December 2015

RECongress 2016 (#9)

Register online for Youth Day & Congress
Don't forget! If you haven't already registered, you can now register online for the 2016 Los Angeles Religious Education Congress. And don't wait too long. Register this month to get the sessions you want before the fee increases next month. You can register as an individual or as a group for both Youth Day and the adult Congress days (a group is just 2 or more, all paying with one credit card).


Are you receiving this Congress Emailng in your inbox? We have over 40,000 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 Guidebook is your key to registration and contains all workshop and speaker descriptions, entertainment and liturgy options, and all events during Congress. Review the Guidebook to plan your registration.

The Guidebook is available in four formats:
PDF: The Registration Guidebook is viewable as a PDF document that requires the free Adobe Reader installed on your computer.
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? You can still have one mailed out to you (order one at right).
See the Guidebook online »

Youth Day Feature: Mike Patin
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 H - "Messy, Madness, Mayhem: Families!"
February 25, 2016 - HALL B
We all have families. There’s stuff we like and stuff that drives us crazy! They come in all varieties. Sometimes we compare and wish for different. Where’s the hope? Where’s God in our family?

“Faith Horticulturist” Mike Patin lives in Lafayette, La., and has worked in ministry since 1984 as a high school teacher, coach and diocesan youth minister for the New Orleans Archdiocese. He has spoken to groups ranging from 10 to 23,000 in over 130 dioceses in the United States and Canada on the issues of Catholic faith, positive attitude, using your gifts and living life fully. Patin has published two books: “A Standing Invitation” and “This Was Not in the Brochures: Lessons from Work, Life and Ministry.”

See the Youth Day page »

Official Youth Day T-Shirts Group Leaders: Official Youth Day T-shirts and hoodies 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 for orders or questions.
See the Youth Day page »

RECongress Spotlight: Art Exhibit

Friday thru Sunday, Arena Lobby
See how local talent has captured the
images of God’s Boundless Mercy in and around our local community. This exhibit will also provide an opportunity to explore our own understanding of God’s mercy. Come spend some time, let your heart be touched.

See all the Congress Spotlights »

Liturgy Feature: Mass of Compassion

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.


SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2016 - 5:15 pm
Mass of Compassion

Rev. Michael Kennedy, presider

Music by Trevor Thomson

The key to mercy is compassion. Compassion and mercy are common themes of the season of Lent, and Year C is full of parables about the compassion of God from the account of Luke. Without compassion, why would we go to the margins to assist those in need? This liturgy is intended to remind us of the necessity of compassion in Christian life and ministry.
See the Congress Liturgies »

Speaker Feature: Fr. Gregory Boyle, SJ

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:


Author and speaker Fr. Greg Boyle, a Jesuit priest, is founder and Executive Director of Homeboy Industries, the largest gang rehabilitation program in the United States, now in its 26th year. The native Angeleno was transformed by his work in Bolivia, Mexico and Folsom State Prison in Northern California, and when he returned to the Boyle Heights community of Los Angeles he started what would become Homeboy Industries. Fr. Boyle is also author of the N.Y. Times best-selling book, “Tattoos on the Heart.”

Be Fearless for Me: Courage and the Gospel of the Marginalized (*)

Period 2-01, Arena, Friday, February 26 - 1:00 - 2:30 pm

Pope Francis insists that the credibility of the Church rests in how we bring the Gospel to the marginalized. Fr. Greg Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, will explore the invitation of Jesus to be courageous in living the Gospel at the margins. Drawing upon 30 years of working with gang members, Fr. Boyle will focus this reflection on joy, hope and the courage of tenderness.


Forgive Us Our Trespasses as We Execute Those Who Trespass Against Us? (*)

Period 4-22, Saturday, February 27 - 10:00 - 11:30 am

This session invites you to participate in one of the most merciful actions people of faith can participate in: to self-reflect, understand and put into action our faith teachings as they relate to the use of the death penalty as a form of justice. Chaplain Javier Stauring will moderate a panel of inspiring and insightful speakers, including gang intervention expert Fr. Greg Boyle, activist Mike Farrell, and a family member of a homicide victim. As Pope Francis notes: “The death penalty is contrary to the sentiment of humanitas and to divine mercy, which must be the model for human justice.”
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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