NCPD Board -

NCPD's hard-working Board of Directors includes a cross-section of the church: Cardinal/Bishops, diocesan directors of disability ministry, people with disabilities and family members, pastoral workers, and other concerned individuals.  The Board decides policies that guide NCPD in its work and passes resolutions on current issues relevant to the Church and Disability. (See also NCPD Board Resolutions under Views/News/Policy.)  Elected members can serve up to two, three-year terms.  The Board has an Executive Committee (the first four persons listed below), and three ministry specific committees (EducationEthics and Public Policy, and Mission).




Episcopal Moderator:
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, D.D.

Archbishop of Louisville

 Before becoming Bishop of Knoxville, Archbishop Kurtz served for 27 years in the Diocese of Allentown, Pennsylvania, in charge of social services, diocesan administration, and parish ministry. He was pastor of Notre Dame of Bethlehem Parish in Bethlehem, PA, from 1996 to 1999, and St. Mary Parish in Catasauqua, PA from 1988 to 1996, associate director and later executive director of the Catholic Social Agency and Family Life Bureau from 1976 to 1994, and diocesan coordinator for health affairs from 1991 to 1998.   He also served in formation at St. Pius X Seminary, as an instructor at Mary Immaculate Seminary, and as the assistant director and promoter of vocations for the Diocese of Allentown. Archbishop Kurtz received the distinguished title of monsignor in 1986.

Archbishop Kurtz has served on numerous boards, including service on the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference from 1977 to 1998 and as the president of the board of directors of the Catholic Social Agency from 1988 to 1999. In Knoxville, Archbishop was a member of the Association of Christian Denominational Leaders from 2000 to 2007 and a member of the 2002 class of Leadership Knoxville.  He served as Vice President of the United State Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) from 2010 to 2013, as the President from 2013 to 2016, and in those capacities also served as a member of the Conference’s executive and administrative committees.  Archbishop was on the board of Leadership Louisville from 2008 to 2014 and on the board of St. Charles Seminary (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) from 2007 to 2014.

Archbishop Kurtz is currently on the Board of Trustees of the Catholic University of America and the Board of Directors of the National Catholic Bioethics Center.



Sr. Kathleen Schipani, IHM

Office for Persons w/ Disabilities and the Deaf Apostolate
Archdiocese of Philadelphia, PA

Sister Kathleen Schipani, who is a member of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters, has an M. ED. in Special Education from the College of New Jersey, a certificate in American Sign Language Studies from Gallaudet University and a B.A. in both Theology and English from Immaculata University.   She has 38 years of teaching experience with children and adults of all abilities.  For the past 28 years she has been a catechist for children and adults who are Deaf.  She has recently co-authored a DVD Curriculum and Teacher Guide entitled Confirmation: Strengthened in Faith, a curriculum for individuals who are deaf. 


R. Greg Schott

Naples, FL


Senior Investment Consultant
Senior Vice President


Serves on the Board of the Schott Center for Persons who are Deaf or Disabled & the Board of the National Catholic Office for the Deaf.    

Marsha Rivas

Toledo, OH

Coordinator, Office for Persons with Disabilities,
Diocese of Toledo;



Marsha is coordinator of the Office for Persons with Disabilities for the Diocese of Toledo in Ohio. She has served in this position for 16 years, providing advocacy and resources to individuals, families, parish and diocesan staff. Previously she was a manager for a non-profit provider of community residential homes for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Marsha holds a Master of Science in Human Development and the Family from the University of Nebraska, and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. She is married to Ruben and has two adult children.



Bishop Mitchell Rozanski 
Bishop of Springfield, Massachusetts


Bishop Rozanski has served on the National Committee for the Protection of Youth and Young People since January 2007. He also serves on the Advisory Council of the National Association of Catholic Chaplains. He was also named the Episcopal Moderator of the National Association of Holy Name Societies on October 1, 2012, a term that runs thru September 30, 2017. He will also serve as the liaison with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Bishop Rozanski is co-chair for the Polish National Church – Roman Catholic Dialogue, Audit Subcommittee of USCCB, Knight Commander of the Royal Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. Bishop Rozanski served on the National Advisory Council of the USCCB for a 3 year term through March 2015 and in November 2013 was elected as chair of the Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs Committee of the USCCB.

Currently, Bishop Rozanski serves as bishop for the diocese of Springfield, a position he was appointed to on June 19, 2014 by Pope Francis.

Dr. Pamela Bernards

Arlington, VA

Director of Professional Development at National Catholic Education Association

Dr. Bernard has broad experience in PK-12 and Higher Education settings as an administrator, a teacher, and a coach. She has worked with leadership at all levels of organizations, and focuses on empowering others to a greater sense of autonomy and personal accomplishment, encourages innovation and risk-taking, and facilitates inquiry-based, collaborative learning experiences.

Dr. Bernard has specialized in:
• Organizational Management – Leadership Development, Professional Development, Team Building, Strategic Planning, School Improvement Planning, Systems Analysis, and Public Speaking.
• Instructional Leadership – Instructional Design, Research-based Teaching Practices, Assessment (including AIMSWeb, STAR Math and Reading, various screeners), Instructional Intervention (remediation and gifted/talented), Data based decision making, RtI (Response to Instruction), Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS), Technology Integration, Curriculum Mapping, Differentiated Instruction, Diversity, and STEAM/STREAM Education.

Walter Bonam

New Orleans, LA

Associate Director of Religious Education for the Archdiocese of New Orleans.


