Religious Education Congress

Friday Workshops - Period 1

February 15, 2002 • 10:00 - 11:30 a.m.

1-00 The Strangest Way: Christian Paths and Practices 

Christianity is so much more than convictions and doctrines. It is an entire way of life, involving a complex web of embodied practices. Not only a way of seeing, it is also a distinctive way of relating and being in the world. In this session, Robert Barron will explore the dynamics of this "strange" and surprising path, showing how it manifests itself in practices of prayer, forgiveness, truth-telling, confession of sin, non-violence, the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, and liturgy.

Rev. Robert Barron, S.T.D.

Fr. Robert Barron, a Chicago native and former Associate Pastor of St. Paul of the Cross Parish in Park Ridge, Ill., is currently Associate Professor of Philosophy and Systematic Theology at Mundelein Seminary, located outside Chicago. His articles have appeared in a variety of journals, and he gives frequent retreats.

1-01 Young Adolescents (6th-8th Grade): Loud & Lovable Gifts Overflowing! 

Seek to understand ... then to be understood! We must stand in their shoes before we can expect them to follow in our footsteps. Discover what makes young adolescents tick and what sets them off! We’ll explore practical strategies for responding to their needs and creating effective activities for classroom and parish use. Learn the "keys" which can unleash the transforming gifts of this energetic age group!

Mary Lee Becker

Mary Lee Becker is a trainer, author and consultant in youth ministry. Since 1980 she has been involved in professional ministry, including parish, diocesan, regional and national work. Becker is a former editor of "Faithways" and is a contributing author to Celebrate Youth and Confirming Disciples, among others.

1-02 Catholic Biblical Spirituality for Life in the Parish 

This talk will explore the 10 major spiritual keys that the Scriptures reveal for life in community with God and how these shape our fundamental life as a Catholic people and a Church. We will explore how these can be the spiritual center of how we envision and build strong parishes today.

Rev. Lawrence Boadt, C.S.P.

Fr. Lawrence Boadt taught for 22 years at the Washington Theological Union and is currently President of Paulist Press in New York. The former assistant professor of theology at Fordham University and former professor of biblical studies at the Washington Theological Union is author of two books. Fr. Boadt is a frequent speaker at religious education congresses.

1-03 Breaking the Isolation of Gangs: "Community" as a Response to Youth Violence 

This workshop will explore the formation of community as an antidote to the paralyzing isolation of gangs. With stories and examples from Homeboy Industries, a gang intervention program, the creation of community will be underscored as the substitute for gang allegiance.

Rev. Greg Boyle, S.J.

Jesuit Fr. Greg Boyle is Director of Jobs For A Future (an employment referral center for at-risk youth) and Homeboy Industries (an economic development program). Previously, he served as Pastor of Dolores Mission, the poorest church in the Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocese, comprising the largest public housing with the city’s highest concentration of gang activity.

1-04 Toward A New Image of Parish 

Fr. Pat Brennan is currently involved in a long-term project to transform a 3,800-household parish into a network of 23 mini-parishes. The mini-parishes made up of zone leaders, neighborhood ministers, Small Christian Communities; include family-based religious education and RCIA-based sacramental catechesis; and offer effective welcoming of newcomers, social events and a greater sensitivity to pastoral care needs. Practical examples of how to move toward such a model will be given. Principles adaptable to all parishes will be shared.

Rev. Patrick Brennan

Fr. Pat Brennan is a practicing psychotherapist and organizational consultant to parishes with Newsome & Associates, based in Orland Park, Ill. He has just completed his doctorate in psychology, internship and dissertation, with a specialization in the psychology of forgiveness.

1-05 For Us Doubters: The Challenge of Accepting God’s Unconditional Love 

St. Teresa’s "though you damn me I would love you still" points to heights we dare not climb. "Were I damnable you [my God] would love me still" points to a faith we may not dare believe. We believe God made us, God joined us, God is among us. We believe God will not abandon us. Do we accept being unconditionally loved? Do we rise to the challenge of our belief? Does it make a difference?

