Learn More About Our Speakers

Dr. Troy Davies - Keynote Speaker

Dr. Troy Davies

For the past four years, Dr Troy Davies has served as the CEO of Catholic Social Services, one of the largest multi-function social service agencies in Canada. Prior to this, he spent nine years working as both a Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent for STAR Catholic and served a term as the President of the Council of Catholic Schools Superintendents of Alberta. His time in district-level leadership was preceded by nearly a decade spent as a principal and vice-principal at Edmonton Catholic and Christ the Redeemer. Troy holds a B.A., B.Ed., M.Ed. and Ph.D. Currently, he is also pursuing an M.A. in Theology from the University of Notre Dame. He serves on the board of the Edmonton Chamber of Voluntary Organizations, the University of Alberta Senate, and the provincial government’s Panel for Red Tape Reduction for the Not-for-Profit Sector. He and his wife have four sons, aged 12 to 24, who keep them very busy. He is passionate about all matters related to Catholic education and teaches courses in Catholic School Administration at Newman College. He is always ready to give a reason for his hope, grounded in the Gospel message of Jesus Christ!

Google Meet Part 1: https://stream.meet.google.com/stream/1a868a7d-d235-4fe2-817f-a0e86778393b

Google Meet Part 2: https://stream.meet.google.com/stream/34f92b41-63bc-4c90-bf37-29f783da68a0

Elder Nancy Cardinal - Grace Before Lunch

Nancy Cardinal

Elder Nancy Cardinal is from Saddle Lake Cree Nation on Treaty 6 Territory.

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Sarah Hart

Sarah Hart

Sarah Hart of Nashville, TN has been a singer, songwriter, retreat author and keynote speaker for over 20 years. Her heart as an itinerant minister for parish missions, youth and women’s ministry has taken her all over the US and abroad. She has performed for countless conventions and events, and for Pope Francis at St. Peter’s Square. A Grammy-nominated songwriter, her songs have been recorded by numerous recording artists, and have appeared in TV, film and commercials. Her writing is visible in hymnals across the globe. Sarah has authored four retreats for parish missions, women’s retreats and adult catechesis, which she presents nationally. Sarah’s favourite “job” is that of wife and mother. For more information, see www.sarahhart.com/

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Mike Landry

Mike Landry

Read through the history of our faith, and you’ll notice that God has often chosen unlikely people along the way. Growing up, Mike Landry was a geeky, awkward teenager whose faith was awakened thanks to a parish youth ministry program that was launched during his high school years. Now, he’s a geeky, awkward adult who has spent more than twenty-four years trying to share the truth, beauty, and goodness of the Catholic Christian faith with others. Currently, he works full-time as division Chaplain for Evergreen Catholic Schools serving ten schools west of Edmonton, AB. Mike and his amazing wife Jennifer live in Stony Plain, AB with their five children.

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Elder Theresa "Corky" Larsen-Jonasson

Elder Corky

Elder Theresa "Corky" Larsen Jonasson is Cree and has ties to Samson band in Maskwacis; she currently lives in Red Deer on Treaty 7 territory. Corky shares teachings, knowledge, prayer and guidance with our entire school division. Elder Corky is a ceremonial Elder in the community of Red Deer; together with her husband, Elder Lynn, provide community sweats and keep the sweat lodge up and running in Red Deer. Corky also oversees the coming of age ceremony for youth and spends as much time as possible working with the Indigenous youth in Red Deer.

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Mary's Meals

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow

Mary's Meal's vision is that every child receives one daily meal in their place of education and that all those who have more than they need, share with those who lack even the most basic things. For more information, see https://www.marysmeals.ca/

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Patrick & Marrisa Mitsuing

Patrick & Marrisa Mitsuing

Marrisa & Patrick are a Cree couple from Saskatchewan who now reside in Sylvan Lake. Marrisa comes from a family of Residential School Survivors and has greatly felt the effects of generational trauma. Patrick comes from a traditional family full of Ceremony and Powwow. Together they navigated both worlds of the Indigenous ways of thinking and the colonized ways of living. Their passion for their culture has helped them reach millions of people through the social media handle "Powwow Times" to help others connect with their Indigenous culture and teach others about Indigenous ways of thinking. They have 5 kids (with their new baby born a couple of weeks ago) and live a healthy Indigenous lifestyle.

