Angela Sealana

Angela Sealana

From an early age, Angela knew she wanted to apply her talents in teaching and communication for God’s glory. Since 2010, she has facilitated the presentation and promotion of Pilgrim Center of Hope through new and traditional media as Media Coordinator.

Angela knows how to communicate with a wide variety of audiences, applying her professional background in marketing and communications for both non-profit ministries and for-profit businesses. She holds a B.A. in English communication arts, with concentrations in marketing and theology from St. Mary’s University, and has over a decade of experience as an evangelizing catechist for ages 8 through 80+.

After discerning a possible call to religious life, she was surprised by a vocation to marriage. When she is not spending time with her husband and friends, Angela enjoys volunteering with projects promoting dialogue through pop culture.

Specialties
Christian Spirituality, Discernment, Healing, Media & Faith, Prayer, Sacred Art, Saints, Scripture, Suffering, Vocation, and Women



Cece Smith

Cece Smith

Cece Smith is the President and Owner of Toolbox Studios, an award winning marketing and design firm, as well as co-owner with her husband, Barney of SmithPrint, Inc., a family owned and operated commercial printing company, both in San Antonio.

Born, raised and educated in Illinois, Cece began her professional career at the multinational consumer goods company, Procter & Gamble. There she spent a decade in sales management, marketing, organizational design and strategic planning, honing the skills that would serve her well as she built her own companies after relocating to San Antonio in 1992. A forward thinking innovator and Cross Media Marketing specialist, Cece is known known for her approachable and personable leadership style. The results have been consistent growth and enormous success.

Cece’s focused commitment to excellence and service carries over into her personal life. A devoted wife and mother, she also enthusiastically gives of her time and talent to a multitude of community organizations in various capacities from membership through leadership.

Specialties
Career, Leadership, Practicing Faith, Pro-Life, and Workplace



Deacon Scott Sowell

Deacon Scott Sowell

Deacon Scott spent 20 years in the US Air Force, is the father to four children, has two grandchildren, and works in the Aviation field. His reliance on, and openness to, the Holy Spirit and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, help him serve God and His people in a variety of ways. He enjoys working with others to help them better utilize their own God-given gifts and talents, as well as bringing them into closer relationship with the Lord.

His wife, Diane, is also on PCH Speaker Team.

Specialties
Deliverance, Evangelization, Healing, Holy Spirit, Marriage, Practicing Faith, and Prayer



Deacon Tom Fox

Deacon Tom Fox

Deacon Tom and Mary Jane Fox had a re-awakening of their Catholic faith in the 1980s. While on a trip through the Holy Land, they were directed by a local priest to take a silent walk along the Sea of Galilee. There, Jesus unmistakably spoke to them each.

In September 1986, Deacon Tom and Mary Jane Fox left their respective careers in hotel management and the travel industry to work full-time for St. Matthew Catholic Church. For the first seven years, their main ministry was door-to-door home visitation; in the first few years, they visited over 10,000 families. They also helped establish other outreach ministries at St. Matthew.

In 1992, the Foxes led a group of pilgrims in the Holy Land. After escorting them to the airport, they returned to Jerusalem to spend two weeks in a hermitage in the Garden of Gethsemane. In those two weeks of prayer, they discerned that God wanted them to develop a Catholic evangelization ministry. With the help of friends and benefactors, Pilgrim Center of Hope was founded in June of 1993.

Tom was ordained to the permanent Diaconate in August 1988. They became Oblates of the Congregation of St. John in 1991.

Tom and Mary Jane’s mission has included travel to parishes in California, Kansas, Louisiana, Mexico, and within Texas to give presentations on their ministry experiences, Parish Missions and on Door-to-Door Home Visitation Outreach. In June 1989 and June 1990, they assisted the pastor of St. Ignatius Parish in Belize City, Belize, in a parish-wide evangelization effort.

Their ministry of pilgrimages has led them to Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Eygpt, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Greece and Turkey. Their speciality (and dearest to their hearts) is the Holy Land, having traveled there more than 54 times since 1986.

Their ministry work has been featured in five nation-wide Catholic periodicals and on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) show Living His Life Abundantly in 1995 on the video I Am the Bread of Life, produced by Stepstone Productions, Inc. In February 2008, they received the Catholic Television of San Antonio (CTSA) Leadership Award. In March 2011, they received Guadalupe Radio Network‘s ’Pescadores de Hombres‘ (Fishers of Men) Award. They were invested into the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre in October of 2011. In October 2012, they received the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation’s “Living Stones Award” on behalf of Pilgrim Center of Hope.

“The call we received from the Lord to serve in the field of Catholic evangelization has been a most enlightening, inspirational and challenging vocation!”

