2015 RECongress Period 8

Religious Education Congress
Sunday, March 15, 2015

1:00 - 2:30 pm



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= Recorded session

8-01  Sojourn to a Joyful Heart

Mary Amore, DMin (bio 1-02)

Pope Francis is capturing the hearts and minds of Christians everywhere. Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to prayerfully prepare your heart for ministry by reflecting on the writings of this inspiring man of God. In this presentation, we will explore ways to develop a friendship with Jesus, respond to others with love and mercy, and live in this world as Spirit-filled evangelizers.

8-02  Formation of RCIA Catechists 

Mary Birmingham (bio 6-3)

The catechetical components of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults call for ministry from priests, deacons and catechists. Catechumenal catechesis is a shared endeavor, yet training is needed for initiatory catechesis. Come and learn ways to train your parish catechists to embrace the vision of the RCIA and develop sound education models that will engage the minds and hearts of catechumens and candidates.

8-03  The Transformative Power of Faith  arena

Grayson Warren Brown (bio 4-03)

In Romans 8:21, St. Paul makes a remarkable statement: If God is for us, who can stand against us? Today, that message might translate: Hey, get up, go out and stop being afraid! Change the world; because God is with you and with God on your side, you are unstoppable! We live in a world today that is in desperate need of the healing power of the love of Christ. But Christ cannot change the world with just his words alone; he needs to get his body in motion. And who is the body of Christ? We are! In this session, we are going to preach and sing and get “fired up” about God’s call to bring light to darkness and hope to the weary. Let’s strengthen our faith together, so that we can take Paul completely at his Word.

8-04  How to Make Saints and Evangelize People 

Stephen Bullivant (bio 6-05)

In the words of second-century martyr St. Ignatius of Antioch, “It is good to teach, if he who speaks also acts.” This basic idea recurs throughout the Christian tradition, not least in Pope Paul VI’s famous observation, “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses” (Evangelii Nuntiandi, no. 41). Drawing on examples from the early church and new research in the social sciences, in this workshop we will explore why and how this age-old missionary insight is so crucial for the success of the New Evangelization.

8-05  Just Say No: Naysayers in the Bible’s Wisdom Books 

Alice Camille, MDiv (bio 3-02)

Is it possible to say a small “no” in order to arrive at a big “Yes”? Is there room in the life of faith for doubt and disagreement? The Bible contains many examples of how “no” can become the ultimate “yes” in the life of the faithful. Disagreeable folks are welcome to participate!

8-06  Living the Eucharist in Daily Life 

Rev. Christopher Collins, SJ (bio 3-03)

If the liturgy is, as Vatican II put it, the source and summit of our lives as Christians, exactly how does that work when we look at the specifics of the liturgy itself, especially the offertory, consecration and communion? We can come to see that the liturgy is the perfect pattern for living our ordinary lives when they are lived united to the Heart of Christ. This session will explore new ways of looking at the Sacred Heart of Christ and how that spirituality can be fruitful in ordinary day-to-day living.

8-07  A Form of “New Evangelization”: A Model for Parish Bereavement Ministry 

Amy Florian (bio 2-07)

When a loved one dies, mourners feel lost, alone and in desperate need of the faith community. Yet most parishes provide little more than assistance in planning the services, and often not even that. Learn an integrated model for how your parish can serve and comfort people in the toughest times of their lives. It not only fulfills our Gospel calling to comfort those who mourn, it is also an extremely effective form of evangelization that touches people’s hearts and changes lives.

8-08  Franciscan Spirituality Today: A New Way of Seeing the World! 

Fr. Daniel P. Horan, OFM (bio 4-10)

St. Francis of Assisi remains one of the most popular saints in all of Christian history and has come into the worldwide spotlight in a new way with Pope Francis, who has taken his name and pastoral inspiration from the saint from Assisi, Italy. While most people are familiar with some aspects of St. Francis’s history, experiences and even writings, few are well versed in what is generally called “Franciscan spirituality.” This workshop presents insights from the Franciscan tradition brought together in a dynamic, creative and renewing spiritual vision. The themes presented provide an introductory approach to the many riches of the tradition named for St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi.

