The Religious Education Congress is sponsored by 
The Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocese 
Office of Religious Education

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Name: Nghiem Tran
Date: October 26, 2012

I left Vietnam with my family to come to the United States in 2008 when I was almost 20 years old. I was a young man who had all the fire of the youth, ready to change the world. I was strong, actually the strongest in my family, to not to break down and cry at night when we were here for the first couple of weeks. But there was still the fact that I could not get over: I was so far away from my home. I left everything that I had known, everything that I loved, and everyone that I cherished to start a whole new life in a different culture, with different people, different environment … And one of the things that bothered me a lot was the lack of passion, lack of faith in the youth of America. I’ve seen a lot of crowded Vietnamese Mass but young people just weren’t really there. Their souls are somewhere else.

That made me decide to volunteer teaching Bible classes on Saturday mornings at St. Barbara Church [in Santa Ana], with the fire in my soul and my overconfidence, I thought that I could change the faith in the American youth. And from the program with the Lovers of the Holy Cross Sisters, I got to know about the Religious Education Congress in Anaheim. I attended the first one in 2009 and I was proved wrong. Thousands of people, young and old, came together to learn and worship God, to share and enrich our faith. I was overwhelmed by the greatness of the event, and the tremendous grace and power of the Holy Spirit that was poured out on each and every participant.

Then came the Closing Mass. That was my first time ever attending a Mass as large as that one, with thousands of people in the Arena, including all races: Vietnamese, Korean, Mexican, American, … all together with the Archbishop of Los Angeles, who at that time was Cardinal Roger Mahony. During the Mass, God once more surprised me. At the Gift of Offering, a young Vietnamese lady came up and sang the song “Lễ Dâng” … in Vietnamese!!! (She was singing with her American accent.) How amazing that scene was! A young Vietnamese singing a Vietnamese song, offering to God, among thousands of brothers and sisters of all races, in front of the Archbishop. My pride of being a Vietnamese, my love for my home country, was like the ocean waves, one after another raising up and touching my soul. Tears were running down my cheeks even before I noticed. And they keep falling after the song ended for the rest of the Mass. Those were the tears of joy, of hope and of love!

After the Closing Mass and the Religious Education Congress, I was changed! I realized that this country is blessed with so many means and tools and knowledge for us to learn about and get closer to our Father. It would be our great faults if we don’t take advantage of that and share with other people and with our kids about our loving God. I also realized that what I thought before was very conceited. Who am I to change the world if I don’t change myself first? I am just a dust in this universe, just a tool that God can use, just one son in those thousands of children of God in that “Home Gathering” in Anaheim Arena. But that is more than enough, for the love of God is everything I need.

Thank you so much to everyone who makes the Religious Education Congress take place every year. Thank you for your sacrifice, for your time and effort to bring forth that wonderful event. When I meet Jesus someday, I will say to him: “You know what? I was at the Religious Education Congress and I saw You there!”̣

Name: Alvaro Ginel
Date: March 30, 2012

Siempre regreso admirado de lo que es el Congreso, de la cantidad de gente que asiste, de la organización, de los detalles… Podéis estar contentos cuantos participáis en este evento único, a mi conocer, en el mundo.

Por lo que se refiere a los talleres que animé, salí contento. Creo que para algunos es otro estilo el que presento de anunciar el evangelio… En fin, el don recibido intento ponerlo a disposición de los que lo solicitan, sin más pretensiones. Y me alegro cuando algunas personas se sienten contentas de lo que ven, oyen y viven dentro de su corazón en el taller. ¡Qué gente más buena encontré…! ¡Todo un don de Dios!

Name: Robert McKague
Date: March 28, 2012

Thank you for the wonderful conference, very well organized! You people put on one of the best conventions in the world.

Name: Kathleen Stoeser
Date: March 25, 2012

Another meaningful Congress. Thank you so much.

I gave my evaluation online, but was unable to give any comments.So, here goes!

  1. I left my tickets at home and obtaining my replacement was so convenient and easy. Plus, the people working at the booth were so very helpful and kind. Thank you.

  2. May we have more blank note pages in the Program Guidebook next year?

  3. When I put in the amount of congresses I’ve attended, the site wouldn’t let me enter 20 years and would default to 10 years.

  4. Is there a reason we are not more specific about our prayers for the world? I’d like to see more of a presence of social justice concerns (a booth? An exhibit? In the Prayers of the Faithful?). In particular, I’d like an awareness expressed in some manner about Sudan, Syria, and Immigration—and not just in a workshop.

Thank you for your consideration. And thank you for how you have challenged me, comforted me, and helped me grow over the years. I know I am a better person for having attending the Congresses.

Name: Judie Kosko
Date: March 24, 2012

To Whom it May Concern,

Thank you for the Live Webcast!! I sometimes have panic attacks in crowds. Each year I overcome my fears and I do my best, with the help of my my friends, to "navigate" my way through Congress. (I could write a book on the subject)

I don't go to Opening Ceremonies, I skip a workshop to see the exhibits (and I still only last about 15 minutes, 30 minutes max), for Mass I can only sit in certain places. The list goes on. Unfortunately a few years ago I had a panic attack at Congress and it was awful and scary.

Thanks to the Live Webcast I was able to enjoy the workshops without any anxiety from my home. Yesterday was a retreat day in the silence of my home. I so enjoyed Fr Rolheiser. I went to the 12:10 Mass at my parish. I came home in time for John Allen who I see every year. I had some time for silence and reflection before Matthew Kelly. (And what's not to love about Matthew Kelly!)

This morning my "retreat" continues. I have read "Tattoos on the Heart," so you can only imagine how happy I am to be able to hear Fr Greg Boyle. I'm looking forward to the rest of the workshops. I follow Fr James Martin on Twitter... I feel like I know him, and his tweets from Congress have made me almost feel like I was there. In true Congress tradition I will make time this afternoon to check out the exhibitors on line and make my purchases. (What's a retreat without checking out the gift shop or Congress with out the Exhibits!?)

