RECongress 2019 Liturgy Descriptions

Religious Education Congress
March 21
, 2019 (Youth Day) &
March 22-24, 2019 (adult days)

FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2019 - 5:15 pm
Mass for Those Held in Captivity
Location: Marriott Marquis Ballroom
Presider: Rev. Bryan Massingale
Mass for Those Held in Captivity: Jesus told his disciples that he came to free all from sin and death. The number of people who live in some form of captivity today is staggering. The First Reading from this days Mass inspired the theme, where we hear in the Book of Genesis that Josephs own brothers sold him into slavery. How many ways are people held captive? Our minds turn toward those enslaved by human trafficking and addictions, political prisoners and those oppressed by corrupt systems and organized crime. Ultimately, we are led to reflect on our own lives and see how we might still be captive to sin and death and through the celebration of the Eucharist to turn our lives over to the one who promises us life, and life in abundance.

FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2019 - 5:15 pm
Sanctification of Human Labor (English)
Location: Convention Arena
Presider: Bishop John Stowe
Sanctification of Human Labor (English and Spanish): With the English and Spanish options, there are two opportunities to experience this liturgy. In the Gospel of this days Mass, Jesus uses a very vivid image of a vineyard to describe Gods plan. By speaking in this way, Jesus shows that humanity was always meant to honor God with their labors. God desires to respond by making human work an experience of his blessing.

FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2019 - 5:15 pm
The Cross and Suffering in Todays World in the Franciscan Tradition
Location: Convention Ballrooms (3rd floor)
Presider: Rev. Daniel Horan, OFM
The Cross and Suffering in Todays World in the Franciscan Tradition: In Lent, we are invited to reflect more deeply on the Way of Jesus cross. This past year, we have encountered the cross in so many painful and difficult ways. This liturgy has come from that experience of the Churchs suffering and a response that has inspired people for centuries. St. Francis of Assisi so desired to be united to Christ Jesus that he is said to have shared in the stigmata. For this years event, this liturgy will show how Franciscan spirituality can help us endure the cross and find peace in Christ.

FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2019 - 5:15 pm
Byzantine Divine Liturgy
Location: Marriott Grand Ballroom
Presider: Bishop Gerald Dino
Byzantine Divine Liturgy: We are delighted to once again invite our Byzantine brothers and sisters to share their Divine Liturgy with the participants of the Religious Education Congress. This is a great opportunity to grow in understanding through experiencing this Eastern Rite.

FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2019 - 5:15 pm
Evening Prayer (Vespers)
Location: Convention 303 (3rd floor)
Presider: Sergio Lopez
Evening Prayer: The prayer of the Church in the Liturgy of the Hours has a long and wonderful history. It has been an important part of what we offer to participants of the Religious Education Congress who want to experience something different. After a long day of workshops, sessions, conversations (and even shopping!), the opportunity to praise God for the blessings of the day and to offer all of its joys and struggles back to him through the praying of the psalms is balm for the soul.

SATURDAY, MARCH 23, 2019 - 5:15 pm
Honoring Our Ancestors in Faith from the Black Culture Perspective
Location: Convention Arena
Presider: Bishop Fernand Cheri
Honoring Our Ancestors in Faith from the Black Culture Perspective: This liturgy began with a conversation about Servant of God Agustus Tolton, the first African-American priest in the United States and the first to move toward sainthood. The conversation blossomed into delving more deeply into the black cultures value of the elders and all who have gone before them, especially those who endured such hardship and stayed faithful. At this Mass, there will be a special emphasis on the ancestors of faith.

SATURDAY, MARCH 23, 2019 - 5:15 pm
Misa para los Cristianos Perseguidos (Spanish)
Location: North Hall (upper level)
Presider: Rev. Agustino Torres
  Mass for Persecuted Christians (Vietnamese)
Location: Marriott Grand Ballrooom
Presider: Bishop Louis Nguyen Anh  
Mass for Persecuted Christians (Spanish and Vietnamese): More Christians were killed for their faith in the 20th century than in all the 19 centuries before it. The Mass for Persecuted Christians seeks to bring us into solidarity with those who suffer for Christ now as well as help us be mindful of those who have gone before us and were united with Jesus by sharing in a passion and death like his. The Vietnamese community is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the canonization of the Vietnamese Martyrs and so this liturgy has a special significance for them.

SATURDAY, MARCH 23, 2019 - 5:15 pm
Mass for Promoting Harmony
Location: Convention Ballrooms (3rd floor)
Presider: Msgr. Ray East
Promoting Harmony: The Gospel for this days liturgy presents us with one of Jesus well-known parables: the Prodigal Son. Although this parable often points us to the mercy of the father in forgiving his younger son, our reflections took us to a new light: seeing the father as the reconciler, the one who brings the family back into harmony. The divisions we see in the world today as well as within our Church often speak to a disunity within the spirit of the human race disconnected from God, the natural world and others, we ultimately disconnect from the deepest and most meaningful part of ourselves. God enters into this mess and works to bring unity and harmony. This is not uniformity. When two singers sing together and they are connected although they are singing at different pitches, we can say that they are in harmony. How will God bring us into harmony?

SATURDAY, MARCH 23, 2019 - 5:15 pm
Mass for the Progress of Peoples Church on the Way to Unity
Location: Marriott Marquis Ballroom
Presider: Rev. James Marchionda
Mass for the Progress of Peoples Church on the Way to Unity: Much like the Mass for Promoting Harmony, this liturgy developed from our discussions of the Gospel passage and the parable of the Prodigal Son. When the younger son has lost all he has and is at bottom, he remembers the generosity of his father who gives abundantly to all. The prayers of this liturgy are deeply woven with the desire to see all peoples flourish. This begins by uniting our lives with that of the One who never exhausts the riches of his blessing. God never tires of forgiving us, Pope Francis wrote in the Joy of the Gospel. In the Eucharistic prayer, we hear of God who gives us everything that is good. If all this is true, then our Church can only move forward to unity when it freely shares the grace and blessing that come from God and hold nothing back.

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