A Gathering of the American Catholic Church

Every year the Diocese of Los Angeles hosts a gathering of catechists and liturgical ministers, offering workshops focused on in-service education and spiritual formation in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. It started out as a program for the diocese itself and has grown into a gathering of the American Catholic Church. Participants come from all over the country to Anaheim, right across the street from Disneyland, for workshops, seminars, liturgies, time for personal prayer, and to visit publisher exhibits of the newest works and old favorites by the workshop presenters.

These days, over 40,000 people attend the four day Congress. There will be over 275 workshops covering topics ranging from spirituality and music to personal development and catechesis.

Congress begins today with Youth Day, a program for public and Catholic school students in grades 9-12. Youth Day`s theme is “About Face! Focused on God!” Youth Day opens with music from popular artists, including Steve Angrisano and Jesse Manibusan. Righteous B and Doug Brummel offer the keynote for the youth attending. Morning and afternoon workshops are scheduled, Cardinal Roger Mahoney, Bishop Oscar Solis, and Fr. Darrin Merlino, CMF, will celebrate Eucharist with groups of teens in three locations at the Anaheim Convention Center. I`m looking forward to hearing a first hand report on the day`s events from my teenage daughter! Her brothers enjoyed it when they came as teens. I`m hoping she too has a great time.

Tomorrow – Disneyland for the teens and the general program begins for the adults.

This is my first time at Congress and I`m looking forward to it. I`ve listened to the tapes and CDs my parish has brought home for years. They`ve been a great source of learning, encouragement and blessing for me. Now the time has finally come when I can be here too.

Check out the Congress website at http://www.ReCongress.org There are pictures from prior years and links to the recordings of prior year workshops which are available for purchase. If you can`t be here in person, that`s the next best thing. And if you are in the area, come on over to Congress!

Please pray for all of us gathered here, that we may be open to the movements of the Holy Spirit and the Congress theme – “Lift Your Gaze … See Anew!

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