See the Theme page



Living Waters of Hope
Aquas Vivas de Esperanza
Nguồn Nước của Hy Vọng


This year,“Living Waters of Hope,” the theme for RECongress 2022, spurs us to not only “strike the rock so that water will flow from it” (Exodus 17:6) but also, to not let our hope run dry.

Acknowledging that we are still recovering from challenging situations from the pandemic that have affected us interiorly and exteriorly, we are probably left with deep questions and uncertainties. We may be asking what the Samaritan woman asked Jesus: “where then can you get this living water?” (John 4:11). We have the certainty that we can approach Jesus with our thirst and find fresh, clean, always running water that will quench the need of our hearts, our faith communities, and societies.

We invite and welcome you to participate in person or virtually in RECongress 2022 and drink Living Waters of Hope.

Each year, Youth Day has a theme specific for the youth. The theme for 2022 is Let God Take the Wheel! In religion or confirmation classes, the Bible, and in Mass, we hear time and time again that we should be trusting in God. The readings of the day call us to trust in God rather than human beings. Those who trust the Lord will stay on the path to prosperity while those who stray from God’s direction will find themselves lost. Of course, trust can be hard with strangers, our friends, or our family, but what does it mean to trust God? What does it mean to trust our flawless Creator? You may have heard the phrase, Let God Take the Wheel, or a variation before, but are you willing to surrender your control? This theme displays our trust in God as giving up the wheel.

Often without realizing it, you trust people every day. Every time you get into the car with someone, you trust the driver to keep you safe and drive you safely, and you trust the other drivers on the road to drive cautiously. These are human drivers, capable of error, and yet you trust them with your life. Imagine how much safer we are with God as our driver! If we can trust others to drive us, then we can trust God to guide us. Stop trying to drive the car when you don't know where it's going. God knows exactly where you are going and how best to conquer the struggles you face on the way. Even when you do not know where you are going or how you can ever get through the storm you are facing, God knows the way and every feature of the car. Do not overwhelm yourself with anger or greed because God has control, and you can trust that He will judge fairly and provide for you. You are in His car; He knows the way, and where to find the drive-thru's you need, but only if you let Him take the wheel. You are safe with God behind the wheel, so relax. Be strong, and trust that at the end of the day, you are safe with Him.


“Living Waters of Hope”
The graphic design of this year’s RECongress theme has been a personal journey of reflection as I join with all who look to 2022 as being a year of renewed Hope. In past designs I have done a “painterly" piece of art with the title of the RECongress theme incorporated into the art. This year, the theme is the art. The font used is very fluid and yet still streamlined and bold. The “L” has beautiful motion to it as if a wave of water. There is a message in the scale of the “L.” Coming out of COVID we are celebrating “Living” with renewed appreciation … coming into the light!

The Title could almost be read as “Living Hope!” The text is tight, interacting, connected, looping around adjacent text … “embracing” if you will, a gesture of affection we all have missed. The background is not of a static pool of water from the well, or a stream of water from a rock, but the “living" ocean with all its layers reflecting light from the crest of the wave to the ocean floor. The “H” stands out and connects with the 2022 as being a year of Hope. And that is how we are summoned to move forward.

– Valerie MacRae, artist/p>

"Aguas Vivas de Esperanza”
El diseño gráfico del tema RECongress de este año ha sido un viaje personal de reflexión en el que me uno a todos los que miran al 2022 como un año de esperanza renovada. En diseños anteriores, hice una obra de arte "pictórica" ​​con el título del tema RECongress incorporado en el arte. Este año, el tema es el arte. Basado en el inglés "Living Waters of Hope,” la letra de fuente utilizada es muy fluida y, sin embargo, aerodinámica y audaz. El "L" tiene un hermoso movimiento como si fuera una ola de agua. Hay un mensaje en la escala de la "L." Al salir de COVID, estamos celebrando “Living” con un agradecimiento renovado ... ¡saliendo a la luz!

El título casi podría leerse como "¡Esperanza viva!" El texto es apretado, interactuando, conectado, girando alrededor del texto adyacente ... "abrazando" si se quiere, un gesto de afecto que todos hemos echado de menos. El fondo no es un charco de agua estático de un pozo o un chorro de agua de una roca, sino el océano "vivo" con todas sus capas que reflejan la luz desde la cresta de la ola hasta el fondo del océano. La "H" destaca y conecta con el 2022 como un año de Esperanza, y así estamos llamados a seguir adelante./font>

– Valerie MacRae, artista


Proclaim the Promise!
¡Proclama la Promesa!
Tuyên Xưng Lời Giao Ước


Reflection from the Director:

With great joy we welcome all of you to the 2021 virtual Religious Education Congress! What a wonderful and historic way to celebrate our 50th anniversary of Youth Day and our 65th year of Adult Days!

This year, the theme of the Religious Education Congress, Proclaim the Promise!, is a radical invitation to believe that our lives and our world are sustained by God’s promise. Now more than ever, we need hope and a vision for our future.

Thankfully, our hearts are created to believe and live in God’s promise, “I am now establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you and with every living creature” (Genesis 9:8). It requires a lot of faith to believe that God never breaks this covenant despite the challenges we might be experiencing. We could be thinking that we need to wait for a better time, an ideal me, more social and political stability, or more faith to proclaim God’s unconditional love. Jesus reminds us that “this is the time of fulfillment” (Mark 1:15).

I invite you to explore and live this daring invitation to Proclaim the Promise! Our world is in much need of a future filled with hope!

Sr. Rosalia Meza, VDMF

Reflection from the Artist:

The 2021 RECongress theme “Proclaim the Promise!” speaks of hope during these challenging times. As people we find ourselves isolated from our community. It is our faith however, that allows us to unite in movement while rising above our challenges. In the design of this theme individual rectangles of warm colors seem to move in tandem to unite in the shape of a trumpet, the instrument of proclamation. Adding a second trumpet, the combined shapes now suggested “wings”. Bird-like it became the Big Wind, Holy Spirit ... our “Advocate” who was given to us to calm our fear of being left alone. All things are possible through the Holy Spirit and there in lies the Hope! An image of celebration, spirituality, warmth and joy invites us to the RECongress 2021!

– Valerie MacRae, artist


Live Mercy – Be Holy
Vive la misericordia y la santidad
Sống Nhân Từ - Hãy Nên Thánh


Live Mercy – Be Holy

Mercy and Holiness are two aspects of God’s essence, and God’s invitation for us to live out in turn.

God insists, “Be holy, for I, your God, am holy” (Leviticus 19:2).

The Sunday readings that inspire the theme of the 2020 Religious Education Congress challenge us to continue believing in mercy and holiness in the midst of the struggle we experience in our personal lives, societies, Church, and our world. Mercy and holiness are inseparable for there is no holiness without mercy. The mercy of God is expressed through our acts of love, and when these acts are born out of compassion, we embody the call to be holy. When we respond to this invitation to be holy and merciful, we are blessed with the power to reignite the hope our world is aching for!

We invite you to participate in Religious Education Congress 2020 to continue deepening in this daring invitation to "Live Mercy – Be Holy."

– Sr. Rosalia Meza, VDMF
Director, Office of Religious Education


Vive la misericordia y la santidad

Misericordia y Santidad son dos aspectos de la esencia de Dios, y Dios nos invita a vivir de esa manera.

Dios insiste, “Sean santos, porque yo, el Señor su Dios, soy santo” (Levítico 19:2).

La lectura dominical que inspira le tema del Congreso de Educación Religiosa 2020 nos reta a que continuemos creyendo en la misericordia y la santidad en medio del conflicto que experimentamos en nuestra vida personal, en la sociedad, la Iglesia y en el mundo. La misericordia y la santidad son inseparables pues no podemos tener santidad sin misericordia. La misericordia de Dios es expresada a través de nuestros actos de amor, y cuando estos actos nacen de la compasión, encarnamos el llamado a la santidad. ¡Cuando respondemos a esta invitación de ser santos y misericordiosos, somos bendecidos con el poder para volver a encender la esperanza que nuestro mundo está luchando por tener!

Los invitamos a participar en el Congreso de Educación Religiosa 2020 para continuar profundizando en esta audaz invitación de “Vivir la Misericordia y la Santidad."

Hna. Rosalia Meza, VDMF
Directora, Oficina de Educación Religiosa 

Sống Nhân Từ - Hãy Nên Thánh

Nhân từ và Thánh thiện là hai thuộc tính của Thiên Chúa, và Ngài mời gọi chúng ta sống tinh thần này.

Chúa phán, “Hãy nên thánh, vì Ta, Thiên Chúa của các ngươi, là Đấng Thánh” (Lê-vi 19:2).

