2014 RECongress Period 8

Religious Education Congress
Sunday, March 16, 2014

1:00 - 2:30 pm



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= Recorded session

8-01  Fiery Women! Stories of Hope       (WORKSHOP CLOSED)

We have a rich inheritance as Catholic women! From mystics to social activists, from victims of injustice to advocates, from women preachers to modern-day evangelists. Women use their voices in sync with their hearts to give hope to the world. How does your spiritual development as a woman enhance your fiery feminine gifts to bring about justice? Explore a woman’s way to God – not a ladder or a straight line, but more of a circle and a spiral leading us to the Center of All. We are pregnant with hope and ready to give birth to a new consciousness.

Sr. Kathleen Bryant, RSC

Sr. Kathleen Bryant, a Religious Sister of Charity, ministers as a retreat facilitator, spiritual director and workshop presenter. The former teacher and missionary now focuses on her interests in spirituality, formation, women’s spiritual development and the abolition of human trafficking. Sr. Bryant has authored numerous articles and books and has presented workshops in Australia, Ireland and Africa as well as throughout the United States.

8-02  “Our Hearts Burn Within Us” – Songs of Scripture to Set Children’s Hearts Afire       (WORKSHOP CLOSED)

Andrew Chinn (bio 3-02)

Not only is music a source of great joy for children and for us all, it is also a great way to learn about our story, our Scripture and our faith. Join Australian Andrew Chinn on a journey through the Bible, from Genesis to the Prophets, from the Psalms and the Gospels to the letters of St. Paul. Come and gather songs and strategies that will bring the Bible to life and set the hearts of your children afire! This session is geared for catechists, teachers and parents ... and the child within us all!

8-03  Journey of the Heart – Turas an Chroi       (WORKSHOP CLOSED)

Music, meditation and sound can take us closer to what language cannot reach. It is a journey into stillness, mystery and our own creativity. This workshop is an invitation to experience the healing power of prayer, music and mediation, calling us into relationship with ourselves, to others and the seasons of our own heart. Celtic spirituality becomes the well source as we explore the healing potential of these disciplines in relation to the depth and beauty of the hearts journey through darkness and light.

Deirdre Ní Chinnéide

Deirdre Ní Chinnéide is as a licensed psychotherapist, spiritual director and workshop facilitator, presenting throughout Ireland, the United States and Europe, including Bosnia and Kosovo. The Aran Islands, off the west coast of Ireland, provides the special setting for her retreat work and inspiration for her CD, “Celtic Passage,” released in 2007 and which won Celtic album of the year. Chinnéide divides her time between the Aran Islands and the mainland, offering retreats, workshops and performances of spiritual music.

8-04  The Raging Flame of Missionary Hope: A Witness of Withness  

The original missionaries of our Church were people who were “with Christ” and “sent out by Christ”; giving witness of their first-hand experience of being with Jesus (with-ness). Fr. Ken Deasy will give witness of Christ’s withness among the persons and ministries of our foreign missionary men, women and families. In bringing the flame of hope to the world – to the slums of Bangkok, Thailand; to the deaf and mute children of Haiti; to the massive outstation missions in the jungles of Kenya; to a desperate people cut off from life resources in South Sudan – do we give witness of God’s withness as we catechize and evangelize here at home?

Fr. Ken Deasy

Fr. Ken Deasy, a native Californian Catholic priest, has worked in community organizing and with imprisoned youth, gangs and children. In his 22 years as a priest, he served for 10 years as Pastor of St. Agatha Parish in Los Angeles. Presently, Fr. Deasy is Coordinator of the Holy Childhood Association, an office of the Vatican’s Office for the Propagation of the Faith. He was a story advisor for the movie “Bruce Almighty” and recently co-hosted, with Rabbi Jerry Cutler, the radio movie-review program, “Review from the Pew.”

8-05  Dealing with the Legacy of Past Conflict  

Fr. Gary Donegan, CP & Brian McKee (bios 5-11)

The north of Ireland has been presented as a model for peacemaking. However, the absence of violence does not mean the presence of peace. More “peace walls” have been built in Belfast since the formal end of “The Troubles,” and conflict still erupts on a regular basis. The experience of conflict inflicts deep hurt and creates a legacy that must be addressed before peace can be countenanced. This workshop explores practical steps toward restoring trust between communities divided by generations of suspicion and hatred. (This workshop builds upon Session 5-09.)

