Religious Education Congress
Anaheim Convention Center
March 13, 2014
(Youth Day)


See Youth Day Home Page  •  See Youth Day Schedule  •  See Youth Day Workshops   •  Go to the Congress Days

There are two tracks to Youth Day and every group must choose one Track 1 has the Arena in the morning, Track 2 gets the Arena in the afternoon. This allows every participant to experience all Arena activities while still giving everyone the chance to hear two workshops (one is automatically chosen for you when you are in the Arena). To enter into the Arena for either Track 1 or Track 2, please line up and use the doors nearest the Hilton Hotel. Your name badge will make it clear as to which track you have been assigned. We ask you to not go to the Arena until your assigned track.
T R A C K   1   T R A C K   2


For those registered for Track 1, the excitement of Youth Day 2014 begins in the Arena with an energetic Rally. Noelle Garcia and band will be on hand to get the day started with music, followed by young people from the Los Angeles Archdiocese leading us in prayer and other fun activities.



For those who register for Track 2, the excitement of Youth Day 2014 begins with the opportunity to experience one of two energetic Opening Sessions offered in the Convention Center: Hall B will welcome Michael James Mette and band; the third-floor Ballroom will host Jeremy and Ryan. Young people from across the Archdiocese will also be part of these great events. Groups are welcome to attend either of these high-energy sessions – you get to choose that day!


Immediately following the rally, Track 1 participants remain in the Arena for our featured speakers, ValLimar Jansen and Thomas Awiapo. Val and Thomas will be focusing on our great theme for the day and engaging all of us around how we can become hope for the world.



After the Opening Sessions, Track 2 participants will be able to attend one of the 12 workshops offered in the Convention Center meeting rooms. We suggest that you share the list of speakers with your young people and allow them to choose (in groups of 10 with a chaperone) those topics that interest them. You can find the listing on the following pages.


The last Arena event for Track 1 participants will be a Spirit-filled liturgy (starting approximately at 10 am) with Archbishop José Gomez presiding. The music will be led by an Archdiocesan Youth Choir under the direction of Ed Archer from Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Santa Clarita.


11:00 AM – LUNCH

Following the workshops, Track 2 participants are invited to enjoy lunch with old and new friends. There are places throughout the Convention Center for purchasing food. The Arena will open for Track 2 participants at 11:45 am. Everyone will need to enter through the main Arena glass doors near the fountain and may line up early. There are seats for everyone – so enjoy lunch!

11:45 AM – LUNCH

Following the Eucharistic celebration, Track 1 participants are invited to enjoy lunch with old and new friends. There will be many places inside and outside the Convention Center for purchasing food.



For Track 2, the excitement of Youth Day continues in the Arena with an energetic Rally. Noelle Garcia and band will be on hand to get everyone energized, followed by young people from the Archdiocese leading us in prayer and other fun activities.


Track 1 participants will be able to attend one of the 12 workshops offered to inspire and challenge them in new ways. These workshops are held in the meeting rooms throughout the Convention Center. We suggest that you share the list of speakers with your young people and allow them to choose (in groups of 10 with a chaperone) those topics that interest them. .



Immediately following the rally, Track 2 participants will remain in the Arena to be inspired by our featured speakers, ValLimar Jansen and Thomas Awaipo. Val and Thomas will be focusing on our great theme for the day and engaging all of us around how we can become hope for the world.


Youth Day 2014 ends for Track 1 participants with energetic Closing Sessions in either the Convention Center Ballroom or Hall B. Musical artists Jeremy and Ryan and Michael James Mette and band, and others will be performing for these events. Young people from across the Archdiocese and beyond will also be helping us to close out our day with much excitement.



Youth Day ends for Track 2 participants with a Spirit-filled liturgy presided by our own Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez. The music will be led by an Archdiocesan Youth Choir and instrumentalists under the direction of Ed Archer from Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Santa Clarita. Please note that this liturgy will begin approximately at 2:15pm.


After being reminded that we are “Never Alone – Forever Accepted,” participants will be sent out to share the Good News with others – in our parishes, our schools, our homes, and the entire world.


After being reminded that we are “Never Alone – Forever Accepted,” participants will be sent out to share the Good News throughout the world!