I just want you to know that my little retreat is stirring my heart. I feel inspired and challenged. This may be a different way to be at Congress but it is really working for me. I just can't thank you enough!!!

Judie Kosko

Name: Brian Tmayo
Date: March 4, 2012

Upon looking towards next year (2013) I noticed an oddity. Holding LA Congress in the middle of February seems too early due to the fact that most schools/universities don't have their spring break during that time and late March is the perfect time to attend Congress. For this year's Congress in which my friends & I are attending, our spring break from college begins on the weekend that Congress falls on. You should reconsider scheduling all future Congress events in mid-late March rather than in mid-February.


Congress dates are actually determined by the availability of Convention Center space along with the availability of ballrooms and meeting rooms in the surrounding hotels. Since moving to the Anaheim Convention Center in 1970, Congress has been held in February 25 times and 14 times in March. It has also been moved to January (in 1985) and to April (in 1989). You can find the history of dates on our  Congress Themes page.

Name: Sherry Tekippe
Date: March 1, 2012

Please look into Dr. Edward Sri as a future speaker; he's authored books and tapes on the rosary and on the Eucharist; I've only heard his tapes and he's a dynamic speaker!

Name: Bianca Rodriguez
Date: February 21, 2012

There needs to be more workshops in Spanish.

Name: Kevin
Date: January 10, 2012

I was talking with a friend that has attended many years of the Congress and with the advent of iTunes has there been any thought of having the talks that are recorded put there or Amazon then we would be able to purchase these talks from our hotel or home and not have to stand in the line for the CDs.


We will have downloadable sessions for Congress 2012. News to come on our page.

Name: John Zutz
Date: January 10, 2012

When will the 2012 program guide be available for viewing online?


The Guidebook is available now at
The same page will contain the Program Book when it is posted. Probably mid-February.

Name: Deacon Kin Borja
Date: January 4, 2012

I was very honored to have attended 18 years of the LA Congress and watch this ministry grow. God Bless the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and Sister Prendergast for taking on this most worthy evangelization tool. Looking forward to again start attending LA Congress as part of my annual retreat.

Vivat Jesus,
Deacon Kin

Name: Larry Leger
Date: December 20, 2011

Are there any date Ideas yet for the 2013 Congress?


You can find dates online. Try (enter the year of the Congress after the slash)

Dates for upcoming Congresses are
February 21, 2013 (Youth Day) & February 22-24, 2013
March 13, 2014 (Youth Day) & March 14-16, 2014

Name: Laura
Date: November 19, 2011

I registered today and I got an email that my payment was received but that all of my workshop information was not accepted. The email said to go to the Workshop Selection page to re-select the classes I want to take, but there is no way to get there without making another payment. Now I am afraid my husband and I will not be able to get into the workshops we wanted because they are currently open to those who have not yet registered and they are free to select classes. I am not willing to pay another $120 out of pocket just to get in the classes we planned on. This should not have happened in the first place. I am very disappointed.


We did have a server problem where we did capture payments, but not the workshop selections. If you know your "V Number" you can complete registrations at and enter your ticket mailing and workshop selection information.

If you don't know your V number, you can contact with all your information.

Date: August 22, 2011

I would like to request a song that the Religious Education Congress had sung in the Closing Liturgy in the past year. How do i do that? Thanks.


To hear the song you can find it online on our page for the recording of the 2011 Closing Liturgy. You can also find the worship aid for the Closing Liturgy in the 2011 Program Book.

Name: Cyrus Alderite
Date: August 17, 2011

I love the Religious Education Congress. I always look forward to go to Anaheim with my mom and parishioners to the RECongress. The Masses are beautiful. Congress is very spiritual and I like going there. One of the things I like there is there Dip N Dots. I would eat it during a workshop in the Arena. I love Congress and I cant wait to go there next year!

Name: Christine Pastega
Date: June 15, 2011

Hello, I am a teacher in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I am a mother of 5 and have taught for the Calgary Catholic School Board for 22 years. I have attended your conference a few times. I have recently completed my Masters in RE and would be willing to share my work. I have developed a "Lectio Divina Program for Children," this is the topic of my completed thesis as well. I look forward to your response.


You can submit speaker and workshop ideas to Jan Pedroza, the Congress Program Coordinator, at

Name: Pat Kahl
Date: April 4, 2011

I want to add my congratulations on another year of congress that was very well organized. The presentations that I attended were inspiring. The liturgies and prayer were uplifting. The music - AWESOME. My only problem was getting to the survey.

Looking forward to next year.
Pat Kahl, Chicago

Name: Nancy Moore
Date: April 3, 2011

I submitted my written evaluation, but I have one additional comment about the Closing Liturgy. The ambiance in the Arena was wonderful but the lighting limited the ability to see the words/music in the program book. I gave up trying to sing and I felt disappointed that I had to do that. Also the print color for the Scripture translations needed to be bolder. Hopefully you take these as just two small helpful hints for the future. God Bless you all for a great Congress!

Name: Armand (volunteer)
Date: April 1, 2011

I really enjoyed the talk of Archbishop Orlando B. Quevedo, OMI, DD
5-20 Inter-Religious Dialogue and the Mission of the Church – An Asian Experience.
Especially how he explained the benefits and positive effects of inter-religious faith dialogue with other Christian and Muslim clergies. I hope he gives another talk next RECongress. Thanks and God bless.

Name: Karen Ferguson
Date: April 1, 2011

There was only one thing wrong with the evaluation form: I don’t remember any space where I could say it was "DIVINE!" It was all automated and the responses were so “staid.” You guys ROCK the HOUSE DOWN!!! I had a blast…a blast!!!!  I even got to meet Archbishop Gomez….for a returning Catholic, that’s like meeting the POPE!!!! Lucky Me!

