2017 RECongress Period 3
Religious Education Congress
Friday, February 24, 2017
3:00 - 4:30 pm
CONGRESS 2017 WORKSHOPS & LINKS
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= Recorded session
3-01 Catechists, Apologists, Evangelists … WAKE UP! Arena
The rise of the “nones” – those who do not claim any religion – and attrition rates from the Church are a wake-up call. A recent study by the Pew Research Center indicates that the reasons cited by young people for leaving the Church are not simply existential or ideological, but intellectual, and based on the perception that faith and reason, religion and science, the Church and culture aren’t necessarily at odds. It is our privilege as catechists, apologists, evangelists, teachers and theologians to engage this crisis with confidence and intelligence.
Most Rev. Robert Barron
Bishop Robert Barron, media evangelist and international speaker, was appointed in 2015 as Auxiliary Bishop of the Los Angeles Archdiocese. He is founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries and host of “Catholicism,” the award-winning documentary aired on PBS. Bishop Barron is a best-selling author who has published numerous books, essays and articles. He is also a religion correspondent for NBC and has appeared on FOX News and EWTN.
PARISH LEADERSHIP TRACK
We invite your parish team to join us on Friday, February 24 for a full day of workshops, discussions, networking and prayer in this Parish Leadership Track. Note: You must register for all three sessions. (Please make sure to also select Sessions 1-02 and 2-02.)
3-02 Divine Renovation: Developing Parish Leadership for the Sake of Mission
Fr. James Mallon (bio 1-02)
“Divine Renovation” is for pastors and parish leaders who want to renew and revitalize their parish for mission and evangelization. Participants will be led through a series of interactive reflections and exercises to help them establish a functioning leadership team that will assist the pastor in leading the parish in a new direction. Each team (the pastor or parish administrator along with four to eight team members) will be led through a process to examine the essentials of common vision, team balance, healthy conflict, trust and vulnerability. Pastors and team members will receive tools and insights to form or become a healthier and more effective leadership team.
3-03 I’m Not a Liturgist! How Do I Prepare a Liturgy?
How often, as a catechist or teacher, have you been asked to assist with the preparation of a liturgy? This can be a daunting task, especially if you haven’t had any experience or formation in how to do it. In this session, we will go through some helpful exercises that will show you that preparing a liturgy can be an engaging and formative experience for both you and your students. Music, environment, hospitality and more – we will cover it all!
Joe Bazyouros worked as pianist, cantor and choir director before his positions at St. Frances of Rome in Azusa, Calif., and St. Martin de Porres in Yorba Linda. He served on the Music Advisory Board of the Office for Worship in the Diocese of Orange, Calif., in addition to the Diocesan Liturgical Commission. Bazyouros is currently on the campus ministry team at the USC Caruso Catholic Center, serving as their Director of Music. He is a member of the Liturgical Commission for the Los Angeles Archdiocese, serving as Vice/Acting Chair of the Music Subcommittee.
3-04 Breaking Through the Wall
Am I my own worst enemy? Our negative “self-talk” can often keep us from embracing an intimate, trusting relationship with Jesus. Through Scripture, song and reflection, Renée Bondi will help you break through the debilitating barrier of shame and unworthiness into the joy of God’s grace and unconditional love.
Renée Bondi is a popular Catholic recording artist, speaker and author who founded Bondi Ministries. She travels throughout the United States singing and speaking her profound story that includes paralysis and a life confined to a wheelchair, for conferences, churches, retreats, youth rallies and corporate events. Bondi has been featured on several Catholic radio and TV programs as well as “Focus on the Family” and “Life Today.”
3-05 Embracing Trust with a Woman’s Heart
So many things are coming at us and so much is expected of us, where is God’s invitation in all of this frenzy? God invites us to embrace trust, not just to make an act of trust. As women, God invites us to trust in the deepest reality, that we are loved beyond imagination and to trust God at work in our spiritual hungers and longings. This workshop offers a look at the specific ways we women are called to trust in our lives and to be faithful to a spirituality that is truly life giving.
