RECongress 2003Religious Education Congress

Sunday Workshops - Period 8

March 2, 2003 • 1:00 - 2:30 p.m.


THURSDAY  Youth Day Schedule


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Period 7  •  Period 8
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8-01 The Unfinished Business of John Paul II
John L. Allen, Jr.
A view from Rome on the major issues facing the Catholic Church at the end of Pope John Paul II’s pontificate and the challenges awaiting his successor.

8-02 Placing The Gospel Into the Center of Our Conflicts
Emotional honesty – finding God in our feelings – is the key to being real on our spiritual journey. This workshop details the greatest human struggle: the battle between honesty with self and denial. Pride, encouraged by the desire to be perfect, refuses to own human weakness. We will present the outline to building a spiritual program: the emotional honesty of owning our guilts, angers and fears. So instead of blaming others, we bring them to God – letting God forgive us, heal our angry hearts and transform our fears through faith.

Rev. Tom Allender, S.J.
Fr. Tom Allender has worked in a variety of fields from high school to college as a teacher and administrator. A former parish priest, he has served in the Chicago ghettos and the Indian reservations in Washington. Also an author, he has written "The God Within" and "God Loves an Unmade Bed." For the past 19 years, he has been involved in parish evangelization/renewals in more than 800 parishes in 45 different states.

8-03 Catechesis and Creativity
Michael J. Corso, Ph.D.
Catechesis is an art, requiring the careful combination of content and form. Creativity is called for by the nature of catechesis itself as well as the multiple learning styles and intelligences of the participants. We will explore this topic and share our own most creative catechetical experiences and expressions.

8-04 When We Are "The Best," Bias Will Not Be Far Behind
Michael H. Crosby, O.F.M.Cap.
Living faithfully as disciples of Jesus (who modeled "compassion for the crowd") is not easy when we are citizens of the most powerful nation on Earth. Often we look at life more from the perspective of being "Americans" than the lens of the Gospel. How can we develop "eyes that see" that we might be converted and become a more healing presence in our world?

8-05 Helping Students Develop a Sense of Significance – Knowing That What They Do Makes a Difference
Constance Dembrowsky
This session teaches participants how to help students appreciate their own inherent value and worth, accept their individual significance, and realize that what they do does indeed make a difference in this life. You will learn specific techniques to help students identify and expand their positive attributes, which will give them the self-confidence to meet life’s challenges successfully. Your students will recognize that personal success is based on stretching their own talents in a way that enriches the world.

8-06 Liturgical Ritual: Essential Understanding for RCIA Teams
Rev. Robert D. Duggan
This prevention will discuss key ideas about liturgical ritual that will help catechumenate teams celebrate the liturgies of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) in ways that are more engaging.

8-07 The Saints’ Guide to Happiness
Robert Ellsberg
Everyone wants to be happy, and there are innumerable guides to this goal. But behind all the prescriptions for success, beauty and the avoidance of pain, there remains another path – the way of the saints. From these holy witnesses and their teachings on love, work, suffering and death, we may discover the goal of human existence and the key to our heart’s desire.

8-08 When Loving Hurts: Dealing with Conflict in Our Relationships
Rev. John Heagle and Fran Ferder, F.S.P.A.
Many of us grow up with the message that conflict is a sign of personal failure or a lack of love. But in reality, misunderstandings and tensions are a normal part of the human journey. In short, conflict is inevitable, but growth is optional. It all depends on whether we have the spiritual and emotional resources to turn relational pain into opportunities for deeper intimacy. This workshop explores positive and creative approaches to dealing with conflict in our closest circles of loving.

8-09 "A Presence that Disturbs": Christian Discipleship Today
Anthony J. Gittins, C.S.Sp.
A mature faith requires at least two things: an experience of God and an encounter with others. We must have felt what William Wordsworth called "a presence that disturbs" – that is, God’s changing presence in our lives. And then, in turn, we can and must become a presence that disturbs the status quo and be champions of God’s justice in an unjust world.

8-10 The Global Face of Christ
Greer Gordon
Our claim as Christians is that we are Christ in the midst of the world. The fact that poverty, hunger and xenophobia are increasing on the global and domestic fronts illustrates the need for a coordination of efforts between the ministries of social justice, evangelization and catechesis. This session will offer practical and timely approaches for effectively addressing these problems from the perspective of Christian social teaching.

8-11 Asking Courageous Questions: The Art of Discerning Life’s Priorities
Richard F. Groves
This is a dangerous session. Come only if you are prepared to name your deepest, truest desires. Real spirituality has the power to awaken the dormant seeds of God’s hunger and dream within us. When we are obedient to the nudging of Spirit, we benefit personally because meaningfulness makes us well and meaninglessness makes us sick. Just as importantly, the world around us experiences transformation. Come and explore the ancient ministry of spiritual discernment, which is experiencing a renaissance in our day … just in time to respond to the unprecedented spiritual hungers of the Church’s laity!

8-12 The Ministry of Liturgical Music: An Expression of the Spiritual Life
This session will be a musical, biblical and prayerful journey exploring spirituality, ministry and mission as the foundational vocation of liturgical music and those who serve as ministers of music. Through music, Scripture and storytelling, we will explore the dynamics of the spiritual life and how liturgical music can awaken and challenge the church on the road to discipleship, both in ritual settings and in everyday life. Come ready to sing, pray and experience on a deeper level how music forms us as a believing people.

David Haas
David Haas is Director of The Emmaus Center for Music, Prayer and Ministry, located in Minnesota. A composer of liturgical music, author, concert performer and recording artist, Haas is internationally known as a retreat leader and speaker at workshops and conferences throughout the United States and aborad.

