2017 RECongress Period 7

Religious Education Congress
Sunday, February 26, 2017

10:00 - 11:30 am



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= Recorded session

7-01  All Things Catholic: What’s Hot and What’s Not in the Global Church   

Veteran Vatican writer John Allen takes a 360-degree look at the highlights and lowlights of Catholic news in the past 12 months, drawing out a few big-picture conclusions about what it all means, and then outlines some important stories to watch in the year to come. This session is for Catholics who want a keen sense of what’s happening in their Church, not just in the United States, but in Rome and around the world.

John L. Allen Jr.

John Allen is Editor of Crux, an independent Catholic news site in partnership with the Knights of Columbus, and Senior Vatican Analyst for CNN. He previously served as both Associate Editor for the Boston Globe and Senior Correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter. Author of 10 best-selling books on the Vatican and Catholic affairs, Allen is also a nationally and internationally known speaker on the Vatican and Catholic affairs. He divides his time between Rome and his home in Denver.

7-02  I Will Lift My Eyes: Embracing Trust Through Song

Music gives us a vocabulary to cry out to God in all the colors of life. This workshop will inspire reflection on ways in which music-making inside and outside of liturgy helps us embrace trust in our daily lives.

Tony Alonso

Tony Alonso is one of the most prominent voices in contemporary liturgical music. His latest release is “A House of Prayer” with GIA Publications. He presents at workshops and conferences across North America and Europe. Alonso formerly served as Director of Music at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and at St. Nicholas Church in Evanston, Ill. An emerging theologian, he is currently a doctoral candidate at Emory University in Atlanta.

7-03  From Saint Peter to Pope Francis: How the First Pope Inspires Our Current Pope   

Stephen J. Binz (bio 6-03)

The way Peter the Apostle is presented in the four Gospels, in the Acts of the Apostles and in his two Letters inspires a vision for leadership in the church. Pope Francis has taken up the legacy of Peter and has called the church to be renewed. This workshop will focus on five attributes of the church, learned by Peter and embraced by Francis today as he serves the church from Peter’s chair: 1) a church that is not afraid to be bold; 2) a church that takes up the cross; 3) a church that embraces mercy; 4) a church that welcomes all; 5) a church of missionary disciples.

7-04  How Do We Know What We Know About St. Paul and His Letters?   

Fr. William L. Burton, OFM (bio 3-06)

Paul is notoriously difficult to understand and is even more difficult to teach. The first difficulty is that we have confusing, and occasionally, contradictory information about Paul in our sources. To assess these sources (Paul’s own letters and Acts), we will compare and contrast both sources. Then we will look at the earliest history of the church after Jesus’ Ascension to help us understand both what Paul tells us in his letters and what Acts tells us about Paul. There we will see how the stresses within the early Church about Gentile converts profoundly shaped both Paul and Acts.

7-05  Thank You, God!   

Andrew Chinn (bio 2-07)

This is a workshop aimed at those who teach early childhood students. Those of us who work with young children just know how important music is to them. But exactly why is this so? How does music move the heart, engage us in our faith, guide us in prayer and create bonds from one to another? Join Australian composer and experienced early childhood teacher Andrew Chinn as we discover the power of music to “let the children come unto me.” Leave with a deeper understanding of the power of music in your Religious Education classroom and a rich range of songs and strategies to engage the hearts of those you teach.

7-06  The Questions That Deepen Our Faith

Each weekday on “The Busted Halo Show” on Sirius­XM radio, Fr. Dave Dwyer tackles questions from people of varied experiences of religious faith, from the most devout to those with barely any faith connection. He has come to believe that inviting questions is an important form of evangelization. In this interactive workshop, Fr. Dwyer will recount some of the most common questions he has answered and allow time for you to ask your own.

Fr. David Dwyer, CSP

Paulist priest Fr. Dave Dwyer is Director of Busted Halo Ministries, publisher of BustedHalo.com and YoungAdultMinistryInaBox.com, and host of the “Sacraments 101” videos and of the daily program “The Busted Halo Show” on SiriusXM radio. Fr. Dwyer has appeared on CNN, Fox News and NBC News as well as “Entertainment Tonight” and “The Daily Show.” The former campus minister at the universities of Colorado and Texas has been a major keynote speaker at Catholic events for the past 10 years.

7-07  The New Evangelization: Trust the Holy Spirit for the Holy Results   

Evangelization, old or new, is always the work of the Holy Spirit. As we embrace trust, how can we rely on the same Holy Spirit at work in the Old and New Testaments? Starting with the Bible, let’s journey into the “Now Testament” and share the testimonies coming from our own families, parishes, schools, neighborhoods and dioceses. A special focus will include Spirit-filled community organizing, racial reconciliation and prison ministry.