Religious Education Congress
Anaheim Convention Center
March 13, 2014
(Youth Day)


See Youth Day Home Page  •  See Youth Day Schedule  •  See Youth Day Workshops   •  Go to the Congress Days



Both tracks will get to see our Arena speakers. You can choose your Convention Workshop from the remaining 12 speakers in the meeting rooms of the Convention Center.

Arena - Never Alone – One Human Family

Meet and listen to Thomas Awiapo, as he is joined by the dynamic presenter and singer ValLimar Jansen. Together, these two powerful speakers share their stories of survival and success: Thomas in Ghana, West Africa, and ValLimar in the United States. Through their presence and their personal stories of hunger and hope, Thomas and ValLimar bring to life God’s invitation to live as one human family. Through storytelling, reflection, prayer, music and movement, Thomas and Val­Limar inspire us to embrace the knowledge that we are truly “Never Alone and Forever Accepted!”

Thomas Awiapo

Orphaned before the age of 10, Thomas Awiapo survived bleak poverty and hunger in his small village in Ghana, Africa. The loss of two younger siblings to malnutrition and his search for food at age 12 led him to school, where he eventually won scholarships to attend college. Today, he works for Catholic Relief Services as an international speaker and trainer for community leaders throughout Ghana, where he lives with his wife and four children.

ValLimar Jansen

ValLimar Jansen serves the Church as a composer, singer, storyteller, inspirational speaker and evangelizer. She received critical acclaim for her solo albums “You Gotta Move” and “Anointing,” winning UNITY Awards recognition in 2008 and 2010. She was Emcee for the 2011 National Catholic Youth Conference held in Indianapolis, and she performed with her husband, Frank, at the Loreto/Angora International Papal Event in Italy, which was broadcast on EWTN and across the world.


A    Disciples in Our Own Families

Blessed Pope John Paul II said, “When you proclaim the Gospel, you yourselves grow as you become more deeply rooted in Christ and mature as Christians.” Welcome to this call to serve not only in your community but also in your own families. This workshop will focus on providing a clear, manageable and vibrant understanding of the call to discipleship to those who are the closest to you – your family.

Katherine Angulo

Born in Mexico and raised in Bogota, Colombia, Katherine Angulo is fluent in English, Spanish and French. She has over 14 years of experience in youth ministry, campus ministry and religious education serving the Miami Archdiocese, the Diocese of Richmond, Va., and the Diocese of Knoxville, Tenn., where she was Director of Pastoral Ministries at St. Mary’s Church in Johnson City, Tenn. She is currently serving as Director of Youth Ministry for the Diocese of Raleigh, N.C.

B    Love – The Fundamental Vocation for Everybody

This workshop will focus on the fundamental vocation for every human person without exception: Love. Love is for everybody. For all the different states of life in the Church, as well as for believers and non-believers. What does this mean? How does it happen? What happens when this doesn’t happen? Who’s to say? Come and see.

Fr. Stan Fortuna, CFR

Fr. Stan Fortuna, a Catholic priest, is one of the founding members of the Community of Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. Before he entered the priesthood, he was a professional jazz musician, and he continues to play bass and sing at his presentations at conferences both nationally and internationally. In 1987, Fr. Fortuna established the non-profit Francesco Productions to record and distribute evangelical music and video productions with all of the proceeds benefiting the community’s work with the poor of South Bronx, N.Y.

C    Prayer Through Pop Music

Have you ever listened to a song that describes exactly how you feel? Whether you’ve been through a break-up and played Taylor Swift relentlessly or felt in love and listened to Jason Mraz all day, we know that music plays a huge part in our lives. While we may think that because these songs aren’t bluntly “Christian” they couldn’t be prayer, Jackie Francois will share how a lot of pop music mirrors the psalms and can actually help us to pray! Come sing, laugh and pray with Jackie, and take away some valuable insight that will stay with you for the rest of your life as you hear your favorite pop songs!

