2017 RECongress Period 6

Religious Education Congress
Saturday, February 25, 2017

3:00 - 4:30 pm



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6-01  Say Something … I’m Giving Up On You!    Arena

At times, “Silence is golden” is indeed quite true. But there are times when our silence can truly become deadly. That is why the Lord said to St. Paul, “Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent; for I am with you” (Acts 18:9-10). Sometimes, we have to “say something.” The marginalized sectors of society are begging us to speak up. This workshop will strive to be a voice for our society’s voiceless. It will address the silent cries of the unborn, the underemployed, the LGBT community, the incarcerated and many others. It is time for us to break the silence and “say something”!

Rev. R. Tony Ricard, MTh, MDiv

Fr. Tony Ricard, a priest of the New Orleans Archdiocese, currently serves as Pastor of St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish and as Campus Minister and Chair of Theology for St. Augustine High School in New Orleans. He is also an Instructor for the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University and Director of Knight Time Ministries. Fr. Ricard has authored many books, has given keynote addresses, retreats, revivals and youth talks across the nation and has preached in 22 countries.

6-02  To Have and to Hold – Let Trust Make Me Bold

Clarissa Valbuena Aljentera (bio 2-03)

Inviting young adults into a deeper faith through the sacrament of marriage begs us to be creative and innovative as leaders. We will look at ways to evangelize and energize engaged couples and recently married couples in our pews and beyond. We will spend some time with the “three S’s” to accompany the faith lives of young adults: Scripture, Spirituality and Social Media.

6-03  The Grand Narrative of Scripture   

While every character, story, and book of Scripture is significant in itself, stepping back for a broad, panoramic view of the entire Bible helps us to take in and understand God’s unified plan for human history. In this workshop, you will learn how all of the Bible’s many parts fit together in a grand and awesome narrative. With a clear vision of this sweeping unity, we can then understand far better our own place within the storyline and our own personal role within the mission of God.

Stephen J. Binz

Stephen Binz is a biblical scholar and award-winning author. He was founder and author of the Threshold Bible Study with Twenty-Third Publications. Binz has spoken at national gatherings, including the L.A. Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Catholic Education Association. He has traveled the United States and Canada, offering keynote at diocesan conferences, parish missions and retreats, and he leads pilgrimages to the lands of the Bible and other sacred sites.

6-04  Discipleship and Confirmation: Putting an End to Confirmation as ‘THE END’   

Given what we know about adolescent spirituality, effective catechesis and good youth ministry, how might we enhance confirmation preparation’s ability to be a more formative experience in the lives of young people? What have we learned from the efforts of others around the country? This session offers eight potential enhancements you can make and invites you to select the one(s) that might most enhance your efforts. Note: We will not focus on the practical; instead, we will consider the merits of what is possible.

Dr. Michael Carotta

Based in Nebraska, Mike Carotta is Senior Manager of Catholic Initiatives for the American Bible Society. The religious educator and consultant taught catechetics at six Catholic universities, has spoken at national, international and diocesan events, and recently directed the national Confirmation Prep Project in 18 dioceses. Carotta’s most recent book is “Teaching For Discipleship: The Call, The Challenge, The Difference for Discipleship.” In 2012, he received the Emmaus Award for Excellence in Catechesis.

6-05  Let’s Answer Those Tough Catholic Questions   

Fr. John Cusick (bio 1-05)

Too often today the critical questions asked by people about the practices of our Church are either answered with a law or a rule, or simply go unanswered. Not only do they demand answers, but they also need pastoral understandings. This workshop will answer many of those “tough questions” such as: Why should I go to Church? Why go to confession? Why do Catholics have to be married inside a church? Why do I have to be registered in a parish? Why are many churches being so tough on eulogies at funerals? Why are there so many rules and regulations in my parish?