Các bài đọc Chúa nhật gợi cảm hứng cho chủ đề của Đại Hội Giáo Lý năm 2020 mời gọi thách thức chúng ta tiếp tục tin vào lòng thương xót và sự thánh thiện giữa sự xung đột mà chúng ta gặp phải trong đời sống cá nhân, trong xã hội, Giáo Hội, và thế giới. Không thể tách rời lòng thương xót và thánh thiện vì nếu không có lòng nhân từ thương xót thì không thể có sự thánh thiện. Lòng thương xót của Thiên Chúa được biểu lộ qua những việc làm yêu thương của chúng ta, và khi những việc làm này phát xuất từ lòng thương cảm, chúng ta thể hiện được lời kêu mời sống thánh thiện. Khi chúng ta đáp trả lại lời mời gọi sống thánh thiện và nhân từ, chúng ta được Chúa ban sức mạnh khơi dậy lên niềm hy vọng mà thế giới đang khao khát mong chờ.

Mời các bạn tham dự Đại Hội Giáo Lý năm 2020 để tiếp tục đào sâu lời mời gọi táo bạo: “Sống Nhân Từ - Hãy Nên Thánh.”

Chị Rosalia Meza, VDMF
Giám đốc, Văn phòng Giáo dục Tôn giáo


Trust! God’s Gotchu

The theme for Youth Day 2020, "20/20 Through God’s Eyes!" was chosen by a group of young people who reflected upon the readings of the day.
Each teen has a different perspective of how God sees them. Sometimes, we get caught up with comparing ourselves or judging others for what they have or don’t have and we forget the important thing: God doesn’t care about all the “riches.” He cares that we see ourselves through his eyes. In the first reading, St. James reminds us that “you shall love your neighbor as yourself” but often, with social media, we are judging others, or worse, ourselves. No one likes to be judged, so why would we do it? Our vision is blurred when “we are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do” because society forces us to live up to unrealistic expectations that can get exhausting and overwhelming. The Gospel of Mark reminds us that we can reject the things of the human world that keeps us away from seeing each other Through God’s Eyes. Teens and the whole church need to see “Through God’s Eyes” to fight the injustices. Not judging a person for who they love or where they are from but rather loving them because they are who they are. Looking through his eyes, he shows us how perfect we are. Come and get ready to see yourself with those new lenses, 20/20 Through God’s Eyes!

Youth Day Theme Reflection
Youth Day Coordinating Team



Artist's Reflection:

Live Mercy Be Holy ... is a loud trumpet call to rise up from the shadows of these difficult times we live in and to stand strong in God’s light. The call comes to us in our brokenness having suffered great division as a society; and yet the hope is we can reunite in love for the betterment of the world we share.

Matthew’s Gospel states, "For he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.”

So the logo began with broken pieces of overlapping color and texture – rusted metal, rough burlap and scratched copper joined with pieces of a heart. The four irregular quadrants of shapes came together allowing the heart to take shape. A cross formed with a red sphere at its center symbolizes the core of our being – God. God’s light radiates out in rays of gold.

Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken vessels with gold, was imitated by the gold leaf around the side of the heart and in the rays of light. It suggests that if we allow the light of God’s love to mend our brokenness we will be even stronger because of our once-broken pieces. We will move forward encountering each other with heartfelt kindness and generosity of spirit, sharing our unique talents to ensure the sun will rise on a better world.

– Valerie MacRae, artist

Reflexión del artista:

Vive la Misericordia y la Santidad es un fuerte llamado para levantarse de las sombras en estos momentos difíciles que vivimos y mantenerse fuerte en la luz de Dios. El llamado llega a nosotros desde el quebrantamiento que hemos sufrido por una gran división como sociedad; aun así tenemos la esperanza de que podamos reunirnos en amor para el mejoramiento del mundo que compartimos.

El Evangelio de Mateo nos dice, “Que hace salir el sol sobre buenos y malos, y manda la lluvia sobre justos e injustos.”

El logo comenzó con piezas rotas de superposición de color y textura – metal oxidado, arpillera áspera y cobre rayado unido con las pieza de un corazón. Las cuatro figuras de cuadrantes irregulares se integran permitiendo que el corazón tome forma. La cruz formada con una espera en el centro, la cual simboliza el núcleo de nuestro ser – Dios. La luz de Dios irradia hacia afuera en rayos de oro.

Kintsugi, el arte Japonés de reparar vasijas con oro, fue imitado por las hojas de oro que rodean al corazón y en los rayos de luz. Sugiere que si permitimos que la luz del amor de Dios repare nuestros quebrantamientos, seremos mucho más fuertes debido a nuestras piezas que estuvieron rotas. Continuaremos hacia adelante tratándonos unos a otros con una amabilidad sincera y un espíritu generoso, compartiendo nuestros talentos únicos para asegurarnos que el sol salga en un mundo mejor.

– Valerie MacRae, artista


Thirsting for Justice
Sed de Justicia
Khát Khao Công Lý


Thirsting for Justice

The theme for the RECongress adult days springs from the Sunday Gospel reading in which a Samaritan woman encounters Jesus at a well. Their conversation opens new possibilities not only for the woman but for her whole town as well, possibilities for a new life found in Christ himself. This reading has special significance in the Church’s life. For many centuries, this reading has accompanied those who are seeking initiation in our Church. The imagery of finding one’s thirst quenched not from water drawn from the deep underground but from the infinite love and mercy of Jesus have called so many to conversion and faith.
This theme also recalls Jesus’ teaching in the Beatitudes of those who have a yearning for justice that is so deep, so intense it feels like a persistent thirst, a gnawing hunger. In this, we are again called to turn to Jesus who reconciles all creation to God and through his death and Resurrection and sends the Spirit to awaken in us the courage and gifts necessary to work for justice and peace.
Our theme, "Thirsting for Justice," not only describes a condition of the heart but it also is meant to begin a conversation. Thirsting for justice, what am I willing to do to help build the kingdom of God? How will you respond?

– Fr. Christopher Bazyouros
Director, Office of Religious Education


Sed de Justicia

El tema del RECongress para los días de los adultos brota del Evangelio Dominical en el que una mujer Samaritana se encuentra a Jesús en un pozo. Su conversación abre nuevas posibilidades no sólo para la mujer sino también para todo su pueblo, posibilidades para una nueva vida en Cristo. La lectura tiene un significado especial en la vida de la Iglesia. Por muchos siglos esta lectura a acompañado a los que buscas ser inícianos en nuestra Iglesia. La imagen de saciar tu sed no con el agua de la profundidad de la tierra si no con la del infinito amor y misericordia de Jesús es la que ha llamado a muchos a la fe y a la conversión.

Este tema también recuerda las enseñanzas de Jesús en las Bienaventuranzas a aquellos que están profundamente deseosos de justicia, es tan intenso su deseo que se siente como una sed y un hambre persistente. En esto, somos llamados nuevamente a recurrir a Jesús quien es el que reconcilia toda creación con Dios y a través de su muerte y Resurrección, envía al Espíritu a que despierte en nosotros el coraje y los dones necesarios para trabajar por la justicia y la paz.

Nuestro tema, "Sed de Justicia," no solo describe una condición del corazón si no que también significa el comenzar una conversación. Sed de Justicia, ¿Qué estoy dispuesto a hacer ayudar a construir el reino de Dios? ¿Cómo responderás?

– P. Christopher Bazyouros
Director, Oficina de Educación Religiosa

Khát Khao Công Lý

Chủ đề Đại Hội Giáo Lý cho người lớn bắt nguồn từ Bài Phúc Âm Chúa Nhật thuật lại câu chuyện người phụ nữ Samaria gặp Chúa Giê-su bên bờ giếng. Câu chuyện giữa Chúa và người phụ nữ không chỉ mở ra những triển vọng mới cho chị ta mà còn cho cả làng của chị, những triển vọng có một cuộc sống mới nơi chính Chúa Ki-tô. Bài đọc này có ý nghĩa đặc biệt trong cuộc sống của Giáo Hội. Trong nhiều thế kỷ, bài đọc đã đồng hành với những người đi tìm gia nhập Giáo Hội. Hình ảnh việc chế ngự cơn khát không bằng nước lấy từ giếng sâu, nhưng bằng tình yêu vô biên và ân sủng của Chúa Giê-su đã lôi kéo nhiều người hoán cải và tin vào Ngài.

