CHICAGO

In monthly sessions held inside the Loop, Leonine Fellows are led by Catholic thought leaders from around the Chicago metropolitan area. During these sessions Leonine Fellows will grapple with some of the most important questions at the intersection of Catholicism and public life.

CHICAGO

In monthly sessions held within the Loop, Leonine Fellows are led by Catholic thought leaders from around the Chicago metropolitan area. During these sessions Leonine Fellows will grapple with some of the most important questions at the intersection of Catholicism and public life.

Join over 500+ Leonine Fellows across the country 

Become part of a larger community of leaders committed to integrating the teachings of the Church within their professional and civic lives.

 Applications are now closed.  Applications for the 2021-2022 cohort will open late Spring 2021.

2020-2021 CHICAGO

FIRST-YEAR LEONINE FELLOWS

Matthew Binder
Sidley Austin


Matt has been in Chicago for almost exactly one year. Originally from Northwest Indiana, he attended Wabash College, where he majored in Classics. He graduated in May 2019 from the University of Michigan Law School and moved to Chicago to start as an associate at Sidley Austin in their Products Liability group. Fortunately, he was able to work downtown for about six months before Covid and has been in the home office since then. Matt lives in Bucktown and attends St. Mary of the Angels parish. He enjoys reading, travel (when there's not a pandemic), wine, and camping. After converting to Catholicism just two years ago, he's been continuing to learn about the faith and looks forward to taking the next step with Leonine this year!
John Brooks
Hillsdale College


John is a native Michigander who graduated from Detroit Catholic Central High School in 2009 and Hillsdale College with a Bachelor of Arts in politics. He worked in the Michigan Senate for a short time before returning to Hillsdale to earn a Master's degree at the College's Graduate School of Statesmanship. He worked for two years in Hillsdale's Advancement office before taking his current position as Assistant to the President. He resides with his wife and daughter in Hillsdale, Michigan.
Zachary Cascarano
Evanston Fire Department


Zach was born and raised in the Western Suburbs of Chicago, and has lived on the north side of the city for the last five years. He is a Catholic revert, and has been doing his best to answer the call to delve deeper into the Catholic faith. Zach serves as a firefighter/paramedic in a busy suburban fire department, and enjoys traveling, being active outdoors, playing music, woodworking, and drinking beer.
Lawrence Daufenbach
Daufenbach Camera


Lawrence Daufenbach is an entrepreneur and founder of Daufenbach Camera. For the last ten years, his full-service rental house has specialized in motion picture and camera equipment rentals and has grown to become the largest locally founded and owned camera house in Chicago. Lawrence also freelances as a cinematographer and has shot Emmy award-winning spots and national projects for ESPN, McDonalds, Sears, and Motorola. He serves on a number of industry boards and is an annual sponsor for the American Society of Cinematographers in LA. He currently is working on a non-profit start-up that will form a new Catholic Cultural Center in Chicago, to launch in 2021.
Katie Joy Daufenbach
Oak Street Health


Katie Joy is the Manager of Media and Branding for Oak Street Health and the founding president of the Chicago chapter of Young Catholic Professionals (YCP). Previous to that, she served as the Cultural Programs Fellow for the World Youth Alliance. She graduated summa cum laude from Northwestern University with degrees in Theatre and Communication and went on to serve as a FOCUS missionary after college. She enjoys traveling, reading and spending time with her family and friends. She resides in Chicago with her husband and one year old son.
Emily Davis
Loyola University of Chicago


Emily Davis is a PhD Candidate in American History and Public History at Loyola University of Chicago where she also teaches undergraduate history courses. Her research examines how American shrines form a national Catholic memory. Emily has worked in museums across the country and is passionate about their ability to teach religious literacy to the general public. She credits her intellectual pursuit of faith with the formation received from her home parish in Charles Town, West Virginia.
Vicente Del Real
Big Shoulders Fund


Vicente Del Real is the Executive Director and founder of Iskali and a Romero Scholar at the Catholic Theological Union where he is working towards his Masters in Divinity. He has facilitated seminars for Hispanic leaders at the University of Dayton, DePaul University in Chicago, and Boston College, as well as innumerable parishes and dioceses in the United States. Vicente also has participated in national gatherings around Hispanic Ministry and Young Adult Ministry at Notre Dame University, Dominican University, and Boston College. Vicente was selected by The McGrath Institute for Church Life of Notre Dame University to participate in the Strong Foundations Initiative as one of fifteen emerging young leaders in the Church in the US. Vicente is the recipient of the Chicago Archdiocese’s Bishop Quarter Award for his work with young people and the impact of Iskali's ministry in the Catholic community.
Adrienne DePrisco
Institute for Humane Studies