Catholic Congress 2011
Archbishop Gomez, Karen Ferguson…sigh….I have forgotten the kind priest accompanying Archbishop Gomez…very nice chap [Fr. Brian Castaneda]

Thank you for all you do on my behalf.
Joy and Blessings,

Date: March 31, 2011

Can you post up Morning Praise. I missed a little part of it. Also, Rev. James Martin was funny; could you have him in the Arena again! Thank You.

Name: Gary Jansen
Date: March 29, 2011

Last night I was watching the Closing Mass on my laptop. One of the things that Archbishop Jose Gomez said was about inviting the pope to Congress. If you were to have the pope come and do the closing mass at the CCD Congress, there would be no way you could fit everybody in to the Arena. It reminds me of 1979 when Timothy Manning was Cardinal and they could not get everybody into the Closing Mass. You need to bring this to Archbishop Jose Gomez's attention., Thank you.

Date: March 28, 2011

I wish that all the workshops are recorded that way we can share them with others that did not attended it was a very good experience.

Name: Barbara James
Date: March 27, 2011

All of the workshops that I attended were excellent. The presenters were very knowledgeable and presented subjects in such a way that I had a different way of thinking about the subject matter at hand. The jokes were also good. All classes made me want to dig into the Word much deeper and share what I learned with others. Religious Education Congress is always enlightening and extremely enjoyable.

Name: Ida Carr
Date: March 25, 2011

Doy catecismo en Yuma, Arizona y quiero compartirles que me encanto este congreso. Las clases me parecieron muy buenas. Sobre todo las de Hermana Glenda. Nunca crei que la conoceria tan pronto! Tambien, me encanto su concierto. Ojala la pudieran invitar en ano entrante. Fue una bendicion tenerla este año con nosotros! Todo me encanto del congreso. Mucho orden, todo perfecto no podria ser mejor con tanta gente!

Name: Dr. Tony Nieves
Date: March 25, 2011

This was our second year and it was better than the first. The work and effort put into this event was evident throughout the weekend. My only quirk was the inconvenience of finding a cup of coffee in the later afternoon.
God bless

Name: dulce
Date: March 24, 2011

el congreso estubo muy bueno solamente tuvimos unmproblema en la clase que dio la Hermana Glenda el sabado a la una estubimos esperando afuera un rato porque no habia lugar hasta que nos fueron acomodando pero la mayoria de la gente estaba disgustada pues eramos bastantes pero de ahi en fuera todo muy bien

Name: Margaret Boquer
Date: March 24, 2011

Overall, the Congress was excellent! As a person with a handicap (I walk with a cane and cannot walk very far or fast), it was very difficult to get seating in the Arena. On Youth Day I was told there was no handicap seating but they found a place for me and my husband. I have a humble suggestion: Allow handicapped people to enter the Arena first (which will also keep us from being pushed by the crowd) and seat us in the handicap area, then when we are seated allow the others to enter. It is difficult to walk when you are being pushed and shoved by the crowd. On Youth Day at the Opening Session people were saving seats (although it was very clear they were not supposed to) and many people were not able to sit.

Name: Br. Philip, OSB
Date: March 24, 2011

Of all the large events that I have participated in in the past, I would have to say, this was the most organized and beautiful. Considering all the people that were there in saw nothing out of order. Thank you for allowing us to participate. I was able to attend two talks and they were both very well done and engaging.

Thank you and God bless you.

Name: Craig
Date: March 20, 2011

I loved the Film Showcase. Please continue this. Maybe have one during the day. Thank you for this. If anyone has never attended, you should. You see great Catholic and Christian themed films.

Name: j
Date: March 3, 2011

Help. I have paid, but clicked away before I could select the workshops. How do I get back to the workshop selection page? thanks


Online registration help can be found on the Online Help page at Ticket information can be found at

Name: Ana Fritz
Date: March 2, 2011

Got my tickets 2 weeks ago!! I've been looking up my speakers on Twitter and Facebook to say hello and will introduce myself to those who responded back – such a lovely wait till then!

Name: Manette Kokubun
Date: February 24, 2011

Aloha, I was wondering several years ago LA Congress was in February and now it is March. For your knowledge it is Spring break in Hawaii and the airfares have sky rocketed. Is there anyway you can move the conference to another month or least travel so airfares are as not a high. Just FYI, I've been going for years and truly would not want to go because of airfare. Thank you and God Bless.


Congress dates are based on space availability of the Convention Center and surrounding hotels. 2012 falls again in March, but we are looking at February dates in 2013.

Name: Lori & Mike Mullen
Date: February 23, 2011

My husband and I have been attending Congress for at least 25 years. I always submit the same sessions so we can attend together and put in the same envelope. We do not have the same ones this year. I really want to go to 1-18 together since we run the marriage prep (TTA) for Orange Diocese and since my husband is Fr. Pat Mullen's cousin we always go and meet up with him (3-20 & 6-22)? I got all 3 of these classes but Mike did not get any of them. Could this be corrected?


If you're not happy with the tickets you receive, you have the following options:

1. You may just use the tickets you receive; or
2. You may exchange your tickets (beginning noon on Friday) at the Ticket Exchange window located at the Registration Booth; or
3. Bring the ticket you were assigned to the workshop you would like to attend. Once all properly ticketed attendees are admitted, then the workshop is opened up to other ticket holders -- if there is available seating.

NOTE: Your ticket is always good for an Arena (English workshop) or Hall B (Spanish workshop) seat, which is always the most popular workshop from each period.

Name: Roxanna
Date: February 22, 2011

I have loved every Congress, but the most spiritually powerful moment for me was dismissal at the Closing Mass in 2006. I don't think there was a dry eye in the Arena. To this day, it is one of my best memories.