Antony F. Campbell, S.J.

Antony Campbell describes himself as "a New Zealander by birth, a Jesuit in Australia by choice, and a lover of the Older Testament by passion." He is a Professor of Older Testament at the Jesuit Theological College within the United Faculty of Theology in Melbourne, Australia. He says his recent book, "God First Loved Us," sums up the core of his faith.

1-06 Gen-X Catholics: The Latest Findings and Their Implication for Ministry 

This session summarizes the presenter’s most recent research on young adult (post-Vatican II) Catholics – "Generation X." It also synthesizes results from other studies and explores the implications all of these findings have for people in parish and diocesan ministry.

James D. Davidson

Dr. James Davidson is Professor of Sociology at Purdue University. He specializes in the sociology of religion, especially studies of American Catholics. He writes a biweekly column for diocesan newspapers, including The Tidings of the Los Angeles Archdiocese.

1-07 Empowering Children to Solve Their Own Problems 

Attend this session and learn the difference between enabling (solving children’s problems for them) and empowering (giving children the skills to resolve difficulties themselves). Walk away understanding how to use a four-step process in which you teach children how to accept responsibility for their behavior and reach a solution with dignity and respect for themselves and others.

Constance Dembrowsky

A former professor and diagnostician, Constance Dembrowsky was an educational consultant and trainer for over 30 years and currently is President of the Institute for Affective Skill Development in La Luz, N.M. She is author of both anger and self-esteem curricula as well as two videos to empower teachers and parents to help students develop internal motivation.

1-08 The Living Eucharist: Our Love, Joy, Need, Fear, Sorrow and Anger Find a Home

This eucharistic spirituality session will move into a practical and meaningful understanding of the Sacrament of Eucharist as a place to go with our emotional experience and as the "here and now" embodiment of the Presence of God inviting us to come simply as we are. We will delve into this through the window of the very meaning of the eucharistic dynamics of the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

Rev. Bob Fabing, S.J.

Fr. Bob Fabing has founded 29 marriage counseling and family therapy centers from San Diego to Portland, Ore., through The Jesuit Institute for Family Life Network. He is the Director of the 36 Day Program in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola at the Jesuit Retreat House where he lives in Los Altos, Calif. He has written three books and eight albums of liturgical music.

1-09 Transforming Gift: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist 

The Sacraments of Initiation make real the transforming presence of Christ for the people of God in a way like none other. Learn how our experience of Christ and of Church is utterly transformed when we celebrate these Sacraments well.

Rev. Richard Fragomeni

Since 1990, Fr. Richard Fragomeni has taught at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, where he now is Associate Professor of Liturgy and Homiletics and Chairperson of the Department of Word and Worship. He has been active in parish renewals and diocesan workshops, has been keynote speaker or presenter at many national events and has contributed articles to a variety of journals.

1-10 Confirmation: Developing a Strong & Immediate Program for Sacramental Catechesis 

The "General Directory for Catechesis" has inspired us with a whole new way of approaching sacramental catechesis in the Church: "catechumenal formation should inspire the other forms of catechesis in both their objectives and dynamism" (GDC #59). This workshop will provide a whole new context for doing sacramental preparation for confirmation that renews the entire parish community, is liturgically based, promotes harmony vs. fragmentation in parish structures and promotes a "conversion" catechesis for Confirmation that leads to transformation of the person.

Linda Gaupin

Linda Gaupin is currently the Director of Religious Education for the Diocese of Orlando, Fla. The former Associate Director of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat for the Liturgy has written numerous publications. She has presented a number of workshops and keynote addresses across the United States on liturgy catechesis and rites of Christian Initiation.