6-06  Praying with the Body   

Applying the practices from his book, “Praying with the Body: Bringing the Psalms to Life,” this workshop will let you experience a creative approach to praying The Lord’s Prayer, the Hail Mary, the Glory Be, and the Sign of the Cross. Roy DeLeon will be your guide in moving these traditional prayers from our heads into our hearts, into our entire being, into a more intimate and mindful time with the Creator. The guided body movements will be slow and very gentle. There will be instructions on how to adapt them to your physical needs.

Roy E. DeLeon, OblSB

Roy DeLeon has been a member of the Oblates of St. Benedict with St. Placid Priory in Lacey, Wash., since 2002, and he represented his community at the First World Congress of Benedictine Oblates in Rome, Italy in 2005. A spiritual director and certified yoga instructor, DeLeon regularly conducts workshops on body prayer and other forms of expressive contemplative prayer at St. Placid’s Spirituality Center.

6-07  Art, Literature and the Renewal of the Christian Imagination   

Leonard J. DeLorenzo, PhD (bio 2-10)

Studying art and literature assists in the formation of a sacramental imagination while also fostering the skills, behaviors and dispositions of mature discipleship. We will see how those of us who live in a consumer culture are slowly formed to hold unstable desires, fueled by a general inability to pay attention. We will then explore how the discipline of “strategic patience” that art and literature demand helps heal us of this malady, schooling us in the virtues of stability and the generosity of attention.

6-08  The Joy of Love and Marriage   

Would Pope Francis be a good marriage therapist? While hot button issues have grabbed the headlines, Pope Francis’ 2017 document, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), provides a beautiful reflection on love, marriage and family. Francis states, “Every marriage is a kind of salvation history,” providing the couple with a pathway to heaven when they embrace trust to build upon their strengths, address their challenges and invite God’s presence into their marriage. Integrating the psychological and the spiritual, we’ll provide strategies to build healthy marriages – both for ourselves and our ministries – that leave you feeling “the Joy of Love.”

Michael DiPaolo, PhD

Dr. Michael DiPaolo is a clinical psychologist and a certified Imago Relationship Therapist in private practice in Los Angeles. He works with individuals and couples and has counseled over 1,000 couples in marriage preparation throughout the Los Angeles Archdiocese. Dr. DiPaolo is a retreat leader, staff trainer to several community-based mental health agencies and workshop presenter at archdiocesan events including the Our Lady of the Angels Regional Congress and Theology on Tap. His recently updated book is titled, “The Impact of Multiple Childhood Trauma on Homeless Runaway Adolescents.”

6-09  Transgender in the Family: One Bread, One Body   

Gender identity and transgender issues have become hot topics in media, politics, schools and other religious and social Arenas. In this session, a panel moderated by Dr. Arthur Fitzmaurice will speak from lived experience to help us be sensitive, loving and supportive of transgender Catholics and their families in the midst of transition. Fr. Bryan Massingale will offer theological reflection and respond to the witnesses of transgender Catholics and family members on the panel. Attention will be given to exploring best practices for integrating gender-diverse families in our parishes, schools and health-care systems.

Arthur Fitzmaurice, PhD

Freelance speaker and minister Dr. Arthur Fitzmaurice has served a decade in ministry with LGBT Catholics. He has spoken at various gatherings, including the Religious Education Congress, the Faith Formation Conference, the Catholic Association for Lesbian and Gay Ministry, and the Gay Christian Network. Dr. Fitzmaurice appears in several YouTube episodes produced by the Ignatian News Network. He has also received the Archdiocese’s Lumen Christi and the Cardinal’s Young Adult in Ministry awards.

Fr. Bryan N. Massingale, STD

Fr. Bryan Massingale, a priest of the Milwaukee Archdiocese, is Professor of Theology at Fordham University in New York. A noted authority on Catholic moral theology and social ethics, he has lectured extensively on ethical and racial justice issues throughout the United States and internationally. A previous Religious Education Congress Keynoter, Fr. Massingale is a former President of the Catholic Theological Society of America and has been a leader of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium.

