For more information or to schedule a presentation, please contact us at:
Catholic Apologetics Institute of North America (CAINA)
P.O. Box 2125
Culpeper, VA 22701
Telephone: 877-718-0826 (Toll Free)
Steven R. Hemler is President of the Catholic Apologetics Institute of North America (CAINA) and author of The Reality of God: The Layman’s Guide to Scientific Evidence for the Creator and Search No More: The Keys to Truth and Happiness, as well as the new book Catholic Stories of Faith and Hope: How God Brings Good Out of Suffering, all published by St. Benedict Press and TAN Books.
Steve has a Master of Pastoral Studies degree from Loyola University of Chicago, as well as Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Civil/Structural Engineering from Virginia Tech. He also has a Certificate in the Catechism of the Catholic Church from Catholic Distance University (see www.cdu.edu) and a Certificate in Advanced Youth Ministry Studies from the Center for Ministry Development. Steve is also certified as a Specialized Catechist in Apologetics by the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, is VIRTUS trained and certified, and is an approved speaker on the official diocesan Speaker’s Bureau.
Steve has been actively involved in adolescent and adult religious education for over 30 years, including developing and teaching several 3-week-long online apologetics seminars for the Certificate in Apologetics offered by Catholic Distance University (CDU). After a 33-year professional engineering career, including 13 years in the Middle East, Steve took early retirement in 2011 to follow a calling to serve God and the Church full time. Steve and his wife Linda have been married for over 40 years and have three grown children. They live in Culpeper, Virginia, and are active at Precious Blood Catholic Church, where Steve serves as the Coordinator of Adult Faith Formation and Parish Pilgrimages.
CAINA’s multimedia presentations focus on strengthening faith and equipping Catholics to better explain and share WHY we believe what we do in our increasingly secular society. To-date, Steve has given CAINA’s well-received presentations over three hundred times in the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, Diocese of Richmond, Diocese of Pittsburgh, Diocese of Greensburg (PA), Diocese of Harrisburg (PA), Diocese of Memphis, Diocese of Nashville, Diocese of Knoxville, Diocese of Covington (KY), Diocese of Charlotte, Diocese of Charleston (SC), Diocese of Orlando, Archdiocese of Louisville, Archdiocese of Baltimore, and Archdiocese of Washington (DC).
Steve has been on TV discussing religion and science with Fr. Mitch Pacwa on EWTN LIVE and discussing his first two books on EWTN Bookmark with Doug Keck. He discussed the purpose of suffering and his newest book with Johnnette Benkovic Williams on EWTN’s Women of Grace TV show (Part Two). Steve also discussed CAINA’s ministry and his books on the EWTN TV show, At Home with Jim and Joy (Part Two), as well as on the Catholic Community Television Network (CCTN).
He has also appeared on several popular Catholic radio shows, including The Jennifer Fulwiler Show, Seize the Day with Gus Lloyd, the Busted Halo Show with Fr. Dave Dwyer, The Drew Mariani Show, the Son Rise Morning Show with Matt Swaim and Anna Mitchell, Meet the Author with Ken Huck, Faithworks with Dr. Matthew Bunson, Teresa Tomeo’s Catholic Connection, Jon Leonetti in the Morning, Wake Up! on Catholic Community Radio, Off the Shelf with Pete Socks on Breadbox Media, The UnCommon Good with Bo Bonner and Dr. Bud Marr on Iowa Catholic Radio, Driving Home the Faith with Fr. Rob Jack on Sacred Heart Radio, and The Kyle Heimann Show on Redeemer Radio.
Steve’s articles have been published in several leading Catholic and secular magazines, including America, Liguorian, and National Review. He also writes the “Life’s Little Learnings” column for the Holy Spirit Interactive website, as well as writing for Catholic365.com and StrangeNotions.com.
