Our College of Advisors

Catholic Conscience is blessed with an outstanding board of advisors. We look to our advisors for guidance in all aspects of our mission, including our understanding of the Church and its teachings; civics and the economy; life, families, and community; parties, platforms, and politics; and the many complex issues facing our society. Each of our advisors brings unique talents, passions, and expert perspectives, and shares them generously in shaping our mission. Like all others involved with Catholic Conscience,  each of our advisors has agreed to provide their advice – whatever their expertise – with our commitment to non-partisan promotion of the full range of Catholic social teachings firmly in mind.


Jo-Ann Davis
Politics & Civic Engagement

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Jo-Ann Davis is one our original advisors, going back to her participation, as a candidate, in our very first all-candidates’ meeting. In addition to helping us find our feet, Jo-Ann has led successful strategic change initiatives for some of Canada’s largest corporations, as well as provincial ministries and agencies, as a Senior Associate with the boutique consulting firm Leman Group based in Toronto.

Jo-Ann was the Ontario Liberal Party candidate for University-Rosedale in 2018, and is former Chair and Vice Chair of the Board, and elected trustee of the Toronto Catholic District School Board (2010 – 2018). One of her many acts as trustee was to create the Catholic Social Justice committee based on the social doctrine of the Church with the mandate to advise the Board on policies, programs and services which close the learning opportunity gaps for school communities in need. She was Co-Founder of Unlock Democracy Canada, Board member of HelpAge Canada, and National Council member of Fair Vote Canada.

Jo-Ann is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Young People’s Theatre, Space Place Canada, and the Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy, as well as Past-President of the Canadian International Council – Toronto Chapter.

Jo-Ann studied at St Michael’s College, University of Toronto, the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London, the London School of Economics and Politics (LSE) and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She and her family are currently parishioners and volunteers at St Joan of Arc church. Their two dogs, Gizmo and Bailie, were blessed at the parish on the feast day of St Francis of Assisi.

Neil McCarthy
Media, Politics & Civic Engagement

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Another of our earliest and most active advisors, Neil MacCarthy is Director of Public Relations & Communications for the Archdiocese of Toronto. Neil was born and raised in Toronto. He received his Bachelor of Applied Arts in Radio and Television Broadcasting from Ryerson University.

Since 1995, Neil has worked for the Archdiocese of Toronto, in numerous roles: Director of Youth Ministry, Communications Manager for the annual charitable appeal, and, since 2006, as Director of Public Relations & Communications. In his current role, Neil is responsible for directing internal and external communications, public relations, government relations & media relations for the Archdiocese of Toronto. He serves as the lead spokesman for the archdiocese as well as the press secretary to Cardinal Thomas Collins.

Fr. Peter Turrone
Faith, Reason, & Academic Outreach

Another of our earliest and most active advisors, Fr. Peter Turrone is a priest for the Archdiocese of Toronto. He completed his undergraduate degree in psychology from York University and earned his masters and doctorate degrees in medical science and neuroscience at UofT. After graduating from U of T, he completed his philosophy degree through the Oratory of St. Phillip Neri and later completed his Theology degree at the Pontifical Urban University in Rome. He worked as missionary amongst the poor in the Mongolian desert for almost three years. He was ordained to the priesthood in September 2012 and was appointed as associate pastor at St. Clare of Assisi. As of 2016, he has been serving as the Executive Director of the Newman Centre Catholic Mission and Pastor of St John Henry Newman Catholic Church.

Sabrina Chiefari
Ecology and Outreach

Sabrina M. Chiefari, BES, is a Catholic Environmental Educator from Tkaronto/Toronto. As Creation Care Animator for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto, she’s a long time proponent of Deep Ecology and Integral Ecology.

Since 2001, she’s used story-telling and a Socratic approach to help people from every walk-of-life understand how to act wisely towards our air, water and earth.

 

 

Louise Coutu
Care for the Vulnerable; an Economy to Serve People

Louise Coutu is Executive Director of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Greater Toronto Central Council. The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul is a lay Catholic organization whose mission is to live the Gospel message by serving Christ through our neighbours in need with love, respect, justice and joy. Members of the Society are committed to turning concern into action and do so through a wide array of charitable activities.

John Milloy
Politics & Civic Engagement
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From 2003 to 2014, John Milloy served as the member of provincial parliament (MPP) for Kitchener Centre, holding five cabinet portfolios. Prior to that he worked on Parliament Hill as a political adviser to a number of senior cabinet ministers as well as spending five years on the senior staff of former prime minister Jean Chrétien. Today, he is an Assistant Professor of Public Ethics at Martin Luther University College, and Director of the Centre for Public EthicsFrom 2003 to 2014, John Milloy served as the member of provincial parliament (MPP) for Kitchener Centre, holding five cabinet portfolios. Prior to that he worked on Parliament Hill as a political adviser to a number of senior cabinet ministers as well as spending five years on the senior staff of former prime minister Jean Chrétien. Today, he is an Assistant Professor of Public Ethics at Martin Luther University College, and Director of the Centre for Public Ethics.

Holly Raj
Life, Family, & Community
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Holly Raj is the Executive Director of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys FertilityCare, a natural fertility and family-planning agency. She is a Creighton FertilityCare System practitioner with an undergraduate degree in Modern & Ancient History from Carleton University and a Master’s degree in Education from Central Michigan University. Holly has previously worked in corporate training and private post-secondary education and is a member of St. Joseph’s Parish in Bowmanville.

