2017 RECongress Period 8

Religious Education Congress
Sunday, February 26, 2017

1:00 - 2:30 pm



THURSDAY  • Youth Day Info •  Youth Day ScheduleYouth Day Workshops


 Text Page Links
 • Period 1Period 2Period 3
 • Period 4Period 5Period 6
 • Period 7Period 8 
PDF Downloads
 • Friday Workshops
 • Saturday Workshops
 • Sunday Workshops


 • Sesión 1Sesión 2Sesión 3
 • Sesión 4Sesión 5Sesión 6
 • Sesión 7Sesión 8

 • conferencias en español
   • HorarioEventosInformación de Congreso
REGISTER  • RegisterOrder Registration Book
View the Remigration GuidebookView the Program Book
2017 FEATURES  • Livestream  • Youth DaySpotlight • ScheduleSpeakers Workshops UpdatesEntertainmentHotelsTravelCongress ChatTopicsHandoutsBook SigningsOrder Recordings • ExhibitorsExhibitor CategoriesStatisticsTech Center • Theme Songs • Closed Workshops • Photos

= Recorded session

8-01  Fear: The Enemy of Christian Discipleship    Arena

Nearly every one of Jesus’ post-Resurrection appearances to his disciples includes the exhortation, “Be not afraid!” And yet, we live in a world in which fear is a constant threat to Christian discipleship, to our becoming instruments of God’s peace, love and justice in the world. This workshop looks at how to respond to a culture that promotes fear of the “other,” especially those who are different in race, gender, religion, nationality or language. Drawing on the Gospels and the wisdom figures, including Pope Francis, Thomas Merton, Oscar Romero and others, we will examine how to embrace trust in God and carry out our discipleship amid a culture of fear and violence.

Rev. Daniel P. Horan, OFM

Franciscan friar Fr. Daniel Horan, a theologian and columnist at America magazine, has lectured across North America and Europe. He teaches theology and spirituality at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago; he previously taught at Boston College as well as at Siena College and St. Bonaventure University, both in New York. Fr. Horan is author of numerous academic and popular articles. His recent books include “God is Not Fair and Other Reasons for Gratitude,” “The Franciscan Heart of Thomas Merton” and “The Last Words of Jesus.”

8-02  Fig Tree Spirituality: Tilling the Soil with Seeds of Trust   

Dr. Mary Amore (bio 5-03)

In this presentation, we will explore the many ways that the daily demands of ministry can strip away the soil of our soul and leave us dry and barren. By sowing seeds of perseverance and trust in the workings of the Lord we can produce abundant fruit for the Kingdom of God, not only in our personal life but also in our ministry.

8-03  Healing the Wounded Heart   

Theresa M. Burke, PhD (bio 5-07)

Rachel’s Vineyard offers retreats (in 32 languages in 82 countries) that provide a unique combination of psychological and spiritual recovery for healing after abortion. This workshop will present an overview of the “Living Scripture” technique, which provides an integrated sensory-based treatment for psychological and spiritual healing. Similar exercises are also used as the basis for their “Grief to Grace” retreats (for healing abuse) and “Duty to Heal” (finding peace for a soldier’s heart). The retreats are an effective “therapy for the soul” that result in evangelization, community and recovery as participants open their traumatic wounds to the grace of God.

8-04  Teaching for Discipleship: The Call, the Challenge, the Difference   

Dr. Michael Carotta (bio 6-04)

The three most recent Church documents on faith formation call us to focus on discipleship. How is this different than our past approaches? What are the challenges? What are the tasks? Whether you work with children, youth or adults, what specific techniques and catechetical methods might get us there?

8-05  Mothers at the Foot of the Cross   

How do we live Restorative Justice in our lives and community? How do we trust that we are not alone in our journey of healing? Do we want to walk with others? At times when we are struck by the loss of a loved one, either by a violent death or a life sentence in a prison, are we able to trust God, friends or others who have been through it? Let us be instruments of peace and dialogue. We are called not only to witness to people who have lost their loved ones by violence or prison, but also to walk together to heal families and communities.

Rita Chairez

Born in Zacatecas, Mexico, Rita Chairez now lives in Boyle Heights, Calif., where she has been actively involved, for the past 20 years, with Dolores Mission and Proyecto Pastoral, sitting on their Board as Community Representative. In 2008, she started working with the Los Angeles Archdiocesan Office of Restorative Justice as their Victims of Violence Coordinator. Chairez is now Program Coordinator for Healing Hearts Restoring Hope for those affected by homicide. She continues to work with the incarcerated in the prison system.

