Patricia Garza - Board Member
I was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. I’m a cradle Catholic and attended Catholic schools from the first through 12th grades. Upon graduating from college, I taught in New Orleans Public School System for 3 years. I married military, left home for the Philippines, and spent 2-1/2 years there before getting an assignment back to the United States, Wichita Falls, TX.
We lived in Wichita Falls, TX for 8 years; while there, I worked as a credit union teller at Texoma Federal Credit Union for 6 months; applied for a civil service position with the Department of the Air Force and was hired 2 months later (April 1981). Working for the Air Force broadened my teaching career by leaps and bounds. With expert training programs, I learned to do many high level jobs for the Air Force. The most rewarding was that of an Aircraft Maintenance Instructor teaching young airmen entering the Air Force. The most prestigious was being the leader of an expert team of professionals, the Standardization/Evaluation team, at Goodfellow AFB for over 20 years. This job gave me the opportunity to travel around the world to places such as England, Germany, Japan, and Korea; as well as stateside bases to include Hawaii.
I retired from Civil Service in January of 2014 with over 33 years of faithful service to the government.
I’ve been a member of Sacred Heart Cathedral since 1988; taught CCD classes from the mid-1980s to the present. I’m a member of the Ladies Altar Society and served as secretary for 2 years.
I’ve been married to my wonderful husband Johnny for 31 years; have a blended family of 4 wonderful children. Our three sons reside in Texas cities and a daughter in Seattle, WA.
After attending an ACTS retreat 4 years ago, it gave me a hunger to delve deeper into my Catholic roots. I’ve also been on team assisting with an ACTS retreat the following year. Attending parish religious education classes, conferences, workshops, etc. have all contributed to my spiritual growth. The highlight of my spiritual life this past year was going on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land during Easter. What an unforgettable and amazing journey!!!
Vonda Wilde - VP/Treasurer & Website Manager
My most important role in this life is that of wife, mother, and grandmother. My husband, Will, and I have been married 43 years. We raised three amazing and successful children in the farming community of Wall, TX. Our seven grandchildren delight us in ways we could never have imagined! Our amazingly beautiful family is one of God's greatest gifts to us. We are very blessed to live in a place where community is family and neighbors are friends.
As a member of St. Ambrose for the past 43 years, I have served in many ministries from Eucharist
Minister to Confirmation Catechist, CDA Grand Regent, Jr. High Youth Group Director, and Festival Chair twice. I am an active participant in the ACTS community and currently serve on the ACTS Chapter for the San Angelo Diocese as the Director. I am so grateful for the life experiences and the opportunity to serve others in these ministries and thank our Lord every day for allowing me to be His servant.
Lupe Blackwood - Board Member; SACWC Spiritual Coordinator
Catholic education has been an important part in my life. As the mother of four wonderful grown children and the grandmother of five lovely grandchildren, I see the need for the continuation in knowledge and growth in our Catholic Faith. I have been a parishioner of the Cathedral Church of the Sacred Heart for the past fifty years. I have served in many ministries at Sacred Heart and am currently singing in the choir.
Outside of the Parish I belong to the Heart of Mercy Catholic Charismatic Prayer Group, I have lived my Cursillo and I am active in our ACTS community. I believe strongly in the power of prayer to bring us closer to the Heart of our Lord and His great mercy. I believe he answers our requests. I praise the Lord for giving me my life for I am a cancer survivor of 15+ years. Currently, I am disabled and not working, but I see it as an opportunity to grow in my Catholic faith. Our Lord and Our Blessed Mother have been with me throughout this journey and I want to share how wonderful and awesome is our God!
Ruth McPherson - Board Member
A parishioner at the Cathedral Church of the Sacred Heart, I relocated to San Angelo, Texas, in 2015 from
the Houston area. I am a retiree from Katy Independent School District where I worked as a reading teacher.
As a mother of one son and three daughters, my pride and joy comes from the eight grandchildren they and
their spouses have blessed me with. So moved by the 1st San Angelo Catholic Women’s Conference, I am
honored to now be a board member.
JoAnn Turner - Founder & President; SACWC Event Coordinator
Texas born, Yankee raised, born in Fort Worth and raised in New York and Connecticut! I came to San Angelo in November 1988 and in January 1989. I started to work at the American Cancer Society local office where a job quickly turned into a Ministry. In 2005 Our Lord brought me to the Pecos Benedictine Monastery in Pecos, NM where I studied to become a Spiritual Director and in 2006 received my certification. In 2007 I made my Perpetual Oblation as a Benedictine Oblate, attached to the Pecos Monastery. I have called Holy Angels Catholic Church my home since I came to town. I was baptized in the Holy Spirit in 2000 and have been a member of the Heart of Mercy Catholic Charismatic Prayer group since. I am active in a number of ministries at my Church, a member of the ACTS community and lived my Cursillo in 2002.
I am single and share my home with a beautiful cat named Mia. I retired in 2014 and love it! My time is spent going to the gym, reading, attending daily Mass and having time to travel and spend time with friends and those who just need someone to talk to. God has blessed me beyond my wildest dreams.
Perla Garcia - Emcee
I'm a growing disciple of Jesus. And I cling to His Mercy daily. I currently work as director of Youth Ministry for St. Ann's Catholic Church in Midland, TX.
A few of my favorite things: long chats with real people over coffee; being outside; and taking spontaneous trips!
I hope you really encounter God and His Love at this conference! I've been praying for you and I'm so happy you are here!! Enjoy."
My goal in life is to make a difference by helping others. I have been blessed to have a wonderful family.
My husband and I live on a farm/ranch where we raise crops, sheep and cattle. What a great place to raise
children too. We made wonderful memories from chopping weeds in the hot sun to selling vegetables at
Farmers' Market. Things on a farm can be hectic, but never ever dull.
After my children were older, I was the registrar at Wall High School.Teenagers can definitely give you a
perspective on life. It was a joy to work there and now see these same students grow into successful
adults. Since retirement, I have come full circle and I am helping on the farm again full time. Also, I have
the opportunity to spend time with my dad at his assisted living home and serving on the flower committee
at St. Ambrose Church.
The JMJ Conference has been a great opportunity for me to set aside time to be in the presence of Jesus.
We all have busy lives, but it is so good to spend time with the Lord. It helps put things into perspective
and place my focus on what is REALLY important. My hope for you this weekend is that you experience
God's love and go home with a special "peace" that only He can offer you!
Pam Kempen - Secretary; Exhibitor/Vendor Coordinator
I was born and raised in San Antonio and lived there or near there until 7 years ago. My husband and I moved here after my retirement from teaching Agricultural Science for 29 years. We are blessed with a blended family of 4 children and 5 grandchildren.
I was confirmed into the Catholic Church at St. Ambrose in Wall, TX 6 years ago, since that time I have been active in the church. I am a Lector, Commentator, and Choir member. I am an active participant in the ACTS community and currently serve on the San Angelo ACTS Core as the facilitator. Jeremiah 29:11 says "I know the plans I have for you." I can't wait. to see how those plans. are laid out in the future.
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