Name: Deacon Otto Johansson
Date: October 19, 2010

Since I came to this Congress with my wife, we enjoyed every part of it because it deepened our faith and opened our eyes to the our different cultures and the beauty of our Universal Church. We love the different cultural Mass celebrations and the keynote speakers plus the varieties of music played during lunch and the concerts.

Name: Carolyn Olson
Date: October 15, 2010

My husband and I have been members of a Center For Peace organization for 23 years and have helped make it possible to put on Marrion Conferences for 18 years. We both know the hours and efforts it takes to put on such an event. I was in charge of the food for our conference. My husband was head of the ushers and of the Eucharistic ministers.

A suggestion on the food: The Convention Center has their contracted food venders. I am aware that they choose to serve what they prefer. From experience, I have gone to their person in charge and told them that we will not be using their services "at all" for our conference if they could not comply with our wishes of "no meat on Fridays." They were afraid of losing that revenue so complied!! I requested they make up tuna and egg salad sandwich's rather than their hot dogs and burgers. It was a great hit and the responses were overwhelming positive. It will take someone in charge of your conference to PERSONALLY make an appointment and talk to the big boss of the concessions to make these arrangements. I hope this works for you. Also fasting is a personal thing the Church suggested no meat on Fridays. The Church again decides when we can and cannot fast on any given days. Many will not be aware of the upcoming year of 2011 of a "no fast" on that particular Friday. If you have time, try this implementation for this up-coming conference. God bless you all and all your efforts; been there done that.

Name: Michael J. Rogers
Date: October 2, 2010

I note, with sadness, that Matthew Kelly is not part of the 2011 Congress. He has been struggling with cancer. Is he OK?

Date: September 6, 2010

Can Congress be extended, making the Closing Liturgy at 8pm or something? Because Congress is really a fun and spiritual place and why just get 8 workshops when you can have 1 more... I don't know if that can happen but God will provide!!! Thanks for reading this and I hope I get a reply. Thanks


Actually, Congress used to have nine sessions. Attendees, however, requested that Sunday be shorter to accommodate travel. So in 1998 began the schedule change of  dropping the last workshop session on Sunday.

Name: Cyrus Alderite
Date: August 12, 2010

Hi, My mom is attending Congress this year and I was hoping to go to the Exhibit Hall but I've read through the comments that you need a badge and I'm just 12. If my mom goes can I come in or do I have to stay outside? And if my mom and me do go in, does my mom have to pay $60 for both of us. Thanks so much


Yes, everyone needs a badge for admission to the Exhibit Hall; however, evening Liturgies and concerts are available to guests of Congress attendees. Early bird admission for Congress 2011 is expected to be $60 per person.

Date: August 4, 2010

When will the theme song and the logo for Congress 2011 appear? I check everyday but i don't see anything.
Alright thank you. God bless


We usually have the logo by September. As for the theme song, that is finalized a little before Congress.

Name: Greg
Date: July 1, 2010

May the theme song be made by Donna Peña again. The theme song this year was very enthusiastic and it had most Spanish Instruments and it sounded very good. May she please do the the theme again. And please sing Let Us Stand again at the Closing Liturgy. That song is very enthusiastic! Thank You so much

Name: Gregory
Date: June 29, 2010

Can you please have a Tagalog Liturgy. I've seen all of these liturgies and there's no Tagalog. Most Filipinos are Catholic -- 98 percent to be in fact. So please and if you kindly can make the Tagalog Liturgy at the Arena. At my Parish I see lots of Filipinos especially at Congress. Most of them are Catechists. So please if you can have a Tagalog Liturgy and may you do it in the Arena since its kind of easy for us to get there and back from the Hotel. Thank You so much for reading this and I hope to see this in the Guidebook

Name: Cyrus
May 30, 2010

I love Congress 2010!!! The Liturgies were Incredible...(I'm just a kid so I cant go to the real Congress). I hope the theme song is good like 2010's theme song!!!!! My mom told me if I get A's I can go to the Opening Rite. I'm gonna make plans and all that...THANK YOU FOR HAVING CONGRESS. YOU GUYS INSPIRED ME TO BE A CATECHIST (since I go to mass like 3 times to sing in Choir and be an Altar Server)...I've been watching the Congress vids so much I know everything about Congress....See you IN 2011!!!!

Name: Glenda O'Grady
Date: April 13, 2010

I took the online survey a couple days after our LA Congress. Everyone did a Superb job and the one thing I did comment that needed addressing is: God deserves more space in Sacred Space, in the adoration / quiet room. My suggestion was to take the 3 rooms and give 2 rooms to God and one small room for art and the Labyrinth. We have thousands of square feet devoted to our LA Congress and God got squished into too small a space. When I went up to this room each day... people were packed inside the room and almost out the door. The other two rooms had few people compared to God's room. We were sitting on the floor and I am sure some people just walked away. Thank you for listening to my comments.

Name: Bruce Baumann
Date: March 26, 2010

This was my first time presenting at Congress. Overall, the experience was great. Everything was very well organized, the hotel accommodations were good, the volunteer teams in charge of each workshop were superb, etc. I really cannot think of anything that would need improvement.

I am a very detailed person and usually analyze and evaluate events with an eye towards improvement. However, I can honestly say that I did not see or experience anything that could be improved upon (from a participant or speaker perspective). You and your staff are to be commended for such an incredible (had to get the theme in there somehow) job! You are the reason that Congress is top notch year after year.

Name: Terry Dicks
Date: March 27, 2010

This was my LAST CONGRESS after coming for 14 years.... I am so uncomfortable with the air conditioning and have decided it is no longer worth it to freeze while trying to pay attention to the speaker.

