the young in particular, Humanality wants to encourage a better way, a more human way, by helping people live in the modern age, utilize the tools offered by technology, and discover how to master our devices rather than be a slave to them.

Andrew Laubacher (known as ALOB) is a songwriter, worship leader, and speaker based in Southern California. After straying from the Lord in high school, he was brought back into relationship with God through youth conferences, powerful prayer experiences, and the witnesses of many influential people in his life. After graduating from Franciscan University in Steubenville, he began to pursue ministry full-time. His heart for worship and his belief that God is always at work in our lives shine through in his music. He released his first EP, Living Water, and followed that with a full-length record, No Match for Love. He tours the U.S. and abroad sharing his music, praying with communities, and helping people embrace the miraculous, healing, matchless love of God.


Mary Beth Bracy, consecrated virgin, writer, and speaker

In celebration of the feast day of St. Thérèse of Lisieux (October 1), Mary Beth Bracy shares commentary on two beloved books about this great saint and Doctor of the Church. From I Would Like to Travel the World by Guy Gaucher, bishop emeritus of Bayeux and Lisieux, Mary Beth relates fascinating modern-day healings obtained through St. Thérèse’s intercession. Gaucher’s book shows how St. Thérèse lived one of the most faithfully and universally apostolic lives in the history of the Church and encourages readers to imitate the spiritual childhood of “the greatest saint of modern times.” Mary Beth also shares about I Believe in Love by Fr. Jean D’Elbee, a spiritual classic on the teaching of St. Thérèse of Lisieux as a set of meditations, covering topics including having confidence in God even amid sufferings, how to love our crosses, and what we must cherish in our souls to learn to love as Jesus loves. 

Mary Beth Bracy is a consecrated virgin of the Diocese of Ogdensburg, New York. She is a writer who is blessed to research, publish, and speak extensively on various aspects of Catholic spirituality.


Betsy Orr, board president of Heritage

Betsy Orr shares about the vision of Heritage, located in Taliaferro County, Georgia, and how her own faith journey led her to this ministry of creating a sacred place to seek, find, and renew faith. Heritage is rebuilding a community of faith and restoring the first Catholic settlement in Georgia into an entire Catholic district, which includes: Locust Grove Cemetery, the oldest Catholic cemetery in Georgia, established in 1790; the Church of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, built by the first Catholic congregation in Georgia; The Retreat, a 200-acre retreat center with cottage accommodations, prayer and fellowship spaces, walking trails, and sacred art; and The Farm, a working farm that provides food and programming for the Retreat. With its mission to provide a welcoming Catholic environment that serves communities through beauty, peace, and historical connection, Heritage is opening its arms to invite guests to impactful experiences with the opportunity to explore and deepen life’s most meaningful relationships.


  • Heritage website
  • Heritage is planning many exciting events and retreats for the remainder of 2023 and throughout 2024, including their official grand opening in April 2024, Dr. Scott Hahn in May 2024, and The Family Room retreat with co-hosts Craig, John, and Mari in November 2024.
Oct 4, 2023

Co-hosts Craig, John, and Mari

The Holy Spirit leads the conversation as Craig, John, and Mari share what’s currently on their hearts.

Teresa Mull, author, editor, conservative journalist

Teresa Mull talks about her book, Woke-Proof Your Life, and shares easy and practical ways that the silenced majority, who feel overmatched, can stand up for themselves and restore America’s values and culture. Teresa gives concrete advice to traditional-minded Americans who are looking to regain their peace of mind, health, and happiness and re-steer our country toward the future we envisioned for ourselves and our families before progressive activists turned every aspect of our lives into some radical, sociopolitical cause. Teresa discusses points from her book such as: the actual definition of woke; tips on growing in faith, educating children, and cultivating community; how to avoid “toxic empathy,” and tenants to focus on when you feel trapped in the maze of woke culture.

Teresa Mull was blessed to grow up in her ancestral home in the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania. She received a degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Dallas and interned for Laura Ingraham and at The American Spectator magazine in Washington, DC. Teresa traded the fast-paced lifestyle of our nation’s capital for the mountains of Idaho before returning to her roots and her coal-mining hometown, all while continuing to grow her career in conservative journalism. Teresa’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Miami Herald, New York Post, Fairbanks Daily News Miner, American Conservative, and many other publications.


Dr. Ian Murphy, writer and speaker

Ian Murphy’s book The Road to Self -Awareness: A Therapy Book for Christians provides a comprehensive approach to true healing, not cheap gimmicks masquerading as inner peace. Unsatisfied with the typical “self-help” books that limit their scope to mere problem-solving, symptom management, or pain alleviation, Ian set out to demonstrate through his own broken quest for well-being that there is a path to true betterment — one that recognizes and celebrates a person’s inherent dignity as someone made in the image and likeness of God. Ian shares his story that is both authentic and amusing, a journey into total and lasting healing that can be replicated by anyone who feels trapped in self-doubt or anxiety, toxic messages or addictions, lethargy or misspent energy.

Dr. Ian Murphy experienced a stirring journey into Christianity out of agnosticism. His subsequent ministry to reach other skeptics with the Gospel unexpectedly rocketed to public attention when his valedictorian speech about Jesus made headlines nationwide, inspiring a Congressional Law from the desk of Senator Arlen Specter. This momentum landed Ian into the position of head pastor at a Baptist church in Texas, where his ministry remained centered until his decision to enter the Catholic Church.  Shifting career direction, he became a professor of theology, most recently at Divine Mercy University. Ian currently works as a full-time Catholic writer and speaker and resides near Charleston, South Carolina, with his wife, Rachel.


