2020 RECongress Period 7

Religious Education Congress
Sunday, February 23, 2020

1:00 - 2:30 pm



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8-01      The Song of Women: Raising the Voice of the Feminine in Our Church  Arena

The place of women in the history of the Church is varied and well documented. Yet, oftentimes in Christianity we have seen the voices and ministry of women ignored, overlooked or discounted. In this workshop, we will dig deeper into why the voices of women are so crucial to the ministry of Christ and to our Catholic faith and identity. Through storytelling, song and prayer, Sarah Hart will guide us through an understanding of this essential demographic in our past history and current times, and explore ways in which we can raise up the voices of women in our own communities of faith. Come prepared to dig deep, laugh, cry and sing loudly!

Sarah Hart

Based in Nashville, Tenn., Sarah Hart has been a singer, songwriter, retreat author and keynote speaker for over 20 years. Her itinerant ministry has taken her all over the United States and abroad, performing for countless conventions and events, and even for Pope Francis at St. Peter’s Square. A Grammy-nominated songwriter, her songs have been recorded by numerous recording artists and have appeared in TV, film and commercials. Her writing is found in hymnals across the globe.

8-02      God Here and Now  

How can we wake up and see God in everyday experiences? How can we use what we see to respond through the liturgy and allow the liturgy to help us respond to our baptismal call each day? Come explore fresh ideas about what it means to be a disciple at any age, in any ministry role.

John Angotti

Based in Nashville, John Angotti is a music missionary who travels worldwide presenting at concerts, workshops, retreats, missions and conferences. He is an accomplished composer with numerous publications under the World Library Publications label. John Angotti Music Mission (JAMM) debuted his original musical, “Job: The NOW Testament” in 2013. He is also a full-time Director of Music and Liturgy at St. Philip Catholic Church in Franklin, Tenn.

8-03     Digital Discipleship: Like, Follow and Subscribe

Who and what is a “digital disciple”? This session explores the use of the new standards for technology in ministry, called the Technology Competency Standards for Digital Discipleship. Come and learn creative ways ministers can use online technologies and social media to promote Gospel values. This session is for anyone involved with ministry: technologist, director, coordinator or catechist.

Steve Botsford

Based in Georgia, Steve Botsford is Senior Director of Digital Catechesis for Sadlier Publishing. He has served over 10 years in parish ministry as a youth minister and director of religious education and is a master catechist in the Atlanta Archdiocese. Botsford was part of the Digital Disciples Network committee, which developed the Digital Disciple Technology Competencies for Ministry. He blogs about catechesis and technology at transformingcatechesis.com and contributes to Sadlier’s text series, “We Believe” and “Share.”

8-04     We Are God’s Hands: Songs to Celebrate and Teach Mercy to Children  

Here is a workshop for early childhood and elementary teachers. Pope Francis says that we need to think of mercy as a verb – it is something that we do. Come and join Australian Andrew Chinn as he shares songs, stories and strategies for children that will inspire them to bring mercy to life now, into their future and the future of our Church and world.

Andrew Chinn

Andrew Chinn worked as a classroom teacher in Catholic elementary schools in Sydney, Australia for nearly 20 years before moving into full-time music ministry as Director of Butterfly Music. He has visited numerous Catholic elementary schools, performing in more than 2,000 concerts across Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. Chinn has released several CDs, DVDs and, in 2013, joined WLP who publishes and distributes his music in North America.

8-05     Affective Maturity & Discernment: Keys for the Formation of Ministers Today  

Many of the documents of Pope Francis’ magisterium include sections devoted to the spiritual principles of the themes in his documents. His public talks often treat themes related to the need to cultivate spirituality, especially affective maturity and discernment. What is the source of the critical importance of these spiritual qualities in the formation of adult ministers (priests, deacons, missionary disciples) today? How does one learn and cultivate these qualities? Why does the Holy Father insist so much on spirituality as fundamental to the reform of the Church sought by the Second Vatican Council and promoted by him with such urgency and effort?

Fr. Allan Figueroa Deck, SJ

Jesuit priest Fr. Allan Figueroa Deck has served in both teaching, research and administrative positions at the California universities of Santa Clara and Loyola Marymount. The nationally known speaker has authored or edited nine volumes and more than 60 articles or chapters in books. Fr. Deck has served as founder and first Executive Director of the Loyola Institute for Spirituality in Orange and served as first Director of the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

8-06     Sacramental Preparation for Lifelong Encounters with Christ  

Parish sacramental preparation programs should be an experience of and a preparation for a lifelong relationship with Jesus Christ. Drawing on his years of experience as a creator of catechetical resources and as a parish catechist preparing kids for first Communion, first reconciliation and confirmation, Jared Dees will share the most effective ways to ensure that faith formation leads to a heartfelt encounter with Christ and a long-lasting love for him in the sacraments.

