By Elizabeth FazziniAssistant Editor
UNIONTOWN — Two parishioners from St. John the Evangelist Parish attended a women’s retreat in southeastern Pennsylvania led by Johnnette Benkovic last July.
They returned uplifted and inspired — and determined to bring Benkovic’s encouraging, faith-filled message to women in their local community, without the expense and time of traveling.
Mary Ann Rider and Beth Casteel are the organizers of a June 4 women’s retreat to be led by Benkovic at St. John the Evangelist Parish. It is open to all women.
Benkovic is executive producer of The Abundant Life, a television program that discusses contemporary issues from a Catholic perspective, broadcast internationally on Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). She is also host of Women of Grace Live, a one-hour call-in radio talk show, also heard internationally.
"She’s (Benkovic) just so passionate about women finding their purpose and how significant their role is in their families, society and community," Rider said. "We were so touched with it that we just knew that we wanted to get it to as many women as we could."
"She is on fire for the Lord," Casteel added. "It is her complete trust and love of the Lord that draws women to her."
In the morning, Benkovic will give a presentation on finding purpose and feeding the soul, followed by a question and answer session. In the afternoon, she will speak about spiritual motherhood and going forth impregnated with the Gospel message to be Jesus to the world.
There will also be an opportunity for confession, praying the rosary and purchasing books written by Benkovic.
"My prayer is that the day is a life-changing, transforming experience for the women who participate — that they will leave with a deeper knowledge and appreciation of who they are as women and what God’s plan and purpose is for their lives."
She said God has blessings in store for his loved ones.
"He wants to draw us to himself and give us joy, hope, peace and a true sense of fulfillment," Benkovic said.
"Come with expectant faith and see what God will do."
The organizers are encouraging groups of women from parishes to attend and make reservations as soon as possible.