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A few days before Thanksgiving 2014, author Chris Stepien found himself in an oncologist s office. But he wasn't the patient. Stepien's wife, Ellen, was just beginning her battle with aggressive breast cancer. That day, while listening to the oncologist's treatment strategy, Stepien began writing Dying to Be Happy: Discovering the Truth About Life. In the pages of this book, a brush with a life-threatening disease sparks a frank discussion on mortality. The author explores the prospects of embracing death on a daily basis versus denying it. He encourages readers to follow the advice of Jesus Christ: always be ready for the end of life. Along the way, Stepien highlights a spectrum of short, true stories where people rise above the fear of death, including the harrowing account of a child who survived the Holocaust -- Stepien's own mother. (learn more)
Edward Pentin began reporting on the Pope and the Vatican with Vatican Radio before moving on to become the Rome correspondent for the National Catholic Register. He has also reported on the Holy See and the Catholic Church for a number of other publications including Newsweek, Newsmax, Zenit, The Catholic Herald, and The Holy Land Review, a Franciscan publication specializing in the Church and the Middle East.
Dr. Pia de Solenni is an ethicist and cultural analyst. She owns her own consulting company, Diotima Consulting. She is an expert in issues relating to women’s health, life issues, the new feminism, Catholicism, and culture. Her work has appeared in various publications including The Wall Street Journal Europe, The Washington Post, National Catholic Reporter, Our Sunday Visitor, and National Review Online.
Damon Owens has more than 15 years of executive experience in the business world, managing divisions of multi-million dollar technology companies. In 2002, Owens left the for-profit sector to commit his career to full-time work in marriage and family ministry. He has served as Natural Family Planning and Marriage Preparation Coordinator for the Archdiocese of Newark, founded two non-profit organizations (New Jersey Natural Family Planning Association and Joy-Filled Marriage New Jersey), and led initiatives for various pro-life and pro-family organizations such as the New Jersey Catholic Bishops Conference, The Children First Foundation, and Life Education and Resource Network (L.E.A.R.N.), the largest African-American, pro-life ministry in the country. Damon is a certified speaker and has been lecturing for the Theology of the Body Institute since 2005. In December of 2011, Damon was named the Executive Director of the Theology of the Body Institute. He and his wife, Melanie, have been married for 18 years and have eight children.