Jared Dees

Jared Dees is creator of the website TheReligionTeacher.com, which provides resources to religious educators. Formerly Content Marketing Manager at Ave Maria Press, he has presented more than 75 workshops and keynote speeches at dozens of dioceses and parishes throughout North America. Dees is author of many books, including “31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator,” “To Heal, Proclaim, and Teach,” “Christ in the Classroom” and “Beatitales: 80 Fables About the Beatitudes for Children.”

8-07     Introduction to Islam: Tips for Catholic Educators and Journalists  

Do Christians and Muslims believe in the same God? How are Catholicism and Islam similar, and how are they different? Author and scholar Jordan Denari Duffner will introduce attendees to Islam, give a window into the lives and experiences of Muslims, and offer concrete tips for teaching about Islam to Catholic learners of all ages. This session will also be useful for journalists, and will also touch on Catholic teaching on other religions.

Jordan Denari Duffner

Jordan Duffner, a leading Catholic voice on Muslim-Christian relations and interreligious dialogue, is author of the award-winning book, “Finding Jesus Among Muslims.” She is a doctoral student of Catholic-Muslim relations at Georgetown University, where she also serves as an Associate of their research project, the Bridge Initiative. A former Fulbright researcher in Amman, Jordan, Duffner writes about Catholicism and Islam and gives interviews and presentations around the country on interfaith relations.

8-08     Accompanying Young Adults in Discernment and Discipleship  

We are directed to walk with young people and provide accompaniment for them in their faith journey. This workshop will explore the journey of faith for young adults and the implications of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, Christus Vivit, for parents and ministry leaders working with young adults. Together, we will share some of the starting points for walking with young adults as they discern their role as missionary disciples.

Tom East

Based in Gig Harbor, Wash., Tom East is Director of the Center for Ministry Development. He formerly served as Director of Youth Ministry and Associate Director of Religious Education for the Los Angeles Archdiocese. East is editor or author of numerous books, including “Leadership for Catholic Youth Ministry.” He is a popular speaker at youth ministry and religious education conferences nationwide and has presented at gatherings sponsored by the Center for Ministry Development and all the major national conferences.

8-09     everyday Holiness  

The veneration of saints makes us think that holiness is only for prodigies of the spiritual life founders, mystics and martyrs. Relatively few canonized saints are drawn from “ordinary life” – the realm of work and family where most Christians live. In this session, Robert Ellsberg will draw on figures like St. Therese, Dorothy Day and the teachings of Pope Francis to recognize the pathways of “everyday holiness.”

Robert Ellsberg

Robert Ellsberg is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Orbis Books, headquartered in New York, where he has worked for 32 years. A former Managing Editor of The Catholic Worker, he has promoted the life and legacy of Dorothy Day, edit­ing her diaries and letters, and serving on the Historical Commission preparing her cause for canonization. He writes a daily piece on “Blessed Among Us” for Give Us This Day, and has written many award-winning books on saints, including “All Saints,” “Blessed Among Us” and “A Living Gospel.”

8-10     Truth in the Heart

The Psalmist tells us that “God loves truth in the heart.” In an electronic age of fictitious stories and intentional propaganda, truth appears to be hard to find. Yet, those who follow the path of Christ Jesus know that truth is neither elusive nor an illusion. For, God is Truth. This session will explore our contemporary age and the theology of God.

Dr. Greer G. Gordon

Dr. Greer Gordon is a Roman Catholic theologian who has served on the faculties at Regis College in Massachusetts and at the University of Massachusetts, and was a diocesan director in Washington, D.C., Boston and Baton Rouge. Her publications include “Symphonies of the Heart,” “Heritage and Vision,” the video program “Church and Ministry” and numerous articles for Give Us This Day. Based in Baton Rouge, Dr. Gordon is a theological consultant for a social service collective in South Louisiana.

8-11     The Present Moment: A Sacrament and Ambassador  

In the 19th century, “Abandonment to Divine Providence,” a work ascribed to the 18th-century Jesuit priest Jean-Pierre de Caussade, became an instant best-seller and one of the great works of spirituality. In our contemporary age, where “living in the present moment” is a current fad, this 19th-century text offers a Christian and mystical approach to the here and now. This workshop explores the mysticism of the present moment and offers both a technique for living in the present as well as a discussion of its practical effects.

