CONFERENCE 2022 SPEAKER BIOS

Jeff Cavins
public speaker and Bible teacher

Jeff Cavins is recognized both nationally and internationally as an exciting public speaker and Bible teacher. He communicates the Catholic faith at a level that everyone can understand, taking theological truths and expressing them in a practical way. He is the creator of the popular Great Adventure Bible Study series and Great Adventure Catholic Bible. Jeff is the founding host of EWTN’s weekly program “Life on the Rock” as well as Relevant Radio’s daily show, “Morning Air.” He is author of several books including his newest, The Activated Disciple: Taking Your Faith to the Next Level. Jeff hosts a podcast “The Jeff Cavins Show” and is guest on “The Bible in a Year” podcast with Fr. Mike Schmitz. Jeff received an M.A. in theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville. He and his wife Emily lead annual pilgrimages to the Holy Land.

Fr. Denis Lemieux
Priest, Madonna house

Fr. Lemieux is a native of Alexandria, Ontario, and has been a member of the Madonna House Apostolate since 1989. Ordained a priest in 2004, he possesses a licentiate in sacred theology and is the author of five books on various topics related to spirituality. He currently resides as a ‘poustinik’ (hermit) within the Madonna House community, from which he offers spiritual direction, retreats, missions, and talks to a wide range of audiences.

Dr. Quentin Genuis
Emergency Physician

Dr. Quentin Genuis is an Emergency Physician in Vancouver. He holds a Master of Letters from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, with a research focus in bioethics. His research interests include virtue ethics, the place of autonomy language in contemporary bioethics, human dignity, end-of-life care, and compassion. He is a published author in the fields of both medical science and bioethics. When not working at the hospital or writing, Quentin is going to the beach in Kitsilano with his wife Kalyn and their three children.

Nicole Scheidl
Executive Director of Canadian Physicians for Life

Nicole Scheidl currently serves as the Executive Director of  Canadian Physicians for Life. She is a graduate of both Osgoode Hall Law School and Queen’s University with a Master’s in Law. She taught law and philosophy at Hawthorn School for Girls. Nicole is also the co-founder and CEO of Fit Minds Cognitive Health Products. She serves on the boards of other charitable organizations, including CAPP Canada (Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice). She is married to Andrew and they have seven children.

Dr. Cory Labrecque
associate professor of bioethics and theological ethics

Cory Andrew Labrecque, PhD, is associate professor of bioethics and theological ethics, and the inaugural chair of educational leadership in the ethics of life at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at Université Laval in Quebec City, where he is vice-dean and director of graduate programs in theology. He previously served as the Raymond F. Schinazi Scholar in bioethics and religious thought, director of Catholic Studies, and the director of graduate programs in bioethics at Emory University in Atlanta. Cory earned a BSc in anatomy and cell biology, an MA in religious studies with specialization in bioethics, and a PhD in religious ethics at McGill. Cory’s teaching and research examine how the Abrahamic religions—with a focus on the Roman Catholic tradition—approach ethical issues in medicine, biotechnology, and the environment. He is especially interested in the context of aging, end-of-life ethics, and understandings of personhood. He is vice-president of the National Committee for Ethics and Ageing (Quebec) and is corresponding member of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

Bishop Gregory Bittman
BISHOP OF NELSON, KELOWNA, B.C.

Gregory J. Bittman earned a diploma in nursing from the Misericordia Hospital School of Nursing and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Alberta. He worked as a nurse for several years before entering the seminary to study for the priesthood. In 1991, he obtained a Master’s of Divinity Degree from Christ the King Seminary in Mission, B.C. In 2009, he obtained a Licentiate in Canon Law from the Catholic University of America. He was ordained to the priesthood on August 15, 1996, at St. Joseph’s Basilica by Archbishop Joseph MacNeil. He was appointed Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Edmonton in 2000 and was named as Judicial Vicar in 2009. Bishop Bittman was appointed the first Auxiliary Bishop of Edmonton by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on July 14, 2012. He was ordained to the episcopate on September 3, 2012, the Feast of St. Gregory the Great, at St. Joseph’s Basilica. On February 6, 2018, His Holiness Pope Francis appointed him Bishop of the Diocese of Nelson.

Dr Mimi Puthuparampil, BSc(H), MD, CCFP
Family Physician

Dr. Puthuparampil is a practicing family physician in Hamilton. She also has interests in prenatal care and currently works in long term care. She completed her medical degree at Memorial University of Newfoundland and her residency through McMaster University.

Currently, she is working to obtain her Marquette Method Certification – a natural family planning method to better serve her patients. She is also an Affliate Clinical Professor (Adjunct) at McMaster University in the Department of Family Medicine and trains medical students and residents in clinical settings. She lives with her husband and two children in Burlington, Ontario. In her spare time, she learns Bharathanatyam, likes to sing and enjoys a good movie as well!

Dr. Lucas Vivas, CD MD MHSc FRCPC
General Internist

Lucas Vivas is a general internist in full-time practice in Brampton, Ontario. He has a hospital-based practice including the full range of inpatient, ambulatory and consultative GIM. He holds a part-time appointment with the Faculty of Medicine at McMaster University, with a principal focus on bedside teaching of medical students and residents. He holds a Master’s degree in Bioethics from the University of Toronto, and sits on the Corporate Ethics Committee and Research Ethics Board of William Osler Health System. He has published in both peer-reviewed and mass media settings in the fields of bioethics and health policy. He lives with his family in Mississauga, Ontario. 