Msgr. Raymond G. East

Msgr. Ray East, a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., served in six local parishes before being named Pastor of St. Teresa of Avila Church. The grandson of Baptist Missionaries to South Africa, Msgr. East was born in Newark, N.J., and raised in San Diego, Calif. He is former Director of the Office of Black Catholics and Vicar for Evangelization for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. Msgr. East is a regular and popular speaker at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress and continues to present workshops, facilitations and keynote addresses at major national events.

7-08  Eucharistic Adoration: A Communal Invitation to Mission   

Eucharistic adoration is a traditional Roman Catholic devotion. Vatican II’s emphasis on the ecclesial and missional nature of all worship invites us to reimagine a reformed version of adoration. This workshop will offer historical, theological, liturgical and music suggestions for communities who wish to shape vibrant experiences of adoration that will nourish a truly eucharistic vision of Church.

Fr. Edward Foley, OFM Cap

Fr. Edward Foley, a member of the Province of St. Joseph of the Capuchin Order, is the Duns Scotus Professor of Spirituality and Professor of Liturgy and Music at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. He has authored 19 books and over 300 scholarly and pastoral articles and reviews. Fr. Foley is a founder and originating member of the Executive Committee of the Catholic Academy of Liturgy. He sits on the Executive Committee of the International Academy of Practical Theology.

Lorraine Hess

New Orleans native, Lorraine Hess is a singer, songwriter and recording artist with World Library Publications. She has 30 years of experience in music ministry and has a solo CD, “As I Pray,” as well as a series of compilation sound recordings titled “More Voices as One.” Hess is Music Ministry Director at Divine Mercy Parish in Kenner, La., and travels to present concerts, parish missions and retreats. She is near completion of her Master’s degree in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University New Orleans.

7-09  Lord, I Love ’em, but They’re Driving Me Nuts!   

Steven Ellair (bio 3-10)

This lively and practical workshop will explore effective ways to handle classroom discipline and reveal successful behavior-management tricks and tips. Focus will be on preventative measures and positive solutions. If you’ve ever had “one of those days” with student behavior in your ministry, then this workshop is for you!

7-10  Sacraments and Snapchat   

Fr. Rob Galea (bio 2-14)

“Father, will you hear my confession over Snapchat?” I get asked this question time and time again. With much of the world spending more time in front of their screens, Fr. Rob Galea will attempt to give answer to this question. In this workshop, you will receive a deeper understanding of the sacraments and how they become a powerful means of grace.

7-11  Laudato Sí and Liturgical Catechesis: Praying & Singing for Our Common Home   

In Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical, does his call to “hear both the cry of earth and the cry of the poor” have rele­vance to the liturgy? Our relation to creation is just as central to the Gospel and the Eucharist as our relation to our neighbor. Bob Hurd will explore the main lines of the encyclical, showing how preaching and music ministry can help worshipers to form awareness and appreciation of ecological spirituality and justice.

Bob Hurd

Author and composer Bob Hurd has taught for 39 years at the college and graduate level in the California institutions of Loyola Marymount University, the Franciscan School of Theology, St. Patrick’s Seminary, and Santa Clara University. Over the same period, he continued as a liturgical composer and workshop presenter. His widely used liturgical music is featured in numerous hymnals in the United States, Canada, Great Britain and Australia. In 2010, Hurd was honored with the Pastoral Musician of the Year award from the National Association of Pastoral Musicians.

7-12  Enhancing Our Creativity: Lessons from Neuroscience & Spirituality   

Pope Francis has proclaimed: “A spark of divine light is within each of us.” How can we nurture that spark to bring more love, compassion and energy to our work, our families, our communities? Creativity is the fuel that allows us to more thoughtfully tend to the needs of others. The question is not “Are you creative?” but “How are you creative?” Come explore current neuroscience research and spiritual practices that offer specific ways to inspire our creative souls, ignite our passion and enhance the Divine Light in our world.

Anne Kertz Kernion

Based in Pittsburgh, Anne Kertz Kernion is owner and artist of Cards by Anne, which is sold online and in stores across the United States and abroad. She has taught theology at Carlow University in Pittsburgh for over a decade and chemistry and religion courses at the nearby Community College of Allegheny County. Kertz is also a public speaker, gives retreats and teaches yoga. Her latest book is entitled, “A Year of Spiritual Companionship.”

7-13  Expressions of Catholic Life in a Global Church   

Thomas M. Landy (bio 4-12)

American Catholics comprise just 7 percent of all Catholics in the world. Sociologist Tom Landy, founder of the new website Catholics & Cultures, illustrates surprising aspects of Catholic life, including charismatic Catholicism and popular devotions in countries as diverse as Uganda, Argentina, Norway, Israel, China and the Philippines. This multimedia session will provide examples of the vitality of Catholic life around the world, and show how Americans can better assess their own situations. Participants will leave with resources and discussion ideas to bring back to their parishes about how culture is shaped by Catholic experience around the world.

