Presenters

featured in Living Our Faith in Love

The presenters of our online Pre-Cana are experts in their fields. They were selected for this course because they are relatable and engaging, all with a heartfelt desire to encourage meaningful conversations as you prepare to be married.

Dustin and Bethany Riechmann

Dustin and Bethany Riechmann have been married nearly 20 years and are raising three energetic kids. Authors of the book, 15-Minute Marriage Makeover, they are also the founders of Engaged Marriage; a site devoted to helping other married couples live a life they love, especially when they feel too busy to make it happen. They are regularly featured experts on a variety of media outlets and marriage-building programs reaching around the world.

The Riechmanns are deeply devoted Catholics who serve in a variety of ministries throughout the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois. Dustin and Bethany are also promoters of Natural Family Planning, sharing their experiences with engaged couples through the Pre-Cana and FOCCUS programs within their Diocese.

Presenters Jay and Laura Laffoon

Jay and Laura Laffoon

Michigan native Jay Laffoon has earned degrees in Biblical Literature and Music. His wife, Laura, grew up in Georgia and holds a degree in Social Ministries. Both Jay and Laura previously served on staff at Youth for Christ.

They recently served on staff at Mt. Pleasant Community Church, coordinating their Marriage and Family Care ministry. The Laffoons are part of an exclusive group of certified instructors for Dynamic Communications International.

Together, Jay and Laura have authored numerous books. They live in Michigan, where they raised two children and founded Celebrate Ministries, Inc. in 1995.

Michelle Shepley

Michelle Shepley is a Community Bank President and Senior Mortgage Sales Manager at a regional midwest bank. She holds a degree in Marketing and Design and has been married for over 30 years.

Mrs. Shepley has a lifetime of finance experience, beginning in the early 1980s with her family-run business. Raised in a Catholic family and active within her parish today, Michelle has volunteered her time and expertise by conducting Financial Literacy courses.

Dr. Patricia Cooney Hathaway

Dr. Patricia Cooney Hathaway is a professor at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan, teaching in the areas of spirituality and theology. She earned a Master’s Degree in Religious Studies as well has a Ph.D in Systematic Theology, Spirituality, Human and Spiritual Development, both from the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

Judge Thomas Hathaway was elected to the Third Judicial Circuit Court in November of 2016 and is assigned to the Criminal Division. He practiced as a trial attorney for over 30 years of a national law practice in a wide range of constitutional, employment, corporate, business, and admiralty matters.

Judge Hathaway is a graduate of Detroit Catholic Central High School, the College of the Holy Cross, and Vanderbilt University School of Law.

He is married to Dr. Patricia Cooney-Hathaway and they have two adult children.

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