Monica Ashour, MTS, M Hum

Monica Ashour, MTS, M Hum

President, Content Creation, International Speaker

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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

Gabriel and Carola Egusquiza

Trained TOBET speakers, Hablan Español

Gabriel has been involved in church activities since a very young age. He started as a catechist in Lima, Peru. He’s participated in missionary trips for several years with Franciscan priests. Gabriel studied Lab Technology and Physical Therapy, careers that opened the doors of the Southwestern Hospital in Dallas where he worked for several years as a phlebotomist for a heart disease research. Gabriel was also motivated to positively impact his community by founding the Peruvian Association of Dallas Fort Worth (APDFW) in 2002, a non-profit organization that works to promote the integration of the Hispanic, and the American cultures and their rich diversity. For his efforts, and leadership in the APDFW, he’s been invited to the White House on three occasions to be part of celebrations of the Hispanic Heritage.

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.

Patrick Gordon

Patrick Gordon

Content Development, Speaker

Patrick Gordon is currently enrolled in the master’s and doctorate program for philosophy (Institute of Philosophic Studies) at the University of Dallas. He is especially interested in medieval and scholastic philosophy, natural law theory, and, more generally, the intersection of faith and reason. He graduated from Ave Maria University in 2012 with a degree in philosophy and a minor in theology. At Ave Maria University, Patrick was formally introduced to the theology of the body through studying under Dr. Michael Waldstein, one of the primary translators of St. Pope John Paul II’s work.

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

Sheryl Collmer, MTS

Accountant, Speaker, Author

Sheryl Collmer comes to us from California where she planned and taught a variety of adult education series, as well as programs for teens. Her topics have included apologetics, the role of the laity, the Jewish roots of Catholicism and the theology of the body.  Sheryl has taught Scripture and Catholic morality to teens in both high school and youth group settings, and led her parish youth group to World Youth Day in Madrid, Spain in 2011. She is an active Toastmaster, a published author and an endurance athlete. Sheryl holds a Master’s in Theological Studies from the University of Dallas IRPS.
Skip and Trish Welsh

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.  

Sara Rico

Sara Rico

Trained TOBET speaker

Sara Rico grew up on a farm outside of a small town in  Southeast Kansas. She studied at Kansas State University and at the University of Salamanca in Spain before moving to Irving, Texas in 2011 to pursue a Masters Degree in Theology at the University of Dallas Braniff Graduate School. In her time at the University of Dallas, Sara specialized in Moral Theology and Marriage Theology. Sara holds a Bachelor’s in Science from K-State and a Master’s in Theology from the University of Dallas and has taught for six years in a variety of schools: public, private, Catholic, ecumenical, home-school, and tutoring.

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