Sr. Kathleen Bryant, RSC
Sr. Kathy Bryant, a Religious Sister of Charity, is a former teacher and missionary who now ministers as a retreat facilitator, spiritual director and workshop presenter. She has authored numerous articles and books and presented workshops in Australia, Ireland and Africa as well as throughout the United States. Sr. Bryant’s special interests are in spirituality, formation, women’s spiritual development and the abolition of human trafficking.
3-06 Where in the World? Biblical Geography and its Significance for Bible Study
The first and most basic context for Scripture is its geographical context. The major historical events behind biblical history are driven primarily by Israel’s geography and the geography of her ancient neighbors. And yet this fundamental aspect of Scripture study is all but completely overlooked by teachers of Scripture. We will look at biblical geography and suddenly begin to understand geographical reasons for the great historical movements reflected in the Torah and the prophetic books of the Old Testament.
Fr. William L. Burton, OFM
Fr. Bill Burton, a Franciscan friar of the Sacred Heart Province, began his 20-year teaching career at Quincy University and then DePaul University in Illinois. He is currently Professor of Scripture and a spiritual director at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Fla. Fr. Burton has several published articles in The Bible Today and a DVD series. Outside the classroom, he has guided hundreds of pilgrims and students on study tours and pilgrimage travels throughout the Holy Land, Greece and Turkey.
3-07 “Into Your Hands I Commit My Spirit” – the Dignity of Physical Death
We are called to not only live according to God’s will, but also to die according to it. In a culture that emphasizes the “power” of individual choices and a blind rejection of any kind of sacrifice, planning for one’s physical death has become a major moral issue. This workshop seeks to study this issue by exploring: 1) the meaning of human life; 2) the meaning of suffering and sacrifice; 3) the meaning and dignity of death; 4) the remote preparation for the end of physical life; and 5) the immediate preparation for the end of physical life.
Very Rev. Javier Ignacio Bustos Lopez, STD
Originally from Venezuela, Fr. Javier Bustos was ordained a priest for the Milwaukee Archdiocese, where he continues to serve in parish and academic settings. He is presently Pastor of St. Joseph Church, Vicar for Hispanic Ministry, and Delegate for Healthcare. Fr. Bustos is also Professor of Moral Theology in the Diaconate Formation Program for the archdiocese and at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. He is a national presenter and an author whose work has appeared in several publications.
3-08 Empowering Parents as Disciples and Teachers
What if we looked at parents as the primary beneficiaries of our religious education programs instead of just the kids? How would that transform our catechetical ministries? In this session, Jared Dees will offer a new vision for religious education that catechizes the kids and evangelizes the parents. Only after the parents have encountered Christ through the evangelizing efforts of the parish, can they truly embrace their calling as primary educators of the faith. With the practical tools and inspiring case studies offered in this session, participants will be able to go back to their parishes to tear down the barriers between the parents and their catechetical programs.
Jared Dees is creator of The Religion Teacher website, which provides resources to religious educators. He is author of “Praying the Angelus,” “To Heal, Proclaim, and Teach” and “31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator.” Dees, a Catholic school teacher and catechist for the last eight years, offers workshops and keynote addresses at dozens of parishes and diocese across the country.
3-09 Ministry with Gen Z – There’s an App for That!
Here comes Generation Z, which includes youth born in the mid- to late-1990s, mostly to Gen X parents. These young people are tech savvy, social innovators and anxious to create a customized way to belong and contribute. How can we create pathways and on-ramps for Gen Z youth so that we can share the Good News and include their many gifts and their seemingly boundless energy? How can we make a faith connection with Gen X parents? This workshop will share the research about Gen Z youth and their families along with starting points for making the connection.
Based in Washington state, Tom East is Director of the Center for Ministry Development. He previously served as Director of Youth Ministry and Associate Director of Religious Education for the Los Angeles Archdiocese. East is a popular speaker at major youth ministry, religious education and catechetical conferences across the country, as well as those sponsored by the Center for Ministry Development. He is editor and author of numerous books, including “Leadership for Catholic Youth Ministry.”
3-10 Bringing the Bible to Life for Children!
Are you in need of some new ideas when approaching Scripture with children? If so, then come to this workshop! We will explore how bringing Scripture to life for children not only can but should be filled with joy and enthusiasm. Focus will be on creative ideas, activities and techniques that can be immediately used in the learning setting with elementary-aged children.