Chủ đề này cũng nhắc lại lời giảng dạy của Chúa Giê-su trong Tám Mối Phúc Thật cho những ai khao khát công lý, sự khát khao sâu thẳm và mãnh liệt như đang bị một cơn khát hoành hành, một cơn đói gậm nhấm. Trong hoàn cảnh như thế, chúng ta lại được mời gọi đến với Chúa Giê-su, là Đấng hòa giải mọi tạo vật với Thiên Chúa qua cái chết và sự phục sinh của Ngài, là Đấng trao ban Thần Khí để đánh thức trong chúng ta sự can đảm và ân sủng cần thiết để hoạt động tìm công lý và hòa bình.

Chủ đề của chúng ta, “Khát Khao Công Lý,” không chỉ mô tả điều kiện của con tim nhưng còn bắt đầu cho một cuộc đối thoại. Khát Khao Công Lý, tôi có sẵn sàng làm gì để giúp phần xây dựng Nước Thiên Chúa? Các bạn sẽ trả lời thế nào?

– Cha Christopher Bazyouros
Giám đốc, văn phòng giáo dục tôn giáo


Trust! God’s Gotchu

The theme for Youth Day 2019, "Trust! God’s Gotchu," was chosen by a group of young people who reflected upon the readings of the day.
The first reading gives as warning to those those who place their trust in others and not in the Lord. Like a barren bush in a scorching desert, those without hope in the Lord will receive no relief. However, those who hope in the Lord should not fear, for they will be rewarded. The passage reminds us that the Lord alone knows our struggles and will judge “everyone according to the merit of his deeds” (Rom. 2:6).
We see God’s judgment later in the Gospel as we hear of Lazarus and the Rich Man. Lazarus had little and suffered greatly throughout his life. Through it all, his faith never wavered. Though he sat at the door of the rich man’s house, he received no comfort or aid. When he died, he was carried away by angels and brought to a place of peace. The rich man also died but found himself in a place of torment. He had a vision and saw Abraham with Lazarus in heaven. He begged Abraham for mercy, yet Abraham replied, “My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus received what was bad.” The rich man begged for Lazarus to be sent to his family to warn them so that they would not suffer as he did. Abraham reminded the man that his family had Moses and the prophets, saying, "If they will not listen to them, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.”
These passages invite us to reflect upon our own trust and disbelief. In what ways are we Lazarus? In what ways are we the Rich Man? As those who have hope in the Lord, how are we being invited to deepen our trust in God’s goodness? In modern jargon when someone says “I gotchu” it means that they have you covered and that you can lean on them for support. Trust! God’s Gotchu offers a message of comfort and hope to young people attending the day. It is a reminder that when we persevere in faithfulness, we will be rewarded. Our theme is broadly applicable and transcends time and circumstance. Young people will discern their own faith journey and be called to renew their commitment to trust in Christ. They will leave challenged to joyfully embrace this message of hope. Whatever you are experiencing, whatever struggle or burden – Trust! God’s Gotchu.

Youth Day Theme Reflection
Youth Day Coordinating Team



Artist's Reflection:

St. John’s Gospel story of the Samaritan woman -- the Woman at the Well -- is the inspiration for this year’s RECongress theme, “Thirsting for Justice.” St. John’s Gospel has been characterized as a “gospel of believe.” Jesus chose to invite a Samaritan woman, one of questionable reputation, to believe, to accept that he was the Messiah and to quench her thirst with Living Water. This woman was on the fringe of acceptance in her own community, going to the well at high noon, in the heat of the day perhaps so she would be sure not to encounter others. Yet she encountered Jesus and his invitation to fill her own vessel with Living Water. Jesus said to her, “The water I shall give will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (Jn 4:14). Filled with new belief she leaves her water jar at the well and carries instead the news of Jesus as the Messiah to the village.

The logo design took shape with the idea that we are all vessels unique in our diverse design, our color, our texture, and our varying capacity to receive and hold the Living Water. The vibrant colored jars stand casting shadows as if in the bright light of high noon. On one side of the jars are strips of metal rusted with perhaps the injustice of the past. In contrast, on the horizon the image of a spring of water welling up ... the hope of quenching our thirst for a future of peace and justice for all. We are challenged, as vessels of Living Water, to engage ourselves in bringing that future to fruition.

Valerie MacRae, artist

Reflexión del artista:

La historia del Evangelio de San Juan sobre la mujer Samaritana -- la Mujer en el Pozo -- es la inspiración para el tema de RECongress de este año, "Sedientos de Justicia." El Evangelio de San Juan se ha caracterizado como un "evangelio de creer." Jesús eligió invitar a una mujer Samaritana, de reputación cuestionable, a creer, aceptar que él era el Mesías y saciar su sed con Agua Viva. En su propia comunidad esta mujer estaba al borde de la aceptación, va al pozo a mediodía con el intenso calor para estar segura de no encontrarse con otras personas. Sin embargo, se encontró con Jesús y su invitación a llenar su propia vasija con Agua Viva. Jesús le dijo: "El agua que yo daré será manantial de agua que brotará para vida eterna" (Jn 4:14). Llena de nuevas creencias, ella deja su vasija de agua en el pozo y lleva en cambio la noticia de Jesús como el Mesías a la aldea.

El diseño del logotipo fue basado en la idea de que todos somos vasijas únicas en nuestro diseño diverso, color, textura y variada capacidad para recibir y mantener el agua viva. Las vasijas de vibrantes colores están paradas proyectando sombras como si estuvieran bajo la brillante luz del mediodía. A un lado de las vasijas hay tiras de metal oxidado quizás con la injusticia del pasado. En contraste, en el horizonte, la imagen de un manantial de agua que brota ... la esperanza de saciar nuestra sed para un futuro de paz y justicia para todos. Somos desafiados, como recipientes de Agua Viva, a comprometernos a que ese futuro se cumpla.

Valerie MacRae, artista


Rise Up!
Hãy Đứng Lên!


This past June I had the opportunity and pleasure to attend the season finale concert of the Los Angeles Master Chorale. One of the pieces, "I Fall," was a premiere work by Charles Anthony Silvestri and Eric Whitacre that chronicles the beginning of a man’s journey, a man who is accompanying his wife who is dying.

The refrain of the piece only has four words: “You rise/I fall,” but they were sung with an intensity and depth that led most of the audience, myself included, to tears. It was not the arrangement of the music nor the precision and skill of the choir that moved us (although both were excellent). It was the simple fact of music expressing and framing something that most people know in their bones: The loss of a loved one is one of the few moments in life that has the potential to dismantle us ... or to open up to us a new horizon.

“Your brother will rise.” Jesus speaks these words to Martha not merely to console her for the death of her brother Lazarus but to reveal God’s ultimate plan: to shatter the hold of sin and death over all people.

This was (and still is) a bold statement of faith to catechumens: the completion of God’s saving work in Christ. It is also a call to those who are baptized: to stop living in tombs of our own fears and anxieties. To allow Jesus to unbind us from the needless cares and sinful habits that keep us from completely embracing the Gospel. To give the Holy Spirit free reign in our souls.

To do what? To help all those who are still entombed by sin, injustice, death to Rise Up along with Jesus and to follow him to eternal life.

– Fr. Christopher Bazyouros
Director, Office of Religious Education


El pasado mes de junio tuve la oportunidad y el privilegio de asistir al concierto final de la temporada de “Los Angeles Master Chorale.” Uno de los temas que estreno Charles Anthony Silvestri y Eric Whitacre se llama “Yo Caigo” y se trata del inicio del viaje de un hombre cuya esposa está muriendo.

El estribillo de la canción sólo tiene cuatro palabras: “Te levantas/yo caigo,” pero las cantaron con una profundidad tan intensa que la mayoría de la audiencia (incluyéndome) nos conmovimos hasta las lágrimas. No fue por causa de la técnica artística del compositor ni la habilidad experta del coro (aunque en verdad ambos eran excelentes). Fue un momento en que la música expresó y enmarcó algo que casi todos entienden en sus huesos: La pérdida de un ser querido tiene la capacidad de deshacernos … o de abrir un nuevo horizonte.

Jesús dijo, “Tu hermano resucitará.” El no menciono esas palabras a Marta solamente para consolarla por la muerte de su hermano Lázaro, sino para revelar plenamente el plan de Dios: destruir la cautividad del pecado y muerte para todos.

Esta era (y todavía es) una declaración audaz de fe a los catecúmenos: el cumplimiento de la obra salvífica de Dios en Cristo. También es una llamada a todos los bautizados: para dejar de vivir en la tumba de nuestros propios miedos y ansiedades, dejando así, que Jesús nos desate de las preocupaciones pasajeras y los hábitos pecaminosos que impiden vivir plenamente el Evangelio. Para dejar que el Espíritu Santo habite plenamente en nuestras almas.

