The April Carolina Catholic show features interviews of five speakers at the 2011 Ignited By Truth conference: Matthew Kelly, Dr. Brad Pitre, Deb Schlaprizzi, Dr. Patrick O'Connell and Jeremy Rivera.  The interviews will be split so that the first three are presented on the first two weekends of April; the last two on the third and fourth weekend.  

Matthew Kelly

Matthew Kelly was born in Sydney, Australia, where he began his lay ministry in 1993. Since that time he has traveled in more than fifty countries and spoken to over three million people. He has written thirteen books which have appeared on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller lists and been published in twenty-five languages. His titles include: The Rhythm of Life, The Seven Levels of Intimacy, The Dream Manager, Building Better Families, and Rediscovering Catholicism. The majority of his work today is here in the United States speaking to students from primary school through college, lay adults, priests and seminarians. He also leads numerous retreats every year, both in the United States and abroad.

In addition to his spiritual ministry, which occupies 80% of his time, Kelly is also a partner at Floyd Consulting, a Chicago based management consulting firm. His clients include: Pepsi, Proctor and Gamble,, McDonalds, USBank, 3M, Ernst & Young, HSBC, the Department of Defense, the U.S Navy, the U.S. Air Force and more than 35 other Fortune 500 companies.

Kelly’s core message, regardless of whether he is addressing CEO’s, high school students, priests, or parish communities, invites listeners to become the-best-version-of-themselves. Kelly convincingly communicates this message as God’s desire for each of us. And he insists it is also the desire of parents for their children, husbands and wives for each other, CEOs for their companies and employees, pastors for their parishes, and managers and lay ministers for those they lead and instruct.

This message of becoming the-best-version-of-yourself, inspired by Vatican II’s universal call to holiness, allows Kelly to present the genius of Catholicism through his seminars and writings in a way that is disarmingly simple and yet, deeply profound.

To learn more about his work, please visit:

Dr. Brant Pitre

Dr. Brant Pitre is Professor of Scripture at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, Louisiana. He received his Ph.D. in Theology from the University of Notre Dame, where he specialized the study of the New Testament and ancient Judaism, graduating with highest honors. He is the author of several articles and a book, Jesus, the Tribulation, and the End of the Exile, which focuses on the eschatology of Jesus as the key to the origin of the doctrine of the atonement (Baker Academic, 2005).   Additionally, Doubleday is publishing a new book by Dr. Pitre entitled Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist, which is coming out in February 2011.  Dr. Pitre is also currently working on an academic book Jesus and the Last Supper, a project funded by a grant from the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, founded by Dr. Scott Hahn. Dr. Pitre is an extremely enthusiastic and engaging speaker and has produced several Bible studies on CD and DVD, in which he explores the Jewish roots and biblical background of Catholic faith and theology. He currently lives in Covington, Louisiana, with his wife Elizabeth, and their four young children and fifth on the way.

For more more about his work, please visit:

Deby Schlaprizzi

Deby Schlapprizzi is host of Splendor of You®, a radio program addressing varied topics on faith in contemporary living. Deby delivers a message of purpose and hope. She has been a guest on national talk radio. A woman “who acts on principle,” as she was described by the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Deby’s presentations are met with standing ovations and excellent reviews. She inspires women and men of all ages to recognize the handprint of God within and to let His splendor shine!

A pro-life advocate and motivational speaker, Deby is driven by her desire to help shape a society more respectful of the sacredness of all human life. Her pro-life advocacy began at the age of eighteen in 1973 with Roe v. Wade and the legalization of abortion in the United States. At the age of twenty-six, she volunteered to become a pro-life voice for the St. Louis Archdiocese.

Deby’s early success mushroomed to being an invited guest speaker at a multitude of schools, parent-teacher organizations, and youth conferences.  She is a national and local lecturer on matters of faith and morals. In 2001, Deby was featured in The Wall Street Journal for her role in reversing the American Heart Association’s national position on embryonic stem cell research. Then, in 2006, under Deby’s leadership, a dedicated team of volunteers waged a battle to keep human cloning out of Missouri’s constitution.

In congruence with her work, Deby has received multiple honors including:

  • Cardinal John O’Connor Pro-Life Award
  • Silver Palm of Jerusalem
  • Vitae Caring Award
  • Citizen Recognition Award: Exemplary Acts of Faithful Citizenship from the Missouri Catholic Conference
  • Cardinal Carberry Award: Outstanding Contribution to Pro-Life Movement
  • Outstanding Sacred Heart Alumnae Award – Southern USA Region
  • Appointment to the Missouri Catholic Conference by the Archbishop of St. Louis, Raymond L. Burke, currently the Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura

Deby studied Communications/Business at St. Louis University and later focused on post-graduate studies in Counseling and Gerontology.


Dr. Patrick O'Connell

Patrick O’Connell is a life-long Catholic and is a physician practicing in Raleigh.  He was born and raised in North Carolina, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Brown University, and returned to North Carolina for medical school at UNC-Chapel Hill.  He trained in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, where he then served as chief resident.  Patrick practiced in the Baltimore area for two more years before moving home to North Carolina to be closer to family.While living in Baltimore, he met his future wife Maureen, and after their marriage in 2006 they moved to North Carolina to begin their life together.  Fifteen months later their family began to grow with the birth of their first child, and they now have three children.

Patrick has a heart for educating Catholics about their Faith.  Throughout medical school, he volunteered with the high school faith formation program at this parish.  He resumed this ministry after residency training while living in Baltimore.  Since moving to North Carolina, he has been involved in adult education in Catholic bioethics.  He completed a certification program in Catholic bioethics through the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia.  With this background, he has spoken on bioethics topics to high school groups, to student groups at the local universities, and to parish adult education programs.  In 2009 he spoke on Theology of the Body and reproductive healthcare as part of the Bishop’s Lecture Series sponsored by Bishop Burbidge. Patrick is a parishioner at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Raleigh.

Jeremy Rivera

Jeremy is Director of Communications for FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students), a ministry that sends teams of young, trained missionaries to over 50 college campuses across the U.S. in order to reach students with the Gospel.  A cradle Catholic, Jeremy drifted away from the Church for a time, serving as a staff member at New Hope Christian Fellowship in Hawaii, Menlo Park Presbyterian in California, and Pathways Church in Colorado.  Coming back to the Catholic Church in 2006, he followed God’s call to serve the youth and founded three young adult ministries.  A Toastmasters International award-winning speaker, Jeremy is able to reach a broad audience of Catholics and Protestants.  He is passionate about encouraging others to greater levels of sincerity on their journey with God.  Jeremy holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Business and a Master’s degree in Biblical Studies.


Listen to the shows

Part I - Kelly, Pitre and Schlaprizzi
Part II - O'Connell and Rivera



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