2017 RECongress Period

Religious Education Congress
Saturday, February 25, 2017

10:00 - 11:30 am



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1-01  Trust as Living Out of a Blessed Consciousness – Living In Trust as Jesus Did     Arena

What does it mean to live in trust? Is trust simply a temperamental quality, like optimism? Trust and distrust are fundamental qualities of soul that color or discolor every one of our actions. To live in trust is to live out of a blessed consciousness, as Jesus did, rather than out of a cursed consciousness. What does that mean? How is trust grounded in a blessed consciousness? How is that lived out?

Fr. Ronald Rolheiser, OMI

Fr. Ronald Rolheiser, a member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, is President of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio. He formerly taught at Newman Theological College in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and served as Provincial Superior of his Oblate Province and on the General Council for the Oblates in Rome. Fr. Rolheiser’s books are popular throughout the English-speaking world and have been translated into many languages. His weekly column is carried by more than 80 publications worldwide.


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 2-02 and 3-02.)

1-02 Divine Renovation: Developing Parish Leadership for the Sake of Mission

“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. We will look at how a leadership team is different from a staff team or pastoral council, and how it best functions in relation to these other groups within the parish. 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. (It is presumed that participants will have read or are familiar with the key insights of Fr. James Mallon’s book, “Divine Renovation.”)

Fr. James Mallon

Fr. James Mallon, a priest of the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth in Nova Scotia, Canada, currently serves as Pastor of Saint Benedict Parish and is founder and Chair of the Board of the John Paul II Media Institute. Fr. Mallon is creator of the video-based catechetical series, “Catholicism 201.” In 2014, he published his first book on parish renewal, followed in 2016 with “The Divine Renovation Guidebook: A Step-by-Step Manual for Transforming Your Parish.”

1-03  Eucharist: Broken Open in Everyday Life

Celebrated faithfully, Eucharist sends us with eyes wide open into a world filled with God’s presence in the practices of everyday life, made extraordinary by grace. Through storytelling, song and pastoral insight, Tony Alonso and Jeanne Cotter will open up eucharistic theology as it takes seriously the blessing and bruising of daily life.

Tony Alonso

Tony Alonso is one of the most prominent voices in contemporary liturgical music. His latest release is “A House of Prayer” with GIA Publications. He presents at workshops and conferences across North America and Europe. Alonso formerly served as Director of Music at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and at St. Nicholas Church in Evanston, Ill. An emerging theologian, he is currently a doctoral candidate at Emory University in Atlanta.

Jeanne Cotter

Based in St. Paul, Minn., Jeanne Cotter is a liturgical composer, author, speaker and owner of Mythic Rain. She is also Artist in Residence at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Naperville, Ill. Cotter has directed parish missions and retreats throughout the United States and has presented at diocesan gatherings and national events including the RECongress, the National Catholic Educational Association, and the National Association of Pastoral Musicians. Her latest works are “Tender Hearted” and “The Old Gravel Road.”

 1-04 Music for Celebrating Reconciliation and Eucharist with Children   

Are you responsible for preparing children for reconciliation and Eucharist? Music is the natural means for both praising God and learning the language of our faith. Join internationally renowned composer and educator John Burland as he explores liturgical catechesis that builds knowledge, increases participation in learning and moves children to full, conscious and active participation in the rites. This workshop will present a variety of engaging, age-appropriate songs with accompanying prayerful gestures for celebrating the sacraments of reconciliation and Eucharist. You will leave with more than one song in your heart!

John Burland                         

John Burland is an educator and composer of religious music and has written and recorded over 250 songs and published 14 music collections internationally. He is the Education Officer for Liturgy & Music for the Sydney Catholic Schools in Australia. Burland is also National Music Consultant for Bayard, Inc. During his extensive career, he has worked as a classroom teacher, principal and a Religious Education coordinator in school and parish communities. He is a regular speaker at conferences and gatherings across Australia, North America, the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

1-05  Taking a Peek Inside the Door of a Catholic Home, Apartment or Condo   

Our Catholic faith is grounded in signs, symbols, images and rituals. Yes, in our very secular society, the places where we live can be void of religious/spiritual images and symbols. This workshop will offer a variety of suggestions to heighten the presence of some of the Catholic symbols, images and rituals that can be reminders of the sacred. Specific prayers will accompany each image and symbol. (Many of these suggestions can be great gifts for newlyweds, new parents and first-time renters and condo dwellers!)

Rev. John C. Cusick

Fr. John Cusick, a priest of the Chicago Archdiocese, was creator, coordinator and Director of their Young Adult Ministry from 1970-2013 and was an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. In 2012, Fr. Cusick received the Blessed John XXIII Award from the Association of Chicago Priests for “excellence in priestly ministry.” In 2014, he received The Spirit of the Conference Award for Service on behalf of Lay Ministry from the National Association of Lay Ministers.

1-06  Aligning Responses to Bullying with Catholic Schools   

Jesus consistently models what it means to love our neighbor with compassion and dignity. But current terminology to describe bullying as well as traditional forms of discipline do not align with Jesus’ teachings. Frank DiLallo, author of “Peace Be With You: Building Christ-Centered School Communities,” will make a compelling case for how common, pejorative bullying responses make things worse while providing many positive practical and compassionate alternatives consistent with our Catholic faith. This workshop is an important update for educators to ensure meaningful and hopeful responses toward a Christ-centered school climate.

Frank A. DiLallo

Since 1997, Frank DiLallo has been Victim Assistance Coordinator for the Diocese of Toledo, Ohio, serving 124 parishes and 79 Catholic schools. With over 30 years of experience in education and counseling, he conducts numerous educator trainings and is a frequent local, regional and national speaker on the topic of bullying prevention. ­DiLallo’s “Peace Be With You: Christ Centered Bullying Solution” and his soon-to-be-released book titled, “Peace Be With You: Building Christ Centered School Communities,” is a grassroots effort that is gaining momentum across the country.

1-07  The Child and the Heart

In this workshop, Fr. Michael Fish will lead us in finding the treasure of the Kingdom in the field of modern life.

Fr. Michael Fish, OSB Cam

Michael Fish, a native of South Africa, spent many years as a Redemptorist priest before leaving the Redemptorists and South Africa to become a Camaldolese Benedictine at New Camaldoli Hermitage in Big Sur, Calif. Fr. Fish now explores solitude and the way of the hermit, while offering retreats, talks and spiritual direction to religious, parochial and lay communities. With the assistance of contemporary writing and teaching, he continues to develop the notion of the “inner monk,” “the hermit in the world” and how to live a monastic rhythm in the world.

1-08  A Word That Will Rouse Them

A perennial challenge of preaching is relating the scriptural and liturgical texts to the lives of people and the concerns of our world. What does prophetic preaching sound like? This workshop will explore that question, especially through the method of narrative preaching, a method particularly useful for engaging the prophetic Word.

Edward Foley, OFM Cap

Capuchin priest Fr. Edward Foley is the Duns Scotus Professor of Spirituality, and Professor of Liturgy and Music at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, where he was founding Director of the Ecumenical Doctor of Ministry Program. He is also past President of the North American Academy of Liturgy. Fr. Foley has lectured in over 60 dioceses and has written over 300 book chapters, articles and reviews. The award-winning author has 23 books in print, most recently “Theological Reflection Across Faith Traditions.”

1-09  The Denial of Death and Dying with Christ: What Do They Have in Common?   

At the Easter Vigil, we will hear again the proclamation from St. Paul: Do you not know that you have died with Christ? What does that mean in a culture that denies death, living in the illusion that we have the power to never die? Learn about the mystical saying, “Die before you die, so that when you die, there is not much left to die.” Learning to die is learning to live. Stop the denial and find the promise now!

Rev. Richard N. Fragomeni

Fr. Richard Fragomeni, a priest of the Diocese of Albany, N.Y., is Associate Professor of Liturgy and Homiletics, and Chair of the Department of Word and Worship at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. He has written widely on liturgy, music, symbolism, the Catechumenate, the Eucharist and liturgies with children among other subjects. In addition to his teaching and preaching duties, Fr. Fragomeni serves as Spiritual Director for the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii, an Italian-American parish in Chicago’s Little Italy.

1-10  Catholic Students, Leadership and a Social Justice Attitude   

What does it mean to be a leader in our world today? Can Catholic teachers and catechists “teach” leadership skills to students? Whether you are teaching in a Catholic school, a parish religious faith formation program or working with sacramental preparation programs in your parish, leadership – with a social justice attitude – can be learned and lived by every single child within a parish or school setting. In this dynamic presentation, Dan Friedt will demonstrate how children from kindergarten to grade 12 can use the power of the “Five Stages of Social Justice” and “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” (with scriptural support) to become leaders for a lifetime.

Dan Friedt

Dan Friedt is Principal of St. Angela School in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He has 37 years of teaching experience from kindergarten to grade 12, with 19 years in administration. Over the past 10 years Friedt has presented workshops and conferences throughout North America, including Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec and California. As an Apple Distinguished Educator (2013), he presents about technology in the classroom and one-to-one environments with iPads.

1-11  Pope Francis and the Emergence of a Truly Pastoral Magisterium   

With Pope Francis’ pontificate, we are witnessing an important new stage in the development of a postmodern papacy. Fifty years later, Pope Francis is realizing Pope St. John XXIII’s vision of a truly pastoral magisterium.

Dr. Richard Gaillardetz

Dr. Richard Gaillardetz is the Joseph Professor of Catholic Systematic Theology at Boston College and Chair of the Theology Department. He has authored or edited over 100 pastoral and academic articles and 13 books, including “An Unfinished Council: Vatican II, Pope Francis, and the Renewal of Catholicism” and “Go Into the Streets! The Welcoming Church of Pope Francis” (co-edited with Thomas Rausch, SJ). Dr. Gaillardetz also served as President of the Catholic Theological Society of America from 2013-14.

1-12  Intentional Discipleship and the RCIA   

How does a parish make a disciple? If we believe the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults is all about making disciples, rather than a sole focus on teaching Catholic doctrine in “Conference Room 102 in the Parish Center on Tuesday nights from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.,” how do we re-shape our initiation processes so that making intentional disciples is the goal and the outcome?

Dr. Jerry Galipeau

Dr. Jerry Galipeau is Vice President and Chief Publishing Officer at World Library Publications in Franklin Park, Ill. He is past Chair of the Board of Directors of the North American Forum on the Catechumenate and has authored numerous publications and has presented keynotes and workshops throughout the United States and Canada. His blog provides an Arena for those interested in liturgy, music and initiation.

1-13  Over Bored? Five Keys to a More Vibrant Parish Community   

How does a parish light (or rekindle) “the fire” in the hearts of their parishioners? What evangelization strategies are currently working and which might need to be re-evaluated? How do we empower the right people to maximize our efforts but without adding significant cost? Come laugh and learn what the souls in the pews are responding to and those outside the Church need to hear.

Mark Hart

Based in Phoenix, Mark Hart serves as Executive Vice President for Life Teen International, a Catholic youth ministry movement found in 30 countries worldwide. The best-selling and award-winning author and co-author of over a dozen books has traveled the globe speaking to millions. Hart is a regular guest on several Catholic radio programs, a co-host on SiriusXM Radio, and producer of a weekly podcast for Life Teen. His popular DVD Bible Study series includes “Altaration,” “Encounter” and “T3.” His latest books are “A Second Look” and “Behold the Mystery.”

1-14  Stop. Look. Listen: An Invitation to Pay Attention Every Single Day   

We live driven, distracted and depleted. Is there a different way? Terry Hershey invites us to heed the simple instruction from our childhood: Stop. Look. Listen. Three simple words can free us, encourage us and help us to live fully awake in the present, and to literally see God in all things. Three simple words can give us the permission to absorb – to rest, renew and live. Permission to see the fullness of life that surrounds us, and make us glad to be alive.

Rev. Terry Hershey

Terry Hershey is an inspirational speaker, humorist, author, dad, Protestant minister and landscape designer on Vashon Island in the Puget Sound near Seattle. The internationally renowned speaker and retreat facilitator regularly travels throughout the United States and Canada. His work has been featured on The Hallmark Channel, CNN, PBS and NPR and his gardens and books have been featured in magazines and newspapers of the Pacific Northwest.

1-15  Discipleship: A Vision for Individual and Community Living   

Late in his priestly formation in India, Fr. Satish Joseph came to insights into discipleship – a call to “radical” discipleship and a way for fellow Christians to envision, organize and live their lives as a response to this most basic Gospel call. Over the last eight years, he has succeeded in organizing his parish into an intentional community of disciples. He defines discipleship as, “Think like Jesus, talk like Jesus and act like Jesus.” In this workshop, participants will not only rediscover the Gospel call to discipleship but learn practical ways for growing toward intentional and radical discipleship. Practical ways to organize parish communities into communities of disciples will also be offered.

Fr. Satish Antony Joseph

Fr. Satish Joseph has served in the Cincinnati Archdiocese for over 16 years. He is presently Pastor at both Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception and St. Helen Church in Dayton, Ohio. Apart from serving at the two parishes, he organizes parish retreats and parish missions, facilitates retreats for archdiocesan staff, and leads professional development days for Catholics school staff. Fr. Joseph is also founder of Ite Missa Est Ministries, an adult faith formation program at Immaculate Conception parish.

1-16  What Every Serious Christian Should Know About Judaism   

Did you know that Judaism is much more than the religion of the Hebrew Bible? Did you know that Jews have sacred literature beyond the Hebrew Bible (and have their own “New Testament”)? Did you know that Jews mean something completely different than Christians when speaking of the Messiah, sin, redemption, salvation, repentance and forgiveness? Come and question, learn and explore with Rabbi Michael Lotker, author of “A Christian’s Guide to Judaism.”

Rabbi Michael Lotker

Rabbi Michael Lotker spent the bulk of his first career as president of a variety of alternative energy companies, working in wind power, solar and geothermal energy. In 2003, he was ordained as a rabbi at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles. He presently is the Community Rabbi for the Jewish Federation of Ventura County, Calif., and was recently invited to be a Guest Chaplain at the U.S. House of Representatives. In addition to his studies, Rabbi Lotker teaches widely on topics relating to religion and science, Jewish theology, interfaith dialogue and spirituality.

1-17  Revisioning the New   

Playing on the title of the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ document on youth ministry, “Renewing the Vision,” this workshop will look at today’s Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube culture and rethink how adults can “win the right to be heard.”

Mike Patin

“Faith horticulturist” Mike Patin lives in Lafayette, La., and has worked in ministry since 1984 as a high school teacher, coach and diocesan youth minister for the New Orleans Archdiocese. He has spoken to groups ranging from 10 to 23,000 in over 130 dioceses in the United States and Canada. Patin has published two books: “A Standing Invitation” and “This Was Not in the Brochures: Lessons from Work, Life and Ministry.”

1-18  Reaching the In-Betweens: Young Adult Ministry in our Church   

There is an awkward time in every person’s life. Figuring out life as a young adult anywhere between the ages of 18 and 35 is remarkably tough. Discerning how to actually live faith while in college, beginning a career and forming mature friendships is a unique challenge. It’s as if young adults are in a constant state of transition and transformation. Walking the path with these young adults seeking to grow in holiness during this season of life is an even greater challenge. Come discover practical methods for successful young adult ministry while also unpacking the uniqueness of this “in-between” time with Katie Prejean McGrady, who is in this very season of life herself.

Katie Prejean McGrady

Katie Prejean McGrady is a theology teacher at St. Louis Catholic High School and Youth Director at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Church in Lake Charles, La. She is author of “Room 24: Adventures of a New Evangelist” and, since 2007, she has been traveling throughout North America using her original blend of humor and storytelling to speak at events ranging from small sessions to national conferences. Prejean is presently working on her Master’s degree in theological studies.

1-19  Same Lord, New Soundtrack: Their Music Is Telling Us What They Are Going Through ... Are You Listening?   

How did Jesus do it? He met people and knew instantly what they needed. He was in tune with the soundtrack of their lives. Can we claim this in our own ministry with young people? Like the ever-changing music that teens listen to, Jesus’ message is also constant. Learn ways to incorporate the real needs of young people, honor their culture and tap into the music of their hearts to improve your ministry. Arrive at this workshop ready to laugh, listen, share and walk away with four proven strategies.

Anna Scally

Anna Scally, President of Cornerstone Media, is a columnist for their Top Music Countdown online resource and host of the audio show, “Burning Issues.” She received the National Youth Ministry Performer, Artist and Author of the Year Award from the National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry and serves on the Board of Directors for the National Youth Foundation USA. 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.


1-20  Blessed but Broken? Marriage, Divorce and the Catholic Annulment Process   

Pope Francis has encouraged us as Church to address the sad fact that some marriages do not work out and sometimes Catholics find themselves in the troubled waters of separation and civil divorce, wondering about the possibility of marriage in their future. This workshop addresses why the Church cares about something as “private” as marriage and civil divorce, the practical aspects of the marriage nullity (“annulment”) process, and the insights and innovations of Pope Francis.

Sr. Tracey Sharp, SCRH, STL

Sr. Tracey Sharp is an Auditor with the Marriage Tribunal of the Los Angeles Archdiocese. The former Assistant Professor of Theology at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, Calif., now presents numerous presentations and workshops on the annulment process. Sr. Sharp is also Vocation Director for the Sisters of Charity of Rolling Hills, and has given presentations and workshops on the history and theology of religious life. She is currently pursuing studies for a Licentiate in Canon Law at Saint Paul University in Ottawa, Canada.

1-21  St. Paul’s Practical and Relevant Spirituality   

The empowerment of God’s Spirit lies at the heart of St. Paul’s description of what we today call “spirituality” (i.e., what life in the Spirit looks like). The Apostle offers several ways of reflecting on what it means to say “yes” to God’s living presence within us: the virtues that he calls “the fruit of the Spirit”; the various lists of charisms; the community-orientation of life in the Spirit; and the ministry of reconciliation, to name a few. Paul’s spirituality has uncanny relevance for Christians of all ages today.

