LA Religious Education Congress
February 21, 2020 @ 8:00 AM - February 23, 2020 @ 5:00 PM
The Los Angeles Religious Education Congress is the largest event of its kind in the world. It has continued its original objective of offering in-service education and spiritual formation to those in catechetical and related ministries. Though the Religious Education Congress continues to serve religious educators, today it is so much more! RECongress now draws 40,000 participants during this internationally acclaimed four-day event and offers more than 300 workshops covering a vast range of topics from spirituality, music and personal development to biblical studies and catechesis.
Visit the CTU booth in the exhibit area to learn more about CTU’s mission to educate leaders for the global church. Several of our faculty and alumni will be presenting, drop into their workshops! See their listings below.
Faculty and Alumni presenters
Friday, February 21
THE SPIRITUAL JOURNEY: A PROCESS OF TRANSFORMATION
The spiritual journey is the process of being conformed by the Spirit of God to the image of Christ for the sake of others. In this workshop, we’ll explore the stages and dynamics of the spiritual journey, its challenges for 21st-century Christians, and see how ordinary people were transformed by their willingness to surrender to God’s grace.
Fr. Albert Haase, OFM
PROMISE AND HOPE: ACCOMPANIMENT IN THE PARISH
Pope Francis has called on the whole Church to learn the art of accompaniment and make it the chief pastoral strategy in every parish. This offers us all a chance to re-ally live mercy and be holy, one and the same thing. But how we do actually do this in a real parish? What does it mean to religious education, liturgy, pastoral care and other ministries? This workshop will demonstrate the method by which accompaniment is enacted in each par-ish program and provide concrete steps and suggestions to help you succeed as an “accompanying parish.”
WISE GUIDES ON THE ROAD TO SAINTHOOD: AFRICAN AMERICAN ANCESTORS OF FAITH
Come learn about the six African American holy men and women and their causes for canonization: Venerable Augustus Tolton, Venerable Mother Henriette Díaz De-Lille, Venerable Pierre Toussaint, Servant of God Mother Mary Lange, Servant of God Julia Greeley and Servant of God Thea Bowman. How did they persevere in times of challenge? What made them unique? How can they be our guides in our journey of faith and ministry? What is the process for canonization? Dr. Vanessa White will share her own stories of Sr. Bowman as well as her work with the cause for Fr. Tolton as she facilitates this session on the lives of our “saints” from the United States.
SAINT MARY: IN THE IMAGE AND LIKENESS OF THE FATHER OR MERCIES
This workshop will consider how Mary, the mother of Jesus and the Church, invites us to be the image and likeness of God the Father of Mercies, as based on the Sermons of St. Joan of the Cross, a Spanish Franciscan Sister. St. Joan was a mystic, a pastor and a preacher in the early 1500’s. She preached to her parishioners, to her sisters, to bishops and the royal family. Her sermons contained a unique view of Mary as a model of holiness and mercy who intercedes for sinners. In her mercy, she wants to assume everyone with her into heaven.
Gilberto Cavazos – Gonzalez, OFM
STANDING IN AWE AND WONDER AND PRAISE: THE TRANSFORMATIVE POWER OF HUMBLE THANKS
At the center of our Catholic tradition is the celebration of the Eucharist. It is the third and only repeatable sacra-ment of initiation, crowning baptism and confirmation. The Eucharist serves as a “school of peace,” according to the catechesis of St. Pope John Paul II. Attend this workshop and ponder this wonderful gift of love. Appre-ciate anew the transformative power of giving humble thanks and praise, our duty and salvation, and the source and summit of true peace.
Saturday, February 22
WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR: THEM OR US?
In the story of the Good Samaritan, the theologian asks Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus’ answer is startling for the theologian and for us. Divine mercy is always startling and incomprehensible. What is our response in the face of it? How might we mirror it?
WHAT IS MERCY ANYWAY? FIVE INSIGHTS INTO THE MERCY THAT MAKES US HOLY AS GOD IS HOLY
The RECongress theme this year is about mercy and holiness. Both words are used a lot, and sometimes we take the experience of both for granted. Join Fr. Richard Fragomeni and meditate on what mercy can be and examine five insights that open up a transformation of mind and heart into becoming the mercy of Christ incarnate again in 2020. This workshop will inspire those who attend to a greater holiness of life in the middle of the chaos of living.
HOW CAN I SERVE YOU? LEARNING TO BE AN ACCOMPANIST
Do you want to serve others in your parish as a pastoral accompanist? Do you want to train people in your parish or program to do so? As parishes adopt accompaniment, many people will be needed to assist in this ministry. Those who come forward will have to live mercy and be holy! Who can do this? How will you be trained? What is the commitment? What skills are needed? What guide-lines will you be asked to follow? This workshop will be packed full of practical, concrete information based on real case studies and examples.
DON’T BE WEARY: SPIRITUAL PRACTICES FOR HEALTH AND WHOLYNESS
Ministers and people of faith today are overwhelmingly busy and moving toward burnout, which has resulted in many physical, psychological and spiritual challenges. What can we retrieve from our spiritual tradition that can assist us today in living lives of wholeness and joy able to confront the challenges of today?
WE ARE ALL CALLED, LOVED AND SENT: SPIRI-TUAL WISDOM FROM POPE FRANCIS
This workshop explores Pope Francis’ insights for mod-ern Christians who are seeking to better understand how to live a faithful life of holiness in the world amid con-temporary challenges. Grounded in the Second Vatican Council’s reaffirmation of the universal call to holiness, this spiritual wisdom affirms that all women and men have a vocation, that they are loved first by God and un-conditionally, and that we are all then sent as “mission-ary disciples” into the world to announce the Gospel of mercy with our lives wherever we find ourselves.
God can work wonders through us, even when we our-selves have trouble forgiving others … and ourselves! In this session, Catholic musician John Angotti shares his music and faith testimony on the meaning and challenge of forgiveness, healing and reconciliation.
CTU Alumnus John Angotti, MAPS ’13
Sunday, February 23
GOD HERE AND NOW
How can we wake up and see God in everyday experi-ences? How can we use what we see to respond through the liturgy and allow the liturgy to help us respond to our baptismal call each day? Come explore fresh ideas about what it means to be a disciple at any age, in any ministry role.
CTU Alumnus John Angotti, MAPS ’13
THE PRESENT MOMENT: A SACRAMENT AND AMBASSADOR
In the 19th century, “Abandonment to Divine Provi-dence,” a work ascribed to the 18th-century Jesuit priest Jean-Pierre de Caussade, became an instant best-seller and one of the great works of spirituality. In our contem-porary age, where “living in the present moment” is a current fad, this 19th-century text offers a Christian and mystical approach to the here and now. This workshop explores the mysticism of the present moment and offers both a technique for living in the present as well as a discussion of its practical effects.
Fr. Albert Haase, OFM
LOVING THE DUST WE ARE: RENEWING OUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE HUMAN PERSON
This workshop explores the latest developments in the spirituality and theology of human personhood. We be-gin with developing a greater appreciation for our place within the broader family of creation precisely as part of that same creation. We then examine how we might respond to the contemporary sociological, scientific and philosophical shifts in understanding identity and relationship. Finally, another aim of this workshop includes renewing our sense of sin and grace so that we might develop a mature faith and spirituality to live the Gospel life in the modern world.