8-06  Is Your Hidden Self Growing Strong? The Path Toward Deeper Wholeness       (WORKSHOP CLOSED)

Sr. Fran Ferder & Fr. John Heagle (bios 2-06)

The Gospel offers us an invitation to live a transformed life – to discover, expand and deepen our “hidden self” (Ephesians 3:17). Essentially, this means to “grow stronger” in all of the places of our lives where we struggle, where we question, where we feel unfinished. This includes those parts of us that are still wounded or not directed toward wholeness. In this session, we will use insights from Scripture and human development to explore the sacred path that leads toward wholeness – and the ultimate, loving leap into self-transcendence and love.

8-07  S.O.A.P.: The Importance of Spirituality in Healing Human Trafficking Survivors       (WORKSHOP CLOSED)

Theresa L. Flores, LSW, MS (bio 1-05)

Learn how we all can be God’s shepherds and search for his missing sheep. There are 1.3 million missing and runaway youth in the United States, and human trafficking is the second leading violent crime in the country. This is the social justice issue of our day. Learn how the SOAP (Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution) Ministry was created by survivor Theresa Flores and how a simple, tiny bar of soap with a phone number is rescuing human trafficking victims all across the country. Also hear her recommendations for incorporating prayer, hope and love in the process and how spirituality plays a key role in the healing of victims.

8-08  Living Water: Lessons from the Woman at the Well     (WORKSHOP CLOSED)

Amy Florian (bio 2-07)

Do you constantly realize how imperfect you are? Do you get tired, depleted and discouraged? You want to push ahead on your faith journey and be better able to minister to others, but how do you get the renewal, sustenance, inspiration and joy required to do that in the midst of a world where there is too little time and too much judgment and criticism? Come for a power-packed session to explore lessons from the Woman at the Well, and then hear the woman’s version of the story as you’ve never heard it before. Come away changed.

8-09  A Glimpse into the Heart of God: Seeing into the Darkness of Suffering and Evil       (WORKSHOP CLOSED)

 Darrell Hall (bio 3-06)

Suffering and evil are spoken of throughout Scriptures. However, Jesus never offered a philosophical or theoretical explanation to any of the suffering he encountered. Instead, he asked us to trust in God. But the issue of suffering and evil still remains. How do we balance God’s goodness and omnipotence with the existence of suffering and evil? Can God create a free world with free creatures with no evil? Is it possible that suffering and evil help to create a morally good world? Perhaps the “why me?” question is the wrong question. If so, what is the right question? The answers are found in examining God’s objectives in Creation and in Jesus’ ministry.

8-10  Breaking of the Bread: How to Prepare a Successful First Communion Retreat for Children       (WORKSHOP CLOSED)

Rhea Hristou (bio 1-10)

Help your children prepare to receive the Body of Christ. This workshop will provide practical ideas that can be used to organize, set up and manage a half-day retreat for your religious education classes as well as Catholic school classes. We will discuss how to make unleavened bread, taking church tours, a skit about the Last Supper, and other practical ideas you can use for this special day.

8-11  Preparing for the New Order of Celebrating Marriage

Fr. Jan Michael Joncas (bio 5-14)

In 1991, the second edition of the Ordo Celebrandi Matrimonium was promulgated, but due to many factors, vernacular translations of this new rite for celebrating marriage have taken many years to appear. Explore the content of the new rites in preparation for their pending official approval for use in English in the dioceses of the United States. Proposed music for these new rites will be part of the workshop.

8-12  What Children Give to Parents       (WORKSHOP CLOSED)

Firstly, children are a realization of the drive of erotic love toward unity. Children manifest that unity and give rise to that unity on a physical, social and emotional level. Secondly, children aid parents in developing a friendship of virtue by eliciting from the parents repeated good actions that which build up the character of husband and wife. Thirdly, children help their parents to get to heaven by facilitating the parents’ obedience to the commandments. How wise of the Second Vatican Council to teach, “Children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute in the highest degree to their parents’ welfare” (Gaudium et Spes, 50).

Dr. Christopher Kaczor

Dr. Christopher Kaczor is Professor of Philosophy at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He previously served as Director of the University Honors Program for The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Dr. Kaczor has written 10 books, and his research on issues of ethics, philosophy and religion has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, the Huffington Post, and the National Review as well as all the major television news networks.

