Don Pennell, a Canadian Navy Veteran, together with his wife Shirley have been loyal supporters of Father Gruner and his Fatima Apostolate since 1981. Canada was in the throes of repatriation and upon their urging to introduce a National Rosary Crusade, was born Father’s first publication, Our Lady’s Urgent Appeal. Don and his wife began the Militia of Our Immaculate Mother in their home and also was a key distribution point for Father Gruner and Father Ronald Tangen’s printing of the various works of St. Alphonsus de Liguori.
Fr. Michael E. Rodríguez was born in 1970, in the border city of El Paso, TX. He is the third in a family of six children, and was raised in a devout Catholic home. He entered the seminary for the Diocese of El Paso, attended major seminary at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, and completed his theological studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University. Fr. Rodríguez was ordained a priest in 1996 and early in his priesthood he served as the Vocation Director for the Diocese of El Paso. He has served in numerous parishes, both urban and rural, throughout the diocese. In 2005, Fr. Rodríguez began to offer the Traditional Latin Mass, and since 2011, he has been offering the Traditional Latin Mass exclusively. Fr. Rodríguez speaks fluent English and Spanish, and is proficient in German and Italian.
Matt Gapsers has contributed articles to Catholic Family News dealing with Islam and examining the Second Vatican Council by means of Sacred Tradition and the Church's perennial Magisterium. He is also a longtime student of Our Lady's apparitions at Fatima and the crucial message she came to deliver. Mr. Gaspers and his wife, together with their two children, reside in Colorado.
David Rodríguez was born and raised in El Paso. As a child, he lived in Bavaria for four years giving him a lifelong appreciation for traveling and the glorious heritage of our Catholic Faith. He is fluent in English, Spanish and German. He graduated as valedictorian from the University of Texas - El Paso with a BS in Electrical Engineering in 1995, and worked in the semiconductor industry. After graduate school in engineering, he spent several years in a diocesan seminary and as a novice in a Cistercian monastery before earning his Masters Degree in Theology from the University of Dallas in 2003. David spent eight years working in parishes, directing religious formation, and in Catholic Radio, hosting call-in apologetic shows in English and Spanish. Since 2012, he has collaborated with the St. Vincent Ferrer Foundation of Texas, a non-profit corporation founded and run by lay traditional Catholics, which exists to help recover and restore our true Catholic Faith. He currently teaches weekly adult catechetical classes in English and Spanish, airs a weekly internet radio show, manages a website, gives monthly seminars in Mexico and the US, and publishes devotional Catholic resources. David has been a Catholic speaker at several conferences and recently served as a tour guide for pilgrims to Our Lady of Good Success in Quito, Ecuador.
He is an attorney, writer, scholar and University Professor of Law. He explains the economic crisis as a result of a failure to adhere to Catholic principles. He is author of the new book: "The Church and the Usurers, Unprofitable Lending for the Modern Economy".
Graduated Cum Laud from Canisius College in 1971, earned Juris Doctor from University of Buffalo in 1977; did general practice and trial work for 36 years. She is President of Buffalo Regional Right to Life Committee for 33+ years, began direct action on sidewalks in Western New York (WNY); trained and defended first local public pro-life protestors in WNY, has given numerous conferences to educate on prolife issues. She is Founder of first Pregnancy Care Center in WNY 30 years ago; and Director of its successor Blessed Mother's House "Helping Mothers in Need".
Joanna Swords is a long-time supporter of The Fatima Center, and one of the initial Fatima Center volunteers. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing. After working as a Registered Nurse for nearly 23 years, she left her nursing career and came to work for The Fatima Center. Over the past 10 years she has worked primarily in the volunteer department — striving to add to the number of Fatima Center volunteers in North America and around the world, encouraging those who wish to help make known Our Lady’s soul saving message to sign on as a volunteer. She currently manages the North American and International Volunteer Departments, international distribution of Fatima literature and sacramentals, and manages distribution of Fatima Center literature from the Fatima Center Foreign Offices.
Father Nicholas Gruner (1942-2015 R.I.P.)
Father Nicholas Gruner, B. Com., S.T.B., S.T.L., S.T.D. (Cand.), also referred to as The Fatima Priest, was a graduate of McGill University, where he earned his Bachelor‘s degree in Commerce. He then studied in Rome at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum) where he received his Bachelor’s and his Licentiate degrees in Sacred Theology. There he also completed, with highest honors, all the courses for his Doctorate. Father Gruner dedicated 37 years of his priestly life to promoting the Message of Fatima. Starting off with a grassroots apostolate, he lead what became, and still is, one of the world’s largest Fatima organizations – the only one to promote the full Fatima message. He also became known and recognized as a leading authority on the Fatima Apparitions and Message. He lectured throughout North America and internationally on the subject of Fatima and over the years published The Fatima Crusader , many other magazines and books on the Fatima Message. His work continues to the present.