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Fr. Stefano Penna

Fr. Stefano Penna

Born and raised in Saskatoon – Fr. Stefano Penna is a priest of the Diocese of Saskatoon Canada since 1986 - 36 blessed years! Sent to pursue higher studies he received graduate degrees in philosophy and theology from The Toronto School of Theology, the Gregorian University in Rome and Yale University and then he was “loaned” to the Archdiocese of Edmonton. After working with undergraduates and teachers at St. Joseph College at the University of Alberta he moved to administrative, development, and professorial work as Dean of Theology and Vice-President at Newman Theological College, as well as heading Newman's Benedict XVI Institute for the New Evangelization. His work in stewardship and development led him to found Vocatus – a movement for spiritual formation for business leaders. His work on critical issues arising from engaging contemporary culture has led him to travel extensively across North America as lecturer, workshop facilitator, consultant, retreat master, mission preacher and animator of Catholic communities. Called back by Bishop Mark Hagemoen, Fr. Penna is thrilled to be the Rector of St. Paul’s Co-Cathedral and formator of teachers and administrators of Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools. He also is the national chaplain for the Canadian Catholic School Trustees. His particular loves are his parents (still witnessing faithfully), nephews and nieces (twelve), grand-nephews and nieces (six), gardening, and pasta. His greatest joy? Serving the Eucharistic Lord as Priest.

Subscribe to his YouTube channel – Fr. Stefano Penna

Follow him on Twitter @frspenna

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RDCRS Alumni

Dr Aravind Ganesh - Grad 2007

Dr. Aravind Ganesh is a Vascular and Cognitive Neurologist and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Calgary. He completed his MD degree at the University of Calgary, followed by a DPhil in Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Oxford’s Centre for Prevention of Stroke and Dementia as a Rhodes scholar. He completed his neurology residency (specialization) in Calgary, sub-specializing in stroke and cognitive neurology. He is actively involved in the development of best-practice guidelines for stroke and dementia care. His clinical research is focused on the prediction, prevention, and treatment of stroke and dementia using brain imaging and clinical trials.

David MacTaggart - Grad 2016

Dave MacTaggart is the youngest of three in his family and grew up outside of Lacombe just north of Red Deer on a small livestock farm. He and his sister, Laura, attended Notre Dame graduating in 2016 and 2013 respectively. After his time at Notre Dame, David completed his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture majoring in Crop Science at the University of Saskatchewan. He is now working part-time as the Assistant Research Manager for the Northeast Agriculture Research Foundation in Melfort, Saskatchewan while also completing a Master of Science in Plant Sciences once again at the U of S. Some of Dave's fondest memories during his time at Notre Dame were helping plan events through student council, the Fit for Life bike trips from Jasper to Banff, and especially the teachers in the French immersion program who always challenged him to try new things and improve.

Laura MacTaggart - Grad 2013

Laura MacTaggart is a graduate of Ecole Secondaire Notre Dame High School's French immersion class of 2013. Since graduating, Laura has completed her Bachelor of Science in Global Resource Systems and her Master in Indigenous Community Planning at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver. Laura played volleyball for the Notre Dame Cougars and now plays for the UBC Thunderbirds and has helped her team to win a National Gold Medal. She is interested in climate change and Indigenous leadership and has worked various jobs with urban Indigenous communities in Alberta and First Nations in BC. Laura has always had fond memories of her time at Notre Dame and can't wait to share more with you!

Gina Omilon - Grad 2012

Gina Omilon is an actor working bicoastal in Los Angeles and New York. An international, award-winning actress and writer, Gina has been seen on Criminal Minds, Tragedy Girls, and Heartland, as well as Tarantino's Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood. Currently, her film Before is travelling the film festival circuit and has received nominations and wins in 8 countries including Best Actress and Best Film. When not on stage or in front of the camera, Gina works as an event producer, producing the biggest shows in the world, including the Grammys and the Super Bowl.

Roderick Rivera - Grad 2012

Roderick Rivera was born and raised in Red Deer Alberta. He did his schooling with Red Deer Catholic, specifically in the French Immersion program. He attended Ecole Camille J. Lerouge from kindergarten to grade 9 and then attended Ecole Secondaire Notre Dame High School where he graduated in 2012. Having the opportunity to continue his education in French he attended the University of Alberta through Campus Saint-Jean completing his education degree. From there Roderick moved back to Red Deer and has been teaching grade 3 at Ecole Our Lady of the Rosary School.

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The Way

The Way is a unique series of 10 worship-night style videos, promoting introspection, thoughtful prayer and a strong relationship with Jesus Christ featuring Catholic artist and music minister Josh Blakesley, alongside speaker and author Paul George. Each episode highlights a specific theme — God’s love, forgiveness, prayer and silence in life — further reflected upon through beautiful music and in-depth discussion. With the current challenges of gathering in person, The Way helps unite followers of Jesus and serves as a guide for their journey.

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