¿Para hacer qué?, para ayudar a todos los que todavía están enterrados por el pecado, la injusticia y la muerte, para que ellos también escuchen a Jesús gritar -- “¡Levántate!” -- lo hagan y le sigan a la vida eterna.

– P. Christopher Bazyouros
Director, Oficina de Educación Religiosa

Tháng Sáu vừa qua tôi hân hạnh có cơ hội tham dự buổi nhạc đại hòa tấu tại Los Angeles. Một tuyệt tác xuất sắc của nhà hoà tấu gia Charles Anthony Silvestri và Eric Whitacre. Được hoà tấu bắt đầu bởi cuộc hành trình của một chàng trai luôn luôn có sự đồng hành của người vợ sắp qua đời.

Điệp khúc của bản nhạc chỉ có bốn chữ "Anh hãy đứng lên, tôi nằm xuống," họ đã diễn tả với một cảm xúc tự đáy lòng đã làm cho nhiều khán giả ngay chính cả tôi cũng phải rơi lệ. Nó đã không sắp đặc bởi nhạc hay sự cố gắng của tài năng kịch cảnh nhạc cụ, mà đánh động bởi sự cảm động sâu sắc từ con người. Tự nó đã đơn thuần bởi lời nhạc đơn sơ, nói lên từ con tim, mà nhiều người cảm thấy đó là sự cấu trúc đánh động sâu sắc, sự mất đi chính người mình yêu, mà chính đôi khi chỉ một lần trong đời khi thay đổi có một tiềm năng xoá bỏ chúng ta hay khai phá cho chúng ta một chân trời mới.

"Anh của con sẽ sống lại." Chúa Giêsu đã nói những lời này với Martha không chỉ đơn thuần để an ủi nàng qua cái chết của em là Lazaro nhưng để mạc Khải chương trình sau cùng của Thiên Chúa. Phá hủy tội lỗi và tiêu diệt sự chết của con người.

Đã và ngay bây giờ là một lời phát biểu của Đức tin của dự tòng: Đó là hoàn thành sự cứu độ của Thiên Chúa qua Đức Kitô. Đó cũng là tiếng gọi cho những ai đã lãnh nhận phép Rửa Tội. Hãy từ bỏ tội lỗi, vượt ra khỏi nấm mồ của sợ hải và lo lắng. Hãy để cho Đức Giêsu tháo gỡ những lo lắng không cần thiết, cũng như những thói hư tật xấu đang ràng buộc chúng ta, nhưng hãy ôm chặc Lời Chúa. Hãy để Thánh Thần Chúa ngự trị trong tim ta.

Để làm gì? Để giúp những ai đang đắm chìm trong tội lỗi, bất công, hãy chết để sống lại cùng với Đức Giêsu và theo Người đi vào đời sống viên mãn.

– Cha Christopher Bazyouros
Giám đốc, văn phòng giáo dục tôn giáo


Artist's Reflection:

“Rise Up!” is a powerful hearkening call from Christ. It is a call to all of us who, from the recesses of our spirit, cry out to the Lord: “Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord” (Psalm 134). We are called out of that inner tomb of despair, to release that which binds our hearts and souls into the light of God’s love so that we might live fully as God intended. “Oh, my people, I will open your graves and have you rise from them. ... I will put my spirit in you so that you may live” (Ezekiel 37). “You are not in the flesh; on the contrary, you are in the spirit” (Romans 8).

When reflecting on these readings of the 2018 Religious Education Congress, I sat in a posture of reading John’s account of Lazarus rising from the perspective of being inside the tomb: "Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.’ … ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth. So Jesus said to them, ‘Untie him and let him go’ ” (John 11).

I imagined the walls of the tomb being illuminated as the stone was rolled away; hands shielding my eyes as the burial bands were released from my face and body, the light of day, the light of Christ’s radiant love almost blinding. The textures and color of the stone and the weave of the burial bands played against the bright light of the tomb’s opening. There was an overwhelming sense of release, renewal of spirit and of a rebirth of joy in answering God’s call to “Rise Up!”

Valerie MacRae, artist

Reflexión del artista:

"¡Levántate!" Es un poderoso llamado de Cristo. Es un llamamiento a todos los que desde el fondo de nuestro espíritu clamamos al Señor: "De las profundidades os he clamado, Señor" (Salmo 134). Somos llamados a salir de esa tumba interior de la desesperación, para liberar lo que une nuestros corazones y nuestras almas a la luz del amor de Dios, para que vivamos plenamente como Dios quiso. "Oh, pueblo mío, abriré vuestras tumbas y haré que se levanten de ellas. ... pondré mi espíritu en vosotros para que viváis "(Ezequiel 37). "No estás en la carne; Por el contrario, estás en el espíritu "(Romanos 8).

Al reflexionar sobre estas lecturas del Congreso de Educación Religiosa 2018, me senté en una postura de leer el relato de Juan sobre Lázaro que se levantaba desde la perspectiva de estar dentro de la tumba: "Jesús dijo: 'Quitad la piedra. "El hombre muerto salió, atado de pies y manos con bandas de entierro, y su rostro envuelto en un paño." Jesús les dijo: "Desatadlo y déjalo ir" (Juan 11).

Imaginé que las paredes de la tumba se iluminaban mientras la piedra se rodaba; Las manos protegiendo mis ojos mientras las bandas funerarias eran removidas de mi rostro y cuerpo, la luz del día, la luz del amor radiante de Cristo casi cegándome. Las texturas, el color de la piedra y el tejido de las telas funerarias jugando contra la luz brillante de la abertura de la tumba. Había una abrumadora sensación de liberación, renovación de espíritu y de un renacimiento de alegría al responder a la llamada de Dios, "¡Levántate!"

Valerie MacRae, artista


Dare to Believe!

Youth Day Coordinating Team Reflection:

Our theme this year -- "Dare To Believe!" -- is a direct embodiment of the message we receive from the readings of the day. In the First Reading, we see Moses speaking with the Lord, imploring him to give the people of Egypt a second chance. From the readings, we know that the people of Egypt have strayed from their faith and are currently living in sin. The Lord is infuriated at their lack of faith and belief in him. Additionally, we see the close relationships between Moses and the Lord, where Moses reminds him to be merciful to the people he had just saved.

The Psalm translates the same message, showing how the Lord was on the edge of losing faith for his people, as they had lost their faith in him. In our discussions of a potential theme, this was a pivotal point that the team felt should be addressed.

In the Gospel we hear Jesus imploring the Jews, asking them how they could distance themselves so far from him, the Savior they had been waiting for, yet now that he was here, they had disregarded him. Once again, the readings share a theme of a break in faith, a lack of belief. It is easy to think that the message may be about God’s mercy, but through closer analysis it is clear that the readings are connected through their focus on having faith and believing after one has strayed away.

The theme "Dare to Believe!" surfaced as the team recognized the truth of the audience to which Youth Day caters. The teens attending Youth Day are all in different places with their faith. Some may be on fire for the Lord, while others will be like the people described in the readings, experiencing a lack of belief. We wanted the theme to resonate with all the teens, compelling them to go further in their faith. Dare to Believe! is the ideal combination of the messages of the readings and the anticipated overall message of the day.

The "Dare to Believe!" theme gives us the opportunity to construct a compelling event where teens can be sent off feeling drawn into their faith, wanting more. We wanted the teens leaving Youth Day to have been given a challenge: a challenge to "Dare to Believe!" in Christ, even when they have hardships in life or when they are experiencing great joy. We want to challenge them to find new ways in finding Christ in their everyday lives and really living as a true Disciple of Christ.

Youth Day Theme Reflection
Youth Day Coordinating Team



Artist's Reflection on the 2018 Youth Day Theme:

Working with the youth to illustrate their vision of the 2018 theme, "Dare to Believe," was inspiring. They wanted the words to be bold and they felt fire was an important element that needed to be incorporated into the logo. Fire represented the Holy Spirit -- and echoing this year's Congress theme of “Rise Up!” -- the image of a phoenix “rising" from fire was a consideration.

The youth of our world have a strong voice and are bold in their faith. They embrace bright strong lines and color. The logo needed to be as bold and bright. It features stylized flames of red and gold radiating from a circle which harkens back to the circle motif used in the Congress logo. "Dare to Believe!” is in itself a bold challenge to all of us. It is indeed a loud trumpet blast that will ignite the beginning of Congress 2018!

Val MacRae, artist



Embrace Trust


“No one can serve two masters” (Matt 6:24): In our Gospel reading for Congress, Jesus teaches his disciples that we can only focus on one master. How difficult it is to put our whole trust in God! Many times we want to hedge our bets and choose the immediate, the tangible, the seen rather than trust completely in God whose wisdom and providence see far beyond our vision.