Name: Sister Norine Nichols, osf
Date: March 15, 2010

My prayers with all good wishes for the Congress! Everyone who plans and works for the event does such a great job. I was fond of everything when I had the opportunity to attend. The whole program is a splendid example of how people can work together to produce such a grand affair! Blessings with peace and all good to all.

Name: Michelle
Date: March 8, 2010

I sent in my registration months ago and have not yet received my tickets. What do we do if we do not receive them in time for Congress?


If you don't receive Congress tickets before you leave for the weekend, you can check in at the Will Call window at the Registration area to see if they were returned to us for some reason. Will Call at Congress is available Thursday evening, March 18, from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., and on each of the days of Congress beginning at 8 a.m.

Name: Michele
Date: March 2, 2010

Thank you for keeping me in your email list, even though I have never shown up, despite having attended Franciscan university in '03 and receiving low grades in Relig. Ed./Catechetics which would seem to indicate that I need more catechesis. I am not attending because I don't drive anymore, am financially broke, and don't know who to attend with? maybe.

The workshop subjects seem fascinating. Everything to be discussed has to do with catechesis, at least it should be, because it's important for a Teacher of God to use the voice of the Church through its teachings, which have the Catechism as a reliable manual. Anyhow, going down the list of topics (, I picked out the Catechesis topics (which I need to study more, obviously!) and looking up keywords in the online Catechism search, I'd like to contribute some key quotes. I hope that these might inspire your Congress.

"Abundant Parish Life: The Value of Belonging"
2179: "A parish is a definite community of the Christian faithful established on a stable basis within a particular church; the pastoral care of the parish is entrusted to a pastor as its own shepherd under the authority of the diocesan bishop." It is the place where all the faithful can be gathered together for the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist. The parish initiates the Christian people into the ordinary expression of the liturgical life: it gathers them together in this celebration; it teaches Christ's saving doctrine; it practices the charity of the Lord in good works and brotherly love
2182: Participation in the communal celebration of the Sunday Eucharist is a testimony of *belonging* and of being faithful to Christ and to his Church.
1309: Preparation for Confirmation should aim at leading the Christian toward a more intimate union with Christ and a more lively familiarity with the Holy Spirit - his actions, his gifts, and his biddings - in order to be more capable of assuming the apostolic responsibilities of Christian life. To this end catechesis for Confirmation should strive to awaken a sense of *belonging* to the Church of Jesus Christ, the universal Church as well as the parish community. The latter bears special responsibility for the preparation of confirmands.
899: The initiative of lay Christians is necessary especially when the matter involves discovering or inventing the means for permeating social, political, and economic realities with the demands of Christian doctrine and life. This initiative is a normal element of the life of the Church:

Lay believers are in the front line of Church life; for them the Church is the animating principle of human society. Therefore, they in particular ought to have an ever-clearer consciousness not only of *belonging* to the Church, but of being the Church, that is to say, the community of the faithful on earth under the leadership of the Pope, the common Head, and of the bishops in communion with him. They are the Church.

"Passing the Baton: Intergenerational Evangelization and Catechesis"
2033: The Magisterium of the Pastors of the Church in moral matters is ordinarily exercised in catechesis and preaching, with the help of the works of theologians and spiritual authors. Thus from *generation to generation*, under the aegis and vigilance of the pastors, the "deposit" of Christian moral teaching has been handed on, a deposit composed of a characteristic body of rules, commandments, and virtues proceeding from faith in Christ and animated by charity. Alongside the Creed and the Our Father, the basis for this catechesis has traditionally been the Decalogue which sets out the principles of moral life valid for all men
78: This living transmission, accomplished in the Holy Spirit, is called Tradition, since it is distinct from Sacred Scripture, though closely connected to it. Through Tradition, "the Church, in her doctrine, life and worship, perpetuates and transmits to every *generation* all that she herself is, all that she believes." "The sayings of the holy Fathers are a witness to the life-giving presence of this Tradition, showing how its riches are poured out in the practice and life of the Church, in her belief and her prayer."

"Catechesis: Revealing the Mystery of Abundance"
On the day of Pentecost when the seven weeks of Easter had come to an end, Christ's Passover is fulfilled in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, manifested, given, and communicated as a divine person: of his fullness, Christ, the Lord, pours out the Spirit in *abundance.*
2013: "All Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity." All are called to holiness: "Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

In order to reach this perfection the faithful should use the strength dealt out to them by Christ's gift, so that . . . doing the will of the Father in everything, they may wholeheartedly devote themselves to the glory of God and to the service of their neighbor. Thus the holiness of the People of God will grow in fruitful *abundance*, as is clearly shown in the history of the Church through the lives of so many saints.

2833: "Our" bread is the "one" loaf for the "many." In the Beatitudes "poverty" is the virtue of sharing: it calls us to communicate and share both material and spiritual goods, not by coercion but out of love, so that the *abundance* of some may remedy the needs of others.

"Wait Until Your Father Comes Home…: Making the Faith Come Alive Within Families Coach Parents to Form Their Own Kids!
The *Christian home* is the place where children receive the first proclamation of the faith. For this reason the family home is rightly called "the domestic church," a community of grace and prayer, a school of human virtues and of Christian charity.
2226: Education in the faith by the parents should begin in the child's earliest years. This already happens when family members help one another to grow in faith by the witness of a Christian life in keeping with the Gospel. Family catechesis precedes, accompanies, and enriches other forms of instruction in the faith. Parents have the mission of teaching their children to pray and to discover their vocation as children of God. The parish is the Eucharistic community and the heart of the liturgical life of Christian families; it is a privileged place for the catechesis of children and parents.

