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.
Skip and Trish Welsh
Trained TOBET speakers
Trish and Skip have been married for 40 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, Bilingual in English and Spanish
Karina Barba es colombiana y vive en Bogotá con su esposo Carlos. Son padres de Simona, Mariana, Lucía y tres hijos más que ya están en el cielo. Mamá homeschooler, 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 recibido formación en el Instituto de Teologia del Cuerpo de Filadelphia y en TOBET con Mónica Ashour.
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. Ella desarrolló y dicta un curso sobre TDC para la batalla cultural.
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 la directora de formación hispana, 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, Mariana, Lucía, and three children who are already in heaven. A Homeschooler mom, 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 received formation at The Theology of the Body Institute and at TOBET with Monica Ashour.
She 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 reflections about the teachings of John Paul II, anthropology, chastity, sexuality, human dignity, Christian morality, reason and faith, grace and freedom, pain and suffering. She has also developed and taught a course on TOB for the cultural battle. Mrs. Barba is an active collaborator to the Centers for Protection of Pregnancy for mothers at 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 Hispanic Formation Director, and she is also part of the team for translating The Body Matters Curriculum into Spanish.
Trained TOBET Speaker, Assistant Director of Content Creation
Gabriel’s entire life he has fought hard to study and understand the nature of love from the inside out. He first began his studies of the Theology of the Body at Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he received his degree in Theology and Philosophy. He remembers stumbling across the Theology of the Body by John Paul II, before his Senior Year of college. He said to himself, “You know, I’ve heard this is a good book. I’ve got some time. Maybe I should read it.” After that moment, Gabriel was hooked. He’d end up doing his senior thesis on the Circumcision of the Heart and the Consumption of Shame through Love (two themes in the Theology of the Body). He would later continue his education on this topic by studying Theology in Marriage and Family at the John Paul II Institute in Washington, DC. This education definitively transformed the way he viewed the world into a magnificent whole.
While Gabriel spent time working for NET Ministries helping to transform people’s faith lives, it wasn’t until he began speaking for The Culture Project International giving talks on Sexual Integrity and the Dignity of the Human Person that Gabriel began to see how the timeless truths in the Theology of the Body could be seen in his life and in his culture. It was as if a beautiful black and white painting (which he received in studying the Theology of the Body) began to take on vibrant color. As he prepared to give chastity talks to High School students, he began to see the objective truth of love in his life experiences, in the experiences of those dear to him, in music, in art, in books, and in movies. Ever since then he has been spending his life trying to see the beauty of the Theology of the Body in every aspect of life and culture. This is his mission and his deepest longing: to help others see this transformative truth.
Sheryl Collmer, MTS
Accountant, Speaker, Author
Sheryl Collmer has 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 taught Scripture and Catholic morality to teens in both high school and youth group settings. She is a Toastmaster, published author and endurance athlete. Sheryl holds a Master’s in Theological Studies from the University of Dallas IRPS.
Content Development, Speaker
Patrick Gordon grew up in a small town in southwest Colorado, so naturally, many of his favorite pastimes involve hiking, skiing, camping, or spending time with friends at microbreweries. After high school, Patrick attended Ave Maria University near Naples, Florida, majoring in philosophy and minoring in theology. There, he grew in his love for the Catholic Faith and experienced the joy of being 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 college, he returned to his hometown in Colorado, teaching middle school for two years and serving as the principal for five years at the Pope John Paul II Academy. With the present intention of returning to teach in the classroom, he is now in his third year of graduate studies at the University of Dallas pursuing a PhD in Philosophy.
Patrick joined TOBET in 2020, and serves as the content creation assistant director.
Susanna Van Vickle
Trained TOBET speaker
Susanna fue criada en una familia misionera católica, sirviendo a los pobres y evangelizando en Colombia, México, Nueva Zelanda, Filipinas y Micronesia. Recibió una licenciatura en Teología de la Universidad Franciscana de Steubenville. En FUS, conoció a su esposo, Michael VanVickle, y ambos se convirtieron en misioneros de tiempo completo con Family Missions Company trabajando en China, Tailandia y México. Susanna y Michael han estado casados por más de 20 años y tienen 5 hijos.
