CYM Research Seminar9

Keynote Speakers

Fr Chris Ryan MGL       
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Fr Christopher Ryan is a Missionaries of God's Love priest.  During 2007-2008 he was the coordinator of the pilgrimage of the World Youth Day Cross and Icon throughout Australia. After WYD Fr Chris become rector of the MGL’s formation house in Melbourne.

Fr Chris is the author of In the Light of the Cross: Reflections on the Australian Journey of the World Youth Day Cross and Icon (St Paul’s); Bring Forth Hope: Pope Francis speaks to the Youth of the World (St Mary’s Press); and editor of Australian Catholic Youth Ministry: Theological and pastoral Foundations for Faithful Ministry.

Fr Chris is a member of the Australian Catholic Youth Council (ACYC) and chair of their Research Task Group. Fr Chris has an honours degree in theology and is currently working on his PhD in youth ministry.

Teresa McGrath Teresa McG



Teresa McGrath heads up the Youth Evangelisation Office for the Archdiocese of Brisbane. The Youth Evangelisation Office seeks to support youth leaders through training, formation, resourcing, strategic planning and consultation whilst also promoting greater collaboration and coordination between the various youth initiatives. Teresa has been involved in youth ministry for over 15 years and is currently the Executive Officer for ANDYMC (Australian Network of Diocesan Youth Ministry Coordinators). Teresa’s background is in Business Management and she is currently studying her Masters in Theology and Leadership. 


Stephen Reid


Stephen Reid is a Research Officer of the Australian Catholic Bishops Pastoral Research Office.

Stephen has a strong interest and qualifications in theology and social research. His professional background is in private industry, mainly in the finance and retail sectors. Stephen’s responsibilities at the Pastoral Research Office focus on quantitative research, which includes analysing and disseminating data from the Census and working on a national mapping project. Stephen is also a researcher with the Christian Research Association. Stephen is married to Jane, with whom he has three young children.


Dr Trudy Dantis 
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Dr Trudy Dantis is the Director of the Australian Catholic Bishops Pastoral Research Office.

Trudy’s academic background is in Community Resource Management and Social Work. She has recently completed her PhD from the MCD University of Divinity. Her thesis was titled “Tracing the pulse: An investigation into the vitality of Australian Catholic parishes”. Trudy’s principal responsibility has been our Building Stronger Parishes project and other qualitative research.


John M. Vitek 


John M. Vitek currently serves as the president and chief executive officer of Saint Mary’s Press. John has served in church leadership for nearly 30 years, including as a parish youth minister and director of religious education, a diocesan director of youth and pastoral life, and as diocesan chancellor.

He is the author of multiple books for Catholic youth: Living the Questions Jesus Asks: A Guide for Catholic Teens(Saint Mary’s Press, 2002); My Dear Young Friends: Pope John Paul II Speaks to Teens on Life, Love, and Courage (Saint Mary’s Press, 2001), and A Companion Way: Mentoring Youth in Searching Faith (Saint Mary’s Press, 1993).

John holds undergraduate degrees in religious studies and communication arts from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, and a master’s degree in pastoral studies from the School of Divinity at St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Dr Richard RymarzRymarz

Professor Richard Rymarz was born in Melbourne, Australia. He was the inaugural Peter and Doris Kule Chair in Catholic Religious Education, St Joseph’s College, University of Alberta. Before his move to Canada, he worked at the Australian Catholic University and remains an Adjunct Professor there.

He is also an Honorary Research Fellow at both the University of Divinity and the Pastoral Research Office of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. He has returned to Australia to become the Head of Religious Education and Director of Research at BBI – The Australian Institute of Theological Education