February 18, 1997




Los Angeles Congress

Subject: Los Angeles Congress
Date: 2/18/1997

I (and thousands of other Catholics) went to Anaheim this weekend for the Los Angeles Congress, the largest religious education conference in the world.  It was the best thing I've been to in a *long* time. 

There were  a few conservatives there protesting the discussions on the Common Ground Initiative (Fr. Richard Fragomeni talked about it).  (Their flyer only singled out two people, one being Diana Hayes.)  I was told there are usually liberal pickets as well but they didn't show up this

Some of my personal highlights:

*Celtic Liturgy- Gospel was given in Irish, Celtic sounding music,
dancers.  (I don't usually care for the dancing, but I must say it was
done very well at all liturgies.)

*African-American Liturgy-drums, great music, dancers, good homily (and very traditional).  The Cardinal showed up to this one as did everyone else; the arena was jammed.

*Dr. Greer Gordon (faculty at Regis College, MA)  It is always a joy to
listen to Dr. Gordon. Topics:  Hope and Preserving the Servent.

*Carole Eipers (Archdiocese of Chicago) Topic:  Adult Spirituality.

*Fr. Robert Hater (Prof. of Religious Studies at U. of Dayton, OH)  Topic:  Witnessing to Jesus in a Rapidly Changing Society.

*Ronald Krietemeyer.  Topic:  Hearing the Cries of the Poor.

Those were the better workshops I went to.  It was difficult to chose as
there were over 20 workshops per period (9 periods from Fri-Sat).  There were concerts and I got to see Fr. Liam Lawton (an Irishman) perform as well as a homegrown Celtic group;  Sue Ann Pinner whom I didn't care for; I missed Marty Haugen's "Song of Mark" and the showing of the Dorothy Day movie.

Did anyone else around here make it?  Has anyone heard anything about it (did Mother Angelica say anything?).  I know the conservatives will bash it but I'd like to know what is being said.


p/s  I got to go to the Museum of Tolerance for the first time.  The
interactive museum at the Simon Weisenthal Center is dedicated to
remembering the Holocaust and other atrocities we commit against each other.  Their current special exhibit was on the LA riots following the Rodney King verdict (and one on Rwanda).  Very moving and worthwhile.

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