Amalia Molina

Originally from El Salvador, Amalia Molina has worked with immigrants, prisoners and their families, offering workshops, support groups and assistance. Her experience has led her to give presentations across the United States, including Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and Loyola University Chicago. She is currently Executive Director at the Center for Restorative Justice Works in North Hollywood, Calif. In 2010, Molina was honored with the “Voices of Courage” award by The Refugee Women Commission.

8-06  The Art of Forgiveness

True forgiveness is not an act of will, it is a consciously chosen participation in redemption and grace. Drawing upon our Christian tradition as well as groundbreaking research from the therapeutic community on the power and process of Mindful Self-Compassion, Jeanne Cotter will explore the highly creative path of forgiveness.

Jeanne Cotter

Based in St. Paul, Minn., Jeanne Cotter is a liturgical composer, author, speaker and owner of Mythic Rain. She is also Artist in Residence at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Naperville, Ill. Cotter has directed parish missions and retreats throughout the United States and has presented at diocesan gatherings and national events including the RECongress, the National Catholic Educational Association and the National Association of Pastoral Musicians.

8-07  Praying St. Francis with the Body   

Roy E. DeLeon, OblSB (bio 6-06)

St. Francis is one of the most beloved saints of all time. And most spiritual seekers in all traditions pray his Peace Prayer. This workshop will bring another dimension to praying this popular prayer and his Canticle of the Sun. The body, this temple of the Spirit, will join in movement as we say or sing his sacred words. We will feel as we pray with Francis of Assisi while he spends time with the Almighty One. The guided body movements will be slow and very gentle. There will be instructions on how to adapt them to your physical needs.

8-08  Justice, Mercy and Forgiveness: The Ways of God

Dr. Greer G. Gordon (bio 5-15)

For those who love God, an understanding of the ways of God is essential for the continued development of our relationship with God. Unlike the world, God deals with us from a posture of justice that is rooted in mercy and forgiveness. This session will address the practical implications of being a Christian in an unforgiving and unmerciful world. It will offer insights into our growth in wisdom, charity and daily faith-filled living. This session is recommended for those seeking a life of prayer and those engaged in catechetical and pastoral ministries.

8-09  The Glory of God: Man & Woman Fully Alive   

Sr. Miriam James Heidland, SOLT (bio 4-07)

Have you ever looked at a member of the opposite sex and said to yourself, “What are they thinking!?” Rather than seeing our differences as complementary, many times we experience our sexuality as men and women as contradictory! In this workshop, we will sketch out God’s glorious plan that he has written into the body and soul of every man and woman, how healing from brokenness restores us to the core of our being, and how to fully live out our gifts in a broken world in need of hope and mercy.

8-10  Sisters: The Friendships of Women as Told in the Scriptures and Sacred Tradition   

Sarah Hart and ValLimar Jansen return with new, exciting stories and songs, celebrating the great friendships of women in Scripture and religious tradition. Some of these friendships are filled with love, joy and mutual support. Others are complicated and challenge us to examine our own lives. Find laughter and catechesis in the complications of sisters Leah and Rachel. Have fun and be inspired by the experiences of Mary, Mary, Mary and Mary in Scripture. Experience the joy and tears in the work of women saints. Finally, be moved by the music interwoven throughout this session, as these two dynamic women focus on how holy women embrace trust.

ValLimar Jansen

Traveling to over 80 events annually, ValLimar Jansen serves the Church as a composer, singer, storyteller, 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 the MC for the National Catholic Youth Conference in 2011 held in Indianapolis. ValLimar and her husband, Frank, performed for over 300,000 people at the Loreto/Angora international papal event in Italy, broadcast on EWTN and across the world.

Sarah Hart

Sarah Hart of Nashville, Tenn., has been a singer, songwriter, retreat author and keynote speaker for more than 20 years. She has performed at countless conventions and events, and for Pope Francis at St. Peter’s in 2013. The Grammy-nominated songwriter has songs recorded by numerous artists and has appeared in TV, film and commercials. Hart’s writing is visible in hymnals across the globe. She has authored four retreats for parish missions, women’s retreats and adult catechesis, which she presents nationally.

8-11  The Joy of the Eucharist   

The story of the road to Emmaus is central to our appreciation and understanding of the living Christ, made known to us in the breaking of the Bread. Good liturgy is the means by which eucharistic joy can become a reality. Liturgical catechesis will naturally flow from liturgy that is life-giving and joy-filled. In this session, we will experience together a variety of ritual prayer experiences designed for catechesis and faith formation for all ages – food for our own journey to Emmaus.

Tom Kendzia

Tom Kendzia has been a professional liturgical musician, speaker, performer and consultant since 1980. He is currently a Liturgy and Music Consultant for Sadlier Religion Publishers and Director of Music at Christ the King Church in Kingston, R.I. A composer, performer, teacher, clinician and author, Kendzia has presented at international events, most national diocesan gatherings and many parish workshops/concerts throughout the United States, Canada, the West Indies, Europe and Asia. His numerous published songs include “Lead Us To The Water,” Taste and See” and “Like A River.”

