Meet the Team
Deacon Omar Gutiérrez is the President and co-Founder of the Evangelium Institute as well as the Director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith in the Archdiocese of Omaha. An alumnus of Franciscan University, the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome and the University of Dallas, he has an MA in Theology and has been published in a number of print and online magazines and newspapers including the National Catholic Register and The Catholic Voice. His book, The Urging of Christ’s Love: The Saints and the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church was published in 2013, and he has a program on Catholic Social Teaching through DiscerningHearts.com which is aired on Spirit Catholic Radio.
Most importantly, Omar has been happily married to Miriam, and they are very blessed with their five children. They are members of St. Peter's Parish, Omaha.
Erin Keller is the Evangelium Institute retreat coordinator. Erin and her husband, Dave, have been married for 25 years and have five children. Erin has a BA in English from Creighton University, and a Masters in Christian Spirituality with a certificate in spiritual direction and directed retreats from Creighton as well. She has worked as a teacher of literature and theology, a high school campus minister, a spiritual director, a Sunday school coordinator, adjunct instructor for School of Faith and as founder and spiritual director of One Heart One Fire Ministries. She is in the process of publishing two books she has written to help parents and teachers lead children and youth into deeper relationship with Mary and the Trinity. Her passion is to engage God's children, young and old, in deep relationship with Him and to equip the generations with understanding and knowledge of His love, power and gifts. Erin and her family are members of St. Patrick's Parish in Elkhorn, Nebraska.
Juli Kaftan is the Evangelium Institute retreat co-coordinator and Presence Minister. She has a passion for education, prayer, and helping others to encounter Christ. She has a B.S. in Elementary Education from Creighton University, a Masters in Educational Administration from the University of OK, and a Ph.D. in Teaching, Curriculum and Learning from the University of NE, Lincoln. She is currently pursuing her certificate in Spiritual Direction and Directed Retreats from Creighton. She has taught at the elementary, middle school, and adult levels. She works with One Heart One Fire Ministries to lead children in Eucharistic Adoration and is active in parish ministry. She and her husband, Hal, are members of Christ the King Parish where Juli serves on the Senior Leadership Team. They have been married for 33 years, have 4 sons, 1 daughter-in-law and great hopes for many grandchildren! If you can’t find Juli at the church or studying, you may find her visiting children, cooking, hiking, biking, or kayaking.
Keith Jiron is the Executive Director and co-founder of the Evangelium Institute. A native of Colorado, he graduated from Colorado State University in 1990. He went on to study at Conception Seminary College in Missouri and St. Thomas Theological Seminary in Colorado before completing his Master’s degree in Theology and Christian Ministry from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. He has a Licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL) and is currently a Doctoral Candidate with the University of Dayton’s International Marian Research Institute which is an affiliate of the Marianum in Rome. Keith and his wife Kate have four sons. His hobbies include spiritual reading, fly fishing, and camping with his family.