The Religious Education Congress is sponsored by 
The Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocese 
Office of Religious Education


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Comments for Congress 2000

Share your experiences or ask questions about the Religious Education Congress. We'd like to know what you think. Your comments and our replies will be posted for others to share.


Date: November 11, 2000
Comments

Just wanted you to know that I think the hotels (like the Hilton) sell a number of their rooms to the discount travel dot-coms. I went to one of these sites, after I was told the Hilton was sold out, and was able to secure a double room for Congress at a rate $119. The bad news is that I had to pay the whole fee up front. I have a feeling that this is the reason Adrian is having a difficult time securing rooms for Congress.

Mariann Tymn, Santa Cruz, CA 


Date: November 11, 2000
Comments

I do hope that something is done about the hotel reservations next year. Evidently a lot of people knew before receiving their Guidebooks to book their rooms.....In the past I have never had to book that early and on several occasions I would call in August and was told they could not take reservations that early....What is going on???? Anyway since I need to be as close to the Convention Center as possible because of a heart conditions and because there is "No Room at the Inn" -- meaning the Hilton or the Marriott -- I will not be able to attend Congress this year. This will be a first in many years.

Elizabeth Canepa, Santa Margarita


Date: November 06, 2000
Comments

I love congress and have nothing bad to say about the weekend because my husband and I consider it our "recharge" for the year, but I do have one complaint...and that is hotel reservations. I just now got the book for Congress and the only hotel near the Convention Center we could get was the Hilton for the amazing rate of $209 a night...not the convention rate. Is there any way to make this easier? Probably not...just better planning on our part, but I still find it very frustrating and a bit ridiculous since the convention is three months off. But, we really do love Congress itself....that is not the problem

Reply

I too am frustrated with the hotel situation in Anaheim. Please know that I continually struggle to secure large blocks of rooms at reasonable rates for the Congress delegates. Unfortunately, I am not always successful. This
year the Hilton gave a small block because they have four other groups in house and then they always hang onto a certain number for the people who will pay a higher rate to be close to the Convention Center or because they may have a disability and therefore do not have a choice. Basically, what it boils down to is "big business greed." 

Adrian Whitaker, Congress Coordinator


Date: November 06, 2000
Comments

I was so excited to finally get my Guidebook today in the mail. Thank you. I am disappointed that I do not see Carey Landry down as a speaker this year. What happened? Please get him and Carol Jean back.

Reply

The Congress receives many requests to have particular speakers at Congress. Unfortunately, we are unable to extend an invitation to all of them. Also, many of the speakers are booked three years in advance or they decline our invitation because they want "a break" or they simply do not have anything new to bring to Congress. For those reasons alone the speaker is to be commended. 

Thank you for your suggestion and please know that we will keep Carey Landry and Carol Jean Kinghorn in mind when we begin our planning of Congress 2002.

Adrian Whitaker, Congress Coordinator 


Date: November 05, 2000
Comments

In viewing the other submitted comments, I remembered a sad event that occurred last year. The Native American Storytelling was a disaster due to poor sound equipment. Please give them another chance in a better location with a good sound system. It is as if we were still mistreating the Native American.

Reply

The sound and sound equipment was a bit of a problem for more than the Native American session. We are taking steps to improve the situation for Congress 2001. Our planning for future Congresses does include more sessions on Native American spirituality.

Your constructive comments are appreciated as is your support of Congress.

Adrian Whitaker, Congress Manager 


Date: November 05, 2000
Comments

When will the booklets be sent out for 2001 Congress?

Reply

Congress Registration Guidebooks are in! They have begun to be mailed out starting the week of October 30, 2000. If you attended last year's Congress, you will automatically receive a Guidebook for the 2001 Congress. Those who did not attend last year may download a copy of the Guidebook or order a copy online. There are two Registration Forms per Guidebook. 


Date: October 29, 2000
Comments

Can you please get the Starlites to perform again? I saw them at my first Catholic Congress experience about 4-5 years ago and we loved them.

Also, the Mariachi's were great as well. Bring them back too if you can. Thank you!