While I was in Poland for World Youth Day I had the opportunity to visit a museum dedicated to St. John Paul II. In one of the rooms was a large boat (like one that Peter and his brother may have used) with the words: “Put out into the deep” (Lk 5:4). Out of darkness, doubt and fear we are called to Embrace Trust! I invite you all to join us at the Religious Education Congress in Anaheim and open your heart to this call.

– Fr. Christopher Bazyouros
Director, Office of Religious Education

“Nadie puede servir a dos señores” (Mat 6:24): En el evangelio por Congreso, Jesús enseña a sus discípulos que solo puede dedicarse a un señor. ¡Qué difícil es de confiar totalmente en Dios! Muchas veces queremos fiarse en el conocido, el tangible, lo visible más que en el Dios cuya providencia y sabiduría ve más allá de nuestra visión.

Mientras estuve en Polonia para La Jornada Mundial de Jóvenes, visité el museo dedicado a San Juan Pablo II. Entré a un salón y vi una gran barca (del tipo que quizás usaban San Pedro y su hermano) con estas palabras: “Sal a la parte más profunda” (Lc 5:4). Desde la oscuridad, la duda y el miedo El Señor nos llama ¡Confía! Yo les invito a Ustedes a venir al Congreso de Educación Religiosa y abran sus corazones a esta llamada.

– P. Christopher Bazyouros
Director, Oficina de Educación Religiosa

Artist's Reflection on the 2017 Theme:

“Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they?” Matt. 6:26

Our Congress Gospel reading continues to reference the wild flowers and the grass of the field that are clothed in splendor without worry. The logo began as a painting of green fields, wild flowers and birds in a tranquil palette. The image was then “broken apart” into shapes that echo the circular gesture of embracing. The shapes began to take on new meaning; the circle, perhaps becomes our Earth and the extending shapes the universe. Looking deeper it may look like it is all coming apart. What holds it all together? God’s love for us. So like the birds in the sky, let us “Embrace Trust” that God’s got this! As Psalm 62 says: “Rest in God alone, my soul.”

Valerie MacRae, artist

Reflexión de la artista:

"Mirad las aves del cielo; que no siembran, ni cosechan, ni recogen en graneros nada, y vuestro Padre celestial las alimenta. ¿No es usted más importante que ellas?" Mat. 6:26

Nuestra lectura del Evangelio para el Congreso continúa haciendo referencia a las flores silvestres y la hierba del campo que están vestidos de esplendor sin preocuparse. El logotipo comenzó como una pintura de campos verdes, flores silvestres y aves con una paleta tranquila. La imagen luego fue "fragmentada" para reflejar el gesto circular de abrazar. Los fragmentos comenzaron a tomar un nuevo significado; el círculo, tal vez se convierte en nuestra Tierra y los otros dos que se extienden el universo. Observando más profundamente puede parecer que todo se despedaza. ¿Qué lo que mantiene unido? El amor de Dios por nosotros. ¡Así como los pájaros en el cielo vamos a "Confiar" en Dios! Como dice el Salmo 62/63: "Descansa sólo en Dios, mi alma."

Valerie MacRae, artista



What Are You Waiting For?

The readings for Youth Day 2017 are about conversion, a change of heart. That change of heart is conveyed in each of the readings. The first reading from Sirach tells us to not delay, but rather turn to Jesus before it is too late. The Gospel from Mark gives us a look at what to expect if we hesitate or put off turning to the Lord, or if we lead others astray. He speaks of an unquenchable fire where suffering never ends. So why wait to convert and change our ways? The time is now! This year’s theme is a question: “What are you waiting for?”

“What are you waiting for?” is first and foremost a call to action, a wakeup call. Jesus invited us to turn to him and to not delay. However, it is also our call to reflection. It gives us a chance to examine our lives and our faith journey and encourages us to bring our hopes, fears, doubts, and dreams to the Lord. Christ awaits you with open arms. So, what are YOU waiting for?

Youth Day Theme Reflection
from teens on the Youth Day Coordinating Team



Boundless Mercy
Misericordia Inagotable


William Shakespeare wrote: “Open thy gates of mercy, gracious God! My soul flies through these wounds to seek out thee.”

In the midst of our limitations and shortcomings we encounter a God who is infinite. Our theme for the Religious Education Congress 2016 – "Boundless Mercy" – takes its inspiration from the Gospel story of Jesus meeting the woman at the well and from the Jubilee Year of Mercy convoked by Pope Francis.

In his letter Misericordiae Vultus, Pope Francis writes, “Mercy will always be greater than any sin, and no one can place limits on the love of God who is ever ready to forgive." We see this mercy and love in Jesus as he speaks to the Samaritan woman and promises to give her “living water.” I invite you all to join us at the Religious Education Congress in Anaheim,

 “…that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you…may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge” (Eph. 3:17-19).

– Fr. Christopher Bazyouros
Director, Office of Religious Education

See The Tidings Interview: Meet Father Chris Bazyouros

William Shakespeare escribió: “¡Abre las puertas de misericordia, Dios misericordioso! Por medio de estas heridas mi alma vuela a buscarte.”

En medio de nuestras limitaciones y defectos nos encontramos con un Dios que es infinito. Nuestro tema del Congreso de Educación Religiosa 2016 – "Misericordia Inagotable" – se inspira por la historia en el Evangelio del encuentro de Jesús con la mujer en el pozo y del Año Jubilar de Misericordia convocado por el Papa Francisco.

En su carta, Misericoriae Vultus, escribe el Papa Francisco, “La misericordia siempre será más grande que cualquier pecado y nadie podrá poner un límite al amor de Dios que perdona.” (3) Se manifiesta esta misericordia y amor en Jesús cuando él habla con la mujer Samaritana y promete darla “agua viva.” Yo les invito a ustedes a venir al Congreso de Educación Religiosa en Anaheim,

“ manera que Cristo habite por la fe en sus corazones; y que… sean capaces de comprender con todos los santos cual es la anchura, la longitud, la altura y la profundidad, y de conocer el amor de Cristo que sobrepasa el conocimiento” (Ef. 3:17-19).

– P. Christopher Bazyouros
Director, Oficina de Educación Religiosa

Artist's Reflection:

The theme for the 2016 Religious Education Congress, “Boundless Mercy,” is so beautifully illustrated in the Congress readings with images of water. In the first reading from Exodus, we find God instructing Moses to “strike the rock, and water will flow from it for the people to drink.” Again water is echoed in the second reading from Romans: “The love of God has been poured out into our hearts...” Finally, in the Gospel of John, we have Jesus offering the woman at the well “living water”: “Whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

The images of water are strong but musing on the word “Boundless” brought the shores of the Southern California beaches to mind. Nothing more alive and boundless existed in memory. The surf of those waters quenched the senses and renewed the spirit. So came the painting. Vibrant waves of color came in with joyful movement reflecting glints of bright light. God’s “Boundless Mercy” reaches us like the ocean’s surf wrapping around our soul in powerful, undeniable waves of His love!

Valerie MacRae, artist

Reflexión de la artista:

El tema para el Congreso de Educación Religiosa 2016, "Misericordia Inagotable," esta hermosamente ilustrado en las lecturas del Congreso con imágenes de agua. En la primera lectura del libro de Exodo, encontramos a Dios instruyendo a Moises “Golpearas la roca, y manara agua para que beba el pueblo.” Nuevamente el agua resuena en la segunda lectura del Libro de Romanos: “Dios ha derramado su amor en nuestros corazones.” Finalmente en el Evangelio de San Juan nos encontramos con Jesús ofreciendole “agua viva” a la samaritana: “El que beba del agua que yo quiero darle, nunca más volvera a tener sed. Porque el agua que yo quiero darle se convertira en su interior en un manantial que conduce a la vida eterna.”

Las imágenes del agua son fuertes pero reflexionando sobre la palabra "Inagotable" se me viene a la mente las playas del sur de California. No hay nada más vivo e ilimitado en mis recuerdos, que el navegar por esas aguas que satisfacen los sentidos y renuevan el espiritu. De ahí salio la image. Olas de colores vibrantes con movientes alegres que reflejan destellos de luz brillante. La “Misericordia Inagotable” de Dios nos alcanza como las olas del oceano envolviendo nuetra alma en una poderosa e inegable ola de Su Amor.

Valerie MacRae, artista




The theme chosen for Congress 2015 "See" flows from the blind man's extraordinary encounter in John 9:1-41. Reflecting on this amazing scenario our imaginations are stretched, we are drawn to see beneath the surface and discover the paradox: the blind man is the one who sees while the seeing ones are entombed in their own darkness.