8-09  Missionary Discipleship 

Anthony J. Gittins, CSSp (bio 5-14)

Looking at the instructions of Jesus and the New Testament writings, we will construct a profile of discipleship as Jesus sees it. We will consider some obstacles and also some aids to discipleship, and show how all authentic discipleship – then and now – must have a missionary or “missional” dimension. This call to discipleship is for all the baptized.

8-10  Pastoral Leadership for the New Evangelization 

Rev. John E. Hurley, CSP, DMin (bio 5-15)

Pope Francis is raising the bar of expectation in the pews of our churches. The challenge for all of us in pastoral leadership is to get with the program to lead, inspire, invite and celebrate how our communities are fostering the mission entrusted to us and missionary disciples. Evangelizing communities get involved by word and deed, are supportive, patient and have apostolic endurance. We will explore key ways to move from a maintenance model of ministry to a mission-focused one. As Pope Francis reminds us, “An essential principle of management is the refusal to be satisfied with current results and to press forward, in the conviction that those gains are only consolidated by working to achieve even more.”

8-11  Children on the Run: Why Children are Fleeing Mexico and Central America and What the Church Can Do About It 

In 2014, an estimated 60,000 minors crossed into the United States from Mexico and Central America. Many of these children are forced from their homes and families, propelled by violence, insecurity and abuse in their communities and at home. This session will review why this is happening, what the cost is to families, children, and the United States, and what the Church can do about it.

Richard Alan Jones

Rick Jones, based in San Salvador, El Salvador, is Deputy Regional Director for Global Solidarity and Justice in Latin America and the Caribbean for Catholic Relief Services. During the last 20 years, he has worked for human rights, peace-building and development programs in Latin America. In his capacity, Jones has made official appearances before the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

8-12  Jesuit Mysticism, Pope Francis and Compassion 

What does it mean to find God in all things? How can we be in union with God with our busy lives? This session will explore the Jesuit approach to prayer and present a practical tool for “present-day mystics.” We will look at Jesuit spirituality by exploring the personal spirituality of Pope Francis and his lived experience as both a Jesuit and as Pope. We will examine the concept of “compassion” in two of Pope Francis’ letters on how Jesuit meditation can lead us gracefully into everyday compassion.

Rev. Michael Kennedy, SJ

Jesuit priest Fr. Michael Kennedy has worked in parishes in Latin America and in the United States, including at Dolores Mission in Los Angeles. As a spiritual director, he specializes in Ignation Spirituality and conducts meditation retreats. Fr. Kennedy also ministers as a prison chaplain and is currently Executive Director of the Jesuit Restorative Justice Initiative and Co-Chaplain at Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall in Sylmar, Calif.

8-13  New Media and the New Evangelization 

Rev. Matthew Malone, SJ (bio 3-18)

This workshop will explore the intersection of new media and the New Evangelization in the contemporary United States. What are the theological, pastoral and social resources that the Catholic media can draw upon to more fully realize their potential as ministries of the church and multi-platform communicators? Topics will include mission and identity for media, the social and ecclesial context of the New Evangelization, managing relationships with the secular press, as well as suggestions for managing organizational change in light of different apostolic priorities.

8-14  Bearing Gifts Among Us: International Ministers and Parish Life Today

There is a rising population of foreign-born ministers in the Church in the United States today, including priests, women and men religious. The cultural gifts they bear and share are numerous and are influencing parish life and ministry. As a result, understanding how to recognize and respect cross-cultural boundaries is crucial. This session presents some of the intercultural dynamics of learning and sharing between international ministers, pastors and parish ministers.

Rev. Ricky Manalo, CSP, PhD

Fr. Ricky Manalo is a Paulist priest currently teaching at Santa Clara University and the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, Calif. In addition to his liturgical compositions, he has written numerous articles and books. Fr. Manalo is also Director of the Cultural Orientation Program for International Ministers/Priests at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and serves as an advisor to the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church and the Secretariat on Divine Worship.

8-15  Super Songs of Superheroes 

Jesus, Mary and the saints are the “superheroes” of our faith. Songs which celebrate their lives, words and deeds can inspire everyone, especially children, to follow in their footsteps as people of faith. Come along ready to sing, move and have fun as Australian composer Michael Mangan shares his vibrant, inter-generational songs that are sure to engage and enthuse children and adults alike!

