A Look at Congress 1997!

Religious Education Congress
sponsored by

The Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocese 
Office of Religious Education

 Congress 1997Exhibit hall

Combined with the attendance of Youth Day, which is the prelude to the four day period, the most recent Religious Education Congress attracted nearly 30,000 people. Congress 1997 showcased nearly 150 exhibitors in the Anaheim Convention Center's main hall.

Some images from Congress '97. Click on any of the pictures below for a full-sized version. Use your browser's "Back" button to return.


The Exhibits

The Office of Religious Education's BoothEntrance to the Exhibit HallA variety of booths offered information and productsA number of publishing houses were represented


The Faces

The Exhibit Hall offered a variety of 150 booths from which to chooseBoth food and entertainment are part of the experienceFriends -- new and old -- are united at CongressPart of the Web Ministry Team?


The Sharing

20,000 attendees are drawn over the three-day CongressExhibit Booths are open all three days of CongressBetween friends, food and entertainment it's hard to see all the booths

"WHATEVER THE  20,000 catechists who attended [the 1997] Religious Education Congress have 'given up' for Lent, enthusiasm is not on the list. Those who packed the Anaheim Convention Center Feb. 14-16 for the annual event, the largest of its kind in the United States, demonstrated that this is not a season for Gloomy Guses (or Gussies); rather, it is a time for reflection, for sacrifice and for service, in which virtually all of those in attendance are regularly involved. That does not mean, however, that they cannot celebrate their faith joyously in a variety of ways. And from the spirited liturgies and workshops to concerts and productions -- including the dynamic new Marty Haugen musical, 'Song of Mark' -- Congress-goers embraced the Word (and words) in abundance at Congress '97, and departed ready to echo the Gospel message in their local parish communities." 

-- Mike Nelson
The Tidings, February 21, 1997

Read more about  Congress

Cardinal at Tech Booth
Cardinal Mahony online

Click on any of the pictures below for a full-sized version. Use your browser's "Back" button to return.

Cardinal Mahony onlineThe Cardinal drew quite a crowd Cardinal Mahony online2Sr. Edith Prendergast looks on

Cardinal Roger Mahony went online live from the RECongress in the first nationwide chat session hosted on America Online on Friday, February 14, 1997.

Read the transcripts from other Religious Education Congress online chats

Congress Chat History:
Beginning in 1996 on CompuServe, Cardinal Roger Mahony conducted the first nationwide, online (typing) live from Hall A at the Anaheim Convention Center. in 2001 the Cardinal suggested adding a private chat with students from a school in the Archdiocese. Since then, we have had the tradition of a private school chat.

Los Angeles Archbishop Jos Gomez continued the tradition of a Congress Chat, and now we've expanded our chats to include regional bishops and schools from their region. This year, Bishop David O'Connell joins us for our sixth video chat with a school from his region.

with Auxiliary Bishop David O'Connell of the San Gabriel Region

2019 (All Souls, Alhambra)

with Los Angeles Archbishop Jos Gomez

2017 (St Francis of Assisi, L.A.)    2016 (St Mary Magdalen, Camarillo)    2015 (St Finbar School, Burbank)    2014 (St Columbkille School, L.A.)    2013 (St Bernard School, L.A.)    2012 (St Dorothy School, Glendora)    2011 (St Thomas School, L.A.)

with Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop Emeritus of Los Angeles

2010    2010 (St John Chrysostom School, Inglewood)    2009    2009 (St Elisabeth, Van Nuys)    2008    2008 (Sacred Heart, Covina)    2007    2007 (St Benedict, Montebello)    2007 (St Rita, Sierra Madre)    2006    2006 (Holy Innocents, Long Beach)    2005    2004    2003    2001    2001 (St Jerome, Westchester)    2001 (Holy Family, South Pasadena)    2000    1999    1998    1997    1996

with Auxiliary Bishop Edward Clark of the Our Lady of the Angels Pastoral Region


2016 Marks 20 Years of Congress Chats — The first (typing) RECongress chat was held on Friday, February 23, 1996 on CompuServe with Cardinal Roger Mahony. Ten years later, on Friday, March 31, 2006, the Cardinal's annual chat was conducted in a room hosted on ChurchWerks.com. The Cardinal participated in 22 Congress chats (both nationwide and with schools) over 14 years.

At Congress 2016, Archbishop Jos Gomez has continued the tradition of (now, video) chats with school students from the Archdiocese. This was his sixth Congress chat (and fourth video chat) conducted from the Tech Center, located in the center of Exhibit Hall A at the Religious Education Congress. The RECongress chat are now continued through the regional bishops, while the Archbishop now holds an event on Facebnook Live.

Beginning on CompuServe, the RECongress nationwide chats have been hosted by AOL Live! (1997-2000), Beliefnet (2001), CatholicWeb.com (2002-2003), and ChurchWerks.com (2004-2010). The school chats have been conducted on AOL (2001-2006), Yahoo (2007), Chatzy (2008-2012), Skype (2013-2014) and Google+ (2015-2016).


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