Spiritual blindness is at the center of the exchange and the challenge for all is to see at a deeper level, see with the heart as suggested in the following dialog:

"Why is everyone here so happy except me?" asked the disciple.
"Because they have learned to see goodness and beauty everywhere," said the Master.
"Why don't I see goodness and beauty everywhere?"
"Because you cannot see outside of you what you fail to see inside."

God is at work in the world right now performing miracles, sharing life and light. Can we see God's wondrous deeds? Are we mindful of God's presence in all of life, in creation, in joy, in pain and in struggle? God is there. Where are we? Novelist Paulo Coelho, author of "The Alchemist" says, “You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is different; each day brings a miracle of its own.”

We are encouraged then to renew our vision, open up to the life-changing Light of Christ, and lead others to See anew.

– Sr. Edith Prendergast, RSC
Director, Office of Religious Education

El tema que se ha elegido para el Congreso 2015 – "Ver" – surge del encuentro extraordinario del ciego, en el evangelio de Juan (9:1-41). Reflexionando en esa escena sorprendente, nuestras imaginaciones se estiran, somos atraídos a ver debajo de la superficie para descubrir la paradoja: El ciego es el que ve, mientras que los que “ven” están sepultados en su propia obscuridad.

La ceguera espiritual toma posición central del intercambio y es el desafío para que todos vean a niveles más profundos, a ver con el corazón como se sugiere en el siguiente diálogo:

"¿Por qué todos aquí se encuentran tan felices, excepto yo?” preguntaba el discípulo.
“Porque todos han aprendido a ver la bondad y la belleza en todo lugar,” dijo el maestro.
“Y ¿por qué yo no puedo ver la bondad y la belleza en todo lugar?”
“Porque no puedes ver afuera lo que no te permites ver dentro de ti."

En estos precisos momentos, Dios está trabajando en el mundo, haciendo milagros, compartiendo luz y vida. ¿Podemos ver sus obras maravillosas? ¿Estamos conscientes de su presencia en cada aspecto de la vida, en la creación, en el gozo, en el dolor y en la lucha? Dios está allí. ¿Dónde estamos nosotros? Paulo Coelho, autor de "El Alquimista," dice: “Puedes quedarte ciego si miras cada día igual que a otro – cada día trae su propio milagro.”

Se nos anima, pues, a renovar nuestra visión, a abrirnos a la luz transformadora de Cristo y a guiar a otros a ver de forma diferente.

– Hna. Edith Prendergast, RSC
Directora, Oficina de Educación Religiosa


Hope: A World Afire
Esperanza que Enciende al Mundo

Hope: A World Afire flows from the word proclaimed on the second Sunday of Lent. Hope rooted in grace and goodness shines brightly on the face of Jesus. As we reflect on this Transfiguration moment, we too are drawn into that incredible experience. In the presence of the HOLY, we become shining stars of hope.

Light is not always our experience but it can always be our hope. Maya Angelou suggests that "God puts rainbows in the clouds so that each of us in our darkest and most dreaded moments can see a possibility of hope.” Believing in the brightness even in the midst of the sometimes cloudiness and knowing that the fruit of hope is boldness, we commit to light fires of hope and set our world ablaze with outreach to the hungry poor, the spiritually fragile ones.

– Sr. Edith Prendergast, RSC
Director, Office of Religious Education

Esperanza que Enciende al Mundo fluye de las lecturas de la Palabra proclamada en el segundo Domingo de Cuaresma. Una esperanza enraizada en la gracia y la bondad resplandece en el rostro de Jesús. Al reflexionar sobre este momento de la transfiguración, también nosotros somos transportados a esa increíble experiencia. En presencia de lo Sagrado, nos convertimos en estrellas radiantes de esperanza.

La luz no es siempre nuestra experiencia, pero puede ser siempre nuestra esperanza. Maya Angelou sugiere que “Dios pone un arco iris en las nubes para que cada uno de nosotros en nuestra propia oscuridad y momentos más terribles podamos ver la posibilidad de la esperanza.” Creer en la luz aun en nuestros momentos de oscuridad y saber que el fruto de la esperanza es valentía, nos comprometemos a encender fuegos de esperanza y extenderlos hacia las personas espiritualmente pobres, frágiles y hambrientas.

– Hna. Edith Prendergast, RSC
Directora, Oficina de Educación Religiosa


Enter the Mystery
Entra al Misterio

Morning dawns and we awake to the wonder of God within us, around us and beyond us. We enter the mystery of the One who creates a world brimming with life and vitality; gifts us with Jesus and promises to remain with us through the power of the Spirit – source of love and spark of God.

Jesus – the climax of God’s self-giving and the reflection of God's glory comes to renew, fulfill and draw us into the mystery of our own deepest yearnings – our longing for God. Yet, we can miss these stirrings, this visitation as the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning so aptly proclaims:

Earth's crammed with heaven
And every common bush afire with God
But only he who sees takes off his shoes
The rest sit around it and pluck blackberries.

The theme Enter the Mystery bids us to look with new eyes and discover God’s creative presence woven into the fabric of our rich Faith story: our beliefs, our rituals and our great spiritual traditions.

We, likewise pause to marvel at the mystery of ourselves created in the image and likeness of God and called now to mirror this divine essence spilled out for all of creation.

– Sr. Edith Prendergast, RSC
Director, Office of Religious Education

Se rompe el alba y nos despertamos a la maravilla de Dios en nosotros, en nuestro derredor y más allá. Entramos al misterio de Aquel que crea un mundo desbordante con vida y vitalidad; que nos regala a Jesús; y que promete permanecer con nosotros por el poder del Espíritu – fuente de amor y el combustible de Dios.

Jesús – el punto culminante de la auto-entrega de Dios y el reflejo de su gloria, viene a renovarnos, a llenarnos y a llamarnos al misterio de nuestros más profundos anhelos – nuestra añoranza por Dios. Y sin embargo, es posible perdernos de estos despertares, esta visita como la poeta Elizabeth Barrett Browning muy aptamente proclama:

La tierra se encuentra atiborrada con el cielo
Y cualquier arbusto se enciende con Dios
Pero solo el que lo percibe se quita las sandalias
Los demás se sientan arrancando zarzamoras

El tema Entra al Misterio ofrece la oportunidad de mirar con nuevos ojos y descubrir la presencia de Dios entretejida en el lienzo de la rica historia de nuestra Tradición: nuestras creencias, nuestros ritos y las grandes tradiciones espirituales.

Con igual admiración, volteemos la mirada hacia adentro para maravillarnos del misterio que habita en nosotros creados en la imagen y semejanza de Dios, y llamados a reflejar su presencia divina derramada por toda la creación.

– Hna. Edith Prendergast, RSC
Directora, Oficina de Educación Religiosa


Voice Infusing Life
Voz que infunde vida

“Earth, with her thousand voices, praises God” (Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
…and so it was from the beginning, the Voice of God rang out,
infusing all of creation with abundant life. At other times, this “still small voice” calms troubled spirits, enabling all to reach for new horizons.

A familiar voice stirring with the harmonies of care and reassurance awakened Lazarus and returned him to life, energy and renewed vitality.

Ours is a God whose voice resounds in the depth of our being calling us away from old habits, inviting us to embrace more wholesome ones. And today ... the voice reverberates and we echo God’s voice infusing life – giving hope, refreshing spirits.

– Sr. Edith Prendergast, RSC
Director, Office of Religious Education

“Tierra que con sus miles de voces, alaba a Dios” (Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
…y así fue desde el principio, la Voz de Dios resonó,
Infundiendo a toda la creación con vida abundante. En otros momentos, esta “aún pequeña voz” calma espíritus perturbados, habilitando a todos para alcanzar horizontes nuevos.

Una voz familiar, de armonioso timbre despertó a Lázaro y lo devolvió a la vida de renovada energía y vitalidad.

De Nosotros es un Dios cuya voz resuena en las profundidades de nuestro ser llamándonos a partir de nuestros viejos hábitos para abrazar otros más sanos, provechosos. Y hoy… la voz reverbera y hace eco de la voz de Dios infundiendo vida – dando esperanza, refrescando almas

– Hna. Edith Prendergast, RSC
Directora, Oficina de Educación Religiosa


Hold Firm ... Trust!
Mantente Firme ... ¡Confía!


Our Congress theme, “Hold Firm … Trust!” draws us into the outrageous love of a God who steadfastly accompanies us on the journey, steadies us in times of challenge, and leads us to refreshment and renewal.

The prophet Jeremiah likens the one who trusts, to a tree by the waterside that does not fear even in year of drought. Nourished at its roots by the rich soil it grows and expands through all seasons.