"Get On Board! Musical Liturgy as Model of Faith Formation"
"The musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art. The main reason for this pre-eminence is that, as a combination of sacred music and words, it forms a necessary or integral part of solemn liturgy." The composition and singing of inspired psalms, often accompanied by musical instruments, were already closely linked to the liturgical celebrations of the Old Covenant. The Church continues and develops this tradition: "Address . . . one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart." "He who sings prays twice."
1157: Song and music fulfill their function as signs in a manner all the more significant when they are "more closely connected . . . with the liturgical action," according to three principal criteria: beauty expressive of prayer, the unanimous participation of the assembly at the designated moments, and the solemn character of the celebration. In this way they participate in the purpose of the liturgical words and actions: the glory of God and the sanctification of the faithful:

How I wept, deeply moved by your hymns, songs, and the voices that echoed through your Church! What emotion I experienced in them! Those sounds flowed into my ears distilling the truth in my heart. A feeling of devotion surged within me, and tears streamed down my face - tears that did me good.

1158: The harmony of signs (song, music, words, and actions) is all the more expressive and fruitful when expressed in the cultural richness of the People of God who celebrate. Hence "religious singing by the faithful is to be intelligently fostered so that in devotions and sacred exercises as well as in liturgical services," in conformity with the Church's norms, "the voices of the faithful may be heard." But "the texts intended to be sung must always be in conformity with Catholic doctrine. Indeed they should be drawn chiefly from the Sacred Scripture and from liturgical sources."

"Return to the Passion"
Believers who respond to God's word and become members of Christ's Body, become intimately united with him: "In that body the life of Christ is communicated to those who believe, and who, through the sacraments, are united in a hidden and real way to Christ in his *Passion* and glorification." This is especially true of Baptism, which unites us to Christ's death and Resurrection, and the Eucharist, by which "really sharing in the body of the Lord, . . . we are taken up into communion with him and with one another."

"Catechesis and Multiple Intelligence Theory"
Human intelligence is surely already capable of finding a response to the question of origins. The existence of God the Creator can be known with certainty through his works, by the light of human reason, even if this knowledge is often obscured and disfigured by error. This is why faith comes to confirm and enlighten reason in the correct understanding of this truth: "By faith we understand that the world was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made out of things which do not appear."

"What Can We Learn from the Evangelical Churches? How to Share Our Faith with Seekers (Without Being Obnoxious)"
The Gospels were written by men who were among the first to have the *faith and wanted to share it* with others. Having known in faith who Jesus is, they could see and make others see the traces of his mystery in all his earthly life.
1679: In addition to the liturgy, Christian life is nourished by various forms of popular piety, rooted in the different cultures. While carefully clarifying them in the light of faith, the Church fosters the forms of popular piety that express an *evangelical* instinct and a human wisdom and that enrich Christian life.
429: From this loving knowledge of Christ springs the desire to proclaim him, to *"evangelize"*, and to lead others to the "yes" of faith in Jesus Christ. But at the same time the need to know this faith better makes itself felt. To this end, following the order of the Creed, Jesus' principal titles - "Christ", "Son of God", and "Lord" (article 2) - will be presented. The Creed next confesses the chief mysteries of his life - those of his Incarnation (article 3), Paschal mystery (articles 4 and 5) and glorification (articles 6 and 7).
848: "Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to *evangelize* all men."
930: Alongside the different forms of consecrated life are "societies of apostolic life whose members without religious vows pursue the particular apostolic purpose of their society, and lead a life as brothers or sisters in common according to a particular manner of life, strive for the perfection of charity through the observance of the constitutions. Among these there are societies in which the members embrace the *evangelical* counsels" according to their constitutions.
1122: Christ sent his apostles so that "repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations." "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." The mission to baptize, and so the sacramental mission, is implied in the mission to *evangelize*, because the sacrament is prepared for by the word of God and by the faith which is assent to this word

"The Spirituality of the Catechist: Re-igniting the Flame"
In catechesis "Christ, the Incarnate Word and Son of God, ... is taught - everything else is taught with reference to him - and it is Christ alone who teaches - anyone else teaches to the extent that he is Christ's spokesman, enabling Christ to teach with his lips. ... Every *catechist* should be able to apply to himself the mysterious words of Jesus: 'My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me.'"

"Catechumenal Catechesis: Vision, Practice, Resources"
It is the Church that believes first, and so bears, nourishes and sustains my faith. Everywhere, it is the Church that first confesses the Lord: "Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you", as we sing in the hymn "Te Deum"; with her and in her, we are won over and brought to confess: "I believe", "We believe". It is through the Church that we receive faith and new life in Christ by Baptism. In the Rituale Romanum, the minister of Baptism asks the catechumen: "What do you ask of God's Church?" And the answer is: "Faith." "What does faith offer you?" "Eternal life."
1247: Since the beginning of the Church, adult Baptism is the common practice where the proclamation of the Gospel is still new. The catechumenate (preparation for Baptism) therefore occupies an important place. This initiation into Christian faith and life should dispose the catechumen to receive the gift of God in Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist.
1248: The catechumenate, or formation of catechumens, aims at bringing their conversion and faith to maturity, in response to the divine initiative and in union with an ecclesial community. The catechumenate is to be "a formation in the whole Christian life . . . during which the disciples will be joined to Christ their teacher. The catechumens should be properly initiated into the mystery of salvation and the practice of the evangelical virtues, and they should be introduced into the life of faith, liturgy, and charity of the People of God by successive sacred rites."

"A Test for the Modern Church: Media and Catechesis"
The means of social communication (especially the mass *media*) can give rise to a certain passivity among users, making them less than vigilant consumers of what is said or shown. Users should practice moderation and discipline in their approach to the mass media. They will want to form enlightened and correct consciences the more easily to resist unwholesome influences.
2494: The information provided by the *media* is at the service of the common good. Society has a right to information based on truth, freedom, justice, and solidarity: The proper exercise of this right demands that the content of the communication be true and - within the limits set by justice and charity - complete. Further, it should be communicated honestly and properly. This means that in the gathering and in the publication of news, the moral law and the legitimate rights and dignity of man should be upheld.

