March 2018

RECongress 2018 (#15)

RECongress 2018 is in two weeks!
The 2018 Religious Education Congress is just two weeks away! If you haven't yet registered, you can still register for Youth Day and Congress, but we recommend you do that online. If you haven't mailed in your registration, hold on to it and bring it with you to register on site.


Anyone who now registers for Congress will receive an email confirmation that includes a barcode. Please bring that email with you to the Registration Area (or have it available on your phone) to self scan and print out your tickets at Congress. 


Note: Those registered who reside outside of the United States and Canada will receive barcode confirmations sometime this week. In fact, see how many are registered from foreign countries on our Statistics page.


And remember these upcoming deadlines: March 1 is the last day to register by mail; March 2 is the last day to order Youth Day T-shirts and still receive them by mail; March 6 is the last day to register online for the first-time attendee drawing; March 12 is the last day of the special Disney ticket offer.

Watch for coming news about our Congress 2018 app. It will appear in iOS and Android formats and features a Schedule at a Glance (in English
and Spanish), Liturgies, Entertainment, the Exhibit Hall, Live Stream and the Survey.


Have Congress questions? First, try our Help page here.

Pass along this emailing or our link — — to share with friends, and encourage them to sign up for the Emailings to receive the latest information about RECongress 2018. If you do not care to receive future updates, you can find removal information at the bottom of this message.

Saturday Schedule: Morning Praise & Keynote


                           - 7:50 am-9:30 am
Please note the new format we have this year. Our Saturday Keynote Addresses (English: Dr. Carolyn Woo
in the Arena; Spanish: María Clara Lucchetti Bingemer in Hall B) will be situated within the context of Morning Praise. Please make sure that you arrive on time so that you enjoy the full experience.
Check our weekend Schedule »

"I haven't received my tickets"

If your tickets have not arrived by the time you're heading off to the Religious Education Congress, please email our office to see if perhaps your tickets were returned by the Post Office. If they have been returned to our office, we can make the address correction and mail them back to you (until March 5). If the tickets were lost in the mail, you will have to bring your email confirmation and a form of ID to the Existing Ticket Holders line in the registration area at Congress and we will reprint your tickets for you.


"I did not receive an email confirmation"
When registering, either online or by mail, make sure to provide an email address. You will be sent confirmation of your registration by email. If you haven't received an email confirmation, you might not have provided an email address or it may have been entered incorrectly. You can contact the Congress Registration Desk at (213) 637-7348 to verify your email address or to reissue an email confirmation.
Check our registration Help page »

Tips for "surviving" RECongress

If you're not already familiar with it, the RECongress is probably the largest regularly scheduled gathering of Catholics in North America. It is held at the Anaheim Convention Center across the street from Disneyland. Thursday is Youth Day, which attracts around 15,000 high schoolers, and Friday through Sunday are the adult days, which are attended by anywhere from 15,000 to 20,000 teachers, catechists, musicians and other Catholics in ministry from all over the country. There are dozens of conference sessions each day with Masses and other events in the evenings. Here are a dozen handy tips for surviving the Religious Education Congress by long-time attendee Claude Muncey.

Dress for comfort
There is nothing formal about RECongress. Good shoes and socks are a must. Think of it as going on a day hike with 10,000 of your closest friends!...
Read how to survive RECongress »

Last days to order Youth Day shirts

These are the last days to pre-order your Youth Day apparel. Tomorrow is the last day to pre-order T-shirts ($15) and sweatshirts ($25) and have them delivered to your door. Options to pick up shirts at Youth Day are also available. All standard pre-orders must be placed online at by Friday, March 2.
See the Youth Day page here »

Discounted ticket offer ends March 12

Religious Education Congress attendees may purchase specially priced Disneyland resort eTickets prior to your arrival. There is special pricing for Twilight Convention tickets (after 4 pm), 1-day 1-park, multi-day and park hopper tickets. This eTicket offer is only available online at and only through March 12, 2018. Tickets are valid from Saturday, March 10, 2018 through Wednesday, March 21, 2018.
See other Congress Updates here »

Program Book is now online

Be ready for your trip to Anaheim. You can now view the online version of the Program Book that attendees receive when they arrive for Congress 2018.
— New ACC North map
— Spotlight on events at Congress
— Workshop locations and maps
— Tech Center schedule
— Speaker Signing schedule
— Exhibitor and Categories listings
— Restaurant guide and map
— Audio Recording Form
Preview the 2018 Program Book »

Did you reserve your hotel room?

