2009 RECongress Period 7

Religious Education Congress
day, March 1, 2009
10:00 - 11:30 am


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= Recorded session

7-01  The Popes and the Sexual Abuse Crisis

John L. Allen Jr.

Since the modem eruption of the sexual abuse crisis in the mid-1980s, the papal response, or lack of response, has been a frequent subject of criticism and controversy. This session traces the various ways in which the Vatican and Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have addressed the crisis, with a special focus on Pope Benedict’s April 2008 visit to the United States.

7-02  Merging Prayer with Dance

When two very beautiful forms come together – prayer and dance – the result is beautiful, elegant, graceful and powerful. For those who love to dance, come prepared to move while tapping into your spirituality and expressing the prayer within. Learn how to weave these lovely dances into your celebrations. (Appropriate for adults, middle-school and high-school students.)

Donna Anderle

Donna Anderle is an accomplished dancer, teacher and choreographer. She has taught at every level from primary through university. Anderle, on the teaching faculty of The Cincinnati Ballet Company, is involved in various outreach dance programs for Cincinnati inner-city schools. Anderle has performed movement for prayer and celebration at major liturgical conventions, and gives keynote presentations and workshop concerts. She has four books of choreography and a CD on liturgical dance.

7-03  Should There Be Such a Thing as “Social Justice”?

Grayson Warren Brown

As Christians, how do we deal with hunger, poverty and racism in the 21st century? We begin by realizing that these issues are not separate from Scripture; they are at the very heart and soul of it. Rather than thinking, Christians should have a social conscience. We should grow to realize that without one, we cannot truly be Christian.

7-04  The Good Catechist   (Workshop Closed)

Carol Cimino, SSJ, EdD

What makes the good catechist? We all know that there is something holy about the vocation to be a catechist, something that goes beyond the training and even the desire to impart the faith to young people. This presentation will offer some criteria for those who help others to answer the call, and for our own reflection, as we consider our vocation “to teach as Jesus did.” Finally, it will outline the specific challenges we face with this generation of young people, who are very spiritual and need a context for that desire to connect with God and God’s people.

7-05  Everyone Needs a Coach!

Dave Durand

Dave Durand will show you the success strategies of the most successful people in the world presented in a way that you have never heard before. He will explain that true success is not a fleeting accomplishment; true success is not measured in money (although that may be a byproduct), it is not measured in fame (although that can happen, too), and it is not measured in power (although for some it is part of it). True success is about the transformation of the subject and ultimately perfection in Christ played out though winning habits day in and day out.

7-06  All Are Welcome! Or Are They? The Gospel Call to Inclusion and Contemporary Catholicism

Fran Ferder, FSPA, PhD & John Heagle, MA, JCL

The teaching and practice of Jesus, as portrayed in the Gospels, is firmly rooted in a vision of inclusion. There are no separate tables in the Reign of God. Anyone who wants to come to the banquet will find a place card with his or her name on it. How, then, do we reconcile this welcoming vision with the contemporary discipline of the Catholic Church? This presentation addresses this difficult and ongoing challenge in our community of faith.

7-07  A New Apologetics: Sharing the Fire of Catholic Faith

Thomas H. Groome

 “Apologetics” is the process of arguing for and defending the faith. Older Catholics will remember an apologetics that was based largely on the teaching authority of the Church. Now we must return to the practice of the Early Church’s apologetics of persuasion that highlights the attractiveness of Catholic faith, its truth, beauty and goodness. This “new” apologetic was modeled by Pope Benedict XVI in his pastoral visit to America; we must learn to do likewise.

7-08  Near-death Wisdom: Die Before You Die

Richard F. Groves

A great sage once said, “If I survive this life without dying, I shall be surprised.” Yet most Americans avoid the topic of death like the plague. In the Middle Ages, the Ars Moriendi, or Sacred Art of Dying, offered remarkable wisdom – by learning how to face the many smaller deaths of ego, life is not diminished but enhanced. Paradoxically, as we face our limitations, brokenness and darkest hour, the soul is healed. In this workshop, the dying are our teachers and their stories offer us courage and hope.

7-09  Singing, Praying and Celebrating the Sacramental Journey

David Haas

The preparation and celebration of the sacraments – baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, reconciliation, anointing, marriage, and celebrations of ministry – are often experienced as events that happen to and for individual “recipients” at key moments in their lives. Sacraments are more than this – they are sacred events that are celebrated by the community, for the community, and lived by the community. This session will explore how music can pull the assembly to active participation not just in the liturgical actions, but to the call that the sacraments ask of all of us – to live in surrender to Christ Jesus. Come ready to sing, celebrate and pray the Christian journey!

7-10  Catholic Morality: Current Challenges

Catholic morality separated from theology and spirituality is harder to understand and accept. In this session, Fr. James Heft will lead an examination of this by posing a few questions: How can Catholic morality best be taught today? What about the difficult issues in sexual ethics? Are they more important than Catholic social teaching?