Specialties
Jesus, Scripture, and Virgin Mary



Debra Garza

Debra Garza

Debbie Garza is a parishioner of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Leon Springs, and is an experienced Pilgrimage Group Leader with Pilgrim Center of Hope. She has traveled with Pilgrim Center of Hope to the Holy Land, Italy, and Greece. On pilgrimage in Italy, she has spent extensive time in both Rome and Assisi, as well as other holy sites in Turin, Venice, Padua, Siena, and San Giovanni Rotondo.

She has completed the ACTS Spiritual Companion Program at Oblate School of Theology.

She says, “On pilgrimage I know the ears and eyes of my heart have been opened by God’s grace and I’ve experienced the Joy of the Gospel. I am committed to helping other pilgrims experience their personal journey of faith.”

Specialties
Sacred Art and Virgin Mary



Diane Sowell

Diane Sowell

Diane is a dynamic speaker filled with the Holy Spirit and driven to help others. She is a life-long Catholic who has lived in many states as well as overseas in Europe. As a former US Air Force officer, a mother of four children with two grandchildren, and a college educated professional, Diane capitalizes on her vast array of life experiences to relate with a wide variety of people, and help lead others to a fuller understanding of themselves, their values, and their beliefs, as well as bringing them into a closer relationship with the Lord.

Her husband, Deacon Scott, is also on the PCH Speaker Team.

Specialties
Deliverance, Evangelization, Healing, Holy Spirit, Marriage, Practicing Faith, and Prayer



Jeannette Santos

Jeannette Santos

Jeannette Santos is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, and is a certified Spiritual Director. She is a chaplain experienced in hospital and palliative care. Her specialties include grief and loss recovery, and overcoming anxiety based on the Word and healing of Jesus.

With over 40 years of marriage and experience raising five children, and with six grandchildren, her storytelling speaks to the challenges & conflicts that individuals, couples, and families of all stages in life face daily, toward hope & healing.

Specialties
Christian Spirituality, Discernment, Family, Forgiveness, Healing, Marriage, Mental Health, Motherhood, Relationships, Virtue, and Women



Mandi-Bre Watson

Mandi-Bre Watson

Mandi-Bre Watson is a devoted wife, mom of 4 and a small business owner of Veiled in Love. She is also a public speaker and spiritual companion for ACTS. Her passions include sharing the love of Jesus Christ, as well as sewing, writing, reading and spending precious time with family and friends.

Specialties
Family, Marriage, Motherhood, and Sacramentals



Mary Jane Fox

Mary Jane Fox

Mary Jane Fox and her husband had a re-awakening of their Catholic faith in the 1980s. While on a trip through the Holy Land, they were directed by a local priest to take a silent walk along the Sea of Galilee. There, Jesus unmistakably spoke to them each.

In September 1986, Tom and Mary Jane Fox left their respective careers in hotel management and the travel industry to work full-time for St. Matthew Catholic Church. For the first seven years, their main ministry was door-to-door home visitation; in the first few years, they visited over 10,000 families. They also helped establish other outreach ministries at St. Matthew.

In 1992, the Foxes led a group of pilgrims in the Holy Land. After escorting them to the airport, they returned to Jerusalem to spend two weeks in a hermitage in the Garden of Gethsemane. In those two weeks of prayer, they discerned that God wanted them to develop a Catholic evangelization ministry. With the help of friends and benefactors, Pilgrim Center of Hope was founded in June of 1993.

Tom was ordained to the permanent Diaconate in August 1988. They became Oblates of the Congregation of St. John in 1991.

Tom and Mary Jane’s mission has included travel to parishes in California, Kansas, Louisiana, Mexico, and within Texas to give presentations on their ministry experiences, Parish Missions and on Door-to-Door Home Visitation Outreach. In June 1989 and June 1990, they assisted the pastor of St. Ignatius Parish in Belize City, Belize, in a parish-wide evangelization effort.

Their ministry of pilgrimages has led them to Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Eygpt, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Greece and Turkey. Their speciality (and dearest to their hearts) is the Holy Land, having traveled there more than 54 times since 1986.

Their ministry work has been featured in five nation-wide Catholic periodicals and on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) show Living His Life Abundantly in 1995 on the video I Am the Bread of Life, produced by Stepstone Productions, Inc. In February 2008, they received the Catholic Television of San Antonio (CTSA) Leadership Award. In March 2011, they received Guadalupe Radio Network‘s ’Pescadores de Hombres‘ (Fishers of Men) Award. They were invested into the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre in October of 2011. In October 2012, they received the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation’s “Living Stones Award” on behalf of Pilgrim Center of Hope.

“The call we received from the Lord to serve in the field of Catholic evangelization has been a most enlightening, inspirational and challenging vocation!”

Specialties
Angels, Christian Spirituality, Jesus, Pilgrimage, Practicing Faith, Prayer, Sacred Art, Saints, Virgin Mary, and Women



Nan Balfour

Nan Balfour

Nan Balfour is a grateful Catholic whose greatest desire is to make our Lord Jesus more loved. She seeks to accomplish this through her vocation to womanhood, marriage, motherhood and as a writer, speaker and events coordinator for Pilgrim Center of Hope.