Steven Ellair is Managing Editor, Curricula and Content Engagement Specialist and a national speaker with Saint Mary’s Press. He has been involved in catechetical ministry for 24 years and has served as a parish catechist, youth minister, Catholic school teacher and archdiocesan educational consultant. Ellair has been involved in Catholic publishing for over 12 years and continues to write and speak nationally on issues related to catechesis. He has presented at national religious education events for nearly 20 years.
3-11 Fulfilling Our Christian Responsibility: Serving Those in Need
The goal of this workshop is to create an awareness about poverty and to move people to action, inviting them to get involved at their parish level in works of charity – through the Society of St. Vincent de Paul or other works available in their local communities. One of the primary objectives is to instill in every person a sense of responsibility and empowerment of the tools and resources available to overcome or survive financial and related difficulties. Anyone can suffer difficulties of this nature, but everyone is able to provide assistance and in a Christian manner, offering support to our brothers and sisters in need.
David R. Fields
For more than 20 years, David Fields has been a dedicated Vincentian with the Los Angeles Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and currently serves as Executive Director. He has made numerous presentations for St. Vincent de Paul as well as Rotary and other organizations. Fields served as Chair of the L.A. Council’s Vincentian Services Committee and as a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee. He has also served as President of the Black Catholic Association of Altadena and Pasadena.
3-12 Dementia: What You Need to Know
Currently 1 in 9 people over the age of 65 has dementia, and the number rises to almost half by age 85. Before it affects you, a family member or a colleague at the parish, you need to be educated. Learn about the various types of dementia, including the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Understand the warning signs and how far ahead of time they appear. Get a plan in place to protect yourself, your loved ones and your parish staff when dementia inevitably occurs. Become a trust-worthy resource and a bearer of hope.
Amy Florian is a liturgy and bereavement consultant, on the Adjunct Faculty at Loyola University Chicago, and CEO of Corgenius, a company that teaches professionals how to support clients in transition and loss. She has 30 years of parish and conference experience, and she authored over 100 articles and three books. Her workshops, training sessions and retreats span the country, presenting at over 20 diocesan conferences as well as national conferences, including the L.A. Congress, the East Coast Conference and the Hofinger Gulf Coast Faith Formation Conference.
3-13 Hungers of the Heart: A “Catholic” Response
Many of our Millennials and “nones” – those who say they do not belong to any religion – still claim that they are “spiritual but not religious.” How might we engage the deep hungers of their hearts with the rich spiritual food of Catholic Christian faith; there is nothing more “satisfying.”
Dr. Thomas Groome
Dr. Tom Groome is Professor of Theology and Religious Education at Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry, and also Director of their Church in the 21st Century Center. The award-winning author has written or edited 10 books and numerous articles and essays. Dr. Groome has made over 800 public presentations throughout the last 40 years, including all the major North American conferences of religious educators, Catholic educators and pastoral ministers. A favorite speaker at the Religious Education Congress, 2017 will mark his 36th year of giving presentations.
3-14 Stop Reading and Start Proclaiming! Bringing Scripture to Life
Those who think Scripture is “boring” have likely never heard it really proclaimed. Whether in liturgy, a prayer service or a formation session, Scripture read aloud should be engaging and life giving. If we want to trust God’s Good News, someone must proclaim it to us well! This workshop will introduce practical techniques, borrowed from the time-tested work of professional actors, to turn any reader into a vibrant proclaimer (but not a performer). Anyone who proclaims Scripture to others – catechists, lectors, presiders, deacons, ministry leaders, cantors – will benefit from learning how to make Scripture really soar!
Douglas Leal is Vice President of Mission Integration with St. Joseph Health in Irvine, Calif., and previously led the Division of Adult Faith Formation for the Los Angeles Archdiocese. He has also worked as a management consultant and a professional actor and director. Leal is author of the skill-building book for lectors, “Stop Reading and Start Proclaiming!” and co-author of the 2017 and 2019 editions of LTP’s “Workbook for Lectors” and “Gospel Proclaimers.”
3-15 God at the Movies
From “Hail, Caesar!” to “Brooklyn,” from “Risen” to “Miracles from Heaven” and “Ben-Hur,” contemporary cinema is once again looking at religious themes and ideas. How can we navigate the media world within which we want to find God and use it for the proclamation of the Gospel?
