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.


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 currently open for the 2021-2022 Leonine Forum in Chicago, and close July 30, 2021.

2020-2021 CHICAGO


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

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.