Come And See What I've Found! 02/05/2012
Come and see what I’ve found! The Los Angeles Religious Education Congress has again and again inspired my faith and encouraged my spirit. What a gift to be with so many good people; what a blessing to be a part of something so alive. Certainly, I am a better priest - and a better person – because of this awesome experience. Each year, when I head back home, I find myself smiling, grateful for the blessings I’ve found for my living. But, don’t take my word for it: Come and see what I’ve found! - Fr. Joe Kempf
Diócesis de San José 01/12/2012
_ El Congreso de Los Ángeles, provee una gran oportunidad a las personas para crecer en su fe y realizar mejor su ministerio. Ayuda a continuar la labor que el mismo Señor Jesús nos encomendó de llevar a cabo la Buena Nueva a todas las gentes. (Mateo 28:18-20). Además, del mandato misionero al que todos estamos llamados, el Congreso nos reúne, nos anima, y levanta nuestra estima propia al descubrir nuestros propios dones personales. Seamos, pues, heraldos de esta invitación invitemos a nuevas personas a descubrir las maravillas de la gracia de Dios por medio de este encuentro.
Lupita Vital Directora del Apostolado Hispano
Diócesis de San José, Ca.
The Happiest Place On Earth... 12/14/2011
_ The first time I went to the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress seven years ago, I was amazed.
Of course I had heard stories about "Congress" from friends who had been attending for many years, friends who encouraged me to come, and friends who couldn't stop talking about it, but I couldn't imagine what all the fuss was about. What was so special about a convention?
Well, that question was answered as soon as I stepped onto the grounds of the Convention Center in Anaheim and was surrounded by tens of thousands of active, thoughtful and happy Catholics. I don't think I've ever felt so hopeful about the church as I have, and do, at Congress. Why?
Well, first of all, you meet the most amazing people doing the most amazing things in the church, from across the country--directors of religious education, pastoral associates, priests and religious, music ministers, and on and on. It fills you with hope about the future of the church. When you come to Congress it's hard no to think, even in the midst of difficulties, "The church is in good hands!" You can feel the Spirit alive here.
Second, you get the chance to learn so much. I don't think I've ever been to a convention where I had such a hard time choosing among the speakers and workshops I wanted to attend! Hmmm....should I go to see Richard Rohr, Joyce Rupp, John Allen, Timothy Radcliffe...or someone who's talking on a topic that I've always wanted to learn about? You always leave Congress thinking.
Third, and this is often overlooked, the exhibitors on the convention floor--publishers, Catholic artists, liturgical suppliers, and on and on--are a great help to anyone's ministry, because they provide you with terrific resources for the coming year. (I always leave Congress "richer" but a little "poorer" in the wallet since I can't resist buying all the great stuff.)
Fourth, it's a joy to be able to pray with thousands of Catholics at a Mass, Catholics who love God, who love their church and who love one another. I always joke that it's great to be in a Mass of thousands of Catholics where everyone knows all the songs!
And fifth, the more you come to Congress the more you know people--even in a cast of tens of thousands. It's funny, but it's like coming home, a little bit of heaven.
Disneyland has nothing on Congress: it really is the happiest place on earth.
James Martin, SJ
Jesuit priest and author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything.
"Oh No! He's Been To Congress Again!!" -- A Catholic School Principal Inspiring His Staff... 11/10/2011
The Religious Education Congress continues to be for me the highlight conference of the year. I have traveled to L.A. for the Congress for the past 5 years, knowing the top notch world renowned speakers, the liturgies and the sense of community at this Congress will support my vocation as an educator. As a principal of a Catholic Elementary School in Edmonton, Alberta, I find the topics and presentations relate directly to my work with students, staff and parents. As a liturgist, the variety of music, liturgical experiences and atmosphere of the Congress leads me to prayer, praise and reflection. At the same time, I come back to school filled with energy and new ideas that often result in my staff saying: “Oh no, he’s been to Congress again!!” I find the Congress to be balanced with the kind of speakers I am able to choose from. The topics are current, relevant and timely. The organization of the congress is second to none! I find the schedule of events, location, the rooms of the Conference Centre and the selection of hotels are all top notch. I have encouraged many of my friends and colleagues to attend this Congress, and they actually do attend. The highlight for me has always been the Opening and Closing Liturgies. The music is exceptional along with the liturgical movement, the proclamation of the word and the strong connected sense of the gathering of the faithful in praise of our God. Throughout a normal school year I am able to attend many professional development conferences. By far, this Congress is the highlight of my school year. I encourage those who work on the planning committee to continue with your blessed work. See you in March, 2012.
