November 2015

RECongress 2016 (#7)

Registration book now online
Over 22,000 copies of the Registration Guidebook for the 2016 Los Angeles Religious Education Congress are in the mail. But you don't have to wait for your copy — get a sneak peek of the book NOW and pre-plan your workshop sessions. The Guidebook contains all workshop and speaker descriptions, entertainment and liturgy options, and all events during Congress.


Are you receiving this Congress Emailng in your inbox? We have pver 40,400 who have asked to be on the list. Pass along this emailing or our link — — to receive the latest information about Congress 2016 and encourage your friends to sign up for our Congress Emailing at If you do not care to receive future updates, you can find removal information at the bottom of this message.

Para información en español, clic aquí »

Registration Guidebook is online
The 2016 Registration Guidebook is now online! The Guidebook is your key to registration and contains all workshop and speaker descriptions, entertainment and liturgy options, and all events during Congress.

The Guidebook is available in four formats:
PDF: The Registration Guidebook is available online as one PDF file and also divided up into smaller sections that are faster to download. (You will need the free Adobe Reader installed on your computer to view PDF documents.)
iPaper: The Guidebook is available in iPaper format, which requires no software download and is a Web-based version of the book.
Web: View every workshop period (English and Spanish) as a separate web page.
Paper: Still prefer the paper version of the Guidebook? If you attended Congress last year, you will automatically be mailed a Registration Guidebook. (Or you may order one at right)
See the Guidebook online »

Official Youth Day T-Shirts

Attention Group Leaders: Official Youth Day T-shirts are now available for custom and group pre-orders through PAL (Peace and Love) Campaign! Customize your Youth Day shirt with your youth group or parish name on the back for only $3 more. All orders with payment must be received by January 25, 2016 for direct shipping.

Special pre-order discount pricing is valid through January 25, 2016:
     T-shirts: $13* ($15 at Youth Day)
     Hoodie Sweatshirts: $30* ($35, limited quantity at Youth Day)
     Adult sizes: S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL, 4XL
          *2XL-4XL T-shirts are $2 more; hoodie sweatshirts $5 more.


Order online at  or email Please email if you have any questions.
See the Youth Day page »

Youth Day Feature: Br. Mickey McGrath
Both Youth Day tracks get to see the Youth Day Arena keynote and two chosen workshops, including this one and others whose sessions are held in the Convention Center meeting rooms.


Session G - "BFFs from Heaven"
February 25, 2016 - Convention 208

In this hands-on workshop led by Brother Mickey McGrath, we will discover how saints and angels of every color and culture can lead us from our fears and anxieties to a place of self-confidence and faith instead. Following a brief look at Bro. Mickey’s own art and the stories behind it, we will be guided through quiet meditation and colorful activity to uncover our own capacity for creativity and inner peace. The end results will become part of a mural depicting our “BFFs from Heaven” right here in our midst.

Bro. Mickey McGrath, an Oblate of St. Francis de Sales, is an artist, author and popular speaker at retreats and religious education conferences throughout the country. He also creates art for the
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and many Catholic publishers. Bro. McGrath has won awards for his books “Go to Joseph” and “Good Pope John XXIII,” which was presented to Pope Francis. His latest works are “Dear Young People: Inspiration from Pope Francis for All” and a series of videos based on his most popular books.

See the Youth Day page »

RECongress Spotlight: Film Showcase 2016

Friday, February 26, 7:45 pm - 9:45 pm
This year’s Film Showcase, in partnership with Loyola Marymount University’s Center for Religion and Spirituality, presents excerpts from a number of narrative feature films, shorts, documentaries, experimental and animated films, whose thematic elements are grounded in Catholic social teaching, justice, ministry, spirituality and theology. Filmmakers will be present to meet with audience members.
See all the Congress Spotlights »

Liturgy Feature: Church at the Margins

The Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, as called for by Pope Francis, has already inspired many people and had a great impact on our work in preparation for Congress 2016. The jubilee year, along with Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment, sparked some wonderful creativity in our liturgy preparations. Our hope is that the liturgies of Congress may be a Spirit-filled encounter with Christ Jesus and a celebration of the life of the Church.


FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2016 - 5:15 pm
Mass of the Church at the Margins
Rev. Greg Boyle, presider
Music by Jesse Manibusan, Donna Peña and Harrison Crenshaw

Taking our cue from Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, “The Joy of Gospel,” we call this liturgy a “Mass of the Church at the Margins” to remind us that we are constantly being called to the places where people have been cast aside and ostracized. In this place — the margin of society — we find the heart of Jesus and thus the heart of the Church's mission.
See the Congress Liturgies »

Speaker Feature: Nick Wagner

Over the three days, Congress 2016 will offer 300 workshops presented by 200 speakers. Topics range from personal growth to music to spiritual topics — in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. Each Emailing we spotlight one of our presenters:


Nick Wagner is co-founder and Director of, an online resource for Catholic parishes. He has more than 25 years’ experience as a leader and trainer in liturgical and catechetical ministries, serving as a diocesan director of worship and a parish liturgist, and is a regular faculty member in the San Jose Institute for Leadership in Ministry. A writer and editor, Wagner is author of many publications, including his latest entitled, “The Heart of Faith: A Field Guide for Catechumens and Candidates.”