8-12  Confirmation: Road to Discipleship or Graduation?   

Studies have indicated that over 65 percent of those confirmed in high school will no longer be active in the Catholic Church. With this dire statistic, what can be done to change this? What are practical ideas to keep those confirmed involved in their Catholic faith? What are current programs that are addressing this topic and what makes them so different than what has been done before? If you want to make a difference in teens’ lives by keeping them active, you don’t want to miss this workshop!

Jim Knowles

Jim Knowles has been involved in youth ministry for over 30 years at the parish, archdiocesan and national levels through work as a parish youth minister, Catholic high school teacher, Director of Parish Services for the Archdiocese of Denver and as Executive Director for the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry. In addition, Knowles has worked for both Catholic and interdenominational publishers, including Group, St. Mary’s Press, RCL Benziger, and Ascension Press. Currently, he works for The Augustine Institute as Regional Manager for Diocesan Partnerships and is based in Colorado.

8-13  When Justice and Peace Shall Kiss   

Archbishop Sylvain Lavoie, OMI (bio 5-18)

Despite the reality that social justice is integral to the Gospel and to ministry, the quip that the social justice teachings of the church are its “best kept secret” is still all too applicable. Now more than ever, these teachings cry out to be unwrapped, explored and applied to our wounded world in an understandable manner. This presentation will bring together the social teachings of the Church, Scripture, social analysis, contemporary justice issues and leaders in the area of justice work so as to sketch a strategy for a more peaceful world.

8-14  Evangelizing to Families

Rev. Ronald Nuzzi (bio 6-20)

The 2015 World Synod of Bishops on the Family began a robust conversation worldwide about the many blessings and challenges of family life. Reviewing results of the synod along with contemporary research on family life in United States provides a blueprint for ministry for parishes, schools and catechetical programs. The future of the Church is found in the family.

8-15  12 Things We Need to Do NOW to Radically Change the Way We Do Faith Formation   

Joe Paprocki, DMin (bio 6-21)

Too often, the New Evangelization amounts to saying the same things we’ve always said but louder and faster. While the New Evangelization does need new ardor, it also needs new methods and expressions. In this workshop, Joe Paprocki will identify 12 things that we need to do differently NOW in the area of faith formation if the New Evangelization is really going to be new.

8-16  Married and Holy?   

The call of baptism to holiness and mission is the core of discipleship. In the vocation of marriage, the journey to holiness lives in the relationship between husband and wife. That sacred truth is often lost in the day-to-day challenges of family and work. Join us as we explore marriage as a reflection of God’s gift of enduring love in light of Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love). With story and humor, we will discover the secrets of a happy and holy marriage.

Jo Ann Paradise, DMin

Jo Ann Paradise is a National Consultant for Our Sunday Visitor Curriculum Division. She has served as a catechetical administrator in several parishes in the Pittsburgh Diocese for over 32 years and most recently was Director of Parish Ministerial Life and Spiritual Formation at St. Sebastian Parish. Paradise gives keynotes and workshops at diocesan conferences throughout the United States and Canada as well as at national conferences, including the National Catholic Educational Association and the L.A. Congress, among others.

8-17  The Mission-Driven Parish: Forming Missionary Disciples   

Sr. Theresa Rickard, OP (bio 6-22)

Is your parish a “ministry service station” – or is it, in Pope Francis’ words, a “center of constant missionary activity”? Do parishioners act like consumers, or do they act like disciples? The difference is a missionary mindset, which often involves a significant change of parish culture. This workshop offers practical ideas to help leaders view every parish effort through the lens of evangelization. Special attention will focus on sacramental preparation as opportunities to evangelize young couples and families, and fostering vibrant small-groups as cells of discipleship.

8-18  A Model for Progressive Solemnity in Hispanic Worship   

Accompanying the liturgical year musically in the parish and developing a repertoire that allows the faithful to express their faith communally from season to season can be a challenge. Directed especially for those in parish liturgical and music ministry who plan with and for Hispanic/Latino communities, and using the principle of Progressive Solemnity, we will examine how we might look at the nature and style of the songs we select to accompany the liturgical year. We will share repertoire and best practices.

 Pedro Rubalcava

Pedro Rubalcava is a bilingual/bicultural composer, clinician, recording artist, cantor and pastoral minister, who is Director of Hispanic Ministries at Oregon Catholic Press in Portland. He also serves on the Executive Boards of the Instituto Nacional Hispano de Liturgia, the National Council for Hispanic Ministry, and the Northwest Regional Office for Hispanic Affairs. Since 1985, Rubalcalva has been a frequent speaker at liturgy and other ministry conferences at the parish, diocesan and national levels.