Catechesis - helpful links:

Conformity Listing of Catechetical Texts and Series -
Pauline Books & Media (Spanish) -

Name: Josette
Date: February 21, 2010

Just an observation: After years of attending Congress, we have over 40,000 to 50,000 Catholics and some non-Catholics attending Congress, but for some reason or another it seems as though the food concessions forget that on Fridays we observe the “no meat only fish," but there is never fish to buy at Congress. But you’ll see plenty of hot dogs, hamburgers etc. I am curious to see if the Congress organizers can pass this along to the Anaheim Convention managers for this year’s event. It always bothered me; so this I choose to mention and hopefully something will be done about it.
God Bless, See you all @ Congress!!!


Yes, every year we do inform the food providers of our event and food preferences, but ultimately it is up to them as to what they serve.
This year, it turns out that
Friday, March 19 is a solemnity -- the Feast of St. Joseph. Therefore, we are allowed to eat meat on the Friday of Congress.

Name: Alba
Date: February 17, 2010

It has been a week since the tickets were supposed to be mailed out and I still have not received them. I would like to know if all of my paperwork is in order or if there is a reason why I have not received my tickets.


Yes, tickets started to be mailed out February 9th. Please know that we do not mail them out all at once. They go out in the order that the registrations were received. (We begin with number 1 and then move on.) Please realize that it might take a week or two before you receive your tickets.

Name: John
Date: February 16, 2010

RE: Goring Green
How about a gently used shoe collection for Haiti?


If you're looking for a way to help the people of Haiti, following the country's earthquake disaster, there are a few Orange County efforts underway.

Name: Lois
Date: January 15, 2010

I am unable to find confirmation of my registration and for my husband. We sent in registration my mail. Can you please confirm receipt of our registration form? thank you very much. 


As a benefit of online registration we offer email confirmations when your credit card is charged and when your registration is processed. I'm sorry, there is no confirmation -- other than your tickets (and your deposited check) -- for those who mail in registrations. Tickets will be mailed after February 10, 2010.

Name: Christine Kudija
Date: January 12, 2010

In finally getting around to registering for Congress 2010, I notice that there's another overlap issue (in addition to the African-American speaker issue raised below): sessions devoted to music ministry and liturgy. Several periods offer highly desirable choices that conflict directly with others, notably 2-05 (Andrew Chinn), 2-11 (David Haas), 2-13 & 4-12 (Marty Haugen/Tony Alonso), 4-15 (Bob Hurd & Anawim), 4-21 (Donna Peña) and 6-07 (Richard Cheri), 6-11 (David Haas), 6-13(Tom Kendzia/Jansens) and 6-16 (Jesse Manibusan). Were these conflicts set up deliberately, perhaps to accommodate the musicians and their instruments? It's an unfortunate disservice to those of us who can't or won't do NPM conferences but rely on Congress for our music updates. Please fix this next year. Although most of us try to be in three or four places at once, God's grace only goes so far. Thanks for reading this comment and, I hope, keeping it mind for next year's roadmap.

Christine Kudija
perennial Congress Choir alto & groupie

Name: Jenni L Hooker
Date: January 10, 2010

As an older ex-ballet/modern/jazz dancer, is there a way for me to participate in the dance production itself?

Name: Diane Stocum
Date: December 14, 2009

Please consider having Michael Mangan invited to the RE Congress for 2011.  I  just realized that he was not scheduled for 2010.  This man writes lots of music that is very suitable for parish use.  It can be used with  folk type groups, and also may be used for more traditional congregations.  I went to one of his workshops in 2009 and learned of his music.  I now use his music at my parish with my young people's choir.   Because of it's simplicity and versatility I am able to teach his stuff to my "older generation population", and they sing along!!!
We need to have more modern music if we want to keep our younger people involved in church; otherwise these building will be empty....
Diane (one who's been coming to conference for years now)

Name: JT Andrade
Date: November 20, 2009

In order to volunteer for Youth Day, will I need to have a Avenue LifeScan?


In order to volunteer for Youth Day you must be able to show that you have gone through all of your dioceses Child Protectionpolicies. For example, if you are from Los Angeles, you must have been fingerprinted and VIRTUS trained. If you are from outside the Los Angeles Archdiocese, then check with your diocesan office to see what their procedures/guidelines require.

Name: Juniel Butler
Date: November 21, 2009

I have the same concern as Martine Ramos: African-American presenters scheduled concurrently. Thanks for your explanation. Further, it will be a challenge for me to make my selection between the Jazz and the Nigerian Liturgy.

Name: Martine Ramos
Date: November 4, 2009

I just looked over the schedule for the 2010 Congress. It seems that quite a few of the African-American presenters are scheduled concurrently. Is there any way this can be adjusted? We need to attend as many multicultural events as possible, particularly music.


Dear Martine,

Thank you for your comment. We did some research into your concerns and found the following. African-American speakers are scheduled as follows:

Period 1 - 1
Period 2 - 4
Period 3 - 1
Period 4 - 1
Period 5 - 2
Period 6 - 4
Period 7 - 2
Period 8 - 3

If you want to attend a workshop by African-American speakers only, you could register this way. Period 6, by the way, is the only session in which two African-American speakers will use music in their workshop. Some of the speakers are slotted in a particular time and date due to the speakers travel and speaking schedules outside of Congress and which we have no control over. If you are looking for other multicultural presentations, you can do so by looking at our topical listing for additional options as well.