Reply

Noontime performer Sue Ann Pinner contracted both groups. They were very good and I do recommend them to other artists who will be performing at Congress. It was nice to hear how much you enjoyed them and I will keep recommending that we consider having them return.

Adrian Whitaker, Congress Manager


Date: October 23, 2000
Comments

First of all this is not a traditional letter I would write, but I was compelled to let you know that I was deeply touched when I first attended the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress with my local church St. Francis de Sales. I have been enlightened by the workshops I attended. I am proud to say that I have been teaching since the Lord’s calling in the summer of 1988. I answered the Lord’s call for R.E. teachers in my parish. There have not been any regrets. As a catechist working toward certification, the pastor and his staff of St. Francis de Sales as well as our office of catechetical ministries have supported me. Our diocese in Las Vegas has greatly enable me to succeed. I want to thank you and all inspired me to continue in my ministry.

God bless, your sister in Christ Jesus, Rita Marie Roberts


Date: October 08, 2000
Comments

I attended in 1999 and loved the conference. I am Principal of a large Catholic High School and implemented many ideas I picked up at the conference. I also was inspired by many speakers and ended up developing a new program for my high school students called Christian Ministry and Leadership. The program has turned out to be a fantastic way for Catholic youth to turn on to faith and proudly proclaim their Catholicity in a variety of forms including intellectual endeavors, out reach service to the disenfranchised and ministries in the Church and community. I speak regularly at many large conferences and would welcome the invitation to share ideas that I have implemented should there be any need or desire to include at your upcoming February conference. I will be there as a delegate for sure---would not miss the wonderful learning opportunity.


Date: October 06, 2000
Comments

I would like to suggest as a speaker Bishop Remi De Roo. At 38, he was one of the youngest bishops present at the Vatican II Council. He is a dynamic speaker on the history and scope of Vatican II and its vision for our Church. He has co-written a book with two lay people called "Even Greater Things -- Hope and Challenge after Vatican II" (published by Novalis) He inspired and encouraged me as a lay minister working in the Church. I think he is a walking store of personal knowledge about what Pope John XXIII envisioned for the Church of the 21st century. And he is so warm and personable.

Thanks, Debbie Garton, Bakersfield, CA

Reply

Thanks for your recommendation of Bishop Remi De Roo as a speaker for Congress. I will bring your suggestion to the attention of Sr. Edith Prendergast, Director of the Office of Religious Education, for consideration for Congress 2002.

Adrian Whitaker, Congress Manager


Date: September 10, 2000
Comments

As a new school year starts, I find myself planning for annual events. The LA Congress has become one such date that gets permanently fixed on my calendar. My time in the LA area, meeting people of common faith, celebrating God's healing love, and learning more about the Catholic Church revitalizes me to be a better parent and teacher. Thank you for the wide variety of speakers, entertainment and opportunities for growth.

Karen in Oregon


Date: September 05, 2000
Comments

We always enjoy the different liturgies, exposing us to the different cultures. This last weekend we attended a Basque Mass in Chino. It was great. Thought maybe a Basque Mass could be offered one year. You could contact the Chino Basque Club for information -- P.O. Box 1080, Chino, CA 91710.

Marc & Marcie Rohrich, Corona, Ca

Reply

It is always uplifting to receive positive comments regarding the various aspects of the Religious Education Congress. Please know that I will bring your suggestion of a Basque Eucharistic celebration to the attention of our Liturgy Committee. Since our liturgies are set for Congress 2001 it will be given consideration for 2002. 

Adrian Whitaker, Congress Coordinator 


Date: August 07, 2000
Comments

I would like to see Bishop Untener come and talk about his experiences living out his faith calling. Having sold the rectory and living in priests residences for years, keeping in touch with his parishioners would be a great topic for conversation.

Also, what about covering the topic of the death penalty from the Churches' perspective? I believe that you could get Stephen Dear from the N.C.-based People of Faith Against the Death Penalty to come out and do it.