Jackie Francois Angel

Jackie Francois Angel is a full-time traveling worship leader, speaker and blogger from Orange County, Calif. For the last seven years, she has traveled around the world speaking and singing. Francois has performed at many major Catholic and interfaith events, from World Youth Day in Madrid to national youth conferences and various diocesan conferences. Her CDs are “Your Kingdom is Glorious” and “Divine Comedy,” released by OCP/

D   “LOL” – Loving Our Liturgy

Liturgy can be boring, yet it is one of the most powerful ways we can connect with our awesome God. The boredom often comes from a lack of understanding and recognizing where God is in all of the words, rituals and incense. Fr. Rob Galea will share about his coming-to-appreciation and love of the liturgy and how it played a vital role in his freedom from anger, bitterness and addiction.

Fr. Rob Galea

Fr. Rob Galea, a Catholic priest, is currently serving as an assistant parish priest and also as a Chaplain at Notre Dame College, both in Shepparton, Victoria, Australia. He is a singer and songwriter with an international fan base. Apart from his series of recordings and CD releases, Fr. Galea has also written a number of songs for various campaigns and international conferences. He is the co-founder of Stronger, a youth program that is quickly becoming one of Victoria state’s largest Catholic youth movements.

E    Relationships: The Good, the Bad and the Awesome

In this generation of hooking up, broken relationships and jaded hearts, God wants to show us his plan for love, sex and relationships. Everyone wants to love and be loved, but not everyone knows the difference between the authentic and the counterfeit. In this workshop, Paul J. Kim delivers a powerful message through comedy and music (beatboxing) that not only entertains but inspires his audience to settle for nothing less than authentic love!

Paul J. Kim

Paul J. Kim is an international youth speaker, vocalist and beatboxer. He presents and performs full time, sharing his music and comedy. A featured performer at the 2013 National Catholic Youth Conference (main stage), Paul was also a speaker at the Steubenville Summer Youth Conferences and presenter at Spirit in the City festival in London, England. His releases include “The World Sings” and “Run Fly Fall,” both available on iTunes and Amazon.

H    High Expectations – Let’s Talk About Weed

How can a harmless, naturally grown plant, prescribed to cancer patients, that has never killed anyone, possibly hurt you? Impossible, right? Or is it? Here is a chance to get some 420 information that’s made interesting. … Wow, there’s a twist. Ray Lozano will present up-to-date facts on marijuana in such a fun way that you might just forget you’re learning. This humorous workshop covers: the toxic truth of marijuana; my uncle smokes and he’s OK; weed is worse than cigarettes; and why do weed smokers get tired half way through their sentence?

Ray Lozano

Founder of Prevention Plus, Ray Lozano is a Drug and Alcohol Prevention Specialist and trainer with a counseling background. He also has won several awards for his stand-up comedy with the Improv Comedy Clubs. Lozano speaks from 30 years of experience in the trenches and has spoken to junior high, high school and community groups in every state in the country and is now traveling internationally educating people on the effects of drugs. He is also co-author of the book “Go M.A.D.” (Go Make A Difference).

K    Dealing with Stress

Are you stressed? Does just being asked the question stress you out? We all get stressed from time to time, but how we choose to deal with it can really say something about us. Come to this session if you are OK with laughing and loving God and, oh ya, totally stressed out!

Jesse Manibusan (originally scheduled with Judy McDonald)

Itinerant witness, songwriter, speaker, joy cultivator, storyteller and evangelizer, Jesse Manibusan is co-founder, along with his wife, Jodi, of 2by2 Ministries. With over 28 years of experience as a music minister, catechist and youth worker, he travels throughout the United States, Canada and beyond, with numerous appearances at the L.A. Congress, World Youth Days, and various parish missions, Catholic schools and diocesan events. A workshop clinician, composer and recording artist, Manibusan has several CDs published by Oregon Catholic Press and

M   Go Make a Difference in the World

Are you inspired to get involved with local and global issues? Young people all over the world make the difference they want to see through their commitment to hope and service. So can you! Explore inspirational stories of other young people called by faith to help transform our world! Learn how you can turn your inspiration into action, into a voice for the voiceless, into a “we” movement, leaving no one alone and building, what Pope Francis coined at the 2013 World Youth Day, a “culture of solidarity.”