Thomas D. Stegman, SJ

Fr. Thomas Stegman has taught theology for 13 years at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology and at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, where he is Professor Ordinarius and Dean. The Jesuit from the Wisconsin Province specializes in the letters of St. Paul and has several academic papers. In addition to his more technical work, Fr. Stegman is a frequently invited speaker at workshops, parishes and diocesan gatherings.

1-22 The Church and Digital Culture: Sharing Good News   

In this workshop, we will focus on establishing criteria to ensure that the Church maintains an appropriate presence in the digital environment. The following issues will be addressed: the mission of the Church, the nature of digital culture, the digital presence of believers and Church institutions, and the language of the networks. The workshop will attempt to articulate a strategy for appropriate engagement and evangelization by the Church.

Most Rev. Paul Tighe

Bishop Paul Tighe, a priest of the Archdiocese of Dublin, Ireland, served as Head of the Department of Theology at the Mater Dei Institute in Dublin before moving to the Vatican in 2007, first serving as Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communication and most recently appointed by Pope Francis as Bishop and Adjunct-Secretary to the Pontifical Council of Culture. Bishop Tighe has been involved with various social media initiatives of the Holy See, including the Vatican’s use of Twitter and development of the Pope app.

1-23  What’s New About Catholic Weddings?   

The English-speaking Catholic Church just begun using the second edition of the liturgical book for weddings, The Order of Celebrating Matrimony. This workshop will demonstrate the differences between the two editions, the changes that have occurred, and the new opportunities that have arisen.

Rev. Paul Turner

Fr. Paul Turner, a priest of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri, is currently Pastor of St. Anthony’s Parish in Kansas City. A former President of the North American Academy of Liturgy, he is also a member of the Catholic Academy of Liturgy. Fr. Turner serves as a Facilitator for the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. Author of many books, his latest publication is “One Love: A Pastoral Guide to the Order of Celebrating Matrimony.”

1-24  Reading and Living the Scriptures   

What is the point of modern believers reading the Bible, a collection of documents that are centuries old? What makes them ever new and what gives these sacred words the ability to continually transform our lives and our world? Come get motivated, informed and inspired to be people of the Word.

Catherine “Cackie” Upchurch

A native of Fort Smith, Ark., Cackie Upchurch has been Director of Little Rock Scripture Study since 1998. She is an editor and contributor for numerous books, publications, articles, study guides and periodicals. Upchurch has been keynote speaker in multiple dioceses and currently presents at diocesan and regional gatherings as well as for parish missions. In addition to her national work, she oversees international partnerships on behalf of Little Rock Scripture Study with the Petrie Catholic Community in Queensland, Australia and Noah’s Ark Ltd. in Singapore.

1-25  Ministry, Inc.   

You love the Lord, you possibly even acquired a degree in ministry, but no one ever said you would be running a mini-corporation within your parish or on your campus. Former corporate executive Greg Wasinski looks to give you a few tools to help run your mini-empire effectively. From organizational charts, to project plans, to budgets, you will learn just a few of the business basics to alleviate headaches that creep into your day-to-day ministry lives robbing you of precious time. Additionally, we will discuss the management traits of Jesus, identify office issue resolutions and reference professional ways to engage volunteers while nurturing them to prevent burnout.

Greg Wasinski

Greg Wasinski is a speaker, author and Executive Director of “Let Me Be…” Ministries and appears daily on SiriusXM Radio’s “The Catholic Channel.” He has been a presenter at many parishes, diocesan rallies and national youth con­ferences, as well as keynote at youth rallies across the country. Wasinski is a confirmation retreat leader and Bible study lecturer and a contributor to faith formation resources. His book is titled, “Unconditionally: Finding Jesus in the Eucharist.”

1-26  Early Childhood Catechesis – Why It’s Important & Six Steps for Success   

This workshop, led by a child psychologist and author of the Allelu Early Childhood Curriculum, will focus on current research about how preschoolers and kindergartners learn best. Participants will be shown specific techniques for actively engaging the mind of the preschooler in learning the lessons of our faith.

Dr. Joseph D. White

Dr. Joseph White is a child psychologist and National Catechetical Consultant for Our Sunday Visitor Publishing and Curriculum. He has worked as a parish catechetical leader and spent seven years as Director of Family Counseling and Family Life in the Diocese of Austin, Texas. A frequent guest on Catholic radio and television, Dr. White is author of 10 books and numerous articles on catechesis and ministry, and co-authored the “Allelu” and “Alive in Christ” catechetical series.

1-70 Vietnamese Workshop: Pope Francis Affirms Doctrinal Teaching on the Family and EmbracES Trust in Pastoral Outreach to All   

Through biblical and doctrinal teachings of the Church, Pope Francis, in Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), explores the essential understanding of family life: preparation, marriage and children. In light of God’s mercy and love, he also calls all of us to embrace trust through guidance, discernment and integration instead of fear, alienation or condemnation of those who are living in “irregular situations” (divorced and remarried or in same-sex marriages). This session will focus on Pope Francis’ theological insights and pastoral outreach from discernment to integration.

Rev. Truc Quang Nguyen

Among the thousands of refugees escaping Vietnam after the fall of Saigon, Fr. Truc Nguyen came the United States in 1975 with his parents and seven siblings and settled in Cypress, Calif., where his parents still live. Having worked professionally for eight years as a production manager in Santa Fe Springs and a quality control manager in Irvine, Fr. Nguyen answered the call of God and was ordained a priest in January 2000 for the Los Angeles Archdiocese. He is currently the Judicial Vicar for the Metropolitan Tribunal of the Archdiocese and Pastor at Cathedral Chapel of St. Vibiana in Los Angeles since 2010.

2-01  Conscience and Adult Conscience Formation    Arena

There are few sayings more often cited, yet most misunderstood, than “Let your conscience be your guide” or “You have a duty to follow your conscience.” This session explores the meaning of conscience in the Catholic’s moral life. It will focus on the teachings found in Vatican II and Pope Francis’ recent letter on marriage. It will conclude by applying this teaching to pressing moral challenges and dilemmas facing contemporary believers.

Fr. Bryan N. Massingale, STD

Fr. Bryan Massingale, a priest of the Milwaukee Archdiocese, is Professor of Theology at Fordham University in New York. He has lectured extensively on ethical and racial justice issues throughout the United States and internationally. A previous Religious Education Congress Keynoter, Fr. Massingale is a former President of the Catholic Theological Society of America and has been a leader of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium.


 2-02 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. We will look at how a leadership team is different from a staff team or pastoral council, and how it best functions in relation to these other groups within the parish. 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. (It is presumed that participants will have read or are familiar with the key insights of Fr. James Mallon’s book, “Divine Renovation.”)

2-03  Lord, Help Me Find the Words

In this session, we will look at ways to restart our conversation with God when words have failed us. As our lives become busier with obligations and more saturated with news and technology, finding time to reclaim our faith in quiet and unassuming ways can mean revisiting the written Word. Communicating in this way can intimately connect us to our own lived faith.

Clarissa Valbuena Aljentera

Clarissa Aljentera is Senior Coordinator of Family Ministries for the Chicago Archdiocese, where she previously served as Coordinator of Adult Faith Formation and Media Resources. She is a national speaker and consultant, appearing at parish and regional conferences around the Chicago area and across the country. Aljentera is author of “The Parish Guide to Social Media: How Social Networking Can Recharge Your Ministry.” Originally a newspaper reporter from California, Aljentera now performs “improv” and writes rap based on Scripture.

2-04  The Difference Talent Makes   

Have you ever faced a challenge and felt you just didn’t know what to do? Have you ever been asked to participate in a project and know you have exactly what was needed? The difference comes down to talent. Explore the role talents play in our daily lives, clues to discovering your talents and strengths, and ways to draw on your talents and build strengths in the future.

Leisa Anslinger

Leisa Anslinger regularly presents at national, regional and diocesan conferences as well as parish leadership days and parish missions. Based in Ohio, she is Co-Director of Catholic Life and Faith. Anslinger is a contributing author to The Living Word and Sourcebook for Sundays and Seasons; her most recent projects include “Grateful Disciples” and “The Bridges Leadership” Series, all issued by Liturgy Training Publications. She has a regular column in Catechetical Leader magazine and is author of books and numerous e-resources for catechesis and stewardship.

2-05  Ennobling: Gang Members Finding Their True Selves in a Community of Tenderness   

Fr. Gregory Boyle, founder and Executive Director of Homeboy Industries of Los Angeles, the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world, will talk about the work of ennobilizing that Homeboy does – fostering a community of tenderness in which gang members discover and become their true selves. If love is the answer, community is the context and tenderness the methodology. Ennobilization is not about saving lives, but about our own willingness to be reached and transformed by the poor, the easily despised and demonized, so that the demonizing stops.

Rev. Gregory J. Boyle, SJ

In 1986, Jesuit priest Fr. Gregory Boyle became Pastor of Dolores Mission in Boyle Heights, East Los Angeles, then the poorest Catholic parish in the city. By 1988, he with parish and community members started what would become Homeboy Industries. Fr. Boyle is author of “Tattoos on the Heart” and the subject of the 2012 documentary, “G-Dog.” He was inducted into the California Hall of Fame, named a Champion of Change by the White House, and won the Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2016 from the James Beard Foundation.

2-06  A Leap of Faith: Dancing with Mary into Trust   

When Mary gave her “yes” to bear the Christ, she gave herself body and soul in trust. How can we do the same? Come dance with Mary on her journey from fear to faith. Witness the Annunciation in storydance, pray the Hail Mary in gesture, move with the strength of her powerful Magnificat, and dance your own yes to being a Christ-bearer for our world. No previous dance experience necessary … simply a willingness to take a “leap” of faith!

Betsey Beckman, MM

Betsey Beckman is founder of The Dancing Word: Embodying the Sacred in Liturgy and Life, a ministry that includes her offerings in liturgical movement, choreography, Spirit­Play and spiritual direction. Beckman also directs the Movement Ministry at her home parish, St. Patrick’s Church in Seattle, and collaborates with Abbey of the Arts in creating online retreats, overseas pilgrimages and prayer resources including her “Dancing with Monks and Mystics” DVD.

Laura Ash

Laura Ash is Music Director at St. Patrick Parish in Seattle, where she has supported the ministry of movement for over 20 years. She has presented with Betsey Beckman at a number of RECongress workshops over the last 15 years. Laura and her husband, David, have composed and published three collections of liturgical music and have created music for many dance offerings with Beckman. Their most recent work is music for the production, “Grace on the Margins.”

2-07  Proclaim! Songs and Strategies for Teaching, Celebrating & Living the Good News with Elementary Children   

Music has long been central to the celebration of our faith. But we also know that, as teachers, catechists and parents, music can be a vital resource in teaching Scripture and key doctrine, embedding our faith deep in our hearts and urging us forward to live and proclaim our faith. Come and join Australian Andrew Chinn as he shares songs, stories and strategies to engage your elementary students in knowing, celebrating and living their faith.

Andrew Chinn

Andrew Chinn worked as a classroom teacher in Catholic elementary schools in Sydney, Australia for nearly 20 years before moving into full-time music ministry as Director of Butterfly Music. He has presented at Catholic education conferences in dioceses across Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. Chinn has released 10 CDs, five DVDs and five picture books that are widely used by teachers and catechists in the faith development of children. In 2013, he became part of the WLP family that now distributes his music in North America.

2-08  Living in Trust While Acknowledging Our Fears   

Living with the paradox of conflicting thoughts and feelings is the necessary work of any mature human being. In this internal environment, how are we to embrace a trusting attitude toward God and reality? This workshop will offer some helpful insights and tools to facilitate this process.

Rev. Jim Clarke, PhD

Fr. Jim Clarke is Director of New Evangelization for the Los Angeles Archdiocese. He also serves as Associate Spiritual Director at the Cardinal Manning House of Prayer for Priests in Los Angeles, as an Adjunct Professor at Loyola Marymount University, and was Assistant Professor at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, Calif. Fr. Clarke has over 35 years of facilitating retreats and parish missions and has presented at the Southern California Renewal Communities, the Religious Education Congress and the L.A. Regional Congresses. He is author of “Soulful: Spirituality for People on the Go.”

2-09  Discipline and Punishment: Why One Works and the Other Appears to Work   

Discipline that gives life to a student’s learning can be a path to self-discipline. Punishment and its cousin, ­zero-tolerance, are roadblocks on that path. This session covers ways to use the stuff of everyday life to help our students become self-disciplined, resourceful, resilient, responsible human beings. Barbara Coloroso will address bribes and threats, rewards and punishment, and how they can interfere with teaching kids to act with integrity, civility and compassion, as well as what to do instead when they have made a mistake, created mischief or caused mayhem.

Barbara Coloroso

Barbara Coloroso is President and CEO of Kids Are Worth It!, Inc. The internationally recognized author and educator is an educational consultant for school districts, medical and business communities, the criminal justice system and other associations throughout the world. Coloroso is author of four best-selling publications and two programs, and is the recipient of many awards including the Pope John XXIII International Award for Humanitarian Efforts.

2-10  Witness: Learning to Tell the Stories of Grace that Illumine Our Lives   

Recent research shows that the single greatest difference between those who identify as “Catholic” and those who identify as “former Catholic” is “the belief that God is a personal being involved in the lives of people today.” If we are to shape our whole lives as a Christian story, we must first learn how to recognize, craft and share stories of grace about particular life experiences. We will focus on seven principles for crafting stories of grace for teens, young adults and even not-so-young-anymore adults that allow us to speak of God’s action in our lives persuasively and in real terms.

Leonard J. DeLorenzo, PhD

Dr. Leonard DeLorenzo is Director of Notre Dame Vision at the Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, where he also teaches theology. He is author of “Witness: Learning to Tell the Stories of Grace That Illumine Our Lives” and “Work of Love: A Theological Reconstruction of the Communion of Saints.” Dr. DeLorenzo is author of many articles and book chapters, and is a frequent speaker at national faith formation and youth ministry events.

2-11  Called to Intimacy: Catholic Sexuality in Troubled Times   

In this workshop, we will reflect together on Catholic teaching concerning human sexuality. The capacity for intimacy is a gift from God, intended to be lived out in different contexts depending on one’s vocation and gifts. All are called to exercise the virtues of friendship, chastity and modesty, while some are called to the sacrament of matrimony or to consecrated celibacy. In addition to these different ways of living out our sexuality, we will also discuss the “Theology of the Body,” the practice of Natural Family Planning and suggestions for those struggling with pornography and internet addiction.

Fr. Luke Dysinger, OSB, MD, DPhil

Born in Fullerton, Calif., and raised in Huntington Beach, Fr. Luke Dysinger is a Board Certified doctor in family practice. In 1980, he joined St. Andrew’s Abbey in Valyermo, Calif, and for the past 16 years the Benedictine monk and priest has taught moral theology and church history at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, Calif. Fr. Dysinger continues to lecture in bioethics, gives annual seminars at the International Conference on Patristics at Oxford University, and presents workshops and retreats at St. Andrew’s Abbey.

Dr. Aaron Kheriaty

Dr. Aaron Kheriaty is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Medical Ethics Program for the School of Medicine at the University of California, Irvine. He is author of several books and articles for professional and lay audiences on bioethics, social science and psychiatry. On matters of public policy and healthcare he has been invited to address the California Medical Association, the University of California Center in Sacramento, the Sacramento Press Club, and has testified before the California Senate Health Committee.

2-12  Turning the Tide   

Many people in pastoral ministry are seeing large numbers of youth and young adults leave the Catholic Church. Recent sociological studies have reported that 34 percent of the Millennial Generation does not claim affiliation with any faith tradition, with more leaving every year. This workshop will take an in-depth look at the most current statistics, and it will also listen to why they say they are leaving. Finally, we will discover the surefire key to keeping our youth and young adults within the fold of the Catholic Church.

Robert Feduccia Jr.

Robert Feduccia was founding Director of the Youth Liturgical Leadership Program and instructor in the Permanent Deacon Formation Program at Saint Meinrad Seminary in Indiana. He is now Vice President of Christian Faith Events for Declan Weir Productions. With work as a parish youth minister and retreat leader, Feduccia has presented at local and diocesan conferences as well as national events, including the National Catholic Youth Conference and the National Conference for Catholic Youth Ministry.

2-13  Chastity: Gift, Grace, Fruit   

Chastity is not the absence of sexuality. According to the Catechism, “Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality” – the inner unity of body and spirit. Unifying our bodily and spiritual desires with integrity is a challenging journey that we cannot embark upon alone. This session will discuss Catholic teachings on chastity from the Catechism, Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, and Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia. The latter offers a reflection on how to live out sexual love, strengthen the family, and support the faithful in pursuit of chastity. Chastity for married, single, ordained/religious and LGBT persons will be considered.

Arthur Fitzmaurice, PhD

Freelance speaker and minister Dr. Arthur Fitzmaurice has served a decade in ministry with LGBT Catholics. He has spoken at various gatherings, including the Religious Education Congress, the Faith Formation Conference, the Catholic Association for Lesbian and Gay Ministry, and the Gay Christian Network. Dr. Fitzmaurice appears in several YouTube episodes produced by the Ignatian News Network. He has also received the Archdiocese’s Lumen Christi and the Cardinal’s Young Adult in Ministry awards.

Fr. Chris Ponnet

Los Angeles-native Fr. Chris Ponnet was ordained for the Los Angeles Archdiocese in 1983. Since then, he has served as Director for the Archdiocesan Office of Catholic HIV/AIDS Ministry. He also serves as Pastor at St. Camillus Center for Spiritual Care in Los Angeles. Fr. Ponnet has spoken at the RECongress and at the archdiocesan regional congresses for many years and has made presentations at Pax Christi Peace and Justice conferences and at local congregations and meetings around the county.

2-14  Suffering, Pain and Joy   

In this workshop, Fr. Rob Galea will attempt to address the concept of suffering. Why do we suffer? Where is God through the pain? Can we experience joy in suffering?

Fr. Rob Galea

Fr. Rob Galea serves in the Diocese of Sandhurst, Victoria, Australia. Apart from his series of recordings and CD releases, the singer/songwriter has also written a number of songs for various international conferences. Fr. Galea was selected to sing in the English version of the 2016 World Youth Day song, “Blessed Are The Merciful.” He is co-founder and Director of “Stronger,” a fast-growing regional youth movement.