7-14  Job, Career or Calling? A Spirituality of Work for Today   

Douglas Leal (bio 3-14)

Work might be the defining characteristic of adulthood. After all, we will spend more of our adult lives working than any other activity. But work is changing rapidly in today’s “disrupter” economy. We may have multiple careers and many different employers in our working lifetime. Is it time for a new theology and spirituality of work? How do we help young adults or those seeking a career change find their calling? How do we help all adults – and ourselves – find meaning and purpose in work? We’ll draw upon Scripture, spiritual writers and Catholic social teaching to explore a spirituality of work to offer some practical ways to integrate work life with faith life.

7-15  What Does It All Mean? A Guide to Being More Faithful, Hopeful and Loving

Rev. Richard Leonard, SJ (bio 3-15)

If we are going to trust in God’s love, it means we cannot shy away from the biggest challenges to faith inside and outside of the Church. This workshop outlines a contemporary and accessible response to the issues that confront – and sometimes confound – believers today.

7-16 Encountering Christ in Lay Preaching   

Josephine Lombardi, PhD (bio 5-19)

The Church allows for lay preaching in certain contexts. However, formation for these lay ministers in the area of preaching is a must. Even our U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops offers an instruction on lay preaching. This workshop is designed to give an introduction to the when, where and how of lay preaching. It will provide a brief overview of the legalities associated with lay preaching and a model for planning and facilitating a preached reflection for retreats, prayer services, parish missions and other opportunities for lay preachers. Dr. Josephine Lombardi will conclude with a demonstration using a model she has designed for lay preachers.

7-17  Living Liturgically: Becoming Stewards of the Mysteries in a Search-Engine World   

Diana Macalintal (bio 4-13)

Some try to make Mass more meaningful by explaining it. That’s easy when you can Google it, download it and put it on a PowerPoint. But catechists and liturgists do more than give information: We open hearts to Christ. To do this we need to be stewards of these mysteries, seeing life through a deep religious imagination. Through prayer, song, ritual and story, we’ll explore eight disciplines for expanding our symbolic vision so we can engage the disengaged at Sunday Mass, attract the uninterested to our best-kept secrets, and rekindle our own appreciation for the Mysteries of God.

7-18  Sing Justice, Live Justice – Liturgical Song Inspiring Social Action   

“Inspired by sung participation, [the church] goes forth to spread the Gospel with full force and compassion” (no. 9), states the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ document “Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship.” Liturgical song can be a powerful way to awaken, inspire and motivate our parishes and schools to actively live core Gospel values. Join Michael Mangan as he shares an engaging repertoire that highlights justice as well as the common that can send our liturgical assemblies out to “announce the Gospel” through our everyday lives.

Michael Mangan

Michael Mangan is a composer, educator and music liturgist from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The former elementary school specialist music teacher has over 250 compositions that are used in parishes and schools throughout Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. Mangan is President of the Australian Pastoral Musicians Network, a member of the Australian Academy of Liturgy, and is Music Director at All Saints Catholic Parish in Brisbane. His latest music collection is entitled “Let the Children Come.”

7-19  Being a Merciful Church … to, with, for, and by Young People   

Robert J. McCarty, DMin (bio 6-17)

The Year of Mercy can never be over! We are challenged continually – to proclaim the Good News of mercy and compassion, but mercy is counter-cultural. Our young people are immersed in all the prolife issues from abortion to the death penalty, from immigration to healthcare. We must connect the personal and communal dimensions of mercy with youth so they can rightfully live as ambassadors of mercy.

7-20  Digital Media and Ministry: New Tools for Sharing Faith   

Charlotte McCorquodale (bio 4-15)

Today our lives are bombarded by the images on TV, computers and our mobile devices. How many times have you heard someone say, “I am a visual learner”? But, in this digital age, aren’t we all “visual learners”? This workshop will explore the role images and video have in learning today, as well as provide tips for how we create, curate and utilize images and videos in sharing faith with all generations of Catholics.

7-21  Parables of Jesus and Disney: Embracing Justice from Dory to Moana   

The biblical parables of Jesus and the Disney parables, including films “Finding Dory” and “Moana,” teach values of life, peace and justice. This session will use Jesus’ parables along with clips from various Disney movies as a model for spiritual living and justice practice. Join the conversation, as teacher, parish new evangelist or person in the pews. Parables can be fun and reflective as well as models for living the justice and consistent life ethics of our Catholic Church. Join us for singing, fun and spiritual renewal.