St. Charles School
At the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, we gather over 40,000 people throughout our Thursday through Sunday event. People always respond with a variety of evaluations including those from this past 2011 RE Congress:
Evaluation on Mar 19, 2011 4:56 PM - It's always excellent.
Evaluation on Mar 20, 2011 3:15 PM - I had to attend via Webcast this year. It was wonderful to be able to "attend" all the way from Massachusetts. Hope to make it again in person next year! DV
Evaluation on Mar 20, 2011 4:03 PM - loved all of it this year...really good, even the lighting and beautiful sculpture hangings in the arena were spectacular!
The amazing thing about RE Congress is that it really is a remarkable experience because there are over 40,000 unique experiences of God's Voice being heard throughout this event. Because of this undeniable reality, RE Congress has grown immensely over the last 50 years, always striving to introduce others to the unique experience of hearing God's Voice. Starting out in a local Los Angeles High School in 1956 with some 500 teachers and catechists in attendence, this conference had outgrown its space quickly, moving to a LAX Airport Hotel, and then to the Anaheim Convention Center. From the Anaheim Convention Center, RE Congress again has realized that God's Voice is much bigger than the space we are in, so live-streaming some of the event became the next step. As with any ministry, RE Congress is constantly challenged to go beyond where it is... to allow God to be bigger than we've known or imagined. From the whisper to the shout, God's Voice prevails. It's up to us to share our experience this with others.
This year, with the theme Voice Infusing Life, we, as a Congress family, are moving into new opportunities to share our faith. With the "world getting smaller" as they say, with all the world at our fingertips with the web, we are called forth to a new spirit, to a new sharing of our experience of Congress, which invites us to use technology to tell our story! We are called to Be A Voice. Let us hear your stories. What is your unique experience of hearing God's voice at RE Congress? From volunteer in the registration area to choir member, from speaker to musician, from committee member to MC, from performer to artist, from attending a workshop to experiencing Sacrament, from praise and worship to dining with friends, from walking the exhibit hall to running into an old friend.... Where and how did your experience of God's Voice resound?
GOING LIVE ON MONDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2011 10/19/2011
It is pleasure to serve on the RE Congress visioning team. There are so many abundant opportunities for us to come to know God ever more deeply with you through this process. It is exciting to introduce the idea of letting the RE Congress vision go viral by inviting you into the challenge of speaking about your experience of this great event. Words can never express the magnitude of God's awesome workings at this event... But this year, we are going to let our voices try to articulate just how awesome this event can be!
Regularly, this blog will be used as a platform to discuss our experiences of referring people to this great event of RE Congress by telling our stories... by extending our personal invitation... and by choosing to introduce people to a relationship with Christ. Blessings to you as you enter into this exciting experience of RE Congress 2012 by joining us in the vision of Congress long before it begins in Anaheim from
I look forward to the life your voice will infuse through your participation in this blog!
Our First Challenge For Week Of October 24: Share the RE Congress 2011 photo slideshow video below (http://www.youtube.com/user/RECongress#p/c/2498F97577C4B851/0/c_sFSr-BnEA) with your friends! Comment below and let us know if you emailed it, posted it on Facebook, Tweeted about it, or....
"Viva Voices" Blog
This Blog is intended for all people taking the challenge. The Office of Religious Education, Los Angeles, will use this blog to post new ideas to make taking the challenge even more exciting! Join our RSS feed so you can get all the information immediately!