1-11 Creating a Welcoming and Supportive Faith Community for New Members 

The fullness of our gifts only emerges when we, as new members, are encouraged in giving our entire selves to a welcoming and supportive faith community. Then and only then can the Church – and the world – be transformed. We are required, however, to become fully aware of all the dimensions of multiculturalism: ethnicity and race, gender and sexual orientation, as well as class, age and ability.

Guadalupe Guajardo, S.N.J.M.

Sr. Guadalupe Guajardo is a Sister of the Holy Name of Jesus and Mary, Oregon Province. Since 1987, she has been a Senior Consultant for Technical Assistance for Community Services in Portland, Ore. Formerly with the California-based center for Third World Organizing, she devotes her time to conducting leadership programs and building multicultural alliances.

1-12 Does One (Prayer) Size Fit All? 

Is there one prayer size for all? No more so than everybody is the same size. In this session we shall attend to God, human nature, our being a relationship with God and the implications of this marvel. Then we shall move into concrete and practical ways of praying with children, each way susceptible to multiple variations.

Marlene Halpin, O.P.

In the sixth grade, Marlene Halpin was sent to tutor an injured classmate – and she’s still teaching! She is currently Director of the pilot program "Teaching Teachers to Help Children Pray" and has presented workshops, retreats and lectures in 34 states and four countries. Also, she is an author and presently Catechetical Consultant for Loyola Press, based in Chicago.

1-13 Reading and Praying the Bible in the Parish

How do we intelligently engage the Bible in our 21st-century faith communities? This presentation will offer hands-on principles to help make the Bible accessible to the various constituencies of our parishes. At the same time, it envisions ways to employ the text in prayer. Handouts with resources and formats for group study will be made available to participants.

Dr. Gina Hens-Piazza

Dr. Gina Hens-Piazza is an Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at the Jesuit School of Theology in the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley, Calif. Previously an instructor at the University of Portland and at the Union Theological Seminary in New York City, she has written and lectured extensively on the biblical prophets, culture and the Bible and women’s issues in biblical interpretation.

1-14 The God of Hope in the Midst of Disaster

Msgr. Tom Hartman and Rabbi Marc Gellman, together better known as the "God Squad," will focus on finding the God of Hope in the midst of disaster and the challenge to reconcile and rebuild.

Rev. Msgr. Thomas A. Hartman

Msgr. Tom Hartman is one half of the "God Squad," a weekly cable show. The three-time Emmy Winner is presently Director of Radio and Television for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, N.Y. He makes frequent television and radio appearances and has written a book and co-authored two with Rabbi Gellman. Together they write a regular advice column on religion and modern life.

Rabbi Marc A. Gellman

Rabbi Marc Gellman is the Senior Rabbi of Temple Beth Torah in Melville, N.Y., where he has served for 10 years. He appears regularly with Msgr. Tom Hartman on "Good Morning America" and on the "Imus in the Morning" radio show, as well as their own cable production. Rabbi Gellman has authored a modern midrashim and a collection of tales for children, which has received several children’s books awards.

1-15 Making (More) Room for Jesus in Catechesis 

In our day and age, most people are baptized long before they experience their conversion to Jesus Christ. Most come with little personal experience of Jesus in their everyday lives – and with little understanding of the Gospels. And yet, as the "General Directory for Catechesis" makes so clear, Jesus Christ is the center of all we do in catechesis at every level. This workshop will grapple with the nature of Christian conversion and how to make it part of every catechetical experience. Get ready, this will be a personally challenging workshop!

Bill Huebsch

Bill Huebsch is a teacher and writer whose career is spent in helping spread the vision and spirit of Vatican II through catechesis and religious education. He is the author of a dozen books on this and related topics as well as numerous booklets, articles and screenplays. His teaching commitments take him to college campuses, parishes and conferences around the world.

1-16 God Knows Best About Joy 

"Joy" is one of the most quoted words in the Bible. Is God telling us something? When is the spirit of joy in your heart? Come and experience joy, laughter and words of wisdom. Remember, St. Iraneus said, "The glory of God is man and woman fully alive."