Some of our contracted hotels have already sold out of their special rates for RECongress attendees. Check online to see which hotels might still be available. To get the quoted rates, contact the hotel directly and be sure to mention that you are attending the 2018 Religious Education Congress and ask for the REC or Religious Education Congress Block Group Rate.
Find the Hotel listing here »

Airport Shuttle Service

The Religious Education Congress has made arrangements for discounted airport transportation with Karmel Shuttle, offering direct service between Los Angeles International (LAX), John Wayne (SNA), and Long Beach (LGB) airports to and from the Anaheim Resort. Reservations are required 24 hours in advance.
1) Visit and enter Promo Code: REC18.
2) Call toll free 1-888-995-RIDE (888-995-7433) and mention promo

    code “REC18” at the time of reservation.
3) Click this link -- exclusively for Religious Education Congress attendees.
Find additional shuttle information here »

Youth Day Feature: Joe Melendrez

Youth Day 2018 features an Arena Keynote, Session and Liturgy along with a choice of two workshops from among 13 speakers. Each Emailing we will spotlight one of those speakers:


Catholic speaker and performer Joe Melendrez is a religion teacher and Assistant Director of Campus Ministry at Chaminade College Preparatory School in West Hills, Calif. His evangelization ranges from his faith-based clothing line (God Swagg Apparel) to his retreats and hip hop concerts, with appearances at national youth conferences and World Youth Days (both Brazil and Spain) and the God is Good Festival in Germany. Melendrez has three audio CDs: "Rosary Rap," "Fully Alive" and his latest, "Kingdom Come."


Session L: Mark My Words

March 15, 2018 - AM and PM sessions - Convention North 156-160
Words are powerful. They have the ability to build up or tear down. Words allow us to witness and testify to what God has done in our lives. The Word of God is our source of nourishment and strength. How can we grow in understanding God’s Word and let it take root in our lives? We all have access to God’s Word – the truth that can sanctify, encourage, protect us and do so much more. This workshop will take all gathered on an interactive experience of God’s Word through hip hop music and dance. May we become energized, deepen our understanding of Scripture and be ready to "mark God’s Word" every day!
Find our Youth Day page here »

RECongress Speaker Handouts

Some of our speakers have handouts for their workshops. Last year, as part of our two-year plan to reduce printed materials, we provided both digital and paper copies. This year we are not printing speaker handouts. We encourage you to check online if any of your workshop speakers have handouts, print them out and bring them with you to Congress. You can also find the PDF downloads are available for viewing on your smart phone. (We will continue to print worship aids for the Congress liturgies.)
Find the Speaker Handouts here »

Congress Speaker Feature: Lisa Hendey
Over the three days, Congress 2018 will offer 334 workshops presented by 185 speakers. Topics range from personal growth to music to spiritual topics — in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. Each Emailing we spotlight one of our speakers:


Lisa Hendey is founder and Editor of, Editor at Large for Ave Maria Press, and best-selling author of “The Grace of Yes” and “Chime Travelers.” She is a frequent radio and television correspondent and speaks internationally. Hendey has traveled worldwide with Catholic Relief Services and Unbound, sharing the work of these non-profit agencies. Her most recent book is entitled, “The Grace of Yes: Eight Virtues for Generous Living.”


Saturday, March 17, 3:00-4:30 pm - Session 6-12

Rise and Shine: Social Media and the Missionary Disciple (*)
In Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis teaches us that “we are all missionary disciples” and that “each of us should find ways to communicate with Jesus wherever we are.” In this session, we’ll examine effective and emerging social media tools and techniques to joyfully communicate the Gospel. Additionally, we will examine the challenge of moving beyond mere “documentation” in our work as social media evangelists and examine Christ’s true Gospel commission in the context of our diverse and challenging mission territories.


Sunday, March 18, 1:00-2:30 pm - Session 8-11

Saints-in-the-Making: Storytelling for a New Generation of Evangelists (*)
How can we inspire our children and teens to not only know and love their Catholic faith, but also to share it with others? In this session, we’ll examine how to educate and inspire today’s “wired” generation to look to the saints as role models for the courage, sanctity and mission-mindedness to rise up and boldly encounter a world greatly in need of their gifts. Looking at saints who made a difference and communicated in unique ways, this session will empower us and the families we serve to identify and be empowered by our spiritual gifts to serve our Church, our communities and our world.
See our other speakers here »

Liturgy Spotlight: Eritrean Liturgy

SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 5:15 pm - Convention 303

Eritrean (Eastern Catholic)
Rev. Tesfaldet Asghedom, presider
Music by the Eritrean Community


Many communities are in union with Rome and maintain their unique liturgical heritage. Many of you are familiar with the Byzantine Rite and last year at Congress we experienced the Syriac Rite. This year we are blessed to have the Eritrean community come and celebrate their Divine Liturgy with us. Eritrea is a country in North Africa next to Ethiopia and the Red Sea. It is often called the Ge’ez Rite and is celebrated in Tigrinya, the native language of Eritrea. This will be the first time this community will be offering Mass at the RECongress.