Drawing wisdom from this image, we are confident that if we dip into the rich soil of God’s presence, are centered on a power greater than ourselves; we too will flourish and grow through seasons of dark and light. 

– Sr. Edith Prendergast, RSC
Director, Office of Religious Education

Nuestro tema del Congreso, “Mantente Firme … ¡Confía!” nos atrae hacia el amor escandaloso de un Dios que nos acompaña con firmeza en el camino, nos estabiliza en tiempos de desafío, y nos lleva a la reavivación y renovación.

El profeta Jeremías compara al que confía, a un árbol a orillas del río que no teme incluso en años de sequía. Nutrido en sus raíces por la tierra fértil, éste crece y se expande a través de todas las estaciones.

Sacando sabiduría de esta imagen, estamos seguros de que, sumergimos en el rico suelo de la presencia de Dios, nos centraremos en un poder superior a nosotros mismos, nosotros también prosperaremos y creceremos a través de estaciones de oscuridad y luz.

– Hna. Edith Prendergast, RSC
Directora, Oficina de Educación Religiosa


Incredible Abundance
Increíble Abundancia

Congress 2010 draws us into the story of God’s Incredible Abundance overflowing in love and compassion and echoed down through the centuries.

To the exiles it is promise of restoration, reminder of a life-giving Spirit, and in Jesus it is a celebration of the wonder and power of a God who revives and revitalizes.

The poet Brendan Kenneally writes:
"Life rises from the crowded clay of doom,
Light dying promises the light-reborn."

New life and light emerging from the crowded clay of doom fills us with courage. The forces of death and despair are overcome; stones and grit that block the flow of life are removed at Jesus’ word. In our emptiness a gracious hand is reaching out lifting us up and even in difficult moments we see with the eyes of faith that there is potential for new life. We take to heart the words of Jesus “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).

Embracing this incredible abundance we trust that it is never too late for God to invigorate and revitalize a person, a church, a world.

– Sr. Edith Prendergast, RSC
Director, Office of Religious Education

El Congreso 2010 nos ilustra la historia de la increíble abundancia de Dios que se desborda en amor y compasión y que resuena durante todas las décadas hasta nuestros días.

Es promesa de restauración para los exiliados, conmemoración del Espíritu de vida y donación y que en Jesús es una celebración del esplendor y poder de Dios quien revive y revitaliza.

Escribe el poeta Brendan Kenneally:
La vida nace de la arcilla llena de calamidades,
La luz moribunda promete el renacimiento de la luz.

La nueva vida y luz que emergen de la arcilla llena de calamidades nos cubren con valentía, con audacia… Las fuerzas de la muerte y desesperación se superan, las piedras y asperezas que obstaculizan el flujo de la vida son removidas por las palabras de Jesús. En nuestro vacío, una mano amable nos alcanza para alzarnos y aún más, para que en los momentos difíciles podamos ver, con los ojos de la fe, que existe potencial para una nueva vida. Tomemos seriamente las palabras de Jesús “Yo vine para que tengan vida y la tengan en abundancia” (Juan 10,10).

Reconociendo esta abundancia increíble confiamos en que nunca será demasiado tarde para que Dios revigorice y revitalice las personas, la Iglesia, el mundo.

– Hna. Edith Prendergast, RSC
Directora, Oficina de Educación Religiosa


Love Unfolding ... Igniting Our Yes!br> i>Amor Revelador ... Encendiendo Nuestro ¡Sí!

Covenant Love poured out and at the heart of all creation continues to unfold, drawing us ever more profoundly into the embrace of a lavish God. This wondrous relationship, this love unbounded deepens and develops over time, grows through seasons of dark and light, always nudging us to remember and hold fast to the promise.

Love unfolding is the way of Jesus, calling his disciples to "come and see" and now calling us into deeper friendship and interconnection with Him and with all of life. This bond of oneness, this fastening of the spirit to God sustains us on the path, generates and ignites a fresh energy and propels us to give voice to our “yes” anew.

– Sr. Edith Prendergast, RSC
Director, Office of Religious Education

En el corazón de toda la creación, el Pacto de amor derramado sigue mostrándose, atrayéndonos más profundamente en el abrazo de un Dios pródigo. Esta maravillosa relación, este amor sin límites se profundiza y desarrolla con el tiempo, crece a través de estaciones de oscuridad y luz, persuadiéndonos siempre a recordar y a mantener la promesa.

Jesús se hace conocer como Amor Revelador que llama a sus discípulos a "venir y ver." Ahora nos llama a cada uno de nosotros a una profunda amistad y diálogo con El y con la vida. Este vínculo de unidad, esta presencia del espíritu de Dios nos sostiene en nuestro camino, nos inflama y genera una nueva energía impulsándonos a dar voz a nuestro "sí" de manera nueva.

– Hna. Edith Prendergast, RSC
Directora, Oficina de Educación Religiosa


Lift Your Gaze ... See Anew!
¡Alza tu mirada ... Vuelve a mirar!

Our theme, "Lift Your Gaze ... See Anew!" nudges us to widen our horizons, bid farewell to whatever may cloud our vision or dim our spirits and glimpse again all the beauty within us and around us. Gazing with eyes of the heart we discover the divine spark at the center of all of creation and at the heart of all human experiences.

The poet William Blake reminds us, “Unless the eye catch fire, God will not be seen.” Seeing anew, our eyes truly catch fire and we go forth to invite others to open up to the wisdom and liberation of “God’s sight” – to see beyond – to imagine a future filled with possibility.

– Sr. Edith Prendergast, RSC
Director, Office of Religious Educationn

¡Alza tu mirada ... vuelve a mirar! Este tema nos motiva a ampliar nuestros horizontes, a mirar más allá de lo que vemos, a olvidarnos de las nubes que cubren nuestra visión y oscurecen o disturban nuestros espíritus. Además, nos hace entrever nuevamente toda la belleza que llevamos dentro y la que nos rodea. Con una mirada de amor fija, descubriremos la chispa divina que existe en el centro de la creación y en el corazón de todas las experiencias humanas.

El poeta William Blake nos recuerda que: “Dios no será visto, si los ojos no capturan el ardor del fuego." Volviendo a mirar, nuestros ojos captan el fulgor y nos orientamos hacia los demás para poder abrir en ellos, horizontes de sabiduría y liberación que ofrece “la vista de Dios” – para ver más adelante – e imaginar un futuro lleno de posibilidades.

– Hna. Edith Prendergast, RSC
Directora, Oficina de Educación Religiosa


Stand in the Light
Permanecer en la luz

Light poured out wraps all of creation in beauty, in warmth, in love and in solace. The invitation, “Stand in the Light,” nudges us to bask in the incredible radiance of a God whose glory, brightness, penetrates everyone, everything and everywhere.

Standing in the Light we touch this all pervasive presence and recognize our inner glory because of it. Christ’s Light shining in our hearts pouring energy and inspiration into us can be a powerful revealer of truth if we allow it to pierce the dark corners of our lives and transform us anew.

Acknowledging that
  "Heaven’s brightness flows from me to you,
  and on behalf of God, I say that’s right"
(B. Kenneally)
we dare to be that brightness and go on co-creating our world so that all might live in peace and right relationship.

– Sr. Edith Prendergast, RSC
Director, Office of Religious Education

La luz se expande llenando toda la creación de belleza, calor, amor y consuelo. La invitación a “Permanecer en la Luz” nos despierta para que nos dejemos envolver por el increíble resplandor de un Dios cuya gloria y luminosidad penetra en cada uno, en todas las cosas y en todas partes.

Permaneciendo en la Luz, recibimos plenamente esta presencia penetrante y así descubrimos nuestra gloria interior. La Luz de Cristo, que brilla en nuestros corazones derramando en nosotros energía e inspiración, puede ser una fuerza reveladora de la verdad, si permitimos que penetre hasta los oscuros rincones de nuestras vidas y nos transforme en seres nuevos.

Reconociendo que
  “En nombre de Dios, digo que es verdad que el
  resplandor del Cielo brota de mí hacia tí”

(B. Kenneally)
nos atrevemos a ser esa claridad para ir co-creando nuestro mundo en el que todos podamos vivir en paz y en una relación armoniosa.

– Hna. Edith Prendergast, RSC
Directora, Oficina de Educación Religiosa


Step into Freedom
Paso a la Libertad

The theme for Congress 2006, Step Into Freedom, flows from the command of Christ to Lazarus and to us: unbind… unwrap… roll away the stone… come forth to a life that is brand new. The command signals us to pause and remember the words of the poet David Whyte,

"anything or anyone
 that does not
 bring you alive
 is too small for you."