8-13 Taking the Eucharist Into the World
Rt. Rev. Francis Kline, O.C.S.O.
The great commission at the end of the Eucharist – "Go in peace to love and serve the Lord" – is really the beginning of the work of the Christian. We are sent to preach the Gospel, to be a holy influence in society. During the week, we perform our holy work and return it to our Lord on Sunday. Where do we get the courage? How do we get the power? Who is our model? Who supports us in this holy work? Is the world too profane? Does our preaching and example make a difference? Should we avoid things secular, amoral and worldly?

8-14 Youth Ministry and Service – Integral Elements for Success
Jim Knowles
Using the U.S. bishops’ document on ministry, "Renewing the Vision," why do our bishops feel service and ministry to others is so important for our youth? What does the research say? What are today’s successful models? Come and find out why service projects are essential to successful youth ministry.

8-15 The Performing Arts as Prayer and Proclamation
Nancy Seitz Marcheschi & Graziano Marcheschi
Experience the power of the performing arts to transform the ordinary experiences of catechesis into the extraordinary through participational drama, dance, storytelling and reader’s theater. Learn how to engage students of all ages in prayer and the heart of the Gospel.

8-16 Taking the Next Step: Utilizing the National Standards for Lay Ecclesial Ministers
Dr. Charlotte McCorquodale
The latest development of national standards for lay ecclesial ministers, by three national pastoral ministry organizations, is an indication that the field continues to contribute to the understanding of this growing ministry within the Church. This workshop will explain the history and content of the standards as well as discuss ways ministers, parishes and dioceses can utilize them.

8-17 Tickle Your Soul: Live Well, Love Much, Laugh Often
Sr. Anne Bryan Smollin, C.S.J., Ph.D.
Happiness is a choice. A smile or a kind word can have a great healing effect. Humor is food for our soul. We will explore myths, perceptions and attitudes that block joy in our lives. Be prepared to laugh a lot and walk out a healthier, happier, holier person.

8-18 Nourishing Catechists with Prayer: A Practical Guide
Christine Ondrla
The real and pressing need just to have volunteer catechists present and prepared for religious education sessions can consume all the energy a DRE or Coordinator has to give. Christine Ondrla’s own parish faces all of these tasks, but she has been determined not to lose sight of the value of formation for catechists. With attentiveness to the church’s seasons and the parish’s liturgical life, Christine has developed formation and prayer opportunities that catechists have come to value as a "perk." Wouldn’t you like to do the same for your catechists? Come and learn how to integrate prayer and experience, with examples for different occasions.

8-19 Eucharist and Priesthood
Fr. Kenan B. Osborne, O.F.M.
In this session, Fr. Kenan Osborne will consider the major theological positions on the relationship between the celebration of Eucharist and the role of a priest.

8-20 Setting Hearts on Fire! The Challenge of Adult Education
"[A]dult faith formation must become our chief catechetical priority," states "Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us," the U.S. bishops’ pastoral plan for adult faith formation. What would parishes look like if we were to see adult faith formation as our chief priority? We have numerous opportunities and great potential to make this a reality. Let’s explore the possibilities!

Rev. Terry M. Odien
After his years as a high school religion teacher, Fr. Terry Odien became Diocesan Director of Religious Education for the Diocese of Camden, N.J. He now serves as Pastor of Holy Saviour Church in Westmont, N.J., and as a consultant to Harcourt Religion Publishers. He conducts various workshops and presentations at national and diocesan congresses throughout the United States.

8-21 Adolescent Rite of Passage
J. Thomas Sparough
Have you ever wished that we Christians had a rite of passage for our young teenagers, similar to the Jewish bar and bat mitzvahs? Come learn about a simple Christian rite of passage ceremony developed in Cincinnati. See the dramatic effect it can have for self-esteem, faith-building and family pride. In this session, we will explore needs and options for developing such a program.

8-22 Meeting Special Learning Needs in Children’s Catechesis
Joseph D. White, Ph.D., & Ana Arista White
This workshop, by the authors of "Catechists for All Children," will discuss how to include children with learning disabilities, low intellectual functions, or language needs in religious education settings.

8-23 Religious Extremists: Why Are They So Angry?
What is "fundamentalism"? What attracts people to it? Why does fundamentalism in its extreme forms lead to fanaticism and extremism? What do all the fundamentalists of various religious traditions have in common? In this presentation, we shall examine the fundamentalist mentality from the Catholic perspective.

George E. Saint-Laurent, S.T.D.
George Saint-Laurent received his doctorate in sacred theology from the Catholic University of America. He holds the rank of Professor Emeritus from California State University, Fullerton. He regularly lectures on spirituality, comparative religious and business ethics around the world. Has taught 27 years at CSUF with extensive lecturing worldwide.

8-24 What Were We Thinking? The Crusades Re-Examined in the Light of Vatican II, the Third Millennium, and John Paul II
Fr. Tom Weston
In the past few years, Catholic people have taken a very different look at the religious wars of past ages. The Crusades are a time of romance, myth and fable. In this session, we will look at some of the ideas, theories and practices of the Western Church 900 years ago. We will visit the Latin Kingdom of the Holy Land in 1150 A.D. We will meet the leaders of the First, Second and Third Crusades: popes, kings, emperors, sultans, and a lot of ordinary people swept up in the drama of the times.

8-25 Nurturing the Development of Catholic Identity
Tom Zanzig
What exactly is Catholic identity, and how does it evolve through the life process? Tom Zanzig explores that process of development from birth to middle age (that’s as far as he gone!). He closes with reflections on the characteristics of the mature person of faith. Implications for ministry will be offered.


Frère Phong, F.S.C.

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