"Gift Overflowing: A World Transformed"
-- The sports and RV show never had a chance.
in the Anaheim Convention Center, over the weekend of Feb. 15, exhibitors
were showing fishing poles, tents and campers and wondering where all
those Catholics came from.
answer: just about everywhere. A total of 21,000 educators, ministers,
young people and other delegates arrived in Anaheim from throughout the
country and the world for the annual three‑day Los Angeles Religious
Education Congress, the largest gathering of its kind in the nation.
A combination educational enrichment event, celebration of youth and liturgy, and a trade show displaying all things Catholic, the Congress featured 210 workshops in English, 51 in Spanish and seven in Vietnamese, dozens of exhibitors, and played host to 13,500 young people and their chaperones on a special Youth Day on Feb. 14.
by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Office of Religious Education but held
in the Diocese of Orange for more than 25 years, the Congress showcased
ethnic -- inspired liturgies, including African-American, Celtic,
Hawaiian, Hispanic, Vietnamese and Caribbean. Bishop Tod Brown presided at
a Mass opening the final day of the Congress on Sunday, Feb. 17.
Brown and Bishop Jaime Soto also joined bishops from the Archdiocese of
Los Angeles and the Diocese of San Bernardino at a special demonstration
against the death penalty that was held in front of the convention center
on the second morning of the Congress. An estimated 200 participants, led
by Father John McAndrew of St. Angela Merici Church in Brea, sang, prayed
and listened as the bishops and other speakers called for an end to
capital punishment. Bishop Brown thanked the demonstrators and told them
that they were opposing an "anti-Christian" practice.
theme of the Congress was "Gift Overflowing: A World
Transformed," and hundreds of speakers, performers, clergy and lay
people explored the workings of the Holy Spirit in the modern world.
sampling of workshop topics: Breaking the Isolation of Gangs:
"Community" as a Response to Youth Violence, Gen-X Catholics:
The Latest Findings and Their Implications for Ministry, Divorce and
Remarriage in the Catholic Church, When Grief Comes to School, Moral
Questions in the Black Community, and What Happened to June and Ward
Cleaver: Ministering to Families in Crisis. OCC
Copyright 2002 Orange County Catholic -- March 2002