Date: June 25, 2000
Comments

Thanks for having the Celtic Christian Rock Group, Ceili Rain play during the Saturday Lunch break. Their energy and joy shined through the message in their music and inspired me. I have, as a result, found a deeper appreciation of my own spiritual expression through music. I have also enjoyed helping with a few Ceili Rain shows since meeting them at Congress 2000, and hope to have the opportunity to hear and help them again at Congress 2001.


Date: May 8, 2000
Comments

Hi Congress Staff--

Will "Joshua" author Joseph Girzone ever be included as a guest speaker again? I've missed him over the last two years.

Elizabeth, San Bernardino


Date: 4/13/00
Comments

For the past four years, I have traveled with teens, parents, and other adults from the Archdiocese of Anchorage to the L.A. Congress. Each time I am humbled to be a guest in the Diocese of Los Angeles. Thank you for your hospitality. The L.A. Congress helps Alaskans experience the Church in a unique setting. All who have participated over the past four years have been challenged to expand our minds, hearts, and souls to realize how the Church extends into the world beyond the walls of our church buildings. I look forward to next year's and I'm glad it will be in February once more so we can also get a mini-break from what is usually our coldest time of year! 

Peace of Christ to you, Matthew Beck


Date: 4/11/00
Comments

Just want to let you know I had a wonderful time. Especially Warren Grayson Brown's workshop. Everything was great! I laughed myself silly in the "Late Nite Catechism" class. Thank you, thank you for all your work. God Bless. 

Yours in Christ Jesus, Ellen


Date: 4/10/00
Comments

Hi My name is Lynette Castiglione and as I stated before, going to the conference was a experience and a half -- wow. I just wish every church could be as open minded to the brilliance of this event. It was like seeing church in a whole new light, or I should say Catholics, in a whole new light. The talent that was at this conference was fantastic. Especially having a guy sing a rap song that had no cussing just words about the Lord. It was great finally they have music that youth can relate to and it's all about the Lord. It's great also to see a nun be funny instead of prim and proper, to have them act human was great. I think this event should be every year and don't stop until you get every person to see the light. Well, maybe that would be a miracle but I hope it happens.

Sincerely, Lynette Castiglione


Date: 4/10/00
Comments

I am having a hard time coming down off the mountain, as happens every year. Just a question and a comment. The Friday night concert was such an emotional experience for the audience and, I'm sure, for all the musicians. I am very disappointed that Jeannie Cotter was not included. I was very sad.


Date: 4/10/00
Comments

This was my first congress. I had no idea what to expect from this event. AWESOME! The experience was beautiful, the liturgies very uplifting. I really enjoyed the speakers and brought back a lot of information to our RCIA people. Where else could you go and have Bishop Brown in the morning and Cardinal Mahony in the afternoon celebrating the mass? Congratulations on a terrific congress. I look forward to 2001. Thanks to everyone who helped make Jubilee 2000 such a success. One comment: Please keep the exhibits open a little longer so people can shop after a workshop. There isn't enough time between things to look.

God bless all of you.


Date: 4/10/00
Comments

If Something is Worth Doing, It's Worth Doing Right:

After Congress 1999, I posted a comment here expressing my concern regarding the fact that after 29 years of planning this Congress, it seemed reasonable for me to expect to be offered and receive the Precious Blood at the Eucharistic Liturgies. But, as I pointed out, that was not the case. Your response to my concern was positive in that you agreed with my expectation and you assured me that the planning group had prepared to make it happen for Congress 2000. As you know, it didn't. I attended two different Eucharistic Liturgies in the Arena. One had enough of the Precious Blood to offer it ONLY to the priests and deacons(???!!!) and at the other liturgy, a whopping total of FOUR HALF-FILLED pitchers of wine were brought up in the Offertory Procession. As anyone could have figured, with this meager amount about one-fourth of the people on the arena floor area received the Precious Blood. I am extremely disappointed. Since I know the problem does not involve a cost issue nor is it due to a lack of volunteers, I can't help but feel that this is reflective of an attitude that is apathetic toward something I have come to believe is the source and summit of our lives together. 

