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LOS ANGELES -- The 37th annual Los Angeles Religious Education Congress and Youth Day will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center from February 17-20, 2005. This four day Congress, for youth and adults, is the largest annually held catechetical event in the world, according to Congress Coordinator Vikki Shepp, who anticipates over 35,000 delegates will attend.

The event begins on Thursday, February 17th with Youth Day, with over 14,000 students and their chaperones from Los Angeles and the surrounding area. It is a day full of energy, music, speakers and much more. The theme for Youth Day, “Ask – Seek – Knock” is based on the Scripture of the day.

“Awake to Grace,” says Sr. Edith Prendergast, Director of the Office of Religious Education, “summons us to wake up and discover grace in places and situations where we would not expect it at all.

Cardinal Roger M. Mahony along with priests and bishops will welcome the 23,000 delegates from the United States, Canada, Poland, Australia, England, Mexico, Central America and Ireland. Approximately 185 distinguished speakers and Catholic theologians will give presentations in the 270 workshops covering all areas of religious education and catechetical leadership.

A good portion of the Congress addresses Catholic issues such as biblical spirituality, adult catechesis, social justice, sacraments and liturgy. Many of the 270workshops will also speak to contemporary issues such as spirituality in a pluralistic culture, national, ethnic and religious hostilities, health and wellness, specialized ministry to youth and young adults, family relationships and parenting.

This year’s speakers come from local, national and international areas and have lectured throughout the United States, Canada, Ireland, Latin America and Europe. Bishop Donald Trautman will be this year’s keynote speaker on Saturday, February 19 and Donna Markham, O.P., Ph.D and José Marins will give Keynote Addresses on Sunday morning, February 20.

Some other noted speakers presenting workshops are John Allen Jr., Scott Appleby, Mark Francis, Paula D’Arcy, Timothy Matovina, José-Ramón Flecha, John O’Donohue, Luis A. Tagle, Tom Beadoin and Aurelie Hagstrom.

Special emphasis will be given to the Spanish-speaking communities with over 50 workshops, designed specifically with the Hispanic community’s needs in mind.

Thought provoking performances by acclaimed artists including the well known talented Marty Haugen, David Haas, ValLimar Jansen, Jesse Manibusan, Matt Maher, Theresa Donohoo, Danielle Rose, Susan J. Paul and many others.

“Awake to Grace” will conclude with Cardinal Roger Mahony celebrating the Eucharist Liturgy at 3:30 pm on Sunday, February 20.

For registration information, please contact Vikki Shepp at (213) 637-7346 or visit www.
Handicap facilities are available.


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