Fr. John Riccardo is a priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit, ordained in 1996. He has served as pastor of St. Anastasia Catholic Church in Troy, MI, and at Our Lady of Good Counsel (OLGC) in Plymouth, MI. As pastor of OLGC, together with his parish team, he was witness to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit to move a parish from maintenance to mission in a way that caught the attention of pastors and parishes across the country. As a result, he has done ongoing work with pastors, diocesan leaders, and parish staffs throughout the country to respond to the urgent call of the past four Popes for a new Pentecost and a new evangelization, and to equip parishes to be better able to respond to the times we live in. Fr. John was a member of the leadership team from its very beginning of what became Synod 16 in the Archdiocese of Detroit, a Synod focused on the New Evangelization. He continues to serve on the New Evangelization Council, whose task it is to assist the Archbishop in stewarding the graces of Synod 16. He also serves in several other advisory roles for the Archdiocese of Detroit. In addition to his work in Detroit, Fr. John has served as a member of the USCCB National Advisory Council and is currently a member of the Alpha USA Pastors Forum. He is the host of Christ is the Answer, a radio show that can be heard on EWTN, and is the creator of hundreds of podcasts and videocasts. He has spoken at diocesan events across the country and is passionate about the power of the Gospel to transform people’s lives. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan, The Gregorian University in Rome, and The Pope John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family.
Deacon Steve Mitchell was ordained for the Archdiocese of Detroit (AOD) in 2002, with a MA in Pastoral Ministry. Dcn. Steve has been a leader in the men’s movement in the AOD for many years. He has exercised executive leadership in several technical staffing enterprises focused on the automotive industry. Launching New Dimension in 1991 from his kitchen table, he grew the business to over $35 million in revenue. An evangelist by gifting, he became the National Director, Alpha–Catholic for Alpha USA in 2009. Alpha is now reaching over 250,000 people annually in Catholic parishes throughout the US. After retiring from AUSA, Dcn. Steve joined the Pastoral Leadership team at OLGC, serving as a deacon and assisting on the Evangelization and Discipleship Team. He serves the AOD on the Amazing Parish Coaching Team under the leadership of Lory Mcglinnen. He continues to serve as President of the Alpha–Catholic National Board.
Mary Guilfoyle is currently the Director of Evangelization and Discipleship at Our Lady of Good Counsel, as well as a member of the parish leadership team. In this capacity, she oversees one of the largest Alpha programs of any Catholic parish in the United States. Mary is convinced that programs don’t make disciples–people do. This is why she commits herself to the development of missionary discipleship strategies that move away from academic models to lived models of discipleship, where the goal is nothing less than the transformation of people, families, workplaces, neighborhoods, and culture. Through her development of trainings, workshops, small group communities, and other relationally-based initiatives, she equips ministry leaders, volunteers, and parishioners to be effective evangelizers and disciple makers who will bear witness to Jesus Christ. Mary serves as a Hub Church Director for Alpha USA and has trained more than 100 parishes on how to integrate Alpha into their pastoral planning in order to be outward-focused missionary parishes. Outside of Alpha, she mentors parish staff leaders around the country to develop their own culture of evangelization and discipleship.
Mary was a member of Synod 16 on the New Evangelization in the Archdiocese of Detroit and witnessed the Holy Spirit moving in transformative ways. She eagerly shares the extraordinary pastoral letter, Unleash the Gospel with parishes who are passionate about parish renewal and the Great Commission.
Mary has her Bachelor’s Degree from Washburn University and has studied at Sacred Heart Major Seminary. She and her husband, Steve, are proud parents of their daughter, Elyse and together their family is committed to the revitalization of Detroit.
Nick Jorgensen has been involved in evangelization and leadership ministries for over ten years. While completing his undergraduate degree in marketing and management, he worked in youth ministry at the parish level. He then went on to earn his MA in Theology and Christian ministry. While earning this degree, he led men’s ministry as well as a mission trip involving door-to-door, on the street, and inner-city evangelization. He also spent some time working for Lighthouse Catholic Media in order to help develop a door-to-door evangelization program. After completing his MA, he served as the Assistant Director of Evangelization for the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, where he worked to equip parishes in evangelization and leadership. In 2015, Nick and his family moved to the Archdiocese of Detroit where he became the Associate Director of Evangelization. In this role, Nick has developed workshops, training, conferences, and retreats for hospitality, evangelization, formation, and leadership training. Nick has been trained for and successful in coaching leadership teams in organizational health with the goal of building a missionary culture among staff and volunteers throughout all levels of the Church. As part of this coaching effort, Nick is training leaders in the Archdiocese to work with parish leadership teams in their efforts to build a healthy parish culture.
Kris Yankee has worked as an Administrative Assistant at Our Lady of Good Counsel for Associate Pastor Father Prentice Tipton and Mary Guilfoyle, Director of Evangelization and Discipleship, for the past three years. A graduate of the University of Michigan and prior to having children, Kris worked for ten years in the mortgage industry advancing to Assistant Vice President in Risk Management while overseeing three post-closing departments. Prior to working at Our Lady of Good Counsel, Kris worked for eight years as an editor and project manager for a small publishing house in Northville, Michigan. Her non-profit experience includes serving as the Communications Director for Living Stations-Living Faith Apostolate and as a Story Editor/Assistant Director at the 3:15 Project. An encounter with Jesus in 2013 changed Kris profoundly and convinced her that having a relationship with Him should be one’s primary focus in life. Because of this, Kris is very involved with several ministries at OLGC including Alpha and Becoming Catholic. Kris and her husband Eric are proud parents of two fine young men.