Religious Education Congress 2011: A vibrant human mosaic

The labyrinth

 

ANAHEIM, CALIF. — Ask anyone who participated in the Religious Education Congress March 17-20 how they would describe the event in terms of art, and they will tell you: It’s the people. Ask author/speaker Jesuit Fr. James Martin and he will tell you that the congress — not Disneyland across the street — is the happiest place on earth.

Charity Sr. Edith Prendergast, who heads the Los Angeles archdiocese’s Office for Religious Education, told me that she loves the congress for its poetry and beauty. “It is an authentic expression of the life of the church and people come to be enriched.”

At the opening ceremony, people from various cultures and costumes processed in the arena that holds 6,000; there was a lovely liturgical dance, and the music and singing engaged everyone. Prendergast presented our new archbishop, José H. Gomez, “the chief catechist of the archdiocese,” with the illuminated Gospels and Acts of the Apostles from the St. John’s Bible from Liturgical Press. After Gomez opened the congress in prayer, he introduced Prendergast. When she got to the lectern to give her presentation, she said, “You will hear from the archbishop later.” Then she paused and turned back to the archbishop and said, “That is, if it’s OK with you.” It brought down the house.

Click here for the entire article: Religious Education Congress 2011: A vibrant human mosaic.

Mirtha Vespi talks about Congress and Magnificat Ministries

 

 

Media Literacy Advanced Catechetical Specialization recognized at catechetical commissioning Sept. 13, Archdiocese of Los Angeles

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Although only nine of the 56 catechists, youth and pastoral ministers who have received the Advanced Certificate in Media Literacy since we began the program in 2006 were able to attend the commissioning, it was a wonderful experience. Each received a certificate from Cardinal Mahony and here is our group just after.

Actually, the entire ceremony was beyond beautiful. 2000 people were present at the bi-lingual (Spanish-English) evening prayer service, and 900 catechists received basic certificates as catechists – a never ending line. Then many others were commissioned as/in Master Catechists, National Certificate in Youth Ministry Studies, Curso Avanzado de Pastoral Juvenil, Media Literacy (Advanced Specialization), Animadores y animadoras des estudios biblicos, and Certificado Curso Avanzado de Biblia.

Where on earth do you ever see 900 catechists commissioned all at once? And in such a place, such music.

For one reason or another this was the first time I had attended a catechists commissioning anywhere. It blew me away, or shall I say, the mighty wind of the Spirit blew through creation last Sunday throughout the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and the whole world.

900 people who have gone the extra step to become certified catechists on the basic level, and hundreds more who have specialized in some area of faith formation, especially the Bible, catechesis, evangelization, and now media literacy. If you could have seen the people: the entire population of the world was represented. If you ever doubted it, know that Los Angeles is the new New York.

A week later and I am still moved by this experience, this witness, humble and true, by so many believers who will go forth to spread Christ and his Word in love, hope, generosity, a spirit of sacrifice of time and resources.

So much goodness and love of God and neighbor, all in one place, is almost overwhelming.

Here are some photos of the day; enjoy!

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Sr. Karen Joseph Hamm and Elaine Liming

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Carmen, Sr Hosea, Terri

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Celeste (and friend) and Susie

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IMG_0174DSCN0071The communion of saints, indeed.

(The laity ROCK!)

PCMS Certificate

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