Rev. Richard Leonard, SJ
Jesuit priest Fr. Richard Leonard is Director of the Australian Catholic Office for Film and Broadcasting, based in Sydney, Australia. He has been a Visiting Professor at the Gregorian University in Rome and a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles. A popular speaker at the Religious Education Congress, Fr. Leonard is author of nine books, including “The Mystical Gaze of the Cinema,” “Movies That Matter” and his latest title, “What Does it All Mean? A Guide to Being More Faithful, Hopeful and Loving.”
3-16 Let the Children Come: Preparing and Celebrating Family-friendly Liturgies
Michael Mangan and Anne Frawley-Mangan will unpack their “Family Mass Toolbox” as they share their experience and expertise in engaging the hearts, heads and hands of children and their families in parish and school celebrations. Discover how music, drama, movement and storytelling can combine to promote vibrant, meaningful and inclusive liturgy and enhance fully conscious and active participation by children and adults alike. Come along ready to sing, move and play!
Michael Mangan is a composer, educator and music liturgist from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The former elementary school specialist music teacher has over 250 compositions that are used in parishes and schools throughout Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. Mangan is President of the Australian Pastoral Musicians Network, a member of the Australian Academy of Liturgy, and is Music Director at All Saints Catholic Parish in Brisbane. His latest music collection is entitled “Let the Children Come.”
Based in Brisbane, Australia, Anne Frawley-Mangan is an experienced educator, presenter, writer and artist, who specializes in using the Arts (particularly drama) to enhance religious education and liturgy. She presents workshops and keynotes nationally and internationally as well as World Youth Days in the diocese. Frawley-Mangan currently is Creative Director of Litmus Productions and teaches at Holy Spirit Seminary in Queensland and Australian Catholic University in Sydney.
3-17 Making Time for the Sacred
It’s less about “making time for the sacred” and more like ways to discover the “sacred already in our midst”! How do we discover, recognize, enter in and embrace the transforming grace and healing that empowers the people of God to walk and live in faith rather than fear. This will be a multimedia experience that will include sung and instrumental music as well as spoken word, reflection, prayer and celebration. The session will include some practical tips to cultivate practice and skill amid blessings and burdens.
Jesse Manibusan has over 30 years in ministry as a liturgical minister, youth worker, parish associate, catechist and director of parish missions and retreats. Founder of Over the Fence ministries, Manibusan has presented at conferences worldwide, including national youth and pastoral musician conferences and international World Youth Days in Denver, Toronto, Rome, Cologne, Sydney, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro. He has several CDs published with Oregon Catholic Press.
3-18 Shifting Parents from the Parking Lot to Participation
Why do some parents rely on religious education programs to be the primary providers of faith formation for their children? How can catechists move parents from the parking lot to fuller participation? This presentation will provide practical, applicable, inspirational and compassionate insights for “backdoor” evangelizing.
Patricia M. McCormack, IHM, EdD
Dr. Patricia McCormack, a Sister Servant of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, is an international formation-education consultant and presently Program Director at the IHM Office of Formative Support for Parents and Teachers in Philadelphia. Her 30 years in education includes both classroom and administration experience. In addition to her publications, Sr. McCormack’s full-time ministry includes presentations to a variety of audiences, from diocesan-wide conferences to national religious education gatherings as well as retreats and days of in-service to the educational community.
3-19 A New Solidarity: A Spirituality for Caring for Our Common Home
Pope Francis makes an appeal early on in his encyclical, Laudato Sí: “We require a new and universal solidarity” (no. 14). Let us join together through prayer, music, visual arts, storytelling and dialogue as we explore a solidarity with all God’s creation. Discover how God is always inviting us to a deeper encounter of the sacredness all around us. Listen to how God might be calling you to a care for each other and our common home that truly shouts, “Laudato Sí, mi’ Signore” (“Praise be to you, my Lord.”)
Baltimore native Ted Miles first worked in Belize and Guatemala in a two-year position with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. For nearly 30 years since, he has served in parish ministry, Catholic high school education and archdiocesan leadership development. For the past 10 years, Miles has worked for Catholic Relief Services as Relationship Manager for Youth and Religious Education and Coordinator of Outreach for the United States. He now speaks nationally and internationally on behalf of CRS.