Adrienne DePrisco is an Events Specialist at the Institute for Humane Studies. She went to the University of Oklahoma for a Bachelor’s in English and a Master’s in Medieval Literature with a secondary focus in Philosophy of Religion. In her free time, she enjoys swing dancing, rock climbing, and classic films.
Michael Field
Credit Suisse LLC


Mike has lived in downtown Chicago for the last five years but grew up in Marshfield, Wisconsin with his parents and two younger sisters. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2014 with a degree in Finance and now works at Credit Suisse as an Institutional Equity Salesman. He enjoys golf and hiking through America's national parks.
Mark Franzen
Lumen Christi Institute


A native of the Chicagoland area, Mark received a B.A. in Philosophy and Art from North Park University in Chicago and an M.A. in Philosophy of Religions from the University of Chicago Divinity School. Since then, he has worked at the Lumen Christi Institute, organizing and planning programs on the Catholic intellectual tradition. He resides in the Woodlawn neighborhood of Chicago with his wife and two children.
Tom Hittinger
Midwest Vision Partners - an Alpine Investors company


Tom was born and raised in northern Virginia, the oldest sibling in a family of five. His personal and professional passion to impact lives via healthcare solutions is rooted in his family upbringing - having been raised by two mental health professionals, and sharing a family journey supporting their mother's success story overcoming cancer. A chemical engineer by training and a musician by hobby, Tom loves diverse experiences, and recently traveled to 6 continents. Professionally, Tom's career has spanned healthcare operations, consulting, and investing: developing and financing capabilities to enable cutting-edge healthcare delivery. He currently leads business integration for acquisitions at an Alpine Investors platform business headquartered in the Loop: Midwest Vision Partners. Tom recently earned his MBA with a major in Finance from Northwestern University, and a BS in Chemical Engineering with Honors from Cornell University.
Benton Howser
ATLAS WME


Benton Howser, a local Chicagoan, is a trader, financier, and hedge fund manager. Prior to his current roles he spent time in Washington D.C. with a think tank working on economic mobility and income equality, where he also worked on monetary policy analysis and implementing his analysis into trading strategies. He has also worked for an arbitrage market making firm that helped fill liquidity holes in the markets for many types of investors, including retirees and charitable trusts. He is a Captain in the Army Reserve who received his BA in History from Virginia Tech and an MBA in Finance from the University of Illinois. After earning his MBA he worked as an RIA (Registered Investment Advisor) in Illinois before his current role as the Director at Atlas WME. He was welcomed into the Church in 2017.
Michelle Lacouture Perry
Seton Education Partners


Michelle Lacouture Perry is the National Operations Manager at Seton Education Partners, where she drives operational excellence and innovation across the organization. She previously worked as a strategy consultant at Strategy&. Michelle is originally from Barranquilla, Colombia, and was raised in Wellington, Florida. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in Finance.
Taylor Meehan
Bartlit Beck LLP


Taylor Meehan is a Chicago-based trial attorney for Bartlit Beck LLP. Before joining Bartlit Beck, she clerked on the U.S. Supreme Court for Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas and on the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals for Judge William Pryor. Meehan, born and raised in central Indiana, is a proud Hoosier, and would love to return some day. She and her husband, David, have three children--Callum (3), Clare (2), and Margaret (4 mos.)--and live in Barrington.
Ethan Munsill
Sidley Austin


Originally from California, Ethan moved from Ann Arbor to Chicago in 2019. He works as an associate at Sidley Austin in the Real Estate practice group. Ethan received a B.A. in English from University of Dallas in 2012, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude, and received a Juris Doctor from University of Michigan Law School in 2019. In his free time, he enjoys exploring Chicago and reading/writing poetry.
Eliza Nagle
Shore Capital Partners


Eliza is currently in Shore Capital Partner's "CXO Executive Program," where she serves in leadership roles across portfolio companies to drive growth and operational excellence. Prior to her current role, Eliza worked at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates leading Board-level strategic initiatives in the Chief of Staff Office, and of course traveling the world when she could get away for a long weekend. Eliza began her career at Deloitte Consulting, where she consulted for major academic medical centers and discovered her passion for solving complex problems in the healthcare industry. Eliza originally hails from Nashville, yet has proudly braved several Midwest winters while earning her BA in Theology at the University of Notre Dame (go Irish) and her Masters at Kellogg School of Management concentrating in Finance and Healthcare.
William O'Hara
Sweeney, Scharkey & Blanchard LLC