2-15  The Future of the Global Church: Building Intercultural Communities   

In a multicultural environment, people of diverse cultures live side by side. But often, this can be described as “people living together – separately.” This is not what Jesus wanted and worked for. Intercultural living could be described as “people living together – together!” But it is demanding, and costly. We will look at the demands … and the cost.

Anthony J. Gittins, CSSp

Fr. Anthony Gittins, a religious of the Holy Ghost community (the Spiritans), is originally from Manchester, England, and served as a missionary in Sierra Leone in the 1970s. He taught at the Missionary Institute in London and, since 1984, has taught at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, where he is now Emeritus Bishop Ford Professor of Theology and Culture. For the past 27 years, Fr. Gittins has worked at a shelter for homeless women in Chicago, and continues to lead retreats, workshops and seminars in over 30 countries.

2-16  Healthy and Holy Marriages: Effective Parish Marriage Prep and Beyond   

With over 40 years of research on marriage and grounded in this research and existing programs in popular use today, we have a clear understanding of the critical factors that help promote marriage stability and satisfaction. This presentation will explore ways to implement effective and engaging approaches to parish marriage preparation and ongoing marriage ministry. You will walk away with clear suggestions for implementing the new Order of Celebrating Matrimony as well as how to best support couples in creating and sustaining healthy and holy marriages.

Dr. Veronica Marchese, LMFT

Dr. Veronica Marchese, a licensed marriage and family therapist, has worked as a parish minister, retreat leader and therapist, working with the Los Angeles Archdiocese for more than 25 years through workshops, retreats and faith formation classes at the parish level and workshops at the regional Los Angeles Congresses. In 2015, Marchese launched TheCatholicMarriageProject.com providing resources and conducting ongoing research in the area of marriage preparation and enrichment.

2-17  Wise and Holy Women – and a Few Good Men   

Using his own paintings and stories, Bro Mickey McGrath will offer a colorful look at great women (and a few good men) in church history, from Mary and Elizabeth to Dorothy Day and Thea Bowman, and show their deep spiritual connections to the four women who have been proclaimed Doctors of the Church – Hildegard of Bingen, Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Ávila and Thérèse of Lisieux. Past, present and future unfold as we look at the beauty and creative inspirations of the feminine divine. We will also take a look at Pope Francis through his letters and his recent encyclical, Laudato Sí.

Bro. Michael O’Neill McGrath

Bro. Mickey McGrath, an Oblate of St. Francis de Sales, is an artist, author, speaker and keynote presenter who currently lives and works in Camden, N.J. He is illustrator and author of 13 books; his latest is entitled “Dear World: Art Reflections on Laudato Sí.” In addition, Bro. McGrath paints commissions for churches and schools throughout the United States. He is also a popular retreat leader and presenter in a variety of venues on the national Catholic circuit.

2-18  Trust! Live and Die with Passion and Grace   

John of the Cross, Teresa of Ávila and Mother Jones all knew what it meant to trust. As the old addage states, “Pray as though everything depended on God, but work as though everything depended on you – it does!” Or more contemporarily, in the famous war cry of Mother Jones, “Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.” How do we embody the two thrusts of trust: consolation and confidence; expectation and faithfulness as individuals and as Church? Come, seek justice and respond to God’s trust in us!

Megan McKenna

Storyteller and theologian Megan McKenna travels across the globe, speaking at national and international conferences and working with indigenous peoples, base communities, parishes, diocese, religious orders and organizations. She presents workshops for dioceses and small communities and teaches at universities, colleges and pastoral institutes worldwide. Author of 50 books, McKenna is an Ambassador of Peace for Pax Christi USA and has won the Isaac Hecker Award for Justice and Peace.

2-19  “Take Nothing for the Journey”: Pilgrimage in the Bible   

Whether it be walking the Camino to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, or from one California mission to the next, or to raise funds for breast cancer research, pilgrimages have regained a place in the contemporary Catholic religious imagination. This workshop will dive into the biblical spirituality entailed in the journey to the Promised Land, to the temple mount, and to follow Jesus on “the Way.”

Rev. J. Patrick Mullen

Fr. Pat Mullen, a priest of Los Angeles, is Professor of Biblical Studies at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, Calif., and Pastor at the neighboring Junipero Serra Church. He is author of “Dining with Pharisees” and “Sacred Scripture,” a high school introduction to the Scriptures. Fr. Mullen presents at the Religious Education Congress as well as to diocesan conferences across the nation and to diocesan priests in Arizona, Utah and seven of the 12 dioceses of California.

2-20  I Thirst for Your Love: A Musical Bio­graphy of St. Teresa of Calcutta

The recently canonized St. Teresa of Calcutta once described America as “the poorest country in the world” because so many people do not know God. Come join Danielle Rose as she presents a musical biography inspired by the life and prayers of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. By pondering the themes most central to Mother Teresa’s personal relationship with Jesus, these songs seek to unveil the mystery of her motivation to serve the poorest of the poor: to quench Christ’s thirst for souls. If there is one thing that St. Teresa would want you to know, it is that Jesus thirsts for you.

Danielle Rose

At age 17, Danielle Rose traveled to India to volunteer with Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity. This experience gave her a desire to serve the poorest of the poor as a “music missionary.” She recorded her third album, “I Thirst,” as a musical tribute to the life and work of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Since 2002, Rose has travelled the globe as a music missionary, ministering from World Youth Day in Toronto to her hometown of Duluth, Minn. Her fifth album is titled “Culture of Life.”

2-21  Discernment 101   

God is constantly speaking to us. But many people have a hard time hearing God’s voice and knowing his will for their lives. Since we trust that God desires our good, we are confident that he wants us to know his will for our lives. What are the most basic (yet most powerful) tools we can have for knowing God’s will?

 Rev. Michael Schmitz

Fr. Michael Schmitz is Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Duluth, Minn., as well as Chaplain for the Newman Center at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He offers weekly homilies on iTunes and bulldogCatholic.org and has appeared in programs for youth and young adults as well as through regular short video messages on Ascension Presents. Fr. Schmitz has preached to youth and young adults across the country as a presenter at Steubenville Youth and Young Adult Conferences and at FOCUS national and local events.

2-22  Empowered by the Spirit: How College Campus Ministry Influences Parish Life   

“If the Church is to continue to regenerate and renew its members, the training of young adults is key,” the U.S. Catholic bishops’ state in their pastoral plan for young adult ministry. How can college campus ministries provide tools for parishes in crafting young adult ministries that are effective and life giving? This workshop will discuss techniques on how parishes can welcome and empower young adults in parish life. It will also offer suggestions for college campus ministers and college students on how to strengthen the transition from college campus ministry to parish life. Join the discussion on why college campus ministry and young adult ministry are essential for the vitality and future of our Church.

Rosie Chinea Shawver, MDiv

Rosie Shawver, a native of Southern California, began her work experience volunteering at Annunciation House, a home for immigrants in El Paso, Texas. She then moved to Albuquerque, N.M., to become Director of Campus Ministry at the University of New Mexico and then worked as the Parish and Faith Community Outreach Liaison at Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, N.M. She is currently Director of Campus Ministry at the University of Southern California’s Caruso Catholic Center in Los Angeles.

2-23  Middle School: From Maintenance to Mission   

Early adolescence is the beginning of authentic discipleship for many youth. How are we challenging the diverse culture of young adolescents to grow in their authentic relationship with Jesus Christ? This workshop blows up the mythology of middle school youth ministry and lays the ground work for inspiring evangelization to, with, by and for junior high-aged believers! If you work with young adolescents, you won’t want to miss this!

 Doug Tooke

Doug Tooke is Director of Youth Ministry events for the Diocese of Helena, Mont., Youth Minister at Sts. Cyril and Methodius Parish and owner of Monarch Catholic Ministries. He has over 20 years of professional ministry experience and has traveled to over 75 dioceses teaching, keynoting conventions and training youth ministers. Tooke has spoken at national gatherings, including World Youth Day, the National Catholic Youth Conference and the National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry.

2-24  The Role of the Priest in the RCIA   

Paul Turner (bio 1-23)

Christian initiation is the responsibility of all the baptized. As such, each parish should involve a variety of people to participate in the many catechetical preparations and liturgical celebrations associated with the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). This workshop will offer ideas for involving priests in evangelization, catechesis, discernment and presiding for these liturgies.

2-25  Making Liturgical Rituals Accessible for Children   

Come and explore ways we can encourage children to enjoy, understand and take active part in liturgical cele­brations. From school Masses and classroom prayers to Sunday worship – music is the key!

Christopher Walker

Christopher Walker is an internationally known church composer, speaker on liturgical music and choral conductor. Presently, he is Director of Music at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Los Angeles. Walker travels around the globe giving workshops and lectures on church music and liturgy, choral and cantor techniques and children’s spirituality. His music is sung in churches worldwide. His latest work is “Many More Stories and Songs of Jesus,” the third in a series for children.

2-26  Beyond the School Gate – Can Catholic Schools Extend the Embrace?   

In September 2015, at the request of his bishop, David Wells began a project in his own diocese to assist schools to develop their sense of mission and their confidence to proclaim the Gospel. Could the school itself become a locus for evangelization beyond the confines of the classroom? What is beginning to emerge from the project has implications not just for schools, but for parishes too. From a whole range of small victories and embarrassing failures, good lessons are being learned about how to embrace trust, dare to proclaim and reach out beyond the usual suspects! Come and see!

David Wells

David Wells was a teacher before becoming a research assistant for the Bishops’ Conference in England and Wales. His latest position is as Project Manager for School Evangelization. Wells has travelled the world, speaking at more than 350 conferences in Europe, North America and Australia. He guest lectures in three English universities and in 2015 was MC for the Bishops’ Conference national gathering in England and Wales. Wells is author of two books, “The Reluctant Disciple” (which tells of his experience at RECongress), and more recently, “The Grateful Disciple.”

2-70 Vietnamese Workshop: “But strive first for the kingdom of God” (Mt. 6:33)   

The theme of Matthew 6:33, to “strive first for the kingdom of God,” will be implemented in the following three main focal points: 1) The danger of enjoying materialism over living the faith: People today seek materialism but never pay attention to spirituality; 2) The danger of science over faith in God’s mercy: People today only believe in the success of science and miss seeing God’s mercy; 3) Christians must choose God as our first priority in life: A Christian’s first priority is to pursue a life in God.

Bishop Joseph Linh Chi Nguyen

Bishop Joseph Nguyen was born in November 1949 at Ba Lang in Thanh Hoa, Vietnam. In 1954, he moved, accompanied by his family, to South Vietnam. Due to political uprising in his homeland, he returned to his family and did many jobs to help support his parents until 1992, when he was ordained a priest. In 1995, Bishop Nguyen went abroad to study and graduate with a doctorate in Philosophy from the Institute Catholic de Paris. In 2003, he returned to Vietnam and taught at the Stella Maris Major Seminary in Nha Trang. On June 12, 2004 Pope John Paul II named him Bishop of the North Thanh Hoa Diocese.

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.


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!

Joseph Bazyouros

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

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

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.

Tom East

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

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

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

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 2018 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

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.”

Anne Frawley-Mangan

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

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.”)

Ted Miles

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.

ValLimar Jansen

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.

Peggy O’Flaherty

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 2016, 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

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

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.

4-01  The Bridge to a New America    Arena

America was founded by the near-genocide of one people and the enslavement of another. Since that foundation, the United States has now confronted the realized structures and systems put in place at the outset. Soon, in only a few decades from now, the United States will be – for the first time in history – a majority of minorities. This fact underlies much of the political rhetoric and discourse we now see. This session will look at that reality and how “white Christians” need to become more Christian than white.

Jim Wallis

A theologian and frequent speaker, Jim Wallis is author of 10 books, including the New York Times best-seller “God’s Politics” and his most recent, “On God’s Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn’t Learned about Serving the Common Good.” Wallis is founder and President of Sojourners and Editor-in-Chief of Sojourners magazine. His columns appear in major newspapers and blogs, and he regularly appears as a television and radio commentator. He has taught at Harvard University in Massachusetts and currently teaches a course on faith and social justice at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

4-02  the Re-energizing of Children’s Catechesis Through Song   

John Burland (bio 1-04)

Have you noticed that children respond with added enthusiasm whenever music and gesture are incorporated into catechesis? Are you looking for practical, engaging and energizing songs that deepen understanding of our Catholic faith? Then this workshop is for you! Composer and educator John Burland will share a variety of songs and activities that will energize elementary-age learners. Come ready to raise your voice as we deepen our understanding of Scripture, sacraments and Church teaching. Sing the prayers of our faith and honor Mary, as together we experience the oneness of heart that music creates.

4-03  The Bully, the Bullied and the Not-So-Innocent Bystander   

Barbara Coloroso (bio 2-09)

Breaking the cycle of violence in our homes, schools and communities involves more than merely identifying and stopping the bully. It requires that we examine the why and the how a child becomes a bully, the target of a bully and the role that bystanders play. A deadly combination is a bully who gets what he wants from his target, a bullied child who is afraid to tell, bystanders who look away, and adults who see bullying as teasing, not the predatory aggression that it is. If this combination of relationships is not radically transformed, we have enough incidences in our recent past to convince us that it is not only the bully who can terrorize our community.


4-04  The Now and the Quest

Fr. Michael Fish, OSB Cam (bio 1-07)

In this session, we will delve into looking for a spirituality and a way of praying that works for our lives today.

4-05  It’s All About Baptism: The Sacrament That Endures   

Dr. Jerry Galipeau (bio 1-12)

Discovering the power and potential of our baptism creates a key foundational element to our ministry. Too often, baptism is seen as a compartmentalized moment, “something that happened to me.” Recapture anew the sacramental moment when everything changed, when the apostles danced: the day of your baptism.

4-06  When I Am Weak, I Am Strong: Singing, Praying and Walking Amid the Mystery of Suffering

There is one common thread for all of us on the pilgrim journey: Suffering is inescapable and part and parcel of our human journey and in the many turns and tumbles that occur in our pilgrimage of faith. This session will be an opportunity to sing, pray, reach out, ache, lament, rejoice and restore. Come ready to sing, pray, reflect and ponder on what this suffering means and holds for us.

David Haas

David Haas is a member of the Campus Ministry team at Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul, Minn., where he is also founder and Executive Director of “Music and Ministry Alive!” – a formation program for high school and college-age youth. Haas has composed over 50 original collections and recordings of liturgical music with GIA Publications and has been active as a conference and workshop speaker, concert performer and recording artist for over 30 years. He has spoken internationally and has authored more than 20 books.

4-07  The Transforming Power of Authentic Love   

Have you ever longed for “more” in life? Do you ache to live the abundant life that Jesus speaks of us John 10:10? In this workshop, we will delve into what holds us back, how authentic love sets us free, and the daily encounter with Jesus Christ who powerfully transforms us into the saints we are called to be!

Sr. Miriam James Heidland, SOLT

Sr. Miriam Heidland, a member of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, currently serves as Assistant to the SOLT Sisters American Region Superior. Originally a Division I athlete who wanted to work for ESPN, Sr. Heidland has been speaking at various conferences and retreats for over 10 years. She now speaks extensively across the United States and internationally as well on the topics of authentic love, healing, personal conversion (and sports!). She tweets and authored her first book, titled “Loved As I Am,” released in 2014.

4-08  Born to Dance: Living from the Inside Out   

Rev. Terry Hershey (bio 1-14)

In our hearts, we are all dancers. God wants us to be our true selves – joyous, aware and living each moment with arms wide open, responding to the love of the Beloved. So why do we choose to live guarded and afraid, our days filled with hurry and noise? Fear labels and dismisses and restricts. The voice of Grace tells us that we are more than our labels. More than our fear. The Hopi Native Americans say, “To watch us dance is to hear our heart speak.” So, in this workshop, let’s dance. Terry Hershey will help us learn what it means to dance free from our limitations of fear, insecurity or pain, and how, in the eyes of the Beloved, we are free to love and serve.

4-09  Our Faith Matters: A Candid Discussion About Race   

Most people do not understand social movements such as “Black Lives Matter.” What do our Roman Catholic bishops have to say regarding race relations in the United States? How do the social teachings of the Roman Catholic Church tell us to respond to the current sociopolitical and racial issues of our day? Come and experience a candid conversation with some of the most honored and nationally recognized Roman Catholic, African-American advocates for solidarity and social justice. With music, Scripture, prayer, preaching and reflection, this panel of renowned speakers will skillfully lead us in examining thorny issues. This session will conclude with a Q&A session, open mic sharing and honest discussion.

ValLimar Jansen

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.

Msgr. Raymond G. East

The grandson of Baptist Missionaries to South Africa, Msgr. Ray East was born in Newark, N.J., raised in San Diego, Calif., and is a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., where he is Pastor of St. Teresa of Avila Church. He is former Director of the Office of Black Catholics and Vicar for Evangelization for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. Msgr. East is a regular and popular speaker at the Los Angeles Congress and continues to present workshops, facilitations and keynote addresses at major national events.

Fr. Bryan N. Massingale, STD

Fr. Bryan Massingale, a priest of the Milwaukee Archdiocese, is Professor of Theology at Fordham University in New York. A noted authority on Catholic moral theology and social ethics, he has lectured extensively on ethical and racial justice issues throughout the United States and internationally. A previous Religious Education Congress Keynoter, Fr. Massingale is a former President of the Catholic Theological Society of America and has been a leader of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium.

Dr. C. Vanessa White

Dr. Vanessa White is Assistant Professor of Spirituality and Ministry and Director of the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies and Main Specialized Ministry at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. She is Coordinator of the Elder’s Retreat in the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana as well as advisor to the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee on Certification for Ecclesial Ministry and Service. Dr. White has numerous published articles and is an experienced workshop presenter, retreat facilitator, spiritual director.