Fr Morgan V. Rice, OSB
Parish Engagement

Fr. Morgan Rice is the Pastor of St. Basil’s Catholic Parish at the University of St. Michael’s College, in downtown Toronto. Fr. Morgan comes to St. Basil’s after having served as Associate Pastor at St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in Rochester, New York, for eight years. Born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas, Fr. Morgan studied mechanical engineering at the University of Virginia and later worked for six years in the engineering field in Houston, Texas. It was there that he met the Basilian Fathers at St. Anne Parish and began to discern seriously the priesthood and religious life. The first Basilian he met there was Fr. Tom Mailloux who was pastor at St. Basil’s in the 1990s and the first Basilian pastor at the parish in Rochester.

Fr. Morgan is no stranger to Toronto since he spent four years studying in the Faculty of Theology at the University of St. Michael’s College. After completing his Master of Divinity degree, Fr. Morgan moved to Rochester but was ordained to the priesthood in his home parish in Texas on November 21, 2009. Fr. Morgan enjoys being back in Toronto where he explores the many good things it offers while serving and getting to know the people of St. Basil’s.

Agnes Richard
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Working with an Advisory Circle, Faith & the Common Good, and with GCCM International, Agnes Richard is Coordinator of the Global Catholic Climate Movement – Canada, a nation-wide network of Catholics focused on raising awareness of the Papal Encyclical Laudato Si’, and inspiring Catholics to act publicly to bring the values of ecological justice to life in Canada. She is a Climate Reality Leader trained with Hon. Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project.

In addition to Catholic Conscience, Agnes is an advisor to several community activist groups, including the “For the Love of Creation” general working group, the “Forum for Integral Human Ecology” of Catholic Conscience, and the Advisory Circle for Villa St. Joseph Ecology and Spirituality Centre.

Agnes is the mother of two lovely daughters, and works to ensure they inherit a just, stable, and sustainable environment in which to thrive.

Daniel Santoro
Legal Affairs & Legislation

The originator and producer of the monthly Legal Scan updates, Daniel Santoro helps Catholic Conscience and a number of interested dioceses stay current on issues of interest to Catholics, by providing both updates and critical analysis of developing cases and legislation at the national and provincial levels across Canada.   Daniel is a lawyer in Ontario with an active public law practice encompassing administrative law, criminal law, education law, and constitutional law. Since starting his practice in 2007, he has defended many indigent and marginalized people in their various plights with local, provincial, and federal governments.

Dr. Brett Salkeld
Politics & the Church

Dr. Brett Salkeld is Archdiocesan Theologian for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Regina, where he is responsible for deacon formation. Brett is the author of Can Catholics and Evangelicals Agree about Purgatory and the Last Judgment? and How Far Can We Go? A Catholic Guide to Sex and Dating (with Leah Perrault). He is currently working on a book for Catholic teachers tentatively titled Making Every Class Catholic.

Brett is a sought-after speaker on many topics related to the Catholic faith. He also serves the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops as a member of the Roman Catholic-Evangelical Dialogue in Canada. His weekly podcast with Deacon Eric Gurash is called Thinking Faith! Brett has a large back catalogue of blog posts at both Vox Nova and sAsk-a-theologian.

Brett was baptized in St. Wenceslaus Parish in Gerald, Saskatchewan, where he grew up. He now lives with his wife Flannery and their six children in Regina.

Paul Schratz
Media, Engagement, & Politics

Paul Schratz is editor of the B.C. Catholic newspaper, a publication of the Archdiocese of Vancouver.  He has been instrumental in helping Catholic Conscience grow into a truly pan-Canadian organization, and we are deeply indebted to him.

As editor of the B.C. Catholic, Paul generates and inspires articles and editorials that spur Catholics to levels of awareness and engagement.  A true leader, he gets the best out of those he works with, with the result that – as he puts it – “half-baked story concepts get turned into award-winning articles. Murky design suggestions become first-class illustrations and layouts.”

Paul writes a deadline-driven column, and has a keen eye for finding talented writers and talking them into contributing columns, features, and op-ed articles.  He also has a tremendous talent for guiding and inspiring novice civil evangelizers, perhaps with help from the Blessed Lady looking over his shoulder.

Michael Swan
Media, Politics & Engagement

Michael Swan is a writer and photographer who has worked at Canada’s national Catholic weekly, The Catholic Register, since 1999. In 30 years of reporting and editing he has filed stories from two dozen countries. He’s worked on dailies, weeklies and monthlies and been published in newspapers and magazines across Canada. He is also author of a history of Toronto’s Out of the Cold program for the homeless. His Novalis book on prayer, Written on My Heart, has just been published in French as Gravées Sur Mon Coeur. Forthcoming in the spring of 2021, also from Novalis, is Here With Us: A Parish Guide to Welcoming People With Dementia.

Michael has a  special gift for encouraging active Christian engagement.  He was among our earliest guides and supporters.

Daniel Torchia
Media & Small Businesses

Daniel Torchia is Managing Director and Partner at Torchia Communications Inc., where he engages his passion in enhancing the world through ethical and symmetrical communications. His belief: that the world is made better when organizations communicate transparently, listen attentively to their publics and seek mutual understanding and compromise while respecting the mission or vocation that is inherent in every enterprise (and human heart!) – to love God and serve one another.

On a daily basis, Daniel guides organizations in their corporate and brand communications work in a variety of industries including consumer packaged goods, foodservice, retail, manufacturing, sports and major events, not-for-profit/charitable and religious sectors. In close collaboration with clients and team members, Daniel has helped to build communications departments that deliver value – inside and outside of an organization. This includes Media Relations, Donor Communications, Events, Sponsorships, Internal Communications, Advertising, Digital Communications and other Marketing-Communications initiatives.

A measurement-oriented practitioner with experience in marketing, entrepreneurship and international business, Daniel has a particular passion for integrated communications that combine traditional (timeless) best practices as well as new technology and media. Through Agency-led Community Giving programs, Daniel has played an important role in helping to raise millions of dollars to well-deserving charities and for important causes.

 

 

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