For years, religious education leaders in the LA Archdiocese could measure the passage of time with the Regional Congress….
“As a catechist, it’s like the start of a new year,” said Erica Castaneda, catechist at Immaculate Conception Church in Monrovia. “I feel I need to receive something in order to provide for the kids.”
And this year, for the first time since 2019, Castaneda was able to experience that “start of a new year” again in person. She was one of nearly 400 participants in the Regional Congress for the San Gabriel Pastoral Region, held on Saturday, Oct. 8, at Bishop Amat High School in La Puente.
San Gabriel was one of two pastoral regions to make the move to in-person Regional Congress, with the Santa Barbara pastoral region hosting their own congress at Saint Bonaventure High School in Ventura Oct. 15. Previously, all Regional Congresses were held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
At the helm of the planning committees for these two congresses were Juan Pablo Garcia and Damaris Molina-Morales, regional coordinators for the Office of Religious Education for the Santa Barbara and San Gabriel pastoral regions respectively….
The result was a Santa Barbara Regional Congress line-up of 28 workshops, in both English and Spanish, that drew more than 400 participants.
“We were expecting 250-300 participants, thinking that many people were probably afraid to come back to this type of event,” Garcia said, “and seeing days before congress that we have more than 400 registered says that our church community is ready to be back in our parishes and events….”
While the San Gabriel Congress saw similar turn-out — 389 registrants plus a team of over 100 staff, volunteers and exhibitors at the event — its return was marked by a different structure than previous Regional Congresses.
With a budget less than half that of pre-pandemic years, Molina-Morales said she knew it was time to reimagine what the Congress could look like….
Molina-Morales’ response was to whittle back the number of speakers and workshops, offering instead a keynote speaker, breakout sessions and a panel discussion. She also moved the registration packet — previously mailed out to catechists — to online only….
Fr. Pedro Saucedo, associate director of vocations for the archdiocese, gave the keynote address in English, while Dr. Humberto Ramos, parish life director for Epiphany Church in South El Monte, gave the keynote address in Spanish.
The panel discussion was moderated by Eddie Perez, Spanish Evangelization Coordinator for the Office of New Evangelization and Parish Life, and focused on how the church in Los Angeles responds to current events—from pandemic recovery to the Eucharistic Revival to the Synod on Synodality. Sister Rosalia Meza, ____ Father Juan Ochoa, director of the Office of Worship, Father Parker Sandoval, Vice Chancellor for Ministerial Services, and Karen Luna, Coordinator of Young Adult Ministry were panelists….
The above comes from a Nov. 8 story in Angelus News.
Word from the inside is that the RECongress is tanking and flopping and dying. They had fewer than 5,000 people attend last year, down from over 40,000. This year they are scaling things way back in anticipation of continued poor attendance. They still haven’t released the registration booklets, and the event is only three months away. I hope it dies. It deserves to die.
One of their focuses this year is the Eucharist. That seems like it is better than some in the past.
If there is a RECongress, it will be interesting to see how closely it follows the lead of Working Document for the Continental Stage with its emphasis on inclusivity in light of the growing strength of the Left’s attack on the traditional family through abortion and LBGTQ+ advocacy, especially the growing transgender movement, which is IMO the most formidable attack on the Natural Law upon which Christian thought is based. One would hope, rather, any congress would focus on the loss of faith amongst Catholics, broken families in a very broken culture, and learning to advocate for the Christian alternative to the current secular madness, that is, Jesus Christ, and him crucified, risen, and coming again to judge the living and the dead.
Third is liturgical dance complaints.
Not only does our Lenten journey begin the weekend of RECongress, but we have also been invited by the United States Conference of Bishop’s to a Eucharistic revival who’s mission it is to rekindle in each one of us, a living relationship with Jesus profoundly experienced in the Eucharist.
What a beautiful opportunity to reflect on the experience of the power of God’s Grace given to each of us in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, which makes us all brothers and sisters. The Eucharist is inclusive, and no one leaves hungry! “We can evaluate our Eucharistic Adoration when we take care of our neighbor like Jesus does” (Pope Francis’ homily on the Feast of Corpus Christi).
Throughout the weekend we will offer focused workshops on the Eucharist, and as is always a hallmark of the weekend, we will provide Eucharistic liturgies that celebrate the multitude of
They will also offer focused workshops on promoting and affirming transgederism. Stay away!
Where did you find the workshops offered?
The Synod is about the Mission of the Church. Obviously the Church is and has always been inclusive. There are two mission diocese in California-Stockton and Santa Rosa.
But I believe everywhere is mission territory these days.
Our first mission is to our families. Then there is the New Evangelization, which is re-instructing Catholics in the Faith. (Ironically, a lot of this has been done by converts like Scott Hahn, Steve Ray and reverts like Jeff Cavins.
The Mormons are the fastest growing religion because each male dedicates 2 years in mission activity.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses go door to door.
My neighbors (non-Catholic) have gone on mission trips to Belize and China.
Catholic missions exist in
The first part of my post was not printed.
The first complaint about REC is divisive or dissident speakers.
Second is that it is too much of a marketplace.
And it has nothing to do with the Synod.
Avoid the REC on the freeway!
Does this mean the heretical REC is dead?
I’m disappointed to see a drum kit and guitars providing “music” for the Mass. By chance did the congress workshops provide instructions about appropriate liturgical music?
Doesn’t the school have a chapel where Mass could be celebrated? Or do they spend millions of dollars on athletic fields instead of Catholicism?