Sr. Mary Christelle Macaluso, R.S.M.

Sr. Mary Macaluso – the "Fun Nun" – is a Sister of Mercy affiliated with the College of St. Mary in Omaha, Neb., and has been a full-time professional speaker since 1980. The Fun Nun is the author of three books: "God Knows Best About Joy," "God Knows Best About Stress," and "One-Liners from God."

1-17 Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner: Jesus’ Meals and Social Justice 

The Gospels often record Jesus at meals, eating and drinking. What do these meals – and whom Jesus ate with – tell us about the challenge of social justice today? Come for a new look at familiar stories.

Rev. Bryan N. Massingale, S.T.D.

A priest of the Milwaukee Archdiocese, Fr. Bryan Massingale is a Professor of Moral Theology at St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee and at the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University in New Orleans, La. He publishes and lectures nationally on social justice issues and black Catholic life.

1-18 God Is Everywhere – And Then Some! 

Participants will hear the story of how a Catholic elementary school on Oahu, Hawaii, was saved from closure when the children, families and faculty set off on a field trip to find God and a brave book-writing adventure. Their book, "God’s Photo Album: How We Looked for God and Saved Our School," a best-seller in Hawaii and soon to be national best-seller, has been optioned for a movie. Come to this inspirational session to learn why Shelly Mecum believes, "Dreams utterly come true!"

Shelly Mecum

Determined to save her struggling Catholic elementary school from closing, Shelly Mecum sent 168 school children and their families on a mission to find and photograph God in their own community. The result was a best-seller. The former reading and writing teacher is now an author in residence at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Ewa Beach, Hawaii.

1-19 Self-Esteem: Making Champions of Our Young People 

Parents, youth ministers and educators are challenged to foster young people’s sense of being lovable and capable, which are at the core of healthy self-esteem. Many young people do not have basic social competence because fundamental life skills have not been developed. This workshop will explore strategies for developing life skills and building youth’s assets and will provide practical skills for enhancing our teens’ self-image – even during that explosion called "adolescence."

Robert J. McCarty, D.Min.

Bob McCarty is Executive Director of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry, based in Washington, D.C. He has been in professional youth ministry since 1973, serving in diocesan, parish school and community programs, and still serves as a volunteer at his parish church, St. Francis of Assisi in Fulton, Md.

1-20 Let Justice Roll Like a River 

The Kingdom of God is this gift overflowing that transforms the world. Jesus’ message and presence began the reign of justice and grace, which the Gospel calls us to live with hunger for justice and righteousness. Come, let justice roll like a river over you in story and Scripture and sweep you along in the current of grace. As always, there will be stories from around the world.

Dr. Megan McKenna

Megan McKenna lives in Albuquerque, N.M., but travels throughout Asia, Europe and Latin America conducting workshops and missions with churches and missionaries. Her recent books are "Mary, Mother of All Nations," reflections on icons by Wm. Hart McNichols, S.T., and "Prophets: Words of Fire." Her latest, "Send My Roots & Rain: A Spirituality of Justice & Mercy," will be released at Congress 2002.

1-21 How to be a Media Savvy Catechist 

Faith and media can be linked for all ages of believers. This presentation will explore the connection in 10 easy steps. Practical information and helpful handouts will help catechists incarnate the Word in today’s media world.

Rose Pacatte, F.S.P.

Rose Pacatte, a Daughter of St. Paul, writes book reviews, has written catechetical curricula and is published regularly in Catholic communication periodicals. A media literacy expert, Sr. Pacatte has spoken at national and international media education conferences, is a Consultant to the White House in Washington, D.C., and teaches media awareness to adolescents, parents and teachers.