Fr. Albert Haase, OFM

Franciscan priest Fr. Albert Haase is a popular preacher, teacher, spiritual director and guest on talk radio shows. A former missionary to mainland China for over 11 years, he is an award-winning author of 11 books on popular spirituality, most recently, ”Becoming an Ordinary Mystic: Spirituality for the Rest of Us,” and presenter on five best-selling DVDs, including “The BE Attitudes: Ten Paths to Holiness.” He is currently Chaplain at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Temple, Texas, in the Austin Diocese.

8-12      Music’s Role in a “Field Hospital” Church

Pope Francis likens the mission of the Church to a “field hospital” that cleans and heals wounds. “This is the mission of the Church: to heal the wounds of the heart, to open doors, to free people, to say that God is good, [that] God forgives all,” he states. In these times of crises, both for the Church and for the life of the world, how do faith communities live as a “field hospital” Church? All the baptized are called to a vocation as evangelists, healers and prophets. Music plays a critical role (as it has throughout the life of the Church). But how do we – together with God’s Spirit – translate our songs and prayers into faithful living?

Marty Haugen

For nearly 40 years, composer Marty Haugen has presented concerts, workshops and presen­tations across North and Central America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific Rim. His music appears in hymnals for United States, Canadian and Australian Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians and other Protestant denominations. His latest works are “Choose to Hope” and “The Liturgical Ensemble.” Marty and his wife, Linda, live in Minnesota.

8-13      Loving the Dust We Are: Renewing Our Understanding of the Human Person  

This workshop explores the latest developments in the spirituality and theology of human personhood. We begin with developing a greater appreciation for our place within the broader family of creation precisely as part of that same creation. We then examine how we might respond to the contemporary sociological, scientific and philosophical shifts in understanding identity and relationship. Finally, another aim of this workshop includes renewing our sense of sin and grace so that we might develop a mature faith and spirituality to live the Gospel life in the modern world.

Rev. Daniel P. Horan, OFM, PhD

Fr. Daniel Horan is a Franciscan friar and theologian who teaches theology and spirituality at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and is a columnist for the National Catholic Reporter. He is author of academic and popular articles and his recent books include “Reading, Praying, Living Pope Francis’s Rejoice and Be Glad.” Fr. Horan previously taught at Boston College in Massachusetts, at Siena College and St. Bonaventure University in New York, and has lectured across Australia, New Zealand, Europe and North America.

8-14      In Times Like These: A Time for Faith, A Time for Hope  

ValLimar Jansen will present a model to re-create at your parish or diocese. In times like these, we need parish and civic events that promote faith, hope and unity. ValLimar will use music to foreground and provide reflection and meditation for numerous, two-minute stories that inspire compassion, service and love. Throughout the session, she will weave a tapestry of beautiful sacred music, visuals and two-minute stories from Scripture, the lives of holy men/women, as well as her personal experiences. Ritual and prayer create the framework for this session. Come and experience it, then go home and create your own event like this one!

ValLimar Jansen

Based in California, 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. Jansen was MC for the National Catholic Youth Conference in 2011 held in Indianapolis, was co-MC for the USCCB gatherings at the 2016 World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, was an invited panelist for the USCCB’s 2017 Convocation on Evangelization, and was a presenter at 2019 World Youth Day in Panama City, Panama.

8-15      Catholic Leaders Today: Envision the Future or Be Eclipsed by It  

Who is setting the example of mission in our Church today? Too often we look to someone else when people are looking to us. As Church ministers, we can have a unique optic on the local church as well as a powerful role to play in building the Kingdom of God. However, we need to be engaged disciples who envision the future and empower its growth. Let’s talk honestly about what that may mean personally and professionally.

Fr. Michael T. Martin, OFM Conv

Franciscan priest Fr. Michael Martin was named Director of the Catholic Center at Duke University, N.C. in August 2010. A lifelong educator, Fr. Martin has held a variety of teaching, coaching and administrative positions since his ordination. He has served on a number of boards and commissions and is a highlighted presenter on strategic issues facing the Church, campus ministry and Catholic schools today. In 2007, he received the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal for service to the Church from Pope Benedict XVI.

8-16      Saints and Prophets for a Church and World in Crisis  

Saints and prophets have appeared throughout Church history as forward-looking voices of confidence, hope and healing. Using his own art and stories, Bro. Mickey McGrath will look at some modern prophets who offer us hope and healing in these challenging days of crisis in the Church. The sex abuse crisis is not THE problem, it is merely a symptom of much deeper problems of a Church in desperate need of healing and reform. The “heavenly BFFs” we will explore are women and men who were creative spirits and visionaries and, each in their unique way, inspire us to become spiritually mature, let go of fear, and move forward in faith and hope.

