Rev. Mr. Anthony Amato

Deacon Amato is a seminarian and transitional deacon with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, NY. He is in formation at Theological College at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

Ms. Lucy Bennett

Lucy Bennett is a senior English major at the University of Dallas. She currently writes for the University of Dallas newspaper, The University News.

Mrs. Caitlin Bootsma

Caitlin Bootsma is the editor of Human Life International’s Truth and Charity Forum as well as the Communications Director for Fuzati, a Catholic Marketing company. She lives in Richmond with her husband and two sons.

Mrs. Belinda Brasley

Belinda Brasley is the Director of Disciple Formation at St. John the Evangelist in Spencerport, NY. She and her husband, Deacon John Brasley, have been involved with ministry to marriage, families, and teens for over twenty-five years.

Ms. Julie Butler

Julie Butler holds a BS in Speech Communications from the University of Utah, and is midway through her Masters in Theology at Holy Apostles College and Seminary, in Cromwell, CT. In her local parish, Sacred Heart Church of the Archdiocese of Hartford, CT, she is an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, serves on the Board of Finance, and is the finance representative for the Parish Council. Every year, she volunteers as co-manager for the handicap section during Divine Mercy Weekend, at the National Shrine of Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, MA.

Dr. William Cook

Bill Cook taught history for 42 years, retiring in 2012 with the rank of Distinguished Teaching Professor of History. A specialist in medieval history, he has taught a course on Dante’s Commedia alone and with his colleague Ron Herzman. Bill has written several books and about 50 articles as well as more than 900 columns for the Livingston County News. He has established the Bill Cook Foundation (, which provides educational opportunities for some of the world’s poorest children.

Mr. Nicholas Dube

Nicholas Dube is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Harvard College, with a degree in History and the Classics and a secondary concentration in Italian Studies. His experience with Dante includes study at the Carla Rossi Academy in Monsummano Terme, Italy, and attendance at academic conferences on the Divine Comedy.

Rev. Ryan Erlenbush

Fr. Erlenbush is a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Great Falls-Billings, MT, where he is pastor of Corpus Christi Parish in Great Falls and also serves on the Diocesan Priests’ Council and the Diocesan Pastoral Council. Fr. Erlenbush is also the diocesan facilitator for the Extraordinary Form in Eastern Montana.

Rev. Christopher P. Gray

Fr. Gray is a priest of the  Diocese of Salt Lake City in residence at the Pontifical North American College (Casa Santa Maria). He is currently doing doctoral work at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome building upon his previous research. In 2014, he was awarded a License in Sacred Theology (STL) for his thesis entitled “Amatores Pulchritudinis: The search for beauty in Augustine as the search for Christ.” Formerly, he worked for the Intermountain Catholic, newspaper of the Diocese of Salt Lake City, and served at St.s Peter & Paul Parish in West Valley City.

Rev. Royce V. Gregerson

Fr. Gregerson is a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, IN. He is a candidate for the License in Sacred Theology in moral theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. Before beginning studies for the priesthood, he studied literature at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

Mrs. Nora Hamerman

Nora Hamerman is a free-lance writer who frequently contributes to the Arlington Catholic Herald and is a presenter on the Divine Comedy for Adult Ed. at St. John the Beloved, McLean, VA, and at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Ron Herzman

Ron Herzman is a member of the English Department at SUNY Geneseo. He has taught, written, and lectured extensively on Dante. This year he is a Fellow at the Center for Medieval Studies at Fordham.

Rev. George Heyman, Ph.D.

Fr. Heyman has been a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, NY, for 34 years. Currently he is the President and Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry in Pittsford, NY. In addition to his teaching responsibilities in the area of biblical studies and early Christian origins, he is also Director of Professional Development and Ministerial Certification for the Diocese of Rochester.