Specialties
Practicing Faith, Saints, Virgin Mary, and Women



Ralph Paglia

Ralph Paglia

Ralph has been married to the love of his life, Mary, for more than 50 years. He is a father and grandfather. Ralph retired after serving the United States Air Force in many capacities, including Instructor Pilot.

He is a parishioner at San Francesco di Paola (SFDP) Catholic Church and at St. Matthew Catholic Church in San Antonio. At SFDP, he serves as Lector, Eucharistic Minister, Sacristan, and Altar Server.

Ralph is a Lay Associate of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament.  His formal Promise states; “I wish to live my baptismal consecration according to the charism of Saint Peter Julian Eymard, and I want to place at the center of my life the Paschal Mystery, to contemplate it in prayer and to share with people the life flowing from it.”  He teaches classes to new Associates on the Eucharist, St. Peter Julian Eymard, the Congregation, the Liturgy of the Hours, and Prayer in the Presence of the Eucharist. He also responds to parishes and ACTS teams seeking a presentation or mini retreat on the Eucharist. Ralph has been a committed Eucharistic Adorer at St. Matthew’s Adoration Chapel for the past 23 years.

His leadership in the local Catholic community has also extended to serving as Pilgrim Center of Hope Catholic Men’s Conference Chairman in 2009, ACTS Retreat Director,  spearheading a novena & Masses of Saint Therese for worldwide evangelization, and 7 years teaching high school Confirmation classes at St. Matthew. Additionally, Ralph has planned and organized the Veteran’s Day Mass at his parish, and has served as MC of the program. This was inspired after his 2014 visit to Normandy Cemetery and Normandy Beach in France.

Ralph and his wife are blessed to have been pilgrims to many Marian apparition sites in Europe including Lourdes, Fatima, and the Basilica of Sant Andrea delle Fratte in Rome. Other pilgrimage experiences Ralph can speak about include the Miraculous Medal Chapel in Paris, the Shroud of Turin, the Basilica of St. Therese and her Carmel Convent in Lisieux, France.

Specialties
Eucharist, Men, Sacraments, and Virgin Mary



Renee Polka

Renee Polka

Renee has a background in education, linguistics, and fundraising. She currently works in the non-profit sector raising funds for community health and wellness initiatives. In 2015, Renee attended the Theology of the Body Institute for the Head and Heart Immersion course with Christopher West, and has taken continuing education courses in theology with Father Nathan Cromly of the St. John Institute. She teaches CCD at St. Brigid Church, and considers praying novenas her primary love language. When she is not planning weekend trips with friends, you can find her reading overdue library books, bargain hunting at garage sales with her parents, or endlessly listening to podcasts.

Specialties
Saints, Virgin Mary, and Virtue



Veronica Leal

Veronica Leal

Veronica is a bilingual wife, mother, and lay evangelist.

She says:

As an immigrant to this city, I am thankful to God for leading me to Pilgrim Center of Hope in 2009 where I found different avenues to grow and practice my Catholic faith. Currently, I am involved in different ministries both in my parish St. Pius X, and in other Catholic organizations such as Peregrinos en Accion that is an Spanish evangelization group. In 2010, I realized how beautifully God works in my life by bringing me closer to our Lord Jesus during my first pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I will never forget this life-changing experience. My prayer is to continue serving the people of God by offering to the Church my talents, time, and blessings.

Specialties
Spanish and Virgin Mary



Victor Negron

Victor Negron

Victor is a husband, father, grandfather, practicing lawyer, former judge, past-President of the San Antonio Catholic Lawyers Guild, lay evangelist, Board Member of Pilgrim Center of Hope and A Woman’s Haven.

Judge Negrón became Board Certified in Family Law in 1987. As an author and presenter for various State Bar of Texas Professional Development Programs and University of Texas CLE Programs, he has helped to shape the evolution of family law in the State of Texas. Texas Monthly magazine named him a “Texas Super Lawyer,” and SA Scene Magazine recognized as one of “San Antonio’s Best Lawyers.” Among his many other recognitions are awards from the Archdiocese of San Antonio and from the San Antonio Catholic Lawyers Guild.

As a lay evangelist, Victor has served as a leader for Eucharistic Adoration of San Antonio, Inc., and has been involved with Pilgrim Center of Hope’s evangelizing activities since its early years – formerly as emcee for the Catholic Men’s Conference, and currently as a member of the PCH Board of Directors.

Specialties
Eucharist, Sacramentals, Sacraments, and Virgin Mary



Contact Us

Note for Event Planners

We kindly request that a donation be made to Pilgrim Center of Hope in keeping with the standard policy of the parish/organization immediately following the event directly to Pilgrim Center of Hope. Donations may be made online by credit card or by mailing the donation by check made payable to Pilgrim Center of Hope or PCH to 7680 Joe Newton St., San Antonio, TX 78251.

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