8-13  Pastoral Care of the Sick and Dying

Carey Landry and Carol Kinghorn (bio 5-15)

Chaplains Carey Landry and Carol Jean Kinghorn will share insights on ministering to the sick and dying, based on their 20-plus years of experience in hospital ministry. This workshop will focus on practical aspects of pastoral care ministry to the sick, providing support to those in grief and mourning, music for memorial services, and music of healing that is peaceful and comforting. There will be an emphasis on music that ministers.

8-14  Preaching and Teaching Mary: A Sane Approach to Mariology  

Rev. Richard Leonard, SJ (bio 6-04)

Mary is either given too much attention or none at all. How can we present a contemporary image of Mary that is inclusive, liberating and Catholic? We will explore the development of our teaching about Mary in film, music and story that is good news for women and men.

8-15  “Wake Me Up When It Matters”: The Real Matters of Faith and How You Can Effectively Call Young People to Passionate Discipleship      (WORKSHOP CLOSED)

Roy Petitfils, MS, LPC (bio 4-22)

Have you ever had a class, group or young person you secretly dreaded to work with or teach? Do you ever feel like you’re wasting your time because you’re not getting through to them? What if you could actually look forward to working with the “toughest,” most apathetic youth? In this dynamic and humorous workshop, you’ll discover the real reasons young people hit the snooze button in Church, recognize different levels of human resistance, and acquire a new set of tools you can begin using immediately to effectively reach youth and even enjoy working with hard-to-reach youth.

8-16  Let’s Sing Our Faith at Weddings, Funerals and Quinceañeras

In this workshop, we will focus on the songs that are used to accompany the celebration of sacraments and of the various rites that assist us in helping the community to express their faith during these important moments in life. We will review the documents tied to these ritual celebrations and will introduce songs to add to your community’s repertoire.

Pedro Rubalcava

Pedro Rubalcava is a well-known liturgical composer, musician and conference speaker. He currently serves as Director of Hispanic Ministries at OCP in Portland, Ore. He has been a pastoral associate and director of liturgy at various parishes in the San Diego Diocese, where he also served as associate director of the Office for Youth and Young Adult Ministry. Rubalcava is a frequent presenter at liturgy and other ministry conferences on the national, diocesan and parish levels.

Estela Garcia-Lopez

Stella Garcia-Lopez is a pastoral musician, composer and event presenter. She has worked in various bilingual parishes in Southern California as a music director, choir director, cantor and chorister. Currently, she is working as a bilingual music development specialist at Oregon Catholic Press. She lives in Portland, Ore., with her husband and frequent collaborator, Rodolfo “Rudy” Lopez, and serves as cantor at Ascension Church.

8-17  I Can’t Tell ’em That! Use of Direct Instruction in Religious Education       (WORKSHOP CLOSED)

Richard M. Rymarz (bio 2-19)

Several recent studies have pointed out that, in a number of situations, direct instruction has a place in contemporary pedagogy. Many of these insights dovetail with established theoretical approaches such as utilizing psychologist Lev Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development. This workshop will explore some of the principles behind how direct instruction can be used effectively in the religious education classroom – these include reducing cognitive load, signposting and scaffolding of learning.

8-18  Theology of the Body and Chastity Education       (WORKSHOP CLOSED)

Sr. Kieran Sawyer, SSND (bio 5-22)

Over his long papacy, Pope John Paul II gave the Church a vast theological system intended to guide our understanding of sexual love. This system has come to be called the “theology of the body.” In 2008 the U.S. bishops issued the document “Catechetical Formation in Chaste Living,” which tells us how to apply Pope John Paul’s teachings to the chastity education of our children. In this workshop, Sr. Kieran Sawyer will show how to apply the core teachings of these important documents in the parish or school curriculum. She will also show how a comprehensive chastity education program provides a necessary context for teaching the mandatory safe environment sessions.

8-19  In the Real World, Reach Your Teens the Moment They Walk in the Door!  

The world of ministry can be challenging and a blessing. No matter where you are at or where your young people are from, you are dealing with slices of real life. Jesus knew this and did all he could to connect with the everyday issues of the people he met. Jesus got real! How can you do this as well? It may be easier than you think, and your young people will help you. You will leave this workshop with practical and powerful tips to implement in your ministry right away. Arrive ready to enjoy.

Anna Scally

Anna Scally, President of Cornerstone Media, has received the National Youth Ministry Performer, Artist and Author of the Year Award from the National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry. She is a columnist for Cornerstone Media’s Top Music Countdown online resource and host of their audio show, “Burning Issues,” which deals with relevant youth topics. Scally has made over 2,300 public presentations at youth rallies, training events, retreats and adult education days as well as major conferences for religious educators in North America.

