Joyce Coronel is a Catholic journalist whose faith was set aflame by a providential interview. Her assignment — to interview a Catholic priest from Iraq after a deadly attack on a church in Baghdad — turned into a ministry when the priest implored her to tell the story of his people. In her effort to assist an ancient Christian community, Joyce found her own faith reignited.
A graduate of Arizona State University, Joyce began writing for The Catholic Sun in 2002 and over the course of 18 years, has covered everything from bioethics to marriage to abortion to affordable housing and Native American missions. An award-winning journalist and columnist, she traveled to the Holy Land three times with the Catholic Press Association and covered the papal visit to Philadelphia in 2015. Joyce has spoken at retreats, seminars, parish missions and organizations like the Knights of Columbus and the National Council of Catholic Women. She has a regular segment on Catholic radio and has received numerous awards in her career, including two first-place awards from the Catholic Press Association as well as the Woman of Distinction award in 2019. The mother of five sons, Joyce’s faith underwent a series of painful trials, but she found healing, grace and strength in her effort to draw attention to the plight of persecuted Christians. In 2010, she became an advocate for the Chaldean Catholic Church and soon began learning the prayers of the Mass in Aramaic—the language of Christ. She became a catechist at a Chaldean Catholic mission in Arizona where some of her students are those who were chased from their land by ISIS. Joyce has written two well-received novels based on the dozens of interviews with Catholics who have suffered persecution and torture, all because they are followers of Jesus Christ.
Joyce has several talks in her repertoire, including “Fearless Faith,” which outlines her conversion experience after interviewing a priest whose cousin (also a priest) was martyred for the faith; “Time for Hope,” in which she shares pragmatic tips and illustrations about how to evangelize; “Faithful Motherhood: A journey from darkness to light,” in which she shares some of the struggles of motherhood as well as the amazing, healing miracles experienced in her family; and “The Face of Mercy,” in which she shares how fellow Catholics are bringing the love of Christ to others and how each of us is called to do the same. Joyce ends every presentation by praying the Our Father or Hail Mary in Aramaic and inviting the audience to venerate a first-class relic of St. Lucy that has been linked to three healings, including one from complete blindness.
-A Time for Hope: How YOU (yes you!) can evangelize your friends, family and fellow parishioners: How do we get people excited about being Catholic and sharing their faith confidently? With pragmatic teaching illustrated by anecdotes that are both humorous and touching, Joyce Coronel shows Catholics the basics of evangelization. When we grow in personal holiness and learn to entrust everything to Jesus Christ and His loving Mother, the Virgin Mary, a peace takes root in our hearts that overflows into the rest of our lives. Joyce takes listeners through her personal journey of conversion and how God lifted her out of a deep valley and propelled her into a speaking career that has taken her around the country to share the beauty of Catholicism. With energy and enthusiasm that's sure to ignite audiences, this wife, mother of five sons, journalist and catechist has a story that will touch your heart and motivate you to go deeper in your faith life and share it in simple ways with friends, loved ones, neighbors and yes, even strangers. The first class relic of St. Lucy that was given to her in 2012 accompanies Joyce on every talk and has been linked to several healings.
-Fearless Faith: What happens when a Catholic journalist is confronted with a story so explosive she is forced to reexamine her faith and what she’s living for? Following a series of crises and tragedies in her family, Joyce came upon the story of a Catholic community that has endured 2,000 years of persecution. For the first time in her career, she realized there was more at stake than merely reporting the news: God was calling her into action and evangelization! Joyce takes audiences through the powerful encounters she continues to have with Catholics who have been discriminated against, mistreated and persecuted for their faith in Christ. In taking on the cause of the persecuted Catholics of Iraq who now make their home in the U.S., Joyce found healing and peace in her own life. She tells listeners about how God’s loving providence through it all led to an amazing series of blessings, including her sister-in-law's miraculous healing. She concludes each presentation by praying the Our Father or Hail Mary in Aramaic, the liturgical language of the Chaldean Catholic Church. She also provides an opportunity for audiences to venerate an authenticated, first class relic of St. Lucy, a fourth century martyr.
-Faithful Motherhood: An Unexpected Journey through Darkness and into the Light: A mother of five sons, Joyce Coronel had left behind a promising career to stay home and nurse babies, read Bible stories to preschoolers, volunteer at the children's Catholic school, and yes, teach teenagers how to drive. Well, that and write articles for the local Catholic newspaper. "We owned every YMCA jersey ever made from 1994 through 2010," Joyce tells audiences. "The George Foreman grill at our house never quite cools off and we're on a first name basis at Costco and the urgent care center." As the children grew, her beloved parents grew older. Joyce describes what so many mothers can relate to: the challenges of balancing children, aging parents, Church commitments and work. What happens when one of the teenagers is in the midst of serious rebellion while the youngest is still in second grade? And Joyce's sister suddenly dies? "There were days I didn't want to get out of bed. I wondered if the world might not be better off without me," Joyce tells listeners. Then, in an unexpected turn of events, she found healing, peace and a deeper faith.
-The Face of Mercy: In her work as a Catholic journalist, Joyce came face to face with those who live out the corporal and spiritual works of mercy in extraordinary ways. She tells the very touching stories of those who out of their own brokenness, find the courage to reach out to walking wounded among us and in the process, undergo their own healing. From a recovering alcoholic who helps teenagers and young adults escape lives of substance abuse to a woman who grew up being dressed in flour sacks and now provides clean clothing to the homeless, these gritty, heartwarming stories reverberate with faith in action. A man who grew up in Mississippi as the son of a sharecropper and learned to forgive those who oppressed him, a woman who felt forced into abortion who now helps other women find healing and a Native American man who overcame deep suffering and loss and now encourages Native children are among some of the many faces Joyce shares with her audience. She also teaches practical ways each of us can draw closer to Christ and live out the works of mercy in our own lives.
-Overcoming Indifference: How do we overcome the crippling spirit of indifference that blinds us to the needs of others? St. Maximillian Kolbe once referred to indifference as “the most deadly poison of our times.” What are some of the practical ways we can enliven our hearts and become the “missionaries of mercy” Pope Francis has called us to be? Joyce shares ways we can grow spiritually in order and become empowered to reach out to others in love. “As Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor once said, the opposite of love is not hate—it’s indifference. While it can be overwhelming when we consider the vast suffering going on around us, we truly can make a difference in very simple ways,” Joyce tells audiences.
“Joyce speaks with a prayerful fervor that deeply touches people. She is an incredible witness of perseverance through pain, hope through humility, commitment through crisis, patience through pressure, and through it all, finding joy in the journey. Beautifully transparent about her faith, God has given her the strength to share the deep personal struggles in her life with courage, vulnerability and humor. Her strong faith and authentic character are the reflections of a life refined through fire.” - Dee Gray, director of adult formation, St. Clare Parish
“She is articulate, thorough and incisive as she answers questions. But she brings more than her gift of communication. She shares her passion for these people. Through her written and now her spoken words, Joyce paints indelible pictures of a faith community whose very existence is threatened. Listen to her and you will never again take your faith for granted.” - Michael Dixon, Immaculate Heart Radio, KABC, KCBS, KMOX