Our JUSTICE Keynote Presentation


Rev. Thomas H. Smolich, S.J. has been the International Director of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) since October 2015.  A native of Sacramento, he was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1986 and earned a Master of Divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology and an MBA from Stanford University. 

His priestly ministry has focused on community development. While at Dolores Mission Parish in East Los Angeles, he served as Executive Director of Proyecto Pastoral, a faith-based NGO coordinating community development activities. Post-business school, he was a Project Manager at Mid-Peninsula Housing Coalition. In 1999, he was named Provincial of the California Province Jesuits for a six-year term. From 2006 until 2014, he served as the President of the Jesuit Conference of the United States. In 2015, he worked with JRS in Masisi, Democratic Republic of Congo. 

Refugees, the Church, and our Response: The JRS Story, Tuesday, January  15  7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Our MERCY Keynote Presentation


Fr. Mark was raised in the Diocese of Oakland and ordained a priest of the Diocese in 1995. He has served as an active reserve chaplain at Travis AFB, and at several parishes in the Oakland Diocese.  Fr. Mark has also served as Director of Communications and Media Relations for the Diocese of Oakland.  Currently, he serves as pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Livermore, CA.  

He was commissioned as a “Missionary of Mercy” by Pope Francis in 2016.  Fr. Mark is a sought after speaker, having given missions, pilgrimages, retreats and talks both nationally and internationally.

God’s Mercy: What? How? Where? Thursday, January 17 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.


Our DIOCESAN Keynote Presentation


Currently the pastor or St. Benedict Catholic Church in Oakland,  Fr. Jayson’s greatest claim to fame is that he was St. Joan’s associate pastor in 2013! In addition to having served many parishes in the diocese, Fr. Jayson has been active in our local law enforcement as chaplain to many agencies. He has been  member of the Public Policy Committee of Catholic Charities of the East Bay and the Executive  Committee of the Diocesan Ministry to Survivors of Clergy Sexual Abuse.


A long-time parishioner of St. Joan, Steve is currently the Chancellor of the Oakland Diocese. In this capacity, he serves on the Diocesan Review Board for  Safe Environment and Victims Assistance.

Prior to being named the first lay Chancellor, Steve served as Interim CEO of Catholic Charities of the East Bay.

The On-Going Clergy Sexual Abuse Crisis in the Catholic Church: An Overview, Tuesday, January  22  7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Our SCRIPTURE Keynote Presentation


Our pastor since 2015, Fr. Ray describes himself as a “local” boy who was born and raised in Rodeo, California. He was ordained in 1979, the same year that St. Joan of Arc Parish was founded.  During his 36 years as a priest, he has served at many parishes throughout the Diocese of Oakland, both as a Parochial Vicar and as a Pastor.  He also served as Director of Vocations and Vicar for Priests.  Most recently, he was the Pastor of Cathedral of Christ the Light.

The Gospel of John, Thursday, January 24,  7:00 – 8:30 p.m.