Fr. Eric Nicolai
Chaplain

Fr. Eric Nicolai was born in 1963 in Montreal, Canada where he grew up. His family was non-practicing lutheran from Germany. When he was a teenager he converted to Catholicism thanks to the help of a friend who talked to him about the Bible, and brought him to Mass regularly. That friendship had a deep impact on him. He recounts it in an episode of Journey Home, in 2004 at EWTN. He graduated with a degree in Art History from McGill university in Montreal in 1987 and then a Masters at Laval University in Quebec City, where he worked in museum research. He later went to Rome to study theology and was ordained for Opus Dei in 1994. He obtained a doctorate in Theology from the University of the Holy Cross in Rome, in 1995. He had the opportunity to meet Pope John Paul II during several synods of bishops where he worked as a translator. He speaks 6 languages. He is now chaplain of Ernescliff College, a student residence in Toronto, and of Hawthorn Girls School in Toronto. Since the pandemic hit, he started to post his meditations on his Youtube channel, https://www.youtube.com/c/EricNicolai/ videos and on his podcast called “In Your Presence”, which can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your podcasts. He has also done some videos with Salt and Light TV where he explained works of art and their meaning in the faith.

Dr. Sephora Tang, MD, FRCPC
Adult General psychiatrist

Dr. Sephora Tang completed a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology at the University of New Brunswick before completing her Doctorate in Medicine and Postgraduate Residency training in Psychiatry at the University of Ottawa.  She currently works as an Adult General psychiatrist in the Outpatient Urgent Care Clinic of the Ottawa Hospital, and serves as Site Education Director for the Psychiatry Residency Program at the Ottawa Hospital’s General Campus.  She is an Assistant Professor with the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, and enjoys supervising psychiatry residents and teaching medical students in her academic role.  Her clinical interests include combining psychopharmacology with the art of psychotherapy to optimize the patient experience, and is developing an expertise in treating trauma.  She has specific interests in employing spirituality and faith in healing ministries that approach health and healing with a holistic understanding of the human person.  As a classically trained musician, Dr. Tang frequently combines her knowledge of music to the healing experience.  As an outspoken advocate for maintaining quality patient care by upholding freedom of conscience for healthcare professionals, she was co-author of the MAID to MAD declaration (www.MAID2MAD.ca) and has testified at the Canadian Senate on the dangers of expanding euthanasia and assisted suicide to non-terminally ill patients and those suffering purely from psychological illness.

Gillian Roussy
French Teacher and Speaker

Gillian Roussy is a dynamic speaker on Parenting & Married Life. She is a French Teacher and Resource Teacher at the Hull Adult Education Centre.  She has a big heart and really enjoys helping others. Her laughter and positive attitude is contagious and encourages everyone who works with her. In her spare time, she’s the President of IFFD Canada (formerly Family Development Canada) and Territorial Vice-President of the International Federation for Family Development (IFFD.org). She promotes IFFD parenting, marriage & personal development courses across Canada and around the world. She is an international trainer for IFFD and a seasoned moderator.  She has been happily married to her husband, Daniel, for almost 27 years and they have 5 children ranging from 10 to 21 years.

Timothy Lau, M.D., F.R.C.P.(C)., M.Sc.
Psychiatrist

Timothy Lau, M.D., F.R.C.P.(C)., M.Sc.

Distinguished Teacher, Faculty of Medicine,

Associate Professor, University of Ottawa,

Director of Joy at Work Initiative

Department of Psychiatry,

President of the Medical Staff

Clinical Lead, Geriatric Psychiatry Inpatient Unit, The Royal

Dr. Stephanie Kafie, BHSc(H), MD, CCFP (COE)
Family Physician

Dr. Stephanie Kafie, BHSc(H), MD, CCFP (COE) is a family physician with a particular passion for the bookends of life – the alpha and the omega (the beginning and the end). Dr. Kafie completed medical school, residency and fellowship in Care of the Elderly at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. She also completed additional training through Marquette University’s Institute in Natural Family Planning, qualifying her to teach the Marquette Method of Natural Family Planning. She is passionate about providing quality and evidence-based care to patients at all stages – from conception to natural death. Dr. Kafie started a virtual medical clinic called, “Totally Yours Family Medicine.” This clinic is focused on women’s health concerns, children’s health, and on teaching couples Natural Family Planning. The clinic serves all residents of Ontario and is covered by OHIP. Totally Yours Family Medicine was inspired by St. John Paull II’s papal motto, “Totus Tuus.” Dr. Kafie spends most of her time with her husband and two young children in the Niagara, Ontario region. She enjoys raising her trilingual children who speak Polish, Spanish, and English. She is often running, biking, or dancing her way through the beautiful chaos of life with small children. She brings the perspective of a “Doctor Mom” to her work – with the medical training to guide families and the life experience to provide compassionate care.

DR. DAVID CHAN
Professor Emeritus, Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University

Professor Emeritus with the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University. He received his MSc in Clinical Epidemiology from McMaster University in 1998. He was previously the Medical Director and attending physician at the Regina Gardens Nursing Home. He worked as a software engineer prior to entering the field of medicine. His other teaching and research interests include evidence-based medicine and care of the elderly.