Michael Mangan

Michael Mangan is a composer, teacher and music liturgist from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. He is a member of the Australian Academy of Liturgy, is Deputy Chair of the Australian Pastoral Musicians Network and is Music Director at All Saints Catholic Parish in Brisbane. The former elementary school music teacher’s 250 compositions are used in parishes and schools throughout Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. He has been performing concerts for the last 18 years.

8-16  Balancing Marriage and Ministry: The Great Dance! 

Balancing family life and ministry can be rewarding, fulfilling and life-giving – as well as stressful, demanding and frustrating. This workshop will consider the stressors, pitfalls and challenges inherent in balancing ministry and family life, identify coping strategies for when one or both spouses engage in ministry, and remember the profound blessings when ministry and family mesh.

Robert J. McCarty, DMin

Dr. Bob McCarty is Executive Director of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry, based in Washington, D.C. He has been in youth ministry since 1973, serving in parish, school, community and diocesan settings. Bob also provides training in ministry skills and issues internationally. He serves as a volunteer in his parish youth ministry and catechetical programs at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Fulton, Md., and his hobbies include cycling, rock climbing and now grandparenting!

Maggie McCarty, DMin

Dr. Maggie McCarty is Executive Director of the Christian Brothers Conference in Washington, D.C. She has worked for three decades with youth and youth ministry and has experience at the parish, diocesan and national levels. Maggie teaches courses in youth ministry at several universities and is a nationally and internationally known speaker and retreat leader. She recently co-authored, with Robert McCarty, “Be a Champion for Youth: Standing With, By, and For Young People.”

8-17  Engaging EVERY Learner EVERY Time: A Simple Format for Planning Engaging Faith Formation 

Charlotte McCorquodale, PhD (bio 4-19)

How can we design learning that engages every learner, every time? We will explore what it means to reach all learners regardless of age and learning style. We will examine how using four critical questions and steps in the learning cycle – Why, What, How and If – can help anyone design learning that engages learners. This model integrates well with other models like Shared Christian Praxis and will help every catechist develop engaging faith formation for all age’s children, youth and adults.

8-18  A Call to “a Church That is Poor”: Re-imagining Youth Ministry through Pope Francis 

In his inaugural homily, Pope Francis committed himself to “embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important, those whom Matthew lists in the final judgment on love: the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison.” We can do no less. Using teachings from the Holy Father as well as prayer, music, media and dialogue, explore what it means to be a Church that is poor and how that might shape our ministry to and with the young church.

Ted Miles

Baltimore-native Ted Miles is Catholic Relief Services’ Relationship Manager for Religious Education and Coordinator of their Youth Outreach in the United States. Prior to joining CRS, Miles served in parish youth ministry, Catholic high school education and faith formation for over 25 years, including the development of “Justice Action Week” for the Baltimore Archdiocese. In 2009, he was honored with the award for leadership in youth ministry from the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry.

Ben Walther

Singer/songwriter Ben Walther has been making music for more than 15 years. Having been a part of Steubenville Youth conferences across the country and Life Teen events, he began co-writing with Christian music artist Matt Maher and released “Everything Can Change” in 2008. His spiritandsong.com debut release, “Make Your Home In Me” debuted at No. 12 on the iTunes Christian and Gospel charts. Walther continues to make music and travels across the country to lead worship.

8-19  Evangelizing Families Today: Engaging Parents as Partners in Faith Formation 

Those in catechetical ministry today face the daunting challenge of providing foundational faith formation to two generations: the children and their parents. As Tom Quinlan puts it, “We can no longer be on for simply catechizing children. We must be evangelizing households.” This workshop will explore practical ways to create a partnering dynamic with parents that can foster conversion and engage them more meaningfully in the faith formation of their children.

Tom Quinlan

Tom Quinlan is in his 14th year as diocesan Cate­chetical Director for the Diocese of Joliet, Ill. He was a parish director of religious education and on the boards of the National Conference for Cate­chetical Leadership and of Paulist Evangelization Ministries. Quinlan also co-chairs the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership’s Evangelization Committee. He has presented at the parish, diocesan and national levels, and he has written numerous magazine articles.

