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2024 STRENGTH IN CHRIST Men's Conference: Journey to Jesus

Meet Our Featured Speaker

Cooper Ray

Cooper is quickly becoming one of today’s more popular and sought after speakers, worship leaders and retreat facilitators.  He is a dynamic & light-hearted speaker and musician who shares his faith with honesty and passion. Through music, story, humor, and audience participation, Cooper leads groups of all ages to a greater awareness of who they are as Catholic Christians and how to recognize God’s presence in their lives.

Over the past 20 years, Cooper has motivated and inspired youth and adults at countless diocesan, parish, and school events across the country and has spoken and led worship at the National Catholic Youth Conference, the National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry, Catholic Heart Work Camp and Steubenville Youth Conferences, to name a few.  His relevant message and crowd interaction can reach a teen all the way in the back row.

Cooper received his call to ministry while serving as a camp counselor at a Catholic summer camp during his college years.  It was at camp where God ignited his love for music and knowledge of ministry and started Cooper on a journey of drawing youth and adults to know and live the Gospel.  After 6 summers, he transitioned into diocesan ministry in Baton Rouge where he spent 10 years, 7 as the director of youth ministry.  Soon after arriving in Baton Rouge, Cooper’s speaking ministry took off and slowly, but surely, schools, parishes, and other dioceses began to invite Cooper to share his stories, music, and life experiences.  After 16 years in formal ministry, he started the next phase in his journey answering the call to go “on the road” full-time where he spent 9 years traveling the country speaking and singing at conferences, rallies, retreats, and missions.  Cooper spent 4 years “in the trenches” of parish ministry as the Coordinator of Middle School Ministry at St. Ann in Coppell, TX, is a published artist with and for 8 years was the contemporary music liturgy director for his parish while living in Baton Rouge.  Cooper is currently the Director of Programming for Newman Ministry. He holds a Bachelors in Psychology and a Masters in Pastoral Studies.  

Cooper lives in Flower Mound, TX with his wife Laura and three sons, Eli, Keller and Maximus.


Meet Our Diocesan Priest Speakers

Father Brian Norris

Rev.  Brian Norris is the Administrator of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus Parish in Altoona. He also serves as the Sacramental Minister for Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School in Altoona.  

Father Michael Pleva

Rev.  Michael Pleva is the Administrator of both Saint Matthew Parish in Tyrone and Saint Joseph Parish in Bellwood

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