8-19  Volunteers: A New Approach to Getting Them, Keeping Them, Surviving Them   

Anna Scally (bio 1-19)

The need for competent volunteers is essential in all ministries. How can you get even the busiest people to help you expand your ministry? Learn effective skills to motivate people to want to be on your ministry team. Take care of them and they will help you.

8-20  Flamenco Theology: Reading Lamentations with Gypsy Tradition   

Prof. Daniel L. Smith-Christopher (bio 5-22)

And now for something completely different! Something unusual has been happening among Southern European Gypsies almost entirely unknown in the United States: a massive charismatic Christian revival involving nearly 80 percent of the entire Gypsy population in France and Spain. This presents fascinating possibilities – like a “Gypsy reading” of biblical books. So, in this session, we will explore what a “Flamenco” theology might look like, and how a “Gypsy reading” of Lamentations may look ... and sound! Our special guest will be Briseyda Zárate, a Flamenco dancer in Los Angeles, who will perform and dance the first 15 verses of Lamentations.

8-21  “My Ears had Heard of You But Now My Eyes Have Seen You” (Job 42:5)   

Sr. Maureen Sullivan, OP, PhD (bio 4-21)

When we first encounter Job in the Old Testament, we find him in despair. Yet, even in his feeling of abandonment, he persisted in his trust of God. Like Job, our ears have heard much about God, but now we are called to truly see this God of Mercy and to embrace trust. But this leap of faith is sometimes challenged by the sufferings we endure. Job is a perfect example of this sentiment of how we can feel alone and want to be sure that God is aware of our tribulations. What if the trials of this life are your mercies in disguise? What if our greatest disappointments or the aching of this life is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy? These questions will serve as the focal point of this session.

8-22  Building a Culture of Encounter: Humanizing the Social Networks   

Bishop Paul Tighe (bio 1-22)

The focus of this workshop will be on identifying the possibility of social networks realizing their potential to be places of dialogue and authentic human growth. In particular, Bishop Paul Tighe will seek to clarify how Christian believers, together with others of goodwill, can work to ensure that social networks promote a greater sense of the unity of the human family and foster understanding between different cultures.

8-23  Trust is the Key to Faithfulness   

Catherine “Cackie“ Upchurch (bio 1-24)

Ultimately, faith is a matter of trust. The content of our teachings and beliefs can change our lives only in the context of a trusting relationship with the God who made us and accompanies us. We sometimes carry within us certain myths or illusions about trust, but our biblical tradition offers us a new vision where trust is the most necessary and realistic choice.

8-24  Inspiring Young People with Catholic Social Teaching   

Joan Weber (bio 4-23)

The Catholic Church’s social principles are bold, inspiring and rooted in the Gospel. But many young Catholics are unaware of what the Church teaches about justice and service. This workshop will provide practical ways we can inspire young people with the social teachings of the Church in creative and engaging ways. We will also look at ways to support youth and young adults in taking action to live the social teachings of the Church in their own lives.

8-25  Many Paths, One God   

As we journey together as one community, we acknowledge the diverse ways that we pray, celebrate and honor our God. Guided by the words and example of Pope Francis, Archbishop Oscar Romero, Sr. Thea Bowman, Thomas Merton and other spiritual wisdom figures, we will take time during this session to reflect how we can respect and honor the many distinct ways we share and celebrate our faith.

Dr. C. Vanessa White

Dr. Vanessa White is Assistant Professor of Spirituality and Ministry and Director of the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies and Main Specialized Ministry at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. She is a member of the summer faculty and Coordinator of the Elder’s Retreat in the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana as well as advisor to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on Certification for Ecclesial Ministry and Service. Dr. White has numerous published articles and is an experienced workshop presenter, retreat facilitator and spiritual director.

8-70 Vietnamese Workshop: “Bone of my Bones and Flesh of my Flesh” (Gen. 2:23)   

Rev. Thinh Duc Pham (bio 4-70)

Focusing on Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, this workshop will discuss the liturgico-spiritual development of the sacrament of marriage and will show how God’s grace, flowing from the liturgical celebration, continues to enhance the trust and call to holiness in marriage and family life.

Congress Year:
CONGRESS HOME PAGE  ABOUT CONGRESS:  Order Guidebook  | Reviews  | Themes  | Theme Reflections  | Theme Songs  | Sign Up  | Congress Chats  | Resources  | Volunteers  | For New Exhibitors  | Congress Milestones  | History in Photos  | Email Us  | Contact Us  | Privacy Policy

CeJy �1996-2020 Office of Religious Education,
a department of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles
Send bad links / information updates to RECongress

Find our Archdiocesan Privacy Policy here.