Mary

Reply

Let me assure you that all of us involved on the Congress Liturgy Committee are in total agreement with your concerns and with aiming at fulfilling the vision making available to all the Body and Blood of Christ at Congress Arena liturgies. You correctly point out that during Congress 2000 liturgies distribution of the Precious Blood was, at best, limited to the Arena floor. This matter of distribution of both types during communion to the whole of the Arena has been in discussion among the whole of the Committee -- we have spent many hours discussing, planning and evaluating as we take serious the call to provide an atmosphere in which full, active, conscious participation by the entire assembly can be a reality.

The dilemma we face with distribution of the Precious Blood throughout the Arena has to do with its reverent and safe movement as well as distribution. At one Arena liturgy two years ago we attempted to make the Precious Blood available throughout the entire Arena. That single event was so fraught with problems that we immediately ceased. We also attempted to provide for the Precious Blood on the Arena floor only in the hope that assembly in the upper levels would come down to receive. Not only did this "seem" to create two castes of assembly (obviously not our intention whatsoever) but we underestimated the number of people who did come down so we unfortunately ran out very early.

Is this an "all or nothing" issue? That is to say, if we cannot successfully provide to all throughout the entire Arena do we simply not provide to anyone? We hope this is not the case.

The safe and reverent movement of the Precious Blood throughout the Arena is not a matter that can be addressed with very well meaning and best intentioned people who volunteer and review procedures at the last moment. If we are to provide, then we must have a well thought out plan, executed by properly trained ministers well in advance. And this has been a major problem. Despite the appearances, the number of volunteers in all area of Congress has been in decline for the past two years. It was so low this past year that at several Arena liturgies it was necessary to appoint volunteers at the absolute last moment just to assure distribution of the Host throughout the Arena. This year we are making efforts to create a well-trained communion distribution pool in advance of Congress. In this way we HOPE to be able to assure distribution of the Host throughout the entire Arena at all liturgies, as well as the Precious Blood so long as we have sufficient numbers of trained volunteers.

Mike Fike, Congress Liturgy Committee


Date: 4/8/00
Comments

As a youth in today's world, I find myself turning more and more to my Catholic faith. First of all, I'd like to thank Cardinal Mahony and everyone else who had something to do with this day. It was extremely special to me and so many other youth, I know. Also, I want to thank Anna Scally for her wonderful session on "Prayer with Headphones" it was an AWESOME workshop that made the day worthwhile. I feel so much closer to GOD and feel Him in me. My Hope is now Awaken and I will Shout Jubilee. Thank You all! 

IN HIM, Juan

Reply

Juan,

Really great hearing from you! I was delighted that you got so much from our annual Youth Day--it's always a real highlight for me each year.

Be sure to plan on attending "
Young Church 2000" at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, May 20. We are expecting about 50,000 young people. Get all of your friends to come and to join us!

Please know of my prayers for you and your family.

+Roger Cardinal Mahony


Date: 4/4/00
Comments

Help! I just looked closely at my tickets and they were printed on last year's forms with all last years dates for workshops. The workshop number correspond to this year but everything else says 1999. Will I have a problem getting in and receiving a program?

Reply

Yes, they are valid.


Date: 4/3/00
Comments

I had been several years to Congress with me beloved sister; however, I’ve not been back since she and my grandparents passed on to a better place. Even still I’m sure that anyone who goes will get major joy and happiness from it. It will leave ya with a major high, especially if you're fortunate enough to cross paths with some of the priests that go. One, in fact, for sure, is Monsignor Terry Fleming. Monsignor Terry is the most gracious, neat, nice, caring, luvin’, considerate, thoughtful, sweet, good lookin’ (but all of them are, ya know) all around PERFECT person.....I can guarantee that if ya do come across him ya will never ever forget him.....He has this knack of makin’ ya feel like you’re human and worth somethin’. He used to be in the Ventura/Oxnard/Camarillo/Port Hueneme area, but now he stays (unfortunately) in the L.A. area.... (Monsignor Terry, it’s only me, Noi. I sooooo greatly majorly miss ya, more than ya will ever know or realize....ya have done sooooo much for the family and especially for me.) From only me, 

Noi (glenda kae hines)


Date: 4/1/00
Comments

THANK YOU SO MUCH for the convenience of Registration on-line! AND for the expeditious mailing of Registration material! 