Dr. Francis Thomas
Dr. Francis Thomas, CAINA’s Vice President of Evangelization, holds Bachelors, Masters, and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science and an M.A. in Systematic Theology from Christendom College. He leads a number of apologetics activities and has held all-weekend faith formation workshops in the United States and internationally. His interest and approach to apologetics was sparked more than 30 years ago when the Catholic faith of his upbringing was questioned by several Protestant Christian groups on the modern American campus. During the nine years he spent in graduate programs at three American universities, he was involved in a variety of Christian student activities, Bible studies and seminars. A seminar by Catholic Answers in 1990 formally introduced him to the field of Catholic apologetics and put him on a track of spiritual renewal and intense formal study of Catholic theology and philosophy.
Dr. Thomas approaches apologetics by analyzing the philosophical, historical, theological and cultural context within which the many faith traditions have developed and how this leads to misunderstandings and confusions about the doctrines and teachings of the Catholic Church. He has an interest in bringing advanced catechesis and apologetics programs to Catholic communities in the US and abroad as part of a holistic approach to Christian discipleship.
Lee J. Granger, CAINA’s Vice President of Administration, grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida, and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech. He worked briefly in the aerospace field before beginning a 40-year career in computers and software development. He became interested in Catholic apologetics in 2001 and began extensive reading while participating in an apologetics group in Kansas City where he was active in bringing noted speakers to the area for city-wide retreats and workshops. After moving to Richmond, Virginia, he began actively preparing and teaching a series of apologetics classes for his own and neighboring parishes. After retiring and moving to northern Virginia, he joined Holy Trinity Parish and developed and taught a series of classes on God and science. He now holds a Basic Certificate in Catechesis from the Catholic Diocese of Arlington. He and his wife Mary have been married for over 50 years and have 6 children. They live in Gainesville, Virginia.
Teresa O’Brien, CAINA’s Vice President of Communications, has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada, a Master of Arts in Theological Studies through the University of St. Thomas at St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston, Texas, and Basic and Specialized Catechetical Certification in Apologetics from the Catholic Diocese of Arlington. Teresa is a member of the Lay Fraternities of St. Dominic, and so has been graced with some small portion of the charism of St. Dominic to share the truths of our faith so as to help form Catholics in having a strong, solid formation in their faith so that they might come to know and love God for the salvation of their souls.
Because of the combination of Teresa’s knowledge of science and theology, apologetics for the existence of God through science was a natural apostolate for her to work with. Her approach to teaching Catholicism, while mainly intellectual, is firmly grounded in and sustained by a life of prayer, through which Teresa has come to know God’s love for her and her love for God, which she hopes also to convey to all she instructs in the faith. She has volunteered in several parishes by teaching RCIA, assisting at and teaching CCD at various grade levels, participating in and then leading a book club, and participating in Respect Life ministries. Teresa has been married to her husband Michael since 1992. They have three grown children and live in Culpeper, Virginia, with their youngest child and three cats.
Patrick D. Chisholm, CAINA Senior Fellow, is a religious education teacher and lector at St. Veronica Parish in Chantilly, Virginia. A former columnist for The Christian Science Monitor, his articles have appeared in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Baltimore Sun, San Francisco Chronicle, National Review, Crisis, and other publications. He runs seventytimes70, a Catholic apologetics website. A native of northern Minnesota, he obtained a B.A. in history from Colorado College and M.A. in international economics from American University. Currently director of a business that provides transcription and other multimedia services, he previously worked for financial and business publications, as well as in the State Department’s Office of Mexican Affairs. He is a board member of the Fatima Outreach Foundation, which combats human trafficking in northern Vietnam. Married and father of two boys, he is a VIRTUS-certified adult leader of the St. Veronica Rangers youth outdoors program, and a former Cub Scouts leader and soccer coach. He holds a Basic Certificate in Catechesis from the Diocese of Arlington.
CAINA’s Speaker Fee Policy
The Catholic Apologetics Institute of North America (CAINA) does not have a fixed fee for speaking engagements, since we offer our presentations as a service to God and the Church and for the spiritual edification of attendees. In the spirit of this mission, CAINA will accept the hosting organization’s customary stipend for invited speakers (normally at least $100 per talk) to help defray operating expenses and have the means to reach a greater audience.