I hope that this information is helpful to you.
Paulette Smith, Congress Event Coordinator

Name: Beverly Franco
Date: November 2, 2009

Last year I wound up taking Metro-Link to the Anaheim station from Union Station and then the bus which dropped me off right in front of the Convention Center. I plan on doing that again this next year. In my wait for the bus back to the Metro-Link station, a very interesting and invigorating conversation was held with two of the presenters, one from Atlanta and one from Ohio and myself. Like old friends chatting, what a pleasure and it would have been missed if I had driven and had to search out my car, and endure the freeway.

Looking forward to another great experience.

Name: Mary Lopez
Date: October 8, 2009

I would love to see Jason Evert back again in 2010, he was great!

Name: Wojtek
Date: October 7, 2009

I checked the website for ordering of the recordings from previous Congresses and realized that it cost over $10 (with mailing) for each talk. As a result I did not order anything. Would it be possible to make the talks available at a website for download in mp3 format. It is much cheaper, easier and faster. It would make the materials much more accessible. It is straightforward technically, if the recording is available on a CD.

Name: Joan
Date: September 1, 2009

I have always wondered why the food vendors do not sell only NON meat meals on Friday. It would certainly show a fabulous Catholic witness if we observed abstinence during Lent! How sad that so many people give up their principles when we are gathered at such a large Catholic event.


We do remind vendors about offering non-meat meals on Friday, but we have no control over their menus.

Name: Stefanie Battaglia
Date: August 21, 2009

Please bring THE THIRSTING to L.A. Youth Day 2010 - awesome band!


Name: Camisa
Date: August 3, 2009

Please bring in Dr. Lou Whitaker, principal of Pope John Paul School, as a speaker. (Contact info: 4341 W Homosassa Trail, Lecanto, FL 34461-9106; phone 352.746.2020). She has been a presenter for NCEA for many years and is is extremely informative.


Name: Brenda
Date: July 31, 2009

Please bring Matthew Kelly to Congress in 2010!!!

Name: Deacon Mike Eisenbeiss, Ph.D.
Date: July 28, 2009

How do you submit a workshop idea? I would like to do a workshop on Celebrate Recovery-Catholic Style which is a spin-off of of Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life. This is a 12-step program combined with the 8-beatitudes in helping people get over past hang-ups, hurts and addictions. We have more than 45 people involved on a weekly basis with many of them wanting to become Catholic. There are many Protestant churches offering the program but I think we are the first Catholic Church to do so.


You can submit speaker and workshop ideas to Jan Pedroza, the Congress Program Coordinator, at

Name: Bob
Date: June 30, 2009

When do you anticipate making the hotel list for 2010 available? Thanks!


We are now just making contracts. We should begin posting hotel information sometime in July/August 2009.

Name: Paulette Byrne
Date: June 8, 2009

I would like to Theresa Rowe as a speaker for an upcoming Congress. (Her website is
I have attended the Congress every year for the last 20 years and look forward to it as my annual spiritual mecca. I don't recall ever seeing a speaker on 'Faith & Fitness'. With as sedentary as our society has become I believe what she has to say is very timely & would be well received. Plus her testimony regarding her own battle with heart health issues is very inspiring. I hope you will seriously consider her.
Thank You & Blessings!

Name: Mary
Date: March 3, 2009

I just finished taking your online evaluation and found it was not as thorough as the written one. For instance, the section on Congress liturgies allowed only one overall mark rather than a mark for each of the various elements (homily, music, liturgical movement) that the written form allows. (I’ve already sent a separate email message regarding the disastrous Friday night Contemplative Liturgy I marked poor – a first for me.) The online survey also indicated, at the start, that there would be a “Comments” section at the end for expanding on areas marked excellent. However, the only section I found that allowed comments was called “Suggestions for improvement,” which didn’t suggest commenting on what’s already excellent. I reached the end of the survey before I realize that comments on excellent workshops should have been made back in the section marked “Suggestions for improvement.” Very odd. So, below are my comments on my excellent workshops this year:

Thank you, again, for an overall excellent Congress. I’m looking forward to 2010.

Name: Jose Robledo Jr.
Date: March 1, 2009

I was reading the book for RE Congress we received, and I wanted to congratulate you on a successful and beautiful event. I have never been to RE Congress, but have heard many good things. So I decided to attend this huge spectacular event and it is was very exciting. I will consider coming next year and maybe Volunteering for this event.

Once again, I congratulate you on a successful and blessed event and much continued success.

Name: Carol Sassie
Date: March 4, 2009

Congress was great. I would like to order tapes from the sessions I attended but cannot find my Guidebook. Please let me know if this is possible and how.


You can find online versions of the Guidebook (in three different formats) at The recording order page is found at

Name: Paula
Date: March 3, 2009

Hello, I heard the music at the Closing Liturgy was wonderful. Do you know who performed?


There were a variety of performers: Tony Alonso and ValLimar Jansen were the cantors, there were a number of soloists on songs, John Flaherty was director of the band and Congress Choir, and Josh Blakesley was there to perform this year's Congress Theme Song. The worship aid appears in the Program Book and is downloadable at

Name: Laurie
Date: March 3, 2009

I thought the PowerPoint presentation at Friday's opening event was fantastic. Can it be purchased? Also, the workshops on Social Justice issues, e.g. Jim Wallis and Fr. Bryan Massingale were superb.

Name: hsyg_stjoes
Date: March 2, 2009

The buses we chartered were charged $20 parking fee, however there is no mention of this fee in the handbook.


Unfortunately, buses are equated with Youth Day, and we give chaperones that information. We'll include that information in next year's Registration Guidebook.

Name: Jack
Date: March 1, 2009

What a wonderful experience! Congress is the religious peak experience that helps sustain us throughout the rest of the year. One suggestion: Every year we leave with a plastic name tag holder that could easily be recycled or used again. Please have a place to put them for re-use. Also please have recycling areas for guidebooks and liturgy books. Thank you!


That's a very good idea. We'll look into a Congress "green" crew. We would invited you to help, but you didn't leave your email address.

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