Date: 3/22/00
Comments

I have attended the LA Congress since 1980 and have missed only one year. The Congress gets bigger each year. However I can't quickly say it gets better. Every year is excellent. Each year has met the needs of the focus for ministries for the time. It is remarkable how pertinent each year's theme has been. As I began to attend, I was a CCD Coordinator. The workshops on serendipity style were utilized by our team as soon as we returned. I implemented a summer program for parish children after hearing a presentation at Congress and teaching in that program in California one summer-Sunshine summer in Huntington Beach. While being with the youth of our parish, Father Don Kimball helped enormously. Before I was able to attend a forum for RCIA, Congress had a two day workshop that gave my pastor and I the confidence to begin RCIA before our diocese was encouraging the process. Speakers like Father Emery Tang, Father Raymond Brown, Father John Aurelio, John Shea, Father John Tickle, Father Ron Rolheiser, Father Richard Rohr, Matthew Fox, Christine Brusselman, Dolores Curran, Father Tom Weston, to name a few favorites, gives a sample of the broad focus that the Congress visions. I appreciate all the collaborative work done by the REO of LA that allows people like myself to attend a renewing, refreshing and revisioning weekend for a reasonable registration fee and with a welcoming atmosphere. In gratitude, I remain your sister in ministry, 

Mrs. Joey Aleksich (Vancouver, Canada diocese)


Date: 3/21/00
Comments

When our tickets for the 2000 Congress arrived we found that they are all dated 1999! The theme printed on the name tag is also that of the 1999 Congress. Will this present any problems for the 2000 workshops or general sessions? Please advise ASAP. Thank you.

Reply

We did, by mistake, print a number of tickets on last year's stock. They do, however, show correct workshop and speaker information. They are perfectly valid for Congress 2000.


Date: 2/20/00
Comments

You offered 1-05 with Richard Cheri, 1-15 with Marchionda & Angotti, and 1-25 with Chris Walker. These are three dynamic music presenters all presented during 1 session! Talk about cruel and unusual punishment! This is my 6th consecutive year, and I NEVER had to choose between presenters like that. Somebody needs to take a second look. So, I looked to page 18 to view your sessions by category. Sorry -- I couldn't make any connection between what was offered in session 1 and what your cross-reference system indicated. Finally -- I have a real problem with whoever decided that orange ink on newsprint is a good reading contrast. If I were one of the hotels on your map page, I'd be furious. This is not one of your better years, I'm sorry to say. I hope it's back to the standards I had come to expect based on the previous five years.


Date: 2/16/00
Comments

After my husband left me in June 1981, our DRE, tired of seeing my sad face, dragged me along to Congress in Feb. of 1982. Her son and I marveled at the music, liturgies, and spectacle. We were both liturgical musicians , but only beginning in the field of contemporary music. We stood at the back door of Bob Hurd's workshop in the Marriott with our mouths open, marveling at the sound of his music. We went up to the stage after everyone had left to see what magical instruments they had been using...the song we always remember is "All my Life": "All my life, I will sing, sing my song, to the Lord, all my life, I will sing..." from Roll Down the Ages. We attended out second Congress together the next year, 1983, and were married in the Church in March of that year. We have been liturgical musicians ever since and have never missed a Congress! Our two boys attend with us....they are 16 and 15 this year. One is a drummer and plays with us at Church every week. In August 1998, we hosted Bob Hurd at our parish and played and sang with him. We started off with selections from his earliest album and finished with a selection from "Ubi Caritas." It was the highlight of our lives as musicians and a dream come true. I will never forget the year "Alleluia, Give the Glory" was introduced in the Anaheim Room. As a pianist, I was ecstatic to think that liturgical music had been written with a strong piano lead. At that workshop, they did a dramatic re-enactment of the "Road to Emmaus" reading where Jesus was a woman! The crowd roared as they understood what was happening when the woman walked up to the two guys who were traveling and started talking to them. I will never forget it! My husband and I now sing in the Congress Choir and host the regional rehearsal in our county of San Diego. Congress has impacted our lives in ways you can never imagine. Our parish congregation is on the cutting edge of contemporary music, because of our commitment to keep current and not let anything get past us. It revives our spirits and keeps us dreaming....I have directed and produced all of the Marty Haugen shows that we have seen at Congress as well as Jeannie Cotter's "We are God's People"... can't wait for "Luke" - I am directing Sabbath Gate this year (OCP) since Marty skipped a year! Thank you for all your work and know that you have changed my life and I have changed others lives, etc., etc., etc. 