8-20  Sleeping with the Enemy? Esther, Judith and Sexualized Politics in the Old Testament 

Prof. Daniel Smith-Christopher (bio 1-23)

Both Esther and Judith are portrayed as female heroes of the Bible who manipulated sexual relationships with foreigners. In this session, we will explore some of the troubled implications of these sexualized politics of the Bible, and raise questions about the portrayal of women in the Bible.

8-21  Mary and Jesus in Islam and the Qur’an 

This session will focus on the Islam narrative of Mary and Jesus in the Qur’an. As both Mary and Jesus are major figures in Islam’s holy scripture, how is it that Muslims view these two figures, and how does that perception inform Muslims’ view of Christianity?

Jihad Mohammed Turk

Jihad Turk, a Palestinian-American Muslim, studied Arabic at the Islamic University in Saudi Arabia and Farsi at Qom College at the University of Tehran in Iran. Turk is currently President of Bayan Claremont, an Islamic graduate school at Claremont Lincoln University in Claremont, Calif. Formerly, he served as Imam/Religious Director of the Islamic Center of Southern California in Los Angeles. He has been featured in the Los Angeles Times as well as on the History Channel and CNN.

8-22  Renewing Young Adult Catholic Imagination 

Reflecting on 20 consecutive years of Catholic schooling, Harvard humorist Matt Weber shares his story of overcoming the myriad challenges that come with being a twentysomething Catholic in an increasingly secular world. Both inspiring and entertaining, Weber brings energy and joy to the New Evangelization with his public witness as the “Andy Rooney of CatholicTV,” and delivering a unique approach to connecting young Catholics with a renewed faith perspective – prompting CBS News to call Matt Weber “the voice of a new generation of Catholics.”

Matthew Martin Weber

Since 2009, Matt Weber has appeared as host and producer on CatholicTV, the television network based in Watertown, Mass. He is a frequent contributor to the the Huffington Post and the “Spiritual Something” blog on BustedHalo.com. Weber is an award-winning multimedia producer as Digital Strategist at Harvard University. For the past two years, he has had regular speaking engagements, from major national conferences to parish events, along with many college appearances.

8-23  “I Was Blind, Now I See” 

David Wells (bio 2-27)

Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote, “The world is charged with grandeur of God.” Some people see it, some people don’t. When we move into the light of Christ, he reveals new truth and life to us. Through him we are forever journeying from our blindness into sight. In this workshop, we will look at what the wisdom of the Church and the saints have to say about spiritual blindness. We will consider how we move from darkness through dappled vision toward clarity, so that like the man born blind we too can say with hope, “I was blind, now I see.”

8-24  Europe 1914-1918: The Roots of Our Present Misery 

Rev. Thomas Weston, SJ (bio 1-28)

One hundred years ago, Europe exploded into a nightmare of violence and chaos, which today we call the First World War. We are living in the world created by this conflict. In this session, we will look at the role of Pope Benedict XV and President Woodrow Wilson, our fleeting hopes for peace, our addiction to violence, and the impact of those dreadful years on our modern world.

8-25  You Cared for Me 

Dr. C. Vanessa White (bio 6-27)

The ministry of caregiver is important and challenging – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. This workshop will focus on the ministry of the caregiver and specifically address ways that the caregiver can be attentive to their own health and wholeness as they minister to others.

8-70  Nhìn về người Việt Công Giáo tại Hoa Kỳ trong tương lai: Cùng nghĩ cách đào tạo giới trẻ

Rev. Giuse Nguyễn Việt Hưng, ICM & Prof. Lê Xuân Hy, PhD (buhay 3-70)

Dưới ánh sáng đức tin, người Công giáo Việt Nam tại Hoa Kỳ, căn cứ trên những ân huệ và trực diện với những thách đố, nhận định lời gọi mời của Chúa làm sao để có thể truyền đạt đức tin cho thế hệ tương lai.

     Envisioning the future: Vietnamese American Catholics

Rev. Joseph Hung Viet Nguyen, ICM & Prof. Le Xuan Hy, PhD (bios 3-70)

In the light of faith, Vietnamese American Catholics discern the call God gives us, based on our gifts and challenges, so that we can respond in a way that fosters the development of future generations.


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