Will is a commercial litigation associate with Sweeney, Scharkey & Blanchard LLC. Prior to his current role, Will clerked for federal judges in the Eastern District of Michigan and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and practiced for several years at the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. He is an alumnus of Saint Ignatius College Prep, Villanova University, and the Northwestern University School of Law. Will lives in Lincoln Park and is a parishioner at Saint Alphonsus Church. In his free time, Will is a devoted reader of Cather, Maxwell, and Waugh, and enjoys skiing and racquet sports.
Matthew Paprocki
Illinois Policy Institute


Matt Paprocki is president of the Illinois Policy Institute. A non-profit organization committed to making Illinois a place where anyone can achieve success and plant roots. Matt serves on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Illinois Advisory Committee. He was a member of the Task Force on Charter School Funding. And was the treasurer of L'Arche, Chicago. In addition to leading the Illinois Policy Institute, Matt is also the chairman of the Illinois Policy PAC, an advocacy group that gives taxpayers a stronger voice in Springfield. He has consulted for nonprofits around the country, advising leaders on how to grow, recruit talent and work strategically. Matt earned a degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame. He is an avid reader and runner and is a self-taught banjo player. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Anna, and their daughter, Fiona.
James Perry
JEM Underwriting Managers


A Chicago native, James Perry is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Underwriter & Chief Administrative Officer at JEM Underwriting Managers, Ryan Specialty Group’s start-up catastrophe underwriting business. At Notre Dame, James was a Sorin Fellow and studied in the Program of Liberal Studies, a Great Books major, and minored in Business Economics. At JEM Underwriting Managers, James is the right hand to the CEO and specializes in natural catastrophe risk underwriting.
Anthony Pienta
The Altum Fund


Anthony Pienta is executive director of The Altum Fund, a family foundation based in Chicago. Previously, Mr. Pienta served for ten years in various roles at The Philanthropy Roundtable in Washington D.C., where he counseled donors across the country and organized dozens of meetings in cities showcasing excellence in education philanthropy. Mr. Pienta has made an indelible mark in Catholic education through his contribution to the guidebook, Catholic School Renaissance, and leadership of the Catholic School Philanthropy Working Group, which has mobilized a growing group of donors who are committed to creating a renewal in Catholic education. Mr. Pienta earned bachelor’s degrees in philosophy, theology, and business from Franciscan University of Steubenville. He and his wife Debbie are blessed with six children and are currently renovating a farmhouse on 13 acres of Indiana’s countryside.
Ephram Shaffer
Gallup


Originally from small town Minnesota, I graduated from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul in 2012 with degrees in philosophy and Catholic Studies after spending time in college seminary. After discerning out of seminary, I worked at a consulting firm for several years. To pursue a consulting career, I attended business school at the University of Notre Dame and graduated with a MBA in 2017. Since then I have been blessed to consult on one of my greatest interests: the influence of human behavior in economics.

PROGRAM DETAILS

INTELLECTUAL FOUNDATION

During the first semester of the program, Fellows engage with a curriculum that emphasizes primary Church documents, practical secondary analyses, and gain an intellectual foundation on topics including: Faith and Reason, Christian Anthropology, the Principles of Catholic Social Teaching, Charity and Truth, Justice and Mercy, and Catholicism and the American Experiment.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION

During the second semester, Fellows explore how core Social Teachings of the Church relate to their professional and civic lives, including topics such as entrepreneurship, business, finance, culture and the arts, poverty, economics, immigration, ecology, public policy and civic engagement, bioethics, health care, religious liberty, and more.

Spiritual Development

Fellows have the chance to supplement intellectual endeavors with regular opportunities for Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, confession and spiritual direction.

Community Service

Understanding that we are called to love our brothers and sisters, Leonine Fellows have the opportunity to participate in monthly service activities as a group in New York City.

Alumni Events

Fellows join a community of over 140 Leonine Alumni, and will have the opportunity to participate in regular Alumni events — including happy hours, lectures, roundtable discussions and exclusive access to premier seminars, dinners, and more.

PROGRAM DETAILS