6-10  Praised Bee: Laudato Sí   

The beloved bee is in peril, yet its work remains critical for the balance of our world. In light of Pope Francis’ challenging encyclical on the environment, what should we know about American agriculture, the stewardship of creation and the preservation of the bee? This cross-curricular workshop will provide resources, insights and valuable information for all who share a care and concern for this beautiful and fragile world, and in particular, those who teach religion, music, science and social studies for grades 1 through 12 and beyond. Come prepared to learn and participate in this workshop in which intellect meets the affect – the head meets the heart.

Martin G. Marklin

Martin Marklin received his early childhood liturgical training in St. Louis while serving at the side of his pastor and namesake, Msgr. Martin B. Hellriegel. In 1975, he began creating paschal candles and worked to perfect a wax-inlay process. He, along with his wife, Christine, now live in New Hampshire and are principals of Marklin Candle Design. Martin, a woodworker by training, made candles for the U.S. visits of Pope Francis, John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

John K. Flaherty

John Flaherty has been involved in music and educational ministry for over 20 years as an educator, elementary school principal, music director, liturgy director and composer. He is presently on the Campus Ministry team at Loyola Marymount University, where he serves as Director of Liturgy and Music. Flaherty has served as the chairperson of the Liturgy Committee and Music Director for the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress since 1991.

6-11  Suicide: Better Understanding and Support for This Incomprehensible Tragedy   

Amy Florian (bio 3-12)

Suicide is now the third leading cause of death of young adults ages 15-29. Yet so few people are educated about suicide, the warning signs, how to help and how to support families in the aftermath. Learn, too, how Catholic teaching on funerals and eternal life for suicide victims has changed over the years, and where we stand now. Come be informed and challenged, and get your questions answered.

6-12  Christianity, Mysticism & the Esoteric: Pathways to the Divine   

Fr. Richard Fragomeni (bio 1-09)

In this session, examine why and enjoy the hidden dimensions of Christian wisdom as we examine the mystery of God who is All in All.

6-13  Wrestling with the Tradition – Why Belonging to a Community of Faith Still Matters   

Dr. Richard Gaillardetz (bio 1-11)

In the midst of scandal and controversy, many people today, especially young adults, are finding it difficult to see the point of belonging to the church. For them, one can still pursue an authentically moral and spiritual existence without belonging to a church suffering a major credibility crisis. In this workshop, Dr. Richard Gaillardetz will argue why belonging to a community of faith matters more than ever in our contemporary world.

6-14  Hopes for the Church of the 21st Century   

Dr. Thomas Groome (bio 3-13)

As we settle into the 21st century, what are our best hopes for our Church and Catholic faith, and how do we move forward toward the realization of our hopes. The challenges of our times also bring new opportunities, and while faith is often challenged, we must rise to the challenge.

6-15  Singing Truth to Power: Music That Embraces and Empowers Us to Trust in God’s Reign

Old Testament scholar and theologian Walter Brueggemann notes that God’s Reign is best and most powerfully envisioned, embraced and realized through the voice of the prophet and the poet. How do we sing God’s Word in these challenging times with passion and integrity? In this session, we will explore how God’s Spirit is speaking and moving in our world, embrace our calling as poets and prophets of hope, and raise our voices to proclaim that trust in the Gospel.

Marty Haugen

For over 36 years, composer Marty Haugen has presented workshops, concerts and presentations across North and Central America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific Rim. His range of musical compositions continues to appear in hymnals for United States, Canadian and Australian Catholics, Evangelical Lutherans and other Protestant denominations. His most recent works include “Here Among Us” and “Lyric Psalter,” a project in collaboration with Tony Alonso.

6-16  The Fifth Encuentro: Historical Roots and Vision for Pastoral Renewal   

Since 1972, the National Hispanic Pastoral Encuentros have inspired countless Latinos and other Catholics to live their Christian identity as leaders in the Church. Encuentros draw their energy from thousands of small faith communities in parishes and dioceses, constituting a major force for Catholic renewal. The four-year process of the Fifth National Encuentro of Hispanic/Latina Ministry begins in 2017 and will conclude in 2020, with a national gathering in 2019. This is an exceptional opportunity for pastoral planning, leadership formation, consultation and evangelization. Come and learn about this exciting moment in our Church!