Fr. James L. Heft, SM

Marian priest Fr. James Heft is currently the Alton Brooks Professor of Religion at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where he is also President of their Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies. Fr. Heft has sat on the Board of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities for nearly a decade, and has served as Board Chair from 1999-2001. He has published and edited eight books and written over 150 articles and book chapters.

7-11  Sacred Companionship with Henri Nouwen

As a spiritual friend, guide, mentor and director, Henri Nouwen engaged in the integrative work of soul care and companioning. This workshop explores Henri Nouwen’s versatile spiritual accompaniment approach to ministry – a ministry of integration flowing from his equally integrated, albeit “imperfect,” spirituality.

Wil Hernandez, PhD

Dr. Wil Hernandez regularly teaches on the spirituality of Henri Nouwen at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif.; Haggard Graduate School of Theology (at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, Calif.) and at the Center for Religion and Spirituality (at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles). He is author of “Henri Nouwen: A Spirituality of Imperfection” and its recently released sequel, “Henri Nouwen and Soul Care: A Ministry of Integration.”

7-12  Life, Unfolding: Mary’s Discipleship and Ours

Miriam of Nazareth, a poor woman who cultivated holiness in the midst of her day-to-day life, extends a challenge and an invitation to us – renewing our “yes” on our journey toward holiness and finding holiness in the ordinary, the everyday. How can the unfolding narrative of the life of Mary of Nazareth ignite the hope of the laity for the renewal of our Church?

Natalia M. lmperatori-Lee, PhD

Dr. Natalia lmperatori-Lee grew up in Miami, the child of Cuban immigrants. She is currently Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Manhattan College in New York. She has been a speaker at several events, including the Los Angeles Congress, “Soy Catequista,” held at the University of Notre Dame, and “Raices y Alas,” sponsored by the National Catholic Council for Hispanic Ministry.

7-13  Seven Extra Books of the Bible: Their Message for Catholics?

Sr. Dorothy Jonaitis, OP, DMin

The Deuterocanonical (second canon) books of the Bible are so-called because they are additional books in the Catholic canon, but found neither in the Protestant nor Jewish canon. For Jews and Protestants, these books are apocryphal (not canonical). What message do these books have within the Catholic tradition? This presentation will explore the questions of these books.

7-14  Leadership in the Church: A Cry of Hope or the Whimper of Fear

Rev. Patrick LaBelle, OP

Effective leadership is not easy to find at this time, and leadership in the Roman Catholic Church is no exception. This presentation will discuss some of the causes for the less-than-effective leadership we have at all levels of the Church and will attempt to examine new ways to change what should be changed, make the best of what we likely will not change, and the courage to make the best of things in the process.

7-15  Parents, Youth and Faith: The Great Dance

Robert J. McCarty, DMin

Want to scare parents? Tell them they are the primary religious educators of their children! This workshop will identify critical characteristics of adolescent faith, practical approaches to enhancing faith development among young people, and strategies for enabling parents to successfully and willingly take on their desired role in fostering the faith of their teens.

7-16  Standing as One Human Family: Engaging Youth in Relationships that Foster Solidarity and Justice

It is one thing to immerse young people in direct service and social action; it is totally another to encourage and engage them in right relationships with our brothers and sisters around the world who live on the margins. Join staff from Catholic Relief Services (CRS) for an interactive presentation that explores how to foster relationships – and not just experiences – rooted in solidarity and that foster transformation and conversion. This workshop will highlight CRS youth programs and resources and afford an opportunity for all to share “best practices” in engaging youth in the work of social justice.

Theodore Joseph Miles

Ted Miles is the Relationship Manager/Religious Education Director for Catholic Relief Services, based in Baltimore. He, with a team from CRS, is involved with the development, implementation and management of Catholic youth in the mission and work of CRS. His experience stems from more than 15 years as a coordinator, group leader, program facilitator, workshop presenter and trainer both nationally and internationally through the Baltimore Archdiocese.

7-17  Making Good Decisions – A Relational- and Virtue-based Approach to Morality   (Workshop Closed)

Deacon Eric Paige

Are we trying to get what we want, or becoming who we are meant to be? Good decisions build character and enable us to say “yes” to God. So how do we make good decisions? This session mixes theology, tradition and social science in a fun way to help catechists and parents become effective formers of conscience and human virtue.

7-18  Applying MI Theory to Practices of Faith

Dr. Robert A. Pavilk

This workshop will open with a brief review of the core beliefs of Multiple Intelligences (MI) Theory espoused by Dr. Howard Gardner. Participants will receive a packet of MI-inspired strategies for building and refining such practices of faith as hospitality, forgiveness, respecting the Earth, prayer, forming communities, worship and igniting the “yes.” The workshop features modeling and rehearsing of the strategies.