Five Steps to Telling a Great Story: How to Teach Like Jesus (*)

Period 6-24, Saturday, February 27 - 3:00 - 4:30 pm

Do you struggle with sharing your faith story? Would you like to become more confident in telling your story? Are you looking for examples for connecting real life to Gospel teaching? Do you know the right balance between storytelling and doctrinal instruction? Do you want to learn how to connect the seeker’s story with Jesus’ story?


How to Evangelize Like a Rock Star – In a Subtle, Catholic Kind of Way (*)

Period 8-21, Sunday, February 28 - 10:00 - 11:30 am

Pope Francis said, “The most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you.” How do you do that in a normal, everyday way that doesn’t involve standing on a street corner with a large sign? In this workshop, we will explore how Catholic evangelization happens and how we can be more effective evangelists. You will learn: why evangelization is crucial to conversion; what evangelization looks like for Catholics; and how to strike up spiritual conversations – without seeming weird. This workshop will change the way you think about, and do, evangelization.
Go to the Speakers Page »

Special Hotel Rates't forget to make your travel arrangements now. We have secured special rates for Congress attendees at a number of hotels with pricing to meet everyone's needs. Make sure when making your reservations you mention the Religious Education Congress so that you receive our special contracted rates.
See the Hotels listing »

Discount Disney Tickets

Religious Education Congress attendees can purchase specially priced Disneyland resort eTickets, including Twilight Convention tickets (after 4 pm), 1-day 1-park, multi-day and park hopper tickets. The offer is only available online and is not available at the Park. Order online at
Note: eTickets are valid from Thursday, February 18, 2016 to Monday, February 29, 2016.
Read about the Disney Ticket offer »

Just for Southern Californians

Ralphs Grocery Company, a major supermarket chain in the Southern California area, supports schools, churches and other non-profit organizations with annual contributions. Here is an easy way to help the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, who is a member of Ralphs Community Contributions Program. Simply by using your Ralphs rewards Card a portion of eligible purchases are contributed to the RECongress. This is an annual program that must be renewed each year. If you were part of the program last year, we thank you, but everyone needs to re-enroll again for this year's term.

We encourage all Ralphs shoppers to sign up for the free Ralphs rewards Card and register their card with the Community Contributions Program. It’s easy! Every time you shop for groceries and scan your card at Ralphs, RECongress will automatically earn up to 5% of all eligible purchases per enrolled card. Sign up now! It’s never been easier to contribute to the RECongress.

Name: Archdiocese of Los Angeles - Religious Education
Organization Number: 90658

Find step-by-step instructions and information online and

Read about the Ralphs program »

Our Web Site

You can find all Congress information and updates online. Our upcoming RECongress Emailings will feature some Congress Spotlights, and we will be adding speaker and hotel information online. Check our site for updates and announcements.

RECongress Emailing

Be sure to sign-up for our twice-a-month Emailings about the latest updates and information about Congress 2016. You may opt out from our Congress Emailing at any time from the "Manage Your Subscription" link below.

Find past Emailings at

© 2015  Los Angeles Religious Education Congress

RECongress 2016

RECongress Dates
February 25 (Youth Day) &
February 26-28, 2016

2016 Congress Theme
"Boundless Mercy" / "Misericordia Inagotable"

2016 Youth Day Theme

Youth Day page »

2016 Theme Reflection
See a reflection on the 2016 Congress logo by ORE Director Fr. Chris Bazyouros.

Read the Reflection »

Anaheim Convention Center
800 West Katella Ave.
Anaheim, Calif. 92802
(just south of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure). 
See a Yahoo Map »

Hotel Information
See our listing of contracted hotels with special rates for Congress attendees. 
See the Hotel page »

View the Guidebook
The Guidebook is your key to registration and contains all workshop and speaker descriptions, entertainment and liturgy options, and all events during Congress.
View the Guidebook »

The key to registration is the Registration Guidebook. If you attended RECongress 2015, you will automatically be mailed a Guidebook (available in late-October). If you need one, you may order one here.
Order a Guidebook »

Congress Milestones
1956 - first two-day CCD Institute (500 teachers in attendance)
1967 - first three-day “Southern California Confraternity Congress ” (7,000 in attendance)
1973 - first "Religious Education Congress" as CCD office renamed to Office of Religious Education 
See the REC Milestones »

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