Monica Ashour, MTS; M Hum, Executive Director
Holding two Masters from the University of Dallas—one in Theological Studies and one in Humanities, Monica Ashour is an author, national speaker, and President 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 has published several works:
• ToB for Tots for 1-4 year olds
• ToB for Kids for 5-8 year olds, based on the Theology of the Body, published by Pauline Books and Media.
Monica and her team wrote the Theology of the Body Marriage Preparation book. TOBET’s marriage prep program has been lauded by Cardinal Dolan of New York and Archbishop Aquila in Denver. Monica is also published through Ascension Press including:
• “Social Networking: How to Plug in without Tuning Out”
• The Parent’s Guide for The Theology of the Body for Teens: Middle School Edition
• She was the consultant for The Theology of the Body for Teens: Middle School Edition
She was a participant in May 2015 for an ad hoc committee for the Pontifical Council for the Family with Archbishop Paglia who advises Pope Francis. In November of 2011, Monica presented a talk about how to teach teens TOB 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 a national 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 the high school classroom.
Monica was the recipient of Bishop Farrell’s 2008 Pro-Life Award for Civic Action and was recently named to the Hall of Fame for her alma mater, Nolan Catholic High School in Ft. Worth. 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.
Sheryl Collmer, Director of Evangelization Outreach Development
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 young 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.
Gabriel & Carola Egusquiza (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 since then have been working to promote the integration of the Hispanic, and the American cultures and they rich diversity. For his efforts, and leadership in the APDFW, he’s been invited in three occasions to the White House to be part of celebrations of the Hispanic Heritage.
Carola received all her basic education in “Maria Auxiliadora,” a catholic school in Lima, Peru. She received all her catholic teachings from the Salesian priests and nouns at school, where she also participated of 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. 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’ve been facilitators of FOCCUS, a program designed to give pre-nuptial preparation to engaged couples. They’ve also participated of the “Prayer and Life Workshops” (TOV) founded by father Ignacio Larrañaga, where after receiving a preparation to be guides, 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, challenge that they willingly accepted, and have been doing to the present.
Daniel Lehew, Certified Speaker
Raised in a Catholic family but lured away from the Lord in high school by worldly attractions before returning to the Church, Daniel Lehew is especially equipped to reach teens and adults in what it means to live the Theology of the Body. His journey back to the Lord set him on a new path, including time in seminary before discerning he was called to marriage. Daniel has a Degree in Philosophy from Dominican University, is a certified speaker for TOBET, and is a certified personal trainer, wanting to help people grow physically and spiritually. He also volunteers with the youth ministry program at his parish. Passionately in love with Jesus and the Church, Daniel shares that zeal with others as an absolutely dynamic speaker. Daniel lives with his wife Naomi and their son Elijah in Coppell, Texas.
Isaac & Gabbi Cotherman, Certified Speakers
Gabbi and Isaac have been involved with TOBET since early 2013, attending the weekly study group and volunteering at TOBET events. Gabbi, a cradle Catholic, graduated from University of Dallas with a degree in History, and Isaac received a degree in Philosophy from SMU, where he converted to Catholicism on Easter 2011. They met and got to know each other at the TOBET study group, started dating in May of 2013, and were married May 23, 2015! The Theology of the Body greatly informs the approach they take to their marriage: making a gift of themselves to each other in order to grow deeper in relationship with God.
John Austin, Certified Speaker
John Austin is currently working on his Master’s Degree in Theological and Pastoral Studies at the University of Dallas. He is happily married to his wife, Kim, celebrating 23 years of marriage with their 3 children that attend The Highlands School in Irving, Texas. Employed at Abbott Medical Optics, he is responsible for sales of LASIK lasers to eye surgeons across the southern US and Puerto Rico, and he speaks at conferences relating to the eye care industry. He was involved with Fullness of Truth Catholic Evangelization Ministries in Houston before moving to the Dallas area. Since moving to Dallas, John has been involved in his men’s group organizing silent retreats for adults, teaching Theology of the Body to married couples, and helping facilitate retreats for middle school kids. Theology of the Body has transformed his marriage and his family. He hopes and prays that his witness on TOB will help transform others lives as well.
Amy and Daniel Northrop, Certified Speakers
Amy and Daniel have been married for 13 years and have 5 children. Daniel works as an independent contractor for a law firm headquartered in Philadelphia. In addition to her primary role as wife and mother, Amy is pursuing a Masters Degree in Theological Studies from the Institute of Pastoral Theology through Ave Maria University. She is also a math tutor for middle and high school students.
Together Daniel and Amy are speakers for TOBET’s Marriage Preparation Program, bringing to it their combined knowledge and experience of love within the marriage vocation and the truths of John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. They are vibrant and engaging and are a valuable resource for anyone who wants to better understand Theology of the Body and how to live it out in everyday life.