7-19  The Coming of the Cosmic Christ

Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM

We believe in Jesus Christ and not just in Jesus! Most people seem to think that Christ is Jesus’ last name! It is clear in the Scriptures that “Christ” is an archetypal title which includes us and all of creation – for which Jesus is the head and microcosm. The “second coming of Christ,” therefore, points to our ideas of evolution, the final omega point of history, the “one single new humanity” of Ephesians, and the “recapitulation of all things” in Colossians. Why do most Christians not think this way? What are the magnificent and hopeful implications of such a cosmology and such a full Christian theology? What have we lost by separating ourselves from “the Christ”?

7-20  Addressing the Crisis – Immigration and Working Poverty

Over 40 percent of the families in our community are working poor – employed but struggling to meet basic expenses. Over 70 percent of these families are immigrants. How can people of faith respond effectively to these crises? CLUE-CA (Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice of California) brings religious leaders together from all faith traditions to contribute their unique gifts as people of faith to the movements for economic justice and fair immigration policy. We will discuss the current situation of immigrant and working-poor families and effective opportunities for a faithful response to their needs.

Rev. Alexia Salvatierra

Rev. Alexia Salvatierra is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, with over 30 years of experience in interfaith and community ministry, community organizing and legislative advocacy. She is also Executive Director of CLUE-CA, a California alliance of interfaith organizations of religious leaders that seeks to build a faith-based movement for economic justice for low-wage workers.

7-21  Beyond a Nine-Month Catechumenate

Jim Schellman

In this session of presentation and dialogue, participants will consider why a nine-month catechumenate is inadequate to making disciples of the Lord. We will explore how the parish can change to a year-round catechumenate.

7-22  Living God’s Dream

Margaret Silf

We are part of a vast cosmic story, and our personal story is a unique strand of this great tapestry. Our own daily choices and responses to our circumstances are crucial to the unfolding of God’s Dream for humanity. We will reflect on the pivotal nature of the Incarnation in our cosmic story, and ask ourselves: “How can we engage with this calling in practice?” Dare we invite God to “ignite our yes” to this Dream of “love unfolding”?

7-23  Spirituality of Laughter: Waking Up to the Moment

Anne Bryan Smollin

Injecting a bit of laughter in our life finds us a bit more balanced. We do not take ourselves so seriously and that opens us up to the possibility of choosing to live more fully, seizing opportunities to say “yes” and to embrace life. Laughter connects us to others, helps us to relax, and empowers us to see the reality of a situation. Graced with moment, we wake up because, as St. Angela Merici found, “laughter is the sound of the soul waking up.”

7-24  Baptism, Conversion, Commitment   (Workshop Closed)

Sr. Maureen Sullivan, OP, PhD

For those of us who were baptized so early in our journey of faith, there comes a time when we must come to understand what that sacrament means and consciously accept the offer of grace made to us so many years ago. This presentation aims to be an opportunity for us to revisit that moment, to discover the richness of baptism, a sacrament that entails a process of conversion with spiritual, theological and moral effects.

7-25  Parenting Teens and Surviving with God’s Grace!   (Workshop Closed)

Char Wenc, M.Ed

Do you worry about your teen? Do you ask yourself, “Now what do I do?” If so, this high-energy presentation is for you. Char Wenc, author of “Parenting – Are We Having Fun Yet” and professor of child guidance and parenting, will energize you with practical techniques and tools for discipline, encouragement and communication with your teenage children. The teen years are a definite stage of development not merely a period between childhood and adulthood. Be empowered in your profession called parenting; learn the language that is effective in parent-teen relationships.

7-26  Living and Working in a World Full of Alcoholics and Addicts: Learning How to Tend to Our Own Acre

Thomas Weston, SJ

None of us lives in a vacuum, or on an isolated island. We are influenced by the illnesses and craziness of others, and we find ourselves exhausted, angry, guilty and unable to live our lives with serenity and dignity and peace. In this presentation, we will look at the tools of recovery as members of dysfunctional families and systems, how to care for ourselves, how to choose to care for others, and how to be useful members of our society, our Church and our country. We believe that it is not God’s will to have one more burned out, exhausted person on the face of this Earth. We will look at the wisdom of Al-Anon Family Groups and the practicality of the 12-Step Programs.

7-27  Emotional and Spiritual Resilience in Christian Marriage   (Workshop Closed)

How do you eliminate feelings of resentment against your spouse? How do you control anxiety about the future of your marriage? How do you overcome feelings of discouragement or helplessness about your marriage? Above all, how do you promote lasting and mutual happiness with your spouse? Dr. John Yzaguirre will respond to these questions by discussing the most effective approaches to ignite and sustain emotional and spiritual resilience throughout your marital journey.

John Yzaguirre, PhD

Dr. John Yzaguirre is a licensed psychologist, educator and author specializing in family life and Catholic spirituality. He has been a keynote speaker at conventions in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe. He has co-authored “Thriving Marriages” with his wife, Claire Frazier-Yzaguirre, MFT.

7-70  Vietnamese Workshop   (Workshop Closed)

Bishop Paul Bui Van Doc


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