Bro. Mickey O’Neill McGrath, OSFS

Bro. Mickey McGrath, an Oblate of St. Francis de Sales, is an artist, author, speaker and keynote presenter currently living and working in Camden, N.J. He is illustrator and author of 21 award-winning books, including “Be Who You Are,” “Our Common Home” and his latest, “A Holy Mosaic.” In addition, Bro. Mickey paints commissions for churches and schools throughout the United States. He is also a popular retreat leader and presenter in a variety of venues on the national Catholic circuit.

8-17      It’s Too Late to Put My Hand Down: Practical Help with Scriptural Interpretation for Ministry

Now that you have committed to a ministry involving the Bible, delve into the methodology of Catholic Scripture study as presented in “The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church” by the Pontifical Biblical Commission. Methods and approaches for interpretation of texts will be detailed, advancing their possibilities and noting their limitations. This workshop will make God’s Word more accessible to you and to those your ministry reaches.

Suzanne Nawrocki, DMin

Dr. Suzanne Nawrocki is an adjunct Professor of Homiletics at the Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis. A member of the Catholic Association of Homiletics, the Academy of Homiletics, and the international guild Societas Homiletica, she also consults with the University of Notre Dame preaching initiative. In addition to her work with preachers, she gives a wide variety of workshops in parishes across the country. Her latest works include chapters in “Effective Preaching: Bringing People Into an Encounter with God.”

8-18      The Mundane Mercy of Catholic Family Life  

Modern advertising is driven by the possibility of excitement – novelty wins! Family life is often nearly absent from such advertising, since it’s far too mundane to cultivate consumer desire. In this session, we’ll see how Catholic family life can function as a medicine against consumer desire insofar as we cultivate the disposition to see God acting within the context of the mundane. Participants in this workshop will walk away with five ideas for doing catechesis on the Christian family that avoids the kind of idealism that often sneaks in when teaching about the family in the Church.

Timothy P. O’Malley, PhD

Dr. Timothy O’Malley is Director of Education at the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and holds a concurrent position as teacher and researcher in their Department of Theology. Dr. O’Malley has made numerous public presentations at university, diocesan and national conferences. He is author of “Liturgical Formation in the RCIA” and “Off the Hook: God, Love, Dating, and Marriage in a Hookup World.”

8-19      Unleashing the Power of Scripture: Ministry Powered by the Word of God  

There is a revolution taking place among Catholics when it comes to the Bible. For too long, Catholics kept the Bible at arms-length, thinking that it was a “Protestant thing.” Today, however, more and more Catholics are eager to ensure that their ministry is “powered by” God’s Word in Scripture. In this engaging session, Joe Paprocki will explain what it means for your ministry to be “biblically animated” or powered by Scripture and will breakdown obstacles that continue to prevent Catholics from embracing the Bible as part and parcel of their ministry and spirituality.

Joe Paprocki, DMin

Based just outside of Chicago, Joe Paprocki is the National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press. He has nearly four decades of experience in pastoral ministry and has presented in over 150 dioceses in North America. Paprocki is author of numerous books on pastoral ministry and catechesis, including his most recent, “Living the Sacraments: Finding God at the Intersection of Heaven and Earth.” He blogs about the catechetical ministry at www.catechistsjourney.com.

8-20     A Church with Open Doors: A Monastic Approach to Youth Ministry  

In his 2019 Apostolic Exhortation, Christus Vivit, Pope Francis explains that our youth ministry needs to be inclusive and “show that we are a Church with open doors.” Young people are fascinated by monks and often captivated by a visit to a monastery, but how do monastic communities approach youth ministry? In this workshop, Fr. Richard Purcell will share his own experience of youth ministry from a monastic perspective and will explore what it is about monastic life that interests young people, and what the Rule of St. Benedict and the monastic tradition have to offer them on their faith journey.

Abbot Richard Purcell, OCSO

Trappist monk Fr. Richard Purcell is Abbot of the Cistercian Monastery, Mount Melleray Abbey in Waterford, Ireland. For several years he was on the staff at Cistercian College, a high school for boys on the grounds of Mount St. Joseph Abbey in Roscrea, Ireland, where he taught religious education, music and French in addition to being a member of the chaplaincy team. Fr. Purcell is a member of the Irish Bishops’ Advisory Commission on Church Music and frequently presents diocesan music workshops and directs retreats.