4-10  “On Earth as It Is In Heaven”   

Fr. Satish Antony Joseph (bio 1-15)

At the heart of a Christian disciple is the Kingdom (Reign) of God. In fact, the Kingdom of God is at the heart of Jesus’ proclamation. Yet, this is the most under-proclaimed message in contemporary Catholic circles. This session will survey Scripture to understand the Kingdom of God as the primary message of Jesus and the Gospels, and as the focus of the prayer that Jesus taught: “Thy kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.” What does it mean to “seek first the Kingdom of God” (Mt 6:33)? How can we make the Kingdom of God a reality “on earth as it is in heaven”? This session will reflect on these questions in depth and in very practical ways.

4-11  Do Not Be Afraid: Faith as Trust in the Lord!   

In the biblical foundations of Christianity, the concepts of “faith” and “trust” are essentially the same. Having faith in God does not mean that everything in life will always be smooth and easy, but that we can trust God to be with us always, to help us in our needs and never to abandon us. That, in turn, is the reason the Bible so often tells us, “Do not be afraid!” This workshop will explore some biblical stories that give us inspiring role models for trusting, faithful, fearless discipleship!

Fr. Felix Just, SJ, PhD

Fr. Felix Just is Executive Director of the Loyola Institute for Spirituality in Orange, Calif. He has taught as a Theology Professor at three Jesuit universities in California: Loyola Marymount University, the University of San Francisco and Santa Clara University. Fr. Just conducts adult faith-formation programs for parishes and dioceses, and leads biblically based days of prayer, parish missions and retreats. He has produced seven audio-CD programs with Now You Know Media and also maintains a large internationally recognized website of “Catholic resources.”

4-12  What a Global Catholic Church Looks Like: A Resource for Religious Educators   

Catholics often experience faith through the lens of their own cultural context. Yet people all around the world imagine it in an amazing range of ways. Drawing from research on the new Catholics & Cultures website, founder and scholar Tom Landy will illustrate practices and contexts that shape Catholic life for millions of people in different parts of the world, yet largely unknown to Americans. Even those participants who imagine they already know all that is interesting about Catholicism will leave this multimedia presentation with resources and ideas for exploring with their students the rich and varied expressions of faith lived by Catholics around the world.

Thomas M. Landy

Sociologist Tom Landy is Director of the Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., where he also is a lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. With his primary research in global Catholicism, he founded and leads research for the web-based initiative Catholics & Cultures. Landy also founded in 1992 the Collegium, a consortium of 65 Catholic colleges and universities in the United States and Canada.

4-13  A Woman’s Place, A Woman’s Work, A Woman’s Call to Ministry   

What does it really mean to be a woman serving in ministry in the Catholic Church today? Through Scripture, storytelling and song, in hard questions that seek complex but hopeful answers, let us explore the unique gifts and blessings that women bring. Come be inspired by the example of disciples who have embraced trust in their baptism, giving new meaning to leadership, authority and ministry. With them and for all women and men of faith, let us renew our claim to our rightful place, our indispensable work, and our prophetic call to serve God’s people in the Church.

Diana Macalintal

Diana Macalintal is Director of Worship for the Diocese of San Jose, Calif. She has been keynote at several gatherings, including the Mid-Atlantic Congress and the College­ville Conference on Music, Liturgy and the Arts, in addition to her appearances at the L.A. Congress as prayer leader. Macalintal is author of four books. Her latest, “Joined by the Church, Sealed by a Blessing,” to help parishes prepare engaged couples for discipleship, she co-authored with her husband, Nick Wagner, with whom she co-founded Team­RCIA.

4-14  A New President: In Conflict or Harmony with the Gospels?   

A new U.S. President and a new Congress mean changes in vision, mission and priorities for our country. What are the implications for us as disciples of Jesus? As Catholics? As leaders in the ministry and service of our parish communities? For the next four years, who will be the most needy in our communities? This workshop will explore some of those possibilities, and help us fashion a way forward that continues to be prophetic and faithful to our mission to serve others after the example of Jesus.

Cardinal Roger M. Mahony

Cardinal Roger Mahony led the Los Angeles Archdiocese from 1985 until his retirement in 2011. Born in Hollywood, he was the first native Angeleno to be elevated to the position of Cardinal. Cardinal Mahony oversaw the design and building of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2012. Since his retirement, the Archbishop Emeritus has devoted himself exclusively to the cause of comprehensive immigration reform on behalf of our immigrant brothers and sisters.

4-15  You Can Call Us? Understanding the Up and Coming Post-Millennial Generation of Children and Adolescents   

For years all of the talk has been about the Millennial Generation, but in our families, classrooms and churches, another generation of young people are growing up and graduating, who are very different from the millennials. What will be the impact of this next generation? Regardless of what you call them – Generation Z, the Plurals, Digitals, Posts or iGen – each name sheds a light on how we are coming to understand this new generation. This workshop will share what we know about them, what we don’t know and the implications for those who parent, teach and minister to them.

Charlotte McCorquodale, PhD

Louisiana-native Dr. Charlotte McCorquodale is currently President of Ministry Training Source. Dr. McCorquodale’s professional career in Catholic youth ministry and lay ecclesial ministry has spanned three decades, serving in parish, school, diocesan and university ministry settings. She serves as an international educator, researcher and consultant for the fields of lay ecclesial ministry, certification standards and processes, youth ministry and e-learning. Her recognitions include receiving the 2002 National Youth Ministry Award from the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry.

4-16  Embrace Trust with Both Arms and Heart   

Megan McKenna (bio 2-18)

“Hope” and “trust” are like two arms. “Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage,” says St. Augustine. We are given both to live life with others and embrace the vast world and all our brothers and sisters. Who do you grasp and hold onto for a dearer truer life? How do you take courage and grab ahold of life with both arms? Come, seek to both embrace and entrust your life and others to the fullness of God’s way – as God embraces and trusts us.

4-17  Reading the Scriptures with the Mind, Eyes and Heart of a Woman   

This is a presentation on feminist biblical interpretation that will explain what it is, when it began, how to do it, and why it is important not only for women believers but for men as well. Examples will be shared of how feminist liberative biblical interpretations springing from circles of grassroots women and biblical scholars have transformed families and faith communities in Latin America and the United States.

Sr. Barbara E. Reid, OP, PhD

Sr. Barbara Reid, a Dominican Sister of Grand Rapids, Mich., is Vice President and Academic Dean at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, where she has served since 1988 as Professor of New Testament Studies. She is author of several works, her latest book is “Wisdom’s Feast: An Invitation to Feminist Interpretation of the Scriptures.” In addition to her books and teaching, Sr. Reid has approximately 25 speaking engagements a year throughout the United States and Canada along with travel to Ireland, New Zealand, Bolivia, Peru, Brazil, Thailand and Guatemala.

4-18  Eucharistic Evangelization Like Never Before   

Rev. Michael Schmitz (bio 2-21)

True evangelization involves an encounter with the true and living God. It is something more and more profound than mere “assent” to the “idea” of Jesus. It is meeting Jesus in a real way. Because of this, our single most powerful place of encountering the Lord is in the Eucharist. How could Catholics help more people get in contact with the Real Presence of Jesus in a way that transforms their lives?

4-19  Something’s Happening Here: What Makes Vibrant Catholic Parishes Work   

Bill Simon and his team at Parish Catalyst researched 244 vibrant Catholic parishes to determine what made them exceptional. The study found that the parishes shared four essential practices: 1) a form of shared leadership; 2) intentional fostering of spiritual maturity and discipleship in their parishioners; 3) excellent Sunday worship; and 4) strong focus on effective evangelization. His new book, “Great Catholic Parishes,” presents the research findings, shares ideas and provides encouragement for building healthier parishes. In this workshop, Simon takes us through some of the findings and offers a few practical solutions to familiar challenges.

William E. Simon Jr.

Catholic author, businessman, lawyer, gubernatorial candidate and philanthropist, Bill Simon has spearheaded a variety of faith-based initiatives. He is a former Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles in the School of Law and Department of Economics and was a Senior Fellow at their School of Public Policy. In 2012, he founded Parish Catalyst, a non-profit that stimulates creative ideas in parish ministry. The results of their research is gathered in a new book, “Great Catholic Parishes: How Four Essential Practices Make Them Thrive.”

4-20  Challenges and Opportunities of Faith as Presented in the Gospels   

Thomas D. Stegman, SJ (bio 1-21)

In addition to presenting the life, ministry, death and Resurrection of Jesus, the four Gospels set forth the challenges of a life of faith. Faith, in the biblical understanding, focuses first and foremost on our relationship with Christ within the context of community. Matthew presents the life of faith in terms of being learners of Jesus and his ways; Mark as following Jesus on his “way” to the cross; Luke as imitating God’s generosity and mercy; and John as abiding in Christ’s love. While the life of faith is challenging, it is also an opportunity to continue the ministry of Jesus.

4-21  Oh this Grace Reaching Out for Me – How Can it Be?   

How do we as believers, move from doubt to embrace trust? The journey from doubt to trust can only occur when we have a deep understanding of the concept of grace. It is only when grace becomes not something to get, but rather something that is ... the very self-gift of God, the very presence of God in the core of our being. Only then can we encounter this grace reaching out to us and enabling us to say, “I trust in you.” Understanding this journey is at the heart of this session.

Sr. Maureen Sullivan, OP, PhD

Sr. Maureen Sullivan is a Dominican Sister of Hope from New York. After 26 years of teaching theology, she is now Professor Emerita at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire. She also serves as a religion consultant for the William H. Sadlier Publishing Company. A popular speaker at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, Sr. Sullivan has written two books on Vatican II: “101 Questions and Answers on Vatican II” and “The Road to Vatican II: Key Changes in Theology.”

4-22  Beauty that Saves: Art in Service of Liturgy and Catechesis   

Since the dawn of Christianity, architects and artists have assisted the Church in the proclamation of the Gospel and the celebration of the liturgy. Each generation has brought new insights, new technologies and new styles to this process. And yet, the mission of the Sacred Arts has always remained the same. This workshop will look at how art and architecture from past and present can best enhance our prayer and catechesis today.

Johan M.J. van Parys, PhD

Dr. Johan van Parys has served as Director of Liturgy and the Sacred Arts at The Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis since 1995. He is a national consultant and speaker for RCL Benzinger, is a Professor in Theology at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., and a member of the International Board of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums. Dr. van Parys is as an art consultant for numerous dioceses, cathedrals and parishes and lectures throughout the country. His book, “What’s the Smoke For? And Other Burning Questions About the Liturgy,” was published in 2014.

4-23  It’s All About Joy – Evangelizing Young Adults   

We can’t expect young adults to join our faith communities if we haven’t reached out to them with the Good News. This workshop will unpack the Church’s vision for evangelizing young adults and Pope Francis’ challenge to do so with joy. We will explore practical strategies for meeting them where they are, forming relationships with them and inviting them to encounter Jesus Christ in Word, sacrament and community.

Joan C. Weber

Based in Omaha, Neb., Joan Weber is Project Coordinator for Youth and Family Ministry Services at the Center for Ministry Development (CMD). She is Coordinator for Young Neighbors in Action, editor of Fashioning Faith (CMD’s subscription website for lifelong faith formation), and teaches the Justice and Service Course in the Certificate in Youth Ministry Studies. She is a contributing author to a number of publications and trains parish leaders in lifelong faith formation and young adult ministry.

4-24  Moving with Trusting Hearts and Minds for Grace to Enter from Unlikely Places   

The Psalms call us to lift up our hearts and trust in God. We are called to let kindliness and loyalty never leave us, as Solomon notes in Proverbs: “tie them around [our] necks and write them on the tablet of [our] hearts, so that [our] lives should be set on a pathways of love and trust.” Come practice walking along these paths. Be challenged to stretch soul, heart and body to a new consciousness of our daily encounters with God through prayerful movement and dance. John West, Artistic Director of the Valyermo Dancers, leads this interactive workshop. All levels of experience are welcome.

John West, Obl OSB, BA, MEd, MA

John West is a sacred and liturgical dance workshop leader and clinician. The Oblate of St. Andrew’s Abbey in Valyermo, Calif., is a member of the North American Academy of Liturgy. West, a noted choreographer in the California Dance Research Project, has led international and national workshops and lectured on medieval and sacred dance. His Religious Education Congress experience began in 1970, and since 1991, he has served on the Congress Liturgy Committee.

4-25  Five Ways Psychology Can Inform Cate­chesis   

Dr. Joseph D. White (bio 1-26)

How can what we know about human behavior, cognition and memory, child development and emotions help us form the faith of others? In this session, Dr. Joseph White, Clinical Psychologist and National Catechetical Consultant, will discuss the ways psychology can help us be more effective as catechists.

4-26  Prayer in the Catholic Tradition: Exploring the Other Side of Your Soul

In 1955, when the Benedictine priest Fr. Bede Griffiths went to India to establish a Christian contemplative community he said that he was also going there to “explore the other half of my soul.” Catholic prayer is so much richer than many people realize. In this lively, informative, encouraging and sometimes challenging presentation, Dr. Robert Wicks will offer practical approaches to learning, practicing and sharing a vital prayer life that can, in Jesus’ words, “make all things new.” Topics will include making friends with the Gospel, deepening your own “rule of prayer” and “street spirituality.”

Dr. Robert J. Wicks

Dr. Robert Wicks has taught in universities and professional schools of psychology, medicine, nursing, theology and social work, and has published over 50 books for both professionals and the general public. He is currently on the faculty at Loyola University Maryland. In 2006, Dr. Wicks received the first annual Alumni Award for Excellence in Professional Psychology from Widener University and is a recipient of the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the American Counseling Association. He also received the Papal Medal from Pope John Paul II for his service to the Church.

4-70  Vietnamese Workshop: Epiclesis: The Role of the Holy Spirit in the Liturgy   

This workshop will study the indispensable role played by the Holy Spirit in the Liturgy of the Church. By focusing on liturgical texts and sources, attendees will have a better understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit in the sacraments and especially in the Eucharistic celebration.

Rev. Thinh Duc Pham

Ordained a priest for the Los Angeles Archdiocese in 2002, Fr. Thinh Pham served for four years as Associate Pastor at St. John of God Church in Norwalk. Upon completing his first assignment, he was sent to pursue graduate studies at the Pontifical Institute of Liturgy in Rome. Fr. Pham has completed his License of Sacred Liturgy in 2010 and is currently teaching Liturgy at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, Calif.

5-01  Voices of Angels    Arena

Here in Los Angeles, the “City of Angels,” this session gives us an opportunity to reflect on the place of angels in our lives and how God communicates to us through them. Based on Holy Scripture, the Catechism of the Church and the writings of the saints and mystics, the role and presence of angels is explored through Word, music and prayer, inviting the participants to embrace and renew our relationships with this beautiful gift of God.

Liam Lawton

Liam Lawton is a priest of the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin, Ireland, where he serves as Director of Music. He has recorded 16 collections of music and has written two books. Fr. Lawton has recorded a number of TV specials including two on PBS. He has presented at conferences in Europe and across the United States, and is one of the most frequent L.A. Congress presenters.

Tony Alonso

Tony Alonso, a prominent voice in contemporary liturgical music, presents at workshops and conferences across North America and Europe. His latest release is “A House of Prayer” with GIA Publications. Alonso formerly served as Director of Music at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and at St. Nicholas Church in Evanston, Ill. He is currently a doctoral candidate at Emory University in Atlanta.

Jeanne Cotter

Based in St. Paul, Minn., Jeanne Cotter is a liturgical composer, author, speaker and founder of Mythic Rain. She is also Artist in Residence at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Naperville, Ill. Cotter has directed parish missions and retreats throughout the United States and has presented at diocesan events and at major national gatherings. Her latest works are “Tender Hearted” and “The Old Gravel Road.”

Chris de Silva

Chris de Silva is a composer, arranger and recording artist with GIA Publications and has appeared at national conferences and dio­cesan and parish retreats around the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. De Silva has served several parishes in the Los Angeles Archdiocese and is presently Associate Director of Music and Liturgy at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

Fr. Rob Galea

Fr. Rob Galea serves in the Diocese of Sandhurst, Victoria, Australia. Apart from his series of recordings and CD releases, the singer/songwriter has also written a number of songs for various international conferences. He is co-founder and Director of “Stronger,” a regional youth movement. Fr. Galea was selected to sing in the English version of the 2016 World Youth Day song, “Blessed Are The Merciful.”

5-02  The Francis Mission: Progress Report on a Populist Pope and His Historic Reform   

Crux’s John Allen will review the latest twists in the Pope Francis story, bringing into focus the overall strategy of this populist pope for a renewed and evangelically dynamic Catholicism. The session will examine reform moves by Francis on financial transparency, sexual abuse, the family, and ecumenism and inter-faith dialogue, suggesting what they mean not just for Rome but for the Church at all levels and in all places.

John L. Allen Jr.

John Allen is Editor of Crux, an independent Catholic news site in partnership with the Knights of Columbus, and Senior Vatican Analyst for CNN. He previously served as both Associate Editor for the Boston Globe and Senior Correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter. Author of 10 best-selling books on the Vatican and Catholic affairs, Allen is also a nationally and internationally known speaker on the Vatican and Catholic affairs. He divides his time between Rome and his home in Denver.

5-03  Rituals, Symbols & Prayer Services   

You are a catechist and you’ve been given the task of creating a prayer space and service. What do you do? Join us as we discuss the rituals and symbols of our Catholic faith and the ways in which they speak to our life experience. Time will be given for participants to learn how to write prayers and design prayer services and sacred spaces for their students.

Dr. Mary Amore

Dr. Mary Amore is Executive Director of Mayslake Ministries, based in in Lombard, Ill. The monthly blogger and magazine columnist is author of a book and creator of the DVD series, “Eucharist: Pathway of Transformation, Healing and Discipleship.” A Cardinal Bernardin Scholar and distinguished member of the North American Academy of Liturgy, Dr. Amore has been a presenter at the L.A. Congress, the University of Dallas Ministry Conference, the Diocese of New Hampshire Ministry Conference, as well as conducting parish missions, retreats and adult faith formation programs.

