Behind the Scenes at the Catholic Virtual Summit

Dave Palmer, Executive Director of GRN, Lisa Martinez, co-founder of IAmplify, author and speaker Nancy Ward, Monica Hildebrand, co-founder of iAmplify and Karen Garnett, VP of Community Relations for Heroic Media, gather for a Virtual Summit recording session. (Photo provided by Nancy Ward)

Several of us gathered at the studios of the Guadalupe Radio Network in Dallas, excited to participate in the first Catholic Virtual Summit. We discussed building a culture of encounter as the cameras rolled. So much fun!  Now we wait to see the whole picture emerge on Octoer 6.

But how did this Virtual Summit come about? Monica Hildebrand and Lisa Martinez, co-founders of iAmplify, were inspired to bring prominent Catholics together and ask, “How do we build a culture of encounter across Catholic organizations as well as those we serve? The type of encounter that Pope Francis says that “makes us reflect on our way of interacting with each other.” 

Inaugural launch

To promote this dialogue, iAmplify, a new Catholic nonprofit, will launch its inaugural Virtual Summit: Building A Culture of Encounter Across Catholic Organizations on October 6, 2017. It will be the first of its kind in the Catholic sphere, bringing together thought leaders and influencers across organizations to inspire and educate those who serve in ministry and business. The Summit will provide participants with the skills, strategies and vision to amplify their mission.

The insightful Summit interviews will feature topics focused on building a culture of encounter through social justice, evangelization, religious and lay vocations, and mission outreach to name a few. Featured speakers include: Rev. Ron Rolheiser, OMI, President of the Oblate School of Theology, January Donovan of The Art of Being a Woman, Angela Telthort of Mission Advancement Partners, Sandra Gasca-Gonzalez of Jim Casey Youth Opportunities, Dave Palmer of The Guadalupe Radio Network (KATH 910 AM), and Maggie McCarty of Bethlehem University, among others.

In my segment, I explain how evangelizing through sharing our faith stories builds community and cultivates a culture of encounter.

Inspired by Pope Francis

Author and speaker Nancy Ward talks with Monica Hildebrand about how Sharing Your Faith Story evangeliization workshops encourage a culture of encounter.

Lisa Martinez said, “iAmplify responds to Pope Francis’ call to ‘boldly become citizens of the digital world,’ connecting and amplifying Catholic organizations in the light of the Gospel. We collaborate with ministries and organizations to ‘rise above the noise’ by providing the tools and resources to enhance mission effectiveness. We believe that organizations should be strong individually, but by helping each other succeed in business and ministry, we’re all helping to build the Church and spread the light of Christ.”

“We feel honored to host the Virtual Summit to advance the discussion of Encounter. The expertise, wisdom and knowledge of the featured speakers will foster change in the Catholic landscape. These poignant discussions will equip participants to see ‘encounter’ in a new light,” added iAmplify Co-Founder Monica Hildebrand.

iAmplify invites the support of program partners for its Virtual Summit through sponsorship and donations to provide the funding necessary for content production, marketing, and accessibility to a wide audience. Donations are tax-deductible, and Sponsorship provides organizations increased visibility across the Catholic ministry community. For more details, email or visit

I invite you to join us October 6 for this exciting new experience in Catholic networking. Come find new skills, strategies and vision to amplify the mission of your Catholic organization.

iAmplify is a new Catholic non-profit initiative established to address the challenges of modern ministry and to serve those serving the Church. We are entrepreneurs who have served in ministries, non-profits, and in the private sector. As members of the Catholic Church, working within the Catholic Church, we are passionate about embracing the New Evangelization by telling your story.

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About Nancy Ward

Nancy HC Ward is a journalist, author, and speaker who blogs about Catholicism, her conversion, and Christian community at,
 7 websites and 7 magazines. She loves to share her faith story and help others share theirs through her Sharing Your Faith Stories seminars, also available on DVD. She contributed four chapters to The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion. She facilitates the Dallas/Fort Worth Catholic Writers and a critique group for the Catholic Writers Guild, where she serves as a board member.
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