Monica Ashour, MTS, M Hum
President, Content Creation, International Speaker
Holding two Masters from the University of Dallas—one in Theological Studies and one in Humanities, Monica Ashour is an international speaker, author of 28 books, President and Director of Content Creation for the Theology of the Body Evangelization Team, known as TOBET. Named in 2010 by the Catholic National Register as one of the top six speakers on Saint John Paul’s seminal work known as the Theology of the Body, Monica and her team have completed a pre-school through 8th-grade program called The Body Matters for schools, faith formation, and family catechesis. It has been called a “game-changer.”
Monica was awarded by the Catholic Press Association for Honorable Mention—First Time Author of a Book, Everybody Has Something to Give. She also received the Excellence in Publishing Award for Children’s Books for her Every BODY Has a Body: God Made Us to Love, from her series called ToB for Kids for 4-7 year-olds and ToB for Tots for 2-5 year-olds, (Pauline Books and Media). Monica and her team wrote the Theology of the Body Marriage Preparation program, lauded by Cardinal Dolan of New York and Archbishop Aquila in Denver. Available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese, this marriage prep program is used throughout the nation.
In May 2015, Miss Ashour was a participant for an ad hoc committee in Washington DC for the Pontifical Council for the Family. In November 2011, Monica presented a talk “Teaching TOB to Teens” at the Theology of the Body International Symposium in Rome. She was also a participant in the International Summit on Lay Leadership with Cardinal Arinze in Rome.
Before becoming an international speaker, Monica served as a campus minister at St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Texas A&M University from 1996 to 1999. There she launched the now nationwide Nun Run, in which young women travel around the nation visiting convents. Before and after her stint at St. Mary’s, Monica enjoyed 20 years teaching theology and literature in grade school and high school classrooms. Monica was the recipient of Bishop (now Cardinal) Farrell’s 2008 Pro-Life Award for Civic Action and was named to the Hall of Fame for her alma mater, Nolan Catholic High School in Ft. Worth. Monica enjoys discussion groups, exercise, bridge, and coaching softball.
Gabriel and Carola Egusquiza
Trained TOBET speakers, Hablan Español
Carola received her education at Maria Auxiliadora, a Catholic school in Lima, Peru. She received formation in her Catholic faith from Salesian priests and nuns at the school, where she also participated in missionary trips, retreats, and Marian groups throughout the years. Carola pursued the Child Growth and Development associates degree in a community college in Dallas; she worked 7 years for the non-profit program ECI (Early Childhood Intervention) where she was a Bilingual Public Outreach Specialist. A freelance muralist, she’s painted murals for children in three WIC (Women Infant and Children) clinics as donations for the cities of Dallas, Irving and Carrollton, TX. Along with her husband Gabriel, she now manages her own business in Dallas.
Since their arrival to the USA, Gabriel and Carola Egusquiza have been continuously involved in evangelization programs together. For about 10 years, they served as facilitators of FOCCUS, a program designed to give pre-nuptial preparation to engaged couples. They’ve also received preparation in the “Prayer and Life Workshops” (TOV) founded by Father Ignacio Larrañaga where, they taught groups, not only how to pray but to learn different ways to hear God in prayer. They discovered TOBET in 2015 when attending a presentation in their parish given by Monica Ashour. She offered them a new opportunity to evangelize by being presenters of the TOBET program for engaged couples for the Spanish speaking community, a challenge that they willingly accepted, and continue to the present day.
Content Development, Speaker
After his undergraduate studies, Patrick returned to his homeland to work at the Pope John Paul II Academy in Montrose, Colorado. There, he taught two years of middle school before stepping into the role of principal for five years. In 2017, he earned a master’s in education administration from Western Colorado University.
Sheryl Collmer, MTS
Accountant, Speaker, Author
Skip and Trish Welsh
Trained TOBET speakers
Trish and Skip have been married for 38 years and are very involved in church activities. Both have attended and completed formation with WELCOME (formerly CRHP). Skip and Trish are also on the WELCOME continuation committee at their church and have been Spiritual Directors for other teams. Skip is a Lecture, EMHC, and enjoys participating in the Men’s Morning Ministry. Trish is also an EMHC and is a participant in Catholic Daughters of America and Sisters in Christ. They both have sponsored new parishioners in the RCIA program and have become members of the RCIA team at their church.
Skip is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Texas A&M in College Station. He became Catholic in 1982 after going through the RCIA program at St. Mary’s in College Station. Skip is a Systems Architect for Schneider Electric, a global energy and automation company.
Trish completed her BS in Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science at the University of Texas at Dallas. Trish was a stay-at-home mom for their two children until returning to the workforce as a data analyst in 2004.
Skip and Trish discovered TOBET in 2017 when they started participating in the Sponsor Couple Program at their church for Engaged Couples. The TOBET program for engaged couples has offered them a way to give back to the church community and help evangelize by being presenters of the TOBET program for engaged couples.