5-04  The Role of Liturgy in Youth Ministry   

Leisa Anslinger (bio 2-04)

The 2013 document, “For Ages Unending: The Ministry of Liturgy with Adolescents,” produced by the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry, describes the ministry of prayer and worship as “an essential part of comprehensive youth ministry.” This workshop will invite those leaders involved in parish youth ministry to deepen their understanding of the Sunday Mass and its role in the entire life of the parish so they can (and lead the youth to) serve the Church and the world with the power found in the Word and the Eucharist.

5-05  Let Go … Trust: Music, Movement, Breath Work and Prayer   

Allow yourself to be in the moment, letting go of all that pulls you down. Step out of your comfort zone and experience release and joy while moving through a series of movement improvisations, dancing our prayers and renewing our spirits. (Please wear comfortable clothing that will allow you to move!)

Donna Anderle

Donna Anderle is an accomplished dancer, teacher and choreographer. The nationally known liturgical dancer is on the teaching faculty of the Cincinnati Ballet and Midwest Theatre ballet and is involved in Cincy Dance, an outreach program for Cincinnati inner-city schools. Anderle has choreographed for major conferences including the National Catholic Youth Conferences and the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry. Her work is compiled in four books of choreography and a video with Oregon Catholic Press. She continues to give workshops, keynote presentations and dance in concert.

5-06  Trusting in God: Helps, Hindrances and Traps   

Like Abraham, Moses, the prophets and the saints, every disciple has moments of distrust in God for diverse reasons. This workshop draws on the spiritual wisdom of the Catholic tradition, especially the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits and the spiritual guide of Pope Francis, to understand those moments of desolation and how to overcome them with God’s help.

Rev. Claudio M. Burgaleta, SJ, PhD

Fr. Claudio Burgaleta is Superior (Rector) of the Jesuits of New Jersey. The Cuban-born priest has taught at several Jesuit universities, including Fordham University in New York, St. Peter’s University in New Jersey and Loyola Marymount University in California. He is a frequent presenter on theological and spirituality topics at pastoral conferences in across the United States and abroad. Fr. Burgaleta has also served as a spiritual and retreat director, formator of lay ecclesial ministers, and as a weekend assistant for various Spanish-speaking parish communities.

5-07  Pregnancy Loss and Unresolved Grief   

This workshop will explore a trauma sensitive perspective on how women and men cope with pregnancy loss. Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder as they relate to the loss of a child through abortion will be described as we explore how unresolved grief and repressed feelings can be acted out through self-destructive behavior, broken relationships, obsessions, eating disorders, parenting difficulties, faith struggles and other emotional problems. Indeed, every symptom tells a story! This workshop will give you insights to unravel the mystery, the drama and the repetition of trauma that frequently accompanies this hidden epidemic of forbidden grief.

Theresa M. Burke, PhD

Dr. Theresa Burke is founder and Executive Director of Rachel’s Vineyard, a post-abortion ministry model that, since 1993, has spread to 49 states and over 70 countries. She has lectured and trained professionals internationally on the subject of post-abortion trauma and healing and has developed “Grief to Grace: Reclaiming the Gift of Sexual Dignity,” a five-day program for healing sexual abuse. Dr. Burke serves as a Pastoral Associate of Priests for Life and presented as an expert for the 2011 Pontifical Academy of Life’s General Assembly.

5-08  Bullying Out – Formation In   

Frank A. DiLallo (bio 1-06)

Why does it seem that bullying is in and formation is out? Catholic formation seems impossible at times with the myriad of bullying behaviors, violence and negativity in our world. How do we effectively teach youth that bullying is unacceptable without shame or blame? How do we help youth make a deeper connection with the virtuous behaviors of Jesus we know from Scripture? This interactive session will demonstrate how to effectively make a connection with select Scripture to reduce the harm of bullying behaviors.

5-09  Catechesis for Children with Special Needs   

Sacred Scripture and church documents call us to form the faith of all the baptized, especially those with special needs. And although we echo this view, we wonder how do we invite? How do we welcome or we include them? Where do we start? What are the most effective strategies out there? How do we know if we are ready to work with children with disabilities? In this session, we will discuss the vision of the Church in the United States for catechesis with people with special needs and the effective implementation of that vision. We will share valuable resources to help start and build a more creative catechesis.

Peter Joseph Ductram

Peter Ductram is Director of Catechesis for the Miami Archdiocese. Born in Lima, Peru, he has served in ministry in Peru, Chile, Brazil and the United States. He served in the Chicago Archdiocese for 12 years as Coordinator of Hispanic Ministry, Director of Religious Education, and Coordinator of Evangelization. Ductram currently serves as Co-Chair of the ENAVE National Committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Cultural Diversity and as a member of the writing team of the National Initiative for Adolescent Catechesis.

5-10  “But YOU Said … !”   

Relationship. Young children need to know they can depend on the adults entrusted with their care. At this stage in their development, it can be challenging for them to communicate their needs and, more importantly, their feelings. Effective communication skills are essential in building that trust and require us to be fully present. Join the Early Childhood Advisory Board as we offer practical ways and creative ideas that build trusting relationships between young children and the catechists, teachers, parents and caregivers who have been blessed and called by God to provide this care.

Early Childhood Advisory Board

Continuing the vision that has spanned over 40 years, the Los Angeles Early Childhood Advisory Board, a group of talented catechist educators and professionals, strives to serve the needs of the parish and school communities of the Los Angeles Archdiocese. The board members offer hands-on, engaging and creative training for adults working with young children. These workshops are crucial to the proper development and implementation of age-appropriate programs for children ages 3, 4 and 5.

5-11  Rebalancing the Power: Finding Common Ground Between Lay Minsters and Clergy   

Whether a volunteer or employed ecclesial minister, whether a visiting clergy or pastor, often clergy and laity have differing views about how the parish should operate, events should unfold or liturgies should be enacted. Sometime those differences devolve into personal confrontations or unseemly machinations. But there are other ways. Frank dialogue will explore the potential for creating common ground despite the power differential, educational disparities and differences in social location that often exist between laity and clergy.

Edward Foley, OFM Cap

Capuchin priest Fr. Edward Foley is the Duns Scotus Professor of Spirituality, and Professor of Liturgy and Music at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, where he was founding Director of the Ecumenical Doctor of Ministry Program. He is past President of the North American Academy of Liturgy. The award-winning author has written over 300 book chapters, articles and reviews, and has 23 books in print, most recently, “Theological Reflection Across Faith Traditions.”

John Angotti

Based in Memphis, Tenn., John Angotti is a fulltime music missionary providing concerts, workshops, retreats and worship. He is a frequent presenter at parish missions as well as regional and diocesan conferences across the United States and abroad. Angotti is an accomplished composer, with numerous publications under the World Library Publications label. His latest work is the John Angotti Music Mission (JAMM) original musical, “Job: The NOW Testament.”

5-12  A Sower Went Out to Sow: A Spirituality for Young Adults in Ministry   

Tom East (bio 3-09)

Ministry leaders and catechists draw upon wells that are full and help others grow in faith and friendship with Christ. This workshop will provide a “mini-retreat” for young adults who are catechists and ministry leaders. We will look at the Scripture of the Sower and the Seed in new ways that remind us of our call to be close to the Sower, to become the Seed of Good News and to take time to nourish the Soil of our personal prayer and spirituality.

5-13  Teachers, Transformation and Technology: How Can Teachers Help Their Students Change the World?   

Dan Friedt (bio 1-10)

What does it take to be an effective teacher in today’s Catholic school classroom and parish? How can your pedagogy and the tools of technology support effective learning for every child in your school and parish community? In this interactive presentation, Dan Friedt will encourage you to examine your teaching practice. Are you a connected educator? Are you teaching students who want to make a difference? With powerful “in the trenches” stories, Friedt will teach simple, effective peda­gogical shifts to transform your teaching practice and infuse technologies to stretch your teaching and make a difference in the learning of every student.

5-14  Mission Discipleship as Authentic Christianity   

Anthony J. Gittins, CSSp (bio 2-15)

Pope Francis is echoing Jesus when he insists that true discipleship is outgoing, always seeking to encounter, never to coerce, and deliberately moving from our comfortable center to the edge, the boundary, the margin, where many of our sisters and brothers are to be found. “Missionary discipleship” is bold, risky and necessary today.

5-15  In the Midst of the Storm: Grace!

Whatever form it may take, the storms of life test all people. Life-altering illness, sudden financial instability, the death of a loved one or a 1,000-year rain storm: all bring a level of unnerving vulnerability that forces us to face the fragile nature of our existence. Yet, living through such events, as opposed to simply surviving, is dependent on an unseen factor that Christian’s refer to as “grace.” This session will offer an overview of the Church’s theology of grace, including an analysis of the pastoral and catechetical implications of the Church’s teachings. This session is recommended for all those engaged in catechetical and pastoral ministries.

Dr. Greer G. Gordon

Dr. Greer Gordon is a Roman Catholic theologian, author and lecturer. She served in administration at the University of Massachusetts and at Regis College in Weston, Mass., and was a diocesan director in Washington D.C., Oakland, Boston and Baton Rouge, La. Dr. Gordon was one of eight American women invited by the Vatican to respond to John Paul II’s encyclical on women. The first woman to deliver a Baccalaureate Address for Boston University, Greer is a frequent speaker at RECongress. She is currently a theological consultant for a social service collective in South Louisiana.

5-16  Living the Fruit of the Spirit (When We’re All Nuts)   

In the Book of Galatians, Paul gives us a beautiful – if not lofty – litany of what the yield will be when we live a “life in the spirit.” Love, joy, peace, patience … all at the same time? Easier said than done! In this workshop, join Sarah Hart and come delve more deeply into these words of Paul, illustrated by the life of Jesus, with singing, praying and storytelling. Be prepared for laughter, tears, sharing and general joyful frivolity.

Sarah Hart

Sarah Hart of Nashville, Tenn., has been a singer, songwriter, retreat author and keynote speaker for more than 20 years. She has performed at countless conventions and events, and for Pope Francis at St. Peter’s in 2013. The Grammy-nominated songwriter has songs recorded by numerous artists and has appeared in TV, film and commercials. Hart’s writing is visible in hymnals across the globe. She has authored four retreats for parish missions, women’s retreats and adult catechesis, which she presents nationally.

5-17  Franciscan Spirituality of Creation   

In the age of Laudato Sí, we are mindful of the need for an integral ecology that joins together our faith with a proper relationship to the rest of creation. Drawing on the wisdom of St. Francis of Assisi and those who follow him, this workshop focuses on the contributions that the Franciscan spiritual tradition offers to contemporary women and men for better incorporating the teachings of Laudato Sí in both faith and action. This session provides insights that are helpful in the parish, school and other ministries concerned with engaging the Church’s teachings on creation with the modern world and natural sciences, recalling our place within the broader family of God’s creation.

Rev. Daniel P. Horan, OFM

Franciscan friar Fr. Daniel Horan, a theologian and columnist at America magazine, has lectured across North America and Europe. He teaches theology and spirituality at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago; he previously taught at Boston College as well as at Siena College and St. Bonaventure University, both in New York. Fr. Horan is author of numerous academic and popular articles. His recent books include “God is Not Fair and Other Reasons for Gratitude,” “The Franciscan Heart of Thomas Merton” and “The Last Words of Jesus.”

5-18  If You’re Green, You Grow!   

“To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often,” wrote theologian John Henry Newman. Based on biblical, Indigenous and 12-Step spirituality, Marriage Encounter, contemporary authors and 40 years of pastoral ministry and spiritual direction, this presentation will explore the many dimensions of personal growth and human development such as self-awareness, emotional intelligence, achieving intimacy, effective communication, forgiveness, grieving and healing life’s hurts, all aimed at living life more fully and freely. Expect a session that is informative, formative and transformative.

Archbishop Sylvain Lavoie, OMI

Archbishop Sylvain Lavoie is a missionary Oblate who has spent over 30 years ministering among the aboriginal peoples of north and central Saskatchewan, Canada. In 2006, he became Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Keewatin-Le Pas. Now as Archbishop Emeritus, he has a new role as a chaplain and spiritual director at the North Retreat Center in St. Albert, Alberta, Canada; his ministry includes lectures, workshops and retreats. He is author of “Walk A New Path.”

5-19  The Storm Before the Calm: Learning to Embrace Trust Using Lectio & Visio Divina   

This workshop is designed to give an introduction to beginners on how to use lectio divina (sacred reading) and visio divina (sacred seeing) in both communal and individual prayer. We will follow the process of listening, meditating, seeing, praying and contemplating God’s call to trust using Sacred Scripture and images. Lectio and visio divina provide a wonderful faith-sharing experience for small groups in parishes and schools. Once the process is explained, Dr. Josephine Lombardi will facilitate/demonstrate a lectio and visio divina reflection based on the theme of trust.

Josephine Lombardi, PhD

Dr. Josephine Lombardi is an author, retreat leader and workshop presenter who has worked in a variety of ministries. She is currently Associate Professor of Pastoral and Systematic Theology, Professor of Field Education, and Director of Lay Formation at St. Augustine’s Seminary in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada. Dr. Lombardi has worked in television and radio and has hosted a weekly radio show on the New Evangelization. Her book, “Experts in Humanity,” has been well received and featured on Salt and Light Television.

5-20  “BEING” a Catechist vs. “WORKING” as a Catechist   

Patricia M. McCormack, IHM, EdD (bio 3-18)

John Paul II wrote, “People today put more trust in witnesses than in teachers, in experience than in teaching, and in life and action than in theories” (Redemptoris Missio, 42). Enrich your personal commitment to Jesus and affirm your calling as catechist by reflection on the threefold vocational call of catechists: 1) to witness to personal faith; 2) to mentor by sharing life experience of continual personal conversion; and 3) to teach matters of faith and morals.

5-21  Unleash the Spiritual Gifts of Your Parish   

Peggy O’Flaherty (bio 3-20)

Scripture tells us there are many gifts, but the one same Spirit. Come explore meaningful and effective ways to unleash the spiritual gifts of your parishioners in your quest to grow discipleship and shape your parish ministries. You’ll learn from real life parish experiences where intentionality and the power of the Spirit has been used to discover, cultivate and share the gifts of members of the community. You’ll also learn how those gifts are used serve others in transforming ways.

5-22  The Dustbowl Bible: Reading the Old Testament Exile in California   

What does it mean to read the Old Testament in California? Does this place change things? In this experiment, Dr. Daniel Smith-Christopher suggests that it does! By thinking about the famous Dustbowl Migration to California in the 1930s, and making comparisons to the Exile period of the Old Testament, strange and yet interesting comparisons come up. Sometimes these kinds of comparisons raise interesting questions. A special welcome to attendees from Central California – Bakersfield to Salinas – since we will refer to your histories and locations in this session. Come find out what Merle Haggard and Woody Guthrie have to do with the Psalms, for example!

Prof. Daniel L. Smith-Christopher

Dr. Daniel Smith-Christopher has taught for 27 years at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he is Professor of Old Testament Studies and Associate Graduate Director of Theology, and Director of Peace Studies. He has been honored with numerous awards for research and has published over 40 scholarly articles and 14 books. In addition to his primary focus on Old Testament, Dr. Christopher also maintains particular interest in theological issues related to African-American and Native-American history and experience.

5-23  The Culture of Life & Social Justice   

Robert J. Spitzer, SJ, PhD (bio 3-23)

Perhaps more than any other world institution, the Catholic Church has been responsible for developing the institutions and principles leading to social justice and a culture of life. Fr. Robert Spitzer will discuss not only the remarkable impact of the Church’s three great institutions – public education, public health and public welfare – that led to our Declaration of Independence and the U.N. Charter on Human Rights, including the principles of universal inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (Francisco Suarez, SJ), the equality of persons (Bartolomé de las Casas, OP), and the dictum that an unjust law is no law at all (St. Augustine).

5-24  The New Evangelization and the Extra­ordinary Mission of Our Times

Dr. Edward Sri (bio 3-24)

Though there is much talk about the New Evangelization, most Catholics don’t understand what it really means. And even fewer knew how it affects their daily lives. In this session, Dr. Edward Sri will offer a clear explanation of what exactly the New Evangelization is and how it should shape every Catholic’s life – at home, at work, at the parish and in the world. Learn from Popes John Paul II, Benedict and Francis how to make the New Evangelization not just a Catholic “buzzword” but a reality that transforms your parish, your family and your own personal life.

5-25  Transformative Adult Faith Formation: The Discipleship Check In   

Within the process of conversion and ongoing conversion, identifiable stages of faith are evident as people grow in faith. In light of these stages of conversion, ministry should adapt and flex to accommodate those in the beginning stage of their discipleship journey to becoming a missionary disciple. Understanding this process and how to identify and accompany people on their discipleship journey will be the focus of this session, including sharing practical and concrete frameworks that you can incorporate into your ministry.

Julianne Stanz

Julianne Stanz is Director of New Evangelization for the Diocese of Green Bay, Wis., and 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.

5-26  Five Concrete Ways to Reach Millennials and Their Children   

Millennials are defined as 18 years of age through 35. Their children – called “click babies” – are growing up in a completely new digital, virtual world. Many forces in our culture are competing for their attention, their energy and their talents. The church, as statistics tells us, is not a place where they are engaging their time and energy. They are being referred to as the “nones” because when asked about religious affiliation they write down none! This workshop will focus on how we got to this point with millennials and, more importantly, will offer some strategies to better work with them. Concrete hands-on ideas will be discussed and shared.

Victor Valenzuela

Victor Valenzuela is an independent catechetical consultant based in Northern California. He has been in ministry for 30 years including classroom teaching, youth ministry, teacher training and writing and development of new materials. Valenzuela has presented workshops to numerous groups both regionally and nationally. Born in Arizona to parents of Mexican descent, he is fully bilingual and bicultural. He is currently enrolled in a doctoral program at Barry University in Miami.

5-70 Vietnamese Workshop: Lead Like Jesus, the Servant Leader   

Jesus said, “I did not come to be served but to serve” (Mk 10:45). As members of the Church, we are called to live out our Christian life of service. Through service, we can lead people to God and empower them to lead others to creating an environment of harmony, trust and love. This workshop will provide leadership skills of a servant leader like Jesus who is the Perfect Leader of all time.

