Speakers and Presentations

 

Meet Our Speakers

Dr. Monique Ruberu

Dr. Monique Ruberu is a daughter of The King, a wife to an amazing husband and a mother to five adorable kiddos (2 in heaven).

Dr. Ruberu is a convinced Catholic and a Napro Technology trained Pro Life Ob/Gyn who owns and operates “Natural Women’s Health”- a private gynecology practice (naturalwomenshealth.com).  She provides international online health and fertility coaching through her practice.

Dr. Ruberu speaks internationally and accepts speaking engagements through drruberu4life.com.  She loves speaking about her conversion story, pro life issues, chastity, and the importance of faith.

Dr. Ruberu is the author of  “Rising with Roses.” A book about her faith journey which brought her from a broken marriage to an amazing and precious relationship God.

Dr. Ruberu co-leads two 40 days for life – 365 campaigns in downtown Philadelphia. She serves on the national 40 days for life board. In addition she  is a pro life advocate and trained sidewalk counsellor. She loves to salsa dance, spend time with her Lord in mass and adoration, scuba dive, travel and love on her family.

Marlene Downing

Marlene Downing is  is a mother of two, author, public speaker, former director of HOPE Pregnancy Center, Deputy State Director at Susan B Anthony Pro-Life America and a board member of Philadelphia Pro Life Union.

Marlene is a dedicated community leader who brings awareness to tough issues facing society. Her desire is to create opportunity for organic conversations, wholeness and healing. Her wisdom in these areas is based on her own personal experience.

Joe Zalot

Dr. Joe Zalot joined the National Catholic Bioethics Center as a Staff Ethicist in July 2017. Among his other duties, he produces and hosts the NCBC’s Bioethics on Air podcast, compiles its bi-monthly Bioethics Public Policy Report, and responds to approximately 400 ethics consultations per year. He also lectures for the NCBC and has authored multiple statements, guides, and book chapters for NCBC publications.

Prior to coming to the NCBC, Joe served from 2015-2017 as the Regional Director of Ethics and Spiritual Care for Mercy Health-Cincinnati. In this role he chaired the regional ethics committee, reviewed and drafted ethics and spiritual care policies, and initiated a nurse ethics education program. During this time, he also served as a Lecturer at the Athenaeum of Ohio/Mount St. Mary’s Seminary where he taught courses in Medical Ethics and Morality and Justice in Catholic Life. From 2004-2009, he was an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Ethics at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, and from 2009-2015 an Associate Professor with tenure. At Mount St. Joseph, he taught courses in Health Care Ethics, Business Ethics, Sexual Ethics, and Christian Marriage. He also taught student travel courses to Rome that integrated the Catholic faith with history and art. Joe earned a Ph.D. from Marquette University in 2002, an M.Ed. from Boston College in 1997, an M.Ed. from Springfield College in 1991, and a BA from St. Anselm College in 1989. He has authored two books along with numerous articles, and he has presented at academic conferences both domestically and internationally.

Joe is the founder and President of Dr. Z Travel, LLC, a faith-based travel company that offers educational and parish pilgrimage trips to Europe. He is married to his wife Susan (1994) and they have a daughter, Maria.

Joe Downey

Dr. Joseph B. Downey is an educator, achieving the nation’s most prestigious awards for excellence in Music.  He was previously Teacher of the Year for Burlington County, New Jersey.  He’s a former Mayor, and a Counselor for A Baby’s Breath.

Joe is a member of  St. Marks Knights of Columbus Bristol Council 906, and a Pro-Life Activist.

Christina Rodia

Christy Rodia is a wife, mother of two, and most importantly a daughter of Christ. She grew up in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Before knowing the Lord, Christy found herself with an unexpected and high risk pregnancy. Christy chose life, which brought blessings greater than she could ever have imagined. Roman 8:28

Melanie Winter

 Melanie Winter is a wife, mother of five, and Catholic convert. She is a women’s health nurse practitioner at Amnion Pregnancy Care Medical Center in Drexel Hill and Norristown locations. She came to Amnion as God was calling her deeper into her faith and unleashing a passion for women, the unborn and their families, in her heart.  