Trained TOBET speaker, Habla Español
Karina Barba es colombiana y vive en Bogotá con su esposo Carlos. Son padres de Simona (10), Mariana (4), Lucía (10 meses) y tres hijos más que ya están en el cielo. Ingeniera Civil con Maestría en Ingeniería de Petróleo y Gas, trabajó durante 7 años en la industria petrolera.
Cuando Karina estaba en la universidad, hizo trabajo voluntario con varios amigos en hogares para niños abandonados. Catequista desde 2008, la Sra. Barba ha servido a la Iglesia Católica en Escocia, Venezuela y Colombia. Ha conducido programas de radio para estaciones católicas enfocados en temas pro-vida y de familia.
Su encuentro con la Teología del Cuerpo se produjo a través de una búsqueda personal después de la pérdida de su bebé por nacer. Así es como un día le llamó la atención un libro, Espiritualidad conyugal de San Juan Pablo II; era el año 2014 y desde entonces no ha dejado de estudiarla.
Karina ha trabajado como profesora de Religión en escuelas católicas de primaria y secundaria asimismo como profesora universitaria de formación humana donde comparte con sus estudiantes reflexiones en torno a las enseñanzas de San Juan Pablo II; antropología, castidad, sexualidad, dignidad humana, moral cristiana, razón y fe, gracia y libertad, dolor y sufrimiento; son temas que trata en sus clases.
También es colaboradora activa de los Centros de Protección al Embarazo para madres en riesgo de aborto. Ha impartido retiros y conferencias a jóvenes, padres de familia y personas consagradas. Karina es nuestra conferencista de los seminarios TOBET en español y también hace parte del equipo de traducción al español del currículo de The Body Matters.
Karina Barba is Colombian and lives in Bogotá with her husband Carlos. They are the parents of Simona (10), Mariana (4), Lucía (10 months) and three children who are already in heaven. A Civil Engineer with MSc in Oil and Gas Engineering, she worked for 7 years in the oil industry.
When Karina was at university, she did volunteer work with her friends for the abandoned children. A catechist since 2008, Mrs. Barba has served the Catholic Church in Scotland, Venezuela, and Colombia. She has hosted radio programs focused on pro-life and family topics for Catholic radio stations.
Her encounter with the Theology of the Body occurred through a personal search after the loss of her unborn baby. This is how one day a book caught her attention, Conjugal Spirituality by Saint John Paul II; it was the year 2014 and since then she has not stopped studying it.
Karina has worked as a teacher of Religion in primary and secondary Catholics schools and as a University professor on subjects of human formation where she shares with her students reflection around the teachings of John Paul II, anthropology, chastity, sexuality, human dignity, Christian morality, reason and faith, grace and freedom, pain and suffering. She is also an active collaborator to the Centers of Protection of Pregnancy for mothers under the risk of abortion. She has given retreats and conferences to young people and parents, consecrated persons. Karina is the Spanish speaker of our TOBET seminars, and she is also part of the team for translating The Body Matters Curriculum into Spanish.
Trained TOBET speaker
In her leisure time, Sara enjoys spending time outdoors (especially in places where stars are actually visible), reading great books, eating good food, and working towards bridging the false divide between Faith and Reason in modern culture. She maintains close ties to the University of Dallas and the nearby Cistercian Monastery where she regularly attends mass. If she could go back in time in order to meet any historical figure (other than Jesus), she would definitely choose St. John Chrysostom. Or St. Joan of Arc. Or Boethius (in order to save his lost works on Math & Science in the Quadrivium).
Though teaching middle school and high school is both a full-time job and a full-time ministry, Sara loves taking the time to be a guest speaker for TOBET and for other Catholic and ecumenical organizations in the DFW area. Sara has had the pleasure of speaking on a variety of topics; lately this has included:
- Sentimentality vs. True Compassion, TOBET
- Virtue and Vice: Getting Life in Order, St. Monica’s Catholic Church
- The True Purpose of Marriage: Q&A session in response to the Obergefell vs. Hodges Supreme Court decision, CSD
- Gender Identity Issues: Charity in Truth, TOBET
- Virtue in the Professional World, Young Catholic Professionals
- Catholic Social Justice: Rights and Responsibilities, St. Monica’s Catholic Church
- The Beatitudes: How to be Happy, RCIA Guest Speaker
- The Relationship between Classical Mathematics and Theology, Faculty Lyceum
- Star-gazing: Life to the Tune of the Music of the Spheres, The Lewis-Tolkien Society
Susanna Van Vickle
Trained TOBET speaker
Susanna VanVickle is a wife and mother of five. She wears many hats: teacher, pro-life volunteer, Catholic speaker, and dyslexia practitioner… and now, TOBET Spanish team member is added to the list. Susanna was raised as a Catholic foreign missionary and became a fluent Spanish speaker through her time in missions. She loves the vision and work of TOBET and feels honored to serve in whatever capacity God asks of her.