Bear Woznick, author, adventurer, Benedictine Oblate, husband, father, man of God

Bear Woznick shares points from his book, 12 Rules for Manliness – Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?, to unveil what is deep in every man’s heart: a call to live the heroic way. Bear explains how the cowboys of old were, in many ways, the models of manliness. They were perceptive, decisive, and lived by a personal creed - and they knew how to make a stand. Bear discusses the importance of men having a plan that helps them learn how to develop a proper personal creed. He also shares how to avoid being a drifter but, rather, to seek God’s purpose for your life.

Bear’s amazing biography is filled with “eMANgelization” projects and tons of adventure, including pedaling his bicycle from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, holding the very rare NINJA blackbelt, and being a two-time Masters World Tandem Surfing Champ and an inductee into the Catholic Sports Faith Hall of Fame.


Teresa Tomeo, talk show host, author, and journalist

Teresa Tomeo shares laughs and lessons from her book Everything’s Coming Up Rosie: 10 Things My Feisty Italian-American Mom Taught Me About Living A Godly Life. Through unforgettable “Rosieisms” from Teresa’s mother, a “street-smart theologian” from Jersey City, you’ll come to appreciate the value of your sufferings, big or small, and how they can help you and your loved ones live a sensible, well-grounded, godly life. Teresa shares how Rosie’s life, example, and practical advice will help you cultivate virtue in your life as you learn about: how “go ride your bike!” relates to health (and it’s not what you think), ways to always see the glass as half full, a bit of wisdom that Tomeo learned from both her mother and the Rolling Stones, how round-trip guilt trips can be a good thing, and why you should listen to your mother and “keep smiling.”

Join Teresa Tomeo for her WINE (Women in the New Evangelization) online book study Sept 5-Oct 10 when the book selection will be Everything’s Coming up Rosie. Sign up via Catholic Vineyard and receive the book, a prayer card, a journal, and access to live and recorded sessions. 

Teresa Tomeo is an author, syndicated Catholic talk show host, and motivational speaker with more than 30 years of experience in TV, radio, and newspaper, 20 of which were as a secular reporter/anchor in the Detroit market. In 2000, Teresa left the secular media to start her own speaking and communications company, Teresa Tomeo Communications, LLC. Teresa appears frequently on the EWTN Global Catholic Television Network and is also a correspondent for EWTN News In Depth.


Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, Thomistic theologian, liturgical scholar, and choral composer

Dr. Peter Kwasniewski shares concepts from his book, Treasuring the Goods of Marriage in a Throwaway Society, including the nobility of marriage, the “pulsating heart of marriage” and why it is critical to marriage and family, ways parents can teach their children about authentic sexuality, and how to combat what sometimes feels like overwhelming forces attacking marriage. Dr. Kwasniewski also discusses how the nuptial vow has ties to the Old Testament and to Mary’s Fiat: “Be it done unto me according to thy word.”

Biography: Dr. Peter Kwasniewski earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from The Catholic University of America. After teaching philosophy and theology at the International Theological Institute in Austria and music for the Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Austrian Program, he joined the founding team of Wyoming Catholic College in Lander, Wyoming, where he served as the first Director of Admissions and Assistant Academic Dean, directed the Choir and Schola, and taught, over time, all of the theology courses and most of the philosophy and fine arts courses. In 2018 he pursued a career as a freelance author, public speaker, editor, publisher, and composer, with the intention of dedicating his life to the articulation and defense of Catholic Tradition in all its dimensions. Over the past twenty years, Kwasniewski has published over 1,300 articles on sacramental and liturgical theology, the aesthetics of music, Thomistic thought, and the social doctrine of the Church. He has written or edited twenty books. Many of his approximately 150 musical works have been performed in liturgical settings and in concert. Kwasniewski has also worked with The Aquinas Institute that is editing and publishing the Opera Omnia of the Angelic Doctor in some 60 volumes. He is a Fellow of the Albertus Magnus Center for Scholastic Studies and a Senior Fellow of the St. Paul Center in Steubenville.


Anthony DeStefano, author, television host, and activist

Anthony DeStefano believes that as more and more people today struggle with depression and loneliness, self-help programs need to be less about “self-help” and more about “God’s help.” God, after all, is the Author of life; He knows what will make us happy — and what won’t. Anthony shares about breaking out of self-delusion and taking small, practical steps to transform your life from head to soul. He discusses ways that people who feel overwhelmed by life can immediately take control of their lives. He also shares how to set goals in a way that is both humanly effective and spiritually intelligent and three things that are most important when it comes to goal setting and taking action.

Anthony DeStefano is the bestselling author of over twenty-five Christian books for adults and children. His books have been published in eighteen different countries and twelve different languages and have been endorsed by The National Day of Prayer committee as well as many prominent religious leaders and mainstream celebrities. He has appeared on the 700 Club, Fox and Friends, CNN, Huckabee, and hundreds of other national and local media shows. He has also been the host of two television series on Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), as well as a frequent guest on that network. A Knight of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Anthony is an avid pilot and lives in New Jersey with his wife, Jordan.


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