Sr. Vuong Minh Do, FMA

Sr. Vuong Do is a Daughter of Mary Help of Christians (Salesian Sister). In 1979, she and her family fled communist Vietnam to find freedom. Moving to America, she has worked with Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth in Orange County for several decades and over 10 years in pastoral ministry at St. Bonaventure and Holy Spirit Churches before joining the Salesian Sisters. Sr. Do is currently Chief Executive Officer at Mary Help of Christians School and Superior of her community in Laredo, Texas.


6-01  Say Something … I’m Giving Up On You!    Arena

At times, “Silence is golden” is indeed quite true. But there are times when our silence can truly become deadly. That is why the Lord said to St. Paul, “Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent; for I am with you” (Acts 18:9-10). Sometimes, we have to “say something.” The marginalized sectors of society are begging us to speak up. This workshop will strive to be a voice for our society’s voiceless. It will address the silent cries of the unborn, the underemployed, the LGBT community, the incarcerated and many others. It is time for us to break the silence and “say something”!

Rev. R. Tony Ricard, MTh, MDiv

Fr. Tony Ricard, a priest of the New Orleans Archdiocese, currently serves as Pastor of St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish and as Campus Minister and Chair of Theology for St. Augustine High School in New Orleans. He is also an Instructor for the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University and Director of Knight Time Ministries. Fr. Ricard has authored many books, has given keynote addresses, retreats, revivals and youth talks across the nation and has preached in 22 countries.

6-02  To Have and to Hold – Let Trust Make Me Bold

Clarissa Valbuena Aljentera (bio 2-03)

Inviting young adults into a deeper faith through the sacrament of marriage begs us to be creative and innovative as leaders. We will look at ways to evangelize and energize engaged couples and recently married couples in our pews and beyond. We will spend some time with the “three S’s” to accompany the faith lives of young adults: Scripture, Spirituality and Social Media.

6-03  The Grand Narrative of Scripture   

While every character, story, and book of Scripture is significant in itself, stepping back for a broad, panoramic view of the entire Bible helps us to take in and understand God’s unified plan for human history. In this workshop, you will learn how all of the Bible’s many parts fit together in a grand and awesome narrative. With a clear vision of this sweeping unity, we can then understand far better our own place within the storyline and our own personal role within the mission of God.

Stephen J. Binz

Stephen Binz is a biblical scholar and award-winning author. He was founder and author of the Threshold Bible Study with Twenty-Third Publications. Binz has spoken at national gatherings, including the L.A. Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Catholic Education Association. He has traveled the United States and Canada, offering keynote at diocesan conferences, parish missions and retreats, and he leads pilgrimages to the lands of the Bible and other sacred sites.

6-04  Discipleship and Confirmation: Putting an End to Confirmation as ‘THE END’   

Given what we know about adolescent spirituality, effective catechesis and good youth ministry, how might we enhance confirmation preparation’s ability to be a more formative experience in the lives of young people? What have we learned from the efforts of others around the country? This session offers eight potential enhancements you can make and invites you to select the one(s) that might most enhance your efforts. Note: We will not focus on the practical; instead, we will consider the merits of what is possible.

Dr. Michael Carotta

Based in Nebraska, Mike Carotta is Senior Manager of Catholic Initiatives for the American Bible Society. The religious educator and consultant taught catechetics at six Catholic universities, has spoken at national, international and diocesan events, and recently directed the national Confirmation Prep Project in 18 dioceses. Carotta’s most recent book is “Teaching For Discipleship: The Call, The Challenge, The Difference for Discipleship.” In 2012, he received the Emmaus Award for Excellence in Catechesis.

6-05  Let’s Answer Those Tough Catholic Questions   

Fr. John Cusick (bio 1-05)

Too often today the critical questions asked by people about the practices of our Church are either answered with a law or a rule, or simply go unanswered. Not only do they demand answers, but they also need pastoral understandings. This workshop will answer many of those “tough questions” such as: Why should I go to Church? Why go to confession? Why do Catholics have to be married inside a church? Why do I have to be registered in a parish? Why are many churches being so tough on eulogies at funerals? Why are there so many rules and regulations in my parish?

6-06  Praying with the Body   

Applying the practices from his book, “Praying with the Body: Bringing the Psalms to Life,” this workshop will let you experience a creative approach to praying The Lord’s Prayer, the Hail Mary, the Glory Be, and the Sign of the Cross. Roy DeLeon will be your guide in moving these traditional prayers from our heads into our hearts, into our entire being, into a more intimate and mindful time with the Creator. The guided body movements will be slow and very gentle. There will be instructions on how to adapt them to your physical needs.

Roy E. DeLeon, OblSB

Roy DeLeon has been a member of the Oblates of St. Benedict with St. Placid Priory in Lacey, Wash., since 2002, and he represented his community at the First World Congress of Benedictine Oblates in Rome, Italy in 2005. A spiritual director and certified yoga instructor, DeLeon regularly conducts workshops on body prayer and other forms of expressive contemplative prayer at St. Placid’s Spirituality Center.

6-07  Art, Literature and the Renewal of the Christian Imagination   

Leonard J. DeLorenzo, PhD (bio 2-10)

Studying art and literature assists in the formation of a sacramental imagination while also fostering the skills, behaviors and dispositions of mature discipleship. We will see how those of us who live in a consumer culture are slowly formed to hold unstable desires, fueled by a general inability to pay attention. We will then explore how the discipline of “strategic patience” that art and literature demand helps heal us of this malady, schooling us in the virtues of stability and the generosity of attention.

6-08  The Joy of Love and Marriage   

Would Pope Francis be a good marriage therapist? While hot button issues have grabbed the headlines, Pope Francis’ 2016 document, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), provides a beautiful reflection on love, marriage and family. Francis states, “Every marriage is a kind of salvation history,” providing the couple with a pathway to heaven when they embrace trust to build upon their strengths, address their challenges and invite God’s presence into their marriage. Integrating the psychological and the spiritual, we’ll provide strategies to build healthy marriages – both for ourselves and our ministries – that leave you feeling “the Joy of Love.”

Michael DiPaolo, PhD

Dr. Michael DiPaolo is a clinical psychologist and a certified Imago Relationship Therapist in private practice in Los Angeles. He works with individuals and couples and has counseled over 1,000 couples in marriage preparation throughout the Los Angeles Archdiocese. Dr. DiPaolo is a retreat leader, staff trainer to several community-based mental health agencies and workshop presenter at archdiocesan events including the Our Lady of the Angels Regional Congress and Theology on Tap. His recently updated book is titled, “The Impact of Multiple Childhood Trauma on Homeless Runaway Adolescents.”

6-09  Transgender in the Family: One Bread, One Body   

Gender identity and transgender issues have become hot topics in media, politics, schools and other religious and social Arenas. In this session, a panel moderated by Dr. Arthur Fitzmaurice will speak from lived experience to help us be sensitive, loving and supportive of transgender Catholics and their families in the midst of transition. Fr. Bryan Massingale will offer theological reflection and respond to the witnesses of transgender Catholics and family members on the panel. Attention will be given to exploring best practices for integrating gender-diverse families in our parishes, schools and health-care systems.

Arthur Fitzmaurice, PhD

Freelance speaker and minister Dr. Arthur Fitzmaurice has served a decade in ministry with LGBT Catholics. He has spoken at various gatherings, including the Religious Education Congress, the Faith Formation Conference, the Catholic Association for Lesbian and Gay Ministry, and the Gay Christian Network. Dr. Fitzmaurice appears in several YouTube episodes produced by the Ignatian News Network. He has also received the Archdiocese’s Lumen Christi and the Cardinal’s Young Adult in Ministry awards.

Fr. Bryan N. Massingale, STD

Fr. Bryan Massingale, a priest of the Milwaukee Archdiocese, is Professor of Theology at Fordham University in New York. A noted authority on Catholic moral theology and social ethics, he has lectured extensively on ethical and racial justice issues throughout the United States and internationally. A previous Religious Education Congress Keynoter, Fr. Massingale is a former President of the Catholic Theological Society of America and has been a leader of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium.

6-10  Praised Bee   

The beloved bee is in peril, yet its work remains critical for the balance of our world. In light of Pope Francis’ challenging encyclical on the environment, what should we know about American agriculture, the stewardship of creation and the preservation of the bee? This cross-curricular workshop will provide resources, insights and valuable information for all who share a care and concern for this beautiful and fragile world, and in particular, those who teach religion, music, science and social studies for grades 1 through 12 and beyond. Come prepared to learn and participate in this workshop in which intellect meets the affect – the head meets the heart.

Martin G. Marklin

Martin Marklin received his early childhood liturgical training in St. Louis while serving at the side of his pastor and namesake, Msgr. Martin B. Hellriegel. In 1975, he began creating paschal candles and worked to perfect a wax-inlay process. He, along with his wife, Christine, now live in New Hampshire and are principals of Marklin Candle Design. Martin, a woodworker by training, made candles for the U.S. visits of Pope Francis, John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

John K. Flaherty

John Flaherty has been involved in music and educational ministry for over 20 years as an educator, elementary school principal, music director, liturgy director and composer. He is presently on the Campus Ministry team at Loyola Marymount University, where he serves as Director of Liturgy and Music. Flaherty has served as the chairperson of the Liturgy Committee and Music Director for the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress since 1991.

6-11  Suicide: Better Understanding and Support for This Incomprehensible Tragedy   

Amy Florian (bio 3-12)

Suicide is now the third leading cause of death of young adults ages 15-29. Yet so few people are educated about suicide, the warning signs, how to help and how to support families in the aftermath. Learn, too, how Catholic teaching on funerals and eternal life for suicide victims has changed over the years, and where we stand now. Come be informed and challenged, and get your questions answered.

6-12  Christianity, Mysticism & the Esoteric: Pathways to the Divine   

Fr. Richard Fragomeni (bio 1-09)

In this session, examine why and enjoy the hidden dimensions of Christian wisdom as we examine the mystery of God who is All in All.

6-13  Wrestling with the Tradition – Why Belonging to a Community of Faith Still Matters   

Dr. Richard Gaillardetz (bio 1-11)

In the midst of scandal and controversy, many people today, especially young adults, are finding it difficult to see the point of belonging to the church. For them, one can still pursue an authentically moral and spiritual existence without belonging to a church suffering a major credibility crisis. In this workshop, Dr. Richard Gaillardetz will argue why belonging to a community of faith matters more than ever in our contemporary world.

6-14  Hopes for the Church of the 21st Century   

Dr. Thomas Groome (bio 3-13)

As we settle into the 21st century, what are our best hopes for our Church and Catholic faith, and how do we move forward toward the realization of our hopes. The challenges of our times also bring new opportunities, and while faith is often challenged, we must rise to the challenge.

6-15  Singing Truth to Power: Music That Embraces and Empowers Us to Trust in God’s Reign

Old Testament scholar and theologian Walter Brueggemann notes that God’s Reign is best and most powerfully envisioned, embraced and realized through the voice of the prophet and the poet. How do we sing God’s Word in these challenging times with passion and integrity? In this session, we will explore how God’s Spirit is speaking and moving in our world, embrace our calling as poets and prophets of hope, and raise our voices to proclaim that trust in the Gospel.

Marty Haugen

For over 36 years, composer Marty Haugen has presented workshops, concerts and presentations across North and Central America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific Rim. His range of musical compositions continues to appear in hymnals for United States, Canadian and Australian Catholics, Evangelical Lutherans and other Protestant denominations. His most recent works include “Here Among Us” and “Lyric Psalter,” a project in collaboration with Tony Alonso.

6-16  The Fifth Encuentro: Historical Roots and Vision for Pastoral Renewal   

Since 1972, the National Hispanic Pastoral Encuentros have inspired countless Latinos and other Catholics to live their Christian identity as leaders in the Church. Encuentros draw their energy from thousands of small faith communities in parishes and dioceses, constituting a major force for Catholic renewal. The four-year process of the Fifth National Encuentro of Hispanic/Latina Ministry begins in 2017 and will conclude in 2020, with a national gathering in 2018. This is an exceptional opportunity for pastoral planning, leadership formation, consultation and evangelization. Come and learn about this exciting moment in our Church!

Dr. Timothy Matovina

Dr. Timothy Matovina is Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and Co-Director of the Institute for Latino Studies. He works in the area of theology and culture, with specialization in U.S. Catholic and U.S. Latino theology and religion. His most recent books are the award-winning “Latino Catholicism: Transformation in America’s Largest Church” and the Spanish version of that work, “Ministerio Hispano: Una introducción.”

Hosffman Ospino, PhD

Dr. Hosffman Ospino is Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology and Religious Education at the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College, where he is Director of Graduate Programs in Hispanic Ministry. He is author or editor of several books and he served as the principal investigator for the National Study of Catholic Parishes with Hispanic Ministry and is a co-principal investigator for the National Survey of Catholic Schools Serving Hispanic Families.

6-17  Recalibration: Moving to a Grace-filled Future!   

This session is for pastoral ministers in the wisdom generation (in their 50s and 60s) who are considering their “next stage” in life and ministry and not ready to completely leave the ministry vineyard. Recalibration is a life-giving option to retirement, a re-examination of vocation and ministry, and a joy-filled pathway to our next stage. We will identify the practical challenges, key questions to consider and specific strategies to honor our past and enhance our preferred future.

Robert J. McCarty, DMin

Bob McCarty has been in pastoral ministry since 1973, serving in parish, school, diocesan and national settings. He is currently Chief Operating Officer of the Catholic Mobilizing Network, formerly serving as Executive Director of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry. McCarty provides training in ministry skills internationally, while continuing to serve as a volunteer in youth ministry and faith formation at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Fulton, Md. His hobbies include cycling, rock climbing and grandparenting!

6-18  “And She Ministered to Them”: Women in Mark’s Gospel   

Rev. J. Patrick Mullen (bio 2-19)

The women in Mark are brave and cowardly, brassy, generous to a fault and occasionally hidden by the translated text. In this workshop, we will focus on the actions, motives and message of the women who populate Jesus’ world to consider our own place – both as women and men – in the Reign of God.

6-19  With Christ on the Border   

In this session, we will take a look at the church’s work on Mexico’s borders with the United States and with Guatemala. Using the theme of “trust” in the Lord and in God’s plan for each one of us, we will look at the work that the Kino Border Initiative does, based in the eucharistic celebration of a meal shared and life given. This can only be accomplished through trust in the God’s Divine Providence. All of us baptized followers of Jesus share in the work of the parable found in Matthew 25 when we join our prayers and thoughts with those seated at the table.

Peter G. Neeley, SJ

Jesuit priest Fr. Peter Neeley has done extensive work with disenfranchised people from Mexico and Central America. For the last eight years he has directed educational programs for parishes and schools regarding border issues and immigration. The work is done out of the Center for Deported Migrants (Kino Border Initiative) in Sonora, Mexico. He also is Co-Director of “Kino Teens,” a program teaching high school students about the reality of deportation and immigration.

6-20  Why Catholic Schools Matter

Catholic schools have experienced tremendous success in evangelizing families, educating youth and forming the next generation in the wisdom and traditions of the faith. Based on 25 years of research, this session explores why Catholic schools matter by presenting the Top 10 reasons for supporting and selecting a Catholic school education.

Rev. Ronald Nuzzi

Fr. Ron Nuzzi, a priest of the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio, has served as a parish priest, retreat leader, teacher, school administrator, university professor as well as in Catholic elementary, secondary and post-secondary institutions. Fr. Nuzzi has developed leadership programs for aspiring Catholic school principals at the University of Dayton in Ohio, at Saint Louis University in Missouri, and at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, where he currently serves as a Senior Director of the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) Program.

6-21  Nine Steps to Transforming Lives: Teaching and Proclaiming a Gospel of Transformation   

Proclaiming the Gospel is much more than transmitting information: It is about transformation. In this workshop, Joe Paprocki will identify nine steps to transforming hearts and minds so as to make disciples whose lives are truly under the influence of Jesus Christ.

Joe Paprocki, DMin

Joe Paprocki has over 35 years of experience in pastoral ministry. He has presented in over 100 dioceses in North America, including Alaska, Hawaii and Canada. Paprocki served as a Consultant for Catechist Formation in the Chicago Archdiocese and is now National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press in Chicago. He still serves as a cate­chist and blogs about the experience and is author of several books on pastoral ministry and catechesis. His latest is “A Church on the Move: 52 Ways to Get Mission and Mercy in Motion.”

6-22  Be My Witness: Practical Ways to Share Powerful Faith Stories   

Seekers and believers alike need to hear a faith story to help them encounter Christ in a new and personal way. Each of us has a story about how our lives have been graced through the power of the Holy Spirit. When we share, we give witness to the power of God’s love and become “agents of evangelization” to others. You will learn practical tips to develop and share your faith story with others.

Sr. Theresa Rickard, OP

Sr. Theresa Rickard, a Dominican Sister of Blauvelt, N.Y., is President and Executive Director of RENEW International. Before joining RENEW, she ministered in two inner-city parishes in the South Bronx, was Director of Vocation and Formation ministry for her congregation, and was a member of the New York Archdiocese’s Parish Mission Team. Sr. Rickard is author of “Live Lent!” and “We Preach Christ Crucified.” She also blogs for RENEW under “God in the Stuff of Life” and is an avid sports fan.

6-23  A Secret Hidden Since the Foundations of the World: The Cross as Revealing the Real Basis for Trust   

Fr. Ronald Rolheiser, OMI (bio 1-01)

The famed French anthropologist René Girard teaches that the cross of Christ reveals a deep secret that has been hidden since the beginning of time. What is that secret? How is it revealed in the cross of Christ? What is revealed in the brokenness of Jesus? What wisdom hidden inside the cross is the basis for trust? The revelation of God’s nature and love in the cross is the ground for human trust.

6-24  Engaging the Head, Heart & Hands of Young People through Creative Cate­chesis   

When we gather young people together are we just playing games, hoping to survive or are we intentionally forming disciples? How can we be faithful to our cate­chetical calling to echo the faith and lead young people down the road of discipleship, while making sure that we actively engage their head, hearts and hands in their own learning process? Let’s have some fun as we creatively answer these questions together.