And so we ask, what imprisons, entombs, shuts us down and robs us of spirit?

Not only are the burdens of weakness, the threat of terrorism, daily sources of anxiety and fear but it seems harder each day to protect the unity of our communities from the pressures arising from our personal and social sinfulness.

Jesus is the one who gives life, raises hope and calls us to an appreciation of the vast spaciousness, wide-openness of a God who invites us to leave behind all that enslaves and stand fast by the liberty which Christ has made for us. Faith in Christ as resurrection and life brings fresh stirrings of divine life and ultimately true freedom.

We then are challenged to Step into Freedom, witness to our new life in Christ, and place our lives and ministry at the service of God’s people in the world.

– Sr. Edith Prendergast, RSC
Director, Office of Religious Education


El tema para el Congreso 2006, Paso a la Libertad, emana del mandato de Cristo a Lázaro y a nosotros desátense... libérense, remuevan la piedra...vengan a esta vida que es muy nueva. El mandato nos indica a que hagamos una pausa y que recordemos al poeta David Whyte;

"cualquier cosa
 cualquier persona
 que no te trae vida
 es muy pequeña para ti.

Por esto nos preguntamos ¿qué nos aprisiona, entierra, nos acalla y roba el espíritu?

No son solamente el peso de nuestras debilidades, la amenaza del terrorismo causa de diaria ansiedad y miedo, sino que se hace cada día más difícil proteger la unidad de nuestras comunidades de las presiones provenientes de nuestros propios pecados y los de la sociedad.

Jesús es quien da vida, alienta nuestra esperanza y nos llama a la apertura e inmensidad del Dios que nos invita a dejar atrás todo lo que nos esclaviza y mantenernos firmes por la libertad que Cristo nos ha dado. La fe en Cristo como la resurrección y la vida nos da un fresco despertar a la vida divina y finalmente a la verdadera libertad.

Somos pues, desafiadas, desafiados a dar Paso a la Libertad, testimoniando nuestra nueva vida en Cristo, y ha poner nuestras vidas y ministerios al servicio del pueblo de Dios en el mundo.

– Hna. Edith Prendergast, RSC
Directora, Oficina de Educación Religiosa


2005 logo

Awake to Grace
Despierten a la Gracia

The grace of God has appeared on earth bringing salvation to all (Titus 2:11). All around us, even within reach of our senses, abound stirrings of this all-encompassing presence. Yet, it is easy to miss the prompting, miss the grace hidden in the joys, the hopes, the beauty, as well as in the contradictions, pain and struggle.

Our theme, “Awake to Grace,” shakes us out of our inattentiveness, our complacency. Summoned to wake up, we discover grace in places, situations, where we would not expect it at all: around us, among the littlest, the poorest, in the still small voices, in the loud clamors for change, renewal and transformation – and no less in the deepest core of ourselves where the birth of Christ unceasingly repeats itself.

– Sr. Edith Prendergast, RSC
Director, Office of Religious Education

La gracia de Dios ha venido sobre la tierra trayendo a todos la salvación (Tito 2:11). A nuestro alrededor, al alcance de nuestros sentidos, se encuentra esta presencia. Pero estas señales pueden pasar desapercibidas, desapercibidas a la gracia escondida dentro de las alegrías, las esperanzas, la belleza, u en las contradicciones, el dolor y en las luchas del diario vivir.

Nuestro tema, “Despierten a la Gracia,” nos sacude de nuestras distracciones y complacencias; llamándonos a despertar, a descubrir la gracia en lugares y situaciones inesperables. Encontrándola a nuestro alrededor, dentro de los más pequeños, de los más pobres, en las tiernas voces, en el clamor que pide cambio, renovación y transformación – y aún en lo más profundo de nuestro ser donde el nacimiento de Cristo se repite sin cesar.

– Hna. Edith Prendergast, RSC
Directora, Oficina de Educación Religiosa


Steeped in Mercy, Balm for the World
Inmersos en Misericordia, Bálsamo para el Mundo

2004 Logo" 'Steeped in Mercy, Balm for the World' invites us to 'walk out of ourselves' and plunge into the oceans of God’s mercy. Steeped in this lavish shower of God’s boundless compassion, we blossom anew. Strengthened and refreshed, we dare to let the voices of a world in need echo in our hearts. And in the power of the Spirit, we press forward as messengers of unlimited mercy, healing balm, singers of new life."

– Sr. Edith Prendergast, RSC
Director, Office of Religious Education


Bearer of Hope, Restoring Spirit
Portador de Esperanza, Restaurando el Espíritu

2003 Logo"Living in a time of uncertainty, distrust, darkness, we stand firm, confident of God's brightness in the midst of the pain. Our hope is centered on trust in an all-embracing God dwelling in the darkness as much as in the light. Strengthened by God's constant coming, God's desire to restore and renew, God's assurance that 'all will be well,' we step out to be 'Bearer of Hope, Restoring Spirit.' "

– Sr. Edith Prendergast, RSC
Director, Office of Religious Education


Gift Overflowing, A World Transformed
Don Derramado, Mundo Transformado

2002 Logo"Gift of God overflowing in creation, beckons us to gaze on our world with eyes of love and behold the splendor, the beauty of God. Gift poured out in Christ through the power of the Spirit, refreshes, heals and connects the entire community of life. Led by the Spirit, we walk with great reverence for the Earth and its creatures, we open our hearts to God's transforming presence and give glory to the one whose power working in us restores."

– Sr. Edith Prendergast, RSC
Director, Office of Religious Education


Clothed in Love, Summoned Beyond
Vestidos en Amor, Llamados al más allá

2001 Logo"The theme of the 2001 Religious Education Congress speaks of God's boundless love poured out in Christ through the power of the Spirit and embracing all of life. Graced by the initiating waters of Baptism, we are clothed in love, drawn into relationship and summoned to go forth to draw others into the mystery of Trinitarian love. In gratitude we celebrate God's delight in us and give ourselves to God's desire for us, to live lives of righteousness and praise."

– Sr. Edith Prendergast, RSC
Director, Office of Religious Education


Awaken Hope – Shout Jubilee!
Despierta la Esperanza – Grita Jubileo

2000 Logo"Our theme invites us to journey toward the future with a hope that inspires confidence and an assurance that God is always with us. It is the hope of the Chosen People of Abraham who were blessed abundantly by the promises of God to Isaac. Women such as Sarah and Rebecca kept alive the hope of Israel's salvation, and the psalmists called us to be "stouthearted and put our hope in God." Through the gift of Jesus, God keeps us in the "Hope that does not disappoint" (Rm. 5:5). And we are reminded to "Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation" (1 Thess. 5:8). And so our rich tradition of hope-filled men and women remind us to take courage as we break new ground and open up new paths in the new millennium. It is this hope that beckons us to shout Jubilee as we celebrate Jesus among us and reach out in reconciliation to a world in need of healing"

– Sr. Edith Prendergast, RSC
Director, Office of Religious Education


Lead with Eyes of Wisdom
Dirige con Ojos de Sabiduría

1999 Logo"Congress 1999 promises to be a gift, offering new hope, new wisdom, new enthusiasm for sharing the marvels of our Catholic sacred story and traditions. The theme "Lead with Eyes of Wisdom" beckons us to reaffirm our call to leadership in religious education and related ministries, and like the women and men of our scriptural tradition, we too, are challenged to listen to the wisdom within us and beyond us, and out of this experience go forth with conviction and courage to lead others to embrace the Gospel message. The exciting workshop, community gatherings, liturgical celebration and varied evening events will be sources of new life for all."

– Sr. Edith Prendergast, RSC
Director, Office of Religious Education


Imaging Love: Empowering Lives
Reflejando Amor: Dando Poder

1998 LogoThe theme "Imaging Love: Empowering Lives" invites us to open up our hearts to experience the pouring out of God's outrageous, enduring, persistent, generous love ... a love that affirms, heals, challenges and gives meaning to our lives and to our ministry.

Standing in the presence of this enduring love "we, through the power of the Holy Spirit," are changed into mirror images of God. We become like God in the values that we choose to live by, in our attitude toward others, in our commitment to be at the service of the brother and sister and in our openness to forgive and to reconcile. We indeed put on the mind of Christ and live His vision.

Out of this freeing, life-giving stance, we go forth in ministry to empower others to stand tall, to embrace a Gospel vision of life, to believe in God, to believe in themselves. This belief comes from a conviction that God's love powerful in us transforms, renews and "flows from you to me" as the poet Brendan Kenneally so beautifully writes, "Heaven's brightness flows from you to me and on behalf of God, I say that's right."

– Sr. Edith Prendergast, RSC
Director, Office of Religious Education

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