Diocese of Ogdensburg

The Roman Catholic Church in Northern New York

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THE CATHOLIC FAMILY: God's Answer for our Time

The Catholic Family is a countercultural sign witnessing the love and light of Christ to the world.  

This one-day event for families, men, women and teens is intended to help us be the salt and light in our communities.  As we are strengthened in our own faith and learn how much we are loved by God, we in turn will become signs of hope, faith and love for those around us. 

This powerful event is for everyone in the diocese!  That means YOU! There will be sessions for adults as well as tracks for teenagers.



Schedule: Saturday, October 13


Registration and Gathering - Cathedral Vestibule 


Welcome and Morning Prayer 


Johnnette Benkovic Williams: It All Started in the Garden with a Man and a Woman, but it is all about Eve




Sue Brinkman: A Catholic Family Survival Guide


Lunch (included)


Tom Sullivan: The Rosary: Your Weapon for Spiritual Warfare




Johnnette Benkovic Williams: The Catholic Family: Beacon of Hope in an Age of Confusion


Break/preparation for Mass


Mass with Bishop LaValley


Adults: Free time for Dinner (not included: see restaurant guide)


Teens: Dinner in Brzana Hall followed by :


  Boys Presentation by Tom Sullivan (in Dcn. Winters Chapel): Knighted by Christ, Ignited by the Holy Spirit

  Girls Presentation by Sue Brinkman (in Brzana Hall): Unleashing the Feminine Genius within You


Healing Rosary Service


End of the evening.



Limited availability of overnight accommodations is available in Wadhams Hall as a cost of $50 per person including breakfast.  Note: each room is furnished with 2 twin beds.  See registration form to request rooms. Please register by October 5 to if registering for accommodations at Wadhams.


Our Presenters:



Johnnette Benkovic Williams:

Johnnette B. Williams is Founder and President of Living His Life Abundantly® International, Inc., a Catholic evangelization apostolate with outreaches in television, radio, print, and internet communications.  She is also Founder of Women of Grace®, a Catholic apostolate for Christian women that features a number of outreaches including conferences, curricula, study groups, and more. Johnnette is the host of the Women of Grace television program and Women of Grace Live, a one-hour, call-in radio talk show, which both air internationally on EWTN. Johnnette is also a popular conference, retreat, and seminar presenter, and is the author of several books including Full of Grace: Women and the Abundant Life, on which the Foundational Study Series for Women of Grace is based, in addition to newly released books, Graceful Living: Meditations to Help You Grow Closer to God Day by Day and The Rosary: Your Weapon for Spiritual Warfare. Johnnette was married to her husband, Anthony, for nearly 34 years and became widowed in 2007. After 11 years of widowhood, Johnnette married in 2018 to Mr. Jack Williams. She is the mother of three adult children, two living, and two adult children through marriage, and has nine grandchildren.



Presentation 1:

It all Started in the Garden with a Man and a Women - But It Is All About Eve 


Presentation 2:

The Catholic Family: Beacon of Hope in an Age of Confusion


Tom K. Sullivan:

Thomas K. Sullivan began a career serving in the United States Military (U.S. Navy and Coast Guard) at the young age of 17. During his 12 years of service, Tom spent five of those years as a Company Commander in the US Navy, training young men and women in the ways of military life, and was awarded the designation as a "Master Training Specialist." Little did he know God  was grooming him for a training field much bigger than he could imagine. At the age of 30, Tom returned to the Catholic Faith and found his true mission in life. He has spent the past 24 years in Catholic evangelization, education, and apologetics. Since 2001, Tom has worked for Living His Life Abundantly International/Women of Grace where he currently serves as the Director of Operations, Director of Information Technology, and Network Administrator. Tom is also the producer of the television program Women of Grace on EWTN.  He is the author of Called to Knighthood and The Rosary: Your Weapon for Spiritual Warfare, and the creator of the Warrior's Rosary.


Presentation - General Audience:

The Rosary: Your Weapon for Spiritual Warfare


Evening Presentation for Teenage Boys:

Knighted by Christ: Ignited by the Holy Spirit.


Susan Brinkmann, O.C.D.S.

Author and award-winning journalist is a member of the Third Order of Discalced Carmelites. She is the Director of Communications and New Age Research for Women of Grace® and is a frequent guest on EWTN's Women of Grace® television show. She formerly worked as a Correspondent for the Catholic Standard & Times, the newspaper for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

For the last 10 years she has been the lead researcher for Women of Grace’s New Age Q&A Blog which is the largest blog of this kind in the world. The library of information now exceeds 1200 entries on everything from acupuncture and angels to wicca and yoga. She has also authored seven books, including The Learn to Discern Compendium: Is It Christian or New Age which has an imprimatur from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Liguori Publications published the story of her conversion, entitled, We Need to Talk: God Speaks to a Modern Girl. Along with Johnnette Benkovic, she co-authored the Young Women of Grace Study Program which teaches girls ages 13+ about what it means to be authentically feminine. Her latest publication is The Catholic Guide to Mindfulness, published by Avila Institute, which has an imprimatur from the Diocese of Birmingham.

Her national journalism awards include the Bernadine-O'Connor Award for Pro-Life Journalism, the Eileen Egan Journalism Award from Catholic Relief Services, and numerous awards from the Catholic Press Association and the Philadelphia Press Association.


Presentation General Audience:

A Catholic Family Survival Guide


Evening Presentation for Teenage Girls:

Unleashing the Genius Within You