Traveling to over 80 events annually, ValLimar Jansen serves the Church as a composer, singer, storyteller, speaker and evangelizer. She received critical acclaim for her solo albums, “You Gotta Move” and “Anointing,” winning UNITY Awards recognition in 2008 and 2010. She was the MC for the National Catholic Youth Conference in 2011 held in Indianapolis. ValLimar and her husband, Frank, performed for over 300,000 people at the Loreto/Angora international papal event in Italy, broadcast on EWTN and across the world.
3-20 Using SmartPhone Technology to REACH All of Your Parishioners
In this presentation, you will be introduced to helpful ways to use mobile technology, social media and crowdfunding most effectively. Come and learn how to tell your parish’s unique story to grow engagement, drive up participation at events, increase involvement in ministries, increase stewardship and donations, and be an agent for evangelization.
With 30 years’ experience in business development, project management and faith formation, Peggy O’Flaherty is founder and President of Creating Space and a parish evangelization and strategic development expert. A certified spiritual director from The Christos Center in Minnesota, O’Flaherty writes and blogs on matters of faith and offers small group facilitation and parish discernment. She currently serves as a technology and evangelization consultant for the OneParish app, an offering of J.S. Paluch Company.
3-21 Healing Dialogue with Teens Who Don’t Believe in God
‘‘I’m atheist,” “I’m agnostic” or “I just don’t care” seem to be the battle cry of many teens and young adults. You’ve tried “talking” to them and getting others to “talk” to them, but to no avail. In this workshop, you’ll learn why “talking” doesn’t work. You’ll learn the deeper emotional and identity issues that shape their belief systems and a way to dialogue that heals hurts, honors their experience and fosters mutual understanding.
Roy Petitfils, MS, LPC
For 20 years, Roy Petitfils has ministered to youth and young adults in parish, school and diocesan settings. Today, he is a counselor in private practice and a speaker. Petitfils has presented at numerous national and regional conferences, workshops and parish missions throughout North America. He writes a syndicated monthly column, “Our Young Church,” and has written many articles and has published several books; his most recent is “What Teens Want You to Know (But Won’t Tell You).”
3-22 “Still We Rise”: Living and Leading with Trust in Seasons of Dark and Light
In a world of uncertainty, we are called more than ever to trust in the outrageous and steadfast Love of God, who accompanies us on the way. Drawing wisdom from Scripture, poetry and stories of courage, we are strengthened to trace fresh paths toward personal and communal transformation. This means building trusting relationships in our communities of faith and digging deeply into the fountain of life. Likewise, it means walking in the footprints of Jesus who awakened his followers to a new vision, who endured struggle and yet in the process shone light in the darkness. This session will explore both the challenges and hopes of awakening hearts to the gift of the transforming power of God’s presence in our lives, in our ministry and in the world.
Sr. Edith Prendergast, RSC
Sr. Edith Prendergast, a Religious Sister of Charity, is former Director for the Office of Religious Education in the Los Angeles Archdiocese. She is a frequent speaker both locally and nationally and has written and contributed to several articles. Sr. Prendergast is author of the book “Grace Abounds.” In 2015, she received the “Evangelii Gaudium – Joy of the Gospel” Award from St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, Calif., and in 2017, she was awarded the “Religious Service Angel Award” from the Catholic Association of Latino Leaders.
3-23 The Redemptive Power of Suffering
Suffering seems to set up obstacles to faith, yet it can be one of the most creative, constructive and redemptive powers in our lives. Fr. Robert Spitzer will address four topics that can transform suffering into a creative redemptive power: Why would an all-loving God allow suffering caused by others and nature? What can we do when suffering strikes to mitigate fear and anxiety? How can we best use faith and prayer to make suffering into a vehicle for self-transformation, an impetus for compassion and a path to salvation? What are the opportunities in suffering – and how does the Holy Spirit lead us to them?