Dr. Timothy Matovina

Dr. Timothy Matovina is Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and Co-Director of the Institute for Latino Studies. He works in the area of theology and culture, with specialization in U.S. Catholic and U.S. Latino theology and religion. His most recent books are the award-winning “Latino Catholicism: Transformation in America’s Largest Church” and the Spanish version of that work, “Ministerio Hispano: Una introducción.”

Hosffman Ospino, PhD

Dr. Hosffman Ospino is Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology and Religious Education at the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College, where he is Director of Graduate Programs in Hispanic Ministry. He is author or editor of several books and he served as the principal investigator for the National Study of Catholic Parishes with Hispanic Ministry and is a co-principal investigator for the National Survey of Catholic Schools Serving Hispanic Families.

6-17  Recalibration: Moving to a Grace-filled Future!   

This session is for pastoral ministers in the wisdom generation (in their 50s and 60s) who are considering their “next stage” in life and ministry and not ready to completely leave the ministry vineyard. Recalibration is a life-giving option to retirement, a re-examination of vocation and ministry, and a joy-filled pathway to our next stage. We will identify the practical challenges, key questions to consider and specific strategies to honor our past and enhance our preferred future.

Robert J. McCarty, DMin

Bob McCarty has been in pastoral ministry since 1973, serving in parish, school, diocesan and national settings. He is currently Chief Operating Officer of the Catholic Mobilizing Network, formerly serving as Executive Director of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry. McCarty provides training in ministry skills internationally, while continuing to serve as a volunteer in youth ministry and faith formation at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Fulton, Md. His hobbies include cycling, rock climbing and grandparenting!

6-18  “And She Ministered to Them”: Women in Mark’s Gospel   

Rev. J. Patrick Mullen (bio 2-19)

The women in Mark are brave and cowardly, brassy, generous to a fault and occasionally hidden by the translated text. In this workshop, we will focus on the actions, motives and message of the women who populate Jesus’ world to consider our own place – both as women and men – in the Reign of God.

6-19  With Christ on the Border   

In this session, we will take a look at the church’s work on Mexico’s borders with the United States and with Guatemala. Using the theme of “trust” in the Lord and in God’s plan for each one of us, we will look at the work that the Kino Border Initiative does, based in the eucharistic celebration of a meal shared and life given. This can only be accomplished through trust in the God’s Divine Providence. All of us baptized followers of Jesus share in the work of the parable found in Matthew 25 when we join our prayers and thoughts with those seated at the table.

Peter G. Neeley, SJ

Jesuit priest Fr. Peter Neeley has done extensive work with disenfranchised people from Mexico and Central America. For the last eight years he has directed educational programs for parishes and schools regarding border issues and immigration. The work is done out of the Center for Deported Migrants (Kino Border Initiative) in Sonora, Mexico. He also is Co-Director of “Kino Teens,” a program teaching high school students about the reality of deportation and immigration.

6-20  Why Catholic Schools Matter

Catholic schools have experienced tremendous success in evangelizing families, educating youth and forming the next generation in the wisdom and traditions of the faith. Based on 25 years of research, this session explores why Catholic schools matter by presenting the Top 10 reasons for supporting and selecting a Catholic school education.

Rev. Ronald Nuzzi

Fr. Ron Nuzzi, a priest of the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio, has served as a parish priest, retreat leader, teacher, school administrator, university professor as well as in Catholic elementary, secondary and post-secondary institutions. Fr. Nuzzi has developed leadership programs for aspiring Catholic school principals at the University of Dayton in Ohio, at Saint Louis University in Missouri, and at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, where he currently serves as a Senior Director of the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) Program.