Michael Theisen

Michael Theisen has been involved in youth ministry and faith formation for 30 years, authoring more than 15 books and numerous articles and was a contributor to the Catholic Youth Bible. His experience as a speaker, trainer and ministry leader spans from parish to diocesan and national levels. Theisen serves as Director of Training and Formation for the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry in Washington, D.C., where he also is National Coordinator for the Strong Catholic Families Initiative. He resides with his family in Rochester, N.Y.

6-25  Where is the Assembly’s Voice?   

Chris Walker (bio 2-25)

As church musicians become more sophisticated and performance-focused, there is a danger that our assembly is being turned into a passive audience rather than taking “full, active and authentic” participation in liturgy. Come and explore ways we can give them back their voice!

6-26  Faith and Politics   

Jim Wallis (bio 4-01)

In this session, Jim Wallis will take a look at the intersection of faith, religion, society and politics in the United States. Biblical as well as secular versions of “social justice” will be explored.

6-70 Vietnamese Workshop: A New Vision, A New Sending Out, A New Culture for Our Youth   

Frère Fortunat Phong, FSC (bio 3-70)

In this session we will offer, especially to youth in post-confirmation programs, a new way to look at the sacrament of reconciliation as Confession of the Merciful God, a celebration of his mercy instead of only confession of sins. As a result, the youth can become dynamic extraordinary ministers of mercy, going out to the periphery, sharing God’s mercy with others, thus contributing in the building of the new culture of solidarity, as called for by Pope Francis.

7-01  All Things Catholic: What’s Hot and What’s Not in the Global Church   

Veteran Vatican writer John Allen takes a 360-degree look at the highlights and lowlights of Catholic news in the past 12 months, drawing out a few big-picture conclusions about what it all means, and then outlines some important stories to watch in the year to come. This session is for Catholics who want a keen sense of what’s happening in their Church, not just in the United States, but in Rome and around the world.

John L. Allen Jr.

John Allen is Editor of Crux, an independent Catholic news site in partnership with the Knights of Columbus, and Senior Vatican Analyst for CNN. He previously served as both Associate Editor for the Boston Globe and Senior Correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter. Author of 10 best-selling books on the Vatican and Catholic affairs, Allen is also a nationally and internationally known speaker on the Vatican and Catholic affairs. He divides his time between Rome and his home in Denver.

7-02  I Will Lift My Eyes: Embracing Trust Through Song

Music gives us a vocabulary to cry out to God in all the colors of life. This workshop will inspire reflection on ways in which music-making inside and outside of liturgy helps us embrace trust in our daily lives.

Tony Alonso

Tony Alonso is one of the most prominent voices in contemporary liturgical music. His latest release is “A House of Prayer” with GIA Publications. He presents at workshops and conferences across North America and Europe. Alonso formerly served as Director of Music at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and at St. Nicholas Church in Evanston, Ill. An emerging theologian, he is currently a doctoral candidate at Emory University in Atlanta.

7-03  From Saint Peter to Pope Francis: How the First Pope Inspires Our Current Pope   

Stephen J. Binz (bio 6-03)

The way Peter the Apostle is presented in the four Gospels, in the Acts of the Apostles and in his two Letters inspires a vision for leadership in the church. Pope Francis has taken up the legacy of Peter and has called the church to be renewed. This workshop will focus on five attributes of the church, learned by Peter and embraced by Francis today as he serves the church from Peter’s chair: 1) a church that is not afraid to be bold; 2) a church that takes up the cross; 3) a church that embraces mercy; 4) a church that welcomes all; 5) a church of missionary disciples.

7-04  How Do We Know What We Know About St. Paul and His Letters?   

Fr. William L. Burton, OFM (bio 3-06)

Paul is notoriously difficult to understand and is even more difficult to teach. The first difficulty is that we have confusing, and occasionally, contradictory information about Paul in our sources. To assess these sources (Paul’s own letters and Acts), we will compare and contrast both sources. Then we will look at the earliest history of the church after Jesus’ Ascension to help us understand both what Paul tells us in his letters and what Acts tells us about Paul. There we will see how the stresses within the early Church about Gentile converts profoundly shaped both Paul and Acts.

7-05  Thank You, God!   

Andrew Chinn (bio 2-07)

This is a workshop aimed at those who teach early childhood students. Those of us who work with young children just know how important music is to them. But exactly why is this so? How does music move the heart, engage us in our faith, guide us in prayer and create bonds from one to another? Join Australian composer and experienced early childhood teacher Andrew Chinn as we discover the power of music to “let the children come unto me.” Leave with a deeper understanding of the power of music in your Religious Education classroom and a rich range of songs and strategies to engage the hearts of those you teach.

7-06  The Questions That Deepen Our Faith

Each weekday on “The Busted Halo Show” on Sirius­XM radio, Fr. Dave Dwyer tackles questions from people of varied experiences of religious faith, from the most devout to those with barely any faith connection. He has come to believe that inviting questions is an important form of evangelization. In this interactive workshop, Fr. Dwyer will recount some of the most common questions he has answered and allow time for you to ask your own.

Fr. David Dwyer, CSP

Paulist priest Fr. Dave Dwyer is Director of Busted Halo Ministries, publisher of BustedHalo.com and YoungAdultMinistryInaBox.com, and host of the “Sacraments 101” videos and of the daily program “The Busted Halo Show” on SiriusXM radio. Fr. Dwyer has appeared on CNN, Fox News and NBC News as well as “Entertainment Tonight” and “The Daily Show.” The former campus minister at the universities of Colorado and Texas has been a major keynote speaker at Catholic events for the past 10 years.

7-07  The New Evangelization: Trust the Holy Spirit for the Holy Results   

Evangelization, old or new, is always the work of the Holy Spirit. As we embrace trust, how can we rely on the same Holy Spirit at work in the Old and New Testaments? Starting with the Bible, let’s journey into the “Now Testament” and share the testimonies coming from our own families, parishes, schools, neighborhoods and dioceses. A special focus will include Spirit-filled community organizing, racial reconciliation and prison ministry.

Msgr. Raymond G. East

Msgr. Ray East, a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., served in six local parishes before being named Pastor of St. Teresa of Avila Church. The grandson of Baptist Missionaries to South Africa, Msgr. East was born in Newark, N.J., and raised in San Diego, Calif. He is former Director of the Office of Black Catholics and Vicar for Evangelization for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. Msgr. East is a regular and popular speaker at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress and continues to present workshops, facilitations and keynote addresses at major national events.

7-08  Eucharistic Adoration: A Communal Invitation to Mission   

Eucharistic adoration is a traditional Roman Catholic devotion. Vatican II’s emphasis on the ecclesial and missional nature of all worship invites us to reimagine a reformed version of adoration. This workshop will offer historical, theological, liturgical and music suggestions for communities who wish to shape vibrant experiences of adoration that will nourish a truly eucharistic vision of Church.

Fr. Edward Foley, OFM Cap

Fr. Edward Foley, a member of the Province of St. Joseph of the Capuchin Order, is the Duns Scotus Professor of Spirituality and Professor of Liturgy and Music at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. He has authored 19 books and over 300 scholarly and pastoral articles and reviews. Fr. Foley is a founder and originating member of the Executive Committee of the Catholic Academy of Liturgy. He sits on the Executive Committee of the International Academy of Practical Theology.

Lorraine Hess

New Orleans native, Lorraine Hess is a singer, songwriter and recording artist with World Library Publications. She has 30 years of experience in music ministry and has a solo CD, “As I Pray,” as well as a series of compilation sound recordings titled “More Voices as One.” Hess is Music Ministry Director at Divine Mercy Parish in Kenner, La., and travels to present concerts, parish missions and retreats. She is near completion of her Master’s degree in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University New Orleans.

7-09  Lord, I Love ’em, but They’re Driving Me Nuts!   

Steven Ellair (bio 3-10)

This lively and practical workshop will explore effective ways to handle classroom discipline and reveal successful behavior-management tricks and tips. Focus will be on preventative measures and positive solutions. If you’ve ever had “one of those days” with student behavior in your ministry, then this workshop is for you!

7-10  Sacraments and Snapchat   

Fr. Rob Galea (bio 2-14)

“Father, will you hear my confession over Snapchat?” I get asked this question time and time again. With much of the world spending more time in front of their screens, Fr. Rob Galea will attempt to give answer to this question. In this workshop, you will receive a deeper understanding of the sacraments and how they become a powerful means of grace.

7-11  Laudato Sí and Liturgical Catechesis: Praying & Singing for Our Common Home   

In Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical, does his call to “hear both the cry of earth and the cry of the poor” have rele­vance to the liturgy? Our relation to creation is just as central to the Gospel and the Eucharist as our relation to our neighbor. Bob Hurd will explore the main lines of the encyclical, showing how preaching and music ministry can help worshipers to form awareness and appreciation of ecological spirituality and justice.

Bob Hurd

Author and composer Bob Hurd has taught for 39 years at the college and graduate level in the California institutions of Loyola Marymount University, the Franciscan School of Theology, St. Patrick’s Seminary, and Santa Clara University. Over the same period, he continued as a liturgical composer and workshop presenter. His widely used liturgical music is featured in numerous hymnals in the United States, Canada, Great Britain and Australia. In 2010, Hurd was honored with the Pastoral Musician of the Year award from the National Association of Pastoral Musicians.

7-12  Enhancing Our Creativity: Lessons from Neuroscience & Spirituality   

Pope Francis has proclaimed: “A spark of divine light is within each of us.” How can we nurture that spark to bring more love, compassion and energy to our work, our families, our communities? Creativity is the fuel that allows us to more thoughtfully tend to the needs of others. The question is not “Are you creative?” but “How are you creative?” Come explore current neuroscience research and spiritual practices that offer specific ways to inspire our creative souls, ignite our passion and enhance the Divine Light in our world.

Anne Kertz Kernion

Based in Pittsburgh, Anne Kertz Kernion is owner and artist of Cards by Anne, which is sold online and in stores across the United States and abroad. She has taught theology at Carlow University in Pittsburgh for over a decade and chemistry and religion courses at the nearby Community College of Allegheny County. Kertz is also a public speaker, gives retreats and teaches yoga. Her latest book is entitled, “A Year of Spiritual Companionship.”

7-13  Expressions of Catholic Life in a Global Church   

Thomas M. Landy (bio 4-12)

American Catholics comprise just 7 percent of all Catholics in the world. Sociologist Tom Landy, founder of the new website Catholics & Cultures, illustrates surprising aspects of Catholic life, including charismatic Catholicism and popular devotions in countries as diverse as Uganda, Argentina, Norway, Israel, China and the Philippines. This multimedia session will provide examples of the vitality of Catholic life around the world, and show how Americans can better assess their own situations. Participants will leave with resources and discussion ideas to bring back to their parishes about how culture is shaped by Catholic experience around the world.

7-14  Job, Career or Calling? A Spirituality of Work for Today   

Douglas Leal (bio 3-14)

Work might be the defining characteristic of adulthood. After all, we will spend more of our adult lives working than any other activity. But work is changing rapidly in today’s “disrupter” economy. We may have multiple careers and many different employers in our working lifetime. Is it time for a new theology and spirituality of work? How do we help young adults or those seeking a career change find their calling? How do we help all adults – and ourselves – find meaning and purpose in work? We’ll draw upon Scripture, spiritual writers and Catholic social teaching to explore a spirituality of work to offer some practical ways to integrate work life with faith life.

7-15  What Does It All Mean? A Guide to Being More Faithful, Hopeful and Loving

Rev. Richard Leonard, SJ (bio 3-15)

If we are going to trust in God’s love, it means we cannot shy away from the biggest challenges to faith inside and outside of the Church. This workshop outlines a contemporary and accessible response to the issues that confront – and sometimes confound – believers today.

7-16 Encountering Christ in Lay Preaching   

Josephine Lombardi, PhD (bio 5-19)

The Church allows for lay preaching in certain contexts. However, formation for these lay ministers in the area of preaching is a must. Even our U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops offers an instruction on lay preaching. This workshop is designed to give an introduction to the when, where and how of lay preaching. It will provide a brief overview of the legalities associated with lay preaching and a model for planning and facilitating a preached reflection for retreats, prayer services, parish missions and other opportunities for lay preachers. Dr. Josephine Lombardi will conclude with a demonstration using a model she has designed for lay preachers.

7-17  Living Liturgically: Becoming Stewards of the Mysteries in a Search-Engine World   

Diana Macalintal (bio 4-13)

Some try to make Mass more meaningful by explaining it. That’s easy when you can Google it, download it and put it on a PowerPoint. But catechists and liturgists do more than give information: We open hearts to Christ. To do this we need to be stewards of these mysteries, seeing life through a deep religious imagination. Through prayer, song, ritual and story, we’ll explore eight disciplines for expanding our symbolic vision so we can engage the disengaged at Sunday Mass, attract the uninterested to our best-kept secrets, and rekindle our own appreciation for the Mysteries of God.

7-18  Sing Justice, Live Justice – Liturgical Song Inspiring Social Action   

“Inspired by sung participation, [the church] goes forth to spread the Gospel with full force and compassion” (no. 9), states the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ document “Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship.” Liturgical song can be a powerful way to awaken, inspire and motivate our parishes and schools to actively live core Gospel values. Join Michael Mangan as he shares an engaging repertoire that highlights justice as well as the common that can send our liturgical assemblies out to “announce the Gospel” through our everyday lives.

Michael Mangan

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.”

7-19  Being a Merciful Church … to, with, for, and by Young People   

Robert J. McCarty, DMin (bio 6-17)

The Year of Mercy can never be over! We are challenged continually – to proclaim the Good News of mercy and compassion, but mercy is counter-cultural. Our young people are immersed in all the prolife issues from abortion to the death penalty, from immigration to healthcare. We must connect the personal and communal dimensions of mercy with youth so they can rightfully live as ambassadors of mercy.

7-20  Digital Media and Ministry: New Tools for Sharing Faith   

Charlotte McCorquodale (bio 4-15)

Today our lives are bombarded by the images on TV, computers and our mobile devices. How many times have you heard someone say, “I am a visual learner”? But, in this digital age, aren’t we all “visual learners”? This workshop will explore the role images and video have in learning today, as well as provide tips for how we create, curate and utilize images and videos in sharing faith with all generations of Catholics.

7-21  Parables of Jesus and Disney: Embracing Justice from Dory to Moana   

The biblical parables of Jesus and the Disney parables, including films “Finding Dory” and “Moana,” teach values of life, peace and justice. This session will use Jesus’ parables along with clips from various Disney movies as a model for spiritual living and justice practice. Join the conversation, as teacher, parish new evangelist or person in the pews. Parables can be fun and reflective as well as models for living the justice and consistent life ethics of our Catholic Church. Join us for singing, fun and spiritual renewal.

Fr. Chris Ponnet

Los Angeles-native Fr. Chris Ponnet was ordained for the Los Angeles Archdiocese in 1983. Since then, he has served as Director for the Archdiocesan Office of Catholic HIV/AIDS Ministry. He also serves as Pastor at St. Camillus Center for Spiritual Care in Los Angeles. Fr. Ponnet has spoken at the RECongress and at the archdiocesan regional congresses for many years and has made presentations at Pax Christi Peace and Justice conferences and at local congregations and meetings around the county.

7-22  Pope Francis’ Message of Faith, Love, Humility and Mercy: Does It Really Matter?   

Pope Francis has breathed new life into the Catholic Church and revitalized the faith of millions, including Mark Shriver, who recently traveled to Argentina to meet with the people who knew the Pope as a young Jorge Bergoglio, as a young Jesuit priest and as a reforming bishop. Shriver visited the confessional where the Pope first felt called to a faith-based life and the humble parish where he answered Christ’s call to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and shelter the homeless. In this session, Shriver will share what he learned on that journey and discuss how Francis’ message of faith, love, humility and mercy are relevant in today’s world.

Mark K. Shriver

Mark Shriver is President of Save the Children Action Network, based in Washington, D.C. He created the Choice Program and is a former Maryland state legislator. His new book, “Pilgrimage: My Search for the Real Pope Francis,” was released in November 2016. Shriver is also author of the New York Times best-selling memoir, “A Good Man: Rediscovering My Father, Sargent Shriver.” He and his wife, Jeanne, have their three children, Molly, Tommy and Emma.

7-23  Tell Me Why? – Understanding What We Believe   

                Rev. R. Tony Ricard, MTh, MDiv (bio 6-01)

Catholic belief is succinctly expressed in the profession of our faith, or credo, called the Nicene Creed. From “I believe in God” to believing in this “one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church” and looking forward to “the life of the world to come,” Roman Catholics believe a lot of stuff. Some of it is easy to understand and some of it can be confusing. This interactive workshop will deal with some of the major questions of faith. It will also allow participants to ask questions about faith, hope and love. Come prepared to ask Fr. Tony Ricard, “Tell me why?”

7-24  Start Where They Are (& Other Secrets to Effectively Engage Families in Faith)   

Michael Theisen (bio 6-24)

Pope Francis has clearly articulated a path for the Church and church leaders everywhere that directs us into the homes and the lived reality of families. Why is family so central to an evangelizing church? How can ministry leaders effectively accompany parents and families in their faith journeys? And perhaps most important, what’s keeping us from taking those necessary next steps to partner more closely with parents in the faith transmission process? Join others who are seeking the answers to these same questions as we explore the secrets to bringing home the faith.

7-25  The Living Language of Christian Symbols   

Johan M.J. van Parys, PhD (bio 4-22)

For centuries Christian symbols have been an important way to express our faith and in turn to learn about our faith. Some symbols have gone out of favor as we no longer understand them. On the other hand, new symbols have risen from our daily experience of Church. This workshop will look at the ways in which we best engage with this beautiful language and use it enhance our liturgy and catechesis.

7-26  Father & Son, Daring to Embrace Trust   

In 2016, Pope Francis gave to the Church, Amoris Lae­titia (The Joy of Love), which spoke of the family as a foundation for growth in love. In response to this exhortation, David and Matthew Wells will speak to each other about their experience of being father and son, of what each has taught the other about life, themselves and about God. Witness a dialogue between the first half of life and the second as we explore, in this far-from-perfect relationship, how out of the ordinariness and messiness of daily life can emerge a gentle awareness of God’s lifelong embrace.