Ted Miles

Ted Miles, a native of Baltimore, Md., has worked for Catholic Relief Services since 2005 as the Relationship Manager for Religious Education and Coordinator of CRS’ Youth Outreach in the United States. Prior to joining CRS, Miles served in parish youth ministry and Catholic high school education for over 25 years, including development of an immersion experience for youth in the Baltimore Archdiocese. In 2009, he received the award for leadership in youth ministry from the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry.

Joyce Francois

Joyce Francois has worked for years in the Office for Youth Ministry for the Detroit Archdiocese, where she is currently Regional Youth Ministry Coordinator. She has created a partnership between her archdiocese and the Diocese of Riobamba, Ecuador, and has taken many groups on mission and cultural immersion trips. Francois works primarily with youth from churches within the city of Detroit. She leads various local presentations and training connected to youth ministry.

P    I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream

Ice cream! So many different flavors. School, family, church – all are filled with so many different flavors of people and sometimes it is hard to understand, get along or even appreciate others. How do we deal with people who are different than ourselves and aren’t a “flavor” we like? What does Jesus ask of us?

Mike Patin

Mike Patin has worked in youth ministry since 1984, spending six years as a high school teacher and coach before working for the Catholic Youth Organization/Youth Ministry Office for the New Orleans Archdiocese. He was also on the adjunct faculty at Notre Dame School of Theology Seminary in New Orleans. Since 2003, the “faith horticulturist” has been speaking full time on the issues of Catholic faith, positive attitude and living life fully. Among his many book titles is “A Standing Invitation.”

S    Get Lifted

Today’s role models and TV shows encourage debauchery and other risky behaviors. Most people are looking for someone to look up to and trust, but there are few options. Well, look no further. The ELEV8 team, a group of young artists, writers, actors, dancers, entrepreneurs and speakers, is about to show you that you, yes you, have everything you need to be successful and risk free in a compromising world. Get ready to laugh and learn as the ELEV8 team takes you on a realistic journey of today’s challenges of bullying, drugs and promiscuous sex. Learn the tools you need to get out of the sociological and media-driven trench, maintain your individuality, and “Get Lifted”!

Anthony Preston

Anthony Preston is an actor, musician, motivational speaker, and creator and Executive Producer of ELEV8, a teen integrity program based in Southern California. Preston has been a representative for hundreds of schools and institutions since 2001 and has worked with a host of secondary education programs and organizations, including The Right to Life League, Upward Bound and Rachel’s Challenge. His presentations call teens to embrace a holistic lifestyle, free of bullying, drugs and promiscuous sex.

X   Where Faith and Real Life Come Together: Living Our Faith in the World

Join Greg Wasinski as he reminds us, in his genuine and humorous style, to “be nothing more than God created us to be.” He will help us find the ways Jesus is present in the world and how we can share this Good News with our friends, family, parents and, yes, quite possibly, even complete strangers. Greg’s own examples of courage and strength will put our relationship with God on display so that we may begin to encounter him more deeply. You won’t want to miss this workshop to learn that we should not be embarrassed by who we are in faith. Be proud to bring others into the wonderful experiences we have by living a life where Christ is No. 1 and the impact it can have on changing the world.

Greg Wasinski

Greg Wasinski is an inspirational Catholic speaker, author and former radio talk show host from Cleveland. He has been a presenter at many parishes, dio­cesan rallies and major national youth conferences, as well as keynote at youth rallies across the country for both middle school and high school. Wasinski is also a confirmation retreat leader (for high schools, middle schools and adults), a Bible study lecturer and a contributor to national resources for faith formation. He is expecting completion of his book, “Finding Jesus in the Eucharist,” in 2014.

Z    The Best Life You Can Live

Every person can experience God’s best, but most decide for living less. Don’t be one of those people! Gain a deeper understanding of the incredible plan God has for your life, offered through his Church. Discover practical life-changing decisions that will empower you to live out the full purpose of your life. Don’t settle for living “good,” when God is calling you to be great.

Ken Yasinski

Based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, Ken Yasinski is one of Canada’s most sought-after Catholic speakers, speaking full time since 1999. He appears regularly at countless events, including spiritual development days for Catholic school districts, retreats, parish missions, conferences, workshops, seminars, and high school and youth retreats. In addition, Yasinski is founder and President of Face to Face Ministries, songwriter/producer of Catholic worship music, and author of “The Fullness of Purpose.”




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