Father Tes Asghedom serves as Pastor at Sacred Heart Church in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood in Los Angeles, one of the oldest parishes founded in the Los Angeles Archdiocese. The country of Eritrea is equally divided between Christian (Orthodox Church, Roman Catholic and Lutheran protestants) and Muslim religions.
See the listing of Congress Liturgies here »

RECongress Spotlight: Congress Chat

Friday, March 16, 10:15-11:00 am

                                        - Tech Center @ Hall A
Join us Friday morning at the Technology Center in the center of Hall A as we conduct our annual live chat with students from the Los Angeles Archdiocese. This year Bishop Dave O'Connell will talk with students from his region, All Souls Elementary School in Alhambra.
Find other Congress Spotlights here »

Entertainment: Saturday Evening Concert

Saturday, March 17, 8:00 pm -- Arena
Liam Lawton & Friends
“St. Patrick’s Day Celebration”

“The day when everyone becomes Irish!” Join Liam Lawton in celebrating the great national saint of Ireland, St. Patrick — an immigrant, the son of a convert, and yet a leader among the people who once enslaved him. Celebrate St. Patrick’s life and culture with us in music, word and dance. Guests include Irish musician and composer Ian Callanan, Tricia Hoyt, Sr. Edith Prendergast and Fr. David Loftus!
Find other Congress Entertainment here »

Just for Southern Californians

Ralphs Grocery Company, the Southern California supermarket chain, has a program to help non-profit organizations with annual contributions. We invite you to re-register your Ralphs Rewards Card again this year to benefit the RECongress. The current term began September 1 and runs through August 31, 2018. This is an annual program that must be renewed each year. You may register online or by calling (800) 443-4438.

Sign up for the free Ralphs rewards Card and register your card with the Community Contributions Program. 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
Go to the RECongress Ralphs page »

A Look Back: CCD Congress 1998

With the same daily schedule of three workshops per day, in 1998 the “ninth period” workshop on Sunday was removed and replaced by two Sunday morning keynote talks. The Closing Liturgy was also scheduled to begin earlier, at 3:30 p.m. instead of at 5:15 p.m.. "The procedure is being tried 'on an experimental basis,' " stated then-Director Sr. Edith Prendergast that year. Archbishop Rembert Weakland, OSB, (photo) was the Congress Keynote that year.
See the early years of Congress »

Our Web Site

You can find all Congress information and updates online. Our upcoming RECongress Emailings will feature some Congress Spotlights, and you can find the latest listing of speakers, entertainers, Liturgies and more online. Check our site for updates and announcements.

RECongress Emailing

Be sure to sign-up for our twice-a-month Emailings (around the 1st and 15th) about the latest updates and information about Congress 2018. You may opt out from our Congress Emailing at any time from the "Manage Your Subscription" link below.

Find past Emailings at

© 2018  Los Angeles Religious Education Congress

RECongress 2018

RECongress Dates
March 15 (Youth Day) &
March 16-18, 2018

2018 Congress Theme
"Rise Up!" / "¡Levántate!" / "Hãy Đứng Lên!"

2018 Youth Day Theme
"Dare to Believe"
Youth Day page »

2018 Theme Reflection
See a reflection by the Director on the 2018 Congress theme.

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 »

Have Questions?
View our RECongress help page to see the most frequently asked questions and their answers.
See our FAQ page »

First-time Attendees:
This year, first-time attendees who register online are entered into a drawing. Congress is offering one lifetime free registration to a first-time attendee of Congress who registers online. Help us get the word out to your family, friends, fellow parishioners, priests, sisters … anyone who would benefit by attending Congress. Contest submissions end Monday, March 6, 2018 at midnight PST.
Register now »

Important Dates
Jan 19 - Last day to request refunds

Jan 26 - Registration fees increased

Feb 23 - Last day to pre-order custom Youth Day


Mar 1 - Last day to register by mail

Mar 2 - Last day to order Youth Day T-shirts to still receive by mail


Mar 6 - Last day to register online for the first-time attendee drawing

Mar 12 - Last day of special Disney ticket offer
See our Updates page »

Congress Milestones
1956 - First two-day CCD Institute (500 teachers in attendance)

1967 - First three-day “Southern California Confraternity Congress ” (7,000 in attendance)

- CCD Congress moves from Los Angeles to Anaheim Convention Center

- First "Religious Education Congress" as CCD office renamed to Office of Religious Education
See the REC Milestones »

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