Jesus said, “I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled!”

That “fire” is the fire of the Holy Spirit, the love of God poured into our hearts, enabling us to be healed and transformed and to be used by the Lord.

This year, the Catholic Women’s Conference, “With the Holy Spirit,” will delve into the gift we receive when we open our hearts and souls to the Holy Spirit and the transformative power of healing and spirituality the Holy Spirit brings to us.

Featured speakers Johnette Benkovic Williams and Kathleen McCarthy will share their journey from devastating loss to spiritual rebirth after accepting the healing gift of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

Johnette Benkovic Williams was having difficulty sleeping in the early hours of the morning of March 20, 2004, when she heard a knock at the door.

Being already awake, she opened the door to find two Florida State Highway Patrolmen on her doorstep. She invited them in and woke her husband, knowing in her mother’s heart that this was not good news.

Her son Simon had been killed in an automobile crash, an irony not lost on Johnette as Simon had served in Korea and Afghanistan and was a decorated Army veteran. She left her husband and the patrolmen in her family room and went to her bedroom, prostrating herself on the floor in grief.

Suddenly, in the midst of her heartbreak, she saw and felt the loss that Mary, the Blessed Mother, would have suffered at the foot of the cross while her Son suffered and ultimately died. She felt the pain of that loss as acutely as her own, embracing her pain and her loss.

She felt God’s word in her heart, telling her that she had labored to bring her son into this world, and her pain and suffering were her labor to give Simon spiritual life. Pain was grace, there was merit in suffering, and that suffering was union with Christ.

One year later, at the Christening of their first grandchild, her husband suffered a Grand Mal seizure, ultimately leading to his diagnosis of terminal brain cancer. Johnnette survived another terrible loss and was strengthened by her faith, family, friends, and the prayers of the supporters of the organizations she founded, Living His Life Abundantly and Women of Grace.

Johnnette is a popular conference speaker, published author, retreat director, and seminar presenter. She will lead the rosary in the morning and in the afternoon, she will give a talk on the gifts of the Holy Spirit with heartfelt and inspiring stories.

Featured speaker Kathleen McCarthy was a mother of twelve when her husband died of cancer. It was through divine intervention that Kathleen discovered and accepted the presence of the Holy Spirit in her life and began her ministry to share the gift of the Holy Spirit with others.

Kathleen went on to become a published author, Catholic radio broadcaster and a Catholic lay evangelist for more than 40 years.

Her message of the Father’s merciful love, the Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist and the power of the Holy Spirit will inspire others to embrace the healing power and love of the Holy Spirit.

The conference will feature a celebration of Mass with the Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, the divinely inspired music of Maria Salamida, and the opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

The day will conclude with a Eucharistic Healing Service, led by Kathleen McCarthy where women will experience tremendous healing from the awesome touch of the Heavenly Father. Participants will also enjoy a continental breakfast, buffet lunch and the opportunity for shopping in the Catholic Vendor Marketplace.

The cost to attend the conference is $55. Student tickets are $20, and women religious are welcome free of charge.

For more information or to register for conference tickets online, please visit