|Fr. Brian Barr is a priest of the Diocese of Rockville where he currently serves as pastor of St. Mary of the Isle Church, Long Beach. Prior to his assignment in Long Beach he served as Director of Vocations, Diocesan Director of Campus Ministry, Chaplain at St. Anthony’s High School and Parochial Vicar, St. Thomas the Apostle, West Hempstead.|
|Fr. Luke Sweeney was born in Yonkers, New York on November 15, 1974. He attended his parish elementary school and Fordham Preparatory School in the Bronx. In 1996, he graduated from Fordham University with a B.A. degree in History and Philosophy.
Father Sweeney began his seminary studies while in college at the St. John Neumann Residence, then located in the Bronx. After graduation, he participated in a Spirituality Year in Northampton, PA, at Immaculate Conception Center. Fr. Sweeney continued his studies in Rome at the Pontifical North American College. He earned a Bachelors Degree in Sacred Theology (STB) from the Pontifical Gregorian University in 2000, and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the John Paul II Institute for the Study of Marriage and the Family in 2002.
Cardinal Edward Egan ordained Fr. Luke Sweeney a priest at the Cathedral of St. Patrick on May 19, 2001. He served as a priest in St. Theresa of the Infant Jesus Church in the Bronx the summer of 2001, and in Sacred Heart Church in Newburgh, NY, from September 2002 until December 2005. In January of 2006, he was appointed to the faculty of the St. John Neumann Residence and Hall at St. Joseph’s Seminary and, in September that same year, became Vocations Director of the Archdiocese of New York. Most recently, he became the vice rector of the Cathedral Seminary House of Formation.
|Mrs. Mary Ellen Barrett is a home educating mother of seven children. Her column, “Life in Our Domestic Church,” is regularly featured in The Long Island Catholic. She has spoken at numerous homeschooling conferences on topics such as socialization and the challenges of raising a special needs child. In her popular blog, Tales from the Bonny Blue House, Mary Ellen writes about daily life and happenings in her Catholic home. In addition, she writes about the Catholic celebration of Christmas in her blog O Night Divine. Currently, she is working on two books, a book about life as a mom of a large family and an Advent Book of Days. Besides writing and blogging, Mary Ellen enjoys cooking, sewing, photography, and studying Theology.|
|Mrs. Alice Gunther is an attorney who gave up practicing law to nuture and homeschool her nine children. She is the author of the book “Haystack Full of Needles: A Catholic Home Educator’s Guide to Socialization” and writes a column for The Long Island Catholic called “The Catholic Home.”|
|Mrs. Virginia (Ginny) Seuffert, a native New Yorker and mother of 12, has been homeschooling for over 20 years! While in New York, Mrs. Seuffert lectured, debated, and wrote a number of articles for the Pro-Life movement. After moving to Illinois, she became a founding member of the Network of Illinois Catholic Home Educators, helped establish the “Round Table” (a Catholic home school leadership discussion group), and became a founder and officer of the Catholic Home School Network of America.
In addition to appearing on EWTN, she has been a guest on numerous radio shows, lectured at Catholic family conferences all over the United States and Canada, and has authored several articles on such topics as home education, teaching children the virtues, and household management. The Illinois Press Association awarded her first place honors for a column she wrote defending traditional family values in a local newspaper. Seton Magazine regularly features her columns, and she has three published books, Ginny’s Gems: Home Management Essentials, Ginny’s Gems: 10 Essentials for Teaching Your Preschooler at Home, and It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way.