8-21     Planning and Implementing Effective Retreats  

Retreats can be a pivotal experience on a young person’s faith journey. We want to develop retreats that are engaging and spiritually uplifting, but where do we even begin? This workshop will provide the basic framework for planning a retreat as well as provide some basic understanding to the dynamic and flow of an effective retreat that engages young people.

Cooper Ray

Speaker and musician Cooper Ray is presently Coordinator of Middle School Ministry at St. Ann Catholic Parish in Coppell, Texas. Drawing from 20 years of professional ministry experience as a retreat facilitator, liturgical musician and diocesan director, he has presented at countless diocesan, school and national events across the country, including the National Catholic Youth Conference, the National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry, Catholic Heart Workcamp and the Steubenville Youth Conferences, among others.

8-22     Forming Missionary Disciples  

Dr. Edward Sri (see bio 7-21)

This presentation helps people from all walks of life – diocesan leaders, parish staff, volunteers, laity – live out the call to be “missionary disciples.” Discover the true meaning of discipleship in ways that will transform our parishes, ministries, families and communities. The more we live as “missionary disciples,” the more we will be the Lord’s instruments in evangelization. (This session is based on Dr. Edward Sri’s newest book on discipleship, “Into His Likeness: Be Transformed as a Disciple of Christ.”)

8-23      Christus Vivit: Implications for Cate­cheti­cal Leaders and Youth Ministers  

Pope Francis has a message for young people: “Christ is alive, and he wants you to be alive!” In Christus Vivit, Pope Francis reflects on the work of the 2018 Synod of Bishops on Young People, The Faith, and Vocational Discernment and offers recommendations for those who minister to youth. In this session, we will walk through the document, discussing practical ways to implement Pope Francis’ message and vision.

Joseph D. White, PhD

Based in Austin, Texas, Dr. Joseph White is a child and family psychologist as well as Director of Catechetical Resources for Our Sunday Visitor Publishing and Curriculum. He previously worked as a parish catechetical leader and spent seven years as Director of Family Counseling and Family Life in the Diocese of Austin, Texas. A frequent guest on Catholic radio and television, Dr. White is author of 11 books and numerous articles on catechesis and ministry and co-authored the ­“Allelu!” and “Alive in Christ” catechetical series.

8-70     “Thánh! Thánh! Thánh! Chúa là Thiên Chúa các đạo binh” (Is 6:3) – Thánh Kinh và Phụng Vụ  

Linh Mục Phạm Đức Thịnh (tiểu sử 5-70)

Buổi hội thảo sẽ tìm hiểu về mối liên quan “tuyệt đối” giữa Thánh Kinh và Phụng vụ. Từ các bản văn Kinh Thánh, các tham dự viên sẽ học hỏi về nguồn gốc của một số lời nguyện, dấu hiệu, biểu tượng và cử chỉ được sử dụng trong các nghi thức Phụng Vụ để họ có thể nắm bắt trọn vẹn các khía cạnh thiêng liêng của Phụng vụ, đặc biệt là trong việc cử hành Thánh lễ.

               “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of Hosts...” (Is 6:3) – The Bible and the Liturgy  

This workshop will focus on the “indissoluble” connection between the Bible and the Liturgy. From the biblical references, participants will learn the roots and origins of selected prayers, signs, symbols and gestures used in the liturgical celebrations so that they could fully embrace the sacred aspects of the Liturgy, especially in the cele­bration of the Mass.

Linh Muc Bartôlômêô Pham Đức Thịnh

Thụ phong linh mục cho Tổng Giáo Phận Los Angeles vào năm 2002, Cha Phạm Đức Thịnh đã phục vụ tại Giáo xứ Thánh Gioan Thiên Chúa ở Norwalk, California. Sau bốn năm phục vụ tại giáo xứ, cha đã được gửi sang Roma để theo học chuyên ngành phụng vụ tại Giáo Hoàng Học Viện Sant’Anselmo. Cha đã hoàn tất chương trình cao học của Phụng Vụ vào năm 2010, hiện cha đang làm giáo sư về Phụng Vụ tại Đại Chủng Viện Thánh Gioan, Camarillo, California.

Rev. Thinh Duc Pham

Ordained a priest for the Los Angeles Archdiocese in 2002, Fr. Thinh Pham served for four years as Associate Pastor at St. John of God Church in Norwalk, Calif. Upon completing his first assignment, he was sent to pursue graduate studies at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute in Rome. He completed his License in Sacred Liturgy in 2010 and is currently teaching liturgy at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, Calif.


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