8-20  Raising the Roof: Making Room for all God’s Children      (WORKSHOP CLOSED)

Christine & Michael Way Skinner (bios 2-21)

In Mark’s Gospel, we are told of the story of how a group of people opened up the roof of the house where Jesus was teaching to gain access for their friend who was paralyzed. This session will focus on the vision to which we are called – toward full inclusion of all of God’s people no matter what their level of cognitive, social or physical ability. It will include practical strategies for how to do this in parish ministry, liturgy, catechetical programs and sacramental preparation.

8-21  Jesus the Prophet? Insights from Reading Jesus with the Old Testament Prophets       (WORKSHOP CLOSED)

Prof. Daniel Smith-Christopher (bio 1-19)

The Christian tradition has tended, in both Catholic and Protestant traditions, to place a great deal of emphasis on the identity of Jesus. But what if we also want to talk about the teachings of Jesus, and even the human example of Jesus, especially in relation to the Hebrew tradition? We will see in this session that reading Jesus in relation to the Old Testament prophets raises some fascinating, and quite challenging, insights into the Gospels and their portrait of Jesus as not only Redeemer and Lord, but also among the most radical prophets! What would it mean to modern Christian faith to take Jesus seriously as Prophet?

8-22  At the Heart of Adult Faith Formation: Discipleship and Hospitality  

Julianne Stanz (bio 5-23)

St. Patrick has been often called the “model of discipleship,” while St. Brigid has been called the “model of hospitality.” Discipleship and hospitality lie at the heart of the New Evangelization, and Julianne Stanz will share insights from the lives of these spiritual giants that has tremendous value for our respective ministries. In the words of Pope Francis, “With your daily service, you are the hands of God who satisfies the hunger of every living thing.” Particularly suited for those working in adult faith formation, this session will explore practical ways to form intentional disciples at the parish level so that we can satisfy the hunger of those whom we serve through the lens of hospitality and discipleship.

8-23  For Your Eyes Only: The Top Secrets to Successful Event Planning       (WORKSHOP CLOSED)

Michael Theisen (bio 6-20)

Have you been given the responsibility of organizing a large event be it a retreat, a mission trip, concert or regional or diocesan event? Do you often contemplate a job as a travel agent given all of the trips you’ve organized? Most of us in ministry have some large event we become responsible for planning and most of us have learned the hard way about the difficulties in navigating the logistical mine fields we encounter during the planning process. Come and learn, laugh and share your own wisdom as together we reveal the secrets to successful event planning that will help transform an “Events ‘R’ Us” mindset into moments for evangelization and discipleship!

8-24  Learn How to Use the RCIA to Train for Christian Life       (WORKSHOP CLOSED)

The General Directory for Catechesis says the baptismal catechumenate is the model for all catechesis. How do we make that happen? The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) compels us to shift our understanding of catechesis out of education and into training for Christian living. In this information-packed workshop, we will discuss why it is important to understand the deep structure of the RCIA as a model for all catechesis, what we mean by “training” vs. “education,” how we adapt the RCIA for more effective catechesis in all of Christian life, and what would happen if we really shifted to a “catechumenate model” for all of Christian formation.

Nick Wagner

Nick Wagner is co-founder and Director of TeamRCIA.com, a free online resource for Catholic parishes. He has more than 25 years’ experience as a leader and trainer in liturgical and catechetical ministries, serving as a diocesan director of worship and a parish liturgist. For 20 years Wagner was an active team member with the North American Forum on the Catechumenate and speaks at national, diocesan and parish training events. He is author of many publications, including “The Heart of Faith.”

8-25  “Go, and Announce the Gospel of the Lord”: Set the World Afire!  

David Wells (bio 6-25)

At the end of Mass, we are commissioned to “go, announce the Gospel of the Lord.” According to the teaching of the Church, we gather together with that as our purpose. Our Church exists to evangelize. Following the Synod of 2012, the Church is in preparation for a New Evangelization. Based upon the documents of that synod and recent homilies from Pope Francis, we will explore what is new about a “New” Evangelization, and consider together what it might mean for us, our families and for our ministry. With a focus upon the challenging and untidy circumstances of our daily life, let us be renewed in our energy and conviction for the task of evangelization and so together, hope for a world afire.


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