Miss Noëlle Hiester

Noëlle Hiester is the Director of Evangelization and Catechesis for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, NY, as well as an instructor in Catechetics at the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College. Prior to moving to Rochester she spent eight years working in catechetics and business in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Arlington, VA. Miss Hiester first encountered Dante’s Divine Comedy as a student at Franciscan University of Steubenville, where she majored in Humanities and Catholic Culture, and has been a fan ever since.

Dr. Aaron James

Aaron James is director of music at St. Mary’s Church in Auburn, NY, and an Instructor of Music History at the College Music Department of the University of Rochester. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where he earned two doctoral degrees: a Doctor of Musical Arts in organ performance, and a Ph.D. in historical musicology. His research focuses on the Latin motet in the mid-sixteenth century.

Dr. Shannon Loughlin

Shannon Loughlin has worked in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, NY, for 16 years and currently serves as the Associate Director of Pastoral Services. She has a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology and a Masters in Pastoral Ministry, both from Duquesne University. Her undergraduate work was at SUNY Geneseo.

Ms. Amy MacKinnon

Amy MacKinnon has taught and volunteered in parishes for over 15 years and has served as Director of Religious Education in the Diocese of Arlington, VA, and Coordinator of Religious Ed in the Archdiocese of Boston, MA. She earned both an MA and STB in theology and is currently working on her STL while serving as president of Christ the Teacher College, an online school for advanced degrees in catechetics.

Dr. Sebastian Mahfood, OP

Sebastian Mahfood is a Lay Dominican of the Province of Saint Albert the Great, and serves as Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Holy Apostles College & Seminary in Cromwell, CT. Through the Catholic Distance Learning Network, he sponsors the Digital Dante contest (, which each year awards a Dante medallion to the person who submits the best digital interpretation of some aspect of Dante’s Divine Comedy. He lives in St. Louis, MO, with his wife, Dr. Stephanie Mahfood, and children, Alexander and Eva Ruth.

Mr. Louis Massett

Lou Massett and his wife Amber are college sweethearts and graduates of Christendom College. They reside in Auburn N.Y. with their four beautiful children, Lucy, Charles, Emma and Agnes. Louis serves as the Principal of Tyburn Academy of Mary Immaculate, a Classical Catholic School grades 7-12 in the Diocese of Rochester.

Rev. Joe McCaffrey

Fr. McCaffrey is a priest of the Diocese of Rochester and pastor of Nativity BVM parish in Brockport, NY. His graduate work was done at St. Bernard’s Seminary, Colgate Rochester, and Syracuse University. He taught Philosophy and Religious Studies at Elmira College and Syracuse University. His main interests at present are Ignatian Spirituality, guiding the Spiritual Exercises in Daily Life (19th Annotation), and baseball.

Rev. Justin Miller

Fr. Miller is a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester and was just recently ordained on June 4, 2016. He is parochial vicar at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Penfield, NY and also at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Webster, NY. He has degrees from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY, and Catholic University of America in Washington, DC..

Mr. Joel Morehouse

Joel Morehouse is a musician and educator, and resides with his wife Julia Tucker in Syracuse, NY. He holds Bachelors degrees in history and music, and a Masters degree in Secondary Education, from Roberts Wesleyan College, Rochester, NY. He also completed further study in classical liberal arts, sciences, and languages at Augustine College in Ottawa and Thomas Aquinas College in California. He currently serves as director of music at St. Ann Church in Syracuse, NY, and is completing further graduate study in pipe organ performance and choral conducting at Syracuse University’s Setnor School of Music.

Rev. Peter Mottola

Fr. Mottola is a priest of the Diocese of Rochester. He holds a Master’s degree in Medieval Studies from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. where he is currently pursuing a Licentiate in Canon Law.

Rev. Marcus Pollard

Fr. Pollard has been ordained for 25 years and is a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Arlington, VA. He is currently serving as Pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Falls Church, VA. He has an M. Div. from Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD and an M.A. from the Notre Dame Catechetical Institute.

Mrs. Ellen Reilander

Ellen Reilander is a graduate of Notre Dame Law School, a licensed attorney, and a stay-at-home mom. She lives in South Bend, Indiana, with her husband and two young children.