Melanie’s own journey of faith has been challenged and deepened while working with women and men who are struggling with decisions of life and death. Her passion and desire are to educate women and men on the front lines, while extending to them, the love of Jesus.  

Andrew Jacoby 

Andrew Jacoby is an entrepreneur and a recent convert to the catholic faith. Life issues were one of the main catalysts for his conversion and he is a passionate advocate for the protection of human life from conception to natural death. He is the Co-Founder of First Fishermen Media and the MenForLife Podcast 

Lizzie McNulty

Lizzie McNulty grew up in Herndon, Virginia and graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville after studying Special Education.

Lizzie moved to Pennsylvania in 2020 to work at a pregnancy resource center in Philadelphia after hearing the call to serve God’s most vulnerable population. This center was located directly across the street from one of the state’s largest Planned Parenthoods. Working there, she was able to observe first-hand both the realities and the evils of abortion, and her passion for being a voice for those that don’t have one yet grew intensely. Since then she has decided to dedicate her life to protecting life at every stage and hopes to play a role in transforming this culture of death and violence to one of life and love.

Lizzie currently resides in Ardmore, Pennsylvania and serves the Pro-Life Generation as Students for Life’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator. This work includes training and educating students about abortion on campuses in Pennsylvania and Delaware, organizing pro-life events and rapidly responding to pro-abortion events in the area, and continually developing relationships with pro-life groups in her community.

Lizzie can be contacted at emcnulty@studentsforlife.org.

Julie Kilmer

Julie Kilmer is in senior at the University of Scranton majoring in criminal justice. She is in Army ROTC and will commission in May 2023. Julie serves as the Students for Life club president at the University. On June 24th, celebrating outside the supreme court for the reversal of Roe v. Wade, Julie was motivated to spread the pro-life message to her community.

Julie is the fourth oldest of 11 children. Being part of a large Catholic family and having a father that was adopted inspired her to spread the message about the value of every human life. To promote a culture of life, Julie has actively worked as part of the pro-life movement. Notably, she is part of the Christian Leadership fellowship under Students for Life. She has worked on engaging in dialogue about abortion, educating students, supporting pregnant and parenting mothers, founding babysitting group, attending marches, giving talks to high school students, and working with the PA Humans for Life chapter in Scranton. Additionally, she attends door-to-door knocking trips around the country to persuade people to vote for pro-life politicians with Susan B. Anthony Pro Life America. Julie is the host of a podcast called, “Lighthouse” with her cousin and sister, where they interview people about their vocation stories and relationship with God. She hopes to create a community of passionate pro-lifers to help change the hearts and minds of others in her community. Julie hopes to continue her work with the Pro-Life movement when she graduates this coming May while serving in the Army reserves as a Second Lieutenant.

Rebecca Castagno

Miss Rebecca Castagno is currently a 1st/2nd grade teacher at Regina Luminis Academy, a Catholic classical school. She grew up attending a Catholic classical school where she attributes learning many of the Catholic morals and values that have formed her as a young Catholic woman.  She graduated from Immaculata University with a degree in Early Elementary and Special Education.  During her time at Immaculata, she was involved in many clubs and activities. One of the most noteworthy clubs was “Macs Respect Life” where she served on the leadership board and brought awareness to students on campus about the dignity of all human life.

When she is not teaching, Miss Castagno has taken a particular interest in St. John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body.” She has been fortunate enough to attend a few courses with Christopher West.

As an Advisory Board member for PHL, she seeks to use St. John Paul II’s integrated vision of the entire human person to help younger generations understand the truth, beauty, and goodness of formative topics, such as living out a chaste and moral life.

Jessica Murdolo

Jessica Murdolo is a wife and mother of 3 beautiful girls. Before starting a family, she worked as a litigation technologies consultant in both Los Angeles and New York City. There she trained legal teams in deposition and courtroom presentation softwares, as well as taught Continuing Legal Education classes.