Robert J. Spitzer, SJ, PhD
Jesuit priest Fr. Robert Spitzer is currently President of the Magis Center at Christ Cathedral in Orange County, Calif., and President of the Spitzer Center for Ethical Leadership, based in Michigan. He served as President of Gonzaga University from 1998 to 2009, and has published eight books and many scholarly articles for which he has won awards. Fr. Spitzer gives over 90 public presentations per year and appears on radio and television, including “Larry King Live” (debating Stephen Hawking), the “Today” show, the History Channel and PBS, among others.
3-24 The Rosary in Scripture: Biblical Reflections on the 20 Mysteries
The rosary is a powerful prayer, but it is also challenging for many of us to pray. We get distracted, we say we don’t have time and every decade feels like 10 years. Learn practical tips on how to encounter Jesus and Mary more profoundly in this devotion. This session will address common questions, such as “Why all the repetition?” and “Why is so much attention given to Mary and not to Christ?” and will help everyone – beginners and avid devotees – experience more deeply the great spiritual treasures found in the rosary and Scripture.
Dr. Edward Sri
Theologian, author and internationally known Catholic speaker, Dr. Edward Sri is host of the video series, “Symbolon,” which is used in over 5,000 parishes. He serves as Professor of Scripture and Theology at the Augustine Institute in Colorado, where he is also Vice President of Mission. Dr. Sri is one of the founding leaders of FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) and has spoken to numerous audiences of laity, catechists, clergy and religious. His latest book is “Love Unveiled: The Catholic Faith Explained.”
3-25 How to Embrace the Use of Children’s Books for Catechesis
A well-crafted story inspires belief, solidifies knowledge and renews hope. Jesus knew this too – that stories are an effective way to awaken faith and a desire to pursue the truth. With Jesus as our model, we can make appropriate use of children’s books when we gather for religious education or spiritual formation. In this engaging workshop, presenters will share how the storytelling process is intrinsic to growing in faith, demonstrate how children’s books can inspire faith at home, school or the parish setting, offer practical ways to employ story effectively in faith formation programs and provide inspirational ideas and handouts.
Julianne Stanz is Director of New Evangelization for the Diocese of Green Bay, Wis., and is a consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Catechesis and Evangelization. The nationally known speaker, retreat leader and storyteller is co-author with Joe Paprocki of “The Catechist’s Backpack: Spiritual Essentials for the Journey.” Stanz presents workshops and retreats in addition to numerous diocesan and national gatherings, including several of the major catechetical and youth conferences.
Joellyn Cicciarelli is Vice President of Product Development at Loyola Press. With over 20 years of experience, she has developed award-winning literacy and faith formation curriculum for early childhood through high school, including a preschool curriculum titled “The InvestiGator Club Pre-k Learning System.” Most recently, she was the architect of Loyola Press’ “Adaptive Finding God.” Cicciarelli also served as editor for the TV series “Mister Roger’s Neighborhood” and “Jay Jay the Jet Plane.”
3-26 Unconditionally: Finding Jesus in the Eucharist
Greg Wasinski (bio 1-25)
This session will illustrate how we are accepted, connected, forgiven, led, loved and redeemed through receiving the Eucharist. Participants will have a better understanding of what it means to “become the church” – because of our transformation through receiving Jesus Christ in Holy Communion – and will gain a better understanding of the foundation of our Catholic faith. A combination of saint quotes, scriptural encounters and Catechism references will educate attendees, while presenter Greg Wasinski infuses practical language and personal reflections to inspire Catholics of all ages to see beyond the host and once again find Jesus in the Eucharist.
3-70 Vietnamese Workshop: A New Revolution in our Catechetical Class
In this session, we will contemplate a few icons of the Merciful Jesus, in order to find concrete ways to respond to Pope Francis’ call to start a new revolution in our catechetical sessions: the revolution of tenderness – to be more tolerant, more patient, more tender, so our students might feel more comfortable and enthusiast studying the Catechism with us, the facilitators and not arbiters of grace (Evangelii Gaudium, 47).
Bro. Fortunat Phong, FSC
Brother Fortunat Phong, a member of the De La Salle Christian Brothers, is an international speaker and retreat facilitator. Prior to 1975, he served at the La San Tabard in Saigon, Vietnam, and at other Lasallian schools in Vietnam. In addition to teaching in the educational institutions of the Lasallian order for 48 years, Bro. Phong is often invited to present at catechist trainings, retreats and youth conferences both in the United States and in other countries.