Barbara


Date: 2/16/00
Comments

The hotels you list in the booklet -- there are no rooms available, even as early as July prior to the event. I wonder if you could ask for more rooms or otherwise revise your list of hotels that have rooms available. I've wasted a lot of time calling so many without a good response.

Also, I can't open your file via internet regarding your hotel listings. I am referring to your booklet only. Please have also your page readable, and easy to open.

Reply

We have update our hotel listings. The Peacock Suites has been recently added. And we now have a page of hotel listings highlighting the ones with current availability. See our new 2000 Hotels Page.


Date: 2/13/00
Comments

I am trying to figure out if I can register my youth for Youth Day here...please advise.

Beth Toerne

Reply

Not yet! Since this is our first year for online registrations, we started with only Congress registrations. And that has been very successful. So far, we've received about 10 percent of our Congress registrations from our online form.


Date: 2/11/00
Comments

I'd like to know anything about the Native American Liturgy on Saturday at 5:15 pm . Will the Native Americans be involved in any other class or celebration? Which tribes will be represented?

Thanks, Lydia

Reply

The Native American Liturgy is being coordinated by Fr. Victor Sarrazin in collaboration with the Native American Community. Archbishop Charles Chaput from Denver is the Celebrant. There will be a workshop at Congress entitled "Native American Storytelling: Affirming Gospel Values" on Saturday, February 8, at 1:00-2:30. This session will be presented by the Chumash/O'odham family.

If you wish further information contact Eva Walters at the Archdiocese, 213-637-7263.

Adrian Whitaker, Congress Manager


Date: 1/22/00
Comments

More classes in Spanish. Better locations, and not in the "parking stalls," please!

Reply

Please note that we have added several additional Spanish sessions this year and I anticipate that we will add even more in 2001. As for better room locations, it has been challenging for all attendees in Anaheim over the past several years due to the construction at the Anaheim Convention Center. The Center will be 95 percent complete by the time of our event in April -- with more available meeting space than ever before. And it is always my desire not to have to utilize "parking space" as meeting rooms.

I appreciate your comments and thank you for bearing with us throughout the Center's renovation.

Adrian Whitaker, Congress Manager


Date: 1/21/00
Comments

Assuming reasonable security measures have been taken, I GREATLY prefer your method of
online registration!

Reply

Thank you for your support of our online registration. In fact, we have just made the process even more secure. Since credit card transactions are involved, we are now using secure socket technology. At this time, however, we are not able to take Youth Day registration. Try our new Secure Registration Form. 


Date: 1/6/00
Comments

My husband and I have been attending Congress for many years and love it. One thing has been annoying us for years. To attend the liturgies it is necessary to hold our seats for close to an hour in order to get in. This is very time wasting, making it hard to freshen up, get a snack, visit the exhibits, etc. I have been wondering why tickets can't be issued for the liturgies with the workshop tickets? I realize that people bring their family members for the liturgies, so they could order the number of tickets they'll need when they register. This would prevent the long lines and crowding to get into the liturgies. Why not? Leah

Reply

There is actually only 45 minutes between the last workshop and the start of the Liturgy on all 3 days. Anyway, the problem is that people save seats and regardless of how many announcements we make it doesn't seem to matter, they still do. I suggest they go directly to the room where their Liturgy is being celebrated. Do not stop for snacks or exhibit shopping!

Adrian Whitaker, Congress Manager


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