David Wells

David Wells was a teacher before becoming a research assistant for the Bishops’ Conference in England and Wales. His latest position is as Project Manager for School Evangelization. Wells has travelled the world, speaking at more than 350 conferences in Europe, North America and Australia. He guest lectures in three English universities and in 2015 was MC for the Bishops’ Conference national gathering in England and Wales. Wells is author of two books, “The Reluctant Disciple” (which tells of his experience at RECongress), and more recently, “The Grateful Disciple.”

Matthew Wells

Matthew Wells is currently studying toward his degree in Geography at the University of Cardiff in the United Kingdom and expects to graduate this coming summer. He will present alongside his Dad, David Wells, a regular speaker at Congress. Matthew has spoken once before with David, at a conference of several hundred people when he was just 14. This will be his second experience of public speaking. For two years now he has taken part in a Church-based program called “Release,” designed to encourage young people into leadership and witness.

7-70 Vietnamese Workshop: “No one can serve two masters” (Matt. 6:24)   

Bishop Joseph Linh Chi Nguyen (bio 2-70)

Using the theme of Matthew 6:24, “no one can serve two masters,” we will assess the following: 1) The demand on people: People do have material needs to live, but second most important is their spiritual life. 2) The teaching of Jesus: Choose God or mammon. 3) The solution of Jesus: Believe in the God of mercy.

8-01  Fear: The Enemy of Christian Discipleship    Arena

Nearly every one of Jesus’ post-Resurrection appearances to his disciples includes the exhortation, “Be not afraid!” And yet, we live in a world in which fear is a constant threat to Christian discipleship, to our becoming instruments of God’s peace, love and justice in the world. This workshop looks at how to respond to a culture that promotes fear of the “other,” especially those who are different in race, gender, religion, nationality or language. Drawing on the Gospels and the wisdom figures, including Pope Francis, Thomas Merton, Oscar Romero and others, we will examine how to embrace trust in God and carry out our discipleship amid a culture of fear and violence.

Rev. Daniel P. Horan, OFM

Franciscan friar Fr. Daniel Horan, a theologian and columnist at America magazine, has lectured across North America and Europe. He teaches theology and spirituality at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago; he previously taught at Boston College as well as at Siena College and St. Bonaventure University, both in New York. Fr. Horan is author of numerous academic and popular articles. His recent books include “God is Not Fair and Other Reasons for Gratitude,” “The Franciscan Heart of Thomas Merton” and “The Last Words of Jesus.”

8-02  Fig Tree Spirituality: Tilling the Soil with Seeds of Trust   

Dr. Mary Amore (bio 5-03)

In this presentation, we will explore the many ways that the daily demands of ministry can strip away the soil of our soul and leave us dry and barren. By sowing seeds of perseverance and trust in the workings of the Lord we can produce abundant fruit for the Kingdom of God, not only in our personal life but also in our ministry.

8-03  Healing the Wounded Heart   

Theresa M. Burke, PhD (bio 5-07)

Rachel’s Vineyard offers retreats (in 32 languages in 82 countries) that provide a unique combination of psychological and spiritual recovery for healing after abortion. This workshop will present an overview of the “Living Scripture” technique, which provides an integrated sensory-based treatment for psychological and spiritual healing. Similar exercises are also used as the basis for their “Grief to Grace” retreats (for healing abuse) and “Duty to Heal” (finding peace for a soldier’s heart). The retreats are an effective “therapy for the soul” that result in evangelization, community and recovery as participants open their traumatic wounds to the grace of God.

8-04  Teaching for Discipleship: The Call, the Challenge, the Difference   

Dr. Michael Carotta (bio 6-04)

The three most recent Church documents on faith formation call us to focus on discipleship. How is this different than our past approaches? What are the challenges? What are the tasks? Whether you work with children, youth or adults, what specific techniques and catechetical methods might get us there?

8-05  Mothers at the Foot of the Cross   

How do we live Restorative Justice in our lives and community? How do we trust that we are not alone in our journey of healing? Do we want to walk with others? At times when we are struck by the loss of a loved one, either by a violent death or a life sentence in a prison, are we able to trust God, friends or others who have been through it? Let us be instruments of peace and dialogue. We are called not only to witness to people who have lost their loved ones by violence or prison, but also to walk together to heal families and communities.

Rita Chairez

Born in Zacatecas, Mexico, Rita Chairez now lives in Boyle Heights, Calif., where she has been actively involved, for the past 20 years, with Dolores Mission and Proyecto Pastoral, sitting on their Board as Community Representative. In 2008, she started working with the Los Angeles Archdiocesan Office of Restorative Justice as their Victims of Violence Coordinator. Chairez is now Program Coordinator for Healing Hearts Restoring Hope for those affected by homicide. She continues to work with the incarcerated in the prison system.

Amalia Molina

Originally from El Salvador, Amalia Molina has worked with immigrants, prisoners and their families, offering workshops, support groups and assistance. Her experience has led her to give presentations across the United States, including Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and Loyola University Chicago. She is currently Executive Director at the Center for Restorative Justice Works in North Hollywood, Calif. In 2010, Molina was honored with the “Voices of Courage” award by The Refugee Women Commission.

8-06  The Art of Forgiveness

True forgiveness is not an act of will, it is a consciously chosen participation in redemption and grace. Drawing upon our Christian tradition as well as groundbreaking research from the therapeutic community on the power and process of Mindful Self-Compassion, Jeanne Cotter will explore the highly creative path of forgiveness.

Jeanne Cotter

Based in St. Paul, Minn., Jeanne Cotter is a liturgical composer, author, speaker and owner of Mythic Rain. She is also Artist in Residence at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Naperville, Ill. Cotter has directed parish missions and retreats throughout the United States and has presented at diocesan gatherings and national events including the RECongress, the National Catholic Educational Association and the National Association of Pastoral Musicians.

8-07  Praying St. Francis with the Body   

Roy E. DeLeon, OblSB (bio 6-06)

St. Francis is one of the most beloved saints of all time. And most spiritual seekers in all traditions pray his Peace Prayer. This workshop will bring another dimension to praying this popular prayer and his Canticle of the Sun. The body, this temple of the Spirit, will join in movement as we say or sing his sacred words. We will feel as we pray with Francis of Assisi while he spends time with the Almighty One. The guided body movements will be slow and very gentle. There will be instructions on how to adapt them to your physical needs.

8-08  Justice, Mercy and Forgiveness: The Ways of God

Dr. Greer G. Gordon (bio 5-15)

For those who love God, an understanding of the ways of God is essential for the continued development of our relationship with God. Unlike the world, God deals with us from a posture of justice that is rooted in mercy and forgiveness. This session will address the practical implications of being a Christian in an unforgiving and unmerciful world. It will offer insights into our growth in wisdom, charity and daily faith-filled living. This session is recommended for those seeking a life of prayer and those engaged in catechetical and pastoral ministries.

8-09  The Glory of God: Man & Woman Fully Alive   

Sr. Miriam James Heidland, SOLT (bio 4-07)

Have you ever looked at a member of the opposite sex and said to yourself, “What are they thinking!?” Rather than seeing our differences as complementary, many times we experience our sexuality as men and women as contradictory! In this workshop, we will sketch out God’s glorious plan that he has written into the body and soul of every man and woman, how healing from brokenness restores us to the core of our being, and how to fully live out our gifts in a broken world in need of hope and mercy.

8-10  Sisters: The Friendships of Women as Told in the Scriptures and Sacred Tradition   

Sarah Hart and ValLimar Jansen return with new, exciting stories and songs, celebrating the great friendships of women in Scripture and religious tradition. Some of these friendships are filled with love, joy and mutual support. Others are complicated and challenge us to examine our own lives. Find laughter and catechesis in the complications of sisters Leah and Rachel. Have fun and be inspired by the experiences of Mary, Mary, Mary and Mary in Scripture. Experience the joy and tears in the work of women saints. Finally, be moved by the music interwoven throughout this session, as these two dynamic women focus on how holy women embrace trust.

ValLimar Jansen

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.

Sarah Hart

Sarah Hart of Nashville, Tenn., has been a singer, songwriter, retreat author and keynote speaker for more than 20 years. She has performed at countless conventions and events, and for Pope Francis at St. Peter’s in 2013. The Grammy-nominated songwriter has songs recorded by numerous artists and has appeared in TV, film and commercials. Hart’s writing is visible in hymnals across the globe. She has authored four retreats for parish missions, women’s retreats and adult catechesis, which she presents nationally.

8-11  The Joy of the Eucharist   

The story of the road to Emmaus is central to our appreciation and understanding of the living Christ, made known to us in the breaking of the Bread. Good liturgy is the means by which eucharistic joy can become a reality. Liturgical catechesis will naturally flow from liturgy that is life-giving and joy-filled. In this session, we will experience together a variety of ritual prayer experiences designed for catechesis and faith formation for all ages – food for our own journey to Emmaus.

Tom Kendzia

Tom Kendzia has been a professional liturgical musician, speaker, performer and consultant since 1980. He is currently a Liturgy and Music Consultant for Sadlier Religion Publishers and Director of Music at Christ the King Church in Kingston, R.I. A composer, performer, teacher, clinician and author, Kendzia has presented at international events, most national diocesan gatherings and many parish workshops/concerts throughout the United States, Canada, the West Indies, Europe and Asia. His numerous published songs include “Lead Us To The Water,” Taste and See” and “Like A River.”

8-12  Confirmation: Road to Discipleship or Confirmation?   

Studies have indicated that over 65 percent of those confirmed in high school will no longer be active in the Catholic Church. With this dire statistic, what can be done to change this? What are practical ideas to keep those confirmed involved in their Catholic faith? What are current programs that are addressing this topic and what makes them so different than what has been done before? If you want to make a difference in teens’ lives by keeping them active, you don’t want to miss this workshop!

Jim Knowles

Jim Knowles has been involved in youth ministry for over 30 years at the parish, archdiocesan and national levels through work as a parish youth minister, Catholic high school teacher, Director of Parish Services for the Archdiocese of Denver and as Executive Director for the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry. In addition, Knowles has worked for both Catholic and interdenominational publishers, including Group, St. Mary’s Press, RCL Benziger, and Ascension Press. Currently, he works for The Augustine Institute as Regional Manager for Diocesan Partnerships and is based in Colorado.

8-13  When Justice and Peace Shall Kiss   

Archbishop Sylvain Lavoie, OMI (bio 5-18)

Despite the reality that social justice is integral to the Gospel and to ministry, the quip that the social justice teachings of the church are its “best kept secret” is still all too applicable. Now more than ever, these teachings cry out to be unwrapped, explored and applied to our wounded world in an understandable manner. This presentation will bring together the social teachings of the Church, Scripture, social analysis, contemporary justice issues and leaders in the area of justice work so as to sketch a strategy for a more peaceful world.

8-14  Evangelizing to Families

Rev. Ronald Nuzzi (bio 6-20)

The 2015 World Synod of Bishops on the Family began a robust conversation worldwide about the many blessings and challenges of family life. Reviewing results of the synod along with contemporary research on family life in United States provides a blueprint for ministry for parishes, schools and catechetical programs. The future of the Church is found in the family.

8-15  12 Things We Need to Do NOW to Radically Change the Way We Do Faith Formation   

Joe Paprocki, DMin (bio 6-21)

Too often, the New Evangelization amounts to saying the same things we’ve always said but louder and faster. While the New Evangelization does need new ardor, it also needs new methods and expressions. In this workshop, Joe Paprocki will identify 12 things that we need to do differently NOW in the area of faith formation if the New Evangelization is really going to be new.

8-16  Married and Holy?   

The call of baptism to holiness and mission is the core of discipleship. In the vocation of marriage, the journey to holiness lives in the relationship between husband and wife. That sacred truth is often lost in the day-to-day challenges of family and work. Join us as we explore marriage as a reflection of God’s gift of enduring love in light of Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love). With story and humor, we will discover the secrets of a happy and holy marriage.

Jo Ann Paradise, DMin

Jo Ann Paradise is a National Consultant for Our Sunday Visitor Curriculum Division. She has served as a catechetical administrator in several parishes in the Pittsburgh Diocese for over 32 years and most recently was Director of Parish Ministerial Life and Spiritual Formation at St. Sebastian Parish. Paradise gives keynotes and workshops at diocesan conferences throughout the United States and Canada as well as at national conferences, including the National Catholic Educational Association and the L.A. Congress, among others.

8-17  The Mission-Driven Parish: Forming Missionary Disciples   

Sr. Theresa Rickard, OP (bio 6-22)

Is your parish a “ministry service station” – or is it, in Pope Francis’ words, a “center of constant missionary activity”? Do parishioners act like consumers, or do they act like disciples? The difference is a missionary mindset, which often involves a significant change of parish culture. This workshop offers practical ideas to help leaders view every parish effort through the lens of evangelization. Special attention will focus on sacramental preparation as opportunities to evangelize young couples and families, and fostering vibrant small-groups as cells of discipleship.

8-18  A Model for Progressive Solemnity in Hispanic Worship   

Accompanying the liturgical year musically in the parish and developing a repertoire that allows the faithful to express their faith communally from season to season can be a challenge. Directed especially for those in parish liturgical and music ministry who plan with and for Hispanic/Latino communities, and using the principle of Progressive Solemnity, we will examine how we might look at the nature and style of the songs we select to accompany the liturgical year. We will share repertoire and best practices.

 Pedro Rubalcava

Pedro Rubalcava is a bilingual/bicultural composer, clinician, recording artist, cantor and pastoral minister, who is Director of Hispanic Ministries at Oregon Catholic Press in Portland. He also serves on the Executive Boards of the Instituto Nacional Hispano de Liturgia, the National Council for Hispanic Ministry, and the Northwest Regional Office for Hispanic Affairs. Since 1985, Rubalcalva has been a frequent speaker at liturgy and other ministry conferences at the parish, diocesan and national levels.

8-19  Volunteers: A New Approach to Getting Them, Keeping Them, Surviving Them   

Anna Scally (bio 1-19)

The need for competent volunteers is essential in all ministries. How can you get even the busiest people to help you expand your ministry? Learn effective skills to motivate people to want to be on your ministry team. Take care of them and they will help you.

8-20  Flamenco Theology: Reading Lamentations with Gypsy Tradition   

Prof. Daniel L. Smith-Christopher (bio 5-22)

And now for something completely different! Something unusual has been happening among Southern European Gypsies almost entirely unknown in the United States: a massive charismatic Christian revival involving nearly 80 percent of the entire Gypsy population in France and Spain. This presents fascinating possibilities – like a “Gypsy reading” of biblical books. So, in this session, we will explore what a “Flamenco” theology might look like, and how a “Gypsy reading” of Lamentations may look ... and sound! Our special guest will be Briseyda Zárate, a Flamenco dancer in Los Angeles, who will perform and dance the first 15 verses of Lamentations.

8-21  “My Ears had Heard of You But Now My Eyes Have Seen You” (Job 42:5)   

Sr. Maureen Sullivan, OP, PhD (bio 4-21)

When we first encounter Job in the Old Testament, we find him in despair. Yet, even in his feeling of abandonment, he persisted in his trust of God. Like Job, our ears have heard much about God, but now we are called to truly see this God of Mercy and to embrace trust. But this leap of faith is sometimes challenged by the sufferings we endure. Job is a perfect example of this sentiment of how we can feel alone and want to be sure that God is aware of our tribulations. What if the trials of this life are your mercies in disguise? What if our greatest disappointments or the aching of this life is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy? These questions will serve as the focal point of this session.

8-22  Building a Culture of Encounter: Humanizing the Social Networks   

Bishop Paul Tighe (bio 1-22)

The focus of this workshop will be on identifying the possibility of social networks realizing their potential to be places of dialogue and authentic human growth. In particular, Bishop Paul Tighe will seek to clarify how Christian believers, together with others of goodwill, can work to ensure that social networks promote a greater sense of the unity of the human family and foster understanding between different cultures.

8-23  Trust is the Key to Faithfulness   

Catherine “Cackie“ Upchurch (bio 1-24)

Ultimately, faith is a matter of trust. The content of our teachings and beliefs can change our lives only in the context of a trusting relationship with the God who made us and accompanies us. We sometimes carry within us certain myths or illusions about trust, but our biblical tradition offers us a new vision where trust is the most necessary and realistic choice.

8-24  Inspiring Young People with Catholic Social Teaching   

Joan Weber (bio 4-23)

The Catholic Church’s social principles are bold, inspiring and rooted in the Gospel. But many young Catholics are unaware of what the Church teaches about justice and service. This workshop will provide practical ways we can inspire young people with the social teachings of the Church in creative and engaging ways. We will also look at ways to support youth and young adults in taking action to live the social teachings of the Church in their own lives.

8-25  Many Paths, One God   

As we journey together as one community, we acknowledge the diverse ways that we pray, celebrate and honor our God. Guided by the words and example of Pope Francis, Archbishop Oscar Romero, Sr. Thea Bowman, Thomas Merton and other spiritual wisdom figures, we will take time during this session to reflect how we can respect and honor the many distinct ways we share and celebrate our faith.

Dr. C. Vanessa White

Dr. Vanessa White is Assistant Professor of Spirituality and Ministry and Director of the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies and Main Specialized Ministry at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. She is a member of the summer faculty and Coordinator of the Elder’s Retreat in the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana as well as advisor to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on Certification for Ecclesial Ministry and Service. Dr. White has numerous published articles and is an experienced workshop presenter, retreat facilitator and spiritual director.

8-70 Vietnamese Workshop: “Bone of my Bones and Flesh of my Flesh” (Gen. 2:23)   

Rev. Thinh Duc Pham (bio 4-70)

Focusing on Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, this workshop will discuss the liturgico-spiritual development of the sacrament of marriage and will show how God’s grace, flowing from the liturgical celebration, continues to enhance the trust and call to holiness in marriage and family life.