Johnnette S. Benkovic is the founder and president of Living His Life Abundantly International, a Catholic evangelization apostolate that includes radio, television, Internet and print communications. Benkovic will speak Oct. 20 at St. Timothy Parish in Mesa. She is pictured in an undated photo. (CNS photo/courtesy Johnnette S. Benkovic)

Johnnette Benkovic, executive producer of EWTN’s “Women of Grace” television program and host of “Women of Grace Live,” a national talk show that airs locally on 1310 AM, Immaculate Heart Radio, will speak Saturday morning Oct. 20 at St. Timothy Parish in Mesa.

Michelene Tanberg, a St. Timothy parishioner who spearheaded the drive to have the Catholic radio and television star appear in the Valley, said she was motivated by a tragic incident.

“My niece took her life last year,” Tanberg said. “She was abused by her husband for 20 years. She had no self-worth left.”

Tanberg said Benkovic consistently speaks about the dignity of women — something her niece never heard.

“Society teaches you must look skinny and you must be beautiful,” Tanberg said. “That’s a lie. So many women don’t know why they were created and don’t know they have inherent dignity.”

The one-day conference, Tanberg said, is an opportunity for women to discover the truth about themselves.

“Johnette is so articulate about our faith and so enthusiastic,” Tanberg said. “Women need to learn why we’re here and the truth that the Church has given us.”

Kay Kandas, who helped organize the conference, is also a big fan of Benkovic. “She’s very current on the culture,” Kandas said. “She knows what’s going on and talks about how to live the Catholic life in our culture today.”

Fr. Charlie Goraieb, pastor of St. Timothy, said Benkovic encourages women to see themselves as “daughters of the Lord,” to appreciate their femininity and to “celebrate that and see how, through true feminine genius, women are able to grow in grace and in their relationship with the Lord,” Fr. Goraieb said. “I think it’s very helpful, very important.”

‘Changing the Culture One Woman at a Time’

Saturday, Oct. 20

St. Timothy Parish, Mesa

Check-in: 7:30 a.m.-8:15 a.m.

Begins with Mass at 8:30 a.m.

Costs $45, includes lunch

Pay online at

Or mail check to:

St. Timothy Catholic Church,

1730 W. Guadalupe Rd., Mesa AZ 85202

Or visit St. Timothy Gift Shop

Conference will end by 4:30 p.m.