Announcing the Recipients: Holy Apostles College and Seminary Alumni Association Scholarship for Catholic Leaders
Sr. Jacqueline Jean-Marie Gitonga, FSP
Sr. Jacqueline Jean-Marie Gitonga, FSP is a religious sister with the Daughters of St. Paul, a group of Catholic consecrated women religious dedicated to evangelization using media. The sisters publish books, e-books and are active in television, radio, social media, the internet and mobile apps.
Sr. Jacqueline was born and raised in Kenya, Africa where she received most of her education. She graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Business Administration at Catholic University of Eastern Africa in 2000. She worked as a healthcare insurance consultant for about one year and thereafter came to the United States for further studies. She pursued her masters and doctoral degrees in the field of Human Resource Development at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she graduated in 2009.
It was during her graduate studies that Sr. Jacqueline discovered her religious vocation and desire to help people encounter God. She began her religious formation in 2009 and professed the religious vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in August 2013. Sr. Jacqueline currently lives with her sisters in New Orleans, Louisiana where she carries out the mission of evangelization with passion, dedication and joy. She gives vocation and media talks and brings books and media to parishes, schools, and conferences.
Jared Zimmerer is an author, speaker, blogger, husband and father of 4. He is the founder of Strength for the Kingdom, a ministry promoting men’s growth in virtue, knowledge of the Catholic faith, and the understanding of authentic masculinity through physical endeavors. He lives in Denton, TX, holds a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, and is a competitive all-natural bodybuilder with a passion for evangelizing the fitness and bodybuilding culture with the help of the Catholic Faith.
He works at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Grapevine, TX as the Director of Adult Catechesis and Evangelization.
His first book is called The Ten Commandments of Lifting Weights: Recommendations to the Devout Body Builder and he has been interviewed on Catholic radio programs around the country. He has given presentations around the country on fitness, health, masculinity and virtue, including Mundelein Seminary, where he was invited by Fr. Robert Barron.
Jared is also the lead author of the best-selling book: Man Up! Becoming the New Catholic Renaissance Man. A book dedicated to promoting a masculine spirituality with the help of eleven other authors. He is also a regular contributor at Fr. Robert Barron’s Word on Fire blog, where he offers insights on faith, sports, fitness, movie and book reviews, and many other topics.
Astrid Bennett Gutierrez, MEV
Astrid Bennett Gutierrez, MEV, is the Executive Director of Los Angeles Pregnancy Services (LAPS.), a pregnancy center located in L.A.’s abortion ground zero. She is a member of the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life (MEV), the lay association of Priests for Life. She is also President of Hispanics for Life. She is a co-host of the EWTN series, The Catholic View for Women. Astrid has also appeared on Fox News, CNN Español, Univision, and NBC affiliate Telemundo, sometimes debating Planned Parenthood representatives. She produces radio programs on Spanish-language ESNE Radio and Guadalupe Radio and the Evangelical television network Almavision. Astrid has presented nationally and internationally on topics related to pro-life issues particularly as they affect the Latino community.
When majoring in European Studies at UCLA, Astrid envisioned her education would lead to a teaching career, with summers free to be spent traveling in Europe. She never imagined she would be showing up for work every day in the same impoverished, rough and tumble neighborhood she lived in as a child. “Whatever plans I thought I had for myself went out the window when my eyes were opened to the wanton taking of innocent life through abortion,” recalls Astrid. “I knew I had to get off the sidelines and do what I could to save innocent lives and provide aid and comfort to women facing crisis pregnancies.”
Kevin Aldrich is an educator with twenty-four years of teaching and administrative experience in K-12 Catholic schools. He has recently authored fifteen high school theology textbook teacher editions for The Didache Series and is the editor of the eight-volume Didache Parish Program. He is also the author of two virtue-based educational curricula. He wrote the first two generations of Families of Character, a non-profit program that helps married couples articulate short and long-term goals for their families and to develop the human virtues necessary to accomplish them. Teen Virtues is a non-profit high school, school-based program to help teens grow in the virtues of justice, fortitude, temperance, prudence, orderliness, gratitude, honesty, friendship, and purity.
Other recent projects include the curriculum materials for Hope Undimmed, a video-based program for young adults to be published by Paradisus Dei, and Love is Our Mission, a free adult faith enrichment program based on the preparatory catechesis of the same name for the 2015 World Meeting of Families.
Kevin also pens screenplays, TV pilots, and novels. He and his wife have been married for twenty-six years and have seven children.
He has two blogs. Doctrinal Homily Outlines is a free, lectionary-based service for homilists launched at the beginning the 2012-2013 Year of Faith. The Catholic Imagination is for aspiring writers. He comments regularly on Strange Notions, a site dedicated to dialogue between Catholics and atheists.
Please join us in congratulating these Catholic leaders for their award! And join us in prayer for them as they begin a new journey of scholarship in their Catholic faith.
Gratefully in Christ,
Stacy A. Trasancos, PhD
Alumni Association President