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Board of directors gains varied expertise

The CCL board of directors has gained several well-suited members in the last year, including its first-ever bishop.

On July 1, Bishop Michael Sheridan of the Diocese of Colorado Springs began his service on the CCL Board. A native of St. Louis, Mo., Bishop Sheridan was ordained a priest in 1971. He went on to earn a master’s degree in historical theology, and both a license and doctorate in sacred theology. Bishop Sheridan served several St. Louis parishes as an associate and pastor before being named the auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese in 1997. In 2002 Pope John Paul II appointed him coadjutor bishop of the Diocese of Colorado Springs, and he became the diocesan bishop a year later.

“It is an honor and blessing to have Bishop Sheridan on our board,” said Executive Director Chris Reynolds. “He is a long-time supporter of CCL and NFP in general, and his was the second diocese in the country — after Denver — to make NFP instruction a normative part of marriage preparation. He will provide excellent guidance on both theological issues and marriage and family life matters, plus his relationships in the Church can enhance or ease our work in many areas.”

Joining the CCL board along with Bishop Sheridan was another NFP-only physician. Lester Ruppersberger, M.D., is a retired Ob/Gyn, who along with his wife, was an NFP instructor for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for nearly 20 years through the Harrisburg NFP program. The Ruppersbergers and other Philadelphia STM teachers formally transitioned to CCL’s program a year ago. Dr. Ruppersberger has been the past president of the Catholic Medical Association, works with Philadelphia-area crisis pregnancy centers, and has extensive experience on boards and in collaborating with national groups.

Last fall the CCL board gained business experience combined with passion for CCL’s mission with the addition of Katie Zulanas. Katie and her husband, Tom, have been CCL promoters for more than 20 years in the Denver area. Blessed to be living a Catholic NFP lifestyle since they were married in 1989, they have two young adult sons. Katie has degrees in operations management and electrical engineering, and is the founder of Media Trik, a website design and digital agency.

“As a board member, I am determined to ‘pay back’ the many blessings CCL has afforded me and my family,” Katie said. “CCL changed my whole life! It gave me a happy, healthy, holy life — regardless of how weak and selfish I was — and that daily discipline of NFP was the instrument of my salvation. I would like to use my skills in mass marketing to spread the good news of NFP, the joy of the Catholic life-giving lifestyle.”

Rev. John P. Connaughton, a priest of the Diocese of Bridgeport and currently its director of vocations,  joined the board along with Katie. A Connecticut native, Fr. Connaughton received his undergraduate degree from the University of Dallas. After graduation he returned to his home state where he worked for several years before going on to study law at the University of Connecticut. After earning his law degree he discerned a call to priesthood and attended the Pontifical North American College in Rome in preparation for his ordination in 2013. He also earned a license in sacred theology from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family.

“I was familiar with the good work of CCL prior to joining the board, and when I met Chris Reynolds and the board members, they struck me as very professional, faithful and totally committed to the mission of CCL,” Fr. John said. “My hope is that I might contribute in some small way to the great work that the membership of CCL does, especially by supporting our heroic teaching couples who understand their work as a ministry and an act of fraternal charity, and helping the League address the challenges it faces as well as take advantage of the real opportunities for growth that are presenting themselves. I’m excited!”

In addition to its new members, the board experienced a change in leadership when Chairman Mark Kummer, M.D., passed the reins to board member Thomas Strunck, Jr.

“Tom has been a great member on the board because of his many years as a CCL teacher and his Air Force background and legal expertise,” said Chris Reynolds. “He is a clear thinker, a strategic thinker, and that will serve CCL well through Tom’s leadership of the board.”

— This news piece was originally published in our magazine, Family Foundations.