Currently, Jessica uses her presentation expertise as a facilitator for her parish’s “Walking with Purpose” bible study program and teaching grade school children the art of public speaking. She is also a passionate group leader for a fellowship ministry based on the principles of “Theology of the Body”. The program is focused on preteen and teenage girls coming to know the Lord and how He has beautifully and wonderfully made them. In this light, they learn to view and treat themselves with the dignity and respect God has bestowed upon each and every one of them.

Jessica is a fierce advocate of perinatal hospice for mothers and babies with poor prenatal outcomes. Her ultimate goal is the end of medically advised abortions as “healthcare” for families with difficult pregnancies. Jessica is always happy to share her re-version story of God’s mercy and love in her family. We can all come back to the Lord, no matter how far we have strayed. He loves every single one of us.

Melissa Aguilera

Founder, Melissa Aguilera graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Studies from LaSalle University. Melissa has worked in the field of Social Work and Counseling with females suffering from eating disorders, mothers/fathers placing their babies for adoption, teenagers with mental disabilities and/or behavioral issues, and teen pregnancy.

As a young woman facing two unexpected pregnancies with little to no support or knowledge on the subject, she felt that abortion was her only choice, but soon came to regret her decision when confronted with the truth about abortion. Our goal and desire, at Magnolia Women’s Center, is to offer women faced with an unexpected pregnancy, the tools, which are, truth, support, and confidentiality so they can make an informed decision.

Steve Bozza

Steven Bozza is the Director of the Office for Life and Family for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He is a Professor of Bioethics and Moral Theology at Catholic Distance University, Arlington VA and Immaculata University. He served as an editor and freelance writer for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Department of Pro-Life Activities for issues related to Artificial Reproductive Technologies. He has spoken and written extensively on marriage, sexuality and infertility issues for the National Catholic Bioethics Center and other publications.

Mr. Bozza has a Master of Arts Degree in Religious Studies from St. Charles Seminary in Wynnewood Pennsylvania. He has completed his doctoral studies in bioethics at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome.

Marie DiCecco

Marie has been a high school Health educator for 32 years. She is also a natural family planning instructor teaching the Creighton Model Fertility Care System. In addition to teaching, Marie is also a sidewalk counselor offering encouragement, guidance and resources for women who are contemplating abortion and who feel hopeless and scared. Using her experience as a high school health educator, Marie speaks at women’s retreats and is passionate about educating young females on the beauty of their femininity and their natural ability to bring life into the world. She believes that the foundation of the feminine genius lies in her capacity to know that she is endowed with specific feminine gifts that encourage her to the woman she is called to be. Knowing this truth helps avoid the common pitfalls of following our culture’s lies about what you should be or how you should behave. Marie is very excited to be a member of the speakers for PHL.

Clare Frissora

Clare is grateful for the many opportunities to support human life, education and community. In addition to being on the PHL Board and speaker, she is the Respect Life Leader at St. John Neumann and mentoring task force member with the college of business at Penn State University. With over 30 years of business experience worldwide with GE, Clare understands today’s global and complex marketplace. Today, Clare is chief executive officer of Business Forward Strategies LLC, a consulting firm dedicated to helping companies grow, compete and succeed as well as management of a family business. Clare holds her Masters in Business Administration and a degree in finance from Penn State.

Diane Eichler

Diane is a retired special education teacher from the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District. She and her husband, Tom, have three children and five grandchildren. Teaching for PHL is a great joy to Diane because it is an opportunity  to offer a message of truth, compassion and love to young people. 

Deacon Al Clay

Deacon Alvin Clay has been involved with Pennsylvanians for Human Life for over 30 years. He is a Past President and Board Member and is currently an Advisory Board Member and Classroom Speaker. For the past 20 years, he has served as a Board Member and Treasurer of the National Catholic Bioethics Center. He has been involved in the Pro-Life movement since 1973 as a student at Cardinal O’Hara High School. In 2011, he received PHL’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He is in the financial advisory business, was ordained in 2002 and serves at Immaculate Conception Parish in Jenkintown. He is the father of seven and grandfather of seven and lives with his wife Kathy in Huntingdon Valley.

School Presentations

Our educational programs are carefully prepared for the level of understanding of the group. We try to connect with each student in a way that is meaningful, thought provoking, and clear about the gift of life that every human being has the right to.