Prior to becoming an associate director in the Office of Religious Education for the Archdiocese of New Orleans in 2004, had served as principal of a PK-8 Catholic school, program coordinator of a Catholic primary school, and as a teacher in New Orleans public high schools. Holder of a M.A. in Theological Studies from Notre Dame Seminary and Graduate School of Theology in New Orleans as well as a English from Emory University, Walter has been married to Jennifer Broyard since 1988, and their daughter, Amanda, is currently a senior at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Walter sustained a spinal cord injury in a July 2011 armed robbery attempt at his home, when a gunshot left him completely paralyzed from the chest down, with limited use of his hands.  

Michael J. Boyle

Chicago, IL

Director, Andrew M. Greeley Center for Catholic Education


Michael J. Boyle is the Director of the Andrew M. Greeley Center for Catholic Education at Loyola University Chicago. Dr. Boyle has worked in education in a variety of settings and roles. As a school psychologist at both the high school and elementary levels, he worked with students across a broad range of areas of exceptionality. He has also served as a special education administrator in several public school districts. Additionally, Dr. Boyle also served as principal in a Catholic elementary school.

Dr. Boyle serves on the governing board of the Journal of Catholic Education. The National Catholic Education Association published Dr. Boyle’s book, Response to Intervention: A Framework for Catholic Schools, in April 2010.   He has also contributed a chapter to the book, "Scholarly Essays on Catholic School Leadership: Research and Insights on Attaining the Mission of Catholic Schools" (NCEA, 2012).  In addition to being a member of the governing board of the NCPD, Dr. Boyle is a member of the Professional Development advisory board of the National Catholic Education Association.
In 2014, Dr. Boyle was named the recipient of the C. Albert Koob Merit Award by the National Catholic Education Association for significant contributions to Catholic education.
Dr. Boyle has provided staff development programs to a number of educational agencies across the country in the areas of mission driven leadership, response to intervention in Catholic schools and inclusion.

John P. Foppe

Breese, IL

Executive Director, 
Society of St. Vincent de Paul
Archdiocesan Council of St. Louis

CEO of Visionary Velocity Worldwide

John’s career in motivation began when his compelling story and methods caught the attention of the legendary Zig Ziglar, who broke his long-standing rule of promoting from within and recruited and mentored John. 

In 1995, John launched a successful corporate motivation business, Visionary Velocity Worldwide, that has taken him to over 25 countries, pro-football organizations like the Miami Dolphins, and to Fortune 500 clients such as Boeing, GE, and State Farm and international companies such as Fortis, ST Microelectronics, and UniCredit.

 He is the author of What’s Your Excuse? Making the Most of What You Have, which has been translated into six foreign languages.  

In the non-profit world, John has put his leadership and motivation skills to work helping the less fortunate by earning a masters degree in Social Service from Saint Louis University and serving as the Executive Director of the Society of St. Vincent De Paul - St. Louis Council.


Dione L. Grillo

Los Angeles, CA

Coordinator of Advanced Catechetical Ministries and Basic Catechist Formation for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Chair of the Archdiocesan’s Special Needs Committee

Mrs. Dione L. Grillo is the former Consultant for Elementary Catechesis for the Archdiocese. She is Chair of the Archdiocesan’s Special Needs Committee and has served as member of the Archdiocesan Early Childhood Board for the past 14 years. Dione is an M.A. Candidate in Pastoral Studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. She has over 20 years experience in the catechetical ministry and parish catechetical leadership. She is a member of the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership where she serves on the Standards and Certification Committee.  

Miguel J. Romero

Newport, Rhode Island

Assistant Professor: Religious and Theological Studies, Salve Regina University

  M.Div., Fuller Theological Seminary (2006) Th.M., Duke University Divinity School (2008) Th.D., Duke University Divinity School (2012)  

Carol Ruddell

Sandy, UT

Project Director at 
Utah State Office of Rehabilitation


Elizabeth R. Schiltz

Minneapolis, MN

University of St. Thomas School of Law Minneapolis, MN. Professor of Law & Thomas J. Abood Research Scholar

Co-Director, Terrence J. Murphy Institute of Catholic Law, Thought, and Public Policy

Born in Frankfurt, Germany, Elizabeth R. Schiltz graduated magna cum laude from Yale University and received her juris doctor from Columbia Law School, where she served on the Columbia Law Review. After law school, she spent a year in Germany as a Robert Bosch Foundation Fellow. Schiltz was in private practice for nine years with law firms in Washington, D.C. (Morrison & Foerster) and Minneapolis, Minn. (Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly and Faegre & Benson), focusing on banking regulation, general corporate law and international law. Most recently, she practiced banking law at Faegre & Benson, Minnesota 's second largest law firm, where, among many other things, she assisted Dayton Hudson Corporation, Fingerhut Companies, Carson Pirie Scott, and other major retailers in obtaining charters for their credit card banks.

Schiltz was a member of the faculty of Notre Dame Law School from 1996 through 2000. She teaches classes in contracts, commercial law, and banking regulation. Her research interests include the relationship of federal and state law in regulating consumer credit, disability and consumer law theory, and feminist legal theory.  Schiltz received the 2007 Dean's Award for Outstanding Scholarship and was elected Professor of the Year by the graduating class of 2007. In 2014, she was recognized with the Good Sister Award by St. Thomas' University Advocates for Women and Equity.
Schiltz is co-director of the Terrence J. Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law and Public Policy and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Catholic Partnership on Disability. She is also a contributor to the Catholic legal theory blog Mirror of Justice. Schiltz is a 1998 graduate of the Partners in Policymaking Academy, a nationwide, state-based training program in disability advocacy.

Cynthia Swanson

Naperville, IL

Social Worker
Disability Advocate

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