Fr. Chris Ponnet

Los Angeles-native Fr. Chris Ponnet was ordained for the Los Angeles Archdiocese in 1983. Since then, he has served as Director for the Archdiocesan Office of Catholic HIV/AIDS Ministry. He also serves as Pastor at St. Camillus Center for Spiritual Care in Los Angeles. Fr. Ponnet has spoken at the RECongress and at the archdiocesan regional congresses for many years and has made presentations at Pax Christi Peace and Justice conferences and at local congregations and meetings around the county.

7-22  Pope Francis’ Message of Faith, Love, Humility and Mercy: Does It Really Matter?   

Pope Francis has breathed new life into the Catholic Church and revitalized the faith of millions, including Mark Shriver, who recently traveled to Argentina to meet with the people who knew the Pope as a young Jorge Bergoglio, as a young Jesuit priest and as a reforming bishop. Shriver visited the confessional where the Pope first felt called to a faith-based life and the humble parish where he answered Christ’s call to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and shelter the homeless. In this session, Shriver will share what he learned on that journey and discuss how Francis’ message of faith, love, humility and mercy are relevant in today’s world.

Mark K. Shriver

Mark Shriver is President of Save the Children Action Network, based in Washington, D.C. He created the Choice Program and is a former Maryland state legislator. His new book, “Pilgrimage: My Search for the Real Pope Francis,” was released in November 2017. Shriver is also author of the New York Times best-selling memoir, “A Good Man: Rediscovering My Father, Sargent Shriver.” He and his wife, Jeanne, have their three children, Molly, Tommy and Emma.

7-23  Tell Me Why? – Understanding What We Believe   

Rev. R. Tony Ricard, MTh, MDiv (bio 6-01)

Catholic belief is succinctly expressed in the profession of our faith, or credo, called the Nicene Creed. From “I believe in God” to believing in this “one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church” and looking forward to “the life of the world to come,” Roman Catholics believe a lot of stuff. Some of it is easy to understand and some of it can be confusing. This interactive workshop will deal with some of the major questions of faith. It will also allow participants to ask questions about faith, hope and love. Come prepared to ask Fr. Tony Ricard, “Tell me why?”

7-24  Start Where They Are (& Other Secrets to Effectively Engage Families in Faith)   

Michael Theisen (bio 6-24)

Pope Francis has clearly articulated a path for the Church and church leaders everywhere that directs us into the homes and the lived reality of families. Why is family so central to an evangelizing church? How can ministry leaders effectively accompany parents and families in their faith journeys? And perhaps most important, what’s keeping us from taking those necessary next steps to partner more closely with parents in the faith transmission process? Join others who are seeking the answers to these same questions as we explore the secrets to bringing home the faith.

7-25  The Living Language of Christian Symbols   

Johan M.J. van Parys, PhD (bio 4-22)

For centuries Christian symbols have been an important way to express our faith and in turn to learn about our faith. Some symbols have gone out of favor as we no longer understand them. On the other hand, new symbols have risen from our daily experience of Church. This workshop will look at the ways in which we best engage with this beautiful language and use it enhance our liturgy and catechesis.

7-26  Father & Son, Daring to Embrace Trust   

In 2017, Pope Francis gave to the Church, Amoris Lae­titia (The Joy of Love), which spoke of the family as a foundation for growth in love. In response to this exhortation, David and Matthew Wells will speak to each other about their experience of being father and son, of what each has taught the other about life, themselves and about God. Witness a dialogue between the first half of life and the second as we explore, in this far-from-perfect relationship, how out of the ordinariness and messiness of daily life can emerge a gentle awareness of God’s lifelong embrace.

David Wells

David Wells was a teacher before becoming a research assistant for the Bishops’ Conference in England and Wales. His latest position is as Project Manager for School Evangelization. Wells has travelled the world, speaking at more than 350 conferences in Europe, North America and Australia. He guest lectures in three English universities and in 2015 was MC for the Bishops’ Conference national gathering in England and Wales. Wells is author of two books, “The Reluctant Disciple” (which tells of his experience at RECongress), and more recently, “The Grateful Disciple.”

Matthew Wells

Matthew Wells is currently studying toward his degree in Geography at the University of Cardiff in the United Kingdom and expects to graduate this coming summer. He will present alongside his Dad, David Wells, a regular speaker at Congress. Matthew has spoken once before with David, at a conference of several hundred people when he was just 14. This will be his second experience of public speaking. For two years now he has taken part in a Church-based program called “Release,” designed to encourage young people into leadership and witness.

7-70 Vietnamese Workshop: “No one can serve two masters” (Matt. 6:24)   

Archbishop Joseph Linh Chi Nguyen (bio 2-70)

Using the theme of Matthew 6:24, “no one can serve two masters,” we will assess the following: 1) The demand on people: People do have material needs to live, but second most important is their spiritual life. 2) The teaching of Jesus: Choose God or mammon. 3) The solution of Jesus: Believe in the God of mercy.


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