Education is our primary objective. Our presentations are factual without political or religious overtones. We seek to incorporate current news, if possible. The topics by academic year are generally interchangeable and optional. They are given during a 40-50 minute class period.

Middle School / Freshman

Students in middle school and freshmen in high school learn about the amazing 9-month journey of the unborn child with 4D ultrasound images and facts about our development. Ultrasounds, being a ‘Window to the Womb’, allow students to see the baby’s growth with its eyes, ears, nose and toes. This approach makes visible and accessible what, years ago, was not – making learning about our growth from conception more tangible and real. We explore what unfolds at the moment of conception and then throughout the next three stages of life: zygote, embryo and fetus. Students are fascinated to know that their physical, intellectual and personality characteristics were determined at conception. We use Touch of Life Fetal Models that are soft, life-like with exquisite detail for 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 16, 22 and 26 weeks. We include a high-level look at federal and Pennsylvania legislation regarding abortion and the alternatives to an unplanned pregnancy, such as added support available in the community or adoption. We seek to reach the heart of a child with the heart of one in the womb.

Sophomore

Sophomore students review the humanity of the baby developing in the mother, through a high-level summary of key aspects of our growth from conception to birth. We then review the legislation at the federal and state level before turning our attention to why abortions occur. The more common forms of abortion are relayed via the stories of women who have had them; this offers a more reality-based view that can be absorbed by students rather than a clinical or ‘text book’ approach. We discuss the potential after-effects of abortion which may include physical and emotional consequences. Students are attentive and interested in learning about this topic.

Junior

In the Junior year, we discuss the ethical dilemma of dealing with end-of-life issues. In order to frame this topic, we revisit therapeutic and eugenic abortions and infanticide. These topics open the pathway to a discussion on assisted suicide and euthanasia and some of the issues that place these options into consideration. We discuss global trends and what we have learned from countries that have legislated for assisted suicide and euthanasia. Finally, we review palliative care, hospice and some high-level steps that many people take to better care for themselves or others to help mange through these end-of-life issues..

Senior

Seniors hear from speakers with personal post-abortive testimony as to the choice they made and the consequences that unfolded in their lives. Too often, the abortion choice is made without adequate information and these speakers provide personal testimony as to the effect individuals and the society at large have had to deal with. In the event a post-abortive speaker is unavailable, we are pleased to provide a review and discussion of the topics addressed in the Freshmen, Sophomore and Junior year programs.

Endorsements

“I highly recommend the program presented by the Pennsylvanians for Human Life. Each year, competent presenters come in and share the beauty and respect for the human person from the moment of conception with our upper grade students. Our students actually see models of the growth of a baby from the time of conception and realize how precious a human life is. The teachings of the Church on pro-life and abortion are presented in a very understandable manner for our students. Our students respond so positively to this program. I feel the program is a blessing and a must for every student in the upper grades!

Sister Barbara Montague, IHM, Principal, St. Cyril of Alexandria School 

 “Pennsylvanians for Human Life is a worthwhile program for middle school age students. It stresses the irreplaceable value and uniqueness of each human life. It explains the current laws in PA and the country regarding abortion. Surrounded by a culture of death in our country, students are offered a beacon of light that focuses on the importance of lie from the very first moments of conception. I highly recommend this program for your middle school aged students.”

Mrs. MaryAnne Aurely, St. Titus School, East Norriton, PA

“The presentation was wonderfully organized – the 7th & 8th grade students were completely captivated as the slides were shown and discussed at an age-appropriate level.  Every student commented on how much they enjoyed such an informative and important presentation.  I strongly recommend having Pennsylvanians for Human Life representatives visit other schools to share the message.”  

Ms. Susan Macrone, Middle School Educator, St. Joseph/St. Robert School

 

“I thought the presentation was phenomenal!  It is so important for all pre-teens and teens to hear the beautiful message of Pennsylvanians for Human Life, as well as the staggering (and shocking) statistics regarding abortion.  I couldn’t wait to go home and talk about it with my parents.”

James, 7th grade