Faith & Family Festival   |  Diocese of Youngstown 

Featured Speakers & Musicians 

dr ray hs

Dr. Ray Guarendi: 
Dr. Ray Guarendi is the father, clinical psychologist, author, public speaker and 
nationally syndicated radio host. His experience includes school districts, Head Start programs, mental health centers, substance abuse programs, inpatient psychiatric centers, juvenile courts, and a private practice. Dr. Guarendi has been a regular guest on national radio and television, including Oprah, Joan Rivers, Scott Ross Prime Time, 700 Club, Gordon Elliot, and CBS This Morning. He's appeared on regional radio and television shows in over 40 states and Canada. He has been the program psychologist for Cleveland's Morning Exchange, Pittsburgh 2-Day, and AM Indiana. He has written many books. His first book, You're a Better Parent Than You Think! is now in itstwenty-eighth printing. Other books include: Back to the Family, Discipline That Lasts a Lifetime, Good Discipline, Great Teens, Adoption: Choosing It, Living It, Loving It, Raising Good Kids: Back to Family Basics, and his newest book, Marriage: Small Steps, Big Rewards.


''Dr. Ray Guarendi is one of the most effective speakers I have seen in the past few years. If you want to enjoy, learn and laugh ... while getting a better 'handle' on your role as a parent or teacher, don't miss this exciting speaker.''
Mike Frank, C.S.P., C.P.A.E. 1980 Pres., National Speakers Association

"The reception and appreciation of Dr. Guarendi's presentation by this well-educated audience can only be described as remarkable ... The enthusiasm presented by this man provides his audience with an unforgettable experience ... Truly, someone to be heard."
Dr Harold R. Walker, Ohio School Boards Association

''These adjectives come to mind after hearing Ray Guarendi speak: Dynamic, innovative, unforgettable, humorous. He reaches people personally."
Jay Paris. Sr. Editor Ohio Magazine

"It has been several years since I have received as many requests for a repeat performance by a speaker as I did after your session." Pat Waddell, Assn Director Indiana Association of Rehabilitation Services "Outstanding ... energetic ... highly recommend."
Tom Nelms, Prog. Planner AT&T Network Systems Dr. Ray


Ben Waither:
As a budding worship leader in college, I began writing songs with my friends that expressed the communal faith of the Church.  It was invigorating to share new songs we’d written with our collegiate community and to feel that God really does inhabit the praises of His people.  I knew then that it would be a great blessing to devote my life to writing songs of worship and singing them together with the family of believers. With the release of my first album, “Where I Want To Be,” I began a musical journey and the chance to share my story of hope in God’s abundant blessings (see John 10:10).  In June 2008, I released a 6-song EP, “Everything Can Change,” produced by Robbie Seay of Sparrow Records and featuring songs co-written by Matt Maher.  Over the next few years, I enjoyed many opportunities to lead worship and share the Gospel.  I have worked extensively with Life Teen, Franciscan University of Steubenville and ADORE Ministries in Houston. Most recently, in partnership with publisher Spirit and Song (a division of Oregon Catholic Press), and producer Tom Booth, I am pleased to offer “Make Your Home In Me,” a collection of 7 new modern songs of worship for the Church.  Because God had new lessons of trust and confidence to teach me, in 2013, my family and I made a move from Texas to sunny Ohio.  Without a doubt, my most profound blessings are my lovely wife Maria, our five children, and my winter parka.







Pedro J. (PJ) Chavez:  Pedro Chavez resides in North Canton with his wife, Bethany and two sons, Luca and Caleb. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Mount Union College in 2004. In 2008, He received his Commercial Pilot Certificate and CFI/CFII ratings from Kent State University and taught in the flight training program at the Kent State airport. PJ finished his MAED from Walsh University in 2011. He has served as Director of Liturgical Services and Music for the chapel at Walsh University since 2006. PJ also began working as the Director of Campus Ministry for Canton Central Catholic High School in 2014. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for VOCI (Voices of Canton Incorporated), formerly the Canton Civic Opera. PJ is honored to currently be serving as the Chair of Liturgical Music for the 2017 CCMA National Conference to be held in San Antonio, Texas. He has also written the theme song “Encounters of Christ” for the 2017 CCMA National Conference. PJ has led worship in many parishes throughout the Diocese of Youngstown and is thrilled and honored to work with many different musicians and vocalists praising God! Music ministry is one of the many highlights of PJ’s life. He loves to play music and sing God’s praise and believes that singing has healing powers that can lift people up and truly change the world! 


Altared is a Christian rock band made up of local Catholic young people.