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The 99
Authors and Presenters

Mark Hart serves as Executive Vice President for Life Teen International and is a twenty-five year ministry veteran. A graduate from the University of Notre Dame, Mark is a best-selling author/editor of over twenty books, an award-winning producer and popular radio host. His wildly popular Bible Study Series,”T3″, "Encounter” and “Alteration” have helped transform Catholic youth/young adult Scripture Study in parishes, homes and classrooms.

A highly sought after speaker/presenter, Mark has traveled the globe speaking to millions of souls, maintains a vibrant social media presence and a weekly podcast.

Mark’s humor and his passion for Scripture are helping hundreds of thousands of Catholics, young and old, begin to read and study the Bible in engaging, fun and relevant ways. A devoted husband and father of four, Mark’s passion for the gospel and for evangelization, in general, are contagious and inspiring.

You can see Mark's piece "Why Am I Catholic?" by clicking here.

Read about his experiences with evangelization in his interview here.

Fr. Mike Schmitz serves as director of youth and young adult ministry for the Diocese of Duluth and as chaplain for the Newman Catholic Campus Ministry at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He is a presenter in Chosen, Altaration, Belonging, Power and Grace, Quick Catholic Lessons with Fr. Mike and on Ascension Presents.

You can see Fr. Mike's piece "Confession is a Place of Victory" by clicking here.

Read about Father's experiences with evangelization in his interview here.

Sr. Miriam James Heidland is a former Division I athlete who had a radical conversion and joined the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT) in 1998. Her story has been featured on EWTN’s The Journey Home, SEEK Conference, USCCB Convocation, Relevant Radio and other outlets.

She holds a Master’s degree in Theology from the Augustine Institute and speaks regularly on the topics of conversion, authentic love, forgiveness, healing (and sports!). Sr. Miriam’s podcast, Abiding Together, can be found on iTunes and her book, Loved As I Am, can be found on Amazon. She tweets at @onegroovynun.

You can see Sister's piece "Overcoming Fear" by clicking here.

Fr. Joshua Johnson is a priest in the Diocese of Baton Rouge. He has spoken at conferences for teenagers and adults, sharing his conversion experience and proclaiming his message of hope and human dignity. He is the author of Broken & Blessed and is a presenter in Altaration, YOU, Rejoice and No Greater Love and hosts Ask Fr. Josh, a podcast perfect for young adult Catholics who are in transitional stages of life and dealing with changes.

You can see Fr. Josh's piece "A Hospital for Sinners" by clicking here.

Read about Father's experiences with evangelization in his interview here.

Joel Stepanek has been actively and passionately serving in ministry for over 15 years. He graduated from Fordham University with a Master of Arts degree in Religion and Religious Education with an emphasis in youth and young adult ministry and currently serves as the Director of Resource Development for Life Teen, as well as adjunct faculty for Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Joel is the author or co-author of several books, including “Chasing Humility: 8 Ways to Shape a Christian Heart,” and “True North: A Roadmap for Discernment,” and was a co-author of “The 99.”. Above all, Joelis a husband to Colleen and father to Elijah and Sophia, who are his greatest adventure.

Read about Joel's experiences with evangelization in his interview here.

Leah Darrow is an international Catholic speaker, author, and founder of Lux University, an online membership site for Catholic women who want to grow together in the Faith. Leah earned her Masters in Theology from the Augustine Institute, and delights in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.

When not on the road evangelizing, you can find Leah at home with her husband, Ricky, and their five children in St. Louis.

You can see Leah's piece "Beauty and Self-Worth" by clicking here.

Read about Father's experiences with evangelization in his interview here.

Bob Lesnefsky, a Catholic rapper who also goes by the name “Righteous B” has been a unique leader and voice in Catholic youth ministry for 20 years. His evangelization style seeks to incorporate popular culture as a means to bring youth closer to Christ, rather than teach them to run from popular culture, living by the motto, “Preach the Gospel at all times, if necessary use rap.”

He started Vagabond missions in 2005 serving inner-city youth in cities all over the country. Along with his music and youth ministry career, Bob is husband and father of 7.

You can see Bob's piece "A Moment of Weakness" by clicking here.

Mari Pablo is a Hispanic Miami native, graduated from Franciscan University with a double major in theology and psychology, and has a masters in theology from the Augustine Institute. Mari has worked in youth ministry for over fifteen years from acting as a youth minister, to teaching high school theology and speaking at the Steubenville summer youth conference.

She has dedicated her life to ministry with the goal of being God’s instrument in order to spread His transformative message to all! You might even recognize her from, “You,” our theology of the body program for teens!

Read about Mari's experiences with evangelization in her interview here.

Cande de Leon served in the United States Marine Corps for four years. Afterwards, he graduated from Texas A&M Corpus Christi, earning his Bachelors of Business Administration and then continuing with a Master of Arts Degree at Holy Apostles Seminary and college in Theology for Sacred Scripture. Cande is currently acting as the first Executive Director of the Office of Mission Advancement for the Diocese of Phoenix.

He has a sincere desire to serve the Catholic Church and brings a wealth of leadership and business acumen to help parishes with their stewardship, discipleship and evangelization efforts. He is most passionate about his wife of 22 years, Rosemary, with whom he has 4 daughters.

Read about Cande's experiences with evangelization in his interview here.