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Archives October event aimed at bolstering families

Sept. 26, 2018

By Kristina Dean
Contributing Writer

OGDENSBURG – Recognizing families of faith are the answer to troubling times, the Diocese of Ogdensburg isCatholic Family Event inviting men, women and teens to a one-day event designed to strengthen them in becoming beacons of hope, faith and love to the world.

Sponsored through the diocese and Women of Grace, the event, “Catholic Families: God’s Answer for Our Time,” will be held Oct. 13 at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

This family event includes guest speakers Johnette Benkovic Williams, Susan Brinkmann and Thomas K. Sullivan, morning prayer, Mass, a healing Rosary service and special break-out sessions for teens.

Co-organizer for the event and Regional Coordinator for Woman of Grace Mary Dillenback described it as a day filled with opportunities to pray together, have holy conversation and be inspired by speakers solidly grounded in church teaching.

“We live in a time of great challenges,” she said. “It seems that what we cherish most is under daily attack from our secular world in which we live. We must not get discouraged or underestimate the role and importance of family.”

She cited the words of St. Pope John Paul II who said, “As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.”

There are many daily demands on parents and children that leave little time for them to spend quality time together, she said.

The event offers a time for families to come together and celebrate the gift they have in one another and in their faith.

“It is often said that Catholics should be the most joyful people on earth,” she said. “Therefore, we must immerse ourselves and our families in all that our Catholic faith gives us to strengthen us. We, as Catholics, have a tremendous gift and responsibility to prayerfully become beacons of hope and light to our world.”

Continuing to cite St. Pope John Paul II, she explained that in his “Gospel of Life,” Evangelium Vitae, he said, “The family has a special role to play throughout the life of its members, from birth to death. It is truly the sanctuary of life: the place in which life – the gift of God – can be properly welcomed and protected against the many attacks to which it is exposed and can develop in accordance with what constitutes authentic human growth.”

Because of this, the role of the family in building a culture of life is “decisive and irreplaceable.”

The Catholic family is a countercultural sign witnessing the love and light of Christ to the world, she said. This event aims to strengthen families and help them learn to “suit up” for the spiritual battle of good against evil.
Keynote speaker Benkovic Williams, founder of the apostolate Women of Grace, will speak twice. The first will center around Genesis with the creation of man and woman, the fall from grace and the promise of hope and restoration.

Her second talk is titled “The Catholic Family: Beacon of Hope in an Age of Confusion.”

Brinkmann, author of Young Women of Grace Study and award-winning journalist, will give a talk entitled “A Catholic Family Survival Guide,” as well as speak to teen girls in one of the breakout sessions.

Sullivan, author of “Called to Knighthood,” will present “The Rosary: Your Weapon for Spiritual Warfare,” and also speak to teen boys in a presentation titled, “Knighted By Christ: Ignited by the Holy Spirit.”

According to Dillenback, the mission of Women of Grace is to transform the world one woman at a time by affirming women in their dignity and vocation as daughters of God and their gift of authentic femininity.

The apostolate has previously sponsored conferences with Benkovic Williams, however this time Dillenback said she believed it was not only women who needed to hear her words, but families as well.

More information and registration can be found by going to https://www.rcdony.org/evangelization/workshops-and-events/family-event.html.

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