1-22 The Journey to Inner Freedom

In order to transform our world, we each need to be in the process of personal transformation. Becoming our true selves is no easy process. We stumble and get lost. We meet up with our own weaknesses, difficulties and unexpected turns in the road. What do we do with these barriers and bumps on the path? Joyce Rupp will explore the hindrances and the gifts on the journey of becoming spiritually free and provide both theory and practical suggestions on this process of becoming a more liberated and whole human being.

Joyce Rupp

Joyce Rupp is well known for her work as a writer, spiritual guide and retreat leader. She is a member of the Servite (Servants of Mary) community, a volunteer for Hospice and has traveled extensively as an international speaker. She is author of numerous books, including the best-sellers "Praying Our Good-byes," "Your Sorrow is My Sorrow" and "Out of the Ordinary."

1-23 The Politics of Prayer in Exile 

In this session, we will study the rise of a particularly interesting form of prayer in biblical Israel – the "Penitential Prayers." Why did this form become so prominent? What can we learn from the political statements in these controversial prayers, like 1 Kings 8, Daniel 9, Ezra 9 and Nehemiah 9?

Dr. Daniel Smith-Christopher

Dr. Daniel Christopher teaches Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) in the Department of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He has several published scholarly articles, reviews, chapters and books, and lectures widely in the United States. Dr. Christopher appears frequently at conferences of the Roman Catholic, Presbyterian and United Methodist churches.

1-24 Getting the Rites Right!

Drawing from the latest music resource for RCIA, "Christ We Proclaim," this workshop will help you move your assembly from boredom to committed participation in the Rites of Initiation. ("Christ We Proclaim" is the Ritual Book for Christian Initiation with new and previously published music, drawing from a variety of living Catholic composers and publishers.)

Christopher Walker

Chris Walker, internationally known lecturer, composer and conductor, was born and educated in England, where he served as Director of Music for the Clifton Cathedral in Bristol as well as for the Diocese of Clifton. Walker presently resides in Los Angeles, where he combines the roles of music lecturer at Mount St. Mary’s College and as Director of Music at St. Paul the Apostle Church.

1-25 Assessing Your Parish: Taking It To The Next Level 

There are many parishes that are doing a good job in responding to the needs of the people and the demands of the Gospels. The question is, How can they move from being a good parish to being an excellent parish? It takes effort and know-how to assess the present situation and explore possibilities and options for the future. This presentation will help parish leaders do just that.

Rev. Tom Sweetser, S.J.

Jesuit priest Tom Sweetser is founder and Co-Director of the Parish Evaluation Project, a resource to Catholic parishes. He is a teacher and author of several books; his articles have appeared in America, Commonweal, Chicago Studies, Today’s Parish, Human Development and Church magazines.

Sr. Peg Bishop, O.S.F.

Sr. Peg Bishop has served as Associate Director of the Parish Evaluation Project since 1997. The former Honeywell team trainer and elementary school teacher also has served as a diocesan Director of Religious Education, associate director of diocesan catechesis and a parish Director of Religious Education.

1-26 Preparing Young People for Confirmation: Why, What and How 

Tom Zanzig will briefly review the changing theology of Confirmation and, in light of it, propose a preparation process that not only makes sense but also works effectively. This will be particularly helpful for those responsible for designing and directing programs of preparation.

Tom Zanzig

Author, editor and consultant for Saint Mary’s Press in Winona, Minn., Tom Zanzig has been involved in adolescent religious education and youth ministry for over 30 years. His high school religion texts, parish curriculums and Confirmation program are used throughout the country.

1-27 Is Jesus the Only Savior?

The Christian faith proclaims that all salvation comes through Jesus Christ. How do we understand this truth in our contemporary context of religious and cultural pluralism? Insights from the theologies of Asian bishops and theologians will be brought to bear on this issue.

Dr. Peter C. Phan

Vietnam native Rev. Peter Phan is the Warren-Blanding Professor of Religion and Culture in the Department of Religion and Religious Education at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He serves as President of the Catholic Theological Society of America and has written extensively on systematic theology.


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