Dr. Robert C. Rice

Robert Rice received his B.A. from U.C.L.A. and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Oregon. He was Associate Editor of the Middle English Dictionary at the University of Michigan, 1976-1981. He is now Professor Emeritus of English Language and Literature at Christendom College in Front Royal, VA. In addition to teaching in the English Lang. & Lit. Dept. for 32 years, he held the positions of Chairman of the English Language & Literature Dept. and Vice President for Academic Affairs. During that period he taught Dante’s Divine Comedy entire, as part of the core curriculum, numerous times.

Dr. Christine Schintgen

Christine Schintgen is assistant professor of literature at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy in Barry’s Bay, Ontario, Canada. She completed her doctorate in English literature at the University of Oxford. Her research interests include crime and prisons in Victorian literature, Dante, Dickens, and the relationship between faith and literature. She and her husband Michael enjoy living in a small town with their three children.

Mrs. Jodi Schott

Jodi Schott is the Director of Faith Formation at St. Kateri Parish in Irondequoit, NY. She has a Master of Arts in Theological Studies, has worked with children, youth and families in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester for ten years and enjoys teaching others about the faith. She lives with her husband and two children, with their third child due in January 2016.

Mr. Jonathan Schott

Jonathan Schott is the Director of Recruitment, Admissions, Financial Aid and Alumni for St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry in Rochester, Syracuse and Albany, New York. Jonathan has served in lay ecclesial ministry for nearly 12 years and is often found giving catechetical and ministerial presentations in parishes, dioceses and at regional and national conferences. He resides in Rochester with his growing family, and in his spare time, he enjoys baseball and the yearly seasonal bounty of New York’s apple harvest.

Rev. Christopher Seiler

Fr. Seiler is a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. He completed his theological studies in Rome at the Pontifical Lateran University. He is the associate pastor of St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish in St. Louis City and teaches Dogmatic Theology at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.

Mr. Peter Jesserer Smith

Peter Jesserer Smith is a staff reporter for the National Catholic Register. He has covered Pope Francis’s historic visits to Holy Land and the United States, and also the Syrian-Iraqi refugee crisis in Jordan and Lebanon through Catholic Relief Services’s Egan Fellowship. He lives in Webster, NY, with his wife Alexis, and their daughter Cora.

Rev. David Tedesche

Fr. Tedesche is a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, NY. He is currently serving as pastor of St. Joseph the Worker Parish. This parish consists of St. Michael’s in Lyons, NY, St. John the Evangelist in Clyde, NY, and St. Patrick’s in Savannah, NY. He also serves as Theological Consultant for Faith Development Ministry for the Diocese of Rochester. He has advanced degrees in Philosophy and Theology and, before entering seminary, was a high school English teacher at Johnsburg Central School in North Creek, NY.

Rev. Paul J. Tomasso

Fr. Tomasso is a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, NY. He was ordained in 1981 and, since then, has served in a variety of pastorates and assignments. Currently he is Director of Seminarians and Parochial Vicars and is also Vicar General for the Diocese of Rochester.

Ms. Colleen Trevisani

Colleen Trevisani is a lay minister and certified teacher, with experience teaching from Pre-K to college. She has ministered in the areas of liturgy, music, retreats, faith formation and youth ministry. She has an MDiv and an MEd in Inclusive Education. Currently the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry at St. Kateri in Irondequoit, NY, she lives with her husband and two small boys in Henrietta, NY.

Mr. David Wallace

David Wallace is Director of Religious Education at St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Springfield, VA, and a lecturer in catechetics and evangelization at the Christendom College Graduate School of Theology. He lives in Front Royal, VA, with his wife and their five boys.

Rev. Daniel White

Fr. White attended Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and was ordained a priest on June 5, 2004. He currently serves as priest-secretary to The Most Reverend Salvatore R. Matano, Bishop of Rochester.