6-21  Nine Steps to Transforming Lives: Teaching and Proclaiming a Gospel of Transformation   

Proclaiming the Gospel is much more than transmitting information: It is about transformation. In this workshop, Joe Paprocki will identify nine steps to transforming hearts and minds so as to make disciples whose lives are truly under the influence of Jesus Christ.

Joe Paprocki, DMin

Joe Paprocki has over 35 years of experience in pastoral ministry. He has presented in over 100 dioceses in North America, including Alaska, Hawaii and Canada. Paprocki served as a Consultant for Catechist Formation in the Chicago Archdiocese and is now National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press in Chicago. He still serves as a cate­chist and blogs about the experience and is author of several books on pastoral ministry and catechesis. His latest is “A Church on the Move: 52 Ways to Get Mission and Mercy in Motion.”

6-22  Be My Witness: Practical Ways to Share Powerful Faith Stories   

Seekers and believers alike need to hear a faith story to help them encounter Christ in a new and personal way. Each of us has a story about how our lives have been graced through the power of the Holy Spirit. When we share, we give witness to the power of God’s love and become “agents of evangelization” to others. You will learn practical tips to develop and share your faith story with others.

Sr. Theresa Rickard, OP

Sr. Theresa Rickard, a Dominican Sister of Blauvelt, N.Y., is President and Executive Director of RENEW International. Before joining RENEW, she ministered in two inner-city parishes in the South Bronx, was Director of Vocation and Formation ministry for her congregation, and was a member of the New York Archdiocese’s Parish Mission Team. Sr. Rickard is author of “Live Lent!” and “We Preach Christ Crucified.” She also blogs for RENEW under “God in the Stuff of Life” and is an avid sports fan.

6-23  A Secret Hidden Since the Foundations of the World: The Cross as Revealing the Real Basis for Trust   

Fr. Ronald Rolheiser, OMI (bio 1-01)

The famed French anthropologist René Girard teaches that the cross of Christ reveals a deep secret that has been hidden since the beginning of time. What is that secret? How is it revealed in the cross of Christ? What is revealed in the brokenness of Jesus? What wisdom hidden inside the cross is the basis for trust? The revelation of God’s nature and love in the cross is the ground for human trust.

6-24  Engaging the Head, Heart & Hands of Young People through Creative Cate­chesis   

When we gather young people together are we just playing games, hoping to survive or are we intentionally forming disciples? How can we be faithful to our cate­chetical calling to echo the faith and lead young people down the road of discipleship, while making sure that we actively engage their head, hearts and hands in their own learning process? Let’s have some fun as we creatively answer these questions together.

Michael Theisen

Michael Theisen has been involved in youth ministry and faith formation for 30 years, authoring more than 15 books and numerous articles and was a contributor to the Catholic Youth Bible. His experience as a speaker, trainer and ministry leader spans from parish to diocesan and national levels. Theisen serves as Director of Training and Formation for the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry in Washington, D.C., where he also is National Coordinator for the Strong Catholic Families Initiative. He resides with his family in Rochester, N.Y.

6-25 Where is the Assembly’s Voice?   

Chris Walker (bio 2-25)

As church musicians become more sophisticated and performance-focused, there is a danger that our assembly is being turned into a passive audience rather than taking “full, active and authentic” participation in liturgy. Come and explore ways we can give them back their voice!

6-26  Faith and Politics   

Jim Wallis (bio 4-01)

In this session, Jim Wallis will take a look at the intersection of faith, religion, society and politics in the United States. Biblical as well as secular versions of “social justice” will be explored.

6-70 Vietnamese Workshop: A New Vision, A New Sending Out, A New Culture for Our Youth   

Frère Fortunat Phong, FSC (bio 3-70)

In this session we will offer, especially to youth in post-confirmation programs, a new way to look at the sacrament of reconciliation as Confession of the Merciful God, a celebration of his mercy instead of only confession of sins. As a result, the youth can become dynamic extraordinary ministers of mercy, going out to the periphery, sharing God’s mercy with others, thus contributing in the building of the new culture of solidarity, as called for by Pope Francis.


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