Desde que ellos regresaron a los Estados Unidos de las misiones extranjeras, Susanna ha tenido muchos roles, incluyendo activista pro-vida, coordinadora de un ministerio de madres, voluntaria de ministerios para personas sin hogar, especialista en dislexia y maestra de educación secundaria, primaria, e en casa. Diariamente, Susanna se esfuerza por vivir una vida misionera en el mundo secular, eso ahora incluye la proclamación de la verdad de TOB en español.
Susanna was raised in a Catholic foreign missionary family, serving the poor and evangelizing in Colombia, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Micronesia. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Theology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville. At FUS, she met her husband, Michael VanVickle, and they both became full-time missionaries with Family Missions Company working in China, Thailand, and Mexico. Susanna and Michael have been married for over 20 years and have 5 children.
Since settling in the USA, Susanna has worn many hats, including homeschool mom, pro-life activist, high school (& now Second grade) teacher, mothers ministry coordinator, homeless ministry volunteer, and dyslexia practitioner. Ultimately, Susanna strives to live a missionary life in the secular world- which now includes proclaiming the powerful truth of TOB in Spanish.
Alex and Tony Perez
Trained TOBET speaker, Bilingual in English and Spanish
Alex y Tony están felizmente casados desde el año 2001. Ella es de origen Colombiano y él
Mexicano, se conocieron, enamoraron y casaron en Estados Unidos. Ellos han sido bendecidos
con 3 hijos, Sebastián, Gabriela y Nicolás. Como familia católica participan activamente en el
ministerio de Jornada Familiar de Dallas desde el año 2001, impartiendo pláticas y en retiros
Tony ayuda en varias Iglesias locales a través del ministerio de la música, forma parte del
ministerio de Padres y Madres Orantes y es guitarrista del grupo de alabanzas 5Evangelio con el
cual dan predi-conciertos en Iglesias de Dallas y sus alrededores.
Alex es catequista y miembro del Grupo Mujer de la Iglesia El Buen Pastor, en donde continúa
con su formación y apoya dando temas. Además disfruta siendo voluntaria en las escuelas de
sus hijos, quienes también los acompañan en algunas de éstas actividades, y son parte del
grupo Jóvenes DFW.
La Teología del Cuerpo llegó a sus vidas en el año 2020 dándoles la oportunidad de traducir los
libros “The Body Matters” y participar de las capacitaciones para matrimonios, aprendiendo así
las enseñanzas de San Juan Pablo II, por medio del programa que Monica Ashour ha escrito.
Juntos disfrutan crecer con sus hijos y tener a Dios como centro de su hogar, viviendo la verdad
del Amor. Les encanta viajar y pasar tiempo en familia.
Alex and Tony have been happily married since 2001. She is from Colombia and he is from
Mexico. They met, fell in love and got married in the United States. They have been blessed
with 3 children: Sebastian, Gabriela and Nicolas. As a Catholic family, they have actively
participated in Dallas’ “Jornada Familiar” (a family ministry) since 2001, giving marital talks and
helping with marriage retreats.
Tony helps in several local churches through the ministry of music, and he is also in the Ministry
of Praying Parents and a guitarist for the praise band 5Evangelio (fifth Gospel) with which they
perform in churches in and around Dallas.
Alex is a catechist and member of the Women’s Group of The Good Shepherd Church, where
she continues her formation and gives talks. She also enjoys volunteering at her children’s
schools. Their children also accompany them in some of these activities and are part of the DFW Youth
The Theology of the Body came into their lives in 2020, giving them the opportunity to translate
the books “The Body Matters”; and participate in the training for married couples, thus learning
the teachings of Saint John Paul II, through the program that Monica Ashour has written.
Together they enjoy growing up with their children and having God as the center of their home,
living the truth of Love. They love traveling and spending time with their family.
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