•LCDR Ali Ghaffari, USN
September 10 @ 11:30 am - 1:30 pm$40
The life story of this former atheist, Navy F/A-18 fighter jet pilot, and Naval Academy professor is the stuff of which movies are made. The product of an unconventional upbringing, Ghaffari came to adulthood with a keen intellect and intense energy but with no faith in God. Following providential relationships with committed Christians, Ghaffari eventually entered the Catholic Church in 2004, acquired graduate degrees in theology and philosophy and earned a commission as an officer in the United States Navy. In the latter role, he flew more than 20 combat missions over Taliban occupied territory in Afghanistan from the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan. LCDR Ghaffari is currently serving on the faculty of the United State Naval Academy and is Associate Director of the James B. Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership. Our speaker’s path to the Catholic Church was paved in part by his appreciation for its intellectual tradition. Committed to passing that on to future generations, in 2018, he and his wife founded the Divine Mercy Academy, a classical liberal arts grade school in the Catholic tradition. LCDR Ghaffari will speak to us about the special challenges of evangelizing in governmental service and particularly in the military as well as about the importance of orthodox Catholic education.